"[My relationships were] like I was in these movies where the script was only half-written. When I’d get to the end of this half-script, the other actors wanted me to ad lib. But I had never gotten the hang of that. That’s why these movies were always box-office failures. Six of them in the past twenty years. I always blew the lines." ~ from my horrible first novel "Learn How To Pretend." (unpublished)(obviously)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Flowers

The following is  a poem written by an anonymous Buddhist monk and is often used in Buddhist memorial services.

Flowers

Such a solemn world of flowers!
Such a spectacle,
this rich world of the flowers!
All beings are living brightness
fulfilled with brightness
on the earth, under the heavens.

There is no gap between matter and man,
between sentient and nonsentient being:
all are living, all are dancing—
slate and pebble are whispering,
dust and trash are shouting,
trees and grasses speak, the land sings.

People are born out of the earth.
This world appears
in the pores of each one's skin.
Gods appear from all beings.
Unimaginable light shines out!
Out of one pore appear
ten thousand times
ten thousand universes.

At the very point of this moment
is a bursting forth of the eternal Buddha.
One Buddha has the world, and holds all
universes. Each universe holds
ten thousand times
ten thousand universes.
The world is a flower.
Gods are flowers.
Enlightened ones are flowers.
All phenomena are flowers.
Red flowers, white flowers, green flowers,
yellow flowers, black flowers,
all of the different kinds
of the colors of flowers,
all of the different kinds
of love's shining forth.

Life unfolds from life and returns into life.
Such an immense universe! Oh, many lives!
Flowers of gratitude, flowers of sorrow,
flowers of suffering, flowers of joy,
laughter's flowers, anger's flowers,
heaven's flowers, hell's flowers.
Each connected to the others
and each making the others grow.

When our real Mind's Eye
opens this world of flowers,
all beings shine,
music echoes through mountains and oceans.
One's world becomes the world of millions.
The individual becomes the human race.
All lives become the individual—
billions of mirrors
all reflecting each other.

There is death and life,
there is no death, no life.
There is changing life, there is unchanging life.
There is nirvana, there is samsara.
Clouds change into multitudinous forms.
Water changes form as it wishes,
taking the shape of its container.
Flowers change color, moment by moment.

Such a vivid world! Such a bright you!
You were born out of these flowers,
you gave birth to these flowers.
You have no beginning and no ending,
you are bottomless and limitless,
even as also you are infinitesimal dust.
You are the flower.
You become man and embrace all women,
you become women and embrace all men.
You are love,
you are the flower.

All beings shine out of their uniqueness,
all melt into the oneness of colors.
You are one, you are many,
only one moment, only one unique place,
only the unique you.
Beside you there is nothing:
you dance, appearing in all.

Sitting in silence, dancing in gratitude,
dancing like the huge waves,
moving like the white clouds,
you see you, you see the you who sees you.
With gratitude you see,
with gratitude you are seen:
the world as you, you as you;
you as actor, you as audience;
you as subject, you as object.
You are free. You are not free.

From nowhere you came. You go nowhere.
You stay nowhere. You are nowhere attached.
You occupy everything, you occupy nothing.
You are the becoming of indescribable change.
You are love. You are the flower.

— Memorial (Traditional), via Straight to the Heart of Zen.

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