Though one may experience the idea of freedom,
lingering in such daydreams is mistaking
imagination for the real thing.
I may have wasted the wise instructions
of my teachers, but any regret now
merely feeds the barking dogs
of self-absorbed delusion –
true freedom is found in non-dwelling.
Just so, I haven’t visited any abattoirs of late,
but I’ve rarely seen anything more disturbing
than the attitudes generated from entrenched
political and religious beliefs, nor anything
more appalling than dispositions spawned
from the furnace of emotional reactivity.
To these, I apply the reliable healing balm
of heart-felt service in the same manner raindrops
funnel down spring’s green leaves to moisten
the ground of compassion and nourish
the tender roots of loving kindness.
Undone from the distraction of purposefulness,
I carefully mix and meld subtle hints from the wise,
stirring cool clear water in a bowl with no sides.
Everything that appears conducts a current
of various energies, expressing itself as
the dance of complementary chaos and order,
implicating nobody, but confusing almost everyone.
Abandoning victimhood is a crucial preliminary
to appreciating life for all that it is and can be.
In the poignant ballet of impermanence,
there is no independent person, cause, or condition.
Relax – we’re all in this together!
Still, who can say anything meaningful
about loving kindness these days,
or maybe more to the point:
who can explain why we’re so easily
angered and offended by each other when
we’re mainly here to learn how to love?
Whether on the killing floor of envy and loathing,
or in blissful repose at the crown of the lotus,
the clown who discerns the empty and luminous nature
of their very own mind sports a sizzling sombrero
filled with the divine molecules of genuine selflessness.
Such an utterly useless fool waltzes through the market
with nothing to buy or sell, perhaps pausing along the way
to tell children tall tales, enthralling and amusing them
with delightful nonsense that they will always remember.
In any case, Friends, isn’t this how it goes:
those who are grateful get more to be grateful about,
while those who complain find more cause to complain?
No nonsense there – whatever we’re given,
we can always say “Thank you!”
Likewise, no matter what may appear,
recognizing our own chronic resistance
is more than enough to keep us humble.
If we’ve come to revel in the Mystery,
then what are we still seeking for
or always trying to hide?
And what’s the big deal with just being still
in the swarming light of this staggering Shine?
If I really paid attention, I might realize that
everything – yin and yang, light and dark,
existence and non-existence — is nothing
but innocent play of the Great Perfection.
How amazing that there is anything at all!
A timeless radiant Presence to which no words apply
is standing right in your shoes, beating your heart,
breathing your breath, and looking out in awe
through your own two eyes!
Astonishing, isn’t it?
In any case, in every place, may everything I do
in body, speech, and mind serve others.
When we’re seeing clearly, there are no others.
That’s what I call service! Some may call it love.
Whatever it’s called, don’t think twice – just be it!
And while we’re at it, let’s try to do no harm!
Clinging to nothing, in love with everything,
I humor myself with chirp-like songs of Yes
to the marvel and glory of this ordinary wonder
while whistling along on my way, Hey Ho —
whistling along on my way!

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