Nothing Stands Outside The Great Pattern

If you beat the dawn bird to the sunrise perch,

a vast unparalleled joy awaits.

Cup of shining mountain tea.

The skin of the old self falls away.

The Way gathers in stillness

like a cloud-riding sage

gathers wind without striving.

The trick is to beat the dawn bird to it.

Then, Change-Maker becomes a chain-breaker.

A chain-breaker.

A chain-breaker.

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Address the Hang Up and Immortality’s Gate Swings Open

All the Daoist masters

male and female

including the Seven Perfected Ones

originally had a hang-up to overcome.


Attraction to Wealth and Baubles

Though living like a king,

messaging in the brain

that one is impoverished.

Though living like a queen,

messaging in the brain

that contentment, completion,

comes from outside oneself.


Incessant striving after validation

or the “blessing” one never got.

Herein are the roots of fame-chasers

and “retail therapy.”


The Soothsayer Hao Ta-t’ung

relinquished all such reference points,

succumbed to an anonymous life with very few comforts,

and finally found his way within the Way.

Then, he was wealthy beyond measure in spirit.


One-Track Mind

Allure of women.

Allure of men.

Breathless at the sight of curving shapes.

Pulled through the floating world

like a fish hooked by the lip.

Chasing after a four-second tickle

or a cosmic explosion

to bring-on the illusion

of impermanence-defying bonding.


Dao-master Liu Ch’ang-sheng

spent a year in a brothel

to master the energies of the “dragon in his pants.”

After an encounter with Bodhidharma,

he finally saw it possible

to fully enjoy the “blooming spirit of a flower”

without having to “pluck” it.


In the end, he became “just one of the girls”

and, at last, blew-on from the brothel —

a purple cloud vanishing into the mountains.

His last words for the season:

You won’t have any suffering if you don’t bite the hook.


Haunted Drunkenness

The steady “discipline” of self-depletion.

Drinking lightning trying to lighten the load

of all the things carried deep in the soul.

Drinking rare nectars until one goes numb

to what one doesn’t truly want to be free from.

At least the haunting is a ghostly form of connection, right?


Whether poison, lust, or useless prophecy,

T’an Ch’ang-chen mapped the way

of turning one’s back on anything

that keeps the practitioner intoxicated by fruitless visions.


Over-Intellectualism

Changchun, early on.

Daoist “sexual intellectual” a.k.a. fucking know-it-all.

Constant interruption of his teachers.

We all did it when we were young.

Trying to convince everyone you know something

so maybe they’ll respect you and accept you

in a way you haven’t come to respect and accept yourself.


For Ch’iu Ch’ang-ch’un, he had to stop

with all the pontification and interruptions

to make way for the native wisdom of his own Empty Mind.

Sun Pu-erh had to stop with all the seeker’s questions

long enough for the Dao to finally saturate her Being.


Lazy Dragon

Failure at necessary exertion.

Ma Tan-yang wanted enlightenment

but the whole pursuit of it

got in the way of his nap.

And on and on and on and on…


Whatever shape or form

flavor or fragrance,

until we’re each clear

of our own House of Smoke and Mirrors

there is no abiding peace.


There is a fiercely-resistant “dragon”

whose primal energy exists

to test our True Resolve on the path of awakening.


Until the dragon is saddled and harnessed

we can never truly be aligned with our flow within The Great Flow.

Until the dragon is saddled and harnessed,

we can never truly be clear

and carefree

or sweet in our wandering.


(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Seven Coronas / Letters To The Farthest Star / Forrest Fang

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