David Budbill on Nonseparation

December 28, 2015

A zen friend sent a gift my way: David Budbill‘s poem, “The Three Goals”. I love its blend of lofty spiritual ideal and humorous, compassionate reality. Enjoy.

The Three Goals
The first goal is to see the thing in itself
in and for itself, to see it simply and clearly
for what it is.
No symbolism, please.

The second goal is to see each individual thing
as unified, as one, with all the other
ten thousand things.
In this regard, a little wine helps a lot.

The third goal is to grasp the first and the second goals,
to see the universal in the particular,
Regarding this one, call me when you get it.

“The Three Goals,” by David Budbill, from Moment to Moment: Poems of a Mountain Recluse (Copper Canyon Press).

For those looking for poetry, look no further than my favorite publisher: Copper Canyon Press. They come to Portland for every Wordstock festival and I never fail to buy a handful of books.

“The Three Goals” can also be found online at The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor (8 Dec 2000).


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