Ah, Friends, Hearts of Faith — a moment, please:
We have been checked into these drab motels of restlessness and discontent for so long now that we have begun to think of them as our actual forwarding address. We are driven hither and thither by a little imaginary machine percolating under our skin, so that we never rest.
In the fervor of our archaeology, we gather pieces of broken glass and hold them high above our heads, crowing about our latest treasures, yet in solitary moods of desperation, there lurks the secret craving for that of which we’ve long despaired – some taste of blessed certainty.
At this Ghost Festival, I have spirit money to burn, but the Law of Balance allows for no exceptions. Luck and misfortune are intertwined — and though I’ve played with these dice my whole life, they are useless to me now, as is any certainty.
It is said that someone who doesn’t make flowers makes thorns.
“If we’re not building a home where love and wisdom can thrive, we’re only building a prison.”
Truly, the slightest hint of arrogance and conceit can pull us inside those prison gates, where only the most heart-felt humility can finally release us. Wherever we walk, the monkey is surely not far behind. Perhaps this is why the King of Masks remarked:
“The dragon in the shallows is toyed with by the shrimp.”
Yes, this world can seem to be a cold place, but we can bring warmth to it. What better purpose can there be in life, but to lighten others’ burdens? What greater enjoyment, than for hearts to pour into each other? A drop of compassion brings wellsprings of gratitude. Make it personal, however, and it’s no longer true compassion.
Even tiny eyes can see immense things. What are you looking for?
Is there truly free will, or is life predestined?
Is the mind in the body, or the body in the mind?
When such questions are posed, my eyes drift skyward.
I stare, still somehow disbelieving, at the charred ruins of my own boat. How swiftly the fire, once ignited, showed me there is nothing we can own.
You ask from whence I come. I answer, “Here”.
These ashes made a womb, and somehow a living sprout has pushed up through the mud.
Deep gratitude for light!
Whichever way I turn in the mirror of this vastness, my own light reflects back at me. What’s awake is awake in darkness, as well as in the light. It’s the light within both, the light in which both light and darkness appear and disappear.
To the mind, the light appears as darkness, known only by its reflections – this world afloat in a sea of light. All is seen in the light, the light behind the mind, except the light itself. To itself, is it even light?
We create the world from our own light, yet we are not that luminous world, nor
anything with a name or form. There’s a light we shine to illuminate the parts of us that still resist the night, and all that lingers within our darkness.
Shine on, Dear Light!
I’ve heard it said that, within the dark night of despair, there still awaits a hidden joy. And yet within that joy itself, there is a desolate, crumbling ruin of a palace, stripped of any regal treasure, rain freely entering, gently soaking the remnant ashes from which I’ve come, quietly washing them down my cheeks like tears shed for no one, nothing – not a sorrow, not joy, not anything but rain mixed with ash with no place to land.
Now I stagger, blinded, from The Tavern of the Drunken Idiots, my limp more evident now, but the tricks of the monkey are wasted on me in my condition.
The gods take pity on fools such as I.
I hold you here where we both are blended with eternity, where something quiet lets me hear the whole world sigh in relief.
I sit astride the toenail of the Goddess of Infinite Qualities, yet without any qualities found in myself. Where She roams, a percussion of thunder echoes from Her footsteps, yet I hear only the glad murmur of reception from the earth on which She treads.
They say that the heart acts as a translator between mystery and intelligence; that it has its own ancient dwellers who do not speak with those who are merely passing through, but I ask:
“Who is there on this shining floor not spellbound by Her Dancing Feet?”
The Beloved arrives on a boat of Kindness, while all along the river banks the intoxicating perfumes of Jasmine and Honeysuckle run riot through the senses. Spring’s first Buttercups are enough to quiet all dispute, just as Autumn reveals the destiny of our own dreamy appearance.
Yes, no, maybe so – in this blissful garden of perfect souls, what use are such distinctions, except to fuel a game of wry charades? When life is this dear, can we not feel the One who summons us Home, even now, even Now?
Don’t stop anywhere!
Not until we finally fail and fall can we know where we truly stand. After this death, we will remember what we are, and in that remembrance, be able to forgive the dream with all its poignant masquerades.
Whatever appears in mind, body, or emotions, I just observe and let it go, like an old man watching children at play. One after another, each will cross over in their own time, and these words, like forgotten toys, will be scattered through playgrounds of crumbled cities long ago abandoned.
Here, I have emptied out my pockets – there is nothing in them anymore. If you throw your arms around me, what you’ll embrace is only air. But please forgive my indulgence here – my sand has now poured through.