By Marc Hôgen Van der Maat
Kannon dojo - Brussels
Entrance to Antaiji temple
C o n f i n e d P o e m s
of an idiot monk
The dojo at Antaiji
The dojo is full of emptiness
that we, each in our own way,
confined to our own home,
under rooftops or under foliage,
fill up with silence...
How we yearn to breathe
again the normality of our lives of yesteryear!
When will it finally be?
May we also aspire to practice
Seriously at last, to life and death!
When will it finally happen?
As the Patriarchs and
the Masters of Transmission showed us.
Their moss-covered tombs whisper to us
softly: when will it finally be?
Cemetery where Master Kobo Daishi is buried
On his hospital bed, an old monk
continues to practice
as best as he can, how he can.
In the luxury of our confinement in
a still healthy body-mind,
let's follow his example
Not for us, but for him,
for all the sick people and for all beings
in all universes and of all times
Has the sangha been reduced to a virtual unreality
by the unavoidable confinement mask?
Yes, if I don't actually practice every morning, alone,
in my home, in communion with my sisters and brothers in Dharma,
somewhere, at home and truly alone as well.
May the beneficial Bodaishin virus spread itself everywhere
and blossom in all hearts, through our solitary practice, but
in solidarity with the great sangha of the suffering humanity.
I am far too stupid
To become Buddha.
But I want to help the others
To go to the other side.