Boundless pain
Boundless joy
Boundless monotony
Boundless novelty

Firmly planted
Observing everything at once
Each passerby’s situation both familiar and unknowable
Hopes of the future
Dreams crushed

God is in his heaven and all is right in the world
The conditions aligned just right
But tomorrow, or next month, completely unpredictable
Certainly sorrow or depression can not be too far away
Still, the joy of now worth the chance of tomorrow’s low
Indeed; only possible in contrast

And yet, the smug self awareness of this is-ness
Keeps me just this side of oblivion
The ego still holding out
Keeping this secret joy to itself
Instead of releasing it into the void

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2 Responses to Boundless

  1. lion says:

    Hmm, isn’t explaining poetry like explaining a joke, deflating the punch line?

    You can look at this as an answer to my koan. On Tuesday, as I was walking home from a lunch meeting, I was in a state of samadhi. The contents of this poem are an echo or chronicle of the experiences and thoughts that I was having that day.

    The first paragraph is more or less the experience of existence as it tends to be, most of my samadhi experiences have tended to have this quality of mundane qua trancendental.

    The second paragraph is more of a direct translation of the experience. As I was walking home I saw many people… and I was these people, we shared so many similarities. And while I could see deeply inside of them, as a generality, of course there were details of their life unknown to me. For instance, I know they all have aspirations and frustrations, but I don’t know if they recently lost a loved one, etc.

    The third paragraph is a bit of retrospection that occurred about 20 minutes past the hordes of people of down town. Knowing that I was in absolute joy, and wondering why I’m not always in that state, and knowing that the state would eventually pass… and as I say, that it is worth it, and that it is ok that is passes, and indeed necessary.

    The final paragraph is an admission that my level is still too shallow. Instead of being the moment, the ego has a foothold, or a hook, or acts as a tether… it chimes in “I’m so great for having this experience” or “I’m having a great experience” and in an instant you are no longer a master of the universe but a slave to the ego, bound by it’s safe ropes, holding you back from the pain of existence. This is the wall of MU or Who Am I? This is what is separating a shugyosha such as my self from becoming the buddha. I wasn’t able to kill the buddha—another chance lost.

    The photo is from the 2005 season of Doctor Who. I added the coloration. I was just looking for a photo of walking amongst crowds of people, as in the second paragraph. But the Doctor is kind of like a bodhisattva, and I recently watched the 2008 season, which was great, so it seems extra appropriate as a header to this post.

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