September 9, 2013

Here Mounts the Bliss-King


Awaken in
A sleepwalk magic field

Remember everything goes into
The basket of happy goo

They meant what they said when they said,
"All things"

To include every sliver cures both
Crotch and liver

While the dull may continue that which in effect
Never worked

A certain has-been now has, by inclusion of
Spaz 

In open throat sing, you
A single bell, ring

So fine, without cling, here mounts
The bliss-king

September 1, 2013

With Few Equipped to Share My Joy


With few equipped to share my joy,
I'll hold it warm a thousand lifetimes
Since no one noticed when you went to flirt,
Hidden wishes, those too, kept fresh for you

You, well-trained to not know your question,
Might speak it out rude, in the nude unposed
Then we could share a trif of wisdom,
But we'll keep the box closed 'til this darker time goes

You forgot why you fight, said that crusty old Lao
You looked back your own way as he points you your moon
Nasty chan wanker Lao, flustering to his breakpoint
Says, go for the soft and you'll be home soon...

   Soft are some plans you never made
   Soft holds the meaning; thoughts never stayed
   Soft is the cave of a trillion-world dream
   Soft, the quick stop where your soul's remade

All together, move, before the chan man sees us!
Run, hide and quick, don't let the stumblebum seize us!
Join, join, join, jump!
Soaking in the middle of a big fat soft!

   Soft, the give in ceasing of schemes
   Soft, for all crudenesses, lost at sea
   The end of the you and of the me dreams
   Soft: of life, of philosophy

Abandon toast-modern mind, remove like a tumor
Happy persons, arm in arm, schlepping a happy mind
Nothing can remove the stain of the pattern
It merely dissolves in the watery find

   Soft, a recline to infinity,
   Separatenesses gone, nor even unity
   Not-knowing, sans conceptuality
   Soft means its over, ending the spree

Since men look away from demented and wise
Ignoring the fool talk of slackjaw and hermit
But in the case someone somewhere takes in to hearken
Here's the easiest way to get it, if that way I may term it:

Give in to the soft,
If you want the loft  ––
If you want the loft,
You've got to go soft

August 19, 2013

The Second Man, by Sol Ta Triane, originally published June 15, 2005 at The Dog Zen Koans

Two men walk into a diner. Before they can order, two bowls are placed in front of them. Upon tasting the food the first man spits it back out and, shouting spontaneously towards the kitchen, says, "This is disgusting," then angrily towards the waitress, "You brought me a bowl.. of grease!"

The waitress returns and tells them, "that's so to remind you: samsara is suffering."

The second man is also revolted, attempting to get the grease out of his mouth with repeated snorts and spittings. The men walk out of the diner, the first man alternating between cursing loudly and mumbling under his breath, the second in confusion and silence.

They try a different restaraunt. Before having a chance to order, the chef comes out and places two steaming bowls in front of the men with a smile. "The first man skeptically takes a sip of the broth; it shoots out as fast as it went in. "This is salted water! Why would you bring us salt water?"

The chef replied that it was merely to clarify the point: samsara is unfulfilling.

By this time, the men are feeling off their game, and after a brief discussion decide to try their luck with something different. They have a project to do at home, and needed to pick up a hammer and nails at the hardware store on the way home.

Navigating the well stocked isles of the hardware store, they noticed that the hammers had no heads and that the nails were made of rubber. Seeing the angry face of the first, and the perplexed face of the second man, the stock boy announced,

"We carry those items especially to remind people that samsara simply doesn't work."

And so it was at this moment the first man made a silent decision to retreat to the solace of his own abode. And that he did without hesitation, soon to piece together some sort of dinner and, he thought, maybe a bit of television.

It was the case, though, that the second man reacted quite differently. Those odd encounters had awakened his curiosity, or maybe it was wonder. Now ravenously hungry, the thought crossed his mind to give another restaurant a try.

He went into the very first joint he could find, which happened to be directly across the street from the hardware store. Reaching for the door, it opened for him. He saw that he was being greeted by a sparkling polite woman, who he assumed must be the matire-d'. She took his arm and gently escorted him through the plain building into a stunning and lush backyard garden, in the center of which was a large shapely wooden table with one large chair holding multiple multi-patterned cushions.

"Would this place be to your liking sir?" The man heard himself say, "Oh yes," as he saw it was in fact quite a fine spot.

Settling in, his senses began to open in the comfort of that sun-speckled yard. Flowers and greenery of every hue and geometric shape surrounded him, bemusing the eye. The air was warm yet breezy; the flowers were gently pushed into undulations by its caress. Bees buzzed happily, circling and bobbing flower to flower.

