20 Oct
Posted in: Poems, Talks
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Selling Fishhooks

Last night, one of my dharma buddies and I listened to a fascinating talk by Guy Armstrong, titled: Consciousness, Awareness and Nibbana. In the talk, he quoted this lovely poem by Rumi:

Tending Two Shops

Don’t run around this world
looking for a hole to hide in.

There are wild beast in EVERY cave!
If you live with mice,
the cat claws will find you.

The only real rest comes
when you’re alone with the Mystery.

Live in the nowhere that you came from,
even though you have an address here.

That’s why you see things in two ways.
Sometimes you look at a person
and see a cynical snake.

Someone else sees a joyful lover,
and you’re both right!

Everyone is half and half,
like the black and white ox.

Joseph looked ugly to his brothers,
and most handsome to his father.

You have eyes that see from that nowhere,
and eyes that judge distance,
how high and how low.

Yow own two shops,
and you run back and forth.

Try to close the one that’s a fearful trap,
getting always smaller. Checkmate,
this way. Checkmate that.

Keep open the shop
where you’re not selling fishhooks anymore.
You ARE the free-swimming fish. 


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