zen moments of the senior kind

Happy Hermit

 

The continuation of the spiritual journey really depends on how crazy we’re willing to be.
– Reggie Ray

I had no idea I’d end up this crazy. Or this contented. Or this fulfilled. Don’t ask me about happiness – it’s a sub-category these days. Imagine being happy to be unhappy? Imagine being contented to feel like shit? Imagine being at peace with pain and weariness? Imagine being ok with depression, flatness, confusion? If this isn’t your version of liberation I totally understand. (We all start out on this journey imagining ‘waking up’ will magically erase all discomfort from our experience.)

But this absurd liberation lives here, and this is what the crazy cow offers tonight: five three-liners of the slightly nonsensical variety. They like to think they are haiku, but would duck and hide in the presence of ‘real’ haiku. Apologies for my warping of noble zen aphorisms, koans and haiku. I mean no disrespect; after all these years they are deeply embroidered in the fabric of this brain and have a life of their own.

My sanity does too. Where the hell did I put it?


old flesh, old bones

on the zafu, aches come and go

just like I used to

~

weary old mind

data flows in, data drops out

plop!

~

music to my ears…

the sound of someone else

chopping

~

puddle on zafu

old cow’s melted-down stories

moo!

~

relentless koan:

what is the sound of my neighbor’s dog

barking?

 

~

 


About the image.  This delightful brush drawing comes from the cover of an exhibition catalogue: L’Au-delà dans l’art japonaise. Paris 1963. Nowhere in the book does it mention the name of the artist whose work is featured on the cover. My instincts tend towards Sengai… what do you think?


 

(it’s not just old age, either)

 

Echoes from Emptiness: Backyard Bauhinia

 
Under a new moon, at the turning of the earth towards summer, I sit at my table out on the deck, the candle flickering as the last stragglers of the bat community head over east, and I, a being once so addicted to “everywhere-but-here”, a global gaddabout of the first order, so easily seduced by salubrious memories of living and working and loving in Europe, North America, India, the Homeland (Aotearoa New Zealand), always ready to go – go – go now, am wallowing in a ridiculous contentment that consumes all desire to spend precious energy fleeing the inexplicable luxury of just this.

How, when my inhalation blesses me with the fragrance of Jasmine, Lavender, Wisteria, Orange and Mango blossom and I am giddy with double delight* at the excessive glory of the huge Bauhinia in my backyard, could I pine for any other clime?

How, when Kookaburra, Currawong, Magpie, uncountable Lorikeets and a host of unidentified cheepers and warblers chorus so insistently at 4am could I wish for a dark, cold, silent dawn elsewhere?

How, when greeted, like this morning, with a sky of powder-blue that throws the Border Ranges and Mount Warning into a chiaroscuro of subtle tones of silver, could I long even for those beloved Alps of my childhood?

I bless the land life has brought me to. It wasn’t my call, and it hasn’t always been easy. But I know beyond a shadow of doubt, it was, and it is, exactly where I need to be.

I am at last able to say – I love I love I love this sunburnt country.

And the weird thing is that it’s not about Australia at all.

I am simply and hopelessly in love.

 


Image by yours truly: Bauhinia blakeana – also known as the Hong Kong Orchid Tree. More info here.
*Treble delight actually – the tree is a dynamo of insect activity, and the Rainbow Lorikeets never draw breath.


“sunburnt country” – lifted from Dorothea Mackellar’s poem: My Country.


just-so, just-this, nothing special

201

The only difference between the wideawake actors in this marvelous movie and those who cling to their ‘roles’ (making them very effective, skilled performers, of course,) is this:  Wideawake actors have grokked the impossibility of any particular person acting – or awakening.  Un-awakened actors haven’t, yet.

Does it matter?

To whom could it matter?

The movie mirage goes on in any event: just-so, just-this, nothing special.

~

the ultimate simplicity

102

I’ve heard it said that awakening is just the beginning
of the work.

 

But I disagree. I found that any notions of work
– in the context of so-called awakening –
only serve to separate one from the simple
Reality that one is.

 

Awakening to this inescapable simplicity
obliterates all concepts of working towards some enlightened state;
it obliterates all notions of enlightenment and of beginnings and endings…

 

Life’s great Light is living Itself without any help from anyone
so who could become more en-Light-ened than they already are?

 

Returning to Life is peace. Again. And again.
This is the ultimate simplicity.

~