Zen Monkey Slinging Sh*t

Reporter: When you compose your poems, do you actually write using “beautiful language”?

Zen Master Seung Sahn: No. This moment appears, then compose a poem. Not checking situations, and not making anything.

Reporter: In your teaching, you say that people suffer from word sickness, so word medicine is necessary. Would you describe how you use language in your poetry?

Zen Master Seung Sahn: Simple! Only whatever situation comes up or appears! Any style of writing is OK. You know, Korean, Japanese, English, any kind of writing, but most importantly, only what appears….Zen mind, poetry mind, writing mind, practicing mind, all are not different

Blogging is like this for me.  It is a practice blog for a reason, everything comes in with little crafting and little thought – similar to thoughts on the cushion.  Just movements of the mind that I capture for the moment and then let pass away.  Not beautiful and not ugly, just there and then gone.  There is no distinction between an author, poet or dharma master and a monkey slinging shit from a tree.  We are all just following seeds of karma and instinct.

When we see with clarity and cut the strings of illusion and attachment, then everything we produce is of that same nature. Not right or wrong; just linked…I can see the faults in my world and in my life, it comes out on the page and I show it to you.  It is cathartic and honest but frightening and open.  I recognize the karmic spores that infect those around me when I can’t move past this deluded and fearful mind.  There is a rhythmic style and structure to what we express that mirrors moments within…and it scares us.

Singing for a moment but still oblivious to my cage, dodging shit.


Words to think about when you hear people talk.  It mirrors their mind, for better or for worse.