The Compassionate One

“When you arrive at the extinction of reality
there is nothing but the spontaneity of pure potential,
there is no other way to dance in the sky.”
~Khandroma Yeshe Tsogyel


The Compassionate One appears in form to initiate that Dance of Love which liberates all squealing, wriggling beings — already suspecting that there are no such entities, nor any humorous yet incomprehensibly complex while simultaneously empty-of-any-meaning-type objects existing or not, not even giving it a second thought!

There’s nothing to be freed or finagled if truth be told – just some interdependent bundles of notions and memories, all gaily posing as perpetually modifying interpretations on perception, and all poignantly strung together like provocatively incandescent costumes along a frayed imaginary clothesline called “I”.

As for the ghost of the host at the source of this toast: there’s a punch-line drunks are fond of employing to hike themselves up when the richer-souled Grand Crus from the library of unresolved desires threaten their transient sobriety with beguiling conceptual designations. At such a momentous juncture in the coincidence of time and tomfoolery, an explanation might seem in order, an explanation that nevertheless will remain forever forthcoming, without ever actually arriving.

Otherwise, live and let live, or relax and be lived — really, it’s why most folk prefer the day. In the daydream, the light seems clear, lawful and expeditious, yet squirming in the burgundy velvet sleeve of night, no one is quite so sure. In the dark, things filed as figured-out may become more subtly intriguing yet, more mysterious and perhaps . . . confounding:

the calculated formula suddenly eluding its validity, the orderly procession of distracting images creeping to a stand-still, a weakness in the knees of chance, an opportunity for physical uncertainty to express itself as cerebral-spinal fluid, luminous as a lava lamp, those lazy lit bubbles of itself slowly floating to the surface like a ceremony of angler fish gracefully exceeding their warranty, their subliminal caresses waking sleepers in diaphanous water worlds we have no names for, nor forwarding address for that thing we sense but can’t say, because to do so would only add something superfluous to this moment, even now slipping quietly off the page, out the door, and on to that Tango Party at the Brut Noir Ballroom of Melodious Extinction!

Tonight it’s a dance of lyrical tantra — life caressed to mad and moody melody in the footsteps of the Compassionate One, carved in stop-action feint of yin/yang lovers’ embrace, Sistine Chapel’s touched fingers slinking slyly down the ceiling sides, calling seduction’s bluff, perfuming the glides and small quick steps, slides, the guise, where love plays hide and seek with itself:

sleek combed hair, a sneer, the faux leer of passionate indifference spiraling to a clipped closed flair, a promenade, the sudden clutch and wheel into an open whirl-away, a spot lunge, the counting, flames mounting, opposites dissolving in one shuddering glance, entranced, irresistible advance, bon chance, hot crush become intoxicating swoon, not even any dancers, only dancing in a moon’s romance with night, the Compassionate One, and all of us just dancing, dancing, dancing for dear life!

Tangoed up in you

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Song of Remembrance


I have wandered deep and far
in the dreamy landscape of myself,
swept out into an ocean of forgetfulness,
drowned to peace in that sea of mystery,
rocked in the bosom of vast emptiness.

Now, here I am with you,
washed ashore on the waves
of your gracious indulgence, singing
these little songs of remembrance.

Perhaps at night one of these tiny tunes
may insinuate itself into some neglected pocket
of your longing, and you will gently awaken
with a single tear streaming from your eye.

Shining softly within that tear is everything
I have come here for, everything I am.

That tear is a kind gift from you to yourself –
the same self we share in this dream of each other,
spun from our womb of deep intimacy.

Who will welcome this sublimity?

Everything is seeking, and yet
that which seeks is not other than
that for which it is always searching.

Beyond these words, persist –
unless we can get to the marrow,
we will leave this table dissatisfied.

While standing on the beach,
can we stop a ship out on the sea?

Having pushed out
from the safe shore of certainty
into the surging current of rippling life,
whichever way we look we are confronted
with the lies of what we thought we knew,
and the confounding truth of what we don’t.

Once we’ve embarked upon the maiden voyage
of our soul’s deepest longing, we may find
that there is something which Love
wants to do with us.

Who is willing to listen to Her soft whisper,
so familiar, like the evening chimes
in some forsaken ruin of a temple,
the temple of our longing?

Can you hear Her now?
Her tears, Her calling?

The constant music streaming, soaring between
and behind our thoughts caresses these tears
now glistening down our cheek, and yet
all it seems that we ever want
is to just go back to sleep.

