Shishuang said, “How do you step from the top of the hundred-foot pole?”
Changsha said, “You who sit on the top of a hundred-foot pole,
although you have entered the Way, it is not yet genuine.
Take a step from the hundred-foot pole
and the worlds of the Ten Directions are your total body.
Excerpt from a Verse:
The peach trees, without words, make a path.
—Gateless Gate, Case 46 & Book of Serenity, Case 79
Meditation on the koan, What Is Jiashan’s State of Mind, is accompanied by Jordan McConnell’s musical improvisation on guitar. Recorded on May 1, 2022, during John Tarrant’s Zen Is Poetry Sunday Talk.
Koans and poetry tumble over each other. Good poetry has an objective quality and is related to koanville in that way. It does not try to persuade or recruit. Not knowing always supports us—you are always in the jeweled net. Music for meditation and the four vows with Jordan McConnell and Amaryllis Fletcher. Participants create poetry from a few momentary observations. Poems by John Tarrant and others.