Bodhidharma Proposes to the Wall

Bodhidharma sat there,
they say, nine years, but
you know how they talk.

Bodhidharma there to
wonder why he thinks
this could be different

from that. To wonder
what it might have been
we think differentiates

one depth from another.
Isn’t that the secret?
Bodhidharma said

to the wall. You
won’t know your
self until you stop

deceiving yourself,
Bodhidharma said
to the wall. Sounds

sound, until the self-
referentials begin
to sink in. Then

words mumble. Slow.
Into the nothing that is
the walls around.

Stay in touch with Patheos Spirituality on Facebook:
About David Breeden

The Rev. Dr. David Breeden is Senior Minister at First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He became a minister after a career as a university professor, teaching creative writing and literature. He has written several books on theological topics and translates the writings of philosophers of classical antiquity. More information is available at