Late Autumn, and majestic masses of laden clouds
congregate and collide in the sky theater above me,
while here below innumerable heaps of turning leaves
soak into the moistened earth in a ceremony of surrender.
Born as a thought, it’s all in turn maintained as a thought,
lingers as a thought, and dissolves as a thought dissolves,
while never having attained any actual solidity.
If this is somehow liberating, remember that too
is a thought, as is the sense of any limitation
requiring our manipulation to fix and free.
One game we like to play is to grant it special meaning.
Just so, I’ve heard there’s a marvelous expanse of great bliss
bestowing blessings on earnest pilgrims who offer themselves
as a loving sacrifice for the sake of all others’ well-being.
From the point of view of the immaculate mind mirror,
all of that is a mere veneer of dust, but I will still
go with it, since at least it does seem kind.
Kindness is hard to find in these times, so it’s important
to nourish it when we’re presented with the opportunity.
All of these other beings seeking my compassionate sacrifice
are appearing and vanishing without the least pantomime
of effort on my part — that’s what I call service!
Beings magically self-liberate without any thought,
just as clouds open up in Autumn and freely pour down
their blessings from the great empty expanse of bliss
in a perfect display of compassionate service.
Without understanding any of this, I will still bow down.