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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
or sweet in our wandering.
(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com