Thursday, May 31, 2012

Crossing the Stream

This is a very beautiful and moving poem about one's quest for that "place" of enduring Peace, great Beauty, and constant Joy far away from the pain and suffering of everyday life. The words and story flow effortlessly onward as the journey unfolds, gripping your attention to the very end. I just had to share this with you. Enjoy!


By Maku Mark Frank

I set out to cross the stream once long ago.
Or maybe it was yesterday.
Funny, time can be like that.
I remember gazing at the other side—
The grassy lowlands beckoning,
The cool, green forest foothills
Rising gently into snowcapped glory ...
I remember wondering of the sights up there—
Above the clouds,
Beyond all worldly cares.
Oh, how I longed to tread that path unseen!
Sloping toward sunlit transcendence ...
But first I had to cross that stream.

I found a raft of four logs lashed together,
Hidden in the reeds there, half submerged.
And though the vessel’s simple nature had me wondering,
That I could see the other side left me assured.
And so I poled my humble raft into deep waters
With thoughts already soaring high above.
And it was clear that I’d gone way too far to turn back
By the time I felt the current’s tug.

Down, down, down the river took me
Till I’d have gladly kissed the ground on either side,
Past sleeping beachside towns and sweeping bayous,
And out into the ocean deep and wide.
Then just as my raft’s lashings were unraveling
And I was wondering what worse fate I could have met
The wind and waves began to rise up
And the sun began to set.

There was a time I thought myself much stronger
With ample will and strength in store,
But down, down, down those waters pulled me
Till I could fight their power no more.
And as I sank into the blackness
I could think of nothing but that shore
From which I’d gazed up at those snowfields
Feeling in need of something more.

And so I died to all I’d once been.
I died as well to all my dreams.
And as I settled on the ocean floor,
I died to every separate thing.
For one last breath I viewed existence,
For one last cold and watery sigh –
Upon the bottom of the ocean
Immersed within a star-filled sky…

There was a time when crossing to the other side
Still seemed as real as each new breath,
Way back when sun and moon, and stream and tide
Were as distinct as life and death,
Before that death to all illusion
There upon the ocean floor,
Before realizing that just this moment
Is the long sought after other shore.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Buddha Space Meditation

Buddha and Peaceful Mediation
Buddha and Peaceful Meditation (Photo credit: Beverly & Pack)

This is a beautiful poem I stumbled upon while researching a particular work by the great Zen scholar and Roshi, D.T. Suzuki. I found it on a wonderful blog named, "Buddha Space", and you can see much more by clicking the title below. There is great Wisdom within these words so please take your time and "see" the Way. Enjoy!


Buddha Space Meditation

Meditating on a daily basis can be a wonderful thing to do. It helps the mind to let go of its pet likes and hates and open up to the way things are right now. It enables awareness to see thoughts as thoughts, emotions as emotions, opinions as opinions, memories as memories, and sensations as sensations. In this plain knowing, identification with these various stimuli is loosened, even completely abandoned, and then the bright nature of the mind - 'Buddha Space' - comes to the fore, lighting up experience with a calm gaze: 

Each moment merges into the next,
falling out of a nothingness
that cannot be grasped
between the whistle of birdsong
and the wind gushing from a fan
that tickles against the skin.

Thoughts are born into clarity,
then pop like mental bubbles
dissipating into the void of now
which is the very Wisdom Eye
of Buddha, forever awakened.

Silence washes everything clean,
an endless ocean of serenity
upon which each mind ship bobs,
before sinking into the depths
of this glorious flowing expanse.
Happily submerged in the deep.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Humble Life as a Warrior

Last night was a truly rewarding and incredible Agreement with the Way I choose to Accept whatever comes into my life and the corresponding Action I choose to employ. Since I am Blessed with Awakening to and Living in a beautiful Paradise on a few acres in the Texas Hill Country, my ventures to the multifaceted Wonders and incredible beauty of San Marcos, TX are intentionally limited to twice each week for my mandatory physical therapy at the gym and to take care of personal business. One night each week I go to a favorite place of mine to have dinner and drinks with a dear friend. After she leaves, I always stay around to visit with the wonderful young friends I have made there and inevitably, to meet and make more friends with these incredibly respectful, intelligent, and surprisingly Wise (at least in a few cases) Texas State University students. Last night was a particularly interesting, incredibly heart-warming, and afterwards, quite important and rewarding one of these Ad-ventures.

When I finished with the sincere and loving good-byes at my favorite place, my next stop was my truck outside. As I headed for my vehicle, there was a heated exchange going on between a young man and a beautiful young lady. I immediately stopped and was prepared to move quickly to her aid, if necessary, when they saw me. The young man being aggressive realized my intention and quickly reassured me, along with the young lady and another young man with them, that everything was fine. As I approached them, the one watching the "heated conversation" remembered me from a time in the past when we had sat together inside, visiting over a beer. He assured them that I was not only "cool" but had a lot of Wisdom. I was very humbled and honored to hear him describe me in this way and went on to calm them down from the excitement using a brief guided meditation technique. After a few deep breaths while showing them how to shake off the stress in their upper bodies, everyone was relaxed and clear-minded. All was well! The young man who remembered me wanted to meet inside soon for conversation - an honor to me. The young lady hugged me and thanked me for coming to her aid - an honor and a pleasure indeed. The "angry" young man ask me if we could visit awhile, which I happily agreed to, and told his friends to go ahead without him for now. He felt comfortable with me and shared a lot about his life. All was very personal and much of it was obviously painful. This really helped me to understand his behavior earlier and to share some insight about the importance of remaining calm. This surprised him some because he had been ask to lower his voice while talking to two prospective employers earlier in the day. We had a very enjoyable conversation. He then received an important call and had to go so we parted company. He said that he was eager to meet again very soon to share more and to learn about me.

This is just an example of what I do - my Purpose here. My Destiny is to Serve others and to show them as best I can, Who they Are, What they must Do (Not- Do), and, hopefully, to get them started on their own Path with Heart back Home to their True Nature. This is the my vastly rewarding life - the life of a true Warrior. A Way of Wisdom for which I have paid an unspeakable price to achieve. I would never give It up, though, even if that meant getting my leg back and becoming whole again from my extremely rare form of quadriplegia which affects my entire body with varying levels of paralysis and clumsiness yet allows me to walk with great effort. I Must stay Mindful of everything happening within me physically, mentally, emotionally, and Aware of my proximity to insure that I maintain my Balance and know for sure where each step is landing. Never a dull moment for! I truly love this challenging life and the infinite Blessings that continuously showering me with immense Joy, Laughter, and Beauty while increasingly allowing me to "See" past the Veil of Ego-self and into the Infinite Wonders and Wisdom of our True Nature.