Wide-open all along,
this hallowed midnight thoroughfare
stirs discussions of the ancient Way --
the one that goes from the Mirrored-Eye
to the deep caverns of the heart
and back out to the cosmos turning-in on itself.
The old instruction still stands:
Be full-of-care what you cast your eyes upon.
Ignore that which does not help you or the world to bloom.
Someone remarks that this time
feels like she's throwing pearls before swine.
The Teacher says:
Stay close and guard your heart-mind in this age of decline*.
The Heart-Mind-River knows which way to flow.
So, friend, you are just a crazy cloud like the rest of us;
part of this tribe of foolish beings passing through.
Who's keeping score?
Fade over the horizon, anonymous.
It matters not
if others realized
you were really the rain
falling on their parched and thirsty fields.
*"In our tradition, we are living in what is called Mappo - the Age of Dharma Decline. There is a pain that can come in being awake during such times. Even without temples, or small closet-shrines, we can still draw great strength from Kannon - the One Who Hears the Cries of the World. So, keep breathing. Keep walking. Keep keeping your heart-mind, and remember you are well-trained in knowing how to step lightly in this realm. Follow the fragrance of the Dharma to the places of rest and restoration. Even the birds are chanting the nembutsu. Even the trees and mountains are singing of Kannon's ever-renewing grace. The Tao is eternal." --Kuma-sensei