Sekiso has a poem:
For six years sitting alone
Still as a snake
In a stalk of bamboo,
With no family but the ice
On the snow mountain . . .
Last night, seeing the empty sky
Fly into pieces,
He shook the morning star awake
And kept it in his eyes.
A tremendously beautiful poem. He is saying, for six years sitting alone – that means meditating; sitting, in Zen, is equivalent to meditation, just sitting and doing nothing. Six years sitting alone, still as a snake . . . When the snake is waiting to catch something to eat, he remains absolutely immobile as if he is dead. The slightest movement, then the bird he was going to catch will be gone, then the butterfly he was going to catch will not be there. He has to remain just dead, no movement.
Still as a snake in a stalk of bamboo, with no family but the ice on the snow mountain. Last night . . . those six years sitting matured. Last night the moment came of great benediction.
Last night, seeing the empty sky fly into pieces, he shook the morning star awake and kept it in his eyes. He is talking about the inner sky, the inner emptiness, that suddenly gave way. For six years he was holding. Last night, suddenly the emptiness also fell into pieces. He was thinking that just to be empty is enough for meditation. Just to be empty is only the beginning. A moment comes when emptiness falls into pieces. You go beyond emptiness.
Last night, seeing the empty sky fly into pieces, he shook the morning star awake . . . He is talking about his own inner being. That emptiness flying into pieces shook the star awake and kept it in his eyes. Now he is carrying that star in his eyes, that clarity, that light, that shining jewel which is not in the sky, which is hidden somewhere inside your emptiness, which is covered by your thoughts and emotions. Your mind is blocking the path, but somewhere inside you, it is shining bright. Just a little turning in, and you will be fulfilled.
From Nansen: The Point of Departure, Discourse #2
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