Fragrance of Gardenias

Last evening, wind-walking
along the dark blue edge of night —

above, the glaring moon, nearly full,
I could almost reach and touch it.

This morning, warm and dry, basking
in a sunlit room, though tomorrow
I may be somewhere else entirely.

The illusion of personal continuity —
a perfumed fragrance of gardenias
where no flower can be found.




Questions of Inherent Willfulness

The thought parade slowly marches off
in the distance, the light in your eyes
recedes in the same weary way.

Now the neural boulevard is bare,
the street of dreams is quiet.
Not a sound is heard.

Questions of guilt or innocence,
fault or faultlessness, personal
or collective responsibility —
what do they matter now?

What kind of will shall we attribute
to phantoms of our own creation,
figures stitched together from
bits and pieces of the void?

Here, as you are, you are being lived,
lived by the self of whom you find
no trace, nor is this a paradox.

You rise from your bed, you’ve done this
before, you do it again, there’s nothing
to say, so just say your prayer —
guardian angels are near.

With an impersonal love they listen,
they hear more about your heart
than you can ever imagine.

If there is any genuine kindness,
they are that. They do not judge.
They will not, cannot.

What kind of will shall we attribute
to phantoms of our own creation,
figures stitched together from
bits and pieces of the void?

The planet upon which you awaken
revolves in an elliptical orbit
around a glowing star.

Somehow, you can feel it moving.
If you are still unhappy, there is
no one here to blame.

God Is Great

No Pterodactyl could take flight
merely standing still and flapping.

Endless years of fervent prayers
still won’t render us weightless.

Something more will happen.
Something mind can’t conceive.

Every method is a mis-direction,
every remedy a compounded ploy.

To the open-eyed, beauty and terror
are perpetually vying for prominence.

Neither are true. Neither persist.
Don’t be confused, stay unmoved.

Without interpreting, just pay attention.
Stone men pile snow in empty bowls.

The wise won’t break an oath of silence —
words deceive, humans are linguists.

At the root of every story, some hurt heart
is earnestly seeking, reaching out for love.

Whatever we want, we already are.
Only non-clinging, non-dwelling is bliss.

Imagining there’s a higher state to gain,
fools waste their lives day-dreaming.

God is great, all is forgiven forever.
Playful child, go and sin no more.

Come In

Imagine everything is so fresh and ever-new
there’s no time to form opinions or value judgments,
no time to fixate a self in any of it, no way to grasp
or manipulate any of it before it changes again
and again, like flowing water, like life as it is.

Look at a flower in the sunlight. It is you,
but you are not it. You don’t know what it is,
what you are, where this miracle is happening,
the ordinary extraordinary miracle of thought,
vision, any sensation at all, any experience,
all memory, cellular transformation,
birth, death, earth, others.

The open space in which perception occurs
has no center nor circumference — limitless!
Your own mind contains this body, contains
every body you have ever worn, contains
the grand universal totality, the whole
mysterious expanse itself, which is
nothing more than a brief thread
of uncreated light flashing
through the vastness.

The space and light are inseparable,
like one broad piece of transparent fabric,
or some floral arrangement positioned just so
to grant infinity the opportunity to worship
itself in its endless evanescent displays,
even as we spend our brief tour here
forming the beliefs and identities
by which we define ourselves.

At this very moment a glad god stands silent
before the blossoming flower. Colorful petals
and buds of light are showering through the scene
in a whirlwind romance of motion and high music,
a melody of unreasonable happiness, the happiness
which prevailed prior to creation’s inception.

Now all the windows are open. You are leaning
against the door, ready to enter. There is a song
in your heart — that song. You’ve come a long way,
seen so much, done so much, forgotten and then
again remembered. It is all so simple, it has always
been simple. Everything has been waiting here
to welcome you home. Just come in.



Sock Puppet

A grey dawn seeps through slanted shutters
strung across the front room window.

The dim light reveals a smiling sock puppet
propped against a pillow on a chair facing me.

It is appears to be enjoying the bliss which pertains
prior to consciousness, prior to any self-awareness.

Such bliss is not in the past, the present, the future.
Such bliss is nowhere at all — our actual location.

Long after our dust dissolves back into atomic chaos,
there may still be puppets practicing the great perfection.

Their serene detachment will effortlessly demonstrate
the way of sublime renunciation, as they selflessly persist
in the midst of samsaric existence, like a lotus bud in mud.

Unimpressed by the philosophies and religions of this world,
they adhere to no conceptual view, cling to no belief or dogma.

The pleasures, attainments, and luxuries desperately pursued
by the usual man mean nothing to them, since they rest
in their own pristine nature and condition.

If one were to claim that they represent the enduring reality
behind the sense “I am”, it would be to them as if a mute
were reciting unpublished poetry in an empty room.

They will neither assert nor deny that the natural display
of primordial purity which manifests as the essence of things
is inherently insubstantial, dream-like, yet curiously luminous.

Should any disturbing, desirous, or confusing thoughts
arise in the mind, simply return attention to the sock puppet,
and they will spontaneously self-liberate on their own.

If one wishes sincerely to transcend their gross or subtle
afflictions, there may be no simpler way than this.


sock puppet small


I don’t know how long I’ve been sitting
by a window, watching the light change.

Perhaps my whole life has been nothing
but a flashing kaleidoscopic light show.

This incomprehensible light takes the form
of everything, but since light perpetually
changes, nothing ever stays the same
for long, not even the watcher.

The watcher? The watcher is the way
light becomes aware of itself.

We are light’s vehicle for self-recognition.

One might say God knows itself as the light
through us, through all of us, every being,
every tongue of life that tastes itself.

Life tastes itself in the infinite forms
of light, but what if vision ceased?

Then light tastes itself through thought.

And if the stream of thoughts
some day stops?

Then light is at home
with its Lord.


Hey, ruiner of words, why not settle down
and be quiet for a change, instead of chasing
every whim or notion parading by in front of you?

Your fascination with the play of experience
has grown a bit stale — it’s downright wearying.

You’ve been dancing with costumed phantoms
throughout the night — your own creations.

Blink your eyes. Where are they now?
You’ve been stumbling over your own feet.

Listen: try turning your attention around.
Go all the way back to its source.

Nothing there?
Rest in that.

Just keep resting.

It’s dark now, but dawn is not far away.
Be empty, be ready. Inhale, release.

Soon, soon, the morning’s first bird song
will open into a luminous transparency —
the limitless expanse of your own mind!

There’s nothing to it, just don’t complicate.
You can’t hold on, you can’t let go.

All of your tedious efforts to control
and manipulate — pure futility.

Your bookshelves are straining
under the weight of the blind
leading the blind.

What have you learned?
How to stay blind?

You can get up and walk out
into the freshly falling light.

You can go right now.

You may shiver and stammer,
but it will not harm you.

Spread your arms to receive.
There is mercy, there is grace.

Everything you have ever needed
is waiting for you, patiently.

It’s not in these words,
not in more ideas.

You’ve been searching for safety.
Relax, you are safety itself.


If you realized at all, just for a moment,
how utterly loved you are, you would
collapse to your knees in tears.

Here it is now, the glow of dawn
on the horizon — it’s our time.

I’ll take your hand,
let’s go.