Mockingbirds greet the morning
Great Blue Herons stare
imagining their voices
night sweetly welcome the dawn
The great temple bell
awaits the morning, the monk,
its daily purpose
cast deep within the metal
always verging on release
Smoke of incense too
prostrates itself to Buddha
soon a morning breeze
or the freedom of the sky
It is of little surprise that we find this a dizzying world, for we always try to look forward, but since the future is often vague, we try and keep one eye on the past to understand what our other eye is poorly seeing.
The mind does not care to be pulled in two directions at once, objects with stabbing pains, and when that fails to correct us, a weariness we cannot overcome.
The Buddha would tell you it is best to keep both eyes in the present, to focus softly and see what is there without judgement or preconception, to simply
be, assured that all senses are merely crude tools to shape what is amorphous into something we can grasp and file, but time itself knows there is nothing more than now, ever.
George Harrison said that if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there, and on reflection it was obvious he was correct.. Today, rising from the cushion, the four vows recited, Buddha put back on his small altar, Harrison’s words echoed loudly for he understood in a moment what it has taken me years to grasp, for all roads lead to enlightenment if you simply stop searching for it. Somewhere the spirit of our departed George was laughing with me
in this moment.
Standing outside the Temple there is much to see. Enter the Temple zendo prostrate three times before the golden Buddha what do you see? Can you see nothing? Outside the Temple, Buddha inside the Temple, Buddha but only when you see nothing. Outside the mind, nothing, inside the mind, nothing. All Buddha.
Yesterday a small dog, walking its master down the block stopped and stared at you, as you stood on your porch. You stared back at the dog, eyes locked on each other, while the master fidgeted on the sidewalk, afraid or too bored to look at either of you. You realized this was just the dog’s way of teaching his master patience, or perhaps of simply delaying you from what it was that brought you to your porch that you forgot in engaging the dog. Eventually the dog dragged its master on, and you returned to the house, having done nothing but stare at a dog. It was clear in that moment that a dog must have Buddha nature but yours was deeply in question.