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Poems XXIII *

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  • R. K. Wijayaratne
    Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammâ Sambuddhassa! ... Saturday, 10 November, 8:00 AM : Monthly Meditation Retreat is aimed at persons who are genuinely
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2007
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      Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammâ Sambuddhassa!
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      Saturday, 10 November, 8:00 AM : Monthly Meditation Retreat is aimed at persons who are genuinely interested in pursuing the Noble Eightfold Path. At Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara, 125 Homestead Road, Berwick. For information please contact Ven. Wimalananda 03 9702 6275 or Saman 0419 878 273. View program and other information here http://vihara.org.au/t7/pub/atts/2007/08/PROGRAM.pdf
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      POEMS XXIII
      By R. K. Wijayaratne

      See previous installment here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhamma/message/1292


      LET THEM

      They are capable of hurting,
      they are capable of taking advantage,
      as well as using,
      they are capable of harming,
      they are capable of abusing.

      So let them hurt,
      take advantage and use,
      harm,
      and also abuse.

      Problems and conflict only arise,
      when we try to oppose,
      prevent,
      or stop.[1]

      [1] Use wisdom to know when to act and when not to.


      MOTHER

      I emerged from your body,
      you are the root of this tree,
      called me.
      If something were to happen to you,
      it would also surely happen too,
      to me.

      You my best friend,
      my protector,
      my advisor,
      my everything,
      my dear
      -- amma.


      BEAUTY?

      Luscious lips,
      mesmerizing eyes,
      silky hair,
      dazzling body.

      It's just an aging carcass,
      not worth considering,
      -- that's all.


      CONGRATULATIONS?

      You got married,
      you got enagaged,
      why is everyone happy?
      Why is everyone,
      getting carried away?

      You signed a life-long contract,
      with sickness,
      old age and death!
      What's there to celebrate,
      and to get carried away with?

      You are on the slippery slope,
      heading straight towards,
      death,
      so better prepare for it,
      without any further delays.


      SENSUAL PLEASURES

      This world revolves,
      around sensual pleasures,
      pleasures based,
      around pleasing the six sense bases,[1]
      it's ridiculous,
      to say the least.

      Everything including songs to literature,
      social norms,
      goals and dreams,
      even education,
      and what parents expect from their children,
      it's all really based,
      on this.

      It's all about 'more,'
      and how to get 'more,'
      children are taught,
      to win the 'rat race' at any cost.

      It really is a sad,
      state of affairs,
      that it has come to this,
      but I guess,
      this is how,
      lay people live.

      [1] Many things are blindly and slavishly pursued to please the sensual pleasures around the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind, see http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html#salayatana


      NO REAL HAPPINESS THERE

      What do you take for happiness,
      what gives happiness to your life?
      If that changes,
      if it goes away,
      what will happen to your happiness,
      it too will melt away,
      right?

      You see,
      what you take for happiness,
      is just misery,
      -- in disguised.


      EMPTY

      Marriage is empty,
      friendships are empty,
      work is empty
      this whole life is empty!
      There is nothing worth taking there,
      its all,
      just empty.


      HAPPINESS

      Ah happiness!
      Ah happiness!
      So this is the happiness,
      of renunciation,
      this is the happiness,
      of giving up!


      WHY CONTEMPLATE DEATH?

      Why do we contemplate death,
      is it to be negative,
      to be gloomy,
      to be miserable,
      to be depressed,
      or morbid?

      No!

      We contemplate death,
      purely as a device,
      a tool,
      to understand how short life is,
      and to start doing good,
      before,
      it eventually comes.


      DREAMS

      Most of what goes on,
      inside our minds are dreams,
      fantasies,
      delusions
      and illusions;
      open both your eyes.
      establish concentration,
      and become fully aware,
      and this will become,
      very clear to you.

      And our lives too,
      are much like this,
      a dream,
      not quite real,
      but most only awake from this dream,
      and realize this at the end,
      when they close their eyes,
      -- for good.


      DIVINE MESSENGER

      When you see a grey hair,
      don't be alarmed,
      or get carried away,
      its only giving you a message,
      that you need to consider.

      It's a prediction of the future,
      things yet to come,
      namely old age,
      sickness,
      and death.

      So make haste,
      do much good,
      collect many provisions of merit,
      from many good deeds done,
      and prepare for the journey,
      that's coming up ahead,
      before too late,
      my friend.


      WILL NEVER HAPPEN

      There is not now,
      nor has there ever been,
      nor will there ever be,
      someone who can stop,
      old age from rolling in.

