10 Beautiful Zen Poems/Haikus
Zen poems and haiku are like word paintings. They paint a picture, a very living picture.Here are 10 most beautiful zen poems and haiku by masters like Basho, Dogen, Issa, Hofuku, Ekon.
We need to read between the lines to understand their meaning .They present us a scenario and we have to get into the scenario to feel the magic. These poems and haiku reflect the contemplation and meditation of the writer. Sole purpose of these works is to help the reader get into no mind state and see the thing as it is without any deviation from reality.
Let's not discuss much and get into these poems and haiku directly. Talking too much is very unZenly.
The old pond
A frog jumps in
Plop. Haiku by Basho Haiku by Basho
Well it is said that Basho became enlightened with the sound of frog jumping into the old pond... just a plop. He must have been in a state of pure contemplation that the impossible becomes possible. Zen is nothing but a discipline of how to attain to this state of no mind.
Crying is Beautiful
After cry of joy-
Turning white. Zen Poem by Dogen
The poet is just reminding us crying can be beautiful! It is lightening, unburdening. Don't care about time, space or age. Cry or laugh totally because these are the ways that lead us to our innermost being.
Everything Passes On
The passing days and months are eternal travelers in time. Haiku by Basho
Have we ever stopped to think about time? The days, months are like travelers and we are witnesses who remain silent here and now watching the whole procession. It is said when we become a witness, enlightenment occurs.
Existence Is Our Home
Don't tell me how difficult the way The bird's path, winding far Is right before you. Water of the Dokei Gorge, You return to the ocean I to the mountain. Zen poem by Hofuku
It's a beautiful poem. The poet is suggesting the river to go to ocean even if the ways are full of obstacles because that's its home. The poet himself is going to mountain because that's his home. Wherever our original nature takes us, wherever our spontaneity takes us, it is our home. Zen makes this whole existence our home.
A Cup of Tea
For his morning tea A monk sits down in utter silence- Confronted by chrysanthemums. Haiku by Basho
This beautiful haiku depicts a Zen like scenario or peace or bliss. Tea, monk, silence, chrysanthemums. What a way to start a day...
One call invites One hundred comrades; One smile beckons Ten thousand admirers. Zen Poem by Dogen
The first sign of being religious is being cheerful. When the mind with all its hypocrisies, egoism, greed dissolves, we become like a small child. Not only ten thousand but everyone admires a child's smile.
From the white dewdrops, Learn the way To the pure land. Haiku by Issa
In the night, dewdrops gather on the leaves and in the morning they slowly fall towards the lake and they simple merge into the lake without making any fuss. This haiku tells us to learn from these dewdrops. They are beautiful, temporary, and they merge into oneness. This leads us to the pure land, the land of consciousness, the Buddha land.
The Real Watcher
Where the interplay of is and is not is fixed, Not even the sages can know. A zen poet
Duality, any form of duality, be it happiness, sorrow, life, death, truth, illusion, or simply yes, no; these all can be watched. But when you go beyond duality, the mind becomes silent. Can a silent mind know that it is silent? No. An immense silence... you come home for the first time... this is meditation... this is ultimate rest.
A Picture to Listen to...
Temple bells die out. The fragrant blossoms remain- A perfect evening! Haiku by Basho
Yet again Basho with his golden touch. In this haiku, you can hear the bell ringing and dying into deep silence. You can see the blossoms still remain, and the fragrance. The silence deepens, the fragrance deepens.... a perfect evening. An aware man can experience the beauty in small things.
Joy in the morning, Sleep in the evening, What else? Haiku by Ekon
If in the morning, you can feel the joy of being alive, every breath becomes a blessing. If you can see sleep as a great rest and relaxation in the evening, what else do you want? A state of bliss will always cover your existence. Think again, is there really any other thing you want? Think, think...
- Zen Quotes
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