Thursday, December 25, 2008

Before vodka, there was Zen

I was doing laundry last night and this poem followed me upstairs amidst an armload of clothes. This was written on the back of the piece of stationary:

PLEASE

CLEAN THE

DRYER FILTER

AFTER EACH

USE…..

(FIRE HAZARD IF NOT)
Thanks.

On the other side:

The Mind of Absolute Trust

By Seng-Ts'an

The great way isn't difficult for those who are unattached to their preferences.

Let go of longing and aversion, and everything will be perfectly clear.

When you cling to a hairbreadth of distinction, heaven and earth are set apart.

If you want to realize the truth, don't be for or against.

The struggle between good and evil is the primal disease of the mind.

Not grasping the deeper meaning, you just trouble your minds serenity.

As vast as infinite space, it is perfect and lacks nothing.

But because you select and reject, you can't perceive its true nature.

Don't get entangled in the world; don't lose yourself in emptiness.

Be at peace in the oneness of things, and all errors will disappear by themselves.

If you don't live the Tao, you fall into assertion or denial.

Asserting that the world is real, you are blind to its deeper reality;

denying that the world is real, you are blind to the selflessness of all things.

The more you think about these matters, the farther you are from the truth.

Step aside from all thinking, and there is nowhere you can't go.

Returning to the root, you find the meaning;

chasing appearances, you lose their source.

At the moment of profound insight, you transcend both appearance and emptiness.

Don't keep searching for the truth; just let go of your opinions.

For the mind in harmony with the Tao, all selfishness disappears.

With not even a trace of self-doubt, you can trust the universe completely.

All at once you are free, with nothing left to hold on to.

All is empty, brilliant, perfect in its own being.

In the world of things as they are, there is no self, no non self.

If you want to describe its essence, the best you can say is "Not-two."

In this "Not-two" nothing is separate, and nothing in the world is excluded.

The enlightened of all times and places have entered into this truth.

In it there is no gain or loss; one instant is ten thousand years.

There is no here, no there; infinity is right before your eyes.

The tiny is as large as the vast when objective boundaries have vanished;

the vast is as small as the tiny when you don't have external limits.

Being is an aspect of non-being; non-being is no different from being.

Until you understand this truth, you won't see anything clearly.

One is all; all are one. When you realize this, what reason for holiness or wisdom?

The mind of absolute trust is beyond all thought, all striving,

is perfectly at peace, for in it there is no yesterday, no today, no tomorrow.


Compare it to this piece by Charles Bukowski. Why? I'm not sure.

THE GENIUS OF THE CROWD


there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art

4 comments:

Confluence City said...

Teetering on the curmudgeon edge where he loses me, but the bard of Pedro speaking truth here. Makes me want to spend an afternoon at a bar up the river road reading The Roominghouse Madrigals and nursing a grude and a crush.

nosey parker said...

No need for literary giants. Sometimes the arbitrary
nature of word verification can eschew commonality.

kg said...

I hated that fucking sign for some reason. The poems, I like.

Zed Naught said...

Chris, I believe that it is illegal to nurse grudes in Grafton.
Nosey, huh?
KG, I still have the sign in my apartment if you want to burn it!