Wood Grain

In the grain of this wood
oceans are rising and falling,
mountains stalk wild irises,
children cry for milk,
and milk is flowing unceasingly.

In this dark, fine line of wood,
the buddhas and ancestors fish,
their boats steadied by the mountain
here beneath the moving sea.
Out of wood and water, the bird sings.

Do not suppose this wood is hard,
or the grain is narrow;
do not suppose that wood stands still.
How can eye behold this wood
and imagine a world is elsewhere?

If we look deeply into anything, including ourselves, we will discover the wholeness of Being, the wholeness of life. When we are not attached to our beliefs that things are separate from one another, we find that they are not. The Eye that sees itself whole does not divide Absolute from relative, ignorance from enlightenment, joy from sorrow. Such apparent opposites create one another; they cannot exist apart. What is here before thought divides the world into pieces?

Look deeply into a piece of wood, a moment of grief, the thought called "I." Look from beyond your concepts. For once, let yourself NOT KNOW what you are, NOT KNOW what you will discover in a piece of wood, a moment of grief, a thought called "me." Relax into not-knowing. How, then, shall we speak the Unspeakable?



© Dorothy Hunt
Photo courtesy of Nina Cherington


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