When discussing the tenets of Buddhism with a close friend, we talked about the world of illusions and the meaning of “enlightenment” and “awakening” and “mindfulness” and then I remembered this poem by Kabir and thought I should pass it on.
Ecstatic Poem #38 (Kabir)
Translation by Robert Bly
Friend, please tell me what I can do about this world I hold to,
and keep spinning out!
I gave up sewn clothes, and wore a robe,
but I noticed one day the cloth was well woven.
So I bought some burlap, but I still
throw it elegantly over my shoulder.
I pulled back my sexual longings,
and now I discover that I’m angry a lot.
I gave up rage, and now I notice
that I am greedy all day.
I worked hard at dissolving my greed,
and now I am proud of myself.
When the mind wants to break its link with the world
it still holds on to one thing.
Kabir says: Listen, my friend,
there are very few that find the path!