My Life

read 10,000 books.
sit 10,000 days.
walk 10,000 miles.

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As I was Walking…

…up and down beneath a tree,
whistling twittery birdsongs
that i heard for free,
a little bird done said to me:

“every bird sits in its own tree,
with its own song and its own tune.
the squrrels and insects chime in too,
each with its own song and its own tune.

“only you humans do not sing
with your own song and your own tune.
you copy each others tunes
and never sing your own.”

i said, “the no-tune is the best,
the one that holds all the others.”

he said, “bright, bright is the bobwhite
melancholy is the whipporwhil.
each bird sits in its own tree,
with its own song and its own tune.”

Gathā

All around,
Soft, clear light!
Not too dark,
Not too bright.

My temple was demolished;
My ship was capsized.
Tow it out of the way!
And there it was.

What was lost
Has been found.
Hidden in plain sight
Right where it always was.

No more Buddha,
No more Path.
The Middle Way
I’ve seen today.

This is the best;
Now I’m at rest.
No more training;
Just maintaining.

3 AM 28 October 2014

Sweet Death

Death (marana) is the interruption of the life faculty within the limits of a single becoming or existence. We are accustomed to regard death as an enemy, like a murderer. Contemplation of death can lead to transcending that view, and seeing the reality of death as more like sleep.

Continue reading Sweet Death

Karuna (Compassion)

I weep for those who are in fear, in pain,
for those who are angry or in blame.

I weep for those who work hard day and night,
trying to fill a bucket with a hole in it.

I weep for the parents, caring for kids
who never appreciate or thank them.

I weep for those who think they have to struggle,
argue and fight to get by in this world,
for those who lie and deceive to earn their daily bread.

I weep for those who cannot hear the enlightened Sage,
for those trapped by this awful age.

I weep for those who asked me for the answer
and when I gave it to them, rejected me.

I weep for those who rot in prisons without walls
made of their own thoughts, and think they’re free.

I weep for those who fill their emptiness
with food, drugs, sex and other addictions.

I weep for those foolish passionate boys
who fill the neighborhood with noise.

I weep for those constrained by form,
who cannot think beyond the norm.

I weep for those so blinded by desire,
they cannot see anything higher.

And I weep for the clerics, priests and monks
drunk with obstinacy, pride and hate.

I weep for those who don’t know they are sick,
who suffer but cannot stop to heal.

I weep for those whose hearts are made of sharpened steel.

I weep for those who think the cure is to end it all,
not knowing that life goes on beyond the pall.

I weep for those around me who suffer,
but no one can help because they can’t hear from a brother.

I weep for your pain.
I weep for your suffering.
I weep for your blindness.
I weep for your ignorance.
I weep for your weakness.

And most of all I weep for those who pass before me
thinking I am just like them, so ordinary.

Not recognizing the golden opportunity
to learn the one small thing that sets us free.