It always wants most what it can’t possess,
the allure of the taboo, the forbidden,
the hidden is too powerful to resist.
Cunning and insatiable so that it never sleeps,
it craves confirmation, praise, and attention,
but resents even the hint of any discipline
or wise suggestion to relax and let go.
Yes, it is I, yet I am not it.
It can never rest in peace, though
I am peace, I am surrender, I am rest.
I cannot become what I already am,
hence it will seek perpetually but only
harvest frustration, bitterness, and despair
for all of its ambitious though futile efforts.
It is not enough that it makes us crazy,
it drives others around us crazy too.
Although it is more like a chronic activity
than an actual entity in and of itself, it projects
the fantasy of a substantial and enduring person,
a fixed identity in need of constant care and feeding.
The more one attempts to dislodge it by force,
the tighter it will hold on and dig in, yet the more
one tries to simply ignore it, the louder it will become.
Alternately, if we give up the inner war with ourselves,
it can become a portal, transmuting all our cravings
and dark fears into wisdom, clarity, and freedom.
Realizing that whatever appears is mind,
that heaven and hell, bondage and liberation
are just fantasies that arise and dissolve within it,
to what shore shall we sail that is other than here?
Release isn’t waiting for us at the top of the hill,
in monastery, temple, mosque, or cathedral.
We can wade through a library of profundity,
but merely end up with a pounding headache.
The preachers speak of taming the mind,
but what mind will we use to tame it?
Only when “I” and “mine” at last collapse,
when virtue and sin, purity and stain dissolve,
does our original innocence reveal itself –
it has been right here all along!