(I wrote these pieces two years ago, in December of 2009.)


Old Tiger:
stick your head in its maw to ask the question
what is my 'true self' (honshin)

Making snowmen, lumps of coal for eyes
carrot for a nose:
broomstick to sweep away false deluded mind --
What fun at night, to hear the wind howling in the deep eaves!

Twin owls with wide slow-blinking eyes
sit utterly alert while ice shatters on the tin roof:
Clear Zen, before there was ever a Buddha

My Way is eccentric
neither master nor student:
just a person pretending to be crazy
so he can merge with mountains and clouds.
You won't hear of me anywhere you ask
my name won't appear on the lists of great lamas, tulkus, roshis --
you'll find me along the riverbank
sitting the warm grass, playing my flute.

"Sit down on your mat, shut your eyes, empty your mind, and attain satori." This is the Way. There are no shortcuts.

The Guru is your own clear mind.

The Rainbow Body is just this body when directly perceived and experienced as energy, a resonance in the Infinite.

The simple delight of washing your feet and sitting down on your mat in a beautiful grove with "nothing on your mind" -- this is Buddhism.

Layman Pang had a straw raincoat once
but he gave it to an itinerant monkey:
sufferings arise from a big blue empty sky

This tweet is a Zen tweet asking you to think deeply on "three pounds of flax" and "dry shit on a stick." That Ummon was a real bastard!

My life has been filled to brimming over with what Gurdjieff termed "meetings with remarkable men [and women]."

"Great doubt will produce great enlightenment. Small doubt, small enlightenment. Constant doubt, constant enlightenment. No doubt --"

Move your eyes in a slightly different way and a different world appears. Try it! Awakening tastes like cold rain. The desert smells fresh.

Rin Pyō Tō Sha Kai Jin Retsu Zai Zen

Shugyo is "doing." It shatters talk, and talkative "thoughts," leads to great bliss, supreme insight, and magically awakened clarity.

riding a white tiger on the winds
shooting arrows into Mount Sumeru
Cloud Dharma, Rain Dharma, Thunderbolt Dharma

To be able to remain always in a deeply mysterious, amused state of energetic surprise -- this is what Taoist masters could do easily.

Mind in its original state has the basic nature of being self- liberated from any and all "phenomena," up to Buddha, Zen, enlightenment.

Recall looking down at a river from an airplane. Though water may "take days" to get from one part to the other, you see it all at a glance.

Reaching the state of "non-effort" may require much "effort" to bypass habitual states of being and learn to "be empty, hollow like bamboo."

The Infinite Light of Realization is beaming from a spot between Amida Buddha's brows, and it permeates all "matter," all time and space.

Matter is just congealed qi/it's a slightly coarser form of light/your illumination is all over the sky: look at the full moon, your body

my writing leaves no traces anywhere
clear light shone from the pregnant moon
tonight the trees rain ice

on the Internet we've realized the great dream of writing on and with light

sunk in deep awareness
suddenly realizing the Trackless One
Avalokiteshvara wiped away the last smudges of his footprints in clear space

banging the vast empty sky like a drum it's refreshing to drink clear water

Buddha holds snow in his mudra:
Awake Everywhere, Bodhi Svaha!
No path, no goal, no realization --
crows sitting on blue sky-shoulders

Highest Yoga Siddhi is to become a boring normal person

"Storehouse of lightning in the pattering rain"
Heart shugyo unlocks the Great Potential:
Manjusri's seed syllable makes the sky go BONG

Paper covers rock, rock shatters scissors, scissors cut paper -- but what can you ever do to vast empty space?

"One with the Buddhas, infinite":
a stone water cistern flecked with green moss
in the morning sky, raucous crows chanting "form is empty"

in "deep prajnaparamita" (nonconceptual samadhi) there are no "things" at all, no separateness -- coming out, things appear only as "empty"

"Tasting lightning bolts, riding rainclouds"
I wake up to white frost, mist hiding the mountains

shatter any mind that does coming and going/waves breaking on Big Sur/jewels of foam

My grandmother was a great Bodhisattva, sublime as Kannon!
when she held my hand to lead me down the stone path, I became a Buddha

taking my sword out onto the hoar-frost stiff grass
sparring my own wild shadow:
the fir trees exhale Great Doubt, inhale Pure Mind

keen-eyed sparrow
hops on a stone
- cold mountains dawning brilliant today

Cold wind scouring infinite mountains
from everywhere, "cries of suffering people"
waking up to scent of plum blossoms, the spring breeze

"Gradual Realization" utterly useless both in Sword-Practice and Shugyo
someone attacks intending harm, no time for anything but Empty

No Path, No Realizer, No Realization!
Lightning Quick Kannon had the "first and last word" -- Buddha just sat there like a dunce!