      There is not now,
      nor has there ever been,
      nor will there ever be,
      someone who can stop,
      disease and sickness from rolling in.

      There is not now,
      nor has there ever been,
      nor will there ever be,
      someone who can stop,
      death from rolling in.


      THE LOST WORLD

      I stand on this balcony,
      and look down at the street at people going by,
      peoply trapped in misery,
      but don't really know how or why.

      I see them walk to and fro,
      going who knows where,
      they really walk towards disease,
      old age and death,
      but they do not seem to know.

      I feel like that Arahant,
      in that Dhammapada verse,[1]
      the one who looks down from the peak,
      at the surrowing folk below,
      enwrapt in craving,
      in this world.

      What a curse,
      this samasaric round is,
      of never ending births and deaths,
      it's a trap,
      no doubt.

      While I watch them go by,
      I know all is not lost,
      for I too can help,
      to reduce that suffering in this world,
      from now.

      [1] See Dhammapada verse 28 here http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhamma/message/896


      I WANT TO

      I want to serve this world,
      so let me serve it.
      I want to save this world,
      so let me save it.

      LET ME

      Let my heart be filled with kindness,
      and free from hatred,
      and all resentment.

      Let my heart open,
      along with my arms,
      embracing all,
      without exception.

      Let me think of all beings,
      as my own family,
      brothers and sisters,
      mothers and fathers,
      sons,
      as well as daughters.

      Let me lessen the burden,
      of the suffering that all suffer,
      in this world,
      on a daily basis.

      Let me shine a light on this world,
      the light from the Buddha's Dhamma,
      so that others may open their eyes,
      and this world can be,
      -- a little brighter.


      STAINS

      Don't be stingy,
      don't be stingy,
      stinginess is a stain,
      to be overcome,
      by giving and generosity.

      Don't be untruthful,
      don't be untruthful,
      untruthfulness is a stain,
      to be overcome,
      by truthfulness.

      Don't be deceptive,
      don't be deceptive,
      deceptiveness is a stain,
      to be overcome,
      by honesty and openness.

      Don't speak harshly,
      don't speak harshly,
      harsh speech is a stain,
      to be overcome,
      by kind and considerate words.

      Don't be divisive,
      don't be divisive,
      divisiveness is a stain,
      to be overcome,
      by creating unity.

      Don't be empty,
      don't be empty,
      emptiness is a stain,
      to be overcome,
      by maintaining the Noble silence,
      and only speaking words,
      that are worth treasuring.

      Don't give into jealousy,
      Don't give into jealousy,
      jealousy is a stain to be overcome,
      by appreciative joy,
      of other's gains and happiness.[1]

      Don't be cruel,
      Don't be cruel,
      cruelty is a stain to be overcome,
      by developing compassion.[2]

      Don't be hateful,
      Don't be hateful,
      hatred is a stain to be overcome,
      by radiating loving-kindness.[3]

      Don't be lustful,
      Don't be lustful,
      lust is a stain to be overcome,
      by contemplating ugliness.[4]

      Don't be ignorant,
      Don't be ignorant,
      ignorance is a stain to be overcome,
      with all conquering wisdom.[5]

      [1] Instructions for doing the meditation on muditata (symphathetic joy), see http://groups.google.com/group/What_Buddha_Said/browse_thread/thread/e8e2ce088d7\812a0/195b7b5c2cc484a5#195b7b5c2cc484a5

      [2] Instructions for doing the meditation on karuna (compassion), see http://groups.google.com/group/What_Buddha_Said/browse_thread/thread/635bf934a2f\6c416/dea5bbc7babaaf89#dea5bbc7babaaf89

      [3] See easy to follow instructions for doing the meditation on loving-kindness (metta meditation) here http://www.vihara.org.au/go?to=mettamed and http://groups.google.com/group/What_Buddha_Said/browse_thread/thread/bda8ca31716\4aa3e/2a1bb76d5ae3e0a0#2a1bb76d5ae3e0a0

      [4] Asubha bhavana - meditation on the foulness of the body, see http://What-Buddha-Said.net/drops/III/The_9_Corpse_Meditations.htm and http://What-Buddha-Said.net/drops/III/The_32_Parts.htm

      [5] Anapana-sati - awareness of breath, see here http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html#anapanasati


      MIND WORLDS

      Why do we create worlds,
      inside our minds?
      How we would do this,
      do that,
      say this,
      and others would say that?

      None of these are real,
      just more illusions,
      to be put aside,
      allowed to melt away,
      so that the mind,
      can be aware of the very present,
      and pure too.


