No, I haven’t changed plans – I am still moving to the barn conversion in Cromford on Tuesday. Inside the Grass Hut is the name of a book by Ben Connelly. It is subtitled Living Shitou’s Classic Zen Poem and is a commentary on Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage. The more observant of you will have previously noticed a quote from the poem at the top right of the page on this website, and some of you will know that this poem is part of the inspiration for Sitting Buddha Hermitage.
Here are the final lines:
Let go of hundreds of years and relax completely.
Open your hands and walk, innocent.
Thousands of words, myriad interpretations,
Are only to free you from obstructions.
If you want to know the undying person in the hut,
Don’t separate from this skin bag here and now.
Shitou Xiqian was a Zen monk in 8th Century China. Those us us practising in the Soto Zen tradition are more familiar with the Japanese rendering of his name – Sekito Kisen – and another poem of his – Sandokai – which forms part of Morning Service at Soto Zen temples.
Ben Connelly’s commentary talks about the simple life of Zen practice described in the poem and how we can follow it in our own lives. Many thanks to my Dharma sister, Rev. Oriana, in the USA for giving me the tip off – I bought it immediately!
And on a completely different subject, how many of you knew that pheasants eat crocuses? Those beautiful crocus buds in the photo on my last post – all gone. I caught him nibbling the last one. There are daffs and tulips to come in the same pot, but I’ll be moved by then and I don’t expect pheasants in Cromford, but who knows?