Grasses and Trees

“The appearance of pain in grasses and trees is no different from the countenance of suffering among human beings. When they are watered and the like, they grow and appear happy. When they are cut and fall, the withering of their leaves is no different from the death of a human being.

Their pain and sadness are not known to human beings. And when grasses and trees look at the sadness of human beings, it is just like human beings looking at them, and they probably think we have no pain and sadness either. Simply, it seems that we do not know the affairs of grasses and trees, nor do they know ours.”

Zen Master Takuan Soho (1573-1645)

From “The Clear Sound of Jewels” translated by William Scott Wilson, The Unfettered Mind, Kodansha International, 2002


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