Saying Goodbye to the Monk Wuniam
by Yuan Hongdao
Each five years we meet
then grieve when we must part.
It has taken only three farewells
for fifteen years to pass.
I recall how I tried to study meditation with you
but I was like the yellow poplar
which grows for a while
then shrinks again.
A hundred times I heard you lecture
but my mind remained a tangled knot.
I was like a man born blind
who has never seen red or purple–
try explaining the difference to him
and the more you speak
the more confused he’ll get.
I can’t bear to leave you now
but it is impossible for us
to stay together.
It is October–the river winds are blowing hard;
please let your hair grow back in
to protect your head from the cold.
(Reflections are provided each week by a member of the congregation.)