We've both been in this Dhyana from the deepest beginning
never moved even an inch
two great mossy rocks, above the clouds!

Is it full yet? Maybe a hair's breadth away from full?
What the fuck does it matter?
Bright moon, vast Starry Sky

No path, no realizer, no Realization
no enemies, no obstructions, no "walls in the mind"
Enlightenment, just seeing the full moon

Bodhi heart is a sparkling Lotus sprung from endless Affliction
dead karma blossoming like a pear twig in Spring
Birds warbling to Chenzrig

On the way up, ice-waterfalls:
on the way down, blue sky.
Difficult to choose!

Fir trees holding up the fog
Great Void dawning as sunlight
naked clouds:

Cedars are green. My tea-bowl has a black glaze. Some notes on the flute are "darker" than others. Life is just doing "moving calligraphy."

The vast clear sky doesn't have north, south, east, west anywhere in it, and Buddha went beyond all concepts, became what can't be limited.

Everything in motion, no matter how you try to be "still"
body, mind, breathing, posture --
quick as lightning, changing faster than a dream

When you sit silently and all alert
dropping the ki down into your hara,
great like a mountain
-Nothing happens! Wonder! Cedars are green.

Heart Nectar of all the Buddhas!
Cinnabar, gold, and the note "RO" on my bamboo flute
Everybody, taken aback, sits deeply like a mountain

All oneness "is"
Yes! What else could it be?
warbling birds jump around on the bare rocks
far above a white cloud-ocean

Self is partless. It is infinite and extremely subtle. So the sword cannot cut It, fire cannot burn It, wind cannot dry It. ~ Bhagavad Gita

Another way of saying it: If you do not truly feel that you are inhabiting hell, no reason to go "all out," so no result.

"No path, no realizer, no realization!"
Kannon really laid it on the line, didn't he?
Does it move from left to right, or West to East?

Eyelids awake, clouds dissolving in a dream -- the heart of a Bodhisattva is empty like bamboo. "Who" exists to misunderstand?

Nothing to realize, no path" is just what "we" are, deepest mind-substance, clear. Frost melting from the fir-trees. Muga mushin.

Who somebody happens to be a re-incarnation of interests me much less than melting frost crackling as it rains down from a Douglas fir.

Sit silent and alert watching breathing and body-sensations as "ringing of empty space." Blow so loudly on a flute you hurt your eardrums.

self is void, malicious energy is void, wild accusations are void, teachings are void, shiki soku ze ku, ku soku ze shiki

Would you know Bodhidharma as a Master if he glared at you?

"Dharma Teachers who try to project malice
are like fire-demons trying to eat snowflakes -
Doesn't really work!"

"O Sariputra! Form is Void, Voidness is Form! Not a speck of difference!"

"One note on a bamboo flute clears the sky of dark clouds. A golden rooster sings."

"How are you going to cut Voidness? Do you own a sword sharp enough for that? Here, take mine!"

your body is a Dharma treasure
your mind the pure ringing of Voidness:
if somebody rushes to destroy you, slap them down without thinking

training the body, mind appears bright and whole
training the mind, body rests calmly, flexible and at ease

no partial views:
wind playing with clouds like a child with new toys

unobstructed mind can ring or not ring, just as it happens:
wind chimes don't change their nature just because there's no wind

the one who knows the ringing isn't near:
the one who laughs about it isn't far:
sit at your ease, forget about achieving anything!

rest your mind in no-mind,
refresh yourself in the no-self:
seeing night and day with the same eyes
whoever said a word about dark or light?

light rises spontaneously -- the clear brow of Krishna
a tiger prowls through the dark forest ringing with sounds

Sinking into the hara
the Gateway to Vastness creaks wide:
clouds enveloping mountains
mountains embracing clouds

True teacher is anyone who introduces you to your true self
: be patient and kind no matter what and the teacher will find *you*

In a state "before thoughts," *before* you've broken down All That Appears into separate objects for analysis (this is what "mind" does) -"What are you?"

A jade mosquito settles on a wooden man. Bzzt.

"Buddhism" was invented by the very buffoons Guatama failed to Enlighten.

Think back to 2 seconds before the "universe" was born. Be that. If you can, Zen.

