Moonlight Leaning Against an Old Rail Fence: Approaching the Dharma as Poetry

Moonlight Leaning Against an Old Rail Fence: Approaching the Dharma as Poetry

by Paul Weiss


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A rich and original collection of Dharma teachings, Moonlight Leaning Against an Old Rail Fence weaves the poetic and the expository in a series of Zen poems and commentaries that invite both direct experience and meditative study. Paul Weiss evokes the awake, pristine, and poetic nature of our human experience while also examining the mechanisms of ego that define our personal and cultural experience of separation and suffering. Here you will find simple, ecstatic celebrations of luminous and transparent reality; clarification of technical points of practice; support for everyday life; and reflections on issues of history, culture, and human ecology. All become threads in a jeweled net of integrative spiritual thought and practice that will inform and encourage any reader's practice, contemplation and personal growth. Moonlight Leaning Against an Old Rail Fence points beyond our literal fixations with language, ideas, and doctrines to the great ungraspable poetic reality that is expressed in all our spirituality and in all our human experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781583949450
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication date: 07/07/2015
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Paul Weiss lives, teaches, and wanders in the woods on the coast of Maine. He began his zen and tai chi training in New York in the mid-60s and practiced in New York and San Francisco before first coming to Maine in 1969 to live and study with Walter Nowick, one of the first American zen masters. Over the years Weiss has drunk deeply of several spiritual traditions and teachers and has studied at length in India and China. He founded The Whole Health Center with his wife, Alexandra, in Bar Harbor, Maine, in 1981, where he has brought together the fruits of his broad training. Today he continues to counsel with individuals, couples, and small groups, offers many retreats—including his True Heart/True Mind Intensives—and teaches a spirituality of integrative human development and conscious loving presence. A volume of poems, You Hold This, was published in 2013.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

The Dharma as Poetry xxviii

Part 1

The drifter 2

Morning Chill 7

Frenchman's Bay 9

Another Morning Song 14

Prayer flags in winter 17

Thinking, not thinking 20

Good News 24

Six wild geese 27

The Prajnaparamita in Eight Lines 29

Heart Sutra 37

Beyond sky and no sky 47

Whitman's Truth 51

Nothing Knows 55

Quantum mechanics 68

A Step Ahead of the Present 71

Along the Piscataquog 73

The Missing Monk 77

Through the cracks in my roof 83

The mind is autumn 85

Sext 88

Understanding Tom Bombadil 91

There Is No Woman 93

You think your future 105

Already happened 111

Part 2

Benediction 114

The Song That Is Before 117

Go to the Limit 122

Just Sitting 126

If He Is True 140

Make No Mistake 168

Just as I Lift 172

The nothing at the heart of the world 174

Ho! 178

The old tree 186

We are here to transmit virtue 188

The Congo Women 192

I Want This Delight for You 206

When I first saw my face 212

Simple Prayer 214

Epitaph 222

Cosmology 225

Not the Next Moment 229

When the Poets Eyes 231

I Guess I'm Lucky 239

Here in the Ati 249

Dawn on Martha's Ridge 252

Early spring 255

About the Author 256

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