Sunday, October 23, 2011

Forest Haiku

On a visit to the International Forest Monastery here in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, the following words emerged from the quiet of the cool environs. A real haven from the noise of the world, this forested retreat reveals the inner stillness that is our true refuge. It is in this primordial silence of our being that perfect communication emerges, with the emphasis on the communing aspect of language.

Here in the forest
Trees cast a cooling shadow
Cicadas rejoice

Monks are pot-cleaning
An old layman attends them
As do the squirrels

A forest temple
Ants on the pavilion
As they make merit

We sit in the shade
I, in trendy white clobber
He, in forest robes

Sat with aching legs
There is this still silence
But for cicadas

Forest monastery
Sat talking with a bhikkhu
Leaves replace queries

Watching falling leaves
Is observing thoughts disperse
Into emptiness

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