Archive for the Crazy Zen Wisdom Category

Tears of Sorrow, Tears of Joy…(I just can’t stop crying).

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Poetry, Zen on October 19, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

Ten Thousand days and nights;

the best of luck

and worst of judgement

compounding

exhilarating risks,

great moments of defeat

and success alike

all much too real,

my soul too tender

to allow

them close enough

to either wound,

or fill me up

with too much pride,

I anesthetized myself

with jaded sarcasm,

cynical perspectives

and aggressive intimidations

fueled by

unrealistic expectations

(…and the very best of drugs)

that money could buy

within a life so privileged

as to be blind

to the misfortune

born to others

or to

those caused to others

by my own selfish means

by which I achieved

almost everything that I desired.

Dead friends, dead lovers,

dead family members,

dead spouses

and dead pets alike;

broken promises,

hearts and dreams…

accolades, applause, abuse,

admiration and awards alike,

early on I realized

that if I opened up that door

of emotion

for just the briefest

interval of Planck time,

that like Pandora’s Box

once opened,

would make no difference if

left opened wide or closed,

I would never be the same.

It would be easier to put the smoke

back in the cigarette

than to forget

what I had done and seen

or in some cases,

even where or who I was

when I had been….

whatever it was

that I had been….

Endless rituals

of stimulants,

narcotics,

and anesthetics

of every flavor and stripe

depending upon my

position on the wave

I rode

while surfing my bi-polar seas,

no matter whether

hero or villan,

felon, friend,

or fiend,

the method of my madness

played out

upon whatever stage

it was that I was going through…

Until the End.

Another ten thousand days and nights ago

(yet at the very same time)

I started down another path

that would lead me to

what was called

The Bodhisattva Way.

When what had seemed

to be parallel lines

did finally cross,

both Joy and Sorrow

Desire and Disappointment,

Lust and Despair

were everywhere,

no matter where I looked.

Devoid of blinders, filters, masks or muzzles,

the brilliance of the simplest of pleasures,

joys, or indulgences

were as blindingly, brilliantly intense

as new vision

to one who has never seen.

While the ignorance, greed, and hatred

once taken for granted

as “part of doing business”

now made me gasp

as if to take my breath away.

Vices that had once been

my stock and trade

were now reviled

and regretted

when recognized in others…

I had lived in the camp of the enemy

and learned his methods,

but could no longer make

his ways as mine.

There was a time when

no matter how much I got,

nothing was ever good enough…

Now almost nothing

is plenty.

No longer fettered and blinded by privilege

or jaded by unremorseful greed

and narcissistic self-indulgence,

the simplest of kindnesses or joys

now give me pause, as if to choke

as I am overcome

by pure and simple Compassion

and Empathy,

once overlooked,

now the most precious

of experiences,

as Love is on the lips

of every blade of grass

that sings

to the Song of the Wind

as it blows through the trees

drowning out the voices

of all the teachers,

Bodhisattvas and Buddhas alike.

Tears of Joy,

Tears of Sorrow…

Are they different

or are they the same?

In the ever-present

never-present,

present moment,

we ride the three-hundred

mile an hour train,

where only your mind is moving

and before thoughts,

before words,

you already know.

Namasté

नमस्ते

 

 

 

Chazz Vincent

Friday, the Thirteenth

of October, 2017

When Will You Stop Hurting Yourself?

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Love, N o Escape, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Poetry on July 22, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

 

 

 

You still don’t understand…

Happiness is a choice.

 

 

 

Stop and think about it…

Do you know anyone

who gets offended

or takes exception

to your actions or words

or interprets your thoughts

with the malice

you find in others?

Do you think it works

any better for them?

 

 

 

No wonder

you defend yourself

first

before you listen.

 

 

 

If you believed that you were worthy

of Love

You would find it easier

to believe

in the Love

others extend to you.

 

 

 

Forgive yourself first.

A generous heart

beats within you,

awaiting only

your permission

to love yourself.

 

 

You have to befriend yourself

to recognize a friend.

You cannot

reject others

to prevent

the pain of rejection.

 

 

 

Oblivion

does not prevent

Loneliness;

one must  prime the pump

with good faith

to drink from the well

of happiness.

 

 

 

If you fear heartbreak

You cannot love deeply.

If you love fearlessly

and your heart

is broken,

as it opens

and you lean into the pain,

your capacity to love

increases,

as well as your appreciation

and gratitude.

 

 

 

A broken heart re-forged

in the heat of fearless love

grows stronger still.

A tiny heart of glass,

once broken

can only cut

and leave you bleeding,

afraid to love again.

 

 

 

Just because you are afraid

to open your eyes

does not mean you are blind,

but until you choose

to open them

you will never know the difference.

 

 

 

If you do not choose

happiness

you not only hurt yourself;

you break the connection

between yourself

and the entire Universe.

