Mind Your Own Business

Hear my advice, O seekers of truth:
Never forsake the surface of things.
Even Dante’s Celestial Rose was a seeming:
Nothing that you can experience
Reveals more than a wall.

Just mind your own business–
Stop worrying about other things.
When Mind does not give birth to mind,
There is nothing left to torment you.

Bodhidharma sat in a cave,
And for nine years contemplated a wall.
He was minding his own business.
He was serving all beings
By showing them how to look at Mind.

For him the wall was no obstacle,
As it is for you and for me:
For we wail and gnash our teeth at walls,
So anxious to get behind them.
But whatever you think of the Patriarch,
The man knew how to look at a wall.

There are surfaces everywhere you go,
But they are all of your own Mind.
To contemplate them is to abide
In the absolutely present moment,
Never disdaining appearances.

And should this gazing interfere
With how you think life ought to be;–
Should this Wall stand between you
And the object of your hopes and dreams–
Just take these parables to heart:

You can shout all day at the lowering clouds,
But the spring rain is not forced thereby.
You can point all day at mysterious moons,
But it only serves to stiffen your finger.

You should mind your own business,
And walk the path before you–
To arrive at your destination
By seeing no more than meets the Eye.

By: Lee Evans
Edgewater, Maryland

Other poem by Lee Evans – Lao Tzu

Poem of the Day