Three-fourths of philosophy & literature is the talk of people trying to convince themselves that they really like the cage they were tricked into entering.
Zanshin means “the remaining mind” and also “the mind with no remainder.” This is the mind of complete action. It is the moment in kyudo (Zen archery) after releasing the arrow. This is “Om makurasai sowaka” in oryoki practice and drinking the rinse water. In shodo, it is ﬁnishing the brush stroke and the hand and brush moving smoothly off the paper. In taking a step, it is the weight rolling smoothly and the next step arising. In breathing in completely, it is this breath. In breathing out completely, it is this breath. In life, it is this life. Zanshin means complete follow through, leaving no trace. It means each thing, completely, as it is.
When body, breath, speech and mind are broken from each other and scattered in concept and strategy, then no true action can reveal itself. There is only hesitation, or trying to push oneself past hesitation. This is the mind of hope and fear, which arises because one is trying to live in some other moment, instead of in the moment that arises now. One is comparing, planning, or trying to maintain an illusion of control in the midst of a reality which is completely beyond control
Losing too is still ours; and even forgetting
still has a shape in the kingdom of transformation.
When something’s let go of, it circles; and though we are
rarely the center
of the circle, it draws around us its unbroken, marvelous
I was alone on a sunny shore
by the forest’s pale blue lake,
in the sky floated a single cloud
and on the water a single isle.
The ripe sweetness of summer dripped
in beads from every tree
and straight into my opened heart
a tiny drop ran down.
Fernando Pessoa, the great Portuguese Modernist, who invented multiple poetic personae, was born June 13, 1888 (d. 1935)…
I don’t know how many souls I have.
I’ve changed at every moment.
I always feel like a stranger.
I’ve never seen or found myself.
From being so much, I have only soul.
A man who has soul has no calm.
A man who sees is just what he sees.
A man who feels is not who he is.
Attentive to what I am and see,
I become them and stop being I.
Each of my dreams and each desire
Belongs to whoever had it, not me.
I am my own landscape,
I watch myself journey -
Various, mobile, and alone.
Here where I am I can’t feel myself.
That’s why I read, as a stranger,
My being as if it were pages.
Not knowing what will come
And forgetting what has passed,
I note in the margin of my reading
What I thought I felt.
Rereading, I wonder: “Was that me?”
God knows, because he wrote it.
—- Fernando Pessoa as Fernando Pessoa
© Translation: 1998, Richard Zenith
From: Fernando Pessoa & Co. – Selected Poems
Publisher: Grove Press, New York, 1998
(Thank you again i12bent)