 

 

 

That which diminishes

the life

of any of us

injures and limits

the lives of everyone.

 

 

 

You can either choose

to love fearlessly

and joyously

embrace the suffering

inherent

to living

your life,

or live in fear

of being hurt,

which is to say

to hurt not only yourself

but also

all those

whom you deny.

 

 

 

The choice is yours.

 

 

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

07/22/2017

Change is not Hard. Change is not Easy. Change is not Slow. Change is not Fast.

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Poetry, The Liberation Through Hearing, Zen on June 2, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

If you swim against the tide

you will drown.

So also,

if you try to force your will

in resisting what is,

you will fail.

You alone

are no match

for the entire universe.

It takes Wisdom to see

the ebb and flow of

what is and what

will be.

You cannot even slow

the force

of a single ocean wave

though your ego and pride

may be as large

as all the seas

combined,

but if you surf,

neither you nor the wave

are Master;

in surfing

you become one.

Change is not slow.

When your heart resists

what your thinking mind

convinces you

must be,

no change will come.

Put it down.

Put down all resistance.

Change

comes

with enlightenment,

like lightning…

Who can rush either?

Acceptance of what is

Here and Now

will show you

your Dharma action

from Nowhere

to Now Here

as we ride

the Three-Hundred

Mile-an Hour Train

that never leaves

and never arrives

because it is already

Here.

Inside the train

only your mind is moving.

If you stop fighting your mind,

in that one clear, thin moment

where all existence

dwells

in empty space

as thick as molasses,

Infinity

folds back upon itself

and all things

having returned

to the One

now

return

to

Zero.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

05/02/2017

But Now I Just Don’t Know

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Poetry, Zen on June 1, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

Despite my efforts

to stop

this eternally

chattering mind,

in understanding

that to open my mouth

to speak,

I was already wrong,

I still clung to the idea

that somehow

just the right words

might make things right,

or somehow

change the world

to better suit my visions or desires.

Foolish notions

creating opposites.

Egotistical desires

spawning arguments.

Wasted efforts

creating

too much noise

to let you hear

the Truth

all by yourself.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

05/31/2017

I Can See Your House from Here (Haiku)

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Poetry, That was Zen, and this is Tao, The Rain Dance on May 27, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

Time and Time again,

those who sought in vain

to capture my attention

were those who tried to

talk me down from off

the ledge in my hour of need.

xoxox

It never worked.

It never will.

Understanding not

what it is that brings me here

to this lofty perch.

xoxox

Observing what goes

unexamined by

those all too preoccupied

by thoughts beyond their control

within lives run by

thinking constantly.

Minds chattering so loudly

they cannot hear their feelings

even if their souls should speak,

I can see your house from here.

xoxox

Out on this ledge

thin as Here and Now

Music is so very loud

you can’t hear your thinking mind;

Feeling is all you can do.

xoxox

I did not come here to jump

I am here to dance

out on this high edge.

Do not try to talk me down

from off of my ledge.

Come up and join me

in my special place

where my Music never ends.

xoxox

We can dance here day and night

naked jaybirds if we please

keeping us warm in Winter,

drying us after Spring rains,

tans celebrate Summer sun,

we can dance until the Fall.

xoxox

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

05/27/2017

The Ubiquitous Mr. Wu

Posted in Buddhism, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, That was Zen, and this is Tao on May 13, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

 

 

wu-wei

I originally posted this almost two years ago; I was reminded of it just now, and thought I would share it.

As a surname, he appears in numerous references to fictional and non-fictional characters ranging from the Chinaman in the TV series “Deadwood”, to the songs of George Formby, or even “Dr. Wu” by Steely Dan.

It is a very common name in China, as well as an informal category for a form of Chinese spoken in the Wu Provence of China.

Depending upon the dialect, the Chinese word for “No” can be pronounced “Wú”, or “Bú”. In Japanese or Korean, it is translated as “Mu”.

“Mu” is also a key element in Zen Buddhism.

The Buddha stated that “All things have Buddha-nature” despite the fact that he also allegedly stated immediately after his own birth that “…from the heavens above to the earth below, only I am holy.”

! is also the enigmatic emphatically negative response to the question in Zhaozhou’s answer (he is called Jo-Ju in Korean) in the Zen Koan that asks whether or not the dog has Buddha-Nature. It is often listed as the first of the Ten Gates.

Mu is also sometimes translated as “Pure human awareness, prior to experience or knowledge”.

In the Jogye practice of Korean Zen Buddhism as exemplified by the teachings of Seung-San Soen-Sa, this refers to what one knows intrinsically “in a place before words or thoughts”, sometimes expressed as “don’t-know-mind” or “you already know”, or even “if you open your mouth to speak, already you are wrong.”

It also may be intended to imply that the question is improper and must be unasked because yes is just as wrong as no or even no response at all.

