Detachment – Waka – April 13, 2015


grown up
off on their own
young swallows

in the evening
walking along the shoreline
at peace though alone

a floating reed
upon the flowing river
without roots

a rich slave
purse full of shining gold
afraid of thieves

 I remember a zen story about detachment, that goes more or less like this:

There was a young monk who lived in the woods with a famous Zen master. Though from a rich family, he had renounced everything in the world to seek detachment and enlightenment.

One day, as he sat on the road-side with his beggar bowl beside him, he fell asleep and when he awoke, his beggar bowl was gone.  He desperately searched for it and finally, pulling at his hair began to shout and curse his fate.  His master came running to see what was the matter. When he discovered what had afflicted his young acolyte he shook his head laughing and said:

“You’ve given up the riches of the world to become attached to your beggar bowl!”

The young man stopped immediately and saw the humour of the situation.

a clay bowl
like a gold chain

© G.s.k. ‘15

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