StoneWater Zen Centre Liverpool 27 August 2016
Leaving the Lakes where the twin trees grow
Finding your own way through fog and rain
Struggling upstream over rock and boulder
You have left your compass behind
And as with the dancer and the dance
You are coming home
To where stone and water forever abide as one.
Thus have I heard
Shinro expounded the scripture
And reshaped the Diamond Cutter‘s song
Shining clear the river, the Knipe, the valley:
The call of the birds and the low, plaintive drone
Of an aeroplane, reach out to us.
The Dharma revealed
That which is, Thusness – ever elusive, ungraspable
Yet always hear, always now.
The fearless bodhisattvas listened
Diving down to Samadhi’s depths like Koyo’s Garuda bird
To retrieve the precious dragon of Shinro’s teaching.
Excellent in skill, excellent in learning, only the shin falls:
!crrraack! right into rabbit hole … great concern:
“Only, will I be Able to bow?”
Cooling mountain stream caressing an ankle,
Washes adequately his words from my ears
Instead of staying in his shed
Shinro stirs up dust in Liverpool
Ascending the stairs
He delivers his lecture
Like the fire that consumes wood
His diamond words cut through – to what?
A man of peaks and valleys:
Expounding Stoke Newington Dharma
The view is magnificent
Cycling through traffic to work:
The susurration of wind through reeds
High and Low – who can find him?
Lawyer, monk, teacher, father
Doubleday and double nights
Did he really live twice?
Were his ancestors so much trouble
Took too long to earn a rouble
Too lazy to complete a task
Twice the money they did ask
Now a Buddhist priest he be
One with all and all with one
Change his name to Shinro
Intellect keen enough to cut diamond,
Manner mild as August night.
At one with nature,
At odds with bruising pain.
Assuming the mantle of high priest
In robe as white as the dove.
With open hand and open heart
Shinro dances with heaven and earth
Seeking the path to understanding
He spins and flourishes with harmony
No longer sdrwaing his sword in haste
He now becomes the essence
Of joy and harmony
On the floating bridge that binds the world together.
Hanging in the sky
Of anyone’s finger.
Monk in a shed
Diamond bright words
To Sharp Edge walking
Peaceful evening on the fell
Whilst in the darkening wood
A hawk strikes,
Cutting off a small life,
Shinro leads along a Sharp Edge,
This Diamond Way.
Shinro up Saddleback
Moonlight on the garden shack
Koan with ankle strap –
Kind hands at breakfast time.
Go well and onwards climb!
One earth and one bright moon-heart.
Shinro’s treasures are more precious
Than all the riches of the British Museum!
The Great Teacher Fu strikes the lectern,
Emperor Wu is flabbergasted.
Master Shi is no help.
The Mind Sword of Don’t Know has yet to cut.
Shinro hobbles on his swollen bruise blue ankle
A full pale red moon hangs in the darkening blue sky.
All compound things are like a dream
And yet Shinro’s ankle still hurts
And Emperor Wu is still confused.
The diamond that cuts through delusion reflects all phenomena.
Shinro has struck the lectern and sits in Master Fu’s robes.