There are days I can't abide the put-down. (Not of me; not necessarily.) But any put-down. any defamation. These days it is becoming the national sport to put-down and defame. Men and women touted as leaders and iconic celebrities in arenas of news/entertainment/commentators (or politics, or religious theater) are the stars of slander, snarling insults, cruelly cutting pathological swath, sickly sweet personality vivisection. Done with smiles. To applause. For money. Lots of money.
Don’t seek a Buddha, don’t seek a teaching, don’t seek a community. Don’t seek virtue, knowledge, intellectual understanding, and so on. When feelings of defilement and purity are ended, still don’t hold to this nonseeking and consider it right. Don’t dwell at the point of ending, and don’t long for heavens or fear hells. When you are unhindered by bondage or freedom, then this is called liberation of mind and body in all places.Where the "not necessarily" comes in is the consideration that whatever is said of anyone is said of me. Or you. It is a felt realization. One and one do not make two. One and one remain one and one. Each one is one. No matter what mathematical or ontological solution we think will result -- no numerator nor denominator will ever reveal the heart's profound silence, the mind's exquisite unknowing. The soul's empty abundance lays bare with light the Lovely One's listening.
- Pai-chang (720-814)
Put-downs put me in mind of death. Is reluctance to mock, to snigger at another's oddity, a sign of reluctance to die? Is all mockery -- on tv cable or radio -- merely today's humor, today's version of dodge-ball, where for sport another is thrown at to be rid of them?
Today I die (a while) without the grace exhibited by masters who've worded their transition.
Inhale, exhaleToday I've had enough of killing civilians in Iraq. I'm done with strapping bombs to my body and walking into the marketplace. I can't again deploy with my comrades with automatic weapon ready to lay cover-fire on anybody we even slightly fear might be thinking harmful thoughts toward us. Today I will no longer smile at the camera and call insult to those who want the presidency, or have the presidency, or conceive the presidency as their private plaything.
Arrows, let flown each to each
Meet midway and slice
The void in aimless flight --
Thus I return to the source.
(Gesshu Soko, died January 10, 1696, at age 79)
Something dies in us each time someone (including me) slips knife between ribs slicing open heart with ripping steel coldly watching with dead eyes the suffering of another.
Empty-handed I entered the worldHow does that joke go? "What does the upside-down flying duck do?" ... "Quack-up!"
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going --
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.
(Kozan Ichikyo, died February 12, 1360, at 77)
A few days before his death, Kozan called his pupils together, ordered them to bury him without ceremony, and forbade them to hold services in his memory. He wrote this poem on the morning of his death, laid down his brush and died sitting upright.
(from J a p a n e s e D e a t h P o e m s, Salon.com)
Mine is a pathetic quack-up today.
A little weary of intolerance, I cannot abide (i.e. tolerate) intolerance today.
OI'll keep you informed.
(Shinsui, died September 9, 1769, at 49.)
During his last moment, Shisui's followers requested that he write a death poem. He grasped his brush, painted a circle, cast the brush aside, and died.)
The circle is one of the most important symbols of Zen Buddhism. It indicates void -- the essence of all things -- and enlightenment.
Keep me informed.
Absolutely!If we keep one another "in-formed," will we learn what circle originates?
No one will find this form after today --
Let's keep one-another informed.
Emptiness in form.