Sunday, May 20, 2012

Forbidden Dhamma Poems

Recently I did a special ten-day course in Vipassana Meditation. During this course are a number of different rules and restrictions, such as no talking with the other students (which results in most of atmosphere there being very silent most of the time) and no reading, writing, music or leaving the course boundaries during the time of the course. There is also strict gender segregation, a strict daily time-table, fasting for about half of the day and many many hours of daily scheduled meditation. I had already previously sat three such Vipassana Meditation courses before, as well as did a bunch of volunteer work there previously as well, so I knew the drill.

Through fortuitous circumstances, a small pocket note-book of mine happened to not be confiscated at the beginning of the course, and I was left with a cheap bic pen in my possession as well. This lead to me eventually deciding to secretively, locked-away in my little room, write. That process was very powerful and meaningful for me, “therapeutic” even, despite it being totally against the rules. Here are some of the poems that I wrote in that little note-book.


The crazy
whirlwind of the mind
spins alone
whereas usually
it spins with others
other whirlwinds
and other storms altogether
but now it is alone
who knows where the dust
will settle?
No expert can predict that
no use trying
a million different factors
come together
to create this perfect storm


I must leave
this sacred prison
which is also my sanctuary
my hidden home
so many rules
so many restrictions
yet also the purest freedom
I have ever found
I hate it here
I love it here
Here here here
it will all be over
soon enough


and re-counting
the days
til I find out
how the rest of my days
Or begin
Or continue
but to what end?
We all know how it ends
in the end
but what do you do
til you get there?
Is the path
how to walk the path
that’s why I’m here


I love love love her
I love community too
and I love loving.
Oh, how lovely


That jack-boot
on the neck
I will die for you
I will live for you
but so what?
Billions and billions of souls
do not live for one man
or vice versa
it’s about gettin’ real
to the heart
and all that


The silence
beautiful silence
oh, how I love thee
if only I can see you
more often
in fact, bring you with me
have you meet other people
have you live in the city
at least for a while
have you become other people
is that asking too much?
Or have you become me
we become one
I am silence
or at least I want to be
real true silence
through and through


I don’t know a damn thing
about the guy next to me
here or anywhere
how cool is that?
We’re all connection
and oh-so similar
yet worlds apart
who is this guy?
Do I really want to know?
Curious minds
lead to curious places
it’s the story of my life
it’s why I’m here
Do I really want to know?


oh, we meet again!
I remember you before
Where will you take me?
Where will I go?
I have to leave here
I have to go somewhere


I was bored, tired, hungry, horny, agitated and my legs hurt.
But instead of attending to any of that
I was sitting still
on the floor
with my eyes closed
listening to a recording
of some guy
going on
And on
And on
in some language that I don’t understand
watching my breath
Totally counter-intuitive
but it works


Delusion, illusion, confusion, what’s really real in this world of just mind and matter? What does matter matter if we all die in the end? What does mind matter if nobody has you on their mind? Who are “they” anyway? Craving, clinging, craving, clinging, desperately, frantically, hurridly, imploringly – I NEED THIS!!!

I need what? What is there if there is only nothingness? Who am “I” if “I” does not exist? There is only only only – dhamma. The Law of Nature. Cause and effect, cause and effect, ad infinitum. Long long ago, far far away, some guy did something to somebody who then did something to somebody who then did something, and so on and on and on, which resulted in me then being here today. Why? What am I trying to get at? I have thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts – but who cares? It all goes around and around the merry-go-round, and I am back where I started from. Starts stops starts stops arising passing away arising passing away – what do I DO with all of this god-damned impermanence?! It will all just come and go and come and go like I did so many times now and you did too – it’s just that you had a different name and a different face at the time. And I did too. Oh, so so many times, so many different lives, so many different miseries, so many different sufferings – so much suffering. The times, places and people change, but the suffering is still there. And it is still with us. I have to get out! Out of this prison (of suffering)! I must not come back here! I must go! I MUST LEAVE!!!

But go where? Where would I go? Here is all there is. All that there is. And so many people are still here. So many people. So much suffering. So much fighting. So much lying. So much killing. So much stealing. So much hurting. So many people. Like it or not for better or worse – I am here with you. We are here together. In this world of worlds,worlds upon worlds, so different so diverse, we are still here together. We are here doing doing doing back and forth back and forth – and I am wondering – what is being passed around between us all? Is it wholesome or unwholesome? Good or bad? The bad is bad, the good is good, it is still there, no matter what you think. So what can you do? Do nothing. Just sit. Be with it for a while. Feel it from the inside. Sooner or later, just watching watching watching feeling feeling feeling, it begins to change. That is ok. Change is inevitable. Purity comes with time. Time time time. And attention. And acceptance. All will be revealed. As it is.


Artists’ colonies and artists’ camps. Writers’ colonies and writers’ camps. Buddhist colonies and Buddhist camps. Guerilla camps. Base camps. Terrorist camps. Summer camp.

Oh, that’s so camp.


Sometimes I am just
vomiting out nonsense
frantically flailing
clutching and clawing
trying to somehow
somewhere sometime
find the Truth
that’s a capital “T”
there, boy.
That’s important
you know.
What goes around
comes around
and here you have it
wrapped-up in perfectly
preserved doctrine
ready for you to discard
and discover
what’s inside


ought to be a good thing
it means that we are not
under the spell of illusions
but then why does it hurt
so much?
I think that it is because of
to ideas
of the way things are supposed
to be
the way things are supposed to
turn out
it all can be held
and dropped
at will
illusions only go so far


How many people
are in their own private
fantasy-land play-ground
right now?
How many people
are wading through their own
private hell?
I can never tell
the impression is
everyone is their own special
bodhisattva monk
except me
I am all mess
and subjectivity
I can never tell
self-contained units
within self-contained units
and yet we are all connected
and we will find out
when the walls come down


Anonymous said...

What is the meaning of this?

Wenifred said...

The meaning? Who cares. I get it. I am you Ian.
I stumbled upon your blog looking for another nvc blog who's name I lost.
Love your post about the nvc stuff. Ditto that.
Love these poems. So glad you were a notebook renegade.

Now hopefully I can decipher the letters to prove I'm not a least to myself.

naayahi said...

I have been to 3 of these ten days with Goenka and I so relate to the sentiments in the poems. Love'd em. Especially the one on silence and the one that says I hate this place and I love it too :-)