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#2817 - Friday, May 18, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz  

The Nondual Highlights - 

One: Essential Writings on Nonduality:





We reached the town of Fusa on the banks of the River Tone towards nightfall. The fishermen of this town catch salmon by spreading wickerwork traps in the river, and sell it in the markets in Edo. We went into one of the fishermen's huts and had a short sleep amidst the fishy smell. Upon waking, however, we hired a boat, and, descending the river under the bright beams of the moon, arrived at Kashima Shrine.


On the following day it started to rain in the afternoon, and in no way could we see the rise of the full moon. I was told that the former priest of the Kimponji Temple was living in seclusion at the foot of the hill where the shrine was situated. So I went to see him, and was granted a night's shelter. The tranquility of the priest's hermitage was such that it inspired, in the words of the ancient poet, 'a profound sense of meditation' in my heart, and for a while at least I was able to forget the fretful feeling I had about not being able to see the full moon. Shortly before daybreak, however, the moon began to shine through the rifts made in the hanging clouds. I immediately wakened the priest, and other members of the household followed him out of bed. We sat for a long time in utter silence, watching the moonlight trying to penetrate the clouds and listening to the sound of the lingering rain. It was really regrettable that I had come such a long way only to look at the dark shadow of the moon, but I consoled myself by remembering the famous lady who had returned without composing a single poem from the long walk she had taken to hear a cuckoo. The following are the poems we composed on this occasion:


Regardless of weather,

The moon shines the same;

It is the drifting clouds

That make it seem different

On different nights.


--Written by the priest


Swift the moon

Across the sky,

Treetops below

Dripping with rain.


--Written by Tosei


Having slept

In a temple,

I watched the moon

With a solemn look.


--Written by Tosei


Having slept

In the rain,

The bamboo corrected itself

To view the moon.


--Written by Sora


How lonely it is

To look at the moon

Hearing in a temple

Eavesdrops pattering.


--Written by Soha


~ ~ ~


from A Visit to the Kashima Shrine, by Basho, a chapetr in "The Narrow Road to the Deep North":

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