The Buddha, the Flower and the Awakening

The Buddha, the Flower and the Awakening

Once the Buddha, sitting near a lake on Mount Grdhakuta, prepared to teach;
But realizing that with mere words the true inner nature he’d never reach,
He simply held up a flower for all to see;
For the “Jewel in the Lotus” truly expressed what it means to simply be.
Most on the mount pondered what Buddha was trying to say,
But the true meaning could not be revealed for their minds got in the way;
However this sparked the inner light of Mahākāśyapa and it was reflected in his smile,
For in that moment he realized that the message of the flower mirrored what Buddha was teaching all the while;
Then Buddha proclaimed, “What can be said is merely a clue,
And what can be said I’ve always shared with you;
What cannot be said is truly nothing less,
Than the awakening to suchness, oneness and emptiness;”
For the flower revealed what Buddha long hoped would be understood,
To perceive beyond form and realize the true essence awakens Buddhahood.

This poem, retelling Buddha’s Flower sermon – traditionally attributed as the beginnings of Zen Buddhism – was submitted anonymously, via our submissions page. Thank you to our mystery poet!

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