The Cathedral and the Grass Hut

by Bob Schwartz


“I’ve built a grass hut where there’s nothing of value.
After eating, I relax and enjoy a nap.”

Grander than grand.
Splendid glory
Magic carpet
Of gold and glass
Whisks us away
To God’s neighborhood.
The grass hut reminds us
That houses and vehicles
Are just that.
Means not
Journey or destination.

“A shining window below the green pines—
jade palaces or vermilion towers can’t compare with it.”

Quotes from Song of the Grass Hut by Shitou Xiqian (700–790), translated by Taigen Dan Leighton and Kazuaki Tanahashi.