Deepening in comfort he sunk into his chair; the maitre-D nodded, nimbly removing his shoes. Turning away in wide gaze, she seemed as a conductor, raising her baton at the beginning of a symphony. As she began to do whatever it was she was doing, which seemed to be environmental adjustments, she turned back for just a moment to address the man, saying, "By the way, sir, all this is on the house."

Sinking even deeper on that voluptuously soft and supportive chair, as a king on a throne, a most entrancing of musics began to fill the garden. The sounds of lyres, tamboura, then gentle tablas beginning almost inaudibly, then increasing, layering back and forth, not unlike the bees. He could see the musicians had been in wait behind a hedge of blueberry bushes. The bushes, he noticed, had quite a crop of the rich blue-black orbs.

Out of nowhere, a heartbreakingly attractive girl was leaning over his table, asking him if he would like some of those blueberries, which, she now held before him in a festive flower bowl, painted with flowers. He enjoyed the most delicious berries he ever ate. When she asked him if he would like his feet and shoulders massaged, he said gratefully, and with very little hesitation, "Sure!" Soon he achieved a state of immense relaxation and pleasure.

But it was only the beginning. Beautiful dancing girls silently appeared, smiling, coy and playful, moving through the garden, disturbing nothing, harmonizing to the scene, and an odd, full and healthy joy arose in his mind. One after another, the waiters and waitresses brought fresh squeezes and cuts of exotic fruits, steamed vegetables and meats dipped in sauces he had never seen previously. Some came in stars cups, moons bowls, even two long curved pink tureens in opposite shapes. Small presentations of the most delicate and vitalizing hot and cold appetizers were presently by the lovely girls, each on a different painted bowl or plate; then presented and uncorked was a 1942 Krug Sparkling Nectar of a supremely subtle refreshing taste, which the second man found to be a nourishment of his soul: its effervescence danced on his tongue, and wine flowed soft and pleasing to refresh him deeper with each taste.

Another completely unabashed lady of radiant beauty appeared. She giggled and sat down at the table along side the man. She introduced herself with funny puns which delighted and sent the second man even further off-guard, then told the man stories of the type that he would be most interested in. With light hearts and humor, they engaged discussions of religion, books, love, art, politics, music, much more. The man noticed that she was purely humble, but all the same seemed to understand all those topics well. The laughed and spoke for hours, mixing their variegated togethernesses into the soft summer evening.

During this time the train of exquisite treats continued its course. The crescendo and decrecendo of foods, colors, the distinct and merging fragrances only supported those conversations, maybe the best conversations of his life. His new girlfriends were such a fine conversationalists humorists, but foremost they were women. He simply lost himself in their beauty, wisdom, and the scene at hand.

How it seemed to work, he thought, was this: In pure undulating synchronicity, this simply came to be. Look here: the maitre-d' or a waiter or waitress would appear with yet another delicious fruit, an appetizer, a beverage, maybe a tasty and warming filling main course. The young women, one after another, came to please him in many ways that one might expect and also might not. The tensions and release expanded during entire episode, somehow bringing placidity to his mind and needs, as he watched to setting of an orange sun. It came to mind in that moment that he had greatly underestimated his life, in the sense that joy is something that could quite be accomplished.

The bees and butterflies moved like a painter's brushstrokes. Whatever the man experienced in taste, sound or vision, it built itself anew upon the previous joy. The bliss amassed and staying consistent; this stability was something he never before known, or yet it seemed like something glimpsed a distant memory.

And as that wondrous scene of harmony, light and vitalizing, perhaps, but really through his own charm, right then, his own purity opened, as a flower. And he became as one in that glorious feast that had been presented him, in it, beyond it too.

In that way he also forgot his problems and joy opened firmly in him, like the white-pink lotus right before him, in the garden.

And he held the hand of his lovely conversation companion as they giggled, chatted, played and dined together. He thought he could see waves emanating between himself and the woman – certainly he could feel them. In fact, they emanated between all the people and objects, ass if the spirit of atmosphere had stepped forward and taken over, and the second man knew it would all be like a downstream flow of a great river from here on in.

Fully satisfied and in the finest of spirits, the knew it to be time to go home. But he experienced no regret, only gratitude. Turning to bid an adieu, he did however for a moment, hesitate.

"Why did you do all of this for me?" said the second man.

The matrie-D looked into his eyes. The second man recognized, from her look, a wisdom and inner world he had once sensed but had not been able to stabilize. She was a mirror in which he saw himself. The entire assembly of waiters stood aside, arms in front, palm over palm. The musicians and dancers gently stopped and came over to join the group, and with kindness attended the man. They said,

"We did it to show your capacity."

