Friday, September 14, 2012

Haunted Dharma

When I came upon this tree awhile back, I couldn't help but stop and take a few pictures of it. With its bare limbs raised in the air, and almost everything around it dead as well, it's the perfect image of our repetitive, habit driven minds.

Chan Master Sengcan, in his great dharma poem Xinxinming, wrote "When you try to stop activity, your very efforts fill you with activity."

So, we have a quandary, don't you think? There's the mind dipping back into the past over and over again, bringing forth the same old muck, same old ways of acting and believing. And then there's this line, reminding us that suppression only brings more activity - and I'd say haunted activity at that.

Take a haunted house. How the spirit of someone that lived there, or spent time there in the past, now clings to the walls and floorboards, unable to let go of whatever it was that had happened there. Having no peace itself, the ghost fills the entire house, and everyone in it with dis-ease. It's a miserable existence, being trapped between incarnations, and also caught between the desire for liberation and the itchiness of recreating old misery.

In a way, all of us are like this at least some of the time. Some old event or dysfunctional way of acting or thinking arises and, instead of breathing into it and letting it be as it is, we pour ourselves into it, until we become like a forest filled with dead trees.

I aspire to be the forest in all of it's manifestations.


Jeanne Desy said...

I certainly had a childhood under alcoholic parents that left me tormented - and not a day that I don't hear my father say one of the things he said, for instance, "You're no goddamn good and you never will be."

This is, however, much much better than it was when he died in 1997. Do you know the calligraphy Bill Kwong, I think it is, does: Breath sweeps mind? Over and over. At the same time, I'm afraid we are stuck with our history in this body as long as we are in it.

Algernon said...

And I find this tree beautiful.

Anonymous said...

The Law of Force

full spectrum sheen on the slick oil
anointing the heads of runaway overflow
gushing tiger blood in the halls of the Vatican
caressed by the lust for screaming witches
smashed together and burned alive
thrashed and trashed or recycled
in the name of our Sweet Lord
stashed the cash under statue of Baphomet
and stuffed like Christmas goose
in mouth of John the Baptist’s severed head
with pronounced Cymatic registration
for Logos tuning forked tongues and tails
haunted by echos of the Superuser marching down
the command line interfaces of death
with hot sticky breath chasing fogged sunglasses
worn at night with red shoes for dancing
black and blue Skyline racing invisible sunlight
wrapped tight so the bedbugs wont bite the white wall tires
like termites in the root access directory structure
punctured by the fangs of our Sweet Lord
who maketh all the young girls lie down
and wait for sweet rape in the tall grass
squeezed like grapes and a piece of ass
fermenting still waters into cyclone tsunami
wine bottle tidal wave killing punani
with the jammy that listens to the way we slay
bad brains damaged by raiding black flags
nailed to the crossbones under crystal skulls
trailed to lost homes of child sacrifice
in the name of our Sweet Lord