The TAT Forum: a spiritual magazine of essays, 
poems and humor.

November 2012

This Month's Contents: Haiku by Bart Marshall | Haiku by Deborah Westmoreland | Rumi Poem translated by Coleman Barks | Haiku and Poetry by Ryokan | Haiku by Robin Roberts | Haiku by Gerry Forwell | Haiku by Anonymous | Heart Sutra translated by Bart Marshall | Haiku by G.G. | Haiku by Tess Hughes | Haiku by Shawn Nevins | Quotes | Humor | Question of the Month |

spiritual magazine

Editor's Note
by Heather Saunders

  A Forum filled with Haiku and poetry.
  Allow the words to slip past the mind and be heard with your body.
  Recite the Heart Sutra as though from your deathbed.
  Fall into Rumi's ecstasy.

The locust tree that breaks my ax
is where the eagle
‘lights at sunset.


Unending fear, lust,
toil and devouring.
Hell is not elsewhere.


Empty mind,
gazing between, not at,
sees Nothing with great clarity.


Not knowing who you are,
you live life as if.
Death is not fooled by this.

~ Bart Marshall

The ripples resound.
This unfolds. Love is liquid.
The painting void.

~ Deborah Westmoreland

From the beginning of my life
I have been looking for your face
but today I have seen it.

Today I have seen
the charm, the beauty,
the unfathomable grace
of the face
that I was looking for.

Today I have found you
and those that laughed
and scorned me yesterday
are sorry that they were not looking
as I did.

I am bewildered by the magnificence
of your beauty
and wish to see you with a hundred eyes.

My heart has burned with passion
and has searched forever
for this wondrous beauty
that I now behold.

I am ashamed
to call this love human
and afraid of God
to call it divine.

Your fragrant breath
like the morning breeze
has come to the stillness of the garden

You have breathed new life into me
I have become your sunshine
and also your shadow.

My soul is screaming in ecstasy
Every fiber of my being
is in love with you

Your effulgence
has lit a fire in my heart
and you have made radiant
for me
the earth and sky.

My arrow of love
has arrived at the target
I am in the house of mercy
and my heart
is a place of prayer.

~ Rumi

The thief left it behind:
the moon
at my window.


How can I possibly sleep
This moonlit evening?
Come, my friends,
Let’s sing and dance
All night long.
Though I think
Not to think about it any more,
I do think about it,
And wet my sleeves
Thinking about it.


Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days' worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.
Empty and fleeting My years are gone
And now, quivering and frail,
I must fade away.


In the stillness by the empty window
I sit in formal meditation wearing my monk's surplice.
Navel and nose in alignment,
Ears parallel with the shoulders.
Moonlight floods the room;
The rain stops but the eaves drip and drip.
Perfect this moment -
In the vast emptiness, my understanding deepens.

~ Ryokan

Meditation Hall
Explodes into laughter.
Buddha awakens!
Fall in Ontario.
Azure sky, red and gold trees.
Blue Heron silent.

~ Robin Roberts

Rain taps the hut roof.
Mist snagged on the meadow trees.
Feet on the rail, moon between.


The pump handle moans
at my unexpected pull.
Water gushes out.


My old leather shoes
squeak, as I walk to the barn.
Cicadas reply.

~ Gerry Forwell

No heaven, no hell
Tragedy and ecstacy
Neither good nor bad.
The sound of silence
Always present, seldom heard
Sit still and listen.
Desire less
Until you are desireless
This, is bliss.
More than fearing death
I fear being dead
inside a living body.

~ Anonymous

Heart Sutra
translation by Bart Marshall
(excerpted from his book, The Perennial Way)

The Bodhisattva of Compassion,
having gone beyond wisdom to Truth, saw with perfect clarity
that the five components of wordly experience-
form, sensation, perception, volition, and consciousness-
do not exist.

Thus he was freed from anguish and suffering.

He said:
O Seeker, form does not differ from emptiness.
Emptiness does not differ from form.
Form is emptiness.
Emptiness is form.
It is the same with sensation, perception,
volition, and consciousness.

All appearances are emptiness-
neither born nor unborn, neither pure nor impure,
neither arising nor passing away.

There is only emptiness.

No form, sensation, perception, volition, or consciousness.
No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue.
No body.
No mind.
No sights, no sounds, no smells, no tastes.
No feelings.
No thoughts.
No realm of the inner eye.
No realm of pure consciousness.

There is neither ignorance nor the absence of ignorance.
There is neither old age and death
nor the absence of old age and death.
There is no suffering, no beginning, no middle, no end.
There is no path, no knowledge, no attainment.

There is nothing to attain.

The Bodhisattva abides in the Absolute,
unfettered by mind.
No mind, no fear.
The imagined world is seen through.

All Buddhas, past, present, and future, teach one Way.
Prajna Paramita is the mantra of the Way-
the great transcendent mantra.
The brilliant, supreme, unequalled mantra
that breaks the bonds of suffering.
The mantra of Truth, not illusion.

Therefore, live this great mantra:
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.

[Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone beyond beyond
to Awakening-such grace!]

The stars are singing
If you listen carefully
Their songs enlighten

~ G.G.

  The pot: three legs it stands on,
  The ego: thinking, feeling, doing,
  The Self:

~ Tess Hughes

Littering the trail
the years' promise
crunches underfoot.


Yellow, purple, pink
water running low
one blossom bends.


Quick hands:
for what purpose,
he lived?

~ Shawn Nevins


"Facing the unknown takes a lot of personal quiet and divorcement from the world around you. I studied this very carefully. It is the bridge between the inner and outer man."

~Jim Burns


I wake, reluctant,
Too cold to get out of bed
I need to pee.

Question of the Month

What do you see as ego strengthening qualities, and ego deflating qualities?

Send in your comments, ideas & experiences to the .

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