Friday, October 23, 2009

A Koan

Do badgers share

I’m not sure

We cannot sit for hours underneath the Pipal tree
Contemplating life
We tend to wander off, distracted
rooting for the truth through leaf and loam
None of us I know have reached

But there are some faint signs of commonality

We are sufficiently perturbed by illness, old age, death
The prospect of a merely prosperous life
To flee from comfort, as if it were itself the cause of suffering
Taking up the sword instead, for spiritual battle

We’re a little heartless when it comes to hearth and home
Spouses left in empty beds to fret
While we quest off, wandering in company of
Good, wise, somewhat strange companions

And sometimes, silent in the muffled night
Trundling along our way
Just for a moment, we see the world the way it is
Not black and white, but endless shades of grey

And so I ask again
Do badgers share in Buddha nature?
I think maybe yes

But here’s the rub: our bodhi status does no earthly good
We’re mindful of this state, awake to possibilities

So if you notice I’m asleep, please
Give me a shove and wake me up
To start the search again
I promise not to bite...

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