Monday, September 17, 2012
Into the Dragon's Jaws
Nothing to rely on in this or any world;
Nighttime falls and the water is flooded with moonlight.
Here in the Dragon’s jaws:
Many exquisite jewels.
~Setcho Juken (980—1052)
I was looking for the Year of the Dragon stamp from the US post office and discovered a world of charming stamps. These are Vietnamese - I didn't know there was a year of the cat. There is a legend that the cat was the only animal that refused to honor the Buddha ( I wouldn't be surprised), and I thought it didn't have a place in Eastern astrology.
Anyway, the poem.
I woke up to a hard day, getting ready for a funeral. I have become attached to the many things that make me comfortable, so I think, Don't forget the heating pad! (which I use on my back twice a day). I remember times throughout my life of sitting in funeral homes, everyone determined to "be strong" and show no grief because now his suffering is over and he's with the Lord. That kind of thing. Long before I got on a path to awakening, I felt surely that was not right. I suppose I was picking up on the contained grief. And, to be truthful, these long hours of doing nothing, not grieving, were very boring to me, and I hate to be bored. Maybe I can pick up on it now as the "cool boredom" Chogyam Trungpa writes about, just be there as if in meditation, just sit there.
I wonder what jewels there are in this nighttime of a great loss, in the very Dragon's jaws. I can't help it, that makes me imagine a dragon wearing grillz. I can't find an image of that, so here is my favorite dragon, Skosh, who has befriended an artist I know. It wouldn't surprise me if he had grillz.
[Thanks to the How To Be Sick website for the poem.]