Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bodhisattva

I was just thinking about the celebration of Christmas, and the gift that Christ gave to us with his sacrifice and divine example. He not only died with his faith as his close companion, but he attained what the Tibetans call the "rainbow body" leaving nothing but a shroud to mark his place.

Most of all, he remained with us in spirit so that all who call upon him can benefit from his wish to ease our suffering and darkness.

I am so glad that at least one Bodhisattva is celebrated every year as we gather in warmth and love, and give each other gifts that symbolize the great gifts from Jesus to all of us here in our human cyclic existence on this planet.

May we truly open ourselves to his love and wisdom, and follow his example.

As the great Shantideva said,

"For as long as space endures
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I, too, abide
To dispel the misery of the world."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Born to Write in Candlelit Cafés

I am breathing
Aive and seeking
Purpose, worthiness to be alive
I am drinking chai
The spice tingles on my throat

The photograph of a thistle
Hangs above me
The thistle has more right
To be here than I do
My carbon footprint is large

My mind is a tumble of
Computer games and half-
Remembered dreams
And attempts to file everything
In folders tamed by
The proper color

A soft alto sings in the
Background about beauty and destiny
I have one and not the other
You can guess which
I am waiting for my Indian food

I may be no good for this world
But I will never kill myself
He said

I take his words as a benison
I remember them when I need
To take myself less seriously
I know he lives
Because I live

The music has changed
I can see the boy with his
Snare drums
I was born to write
In candlelit cafes

I was born to bring that
Novel into being
Even chased by the cowherd
With the leather whip
Even parceled into chapters
And campaigns

Didn’t I make it eat its tail
Like all good heavenly serpents?

I live, I breathe
And yet I have no
Union to this life
Other than the sculpture
I’ve assembled out
Of scraps of family,
History and friends,
My endless mistakes
And unquenchable hope

Despite my training
And my boring fear
I hope eternal
Like the wind’s soft lick
Of promise

I make a gift of that
To you.