Tag Archives: Awakening

The White Orchid

A poem by Lightning Heart

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The White Orchid

Remember when you offered it to me,

It was after Shiva touched my shoulders and

Sent seizures through blood, skin, and bone

You came with a lion’s mouth and nose, stringy haired,

Downed in frayed gossamer.

I would not accept it at first out of

Fear for what it meant

 

Dew lived on its petals, even in the desert

Its yellow mouth, frozen in a seductive smile

They say never to accept an orchid

If it is in bloom,

Something about shocking its system,

Stagnating its growth

 

Then again, I’ve never been a rule-follower

Now that it is here, I stare at it,

Obsessively,

Especially that face–

like butterfly wings suspended on a corkboard

 

only the pin does not kill it,

for there is no pin

Not this time.

The clay pot is too small

It has to break someday

when tubers burst through

. . .or better yet. . .

When they devour the pot with new life

 

–a poem by Lightning Heart

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Top of the Mountain

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I hiked at Phoenix Mountain Preserve on Good Friday with quail, lizards, saguaro, and chipmunks. At the top of the mountain I sat on the ground and waited for nothing.

A man and his two children –teenager and a tween—soon arrived.

What did they say when the reached the top of the mountain?

“Nice job, buddy,” the man told his son. “Alright, we’ll chill for a minute.”

They posed for photos of themselves against the cityscape: selfies, group shots, never turning to view the side that held no streets. What did they capture inside their camera?

I heard the flies buzz, felt the sand against my palms.

“Okay, let’s go down, we’re done,” said the man after three minutes.

A middle-aged couple soon came to the top.

“Is this it?” said the woman, disappointed. She searched for a higher point, found it, and led her husband to the next crest. I watched them climb and once they reached that peak, they immediately turned for the descent.

What did they find at the top of the mountain? More rocks and sand perhaps. Something they climbed for, but could not name and could not touch; something always there, but unseen, untouched, unheard, un-experienced by sleepwalkers.

What do you find at the top of the mountain?


Teaching of Jane’s Bamboo

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In Paradise Valley I have a neighbor named Jane. Jane’s bamboo plants creep into my patio area, dropping dead leaves onto my rock garden.

Each week I clean the dead leaves from the rock garden; sometimes twice a week, sometimes more.

Within half an hour after each cleaning, a slight breeze blows and more dead leaves fall from Jane’s bamboo.

Jane’s bamboo carries a great teaching about the impermanence of all things.


Captive of linguistics

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“The core teaching of the Buddha always has been that all things are dependently arisen, hence fundamentally devoid of any independently lasting substance. All that’s happening in the phenomenal world is an interplay of form and energy that creates a transitory phenomenon in time and space. In our ignorance, we continue to interpret this interplay as real-in-itself. Moreover, as captives of linguistic formulations we even interpret our conceptual thinking to represent something real.”

–from Mu Seong’s The Heart of the Universe


Everything becomes unimportant

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“You believe that because you’re thinking. You’re thinking about life,” don Juan said with a glint in his eyes. “You’re not seeing.”

“Would I feel differently if I could see?” I asked

“Once a man learns to see he finds himself alone in the world with nothing but folly,” don Juan said cryptically. . .

“Your acts, as well as the acts of your fellow men in general, appear to be important to you because you have learned to think they are important. . .

“We learn to think about everything,” he said, “and then we train out eyes to look as we think about the things we look at. We look at ourselves already thinking that we are important. And therefore we’ve got to feel important! But then when a man learns to see, he realized that he can no longer think about the things he looks at, and if he cannot think about what he looks at everything becomes unimportant.”

 

–Castaneda, A Separate Reality: Further Conversations With Don Juan


The prison

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We create our prison out of these four walls: wanting, holding, attaching, and checking.

 

Wanting: I want a new car. I want to be happy. I want to XYZ. I want enlightenment.

 

Holding: She said this and I will never forgive her. Twenty years ago, he did ‘this’ and I will never forgive him.

 

Attaching: I must meditate for two hours a day or I will never attain enlightenment. I must chant for one hour a day or I will be a bad practitioner. I must give up X or I will never be blessed. I can’t miss my morning work-out or my day will be ruined.

 

Checking: I used to meditate more. I should be spending more time reading the sutras, the Bible, the blah, blah, blah. I need to exercise more, eat healthier. I shoulda coulda woulda. . .

 

Your prison has four walls. Those walls are wanting, holding, attaching, and checking. You are not your idea of yourself. You are not your thoughts. It is not good or bad. It just is as it is, right now. Be present for it.


Reborn

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“. . .schism in the soul, schism in the body social, will not be resolved by any scheme of return to the good old days (archaism), or by programs guaranteed to render an ideal projected future (futurism), or even by the most realistic, hardheaded work to weld together again the deteriorat- ing elements. Only birth can conquer death—the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new. Within the soul, within the body social, there must be—if we are to experience long survival —a continuous “recurrence of birth” (palingenesia) to nullify the unremitting recurrences of death. For it is by means of our own victories, if we are not regenerated, that the work of Nemesis is wrought: doom breaks from the shell of our very virtue. Peace then is a snare; war is a snare; change is a snare; permanence a snare. When our day is come for the victory of death, death closes in; there is nothing we can do, except be crucified—and resurrected; dismembered totally, and then reborn.”

 

–Joseph Campbell, from The Hero With a Thousand Faces


Self / No-self, merely names

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“Self does exist.  It is a literary construct used to explain the individual perception of the outside world. . .No-self just means we are all entities of this Earth, etc.”

–Ven. Dr. Wonji Dharma, FMZO, from a Dharma talk on October 1st, 2016


Wave Ten: State

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Wave Ten

Enlightenment State

Enlightenment is a state

A state appearing within the illusion bubble of

world and states

Recognizable by an “I”

—From the Great Unraveling: The Blue Cliff Records

 


A peach, A peach

Perhaps we could also say, “Regard the human brain. . .”

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A peach, A peach

Regard the peach seed.

A tiny brain-shaped shell that,

while at the core of the fruit’s existence,

tells you nothing about the

experience of sweetness from a peach.

— by KMM