Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Shadowboxing With Truth

how to explain 
i'm not that 
not ever 
not never 
not now 
as dreams aren't real 
outside of sleep 
wake up and see 
you're not what you think 
only the dreamer thinks 
in that silence 
behind thoughts 
lies what you are but 
look for it and 
it can't be found 
it doesn't exist 
it is not something 
it is not nothing 
you're not it 
because you're not 
even though  
i typed these words 
thought them up 
and spit them out 
for you to read 
now not 
never not 
ever not 
that not i am 
how to explain 
stop the fight 
just sit 
just be 
without expectations 
not it appears 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


It's oh so simple  
Not found anywhere but here  
No walker no trail  

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

One Too Many

It's not somewhere else  
Not some hidden mystery  
Just this right here now  
Call and it can't come  
Avoid and it will not go  
Everpresent is  
One is too many  
All is more than pure nonsense  
Yet counting is it  
I may be nothing  
Yet it manifests as me  
Doing emptiness  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Grabbing The Bull By The Horns

I was thinking this morning about a story i posted many years ago. It went like this:

There's this story about a farmer who decides to retire and take up the spiritual life. After turning everything over to others and cutting himself free, he goes to the master at his local temple. The master tells him that to start he needs to learn to meditate and sends him off to a small meditation hut on the nearby mountain.

When he asks how to meditate, the master tells him to meditate on God. Fill his mind with nothing but God. Let go of every thought and have nothing but God in his mind. Become God. Not having a clue how to do that, but trusting his master, the farmer heads off to the hut to begin his practice.
A few weeks later the farmer comes back to the temple and tells the master that it is hopeless. No matter how hard he tries he just can not fill his mind with God. Too many other things stop him. He just doesn't see how to do it.

The master thinks for a minute and asks the farmer what thoughts keep interrupting him. To which the farmer tells him of the water buffalo that he had left on the farm when he left. The water buffalo that had been his companion and friend for more years than he can even remember. The water buffalo that had patiently listened to all of his problems and all of his happiness in life. The water buffalo that had helped him in the fields every day of the year, year in and year out. The water buffalo that had made life livable for him.

Nodding his head, the master told him that the solution to his problems is at hand. Go back to the hut, he told the farmer, and meditate on your water buffalo. Fill your mind with nothing but the buffalo, he told him. Let go of every thought and have nothing but your water buffalo in your mind. Become your water buffalo. And with that, the farmer returned to his hut to try again.

A month later, when the farmer hadn't returned, the master climbed the mountain to check on him. Arriving at the hut, he knocked on the door. No answer. He knocked again. No answer. He looked in the window and could see the farmer sitting there, on his zafu in the middle of the room so he went back to the door and knocked again. No answer.

Finally he pounded on the door and yelled, "Open the door and come out and greet your teacher!"
At which time he heard a mooing sound and then the farmer saying, "I would like to master, really, i would, but my horns won't fit through the door."

It's so easy to look at this story from the practitioners point of view. From the viewpoint of the seeker, the person desiring the truth. The person. Desiring. Truth. When that point comes in the lucky one's lives, where you realize there is more to life than what you've been led to believe, you set out in search of the path. At this point, there is still the obvious person. A person desiring. A person desiring something, even though that desire has been upgraded from more power/wealth/status to the truth.

Like the farmer, sooner or later all persistent seekers will find out that as long as there is a you, seeking, something, there will be little or no progress. In fact, you haven't found the trailhead yet. The trailhead starts where those fallacies are finally taken off and laid on the side of the trail, recognized for what they are: not only unneeded baggage, but dead weight that will eventually prohibit you from making the climb.

So the farmer found the trailhead when he found the buffalo. When awareness opened onto one mind is all dharmas and all dharmas are one mind. The farmer found the trailhead when he settled into pure, ever present, perfect awareness.

That all makes a good story, but it's not until here that the story gets interesting. Even as hard as it is, most dedicated, persistent, do-or-die practitioners will eventually learn to settle into what is and let the rest of the nonsense go. But oh how easy it must be to get stuck there; to see no reason to open the door and walk back into life. And this is the job of all good teachers.

Pointing out the door and teaching the student the technique to open it is only the very, very early part of a teachers job. Yes, it's up to the student to walk through that door (that doesn't exist), but the teacher earns his or her keep, his or her devotion, his or her respect, when they bang on the doors and windows after you've walked through and demand that the student come back out.

You see, once you're on the mountain top, once you reach those heights where everything can been seen from that one point you stand on, you have to head back down into the valley and back to town. Your efforts are wasted if you set up camp at the top and stay there. The trip was a waste of time in that case. It is imperative that you find the trail again and head back down. On the way down you can ohh and ahh about the view and how it has affected you, and you should absolutely make plans for your next trip back up, but it is the teachers job to pull out his megaphone, aim it at the skys, and demand that you come back home.

The farmers story ended here, with the teacher banging on the windows, but it would have been nice to read the next chapter. It's probably true that the buffalo's horns wouldn't fit through the door at that time, but that doesn't mean he couldn't get them out of the hut. It's here that the teacher gives instructions for the next stage of the walk --- how to keep the horns yet walk out of the hut.

What did the teacher tell the farmer as they strolled joyfully back down the trail towards the teacher's temple? I can picture the farmer complaining over and over: I can't believe you make me come back off the mountain. What about the buffalo? You told me to find it and when i did, and all was perfect, you drag me back to make rice for the other students? To sweep the floors in the temple? I don't get it?

And like Krishna, the teacher just walked along smiling to himself, as Arjuna and the farmer ranted and raved and complained and cried about the unfairness of the situation. Then, when the complaining stopped and the farmer accepted deep in his heart that the teacher knew what he's doing, the real teaching begins....

Friday, November 18, 2016


Out beyond Rumi Avenue
And the bustle and noise
There lies a field
On the other side of here and there
That one must traverse
To get back home

This dangerous field
Encourages all to rest
To stop
To evade the bustle and noise
To stay where all are safe
Except those that know

The field of being
Beckons those few
Who smell the intoxicants
Who hear the sirens
Hiding in that field
Beyond Rumi Avenue

The field of being
Promises nothing
More than everything
If you don't stop
Until you get here
On this side of Rumi Avenue