All around us
the unsettled snores of discontent
rise and fall in a cacophonous chaos
of bleary limbo, echoing the plight
of those still lost in dreaming.

You, who
now open your eyes
in the midst of this dream –
let all of your cares melt away
like the lingering remains of winter
in the glow of spring’s warming sun.

In our natural state,
we can sing like little children
at the beauty of this incomparable sunlight
pouring through our windows, weaving together
the shadows and light that playfully illuminate
our own innocence – a true and simple song
of forgetting who and what we are,
all for the sake of once again
waking and remembering.

Songs love to be sung.

Can we be the song
that our soul wants to sing –
the song of the heart’s yearning,
and yearning’s surest satisfaction?

I am here to sing it with you,
our longing is not different.

We can remember our original voice.

It is the voice that has never been bound,
never been limited, never been compromised,
and never despaired at the poignant fragility
of all that transpires from birth to death.

It is the lyrical call that has never faltered,
even though the most supernal beauty
is destined to fade and rot.

The closer that things approach
their point of vanishing, the more
transparent and exquisite they become.

Your exquisiteness makes me weep!

There is a gleaming questing in your eyes
that only magnifies your tenderness.

This magnificent tenderness is yet a stranger
to those who prolong the war with themselves –
the fiction of division and separation.

We can relinquish such fantasies, because
we have felt Her Lips pressed against the soft,
vulnerable tissues of our heart, and not resisted.

In this same way we’ll come to know,
that in the end all knowing must submit itself
to the open-armed embrace of Mystery,
resting here, at home, at peace.

This is the song of remembrance.
This is the song of our Self.

Tracing back to the origin of anything,
everything meets right here.

We sit before each other now as this,
the traceless root of light itself, needing
nothing more, not one more word,
not one more “I love you”.

Spring, summer, autumn, winter –
in the cave of sky that shapes
a heart around us,
we are still.


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All Fall Home

Last night two moon-white moths
collided in mid-flight and fell
into the dark mind that waits
for me, so patiently.

It could be us,
my beautiful Lover –
it could be you and I.

It must be us –

what else could be so final,
so complete, embroidered with
pale embers of ancient stars
and all their fading light?

Nothing is spoken –
what need have we
for words?

Although there are thousands of ways
to touch one’s lover, some secrets
here shall remain untold.

In the language of this world
some say there is a Harbor in the Heart,
yet we have a sea of light within our one-heart
no ship conceived by man has ever sailed.

It’s there that we’ll surrender and drown.

With each successive breath
the air around us shimmers in
luminous expansion – the sound
within our ears now oceanic.

Is this home?
Do we all fall home?

Somehow, we were born into this time,
our forms emerged from a dazzling dark,
but only one pure beam of clear white light
travels on through infinity.

From the point of view of the hidden source,
nothing happened in that night, and yet
our incandescent wings now navigate
the solar debris with a mysterious
motion that brings tears
to my eyes.

It is here, in the midst
of this starry radiance,
that we seem to find ourselves.

We dance like moths, moon-white moths,
fluttering wings making wave-like motions,
leaving milky-white swaths of star-shine’s
lustrous flotsam in our scintillating wake.

Sky watchers are confounded,
and then fall back to sleep.

Everyone falls back to sleep,
yet we remain awake, awake in the dark,
our fading light illuminating the secret place
where night moths are born to justify the darkness.

In this way, our liquid light drips into the night
and grants the waking world the power to exist.

It is not our world, it never was.

You softly sigh to me across our pillow,
and when our eyes meet, we know something
more true than sleep, brighter than light itself,
though it is dark, and these forms are dying.

We do not fear this death –
we must not — for it is nothing,
only a movement of moth-like wings,
falling into vast darkness, into
the black-lacquer light.


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Trance of Hope and Fear

Tricked-out junkie stumbles through a mindscape
strung out on the dope of self-interest, jonesing
for another taste of the primo stash, another hit
from the pied pipe of preference, stoned blind
in a trembly trance of hope and fear.

A taste of cold ashes lingers in the mouth,
the same mouth through which a steady stream
of mimicry, judgment, and yearning pours out
in search of confirmation, in search of reception,
in perpetual motion mainly for the validation
of itself to itself – an acknowledgement
that can never be secured.

How could it? Everything changes.
There is no personal existence to confirm.
It’s a play of smoke and mirrors,
a performance on a stage.

The pretense of some enduring self –
it’s such an incredible charade, a magnificent lie,
the Cary Grant of lies, so perfect in every role,
so utterly empty when the camera shuts off.

