Another Voice

There is a line in the Buddhist text, “The Eight Realizations of Great Beings,” that has always bothered me. Not that I feel it is wrong, but that it is certainly incomplete. Finally, I wrote a poem about it while on a month-long retreat at the foot of Mount Adams in Washington state.

The wrinkled old men say:
“The mind is the source
of all confusion and
the body the forest
of all unwholesome actions.”*

The diamond** sings:
Mind is the source
of everything that arises
Body, the forest
of wisdom.

Awake! Awake!
No hesitation.
All dies away
in a moment
of
breath.

What is not
mind?
Where is not
body?
Love
is
the Heart of
all.

*From “The Eight Realizations of the Great Beings,” Taisho Revised Tripitaka 779

**Refers to “The Diamond that Cuts through Illusion,” Taisho Revised Triptaka 335

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