Posts Tagged ‘Repentance’

August 15th, 1971

Sunday, August 15th, 1971

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Sunday, August 15, 1971

Zen Mountain Center

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 71-08-15


When—when wind stops, flowers fall.

When a bird sings, mountain become more calm.


That is a kind of Zen poem.  My translation is not so good.  [He recites the poem in Japanese, saying each line twice.]


                    Kaze yande hana mae otsu.

                    Kaze [Tori] naitei yama sarani yūnari.[1]


Kaze yande:  When wind stops, but still flower falls.  No—there is no wind.  If there is no wind, flower should stay, but flower—after, you know, there is no wind, still flower falls.  If a bird sings, it is not calm.  But if you hear a bird sing in the remoted mountain, you feel the calmness of the mountain more.  Kaze—Tori naitei yama sarani yūnari.


This is again—this poem again refers to the feeling of “there is” and “there is not.”  There is, and sometimes there is not.  And there is not, sometimes there is [laughs].  When a flower falls, why flower falls is because there is wind.  But when there is no wind, flowers still fall.  And when you see a flower fall, you feel the wind, more than wind is up [?].  When a bird sings, you feel the calmness of the mountain more than you—more than when you did not hear any sound.  That is true.  Isn’t—isn’t that true?


That is real feeling of “there is” and “there is not.”  That is actual feeling.  But usually we are involved in the idea of “there is” or “there is not.”  “There is not” means there is no wind.  “There is not” means there is no wind.  “There is no sound” means, you know, you don’t hear anything—that is, there is no sound.  But actually, when you hear sound you do not feel of actual feeling of no sound.  It is paradoxical, you may say, but that is much more true than your, you know, usual understanding of “there is” or “there is not.”  Much more true.  Kaze yande hana mae otsu.  Kaze [Tori] naitei yama sarani yūnari.  You cannot, you know—this is—you cannot say this is just poem.  This is actual reality.