Before life there is death, before death there is life. In life there is death, in death there is life, a worm cut in two, each half moves, in each a new worm or is there one worm. This I ask you, but answer or no answer both are full of Buddha nature.
A reflection on Case 20 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)
I can never fully comprehend iwhy they never seem able to see things from my perspective, it really isn’t the all that hard. After all, they claim to know me better than I know myself. Today they never ask if I liked what they chose to serve me, why I left the food, sometimes? Today think I might really and I mean truly and deeply, hate argyle sweaters and hams? And it isn’t just their blindness that gets me, is the arrogance that goes with it, as though no one but them has ever had a deep thought well, we’ll see what they think the hairball I hacked up on their pillow.
Krevchinsky froze his ass off on the Siberian plain. The gray concrete box was traded for concrete gray skies, the whistle of the truncheon gives way to winter’s blasts. It was in many ways easier when the beatings came neatly marking the days dividing days between pain and exhaustion, all under the watchful eye of the meek incandescent sun dangling from the ceiling. In the camp day and night are reflections of an unseen clock, seasons slide from discontent to depression. The prison of the body is finite built block on block, the prison of the soul is vast, empty, dissipating life.
First appeared in HazMat Review, Vol. 1, No. 2 (1996) and later in Legal Studies Forum, Vol. 30, Nos. 1-2 (2006).
Morning slowly encroaches on your dreams, eroding images despite your tightening grasp. Clear lines blur, become hazy and dissipate, bleached by the first light creeping around the shades. The dreams do not care for they will arise again when they choose and this is for them a mere inconvenience. You are the loser here for the linear mind-string once cut never reties with simplicity and something is always lost in the tying.
As you look out the window you say the branches of the tree are dancing, the clouds barely stopping to gaze down on the scene. Walk outside and feel the breeze skitter along your skin, see the seed pods of the maple take wing and fly off. Ask yourself why this is, is it the wind you see moving things or is it the things moving creating a breeze, which? Consider that it is only your mind that is moving, for if you do not look or think of these motions, how can you know if they stop?
A reflection on case 146 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)