Poetry


The World Today


Sometimes I have a chat with “God,”
Who looks after this trembling world
With so much tolerance, kindness, and care, 
Yet the world’s beings still tremble and quake.

The world is stinking drunk on materialism,
Heartbroken with pains worse than violent death.
“Living dead” hour to hour as if life is a joke 
Is worse than dying just once into the coffin.

Whatever they attempt, they still miss seeing the path,
Too terrified of giving up and abandoning everything.
It will happen only when Dhamma returns just in time
And the world turns towards the joy of Sri Araya’s Age.*

❖      

(*) Sri Araya Mettaya is popularly believed to be the next Buddha, who will usher in an era of peace and universal kindness.

You Just Create Mara Yourself


Mara* exists when we want things good or to get, 
Even wanting to die Mara exists most peculiarly, 
Because the grasping of
ME is so excessive
Desire in all its guises never falls into disuse. 

If there's no wanting to get or be anything 
How could Mara exist? So why not oppose it! 
Don't go wanting anything through not knowing,
Then no Mara will ever appear before you!

Think, speak, and do everything with wisdom
You don't really need to crave anything, now, do you?
Without desires it's so much more cool & peaceful,
What Mara could happen then? There's just no way!

❖      

(*) Mara, The Killer, the Buddhist personification of evil

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Nalike Pond


Samsara's spinning is just like stormy seas,
but its value splits off in two ways:
now nasty, now good, spinning in time
according to the concocting of conditions.

Just as wax is solid when cooled, then 
melts and flows when subjected to heat, 
the sea of good & evil twitches back & forth
— beyond is freedom, coolness, Nibbana.


The coconut palm tho' dwelling midst the sea of wax,
doesn't split with changing conditions.
Rain doesn't touch, lightening doesn't threaten,
because it is beyond the concocting of all evil & good.

     

Discussing Dhamma


Well, Brother, do you have any Dhamma to discuss?
Babbling all the time, lil' bro', you'll go crazy!

For what reasons do you say such a thing?
Dhamma is here to be practiced!

If we don't study, then how can we practice?
Infatuated with studies you'll only get stuck!

Shouldn't we ask questions according to our doubts?
You think an obsessive questioner can grasp the Dhamma!

You mean discussions and debates are worthless?
Merely the celebrations of those who boast until dawn!

How then can we appreciate Dhamma's profundity?
Catch all the angles and tricks of dukkha every time!

❖      

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Buddhadasa Never Dies


Buddhadasa shall live, there's no dying.
Even when the body dies, listening to no one,
Whether it is or goes doesn't matter at all,
that's only something passing through time.

Buddhadasa carries on, there's no dying.
Through ups and downs always one with the teaching.
As befits ones who's offered body and mind
In ceaseless service under Lord Buddha's command.

Buddhadasa lives on, there's no dying.
In service to all humanity without resting
through the Dhamma proclamations left behind —
O Friends, can't you see that nothing dies?

Even when I die and the body ceases forever
my voice still echoes in comrades' ears
clear and bright, as joyfully loud as ever.
Just as if I never died the Dhamma-body lives on.

Carry on with me as if I never died,
as though I am with you all as before.
Speak up whatever Dhamma is on your minds
as if I sit among you helping point out the facts.

Treat me as if I never died,
then many streams of benefits will accrue.
Don't forget the days set aside for Dhamma discussion,
Realize the End and stop dying!

     

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu 
(on the occasion of his eightieth birthday, 27 May 1987)
[Translated by Santikaro Bhikkhu, 28 April 1994]
Note: "Buddhadasa" in this poem doesn't primarily refer to him.
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Suan Mokkh


Mokkh in worldly language means freed or spotless,
that is, every kind of form, flavor, odor, and sound,
along with impressions of skin, body, and mind,
don't harm, don't disturb, and don't inflame.

Nature within Suan Mokkh uplifts the heart
until
Ego big and small don't re-conceive.
Mind is cool and bright as if somebody else;
such happiness can't be compared to anything.

