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Thread: Irish Zen, a saint and a bird and nothing at the end.

  1. #1
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Irish Zen, a saint and a bird and nothing at the end.

    I owe to Soen the discovery of an amazing poetry inspired by a Christian saint and written by Seamus Heaney...It is an amazing description of Zazen and the way to forget both self and world, to let self and others fall away. I am sure Soen will write a few lines about this true jewel...

    I'll be back with Koku, Dogen and lots of other goodies soon.


    http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarch ... oemId=1396


    gassho to all

    Taigu

  2. #2

    Re: Irish Zen, a saint and a bird and nothing at the end.

    Thank you!
    And Heanley didn't sit Zazen? :shock:

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Irish Zen, a saint and a bird and nothing at the end.

    Thank you sharing this Taigu Sensei. Looking forward to more of these goodies to come

    Gassho,
    John

  4. #4
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Re: Irish Zen, a saint and a bird and nothing at the end.

    Thank you for posting this Taigu. I am glad you liked the poem. I hope other fellow Treeleafers will like it too.

    Seamus Heaney (Nobel Prize 1995) is a giant of Irish literature. He is in no way a Buddhist or practitioner of Zazen. However, his poem ‘St Kevin and the Blackbird’ has always reminded me of the no-self that can be apprehended in Zazen, where experience is direct and not mediated ... not even through language. When one becomes the many and is “linked into the network of eternal life”.

    By the way, I think a Buddhist would have used the word “compassion” rather than “pity” in the poem, but I think we can understand Heaney’s sense.

    Is not Zazen “a prayer” our “body makes entirely”?

    Here’s another poem I love from Heaney, one that also draws on the unique Irish monastic tradition, and based on a legend from the ancient monastery of Clonmacnoise:

    The annals say: when the monks of Clonmacnoise
    Were all at prayers inside the oratory
    A ship appeared above them in the air.

    The anchor dragged along behind so deep
    It hooked itself into the altar rails
    And then, as the big hull rocked to a standstill,

    A crewman shinned and grappled down the rope
    And struggled to release it. But in vain.
    ‘This man can’t bear our life here and will drown,’

    The abbot said, ‘unless we help him.’ So
    They did, the freed ship sailed, and the man climbed back
    Out of the marvellous as he had known it.

    Gassho,
    Soen

  5. #5

    Re: Irish Zen, a saint and a bird and nothing at the end.

    Brilliant poem! Thank you for sharing it!

    Gassho
    Shohei

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: Irish Zen, a saint and a bird and nothing at the end.

    ditto, we owe much to the Irish poets

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