Poetry Dogen’s ‘Everyday Life’ [adapted]
On Unseen Mountain
A scarecrow is
Not in vain
The scarecrow standing over a small rice paddy would often be dressed in black, like a monk. He protects that which feeds all beings. So, Dogen is talking about the practitioner and the dharma, and the relationship between them.
Because the scarecrow is fully expressing himself, the rice, the birds, the mountain and all things can fully express themselves. Likewise the bird. Likewise the mountain.
Because the mountain is unseen, the eyes of duality are closed. Because this is so, all being leaps out of a picture and is whole, not fractured.
The scarecrow does not eat yet all things are fed
Since, unlike a Hungry Ghost, the scarecrow is not
smeared across time