Every day, priests minutely examine the Law

by Ikkyu (Ikkyu Sojun)

English version by Sonya Arutzen
Original Language Japanese

Every day, priests minutely examine the Law
And endlessly chant complicated sutras.
Before doing that, though, they should learn
How to read the love letters sent by the wind
and rain, the snow and moon.

-- from Ikkyu and the Crazy Cloud Anthology: A Zen Poet of Medieval Japan, by Ikkyu / Translated by Sonya Arutzen

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

So short and sweet, we almost don't notice its deep cut into our pretenses.

If we want to be learned, then we can read the scriptures, memorize them, chant them. But if we want true knowledge, then we must do something much harder -- step outside and fall silent. When we can do that, and recognize the hidden touch behind it all, only then have we really understood what we've been studying all that time.

A reminder to step outside and receive the world's love letter...



Recommended Books: Ikkyu (Ikkyu Sojun)

Zen Poetry: Let the Spring Breeze Enter The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhala Library) Crow With No Mouth: Fifteenth Century Zen Master Ikkyu Wild Ways: Zen Poems of Ikkyu Ikkyu and the Crazy Cloud Anthology: A Zen Poet of Medieval Japan





Every day, priests