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Sydney Snow

 The winds still blow in Sydney and across Australia. Snow now falls on the mountain peaks. I see the summits in the cloud formations scudding across the sky in Sydney.
mountain flrs
I found this wondrous poem by the ancient, eccentric Zen Buddhist monk, seer and poet, Ryokan. (1758–1831). He lived mainly as a hermit and his poems are ‘playful, direct and questioning.’
As we rush about in our busy lives, remember to look up at the sky a few times a day, stop for a moment and breathe. You may be transported to a dream world of snowy mountain tops, remote places and rushing waterfalls. Allow a trickle of stillness and peace to enter into your heart and a secret smile will be on your lips as you find the Way. The poem is slightly modified for modern Australians!
“Blending with the wind, Snow falls;
Blending with the snow, The wind blows.
By the heater I stretch out my legs,
Idling my time away.
Cramped in this house
Counting the days,
I find that June, too.
Has come and gone
Like a dream.”
Ok, we may not actually have snow in Sydney right now and we are certainly not living like hermits, but it feels cold enough! Yet time does rush past. How can it possibly be the end of June? You may wonder what relevance an 18th century Japanese monk has for your life today? Here’s how his words are as pertinent today as when he lived. No, he didn’t live in Sydney or even Australia, Europe or England.
However our modern life is stressful and technology driven. Its shocking that research shows that adults spend 8 hours a day and children 6 hours a day looking at some sort of screen. So, we need to walk more in Nature, create more time to comtemplate, meditate and spend time with our children.
We also need to relax and laugh more and most politicians could ‘take a leaf out of his book’ and not be so arrogant and proud.
“Ryōkan spent much of his time writing poetry, painting calligraphy, and being inspired by Nature.  He loved children, and sometimes forgot to beg for food because he was playing with them in the nearby village. Ryōkan refused to accept any position as a priest or even as a “poet”, which shows his great humility. In the tradition of Zen, his quotes and poems show he had a good sense of humour and didn’t take himself too seriously.
Here’s another Wintry poem by Ryokan.
“Though frost come down,
Night after night
What does it matter?
They melt in the morning sun.
Though the snow falls
Each passing year,
What does it matter?”
japan mountain red tree
Everything changes so ‘don’t sweat the small stuff.’ What does it really matter indeed?!
About the Author
Sherry (BSc. Sociology; MAA. Social Work, AMHSW; Masters Science Soc. Ecology; Diplomate, Process Psychology) is a faculty Director of ANZPOP.

She has offered expert psychological counselling in Australia and overseas since 1989. Sherry is currently based in both the Sydney CBD and on the Northern Beaches near Manly. She also offers national and international phone and Skype appointments.

If you would like more information or wish to reference something you have read on this website please contact Sherry.

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