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October 23, 2018

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A Poem for My Brother

Brother, do you not know you are?
Without attachments let us shed discord together
Come sit with me, let us breathe away your pain
For at the very beginning

I was there for you
Sitting beneath a tree,
there was nothing left to hold me to this world
I had conquered all, my work was done.
But Brahma still appeared and asked me to carry on.
In truth it did not take the chief of the gods
To convince me
I would have done the same for that poor peasant girl
Who took pity on me and offered me
A wooden bowl with porridge in it
Though in truth I hungered not.

In my heart since time without beginning
I have nourished vows
To break the chains of worldly life
I vowed to soothe the fires that course your veins
And if you were willing I can
teach you a way to tame these fires
As I tamed an army of demons that tormented me
Now no sorrow, no shame, no anguish can touch me
In the three times I can levitate
When I walk my foot does not touch the ground

I see all things
In my heart I hear the cries of the world
And because of these vows like a brother now
I will teach you if you will but sit with me a while
Lift off this burden
Lift off this heavy mind,
For I have found a way to free myself,
And will show how to accomplish this
If you sit for a while with me.

Brother, when your anguish grew
When your grief and rage and inconsolable doubts
About this reckless life surged up around you
The frustration, the fury, the simple grief
When it got to the point you gave up caring
And wondered what tomorrow was worth
I held you as I hold you now
And I will not let go of you until you are free
If you can but see me for who I am.

How could I abandon you?
I have never been further from you than your own shadow
Each word that comes to pass your lips carries my name
In silence I am there too.
When you took your first steps I was there
Laughing like your father,
I encouraged you
I delighted in your wondrous heart.
Can you not see you are as dear to me
As the careworn face of an old loved one
Worn out from the day
Worn out from life
Weary and seeking refuge
How could I ever turn you away?
Come home, child.

My vows are the sound of the home gate turning
My vows are a reflection on a moonlight pond
Look deep into that water
Etched across the sky in a field of darkness
See those ripples take shape and dissipate
It is there you will see my face.

And I will not abandon you.

By the way, my enlightened experience was verified by one of the top students of Joshu Sasaki Roshi. Whatever that's worth :)

Jhana is not Nirvana. The opposite really.

Aryeh: This is pretty close from the Pali:

"Again, a monk who attains the Fourth Jhāna [dhyāna] has no suffering or happiness because happiness and suffering are eliminated and his former sorrow is eliminated. There is only equanimity which purifies mindfulness. The pure mind suffuses every part of his whole body, like a man whose head is covered by a white cloth. There is no part of his body untouched by the white cloth" (M. iii. 94).

From the Mahayana:

"Abiding thus in equanimity, the mind of the Bodhisattva was completely pure, perfect, luminous, free from emotionality, free from all the fettering passions, supple, perfectly balanced, unwavering" (Lalitavistara Sutra).

"Ordinary beings experience this state of impure, deluded mind as their habitual state. Pure, enlightened mind is a state in which mind realizes its own nature as free of habitual conditions and the suffering associated with them. This is the enlightened state of a buddha" (Kalu, Luminous Way, p. 19)

For me the luminosity went on for about a day. Very strange at first, then started to grow. I had no idea of what was happening. 7 years later durning the Light of Mahayana (look at the Lankavatara Sutra for this) one meets Buddhas who empower you. The bliss is overwhelming. Here you are being transformed. This is where you begin to learn the true Dharma.

As I reread your post, I realized that at the end you wrote of a bliss light and it being the Lord and protector. I didn't experience any bliss. I only experienced Mind only Awareness in all directions. No bliss. No reward. Only emptiness until thoughts came again and the world reappeared. Could be you are describing something totally different.

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