Images

Streams of images
reflected in the mirror mind –
all arising and dissolving,
season after season,
perpetually.
 
The habitual reactions:
grasping or avoiding, then
fixation, identification, stress.
 
Just as attention moves
to dwell on any image, any
smoke and shadow puppet-time
play in this haunted house of fantasies,
there is an ordinary ecstasy that begins with
simple recognition and ends in grateful release.
 
Non-dwelling is bliss!
Non-abiding is happiness!
 
It is not the fruit of enormous effort,
clever strategy, or fortunate circumstance.
 
Nor is it dependent on any image of itself
that may appear in the looking glass of mind
as each season follows season, and this
round world spins in space.
 
In the midst of the vast unknown
it shines as heart-bright light, streaming forth
in every direction, illuminating the ten thousand things,
each one of which is composed of that same light,
each one revealed in its jewel-like essence
by the sublime functioning of our true
heart-mind’s innate wisdom.
 
Such transparent wakefulness won’t be found
by looking forward or backward, accepting this
and rejecting that, or trying to modify or improve
on the perfection of this naked present immediacy.
 
Only the most direct recognition liberates.
 
Each season with its flow of images
is then revealed to be a gift to taste
and not a place to dwell.
 
Springtime — behold uncountable
brilliant blossoms miraculously
sprouting on bare branches.
 
I stand in the rain and
hold up my hands.
 
Summer — colorful fruits
ripen in the golden sun.
 
Their sweet juices drip
down my chin.
 
Autumn – withering leaves
scatter and decay across
the cooling forest floor.
 
I ponder the impermanence
of all my cherished images.
 
Winter — descending silently
from a hovering sky, I alight on
this world like a snowflake and melt
back into myself, energy returns
to its root, and everything
rests in peace.
 
Throughout the seasons
one image follows another in the
alternating play of birth, life, and death.
 
Although I freely share in all of it,
I am also its silent witness, and beyond
even that, where no image can ever reach,
nor holy text convey, suffice it to say:
 
I Am.

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