Sunil Sharma

For Ryokan

—Sunil Sharma


Mending torn clothes

When the sun is up

Reading aloud the holy texts

By the light of moon.


Living quietly in a hut overgrown with ivy vines

Buried in a deep forest, largely unseen, conversing with the stars

And the sparkling streams—the whole thing a breathing organism.


Ryokan meditates on the meaning of human existence

A seer-like figure that can see life-altering truths hidden from ordinary eyes

The Zen master shares with those listening that not many things are required for living.

When such a sacrosanct poetry springs from a dialogue with nature and blends with the elements, pale words undergo a change and get suffused with new energy and convey fresh epistemes.


Ryokan finds nirvana in the middle of a forest, away from prying eyes of a civilization

And centeredness, mindfulness, harmony and tranquility within.


Poetry, in such exalted cases, can lead to spiritualism and a transcendental vision.


In order to connect with a higher realm glimpsed by the poet,

Follow his wise counsel.

Too many things can distract a seeker

So go and find the Greater Being in a tiny atom.


Words translucent, thus gained through a denial of indulgence, can open new vistas on invisible realms and be life-long blessings for the awakened!


Let new poetry work in this direction!

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