XLI. Abandoning the Forest and Discovering the Ocean

The floating flowers school is in decline. No members ring its bells, and it lets the past become history. No need. This call to practice has been plundered. The Buddha has been sent wandering, no word on his comings or his goings; has anyone the ability to keep track of this nomad? The greatest kings send out spies in every direction but end up only finding each other at crossing paths and intersesctions. These hills and valleys are far from the safe passages I saw before, too much calamity, I confused this cage for a kind of freedom, and now, how trapped I am! This secular forest is but the suburbs own concentration camp. How many enduring tortures must it ensure upon itself, humanity so unkind, makes it either their waste basket or their walking path, and now, no room for roots to grow. No growth, only this slow withering. I, abandoning the forest, discovering the ocean, a mighty swamp covering as many plains and levels as this vantage point allows. The floating flowers school can be fit into a rucksack. How many undocumented monks, whose pristine never makes the zen masters dogmatic discussion panel or their books of lineage, go unnoticed carrying the floating flower school away? No thieves to be named, even Huineng had to flee in the middle of the night with the robes, and there is a sign barring access to those who await the stupefaction of entering. For even if I touched the way and helped to shape it, how could I in all of this excitement even begin to explain it in terms of mere mortal acquaintances like words or action, art. How confusing is the notion of beauty when comparisons must be made. My metaphors will never tame any that cannot relate to their feral nature. I have changed the titles of all these previous stories and convictions to Thusness, and hope that they are understood. I’ve grown tired of belittling this Western Paradise of Amida Buddha, now I will take the shape of any vessel or chalice.

Namu Amida Butsu


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