“You Underestimate my Power” and Seven other Spiritual Poems
The arrogant meditation student
was as foolish as he was enthusiastic.
One day he boasted to his teacher
“I don’t care if anyone else practices this path,
for I am practicing this path
and it is making me as happy as a lark!”
To which his teacher softly responded,
“Oh, that is a very great problem, indeed!
For if your empathy for the sufferings of others
is neither spontaneous nor uncontrived
your mediation, no matter how pleasurable,
has taken a very wrong turn.”
When shown the error of our ways
we can indulge our prideful and defensive tendencies
giving them free rein over our choices,
and utterances, and actions;
like Anakin shouting at Obi-Wan on Mustafar,
“you underestimate my power!”
shortly and ironically before
his disfiguring defeat.
Or we could choose humility, and vulnerability,
and curiosity, and the enthusiasm to evolve.
We could ask our teacher for clarification
and assistance in how
to specifically and pragmatically
take our next steps upon enlightenment’s path.
Yes, we can choose the defensiveness of toxic masculinity
or the vulnerability of healing femininity
but we can NOT choose both
for they are mutually exclusive,
like one path, headed in two directions
one leading to where we have been
and one leading to where we would like to go.
May we, therefore, choose well.
Today’s second poem:
Novel coronavirus, avian flu,
swine flu, and E.coli
seem to be indictments
against animal husbandry.
If our love for animals is not strong enough
to break our habit of exploiting them,
then perhaps it is the longing
to preserve our species
that could wake us up.
Today’s third poem:
My first autumn of college
my second stepfather
asked me for a blow job.
I am not sure which was more disturbing:
the ease with which he sought to defile
the parent-child dynamic
or the enthusiasm with which he strove
to betray my mother.
Today’s fourth poem:
“Tantric Sex Tips”
Let us speak of tantric sensuality:
and assume you and your partner
are already in a relationship
that is intimate, and committed, and secure.
With familiarity, and with comfort
could come a lazy style of lovemaking,
that could lead to the folly
of directly grabbing erogenous zones
without sufficient enticement.
If you have ever received a Swedish massage
you could remember that the session
classically concludes with what they call
“long, connecting, strokes;”
where left-hand drags up from foot
and right hand simultaneously drags down from hand
and the two meet in the torso.
Likewise, allow the peck
of a lip kiss
to transmute into the passion
of an open mouth kiss;
and let the firm and slow caress
of a distinctly G-rated part
of your partner’s body
slowly move towards
much more interesting parts of their body
only to detour at the last moment.
Just as in preparation for a sneeze
we involuntarily take a few, shallow,
prior to the sneeze’s main event
likewise long, slow, strokes of your partner’s body
shift the blood mass in a way
that makes their body feel
like sex is their own idea.
Like the abdominal undulations
of a belly dancer
that have been crafted over the millennia
by wise women determined to convince men
that Cunnilingus was their idea.
The most effective way
to apply this advice
is NOT to do so
as if following a recipe
from a place of contrivance
or to do so in a frenzy
from a place of scatteredness
but rather to do so from a place
of centered spontaneity;
which is the fruit
of effective meditation.
Today’s fifth poem:
In Mahayana Buddhism
we speak of the five mental poisons
as well as the five wisdoms.
It is a myth of patriarchy
that the five wisdoms are an antidote
that must be applied to the five mental poisons
of: hate, and greed, and confusion, and jealousy, and pride.
If the five wisdoms are NOT the antidotes
to the five mental poisons
then what is the relationship between
these two sets of five?
From the point of view
of Mahamudra and Dzogchen
within hate is the seed of mirror-like wisdom
and within greed is the seed of discriminating wisdom,
and within confusion is the seed
of the wisdom of the basic space of phenomena,
and within jealously is the seed of all-accomplishing wisdom,
and within pride is the seed of equalizing wisdom.
If that is the case,
then how do we actualize the wisdom
at the heart of every mental poison?
By applying the universal antidote
of awareness and release.
During each inhalation
passively, vulnerably, non-analytically notice
whatever you experience.
During each exhalation
physically relax as best you can
that you might mentally let go as well.
we could relax into mirror-like wisdom
we could relax into discriminating wisdom,
we could relax into
the wisdom of the basic space of all phenomena
we could relax into all-accomplishing wisdom
and noticing pride
we could relax into equalizing wisdom.
A Jedi could squander decades
pouring over the teachings of every Holocron
or, like Qui Gon Jinn
simply be led by the force.
Likewise, within our minds
are the prison cells of circumstantial stress,
and cells of physical stress,
and cells of emotional stress,
and cells of mental stress,
but the single key that opens them all
is the simple practice
of awareness and release.
Today’s sixth poem:
No, you do NOT need
your teacher’s permission
but only your teacher’s advice.
Do you not value
your teacher’s advice?
When you applied her instructions
did you fail to receive satisfactory results?
If that is the case
then go, find a teacher
whose instructions work
when you apply them.
Today’s seventh poem:
“A leaf in a Gale”
One bright morning,
during the years I attended elementary school.
stepfather was livid, again.
In the harshest language, and volume possible
he explained that our dog
would die prematurely
because I did not exercise it enough.
This was the first time he had ever
even hinted that I should exercise the dog
and now he was accusing me
of murdering her through neglect.
How much pain was stepfather in, that day?
What was it
that was driving him
like a leaf in a gale?
Today’s eighth and final poem
always be yourself,
for to pretend to be someone you are not
is to live your life
in a prison of your own creation.
Be yourself, for doing so could repel
those incapable of appreciating who you really are
and also draw into your life
those who are best for you
like the Millennium Falcon caught
in the tractor beam of the Death Star.
Let us conclude
with a simple
call to action
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