By Thich Nhat Hanh

Korea's prime poet, the previous Buddhist monk Ko Un, provides 108 Zen poems. Ko Un, who's affectionately known as "the nice mountain height" through his acquaintances, is a tourist at the means. all through his eventful existence as monk, poet, novelist, political dissident, husband and father, Ko Un has dashed like a galloping horse, continually relocating and searching.

When this quantity first seemed in 1997 with the name Beyond Self, Ko Un and the translators weren't more than pleased with it. as well as now receiving a name which extra properly displays the the unique Korean, the translations were somewhat revised to convey them toward the originals. additionally further have been 11 unique brush portray through the author.

It is a pleasure to re-introduce Ko Un, a compassionate poet, who stated that "A poet may still cry many days prior to turning into a poet. A poet should have cried for others whilst he used to be 3 or 4 years old." The poems during this quantity provide 108 glimpses of Ko Un. His poems also are 108 how you can examine ourselves.

Forewords by way of Thich Nhat Hanh and Allen Ginsberg.

11 new brush-painting illustrations through the writer.

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Is it attainable to desert our notions of being and nonbeing to be able to contact precise being? after all. another way, what's the use of training? In Mahayana Buddhism, we use anti-notions to aid us put off notions. in the event you get stuck by means of the suggestion of being, the idea of vacancy is there to rescue you. but when you put out of your mind that real vacancy is stuffed with every little thing, you'll be stuck through your suggestion of vacancy and be bitten by way of the snake. The Ratnakuta Sutra says it's larger to be stuck by way of the idea of being than by means of the concept of vacancy. All different notions could be healed via the proposal of vacancy, but if you’re stuck within the inspiration of vacancy, the ailment is tougher to healing. the idea that the self is there prior to i used to be born and may proceed after I die is a trust in permanence. the other belief—that once you die you input into absolute nothingness—is a trust in annihilation. most of these unsuitable perspectives are mentioned within the Sutra on realizing the higher method to trap a Snake. Buddhist practitioners needs to take care to not fall into both trap—the trust in an everlasting self (whether nice or small) or the idea in annihilation (becoming nothing). those notions has to be transcended. Many Buddhists usually are not in a position to doing so, and they're stuck in a single proposal or the opposite, getting bitten through the snake time and again. sooner or later, i used to be considering a stick of burning incense. The smoke coming off its tip used to be developing many appealing types within the air. It appeared alive, fairly there. I perceived an life, a being, a lifestyles, and that i sat quietly having fun with myself and the “self” of the incense stick. I loved the smoke because it endured to float up growing a variety of types. I used my left hand to “catch” the smoke. The final second the stick was once burning used to be specifically attractive. while there has been not more incense on the different finish, there has been extra oxygen on each side, so it burned so much intensely for a second, revealing a brilliant pink colour. I checked out it with all my focus. It was once a parinirvana, an excellent extinction. the place had the flame long past? whilst somebody is set to die, she or he frequently turns into very alert at that final second of lifestyles after which fades away, like the stick of incense. the place has the soul long gone? I had numerous different sticks of incense, and that i knew that if, at that final second, I took one other stick of incense and touched the 1st keep it up, the flame could have persisted onto the recent stick, and the lifetime of the incense may have persevered. It was once just a topic of gasoline, or stipulations. The instructing of the Buddha is especially transparent: while yes stipulations are current, our senses understand whatever and we qualify it as “being. ” while these stipulations are not any longer enough, our senses understand the absence of that whatever, and we qualify it as “nonbeing. ” that may be a improper notion. The field of incense comprises many sticks. If I feed one stick after one other to the gasoline, is the lifetime of the incense everlasting? Is the Buddha alive or lifeless? It’s a question of gas. probably you're the gas, and also you proceed the lifetime of the Buddha.

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