Ching-ch'ing's raindrop sound

by Eihei Dogen

English version by Steven Heine
Original Language Japanese

Because the mind is free --
Listening to the rain
Dripping from the eaves,
The drops become
One with me.

-- from The Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace, by Steven Heine

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Dogen is best known for his work in bringing Zen practice from China to Japan, and for his discourses on Zen meditation and monastic lifestyle. But I keep coming back to his poetry.

What can you say to a poem like this one? It immediately draws you to the point of stillness where no words exist. The mind is quiet, free, no longer hemmed in by the false notion of boundaries. The rhythm of rain, the drip-dripping of water from the eaves, is truly one with us. There is no longer a dividing line where you can say, "Here I end. Here the sound of rain begins." The sound of rain flows into the awareness, awareness pours into the rain; they are one.



Recommended Books: Eihei Dogen

Zen Poetry: Let the Spring Breeze Enter The Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhala Library) The Soul is Here for its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures





Ching-ch'ing's raindrop