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Homage

This is dedicated to Eastern Dragon, Red Crane, the question right for the answer, the great lineages that came before and the unending union from end to end.

Where to start? Shall I begin with declaring words aren’t nearly enough to explain the mind’s current with all its eddies and pools? And what of the purpose of examining these whimsical turnings of the mind? For what greater realization would we even begin the observations? What language is adequate for this task?

This is going to be more of a scenic view on associations than an exposition. I got tired of expositions at some point when describing the mind’s dances and decided instead to dance alongside, turning me to a kind of apologetic poet.

Splish splash. Pebbles on the water, see?
Ripples and waves make a pattern.
This pattern is a space of thoughts
Seeds in a fall apple
A traveling core
from where one is always surrounded.
Remind me and then trick me;
Fool me or lead me;
Coerce me.
Always a word about me or my opinion.
Or my territory
Or perhaps just a ripple from a pebble.
Some elusive crane upon a clear pond.
But make no mistake, they say.
A clear, unwavering pond is there.
The Buddha knew. Shows us the path to its banks.
He invited the wind to calm and let the stars glow unmoving.

Start with a breath and find another center outside the sphere. Become the pond and the instigator. Mellow the wind, a clear placid pond. Playing the trickster we throw in a grain of rice or dilemma. Playing the fool we throw things and forget before it ripples and conclude it was unconscious, uncontrollable. Trying to stop throwing, we keep tossing with anxiety instead. Staring at the pond, we see nothing but reflections. The pond can’t really be there if it has no substance other than the things we see from its surface.
But go for a dive and you’ll find music and stories.
You’ll play a game.
So don’t give up on this great lesson. Kneel by the pool, and put things in deliberately. Hold them about and look. Look close. Closer. Closer still and you may grow tall and proud.
Your shoulders may sit more firmly upon your hips, your hips more stoutly upon your ankles.
You may find your face painted red with a warrior’s stain.
You may find a fight.
You may find a cave and some silence therein.
You may find a thousand words that you use to name the world.
The oldest people knew that this pond was the naming place, where sounds and images merged with meaning.
They found great strength and profound ripples that made the earth move, made it fertile, and scorched it too. The ripples distort the images on the surface, but prove just as easily the truth of our minds.
Discovery Channel. Red light, green light. Yield. Pick your personal Jesus, just a click away. Go ahead, satisfaction is guaranteed. You know what’s best for you, you always have.

Chatter.

Endless prattle from everywhere, the pond is collecting a constant stream of junk, antiques, outdated and moldy fruit along with reused materials. It is a massive gravity well, pulling things in, and the people we are and live with are only too happy to pay tribute to this appetite - every appetite. Except we can’t see straight because of it. The distortions twist in our eyes and bounce around the room.
Ripples.
We lose track and become confused and tell ourselves stories that try to accommodate this inundation, but the stories are always self-referential, we are always trying to comfort ourselves with another story. More Ripples instead of the final restful peace of a clear pond. The pond in a quiet glade where our ancestors have kept the wind still. And the Buddha has placed the stars. When you are silent it no longer matters if you point to the moon above or the moon upon the pond. It will be the same moon.

We can engage in a practice that allows the mind to still so we can see what it is and what it is not. From that discerning vantage, we become familiar with its loops, its habits, its patterns, its weaknesses and strengths. With a quiet mind, we can exit our totally self-referential frame of mind. Sri Aurobindo indicates that this is how we allow room for God to find union in our lives, in our actions and attitudes. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche explains that people have a truly remarkable respect for sacred things, for magic. So we quiet the mind and make room for the magic of this world to find its way into our lives, which is to say our homes and our relationships. And we achieve this loss of self-referential mindset by loosening our grips on the anxious chatter of the mind, of the monkey mind. Things exist greater than that to which we constantly refer. Many things exist that have no names, are simply unnamable, yet are clearly perceptible. But we must become relaxed, for it is the tense mind, the fretful mind, which collapses in upon itself for support. With a relaxed mind, we can allow our perception to open towards the world of magic, of mystical union. This is a world of medicine and magical totems but to find them we must listen and we must practice at silencing the mind. A daunting task these days.

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