Gautama saw this star

 

Clifton Mack: Jurlurrunha - Morning Star

 

Woken by a shift

in the Earth’s breath,

I sit in silence –

the pre-dawn hush

and my green tea for company.

 

In the east,

over the Pacific,

a bright star soars,

shaking off the shackles of night.

Its brilliance beggars belief.

 

I blink, I bow, a thought flashes:

Never forget that

more than two millennia ago

Gautama saw this star

and knew

 

{ as do you }

 

that nothing needed to be

understood, learned or believed

felt, integrated or expressed

fixed, healed or overcome

dropped or avoided

actioned or attained,

in order that his body’s naked awareness might meet itself

as the morning star.

 

{ Halleluja! }

 


the morning star rises


Image: Painting by Clifton Mack: Jurlurrunha – Morning Star
Clifton Mack is an elder of the Yindjibarndi people whose country is around the Millstream Tablelands in Western Australia’s Pilbara district.
See www.japingka.com


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?


 

breathing with the lake

Here I am.
Sitting in Paradise
breathing.
Breathing the tide of clarity – in it comes
crystal-clear, out it goes,
often muddied by mind –
and I smile as this lifestream flows on
saturating each sensation, yet
paying no heed;
never cocking an eyebrow or casting a vote,
only ever reminding me:
Here I am
I-without-name-or-boundary
here and now
as This, and This and This.


The current version of Paradise finds me staying in a place of great beauty, beside a large lake. This entire year has unfolded as a series of deep retreats. It is a time for, and of, integration. Health issues are being lovingly tended and their emotional causality explored. It’s both harrowing and heart-swelling: Grace delivers whatever is needed, reminding me I signed up for the Full Monty.

Apropos of nothing (I never go fishing) these three small poems landed in my net:


Miriam Louisa Simons, Lake Macquarie, dawn

 

breathing with the lake

I am

Monet-mind beside the Seine

 

 

black swans glide by, curious:

pounding the lakeside path

a rainbow!

 

 

fog hiding the lake

one solitary oarsman

rows through melting space

 


Photograph taken from my zafu.


on the road

 

Brunswick Heads - Soldier Crabs

xlvii

unblinking eyeballs

on the march at low tide

sky-gazers!

[the river mouth at Brunswick Heads, NSW]

 

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos

xlviii

a smokers’ dawn chorus

shatters azure silence

cockies aloft

[near Armidale, NSW]

 

Wellington Caves

xlix

eyeless emptiness

gazes at its ancient artistry:

on the road

to now-here

[Wellington Caves, near Dubbo, NSW]

 


Image credits:
Soldier Crabs by yours truly.
Sulphur Crested Cockatoos from ABC News.
Wellington Caves from juliusbergh.com – see more stunning images of the caves on this blog.


oh how I love being so deluded

 

Andrew Wyeth: Wind from the Sea, detail

 

I was asked to find my mind

and

I failed

I was asked to find my thoughts

and

I failed

I was asked to find my self

and

I failed

 

So then it seemed timely to try to find

the I

that was so successful at failing

 

ha!

it couldn’t be found

yet

it can’t be escaped

 

oh how I love being so deluded

that simply watching words leak out of a pen

can deliver shameless delight!

 


Image: Andrew Wyeth – Wind from the Sea
Tempera on hardboard, 1947, detail
[What moves – the curtain or the wind?]
Source: Washington Post


All writing on this blog leaks from the pen of Miriam Louisa Simons.  Over at my other blog this unlit light, you’ll find more of a smorgasbord of writing, including some of my own.
I chose this WordPress theme for its uncluttered minimalism, and because it’s responsive (i.e., it displays readably on all devices).  All the links that normally appear in a sidebar or footer are hidden behind the menu icon at the top of the page.  If you feel inclined to explore the offerings posted here since 2010, please click that icon.  You’ll also find a way to follow this blog by email there.  I promise you won’t be overwhelmed – emptiness has erratic and unpredictable habits.  Posts turn up.  I marvel.

– mls
Copyright © Emptiness


three spring haiku

Unknown painter: Sparrows singing their hearts out

 

xli

heavy spring showers

my sleeves wet with the world’s tears

how sweet the birdsong!

 

xlii

everything happens

they say it’s ‘for a reason’

I say stop right there

 

xliii

here’s a great secret:

all does not have to be well

to be perfection

 


Ink painting, artist unknown. I suspected Ohara Koson but fail to find attribution.
Let me know if you can read the chop and solve the mystery.


pop goes the poseur

Three mid-winter haiku.

 

Rengetsu - Uji River Teapot Scroll ca1840

 

xxxv

winter in my hut

drafts shivering the rainbows

I sit with my tea

 

xxxvi

thoughts and thinker? wrong

thoughts-thinker-thinking: all one!

pop goes the poseur

 

xxxvii

zafu guru says

two thoughts cannot co-exist

I dive in the gap

 


Painting by RengetsuUji River Teapot Scroll

Source – The Rengetsu Circle