Monday, March 14, 2011

always been


Birth, old age,
Sickness, and death:
From the beginning,
This is the way
Things have always been.
Any thought
Of release from this life
Will wrap you only more tightly
In its snares.
The sleeping person
Looks for a Buddha,
The troubled person
Turns toward meditation.
But the one who knows 
That there's nothing to seek
Knows too that there's nothing to say.
She keeps her mouth closed.

~ Ly Ngoc Kieu
translated by Thich Nhat Hanh and Jane Hirshfield
The earliest known woman writer of Vietnam, 
she was a Zen Buddhist nun in the eleventh century.  
Born a princess, she became a nun after being widowed.