Robert Persig, the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance equates this to a “Mu” (High-Resistance) state by identifying that although it is frequently asserted that binary computers are controlled by either a “One” or a “Zero” value, if the power is shut down there is neither “One” or “Zero”.

Yet in contemplating these interpretations of Zhao-zhou/Chao-chou/ or Jo-Ju’s response I could not help noticing how the emphatic pronunciation is also a phonetic pun that mimics that sound of the barking of a dog, thereby calling attention to our attachment to words.

“Wu!”

This makes perfect sense…in fact, I have never heard a dog issue either a “Bow!” or a “Wow!”

“Wu!”

I do understand the value of the contemplation of this enigmatic and paradoxical Koan for its own sake. For many years, I had only heard or read the English translation of “No!” and it encouraged the maintenance of the “ever-questioning mind” that is a fundamental cornerstone of Zen from which many other understandings were to come.

Mu is important to understand that any and all thoughts or uses of reason and words are to be cut off and discarded when the conditions of the question do not match the reality.

For some reason, when I read Persig’s book, his explanation of “mu” did not stick, and was completely forgotten for more than thirty years.

Obviously, that might have helped me many years ago…but perhaps not….

Easy answers may lead to facile understandings of more complex questions.

“Wu Wei” is a term for without action or even “Wei wu wei” meaning action without action or effortless action as in the Tao of T’ai chi ch’uan.

In similar fashion, at the risk of being a “spoiler” I would also like to propose the following solutions to several other enigmatic questions, such as:

If all things return to the One, to where does the One return?

ZERO. As simplistic as this may seem, it is nonetheless true.

In Buddhism, this is supported by the concept of Impermanence.

It is a fundamental scientific concept, especially in regard to quantum mechanics.

“First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain then there is…”

You are a Zen Master in a monastery, and a very large, intimidating man comes into the temple, who lights a cigarette, whereupon he blows smoke into the face of the statue of the Buddha, and drops the ashes onto the statue as well.

He believes that Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form.

All things have Buddha-nature…he is the Buddha, the Buddha is him. No matter where he drops the ashes, the Buddha is everywhere. He is stuck and thinks that there is nothing else beyond his belief. Ashes are Buddha, Buddha is ashes

It is a given that “If you open your mouth to speak, already you are wrong” because all words have opposites and create disagreement.

If you try to teach his error with words, he will only hit you.

What can you do to teach him?

This Koan was popularized by Seung-San Soen-Sa, a patriarch of the Jogye Order of the Kwan Um School of Korean Zen, presented to him by Mang-Gong, his teacher.

In all my research of this Koan, it is to date, the only one that was never explained in print, and it seemed that no answer was to be found anywhere, despite the fact that I have struggled with this question for more than twenty years.

This question has to do with what is called “Dharma Action” such as biting an apple, ringing a bell, or drinking tea, because in the final stage of Zen, “everything is just like this…just this, only this…in a place before words or thoughts…”.

All is an illusion, a dream of dreaming. There is only impermanence. Even the comings and goings are an illusion.

Form is Form, Emptiness is Emptiness.

Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form.

No Form, no Emptiness…only this…Nirvana.

Magic, Madness and Absolute Freedom; Fish fly in a fiery sky and birds swim in a bottomless sea of all the tears of all the Buddhas, past and present. A stone girl plays a flute with no holes as lions dance with lambs to a song with no words or notes.

Form is Form, Emptiness is Emptiness…everything is just like this. We have found our way back to a home that was already ours before our parents were born. We now recognize our one true face. We are like a mirror.

For several years, I believed that the answer was “Nothing” because all words create disagreement, and that perhaps the lack of reaction (Wu-wei) would eventually cause the man with the cigarette to realize his error, because for one thing, the statue of the Buddha is not the Buddha.

How many people does it take to achieve world peace?

One. (If that answer isn’t obvious, then think about it until it is…)

I figured it was best not to argue, but I was still attached to words and thoughts.

In fact however, I just had not yet come to realize the Dharma action that would cause him to realize that, like the Uroborus, all Zen teaching leads back to itself; “Form is Form, Emptiness is Emptiness…everything is Just Like This.”

Sooooo…What do you do?

Smile. Pick up the Ashes, and with great loving-kindness, blow them into his face.

Buddha is Buddha. Ashes are Ashes. (He can taste the difference.)

A quarter is still twenty-five cents.

“The mouse eats cat-food, but the cat-bowl is broken.”

As the tides come and go, fish swim in and out of the river as it flows to and from the sea.

Can you hear me Dr. Wu?

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

08/01/2015

If All is One…

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Zen on April 2, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

When you make differences

Between Good and Evil,

Pure and impure,

Sacred and Profane,

You fill the world

with self-righteousness

and give energy

to the enemies you create

in your dirty world.

Namaste

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

04/03/2017

 

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