X. Nailing Down the Name for the Sake of All.

Before my sojourn up and through the winding trails to Rileys Peak, I carve an old hollow bamboo stake in half and shave the layers of cobweb and old fibres that are inside. Writing down the name, Namu Amida Butsu, I accentuate it with a final yell of katsu! So that all sentient beings who pass can practice these utterances at least once out loud or in their head, trying to decipher their meaning. I escape my imagination that hones in on beginners minds and Mahākāśyapa-like enlightenment where the speed be in the ascent of the smile upon the real deliverance of true prajna. I illustrate the 3 stages. Illusion, thatness, and emptiness with simple and rushed brushstrokes. Illusion, a self-portrait with pagodas and a flower floating far above me. Thatness, a solid black blob that separates the name from the shout of katsu. Emptiness, the self explanatory blank space after the shout with a emptied uncompleted circle. With prayers completed, I began my accent into the wilderness encouraging my hound to lead the way and giving him the go ahead by letting him off his leash. We follow freshly trodden trails on the unexpected snow marking the beginnings of spring with an odd turn of events. The time and place mark the illusion. No rhythm to the cycles of the seasons. No seasons to cycle out a rhythm. Inheritances play out as balance bars in the fluctuating dance of birth and death. An extinction, does it predicate a new species? Does a massacre mobilize new populations? All these thoughts. The speed of my falsehood is exhausting. Nailing the name for the sake of all, I use a cheap Buddha sculpture for a hammer and usher Namu Amida Butsu for the tree and all sentient beings who would like to pass. Ah, such falsehood. Looking to form a Sangha using codewords on the edges of suburbia. Such falsehood! I’ve been much too reliant on these rhythms, leaving the prayer enough room on the nail to be rattled by the wind, but upon leaving, I hear its first few shouts when a gust picks up. Ah, such falsehood. Now the next time I hold expectations of the pureland as it appears, will I find a source of disappointment?

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