Mind is void so that it hears the rocks speak,
calling out that
nothing is worth losing your head over.
Why not stop for a while like us!
If you can't, then it's just your own hell.


Note: Who ever sits down in Suan Mokkh 
still upset, distracted, or depressed: 
Hurry to a therapist to help calm you down, 
then, come back to meet with the
Mokkh.

     

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Don't Be Shamed By The Chickens


If we compare ourselves with chickens we'll see, 
They don't have headaches, insomnia, or ulcers. 
They're free of nervous tension and mental disorders. 
Chickens don't go crazy like we do every day. 

The world's people take drugs by the ton, 
While the chickens don't take even a speck. 
They sleep tight, minds at ease one-hundred per cent. 
Don't you feel a little embarrassed by the chickens?

Human birth gives us the right to be neurotic: 
Should we count this as a blessing or a curse? 
Please find some Dhamma before it's too late, 
To live happily, no longer shamed by the chickens. 

     

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 The Highest Life


Any physical action, spoken word, or thought
ought to be done with a crystal clear mind 
that doesn't regard anything as
this or that  
no longer made nasty and dangerous by clinging. 

Whichever
Me or Mine arises, can't you see
they're just the concoctions of sankhara
Claiming things to be
Self is criminal, in other words, 
a clever, shameless, con-job to defraud Nature. 

Whoever stubbornly insists on such a life
falls into a daylong hell of thick, foul smoke, 
with putrid fumes even more extreme at night, 
till cremation ends him having never known any coolness. 

Think
speak act with a clarified heart 
made bright, pure, calm, and smart through discovering 
that anything can be conquered through Dhamma.
Oh, human friends, this sort of life is the highest. 

❖      

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Fish Don't See Water


It's always been that fish never see the water
Flowing over their eyeballs day & night.

However you try there's no way to make
A fish see water — O, you Fish!

Human fish pass through the world the same way.
Has there ever been one who saw

The world clearly just as it is, without 
getting caught in the world's tricky net?

The word
see is taken in many ways;
Fools claim to see even a single hair.

Why don't they see this disease infested world?
If you wonder, ponder well, these fishy matters.

❖      

Insane For Them To Cheer


There's a lot of wanting to look good,
but it's much more difficult to do.
So they get carried away as if crazy;
Aren't we silly, we people, creating ourselves!

Thinking it's right, it's good, following the advice 
of ghosts, so they lose the path of morality ...
sunk in the mud beneath the lotus's roots
... blossoming all over not at all fragrant.

This makes them push ahead as if crazy
getting upset revealing their lunacy even more
showing off their very craziness,
boy it's hard to really do good.

❖      

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The More One Brags Of Being Straight,  The More Deeply Crooked One Ends Up


The straighter you try to be, the more deeply crooked 
Turns out a hidden, secret enemy surprisingly nasty. 
Wanting to be straight, to show off and succeed —
How straight is it really? Come on, be honest. 

One brags
straight according to what they praise
Too straight one sinks into the strict mess created
Wanting to be straight so that somebody will accept us
So that this little kid will grow up for once. 

A mind clear enough to let it all go, 
Not seeing a problem between straight and bent. 
Beyond crooked & straight not deceived by
me or it  
So purely at peace, freed of the world, unburdened.

❖      

You Must Like My Friend Too


If you like me, you must like my friend, too; 
he helps to keep me happy and refreshed.

He's been a comrade in birth, aging, illness, and death; 
regard him as a worthy companion along the path.

In these long-lasting spinning cycles of Samsara, 
before we reach Sivalaya* revealing the dawn

Of voidness realized in a heart thoroughly freed 
by finally letting go of every last thing.

We humans knowing so much have long-lasting desires; 
animals are more calm and joyful — how amusing.

Whenever we finally reach
The End,
we'll have traveled and finished the path together!

❖      

(*) Sivalaya: Coolness, a traditional synonym for Nibbana, sometimes referred to metaphorically as a place.

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