The Zen Master Smiles

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The Zen Master Smiles, Saying This


“If you do not cut off the mind road,

then you are a ghost clinging to bushes and grasses,”

said the Zen Master Wumen Heikai.

“Make your whole body a mass of doubt

and with your three hundred and sixty bones and joints,

and your eighty-four thousand hair follicles,

concentrate on the one word ‘Mu.’

It is like swallowing a red-hot ball.”


This is from The Gateless Barrier,

translated by Robert Aiken,

which fell into my hands

one night in San Francisco,

out by the foggy harbor.

                       -Dick Allen

Categories: Poems & PhotosTags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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