Poetry


Chatting With The Fish


In chatting with the fish I came to know something strange; 
They segregate into two styles well worth studying: 

The fighting fish, gourami, oscars, and the like 
cling to self, attach to mates, and protect their nests. 
Honor crazed and fierce, they are instinctual fighters, 
snapping and biting their fish friends most insanely. 

The other kind, like Tilapia, are curiously different: 
they make no effort to dominate a mate as their own,
they wander like ascetics, hearts like monks,
leaving their eggs behind without a care.

They are just like homeless wanderers, 
rather than those stuck on
“Ego till they die.

     

Do Good & The Spirits Won't Laugh


Hey, tell me, how does one do good?
Do good by keeping the spirits from laughing at you!

What about these spirits, what are they anyhow?
They are neither good nor evil, but they have eyes!

How can spirits know what's good and evil?
Just stray from your humanity, they'll call you crazy!

Don't tease, what do laughing spirits have to do with it?
Because people are likely to be sorry for a long time!

Why do spirits bother to ridicule us anyway?
They want all of us, and themselves, to give up evil!

You mean we must be good till the spirits
Amen ?
If you do, they won't trick you and you can laugh!

❖      

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Mocking Sky, Daring Earth


Earth and sky only give birth to Ego, 
Endlessly deflating & inflating with evil & good 
Never allowing even a moment's rest
As if dying within itself throughout the world.

For we lay down to die within their frame 
Surrounding oneself with aimless desires 
Pushed by the perverse power of ignorance
Because earth & sky squeeze & wring the heart.

Wanting nothing to do with them, I prefer voidness,
Not letting anything control heart and mind
Where's the value in good & evil, sky & earth, 
When I have no need for a moment of Ego.

❖      

More Progress = More Crazy


If we say, the more progress, the more insane,  
It looks rather hard that we'll find any takers, 
Because everyone likes progress that exceeds reality — 
Progress like a spirit possession is even better!

The world progresses beyond its means and Nature breaks up
Many strange things changing the world sorrowfully,
Making humans into an extraordinary species
Caught up in killing both above and below the ground.

The more progress, the more it boils and bathes in blood;
The smarter, the more sinful, far worse than the stone age;
Creating tortuous problems proliferating endlessly,
The whole world clings to craziness as progress. 

❖      

Religious Matters


Brother, what sort of religion do you teach?
Who told you that I've got religion?

Brother, you teach us just like a prophet?
That's what you say, you lousy gangster!

The words
No Religion confuse me!
Just study the law of nature, that's enough!

But isn't that religion, or what is it?
Just see nature and it takes care of the rest!

What's the reason, then, for not calling it religion?
It's only ordinariness, naturally, nothing more!

Where, then, is religion?
Gangs of noisy authorities stuffing people's heads!

❖      

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Why Leave Home?


What sort of going forth is correct?
The kind that aims straight for liberation!

Can't you stay at home just as well?
Sure, but it isn't nearly as convenient!

How is being a wanderer speedier?
Ones feet are lighter when not carrying a house!

Where is liberation found before time runs out?
In not clinging to anything to tie you up!

What is given up to not get all trussed up?
Give up hugging all the fruits one might find!

How do we give it up so as not to be strangled? 
Simple let go of self and all self's stuff!

❖      

Seeing Holy Dukkhaness


Blind & silly when finding joy
Don't be fooled into suffering about it,
Though happy it's poisoned with impermanence,
See the dukkha-ness in each kind of joy.

While everything is poisoned by impermanence,
We go mad, like falling in love with a ghoul,
They delude & confuse most disgustingly:
This dukkha-ness means
revolting.

Both sukhaand dukkhaare despicable,
The thickest prisons entrapping the heart,
Tricked by them like a fish by tasty bait,
Despite having eyes, still caught on the hook.

Seeing only the joy, not the dukkha within,
Like a fish crazy about lasting stability,
So used to its tricks they seem real
Until mind lets go seeing dukkha in sukha.

❖      

 There's Only Gain, Never Loss


Look well, there's only profit and never loss.
When losing a child or a spouse, one still receives 
life's genuine knowledge that depends on no-one 
how everything proceeds according to its evil and good.

This kind of knowledge brightens the heart, 
seeing the way to Nibbana, the only true support. 
Plunging forward to reach the goal of our lives, 
don't get all bothered and make yourself suffer!

One ought to know only profit and never loss,
but end up losing because of misguided thinking. 
Ponder carefully, there's only gain and no anxiety, 
being
Truly Buddhist at the pinnacle of Dhamma.

    

Mind Training Principles


Dukkha always occurs through three causes:
1. doing abundant evil in the past,
2. not doing any good right now, which is common,
3. not lifting the mind above worldly things.

There's no dukkha when three causes occur:
1. much supporting good done in the past,
2. right now, always doing only what is good,
3. keeping the mind upright, undeluded, & sober.

If you know how to train the mind even higher, 
not messing around with pleasure & pain, 
letting go of everything, freed of all moods, 
done with sweet and bitter, calm and cool in Nibbana.

❖      

Fighting With Pillows


A low pillow makes it easy and pleasant to sleep supine!
But with a thick pillow you're in danger of sudden death, 
Your neck broken in a snap, all ready for the coffin —
It's so much more safe to sleep on one's side!

Dear Father rules over two or three fluffy pillows
Spooking himself just to excuse padding his body!
Don't even bother with them, they wear you out.
Whether on side or back, use an arm for support!

Sleep just enough. Don't linger after the pleasures 
Of sleep, not wanting to get up. It's a brain disease 
With selfish defilements puffing up the heart
Until we need far too many luxuries for our own good.

❖      

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Tiger Becomes Kitty


These kids of the Tathagata* are tigers!
Ferociously pouncing on the Path-Fruit** prey.

Living the wilderness of meditation as he taught,
Sorting out the branches of Satipatthana.***

Body, feeling, minds, and Dhamma —
These four are the territories in which tigers

Circle, stalk, and catch their prey,
Clutched securely in the paws of mindfulness.

Any tiger that gets sloppy with Satipatthana
Becomes a house cat, haven't you seen.

The kittified tiger is gossipped all over,
Once the good name of
“tiger is lost in distractions.

❖      

(*) Tathagata : "One Thus Gone," the Buddha. "Children of the Tathagata" traditionally refers to ordained monks and nuns.
(**) Path-Fruit : the moments of consciousness that through penetrating insight into the nature of reality cut through the inborn and accumulated accretions of egoism (path) and experience the resulting joy or peace and liberation (fruit).
(***) Satipatthana : the applications of mindfulness (listed in next stanza) which are the frames of reference for Buddhist meditation practice.

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 Come Back, Siladhamma!


Come back, Siladhamma, come back!
A monstrous danger is building up 
for all beings scattered throughout the universe:
the enormous destruction is frightening.

Come back, Siladhamma, come back!
In the world a dark era has appeared, so 
crazy about material things, not just by chance
having a good old time with powerful things.

Come back, Siladhamma, come back!
Evil encroaches until hopes are gone.
Hurry back before it's too late
to save the world in the nick of time.

     

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