July 20, 2023 - The Way

A young monk, his heart fixed on The One, was wandering in the foothills looking for good ground to camp on. He wanted to meet Buddha face to face so his mind flooded with questions. The more he tried to find Him the further away he felt in his heart, but having come so far on his search there was no longer any way out but through. This is the state he was in as he wandered.

Just then a venerable old sage came bouncing down the mountain road. With an instant recognition the young monk rushed over and put himself to the old master:

“Please honored one, the ancient Way has filled my heart, I am sick with it! Buddha is right here but I cannot see him. Tell me once and for all, how can I live the One True Way?”

“Who taught you that Buddha is right here? What kind of rubbish is this? If you say what is Buddha, you also say what is not. Take this rock and throw it away, and sing me a song from your heart.”

He cast the stone into the grassy field and opened his mouth wide.

Seeking the Way is pointless
it can’t be found by looking
a tile is not a mirror
but all I have is a tile
and all I have are hands to rub it.

So how much moreso of non-Ways?
Seeking all kinds of pleasure
just leads to misery instead.
Avoiding all kinds of pleasure
turns me into a ghost.

Measuring Life with a ruler
sweeping sand into the ocean
to clean up the beach.
I’ve wasted so much of my life
at both ends of that broom
what to do?

The old one threw his hands into the air, and became the sky itself. He drove his feet deep into the earth, and decided to sing.

The middle of the broom
doing not-doing
seems a funny way of saying
to what already Is

because it has no source
that spring won’t stop bubbling
miraculous! clear water
feeding me and all beings

A bubbling spring can sing too
and it says:

If you want to find the Way
look at your feet.
If you want to know where you are
remember where you started.
If you really want to fly
remember the first time that you fell.

Hearing this the young monk was immediately filled with a great energy. Beads of sweat collected over his entire body, soaking his robes. At once he cried up to the Heavens and sank his ass down on the Earth. The sky shattered, and the ground quaked. Finally putting it down the barriers between himself and the Real fell away; he was Enlightened.