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This poem and others are available in my books, Nothing Works: Meditations on Aikido, Buddhism, the Tao, Zen, and other inconsequential things....and, Nothing Special, and Nothing Matters..., available thru Amazon.com, in print and Kindle editions and Barnes & Noble websites.....Also available as an e-book via Smashwords.com. Try this link: www.nothing-works.com for the full array of options.
How many times are you going
to read all this stuff?
I mean, you always read stuff.
When does it end?
Are you that much smarter, now?
And you are always doing those weird things,
you know, martial arts and meditation stuff.
Well, I could say it is a process.
I am ignorant.
I am trying to learn how to BE
So, I read and read.
Yeah, I get that.
But, when does it end?
Think of it as a ladder, or,
if you are older, like me, an escalator.
One day I will no longer need to climb.
I will just sit
Just sit and be still
Bypassing all the learning
Bypassing all the processes
Actually trying to unlearn all my learning
To be unwise, as it were
And, BE there -- actually, be HERE
That's what all this is about?
Well, yes and no.
Don't give me that mystical mumbo-jumbo.
I'm not trying to, but it's hard to explain.
Being-in-the-world is just the beginning.
It is merely a transition
Well, I'm sure when I reach that place
I will not have the words to explain it.
It is a non-verbal state, after all.
Perhaps then, we both could just sit
and converse in silence, and be unwise
Please take me to the far shore
I cannot reach it alone
The Promised Land beckons
Please, help me!
Movement gives the illusion of progress
Am I progressing, Master?
I breathe in the incense
I purge myself
Wait till the last sentient creature
In the universe is enlightened?
That's a really long time!
How do I know I've reached Buddhahood?
In whatever I do?
I have to break myself?
How do I do that?
Can't you just give me the
That sadness of being human Mono no aware
The reality of life
Reflecting back on all the years
All the lost years
If I could go back to my youth
And explain, caution
Be kind, be gentle, be human
To yourself and others
I told someone once
That I didn't think people
Become fully human
Till they are at least forty
But, I don't suppose some people
Ever become fully human
Regardless of their age
Tears of things past
A weary perspective
That gives me pause
But little comfort
Before enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water
After enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water
Why bother, then?
The actions are the same
But, how you do them
How you feel about them