      THE USUAL GUEST

      Mara you infiltrated my mind,
      yet again,
      and here I was thinking,
      that thinking was done by 'me,'
      but it was you,
      all along.

      As per usual,
      you are now seen,
      so kindly go back,
      to whence you came,
      O Sneaky One,
      please,
      -- be gone.


      DON'T CATCH ALIGHT

      When a fire erupts in the mind,
      don't add fuel to it,
      get consumed by it,
      and get burnt out,
      in both body and mind.

      Mara[1] is the fire starter,
      he'll start a little flame,
      and will watch gleefully,
      hoping for us to catch alight,
      and burn bright.

      Let the flames die down,
      in their own time,
      if you watch them mindfully,
      and add no more fuel,
      they will,
      in time.

      [1] Mara, see http://what-buddha-said.net/library/DPPN/ma/maara.htm


      ARE YOU GOOD OR BAD?

      When positive mental states arise,
      are you are good?
      When a negative mental states arise,
      are you are bad?
      When a neither postive nor negative mental states arise,
      are you are neither good nor bad?
      They are just passing states in the mind,
      yet another sign of ever-changing impermanence of you and I.

      So let these states,
      come and go as they please.
      Just be aware in your mind,
      of their rise and fall.
      That is that they came (rise),
      and that 'ahh yes,
      now they are gone' (fall).

      Don't get caught up,
      get embroiled,
      and carried away with them,
      as a sleeping village does,
      in a snap flood,
      from a raging storm.


      STOP THAT TRAIN

      Here comes a train of thought,
      creating all kind of bindings to samsara as it goes.
      Stop it in its tracks,
      silence the mind,
      let the body become calm,
      it's gone now,
      the mind is pure.


      THE MIND IS MUCH FASTER TO CHANGE THAN THE BODY

      The mind is like lightening,
      it can switch back and forth,
      between bright and dark states in an instant,
      but the body is slow,
      it will lag after,
      and feel the after affects of the previous thinking,
      whether good or bad,
      for some time,
      after that thinking has long passed,
      and the state of mind,
      has since changed.

      When the mind is in a negative state,
      the body too will react,
      excreting who knows what hormones,
      causing the heart-rate to increase,
      and maybe causing one,
      to break into a sweat.

      As long as that mental state persists,
      this body state too will last,
      and if the mental state changes back to bright,
      the body state won't change back,
      so fast,
      but will persist in that negative state,
      slowly changing over time,
      calming down in degrees,
      and coming to a rest,
      some time,
      after the mind.

      So as soon as you realize,
      that the mind is in a dark state,
      change it back in an instant to a positive state,
      by silencing the mental formations there and then,
      you will be silencing the mind thereby,
      and also assert to yourself,
      in your thoughts thus:
      'my mind is now in a pure state',
      re-establish watchfulness (sati),
      over the mind,
      so that it won't re-lapse (into darkness),
      and then wait for the bodily formations,
      including the racing heart,
      with the other bodily disturbances,
      to come to a rest by themselves,
      or you can breathe in and out,
      fully aware,[1]
      to speed up
      this process.

      [1] Anapana-sati - awareness of breath, see here http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html#anapanasati


      CONSTANTLY WATCH THE MIND

      The mind needs to be watched (sati),
      without rest,
      at all moments,
      around the clock.


      THINKING HAS POWERFUL EFFECTS

      The thinking process,
      thoughts,
      fuel the various mental states,
      alter how we feel,
      as well as our perceptions.

      Better to be without thinking,
      to put an end to that endless activity,
      bring the mind to rest,
      and peace.


      KEEP WATCH & REMAIN SILENT

      When a thought pops into the mind,
      it will stay there for a while,
      and then fade away by itself,
      thus you could say,
      that a mental object arose,
      and then fell away.

      The Lord Buddha has said,
      that the mind is inherently pure,
      but is defiled by incoming thoughts,
      in other words defiled,
      by thoughts that arise,[1]
      and it's true,
      I have seen this,
      with my own mind's eye.

      When a thought arises,
      if we grab hold of it (with the mind),
      rather than letting it fade away,
      on its own accord,
      and we create other thoughts around it,
      mental formations,
      or sankhara if you will,[2]
      then the mind can become defiled.

      And as long as these thought formations,
      are being formed,
      around the initial thought that arose,
      and as long as those formations are going on,
      the mind can,
      and usually will,
      remain defiled.

      But if we put a stop to it,
      there and then,
      and silence the mind,
      that silence,
      or the lack of mental formations (sankhara),
      is a pure state of mind!

      The mind goes from pure to defiled,
      and from defiled to pure states,
      at all moments,
      and every day,
      of our lives.