How long can that phony story be pimped around
before the bluff is called, the mask ripped off,
the empty emptiness inside revealed?

Even now the triple poison of “me, myself, and I”
swirls down the neural canals, tracing the restlessness
of a hungry ghost clinging to vines and trees of the past,
wishing that it will somehow all work out in the future,
prodded by fear at every turn, every twist, unwilling
to let go, unwilling to give up its feathered seat
at the front of the bozo bus, ready to lash out
if anyone dare try to suggest otherwise.

So how was it for me when I paused long enough
to notice the tinder stacked at my feet, while
a “love me, and then I’ll love you” refrain
mechanically echoed around in my brain?

I’d been walking a tightrope of my own design
stretched across a chasm of the unknown,
my heart furiously pounding in my chest
from the futile effort at maintaining
a façade of control, while teetering
over the chaos waiting below.

I knew at last I wouldn’t make it –
I couldn’t even take another step.

It was truly hopeless, and so I fell, and falling,
burnt in mid-air, this bird’s wings trailing fire,
with a beak spouting yet more stories,
even as it burst into flames.

It all must burn, everything must go,
even the storyteller, the tightrope walker –
that clown on the wire of dumb desire
must face the fire and just jump in.

The belief that there’s an option
is the trick that keeps us walking
in the trance of hope and fear.



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Song of Freedom

(Based on the Shodoka, or Cheng-Tao-Ko, by Yongjia)


Here comes Mr. Natural, at ease as you please, walking the Talk by keeping quiet and letting his feet do the speaking, not running toward or away, just walking on.

The essence of confusion and wisdom is identical, this dusty skin bag is Light’s own body!

When we finally see how things really are, what words can we muster to describe nothing?

We all share the same original innocence, that’s why the truth is so true.

Thoughts and sensations change like the weather — the night sky doesn’t complain when the stars come out.

When we eventually sober up a little, concepts like me and mine, self and other, past and future no longer have the juice to intoxicate us.

Even that’s a tale – really, nothing happens.

See for yourself! Once we open our eyes, everything is obvious.

In the dream, there’s plenty of drama. When we awaken, where does it all go?

Ups and downs, profit and loss – none of it can touch our immaculate peace.

We’ve all heard about polishing the mirror, but wait, look directly – there is no mirror. That’s what I call clean!

Who am I? If I’m truly neither this nor that, I’m this and that too.

Ask a corpse to explain itself! How can we find ourselves by searching outside ourselves?

Give up the struggle – relax.

Everything changes. When we resist, we suffer. What more do you need to know?

Recognizing and understanding the intimate relationship between what changes and what doesn’t is wisdom; actualizing it is love.

If you don’t agree, it doesn’t matter. Life clarifies itself.

Even being in opposition is not being in opposition. It’s all one thing! No, not even that! It’s easy, don’t worry!

We’re lived by mystery, empty and marvelous – don’t try to figure out perfection with mind, just rest in it, in harmony, surrendered, released of any complication.

Beyond fear and desire, just be.

Just BE.

The wise don’t linger in concepts, regrets, plans, or frowns.

In this way, they’re like children – clinging to nothing, rejecting nothing.

Since there is no other, they go on their way, unnoticed. Since everyone is inherently free, they’re inconspicuous in their absence.

Truth is simple and open to all. Those who understand may not be rich, but they’re happy.

What better gift to share than one’s own original beauty?

To earnest seekers, all self-images are like tattered old costumes that never quite fit. They appreciate the naked freedom of their own unself-conscious nature – they’ve got nothing to prove.

People say all sorts of things, but what’s prior to the first word? Let them say what they will – the extent of any reactivity is a good test of true equanimity.

To become a natural human being, don’t linger in any provisional state or get bogged down in beliefs.

This is actually the way of things – fluid, dynamic, non-dwelling.

Most get frightened when they contemplate their own impermanence, but a rare one now and then wakes up laughing in the midst of the dream.

Walking, sitting, speaking, silent – it’s all the same. Let the Wheel spin. When raining, rain, when shining, shine.

I don’t mind.

When the arrow hit home, there was nobody there – not even a forwarding address.

What care I for fame or disgrace – the arrow does the work.

In the grace of supreme beauty, radiance, I discovered my own.

It is not mine, this love is for everyone. All revolve in perfection within me. There is no coming or going, all are already home.

No need for a pat on the back, who’s patting whom?

