Flower or not flower? Mist or not mist?
Arrives at midnight, away since dawn;
Coming like a spring dream - how long it will stay?
Going like morning cloud, without a trace.
This is a Zen poem written by a well-known poet Bai-Juyi in Tang Dynasty. It seems he was describing the scenery of a small snow in early spring, when the weather was still cold, but the qi of ground had been getting warmer. At midnight, it snowed, and it was melting while snowing, until the dawn, the snow stopped and melted at the same time. When the sun came out in the morning, it seems like there hadn’t been snow before……
Behind the scenery, there’s Zen thought: everything in the world is like this snow, snowing with melting in a split second, like a spring dream, the manifestation of impermanence and illusion. The impermanence in a split second exposes the truth of “no inherent nature”, like a morning cloud, which has no “self” in deed. It is called emptiness. Within the emptiness, there’s freedom……there’s nothing fixed, so there’s no such difficulty that cannot be solved. There’s no stilled mind, the enemy now can become friend in the future. Fortunately, all the pain and suffering are all impermanent, they will never stay with their inherent nature.
With this poem go my best wishes for the New Year. And remember that hope is staying with us all the time : )