Sunday, 22 July 2012

I watch people in the world


This poem by the hermit Zen Buddhist poet Ryokan always serves to remind me to keep things simple ...

Ryōkan Taigu
I watch people in the world
Throw away their lives lusting after things,
Never able to satisfy their desires,
Falling into deeper despair
And torturing themselves.
Even if they get what they want
How long will they be able to enjoy it?
For one heavenly pleasure
They suffer ten torments of hell,
Binding themselves more firmly to the grindstone.
Such people are like monkeys
Frantically grasping for the moon in the water
And then falling into a whirlpool.
How endlessly those caught up in the floating world suffer.
Despite myself, I fret over them all night
And cannot staunch my flow of tears.
Things I have learnt from travel

- Ryōkan Taigu - (1758–1831)

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