Archive for the Observations of a Recovering Buddhist Category

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

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

 

Sayonara Tsukimono Suji No Kimi…. さようなら私の最愛の白い魔女 (or 780 hugs and kisses)

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Greatest Sorrow, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Poetry, Tsukimono-suji on March 4, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

 

No more I love you’s…?

No more bickering.

No more ultimatums.

No more angry words.

No more expectations.

No more disappointments.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

The look in your eyes

betrays what you cannot

bring yourself

to say…

to pull the trigger

and end the suffering

between us,

yet you’ll never respect me

unless I do

what you cannot.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Its one thing to love

yet quite another to be in love.

As deeply as I am wounded,

I thank you for that.

I was born

to write torch songs

and you shall be my

most cherished inspiration.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

That’s why they call it a

CRUSH…

When you meet,

it takes your breath

away,

the same as it does

when it’s over.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxox

Nothing else

makes me feel more alive,

or more aware…

from the first gasp

of anticipation

to the anguish

of

the death rattle

of the horse latitudes

and doldrums

that slowly

led us here.

After all,

what good is all this loneliness

without the angst of solitude?

It awakens

our survival instincts

like the feel

of

Death’s hot breath

upon our necks

and nothing

spawns entropy, decay and oblivion

like the stench

of complacency.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

With nowhere else to go

for either of us,

this prison we have built

of our disillusionment

is

as real as our inability

to walk away.

With no where else to go,

our love

has turned into an ocean

of poisonous disappointment

in which we drown

each day.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

I feel compassion for

your anger,

resentments,

and sorrow,

but I can no longer

join you in them.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

When one door closes,

another opens,

which is how it will stay…

I’ll even leave the light on…

if it is meant to be

you will thank me

for that

one day.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

No more “I love you’s?”

Hardly…

I will love and keep you

in my heart forever,

but I refuse to always be the first one

to say the words…

It’s just too much

like shouting

down a well.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxo

So kiss me goodbye

as I wish you well;

let’s see how we feel

in a week or two

of our

trial divorce,

Our Banishment.

Just pretend

I’m not here…

someone

that you don’t have to love at all

so you won’t have to resent

that we are both still here.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

We have learned

to treat strangers and pets

with more kindness

than we allow each other

and it is our shared expectations

unfulfilled

that has brought about

this despair in ourselves,

who are the only ones

whom we can blame

now that I

can no longer

bring myself

to sing the songs

that only make me cry….

Sayonara Tsukimono Suji No kimi….

さようなら私の最愛の白い魔女

(Goodbye My Beloved White Witch)

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei,

さよなら ぜつぼう せんせい

(Goodbye Master of Despair)

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

09/18/2016

(As you can see by the date, I have re-written this so many times that I’ve lost count, and yet…I seem to be unable to post it, lest the true meaning be misunderstood. It is one thing to write torch songs, and quite another to live one; one thing to understand suffering as a source of inspiration, and another to be addicted to it.)

If we hold our tongues just to keep the peace, what we end up with will not be worth keeping.

Because I believe in Love I believe in you. Because I believe in you, I believe in You and Me.

Jealousy is a Three-Headed Dragon

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Letting Go, Love, Much Too Good For Children, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist on March 1, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

 

One head is Fear.

One head is Envy.

The Third is mis-directed Anger.

The teeth and claws of this monster drip with venom and the blood of its victims, whose hearts are ripped from their chests and greedily consumed.

Its voracious appetite is never slaked.

Its body is the cumulative social conditioning of Society in its discontent, Religion, selfishness, and bad advice from the truly ignorant who have no business giving it; the ones who missed the boat, and continue to create self-fulfilling prophecies while shouting from the docks, condemned to “lives of quiet desperation”, afraid to loose something even they don’t really want.

There can be no denying that witnessing desire, attraction, or even outright lust spilling from our significant others generates a maelstrom of emotions, and feelings that can overwhelm those not prepared to tame the Dragon and make it their pet.

Compersion is the sexual alchemy that can transform the most mind-numbing, soul-killing complex emotion mankind knows into  a process that will energize and embolden an individual into an adventurous and fearless seeker of the truth.

I recently heard a respected therapist state that instead of seeking the perfect mate, one should strive to be the perfect mate.

Although there is a great deal of truth to this concept, I have reservations about it generating several dangerous misconceptions.

There was a time that I believed that my salvation would come by way of enlightening my most significant other.

It wasn’t bad enough that I sought to achieve enlightenment; (something that cannot be gained through its pursuit), but I had the audacity to believe I could somehow impart this condition onto another by way of teaching by example.

It doesn’t take long before an afflicted individual recognizes the power inherent in their disfunction.

Eventually you discover they are always in pain, always unhappy and never satisfied; in fact their moodiness, anger and self-pity empowers them and enslaves those who love them because they keep trying, thinking that somehow, if they do whatever they are doing just a little differently, maybe then they can be happy together.

This is of course, true madness; they recognize that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results are the alternate definitions of both insanity and addition, but they do not see that the basic fatal flaw is not in what they do but rather in their choice of for whom they do it.

They seek an equal, while the object of their affections seeks power.

In this way, the desire they foster within themselves for what they think is Love will condemn them to endless suffering.

Have you so little self-esteem that you would allow yourself to be manipulated in this way?

You can love them more by attempting to possess them less.

If they love you back, OK.

If they don’t, you will still be OK.

These are not simply words that you repeat to yourself until you get want you want…you have to drop your resistance to whatever your present circumstances are, so that you can feel love regardless of whether it it is returned or not.

It is so much easier to love others fearlessly if you learn to love yourself first, just as you cannot really learn to forgive others until you learn to forgive yourself.

Will you feel sorrow if they withhold love from you? Of course, but there is great beauty in sorrow, and it will deepen your appreciation of those who love you freely, unconditionally, and without reservation.

And be sure that once you liberate yourself from the neediness and addictive groveling in which you wallow as long as you are a slave to love, the inner calm and sense of self-assurance devoid of false bravado or pretense naturally attracts others who can stand eye-to-eye with you as equals.

If you experience even one day in love with your equal, “to be the idol of your own idol is to steal fire from the gods.” It is an experience of immortality in the face of death, and the quantum of ecstasy which can neither be created nor destroyed.

Because it exists independently of time, once it is known, no one can take that from you…not even them.

Everything else is just junk food for the soul.

That kind of love is not capable of jealousy, nor is it manipulated by it.

Those who would in their ignorance attempt to manipulate you with jealousy will soon either be driven by their own inner instincts to learn from you, or they will eliminate themselves from your sphere of influence, and in so doing, grant you a favor that you do not have to request to get.

It all simply comes and goes by itself.

If you can be that kind of perfect mate eventually everything that you desire will come to you, like a cat that shuns you until you start to read the newspaper.

You cannot make the perfect mate by being the perfect mate; all you can hope to do is simply be your true self here and now.

Devoid of pretense, prejudice, illusion, mythology, social conditioning or fear, Here and Now free you of any impatience.

Everything is exactly as it should be.

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 

さよなら絶望先生

(Goodbye, Master of Despair)

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

03/01/2017

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