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Morgan Gibson-I

Zazen in the Temple of Your Choice


We are sitting like the Buddha
but what have we in common?

We have everything in common:
suffering, old age, death, and aching knees.

One looks down.
Is he frowning at knees?

One squints through thick glasses.
Are they smudged for vision?

Some slouch.

Some pout.

One glances
One dozes.

Who can say what ails them?
Who can say anything at all?

Some have said lots of Dharma.
But now they just sit, just sit.

We hold our hands just so
as if it made any difference.

We inhale and exhale.
That makes a BIG difference.

Wordless, the Master paces.
His stick is preaching Dharma.

Nobody listens but the Master.
Nobody listens TO the Master.

Our backs still smart from the lesson.
Our backs are smarter than we are.

We forget everything but the smarts.
We forget why we are here.

Ah, we are not all there.
We are neither here nor there.

One looks around.
Is she squaring circles?

One stares under eyebrows.
The left, and then the right.

To see what lurks under each?
To see into the Void?

One peers over hands:
the left and then the right.

As if in a field of waving glass
instead of sitting perfectly still.

The gong gongs.
The gong echoes the going.

The gong gongs again.
What is there to gain?

One glances curiously.
One dances in imagination.

One desires another.
One desires nobody.

More than one itches.
More than two or three twitches.

One dozes without sleeping.
One wakes without awakening.

One looks at one, or more than one.
One looks into her.

One looks through her.
One looks beyond her.

SHE looks as if about to enter Nirvana.
HE looks as if having just left it.

One looks as if she knows.
One looks as if nobody knows.

One looks at one.
One looks as if no one.

One looks as if just looking.
One looks as if nowhere.

One looks as if looking at nothing.
Nothing is looking right back.