enlightenment

Inhale, exhale

Forward, back

Living, dying:

Arrows, let flow each to each

Meet midway and slice

The void in aimless flight-

Thus I return to the source ~Gesshu Soko

cattailsinsun

Hoffmann (Japanese Death Poems, p. 97) notes that within this poem the arrows after hitting in midair do not fall to the ground, but continue in directionless flight through empty space. He further states that the image within this poem tells of a state of consciousness in  which the concept of the ordinary mind forming one’s outlook on the world have vanished and polarities (good-bad, life-death) are embraced in an enlightened being.