Shiko's Poem

For thirty years by a

mountain lake

I've lived, alone and free,

Two meals a day, though 

monkish fare,

Are sustenance for me.

Up and down the 


For daily exercise,

And whether people


I neither know - nor can


A bird flies freely in the sky and leaves no trace in the air. Water flows freely in a river; if it stops flowing, the water becomes stagnant. A white cloud moves over mountains and canyons changing shape as it goes. So a true Zen monk lives a simple, full life without entagements, without expecting praise or recognition His serenity is never jeopardised by power, praise, or blame. Shiko lived such a life for thirty years on the mountain - every day of it a silent preaching.


Popular Posts