Argue with me about where the best green tea comes from/let's leave Mahavairocana out of it

Three pounds of flax/Breaking the mountain barrier/clouds obstruct the valley entrance yet birds wing through

All the Dharma Hall reveals is your own Light:/cold wind clicks the mountain gate/Buddha is ten billion aeons old today

Drop obsessive thinking and your clear nature miraculously appears: the moon soars above mists and clustering fir trees

The so-called phenomenal world of "objects" is the "magical display of mind" -- "magical mentation" -- for there are *no such things* ! The physical world does not "exist" except as a buzz of energetic appearance, and the energy is a pure and lazy manifestation of Mind Nature, like a tiger mother licking her cubs

Clear mind clinging to the same rock for a thousand years/blooming like a sunflower in empty space

"Dead people doing Dharma, Dharma is dead./A branch scratching a windowpane/a dog skeleton howling Mu/Right now, are you alive?"

I wouldn't trust Manjusri with a dung bucket, and as for Ananda, the less "said" about his supposedly great memory, the better!

Sometimes Yunmen confused West and East:/he was blind as a bat and couldn't read the sutras/but he knew all about "dried shit on a stick"

Tiger Mother doesn't have paths or ideas:/doesn't know a thing about Enlightenment/ -- she's content to just lie there licking her cubs

Gurus, roshis, mahasiddhas and all their students turned suddenly into stone:/dry grass frozen by the woodpile

"Your bodies and minds are just appearances within the wonderful, bright and pure Profound Mind."

the moon rising in a dream:/who says it's a dream?

the moon's halo loves the night too

The "immovable" mind is the Whole Universe before it has been cut up into "things" or even into past present and future.

Nirvana is where concepts stop. Like a fire going out in the rain.

your reflection -- does it appear in the mirror or in your mind?

where do notions such as negative or positive appear or mean anything at all, outside of mind?

so what is this mind, right? but when you ask "what is" you're looking at mind as object, not as the source of the question "what is it"?

what is the mind that isn't an object of its own question because it isn't and has never been an object (but instant perceiving of objects)

the original state "before-thought" (not without thought) is before all subject and objects and questions, this is the enlightened state

if buddhist sutras sometimes point to this state, wonderful! if not, who cares? "nothing to argue, nothing to prove -- relax"

to put it yet another way, what am I originally but a field of pure awareness (before thinking I, mine, this body, this life, this mind &c)

confusing this field with any of the phenomena that might appear in or to it could be said to be the source of mental anguish (Dukkha)

the field of awareness is not a thing and it is really just open vast and empty, it's clear light mind, it's luminosity as such

it's the inner hearer, seer, and knower -- the Noble Witness, the Deep One

You can't hide being awake or not being awake. It's instantly evident to everybody and even to yourself.

Even in the dark everything is still shining in that subtle clear way. Wide awake. Look at your eyes in a mirror. Are you awake? Eyes tell.

"Like ten thousand lamps shining in a single room."

All the Masters agree that you should go "beyond" thinking. In the bare darkness of meditation there will be a sudden brilliance.

All the Masters agree that it can't be reached, or even intuited, by thinking.

cutting the root of ego-delusion:/subduing all thoughts like a true warrior -- /empty sky shining with mind-brilliance

never having to re-incarnate/just seeing it naked and clear
the temple's so old and dark/the incense has crumbled/the sutras are chewed to strips/and the rats are enlightened
a boat moves in the frozen reeds:/a little girl is clapping her hands while her father sings
let's meet where the starry sky sheds its last drop of light
frost-stiff bamboo leaves clicking together/in between long silences:/last summer feels like another life

Siddhartha cut his hair, left home by night:/came back years later, radiant --/his father didn't recognize him

a full moon gleams in the star-sea --/rats scratching and nibbling on the Buddha's words

the old temple is still falling apart:/rat-droppings punctuate the sutras

it's beautiful not to be enlightened/rowing in the mist

seeing moon and bright stars in a dream:/not worrying about is this a dream or not/ --ah!

after all moonlight isn't moonlight, and even sunlight is just "light" which could come from anywhere

going downstairs to sit in the moonlight:/oh wonder!

trying to sleep through a cold night/-- frost sparkling on the rooftops:/the bright moon and stars keep waking me up

shutting the wicker gate:/too sleepy to look up at the bright moon and stars!

accepting not being enlightened, forgetting praise and blame:/buddha shining as the vast blue sky

seeing the bright moon and stars:/who can question?/not seeing, who can blame?