“Who knew it would be like this?”

What more can one say?

The moon still shines, the wind still blows – this light belongs to no one.

I am flowing water, following a course carved out by the Great One. I do not seek the truth – the truth moves me.

Neither empty nor full, my form is the form of the Real.

When I drop this form, nothing has changed. What has no beginning has no end.

Clarity – all is limitless light, mirrored in spotless mind.

Listen closely, Holy Friends – clinging to anything is taking false refuge. Running away amounts to the same.

Non-dwelling is living without limits, without borders, without chains. Grasping at any experience, concept, strategy, or identity is nothing but an amnesiac’s fantasy games.

Some long for the marriage of heaven and earth, yet who has the peace of mind to contemplate the mutual penetration of the known and the unknown within the sphere of ordinary activity?

Natural and spontaneous, it proceeds without delay or impediment, granting the universe the power to exist. Past, present, and future are included in one glance, all emerges from one mysterious gesture, thrives, dissolves –  ecstasy!

What says, “I am”?  It’s not mind, a teaching, or a word – right here, before the tongue moves!

No praise, no blame, eternally serene. No way to it, no way out of it. The only obstacle — our pretense of self.  The only recourse: understanding and discarding that fiction.

See through that one, and all is understood. The one and the all are not different – only appearances blind us to what’s what.

Just keep walking – if anyone asks directions, point to the heart. Yours and theirs are not two. Looking elsewhere, it’s completely missed.

I hail from a long line of jugglers who toss batons of existence and non-existence in a teeming carnival of ineffable light.

Don’t ask me what I know – I just work here. When I jettison everything I think I know, I just might become honest and genuine.

The Real is direct and immediate – that’s why it’s so easily missed. Still, why complain? That only compounds the befuddlement. Just be grateful — without reason. Gratitude itself is reason enough!

Nothing is as it appears. Whatever appears, I am not. Nor am I any different.

If this is not comprehended, the dream goes on. If this is comprehended, the dream still goes on. Let’s be clear – the dream never ends, only the dreamer disappears.

For years I tried to figure it out, with efforts mounted against the wind. Finally, I gave up the struggle. Now the breeze blows through me.

I relaxed and just let go.

A closed fist opened.

Spirit breathed out.

This breath is for all.

All are Bodhisattvas.



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The Resurrection and the Light

At this time of year, the tale of Jesus often comes up at church and on TV. As the traditional story goes, Jesus was a fellow who appeared at some point long ago in human history. In a miracle beyond comprehension, we ourselves have carried on that tradition by appearing just as we do, just as Jesus did. The fact of anything appearing at all is remarkable enough, but then to top it all off, there’s you and me and Jesus!


For all practical purposes (which in themselves don’t really amount to anything practical, but no matter), the story of how Jesus poured into time and space seems to have created an astonishing ripple on the planetary pond of consensus consciousness. In the ensuing confusion over that ripple, untold millions of folks have splashed around and literally killed each other in the pond, but the pond just absorbs them, perhaps turning a little red now and then when the blood festivities reach a fever pitch.


Maybe that’s why marketers would rather have us focus on smiley hopping bunnies and chocolate eggs at Easter, sweeping aside the gory crucifixion details in favor of the cleaned-up resurrection sequel, replete with a sunny day ascension into glory.


Regardless, Jesus is reported to have strolled around on that pond and said “Love one and other.” Excellent advice, but when we look around at the world since then, we might be tempted to wonder, “Where is the love?”


Moreover, where do the ripples go? Maybe that’s what our marvelous human history is — a rippling on a pond, ending in stillness. Stillness is fine, it’s calm and serene, and many brave souls are asleep in the deep. On the other hand, is the pond even really there, or is it more like a dreamy figment of our imagination, perhaps like our special personal version of Jesus?


When we dream, sometimes it might seem as if we are drowning, but when we wake up, we’re not even wet. We were just walking on water, like Jesus. Sometimes the pond is dark, though what appears in the dark can be a kind of light.


My hand is reaching up from that pond, waving a palm frond of light. When I lose myself in the source of that light, it will seem as if I was never there, as if Jesus was never there. No pond, no ripple, no Jesus, no mind — just a small flash of shine in a black lacquer night.

resurrection in light

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Who Is The Greatest Living Master

The lady at the supermarket check-out

The mother screaming at her kid

The kid screaming back

Every little breeze that whispers “Louise”

The tall pine next to the house

The house

The woman who lives there

Her dog

The guy in the mirror

The mirror


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