This is not Zen

Poem: No Goose Zen

Goose flies,
drawing its shadow
across the lake.

Shadow lies,
on the waves
without wake.

Moon shines
without cause,
Lake shimmers
without pause.

Goose is gone
over the trees,
Leaves shake
in the breeze.

How genuine
How ineffable
This is zen

This is not zen

This poem uses the symmetry between the goose’s shadow and the moon’s reflection to demonstrate something fundamental. The goose has no intention towards its shadow on the lake, like the moon doesn’t towards its reflection on the waves. The lake shows both, shadow and light, effortlessly and equally without pause. 

This is the essence of nature; the quality of completeness shown in every action in our world. But ‘action’ is just a reflection of the mind; the perception of space, time, matter and the causation we infer. This intellectual account is shallow then. In a way, it is a shadow itself, shimmering on the waves of thought. To be deeper than this is what zen teaches. How to know it then? The knowing is the problem. This is why ‘not zen’ was necessary. Just as you felt you ‘gained’ an understanding of ‘something’, ‘not zen’ took it away for it to remain pure. How to see beyond the movements of thought? How to be in accord with it?

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