There's no self and no person,Maybe Valentines Day is really about Reese's chocolate peanut butter hearts and M&M's of many colors. What's love got to do with it? I listened to a man's saga. That's my practice. It's not much, really. It's just time and attention. Soon I'll run out of both. That too is a devoutly to be wished acceptance.
How then kinfolk and stranger!
I beg you, cease going
From lecture to lecture;
It's better to seek truth directly.
The nature of Diamond Wisdom
Excludes even a speck of dust.
From "Thus we have heard,"
To "This I believe,"
All's but an array
Of unreal names.
(- Layman P'ang)
The Good ManWe still look here and there for what is next to show its face. Canada? Camden?
The good man.
He is still enhancer, renouncer.
In the time of detachment,
in the time of the vivid heather and affectionate evil,
in the time of oral
grave grave legalities of hate - all real
walks our prime registered reproach and seal.
Our successful moral.
The good man.
Watches our bogus roses, our rank wreath, our
love's unreliable cement, the gray
jubilees of our demondom.
Counsel! Good man.
Require of us our terribly excluded blue.
Constrain, repair a ripped, revolted land.
Put hand in hand land over.
the abler droughts and manias of the day
and a felicity entreat.
your pledges, reinforce your aides, renew
(Poem, The Good Man, by Gwendolyn Brook
Long ago when the World-Honored One was at Mount Grdhrakuta to give a talk, he held up a flower before the assemblage. At this all remained silent. The Venerable Kasho alone broke into a smile. The World-Honored One said, 'I have the all-pervading True Dharma, incomparable Nirvana, exquisite teaching of formless form. It does not rely on letters and is transmitted outside scriptures. I now hand it to Maha Kasho.'Pizza cooks. Woman rests. Dog curls downstairs by wood stove. Sam played harmonica earlier. Silvia stopped to say she's holding a good thought for the next step of meetingbrook. Billy told Jayen at lecture last night he too would help us disengage from here. These six weeks as work came to end in kitchen at Ragged Mtn, this studio above shop has been home. Like Old Orchard, Camp Ellis, Rye Beach, and Santa Cruz before -- the familiar scent of ocean and sound of silence has nourished.
(--'Sakyamuni Holds Up a Flower', 6th Koan of the Mumonkan
Tokusan once called on Ryutan to ask for instruction and stayed until night fell. Ryutan said, 'It is getting late; you had better leave.' At last Tokusan said good-bye, lifted up the door curtain, and went out. Noticing that it was dark, he turned back and said, 'It is dark outside.' Ryutan thereupon lit a candle and handed it to him. Tokusan was about to take it when Ryutan blew it out. At this Tokusan was all of a sudden enlightened. He made a bow. Ryutan asked, 'What realization do you have?' Tokusan replied, 'From now on I will not doubt the sayings of any of the great Zen Masters in the world.'It has been dark a while.
The next day Ryutan mounted the rostrum and declared, 'Among the monks here there is a fellow whose fangs are like swords, and whose mouth is like a bowl of blood. You may strike him with a stick but he will not turn his head. Some day in the future, he will establish his way on a steep and lofty peak.'
Tokusan then took out his notes and commentaries on the Diamond Sutra and in front of the monastery hall he held up a burning torch and said, 'Even though one masters various profound philosophies, it is like placing a single strand of hair in the great sky; even if one gains all the essential knowledge in the world, it is like throwing a drop of water into a deep ravine.' Taking up his notes and commentaries, he burned them all. Then he left with gratitude.
(--Shibayama 2000, p.201, In the 28th koan entitled 'Well-Known Ryutan.')
So many tides come and gone.
So many lines tied and thrown off.
Joseph Goldstein told the story of Mother Teresa when asked about her praying said she doesn't say anything, she listens to God. "And God?, she was asked, "What does God say?" She said, "God says nothing, he also listens."
Listening is the Ur-Wort -- the original word.
The original word is the field of awakening allowing what is being readied for saying to find its sound in unhurried genesis.
All we can do is listen for the sound of what is being said.
And when it is, to receive it, as if everything -- everything -- depended on the sound's origination for the very continuation of creation, the very isness of existence.
The pizza is cut.
Wind sails the harbor.
Leaving with gratitude.