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Author of this essay:

(November 7, 2003)

Poems by Zenmar

From Bear-Ear Mountain in China
To the Dharmas halls of America
The Buddha-nature eludes everyone.
Looking eastward; turning westward
We walk as Bodhidharma once walked -
Yet do not know what moved him hither.

We all have Buddha-nature.
But don't go searching in a deep forest.
No, it is not in the scent of pine either.
Nor is it in the bright pink azaleas -
Nor in mountain streams, cold and clear.
Search far a wide for this nature.
Leave your home a thousands times
Walking alone to the eastern horizon.
Still, it will always elude you.
But stop just once and settle down.
There you will find it -
Hidden where neither thoughts are present
Nor where they cessate.
(Yes - that is your Buddha-nature.)

Study the great Sutras -
Or cast them aside and sit.
In either case you must have
A good sense of direction.
If not you will become
Enlightened a thousand times
And still be unsure.

In zazen,
See what can never sit,
Stand, lie down or walk.
In this way you will be
Well on your way to
Finding Mr. Buddha's seat.

Chao-chou knew what caused Bodhidharma
To make the long journey to China.
He demonstrated it in his daily life.
He raised his feet and used his hands.
He let his tongue freely speak -
He let his thoughts fly free of restraint.
When questioned as to the reason -
He tried his best to show the source.
But who could see Bodhidharma's
Mysterious principle -
Just before he moved forward?

Ranting and raving -
This is the mastery of NSZ!
Its long tongue screams -
Its webbed hand strikes often!
Only the plum blossom appears
To see what all the noise is about.
The rest are asleep this cold winter.

Do you know this tea's source?
Smell the aroma - gently lift the cup.
Take a sip.  Hold it a little bit.
Where, through the taste,
do you sense it?

The limitless sky is not measured by clouds.
Nor can the waves know their sea.
Not in thoughts will the source be known.
Still, it is here where the Buddha sits
Turning the Wheel of Dharma.

Humming Bird
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