Last week I was praising editor and translator Jane Hirshfield's book, Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women. There is one poem that I would like to share with you, to give you a taste of the treasures in this book.
Written by the Japanese Zen poet Jusammi Chikako around the year 1300, it speaks of how the bright moon, a symbol of enlightenment, enters the house when the inhabitants are not awake, that is, not actively trying to reach enlightenment. All that is needed is that the door remain open.
On this summer nightAll the household lies asleep,And in the doorway,For once open after dark,Stands the moon, brilliant, cloudless.
(translation by Edwin A. Cranston)