MORNING HAS BROKEN
New words by Joseph Emet
Morning has broken, brightening the vast sky,
Blackbird has spoken, with cheerful voice.
Thanks for the morning, thanks for the singing,
Thanks for the wonder of a new day.
Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven,
Bringing a new life to each green thing.
Praise for the beauty of the Earth’s garden,
Raindrops like jewels to each leaf cling.
The sun also rises now in my own heart,
I welcome this day with a smile in my eye,
Mine is the morning, mine is the new day,
To do what needs doing with a free heart.
There is a kinship between that last verse and the well-known Koan from the Gateless Gate Collection:
Once a monk made a request of Zhaozhou:
“I have just entered the monastery,” he said. “Please give me instructions, Master.”
Zhaozhou said, “Have you had your breakfast?”
“Yes, I have,” replied the monk.
“Then,” said Zhaozhou, “wash your bowl.”
The monk had an insight.
When we are fully present, life tells us what needs doing.