Reading these three lines, most people and myself, would be touched by the gentle heart and compassion of the monk-poet and find this very cute and kind and...The thief left it behind:
at my window.
Yes, of course, it is about a night where Ryokan woke up very cold as his blanket was stolen by a thief.
And yet, it is an extraordinary poem about the consciousness during Zazen and the relatioship between sitting and living. Let me explain. The thief is the ego, willing to make use of Zazen, to milk practice, to take something from shikantaza into the life out there. Meanwhile , it misses the selfless brightness of the moon which stands for awakening, original and open shikantaza, which shine on phenomenas too. When zazen, zazen.When life, life. And of course, nothing but zazen for life is fully embraced. Do and create a bound or separation, a river to cross, some stuff and goods to smuggle, one shore to the next and... you end up with a blanket when you own the whole brightness of the universe...Attached to a single experience, we end up being the thief of a few rags . The moon, the window and and the fool waking up are always possible, always available every single moment of our life.