Friday, July 22, 2016

Stand Still, Leap like a Tiger: Korean style Zen meditation

This is a poem I wrote about meditating Korean Zen style many lifetimes ago. I love the image of meditation as a tiger waiting for its prey. I learn a lot about meditating by observing my cats. They are masters of just being. This image is from the Providence Zen center. "Only don't know" was the mantra of my Zen master. I still find it enormously useful.

                       YONG MAENG JONG JIN

                ("Stand Still, Leap like Tiger":
                   Korean term for meditation)

The tiger sitting at the edge of the hissing sea
watches as the waves come and go.
The tiger is not impressed.

Gulls laugh overhead. The tiger is not amused,
nor does he envy their wind-borne life.
The tiger sits and waits as the sun rises,
as the shadows move across the beach,
as the tide gradually inches higher,
as the earth slowly tilts on its axis,
as the universe spins off in a million directions.
The tiger does not move. It is waiting.
Sandpipers pitterpatter, crabs sidle,
waves crash redundantly.
The tiger watches.

It is almost noon. The tiger still does not stir.
The afternoon passes. No game approaches. No matter.
This is the way of the tiger.
Every moment is the moment it has been waiting for.

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