July 10, 2013

A Bodhisattva's Vow (originally published at the Dog Zen Koans on June 18th, 2006)

I'm not that concerned about environmental warming:
A cool sun hides within storms of human childishness.
The tides of seeming knowledge, reason's loss
Generate the winds and the global patterns we miss,
Next, idealism. Next, a suicide warning.

People, listen to me for once!
You can't sew without a needle's sharpness
Your defense assumes dignity, righteousness, furvor,
But to spasm against your opponent like that
The center is ever missed as you flail and punch.

Don't attack kindness in the name of goodness
Don't criticize unless you know for sure
If you don't know just leave it be
There's no vision without stillness,
No success apart from silent clarity

Sixty billion ancestors scream, ignoring the mystic Tao,
A hellish din, unheard by the dense incarnate hordes
This show ran too long, at least for my taste,
So I choose to stay in the beauty of the wildwood place.
Enjoying its splendor, I have plenty now.

Whatever happens, come what may,
I pray you join my wish today
To stay in protection of the abiding ones
As Kali's burn has just begun
We'll stay until the job is done.

March 25, 2013

What Lao Tzu Means by Nonaction, (and Dzogchen Trechod Nonthought, While We're At It)

The meta-geniuses of philosophy and religion use special words, and sometimes use normal words, in different ways than the usual. If you wish to receive the teachings, you will need to have a new way of using language.

For example: Lao Tzu's "nonaction."

The nonaction that Lao Tzu speaks of is the humble action that we can perform in order to return to the bliss of God/Tao, the correct way of life.

We have to have dozens, hundreds, perhaps thousands of experiences of nonaction, becoming finally stabilized in nonaction, in order to make our return.

Since we're human and in action, it will take an action to accomplish nonaction, esoteric stillness.

If you're walking you'll have to do the act of stopping walking in order to be "not acting,"purely in terms of walking. But stopping of walking is an action too: Lao Tzu is making you try to understand something very different when he says "nonaction."

In the famous words "the sage practices nonaction," the key word missed by the novice is “practices.” Sounds like an action--such as walking. The doorway to harmony with Tao (God, buddha, dharmakaya) is opened by--hear ye, hear ye--nonaction.

What the sage does is this nonaction. In other words, what they do is not do. It takes an act of will for the sage to let go like that.

The sage is comfortable in transcending activity. The transcendent activity of nonactivity is the sage's practice. We have our many worldly activities, but the sage is the one who doesn't cling or become frantic about them.

The sage knows that it's in their not-knowing that they are blessed and made their big comeback to wholeness which is Tao. Not-knowing is the mental aspect of nonaction. When we say the sage doesn't know, it doesn't mean the sage doesn't know anything. It means he doesn't cling to any concepts or situations as having an ultimate import in themselves. The sage engages fully in life, okay with its flux and flow, successes and disappointments.

The sage is not at all upset about all the stuff that he has to do. A sage may have a family and may need to earn a significant living to support them. The sage may have a complicated or challenging job or problematic situations. Whether life is simple or complex, the sage does his best, then proceeds to not worry about it. They simply act and do what needs be done and not a bit more. They "know when enough is enough." For the sage, neuroses can be said to have been put to rest. Not by avoiding, but by properly engaging life: the practice of nonaction.

When the sage doesn’t have much to do, it doesn't really bother him: he isn't compulsive to self-proving. This is the security of his wisdom. But also, if does have a lot to do, he just does it; it's no difference either way to him.

If you want to know Tao, you'll need to stop practicing the pseudo-Tao of being against complexity or an active life. To know Tao, we get our stuff done the best we can, without overthinking it. Overdoing fills our life with the fuzz of confusion and it's hard for inborn harmony to arise.

If you worked all day and didn't take a break for lunch, that would mean you don't know Tao very well. Overdoing is damaging, for obvious reasons. Take breaks and rest a bit. Get the things done that need to be done. Do them, get them done, and then you're done. But remember too, superstitious underdoing is also bad for you.

And what does the sage say when his work is done? Great, but it's not a big deal one way or the other: work to be done or work complete; either way he is in the continual practice of nonaction. Because the sage practices nonaction and its mental aspect, not-knowing, it doesn't matter whether there's a lot to do or a little to do. The sage just handles what needs be done, when possible, then stops. The sage could make up something to do in the joy of Tao. But the sage may be very busy and have a lot to do.

If you're doing too many things or working for too long, that would be bad for the chi. Take breaks and vacations. That's what vacations are for and breaks and such. It's why we have weekends. Everybody understands Tao a bit.