      As long as the mind is silent,
      and not given to thinking,
      then we can rest assured,
      that the mind,
      is in its original and pure state.

      But as long as there are thought formations going on,
      and the mind is not silent,
      creating who knows what kamma,
      for ourselves and our future,
      then we can know,
      that it's probably,
      not pure.

      The only thoughts that are safe to think,
      are thoughts lacking,
      in lust, hatred and delusion,
      but even these the Lord Buddha dissuaded,
      citing as causing bodily fatigue,
      and disturbing the mind.[3]

      Any sort of thinking,
      is better not done,
      even the Lord Buddha advised us,[4]
      to not give into thinking,
      as thinking can give rise to kamma,
      and brings about fresh re-birth,
      in this painful round called samsara.[5]

      So the trick is to always be watchful,
      to watch this rising and falling of thoughts,
      and not get entangled at any point,
      so that it ends up defiling the pure and silent state,
      of the mind.

      [1] See AN 1.49-52, Pabhassara Sutta, Luminous here http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an01/an01.049.than.html
      "Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements." {I,v,9}
      "Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements." {I,v,10}
      "Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind." {I,vi,1}
      "Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind." {I,vi,2}

      [2] Sankhara (mental fashionings, fabrications, or formations), see http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html#sankhara

      [3] See MN 19, Dvedhavitakka Sutta, Two Sorts of Thinking here http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.019.than.html#habit
      "And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with renunciation…non-ill will…harmlessness arose. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with renunciation…non-ill will…harmlessness has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.' So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind would not be disturbed.

      [4] See AN 1:16 - 321 Ekadhammapali here http://www.mettanet.org/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/4Anguttara-Nikaya/Anguttara1/1-ekanipata/016-Ekadhammapali-e.html
      321. Bhikkhus, just as a little bit of urine, ... re ... saliva, ... re ... pus, ... re ... blood smells and should be got rid of, I do not specify thinking* even for the fraction of a second.
      * I do not specify thinking even for a short second. 'appamattakampi bhavam na vannemi' Always thoughts seek connections in the past, for the future or in the present. The bhikkhu who aims extinction should not advocte thinking, as thoughts prolong the journey in existence.

      [5] Samsara (the round of rebirth), see http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html#samsara


      I KNOW HOW TO CONTROL YOU NOW

      Wow I'm winning this Battle against you,
      in the battlefield of the mind Mara,
      because I understand now,
      the nature of this mind.

      Before I used to think,
      if I had a bad thought,
      that that was it,
      my mind was impure,
      and remained impure,
      that I had done a wrong,
      and I had to erase and undo it somehow,
      by cleansing with bhavana (meditation),
      even though my mind,
      had since long changed,
      and another mental state,
      had arrived.

      I thought that impure state,
      somehow lingered on,
      in the mind after the thought,
      but it doesn't,
      it only lingers on,
      as long as we keep thinking on it,
      as soon as the negative thinking stops,
      that impure state,
      also disappears,
      but it may seem otherwise,
      as the body is slow to react,
      and to calm down.

      So this is how you preyed on my mind all these years Mara,
      this is how you tripped up
      and confused this mind,
      words come to mind,
      that I'd better not use,
      as they'd only aid you in your quest,
      to make me less.

      But now I can really see,
      how this mind works,
      it is an amazing thing,
      so inconstant,
      so ever changing,
      so unstable,
      and best of all,
      that's all natural,
      and how it's really meant to be!

      It can change from good to bad,
      from bad to good,
      to neutral,
      and then good again,
      in an instant,
      it's truly amazing,
      to witness this,
      -- within.

      There is nothing there,
      to personalize,
      thinking 'I'm good,'
      'I'm bad,'
      'I'm neither good nor bad,'
      and if you did,
      you'd go nuts,
      because of the rate at which,
      the mind changes,
      and because there really is,
      no "I".

      And I know now,
      how to not get caught up,
      in dark states,
      and to switch my mind back to a pure,
      and silent state,
      by becoming aware of the dark state,
      that has arisen,
      then stopping the mental formations (sankhara),
      currently in progression,
      and then re-establishing watchfulness over the mind,
      in an instant,
      and the best part is,
      it's so simple,
      who would have thought it would be this simple,
      it really is great!

      Ha ha ha Mara,
      today I do feel victorious,
      for I gained control over,
      this uncontrollable wild steed,
      called 'my mind.'

      Today I ride into battle,
      with this powerful steed now obedient,
      with my mind steady and well balanced,
      with wisdom's weapon in hand;
      today I ride towards you,
      -- with ease.



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