At a Tallspruce party, Porcupine cornered Raven and said, "I wanted to tell you that I've found that there is no basis for emptiness."Verse
Raven looked startled, then she and Porcupine burst into laughter.
One day, to explore widely the surrounding districts, Xuansha leaves the mountain. He stubs his toe on a stone. Bleeding and in great pain, Xuansha reﬂects, “They say this body is not real existence. Where does the pain come from?” --Dogen
A Few Things Real and Unreal
Phlogiston, unicorns, the present king of France;
Huckleberry Finn, Sherlock Holmes, Celie;
Nations, governments, laws,
Punishment, the stock market, hospitals;
Freedom, unselfish actions, God;
Joy, kindness, wisdom.
Planets and atoms;
Death and love;
The neighbor's dog and Attila the Hun;
This body and me;
Denali and Mt. McKinley.
The hemlock tree in the front yard;
The stone on the ground waiting to meet Xuansha's foot, or Samuel Johnson's;
The pain that followed when it did.
All are real, and real the same way;
All unreal, the same way as real.
Case by Robert Aitken, adapted; introduction and verse by Meredith GarmonPREVIOUS ☙ NEXT ☙ INDEX