Zen Poem by Gensei

Zen Poem by Gensei

Trailing my stick I go down to the garden edge,

call to a monk to go out the pine gate.

A cup of tea with my mother,

looking at each other, enjoying our tea together.

In the deep lanes, few people in sight;

the dog barks when anyone comes or goes.

Fall floods have washed away the planks of the bridge;

shouldering our sandals, we wade the narrow stream.

By the roadside, a small pavilion

where there used to be a little hill:

it helps out our hermit mood;

country poems pile one sheet on another.

I dabble in the flow, delighted by the shallowness of the stream,

gaze at the flagging, admiring how firm the stones are.

The point in life is to know what’s enough–

why envy those otherworld immortals?

With the happiness held in one inch-square heart

you can fill the whole space between heaven and earth.

— Gensei

The Seven Factors of Enlightenment by Jack Kornfield

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