But the sage goes much further. He performs everything he does with firm nonaction.

Life is action. Saying the sage practices nonaction could sound anti-life. But since the essence of life isn't merely the function of getting things accomplished, the sage knows the bliss of the big picture that the rest of us may be missing.

Action means movement, so when you take creative action, that's a movement of some sort or another. There's nothing wrong with taking action. Without action a singer couldn't sing a tone, a drummer couldn't pound a drum. A driver couldn't drive a car. A factory worker couldn't build a product. A farmer couldn't sow the field. People wouldn't procreate. Nothing would occur. Nothing would come into being from Tao.

Creativity is intrinsically good, which is a way of saying that there's nothing wrong with getting something done. Maybe creativity is good, and God/Tao is correct in saying that He created the world and said "it was good." There's nothing essentially bad about creativity in itself.

Dzogchen practitioners should note that Lao Tzu's "nonaction" is very similar to the Dzogchen trechod term "nonthought." For both the practice is perfect peace, and one is complete in God with no need for action/thought. This nonaction/nonthought "arises," accompanied by bliss and lucidity. The sage reaches the point where he can create thoughts and take actions without any clinging to them. These actions he is taking are the nonactions of Tao, his thinking is the nonthought of Dzogchen.

Nonaction is rare to understand. If there is one great tip we can all take from Tao Te Ching, a beneficial action you might say, it's that, when we overdo, we suffer. Start with that premise. But the test of really understanding Lao Tzu's "don't overdo" arises in knowing that nonaction has nothing to do with "doing nothing," Not comprehending this, Tao remains beyond our understanding.

March 22, 2013

Lao Tzu Kicked Out of the City (originally posted on August 4, 2006)


Chalking his hand
Looking toward that 300 score
Lao Tzu had a hissy fit:
They ran out of Budweiser.

Dog Zen is easy
But you still have to do it.
Your way is hard
But you still have to stop it.

After you begin the beating of the bushes
Rip out roots, just to make sure.
Still, you'll have to use the chemicals,
Even still, you won't be close to pure.

Dead roots point a shine toward infinity
Looking from the back, clockwise becomes counter:
You can't fool me again, no friend would hold lies
No mixing is allowed without the chan master's affinity.

While this wild plant, it silently grows
The fraud primps and arranges the styles that he chose,
Further and further back from his chance:
He never entered into the source of romance.

If there's one lick of passion in your blood
You'll take to roaming with the dharma thugs
Where you'll learn the chod that cuts the bone:
Then again, the odds are you'll stay home.

Gold, a bad choice,
Steel is better.
How you 'spect to get around
Up there on that ladder?

Glory to God our Father in Heaven
Yes, just the way that it already is!
Our meal ends in a toast, better than ever
Ain't no complaints in this line of biz.

February 11, 2013

Lao Tzu Returns to the City (originally posted at Dog Zen Koans on Feb. 16, 2005)

doggrass

Like a thief in the night Lao Tzu returns to the city.
A loose-wheel patriot, I will cheer for the goodness of the universal nation.

Like a fundamentalist I will save all beings, forgetting to leave behind some at the rapture.
A jihadist gone astray, I will chop the root of every unhappiness.

Ignoring Kali Yuga, indomitable and coarse, I gather a sweet offering for beings' release.
Oblivious to externals, I see potential.

The scriptural omission of the concern of animals and their emancipation is in evidence
But I'm not going without them either, dammit.

You see, long ago I became versed in the myths of the educated
And long ago let that go.
Only those burnt by the bodhi-flame can understand
The tree, ignoring biology, is just fine.

On the periphery a small but adamant group of students gather at the union
This disorganized band of Indians will have to do.
It is important to die crazy.


© 2005 FlowWorld Vol 2, Padma Tenzin Sol

January 13, 2013

Your Real Me

1a
Can I be straight with you?
I know it's hard to see
When you slipped beneath the waterline,
If you're asking me, you was hardly trying
Hide in daily life, pretend you're there
I've been there too...

1b
You've heard there's more to this than what we think,
They say we're caught up in our stuff
They even said there's treasure buried there
Then you listened, and you came to care
Just when you thought there's nothing new to see
You found out about your real me

2a
There's a place that you might like to go
It really isn't all that far
Shake your shell off, you might see the signs,
To where the sun shines bright and the dreams will find –
Or you can just keep tying that big black knot:
Is that all you got?

2b
Now this place it's on the brighter side--
Now it's time to take your place
Misunderstanding fades, you smile in stride
I see the world is reflecting in your eyes
Just when you thought there's nothing more to see,
You went and found your real me.