Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thinking to Take Tiger Mountain

Step by step I went when young, 

Thinking to take Tiger Mountain 

By strategy or storming Heaven

Just for laughs.

Trying hard to push the river,

I carried myself forward,

Quite lost through my own effort.

Just seeing this and 

Doing that,

Now I'm seated in my garden,

Listening to the small birds sing,

Quite content to watch all things 

Come forth, and let the world

Just turn itself.

"To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion. 
That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening."
- Dogen Zenji, Genjo-koan

What a relief it is to know that our constant effort is not required to keep this big world turning, the great river flows on quite nicely all on its own. Our effort is best spent in being aware of the turning and the flowing and in listening to the small bird's songs.

Today's image is of the author at 19 years of age, in the mountains of Vietnam.