May your day have a pause long enough to hear whatever is to be heard in the moment. Below is a link to my second talk I gave during a seven day retreat at San Francisco Zen Center. During that talk I shared the words of an ancient Chinese hermit that were in a video shared with friends by Jamie Howell. They are written below and a link to the video is also below. I also shared a poem of mine called Greetings and it is written below for your enjoyment.
The Monk and The Moon
When life begins we are
tender and weak,When life ends we are stiff and rigid.
All things, the grass, the trees,
the animals in life are soft and pliant.
In death they are dry and brittle.
An army that cannot yield will suffer defeat
And a tree that cannot bend will break.
So the soft and supple are the companions of life,
while the stiff and unyielding are the companions of death.
Surrender brings perfection.
Embrace emptiness and the whole universe is yours.
The sage becomes nothing
and gains everything.
Not displaying himself, he shines forth.
Not promoting himself, he is distinguished.
Not claiming reward, he gains endless merit.
Not seeking glory, his glory endures.
He knows to follow, so he is given command.
He does not compete so no one competes with him.
Such a being rides upon the clouds,
and enters the sun,
passing out of this world with ease,
and into the eternal.
Fear nothing, except the failure
to experience your true nature.
Speak nothing, unless you have lived it first.
The gate of heaven is wide open with not a single
obstruction before it.
I sometimes wonder when will I wake up?
Wake up to see that there is truly nothing to fear.
I sometimes wonder if I am a person dreaming that I am a butterfly or
a butterfly dreaming that I am person.
What can I say that hasn’t been said?
What can I do that hasn’t already been done?
The joy is simply in the being.
Not being this or that.
I like to watch the sun in the morning.
And the moon watches over me at night.
I have absorbed
the unexplainable things in life,
the way a flash of light comes in the dark woods,
the words in my head coming from someone else,
the appearance of a friend at my door after silently calling out her name.
To ask the reasons is like stripping the ocean of its waves.
The nature of life soaks through my skin,
and there is no mind, scientific or spiritual, that can fully explain the unfolding,
that rises, unfurls and lands upon me in the silence,
And so I am inclined to sit still,
patiently waiting to greet what is there.