Barn's burnt down
English version by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto
Barn's burnt down --
I can see the moon.
|-- from Zen Poetry: Let the Spring Breeze Enter, Translated by Lucien Stryk / Translated by Takashi Ikemoto|
/ Image by Alex37 /
I love this haiku. Using so few words, it still manages to say so much.
The moon, as I have pointed out before, is often used in Zen poetry to represent Buddha-mind, awakened awareness. The burnt barn can suggest worldly calamity and loss which can suddenly open us to the radical, serene truth that surrounds us everywhere. Or the barn can represent our own self-enclosing thoughts, "burned" down by spiritual practice and the ecstatic psychic spaciousness that can result.
So read that haiku again. Line-by-line:
The old structure, the barn has burnt down. It has collapsed, been cleared away.
Now. Now-- The shock has brought us, stunned, into the present moment.
The psychic field cleared, finally we can see the luminous moon, the light of enlightenment.
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/ Photo by Kazue Asano /
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