Taigu Ryokan

(1758-1831 / Japan)

Reply To A Friend - Poem by Taigu Ryokan

In stubborn stupidity, I live on alone
befriended by trees and herbs.
Too lazy to learn right from wrong,
I laugh at myself, ignoring others.
Lifting my bony shanks, I cross the stream,
a sack in my hand, blessed by spring weather.
Living thus, I want for nothing,
at peace with all the world.

Your finger points to the moon,
but the finger is blind until the moon appears.
What connection has moon and finger?
Are they separate objects or bound?
This is a question for beginners
wrapped in seas of ignorance.
Yet one who looks beyond metaphor
knows there is no finger; there is no moon.


Comments about Reply To A Friend by Taigu Ryokan

  • Fabrizio Frosini (11/25/2016 4:39:00 AM)

    ''knows there is no finger; there is no moon.''
    '' no finger - no moon ''
    the last line makes me think of the (Zen) Buddhist concept of ensō (void and absolution) .. the circle that symbolizes the Universe and the Void..
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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010



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