Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Way things Are

The sound of the valley stream
is the voice of Gautama Buddha.
The forms of the mountains
are his perfect body.
Throughout the night countless poems,
but the next day,
how do I convey them to others?

This poem is from The Sounds of Valleys and the Forms of Mountains, a chapter of the Shobogenzo by Zen Master Dogen. The poem speaks of how nature 'speaks' when we are full ready to hear. This is possible because of the Buddhist teaching of the fundamental non separation of ear and sound, mind and matter.

It dawned on me why I was so caught up in the film about the Giant Hornets and the honey bees the other day. I remembered a short poem I'd written early in life which started, Bee and me we are One! Well, it was a start! I had no religious context through which to understand the sense of unity I experienced while watching a bumble bee one idle summers day. The impression however was a lasting one.

It's not unusual for people to speak of a profound sense of unity they felt with existence while out in the wilds, or elsewhere. Very often people spend their lives trying to find an explanation for such experiences. Some take up a formal religious practice and realise a window onto the way things are opened briefly. They can then let go and move on.