The following was written to accompany our daughter's Xmas present, which was a miniature Zen garden on a ceramic tray, with stone mountains, a tiny mud house, bench, shrine and fisherman, and bamboo rake for the sand. The tradition of these tiny gardens dates from the Tang dynasty, over 1000 years ago.
INTO THE ZEN GARDEN……..
Each morning he goes out of his little house and rests on a bench to contemplate the Mountains, to remind himself of This and especially of That.
Then he rakes the sand, smoothing into patterns of design the chaos of wind and water, calming and preparing his mind.
A small Temple he establishes on the sand to be a beacon in darkness, a magnet for the wayfaring mind, a still point.
And then he sits to fish.
When mind subsides, a flash, a gleam of gold and silver in dark waters ~ the fish !
Or is it the moon, shining right to the bottom of the lake when the lake is clear and still?
Or the tail of the tiger, burning bright? Where is that tiger?
The ox is caught. It is led quietly back home, but who is that riding on its back?
The fisherman. He rides, he rakes, he rests, he returns
OUT OF THE ZEN GARDEN………