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Author of this essay:

Yin Din Shakya
(July 11, 2004)

by Yin Din Shakya

"Let me hold onto to this pain," I tell myself, "it is what we are." And, indeed, as long as I hold onto it, it is what I am... just that.

How righteous my anger seems, how correct and fitting... so comfortable to wallow in.. so wasteful to discard. It has its uses, after all. Life is hard. It is a struggle; and something within me reacts to the challenge of a 'trial by ordeal.' I savor the meaning of pain and feel happy just to sense it.

I revel in the fantasy. So it's "me against the world," is it? And since it's so easy to blame anyone and everything in the world for all my problems, I see no reason to dispel the illusion.

I am living the wrong dream. And then, miraculously, I awaken. I see and understand the chain of karma.

Understanding this is the real challenge and the only victory that is possible over the ordeals of life. That we have no real existence outside this active emptiness is self-evident in the experience. That we desire for it to be not so is self-evident in our pain at the suspected, but needful, loss of "I."

Watch, as fears of inadequacy steal away your nerve.
Watch, as desires for love imprison your heart.
Watch, as hatred of the world and its insanity cripples your soul.
Watch, as you project the pain of living onto your children.
Watch, as dusk sets in and you pine for the dawn.
Watch, as dawn comes and you yearn for the moon.
Watch, as your mind seduces you into thinking of comprehensions.
Watch, as blind faith betrays the stars.
Watch, as huge doubt sets its iron ball into your gut.
Watch, as fears of death come.
Watch what fears to die.
Watch, merely watch, and the Buddha Dream will come.

The only way out is a long way in.

It sparkles, it shines, it is quiescent, it is transparent, it does not move. It is up to us, it is us. It is the deep pool and it knows.

Only when the last thought ends and tranquility descends do we see the beginning of the Buddha dream. All fantasy and reason depart. All pain and error dissolve into the pool of clear awareness, an awareness of something that does not move and cannot be manipulated. A Suchness beyond words.

"Without Becoming, without extinction,
Without past, without future,
A radiance surrounds the world of the spirit.
We forget one another, still and pure, powerful and empty.
The emptiness is illumined by the light of the heart of heaven,
The sea is smooth and reflects on its surface the moon.
The clouds vanish in the blue space,
The mountains glisten clear.
Consciousness dissolves into vision,
The disk of the moon is alone."

from the Hui Ming Ching by Liu Hua-Yang (translated by C. F. Baynes.).

Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasam gaté, Bodhi svaha!

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