A Zen Poem

I came into the world after Buddha.
I leave the world before Miroku.
Between the Buddha of the beginning
and the Buddha of the end
I am unborn, I am undying.
— Zen master Ungo Kiyo


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This deluded mind came into the world after Gautama Buddha.

This awakened mind leaves the world before the next Buddha Maitreya.

Between these two Buddhas, this mind has reached the unconditioned…the unborn…unmade…escape from the born…un-fabricated…non-arising…no birth…no death…un-established…un-evolving.


Is that a different translation?

Just an expansion / alternative of what you had provided.

Letters makes words…words makes sentences…merely pointing!


Well, it was a very nice pointing, so thanks friend.


And here is a little riddle for you:

What does this finger point at?


It could be anyone who sees it…or that there is no finger pointing as it is only a picture.

Ultimately…As per SN46.54…

“Monks, I don’t see anyone in this cosmos”

So…no-one except awareness!

It is pointing to the source where the world arises and cease, and is like your name.

form is emptiness, emptiness is form

Stay empty!


world arises and cease: world arises and cease is not the same as Emptiness / empty. Anything that arises and ceases are under duality.

Emptiness / empty here isn’t nothing. It transcends duality and it is non-dual. That is why it is termed the middle-way, as it goes right through the middle between extremes.

Source: and the source is?

Source is a famous and enlightened japanese zen monk, and if memory doesn’t fail me his name is Ikkyu Sojun. And I understand the poem like; The world arises in the mind, and that’s also were it ceases.

As interesting as the discussion of Zen poetry can be, and believe me when I say I have volumes of it, I’m hoping the topic could be linked into EB in some way. Perhaps through Theri- or Theragatha writings?

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Hi there, nice to have poetry as common ground, and i find these zen poems exellent as “mind stoppers” and a nice effortless way of “getting in to the groove” before one starts a meditation exercise.

Like the little stream / Making its way / Through the mossy crevices / I, too, quietly / Turn clear and transparent.

  • Ryokan


But at the same time, I tell you that there is no making an end of suffering & stress without reaching the end of the cosmos. Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the cosmos, the origination of the cosmos, the cessation of the cosmos, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the cosmos.

So if the world ceases, then mind stands…then what exactly is the “mind”?

I dont know, but this poem has å scent that brings my mind home

"mirror facing mirror
nowhere else

  • Ikkyu Sojun