Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shobogenzo Haiku (Chapters 1-7)

I am only beginning my journey through the Shobogenzo, but it has already ascended to a high place in my list of 'favorites'. I originally intended to write these haiku to side-step my tendency to over-analyze things. I have found that Dōgen's Shobogenzo is poetry already. Many of the phases in the haiku below are taken directly from the text. As a result the credit for these haiku goes to Dōgen, and Nishijima and Cross who worked to preserve the original phrasing and share it with us. I have merely assembled the phrases into a haiku, much like a jigsaw puzzle, and I hope correctly. These haiku are by no means a complete representation of each Chapter and are works in progress. My humble understanding could change at any moment!

Chapter 1- Bendōwa (A Talk about Pursuing the Truth)
Zazen Samadhi -
The Dharma blooms forth, anchored
By this floating stem

Breath ringing the bell,
The worlds in ten directions
Resonate Dharma

Chapter 2 – Maka-hannya-haramitsu (Mahāprajnāpāramitā)
Holding all the threads
Of wisdom, having to do
With a tender heart

Cloaking the body
With prajnā-pāramitā –
Radiant mantra

Chapter 3 – Genjō-kōan (The Realized Universe)
The whole moon and sky
Reflected in just one drop
Not knowing it's dew

In dust, out of frame,
Innumerable dharmas
Past my single shape

Chapter 4 – Ikka-no-myōju (One Bright Pearl)
Floating downriver,
Not fishing for gold-scaled fish --
Gensha, the layman

A ceaseless stirring,
Ten directions held within
One shimmering pearl

Chapter 5 – Ju-undō-shiki (Rules for Accumulated Cloud Hall)
The hall of clouds -- home
To Buddha's truth and harmony
Like milk in water

Chapter 6 – Soku-shin-ze-butsu (Mind Here and Now is Buddha)
Clear, no mist or mud,
Mind's original essence --
Shared and eternal

Coming home to truth --
Relaxing into the arms
Of the infinite

Chapter 7 – Senjō (Washing)
Essence purified --
Not a goal, but the doing --
Washing is Buddha

Wash body like mind
Til water runs clear, so all
Retain the Dharma


Jordan said...

Thank you for your efforts.

Happi said...

Thanks for stopping by and showing your support. Hope you're starting to get settled.

Gisela (Happi)

Mike Cross said...

Hi Gisela,

Work in progress is always the best kind of work. Wishing you all the best for the continuation of yours.



Here is something that your work prompted to invade my sitting this morning, a Zazengi haiku:

A backward step
Turning the light
Of, in, by, for, on

Happi said...

Hi Mike -

Thanks for your blessing.

Here is a haiku I wrote 'on the fly' after tweeting the link to this post yesterday:

Moving from darkness
to light — stepping back, tilting
the head to listen.

Wishing you peace, breath and right direction this holiday season.

Palms together in Gassho,

Gisela (Happi)