when the shoe fits… Chuang Tzu

presented for your contemplation…

FROM THE CHINESE OF CHUANG TZU

Ch’ui the draftsman
Could draw more perfect circles freehand
Than with a compass.

His fingers brought forth
Spontaneous forms from nowhere. His mind
Was meanwhile free and without concern
With what he was doing.

No application was needed
His mind was perfectly simple
And knew no obstacle.

So, when the shoe fits
The foot is forgotten,
When the belt fits
The belly is forgotten,
When the heart is right
“For” and “against” are forgotten.

No drives, no compulsions,
No needs, no attractions:
Then your affairs
Are under control.
You are a free man.

Easy is right. Begin right
And you are easy.
Continue easy and you are right.
The right way to go easy
Is to forget the right way
And forget that the going is easy.

“When the Shoe Fits” by Thomas Merton. Text as published in In the Dark Before Dawn: New Selected Poems of Thomas Merton (New Directions, 2005), edited by Lynn R. Szabo

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