In the Mountains, Sent to Ch’an Brothers and Sisters

Dharma companions filling mountains,
a sangha1 forms of itself: chanting, sitting


ch'an2 stillness. Looking out from distant
city walls, people see only white clouds.


1A community of Buddhist practitioners.
2Ch'an is the Chinese translation of dhyana, Sanskrit for "sitting meditation." The Ch'an (Zen) Buddhist sect takes that name because it focuses so resolutely on sitting meditation.


From Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China, forthcoming from New Directions.