Out of chaos, out of form, comes balance.
It reveals itself, not to those who crave order but to those who walk through the mire.
It holds those undesired in its arms, its cradle soothing their dissonance.
It looks into our world of spinning thoughts and yearning, and speaks:
“Find me in your middle, draw in the edges. Look within an empty heart –
I will be there”
I finished listening to the audiobook The Unfettered Mind this morning. It contains the wisdom of Zen master, Takuan Soho, garnered through his life as a swordsman, gardener, calligrapher, poet, author and adviser to samurai and shoguns. I sought out this book as I wanted to connect with readings or teachings of someone who had lived long before the Industrial Revolution, when technology was limited to weapons and tools of physical creation; a time when the virtual was the realm of the metaphysical and supernatural rather than ones and zeros.
This book, all of two and a half hours long, I can feel, has had a profound effect on me. Soho talks of the Way (also known as the way of Tao, or the Middle way) and ‘Rightmindedness” (which has been translated to our modern ear as Mindfulness). He warns of the pursuit of fame and fortune, the traps of thoughts and judgment, he explores the impact of our beliefs and ideals on finding peace and harmony, and he talks of the art of swordsmanship in terms of what we would now call muscle memory. He shares some beautiful and provocative poems too.
Throughout the book the theme of awareness of the tricks of the mind and the true wisdom of the body are present. All teachings of the New Age, Buddhism, as well as other religions and spiritual practices but from a time where cultural and social norms were so different to today. (or were they?)
I don’t wish to go into the book further and rather would invite you to explore the themes and insights that emerge for yourself. The wisdom comes from the book itself, certainly not my book review.
Coming to the poem above, it is obvious to me that it was inspired by this man, whom most likely lived and reincarnated many times before ours souls connected. I thank him for the inspiration.
Please read the poem how you will. I have my interpretation but would be delighted to hear and explore yours.