Perfect Joy–Thomas Merton (Poem)

Here is how I sum it up:
Heaven does nothing:  its non-doing is its serenity.
Earth does nothing:  its non-doing is its rest.
From the union of these two non-doings
All actions proceed,
All things are made.
How vast, how invisible
This coming-to-be!

All things come from nowhere!
How vast, how invisible
No way to explain it!
All beings in their perfection
Are born of non-doing.
Hence it is said:
“Heaven and earth do nothing
Yet there is nothing they do not do.”

Where is the man who can attain
To this non-doing?

3 responses

  1. I Want to Say

    Before I’m lost to time and the midwest
    I want to say I was here
    I loved the half light all winter
    I want you to know before I leave
    that I liked the towns living along the back of the Mississippi
    I loved the large heron filling the sky
    the slender white egret at the edge of the shore
    I came to love my life here
    fell in love with the color grey
    the unending turn of seasons

    Let me say
    I loved Hill City
    the bench in front of the tavern
    the small hill to the lake
    I loved the morning frost on the bell in New Albin
    and the money I made as a poet
    I was thankful for the white night
    the sky of so many wet summers
    Before I leave this whole world of my friends
    I want to tell you I loved the rain on large store windows
    had more croissants here in Minneapolis
    than the French do in Lyons
    I read the poets of the midwest
    their hard crusts of bread dark goat cheese
    and was nourished not hungry where they lived
    I ate at the edges of state lines and boundaries

    Know I loved the cold the tap of bare branches against windows
    know there will not be your peonies in spring
    wherever I go
    the electric petunias
    and your orange zinnias

    -Natalie Goldberg

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