Experiencing is the startling function of a boundless essence.
Essence of reality cannot be what one experiences as reality.
Essence of mind cannot be what one experiences as mind.

the eye itself is an optical illusion/tigers prowl the forest without thinking about it

buddhas-gone-into-hiding/praising and blaming people/dragging it out through endless hell-aeons -- /water frozen in the pail overnight

the full moon in a dream/looking bigger than usual:/someone explained "it's an optical illusion"/someone else said "everything is like that"

enlightenment is basically yourself

The Zen thing to do, today or any day, is to practice direct non-conceptual meditation -- and "sink into the Empty, the Infinite."

"dreams don't come from the state of awake-ness,/and awake-ness never gets lost in dreams"

possibility doesn't chain up infinity;/infinity doesn't preclude possibility --/going beyond them both, Buddha's face carved in gold

life after life:/just the pure essence of mind/-- melting frost, a bird warbles clearly
seat of all the buddhas:/ before past, after future/ -- the setting sun makes the mountain glow

Master Shiva arrives wearing a tiger-skin/third eye ablaze like a sun/he dissolves it all into mist/then whirls it into bright forms again

beating the universe drum stretched tight over no-thing

a spider's web hardened by night frost:/where did the spider go?

this morning Master Keizan shows up/to explain what Buddha "really meant"/yet doesn't utter a single word/ -- we both gaze out at the mist

neither born nor dying/never having clung to a word in the sutras/a spider's web glitters with night frost

From the intuitive (sometimes called the "spiritual") point of view, there is nothing that needs to be added to the world. It's good as is.

I was a woman in a future life

The spirit medium fell down foaming at the mouth,/then began to speak in the clear voices of the dead./Everybody had tears in their eyes.

Don't let the shaman drink too much chang:/last year's ritual was a big disappointment

Sake! Drums! Flute! Tiger-Spirit will dance tonight.

Tonight Master Keizan brings the firewood,/Ikkyu brings the sake:/If only Master Kunley would keep it buttoned up in his pants!

Grasping mind extinguished,/this physical world is all there is!/Ignorance, Enlightenment -- all one big pathetic delusion.

"bowing deeply my Awareness does not bow: straightening, my Awareness does not straighten!" -- try it 10 minutes a day, this is clear Zen

"frost melts anyhow, no need to strain: night and day are both seen with the same eyes"

Yoginis and yogis realize the Deep One --/the Noble Witness --/but what about just putting on your damp swimsuit and going down to the lake?

Night Zen, scarcely breathing/a window glitters with frost

Any old oracle will do.

The Dharma Body is every body.

Planting flowers on a rock/trying to cause rain in outer space:/ -- Mind Essence sloughs off your "Great Realization," don't even bother

Even in dreams you are awake.

stick your head in the tiger's maw/inhale the roar

Walking up to the temple/every footstep is a sky/the emptiness accumulates like rain in a bucket
Listening the rain: it's unconstructed, just as it is, no foolishness!

Ikkyu got satori hearing the explosive CAW of a crow;/wrote poems about sitting around masturbating /shit, imagine if His Holiness did that!

Every day just try sitting still as your Original Self:/not grasping at anything/ just letting what comes come, what goes go

Master Keizan is right here now --/I greet him with tears in my eyes

the Self Nature isn't apart from sound and form:/still, sounds and forms don't empty it

night Zen/: just sitting stable and serene, mouth contemplating eyes/even when silent, the bell shivers -- hear it?

the sky loves blue

you resound in me

"The bamboo leaf has miraculous powers/rain drops slide off it like pearls!"

If all the Buddhas and sages are in your heart like fresh rain, what do you care how others think about you?
Pick up your begging bowl if you're hungry. Once you've eaten, wash your feet and sit on your mat to meditate. "Don't know" mind.

"Don't know." Sink into an orgy of notknowing. Become like the tiger on a Japanese screen -- wicked, glorious, doesn't know it's painted on.

Grasping at Satori or Realization or Direct Insight might take the form of comparing it to others' similar, or trying to "know" what it was.

Grasping at kensho might also take the form of compulsive attempts to "recreate the moment." But it's gone. Gone totally beyond.

The hardest thing for one who gets an instantaneous realization (kensho, satori, wu) is to stop grasping -- not to grasp at the realization.

If you are reading this, know I have just now said a deep secret mantra for you, and you will receive a bright and clarifying mind energy to enlighten all beings.

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