Friday, 4 October 2013

what's wrong with meiji zen


  1. What do you think of this poem by Ahmad Shamlu? Note, it's a translation.

    "The Beginning"

    in a land unknown
    at a time yet not arrived.
    Thus, I was born

    within the forest of beast and rock.

    My heart

    in void

    started beating.
    I abandoned the cradle of reiteration

    in a land with no bird, no spring.
    My first journey was a return

    from the hope-abrading vistas of thorn and sand,
    without having gone far
    on the inexperienced feet of the fledgeling that was I.

    My first journey

    was a return.

    The vast distance
    taught no hope.

    I stood on the feet of the novice that was I
    facing the horizon ablaze.

    I realized that there was no tidings
    for in between stood a mirage.
    The vast distance taught no hope.
    I learnt that there was no tidings:
    This boundless

    was a prison so huge

    that the soul
    hid in tears
    from shame of impotence.

    1. I think he is difficult to translate well, I can see the original poem was effective but the translation (by I. kaboli) is abit spacey ?

  2. Also, what do you think of this excerpt from Toni Packer's book?

    "What is personal death?
    Asking this question and pausing to look inward - isn't persona death a concept? Isn't there a thought-and-picture series going on in the brain? These scene of personal ending take place solely in the imagination, and yet they trigger great mental ad physical distress - thinking of one's cherished attachments an their sudden, irreversibe termination.
    Similarly, if there is 'pain when I let some of the beauty of life in' - isn't this pain the result of thinking, 'I won't be here any longer to enjoy this beauty?' Or, 'No one will be around and no beauty left to be enjoyed if there is total nuclear devastation.'
    Apart from the horrendous tragedy of human warfare - why is there this fear of 'me' not continuing? Is it because I don't realize that all my fear and trembling is for an image? Because I really believe that this image is myself?
    In the midst of this vast, unfathomable, ever-changing, dying, and renewing flow of life, the human brain is ceaselessly engaged in trying to fix for itself a state of permanency and certainty. Having the capacity to think and form pictures of ourselves, to remember them and become deeply attached to them, we take this world of pictures and ideas for real. We thoroughly believe in the reality of the picture story of our personal life. We are totally identified with it and want it to go on forever. The idea of "forever" is itself an invention of the human brain. Forever is a dream.
    Questioning beyond all thoughts, images, memories, and beliefs, questioning profoundly into the utter darkness of not-knowing, the realization may suddenly dawn that one is nothing at all - nothing - that all one has been holding on to are pictures and dreams. Being nothing is being everything. It is wholeness. Compassion. It is the ending of separation, fear, and sorrow.
    Is there pain when no one is there to hold on?
    There is beauty where there is no "me"."
    - Toni Packer "Work of this Moment" page 95

    1. yeah, oneself is a picture and a dream, people in the "spiritual game" say yes, then go on to making another picture and dream and you just can't help them !

    2. It really is recursive...

      Here's a koan, "Which reflection of Borges feared the mirror?"

    3. neither reflection, nor borges nor mirror :o)

      neither reflection, nor borges nor mirror :o)(

  3. neither borges, nor reflection nor mirror :o)

    neither borges, nor reflection nor mirror :o)(