Kanji for Muryoko

'Infinite Light'

Journal of Shin Buddhism

Gregg Heathcote

Animus In Amber

Life's avowed golden set
Being's resinous Ground
Bodhi Tree's bleeding bloom
Catching fragrant freshness
Whole in that Ground
Namo Amida Butsu

Illumined Earth grows open
Honey sap streaming
Mine fastness borne falling?
Animated in suspension?
Happy landing living gem
Namo Amida Butsu

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 13 April 1995 )




Nowhere is my sounding skin's pulse
Nembutsu being the point of its compass
Every direction into motion thereby summoned
And even so bodily brought to rest

Centre listening heart at large Oyasan
Circle with a Word blood and breath
Beat me wherever I am going
Ever return to that Name I lost
Hearken my life's whole point encompassed
Pierce this drum called Namo Amida Butsu

Am I of Ippen's dancing accompaniment?
For timeless rhythm's open organism given thanks?
Such refuge embodied holds nothing back
Vibrant is my empty Namo Amida Butsu

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 4 December 1995 )



Soaking in my perspicuous blot upon the Name

Now Nature's depth in the living Earth pools
Gently sound this well where inkling blackness bathes
Passion's paned oil watermarking there Oya's lightening sheet
Illumination's paging filmed in oil painted rainbow ill-lustration
Blotted life so staining translucent paper prison walls
That taken at His window Word's absorbing view
Our nadir's turning leaf draws in sheer slickness
Namo Amida Butsu

Here am I bonno blotting in the light
Mugeko's void vision splendid spotting maculate me thus
Shadowing inky immolation engrossed amidst irradiant inner space
Compassion's avowed vespertine reflection in darkling clarity cremated
Its intimate circle our lantern's waxing watermark plain
Wherein transparent togetherness saturates both sense and nonsense
Namo Amida Butsu

Steeped in iridescent contrast my burning body dyes
Bodhi-to-be a telling blank drawn in infinity awash
Screening no-thingness naturally intercepting everything I call me
Neither Buddha nor bombu at heart here hearing
Namo Amida Butsu

Such glorious gloom through the din silently blooms
Open hell-fire flowering with pellucid Bo blossom free
The pit's fruition in life's pointed Name soiling
Namo Amida Butsu

And sincerity's smoothness styles my radical reference real
Namo Amida Butsu

Oneness' signature sealed

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 10 August 1996 )



Seeding One Taste Budding:
Logos Spermatikos Nembutsu Becoming Homo Sapid Sapiens

Dancing agape amidst this leap of naked flame
Tongue whetting succouring appetite - consuming suckling life alive
Earth's native witness borne in Tariki's nativity so provocative!
Passion succulently succumbing to that siren's ripe calling
Namo Amida Butsu

Game tenderness of Oya's devoted dalliance
That Buddha-body's betrothal of flesh feasting its hungering whole
Ingenue's intimate play piquant upon self's searing skin
Intensity's open entree blazing the Great Natural Way all-going
Time taut, rapt in sense, stretched to snap!
Namo Amida Butsu

Aspic reservoir of incendiary inhibition set alight
West well ingesting whole the blood's burning glut
Mara's dyspeptic dam in an instant bursts!
Cry of compassion consummate in naked oneness alive
And savouring innocence is in raw concupiscence conceiving
Amidst voluptuous death that virgin dancing thus born
Being's whole meal meet - Namo Amida Butsu

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 5 June 1995)



Clouded Night

A hoary head
From which floats words
Like stepping stones on misty waters

A tree amidst the waters
From which light fruits electric
Up the course of effulgent wood

Breezy expectancy
High in those floodlit branches
Tracing an open window

Quiet is the visitor
Reminding the sleeping world
Of the dream indeed it is

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 7 July 2001)



A comforting thought

The touch of a favourite quilt on a cold winter's night
The warmth of fine friends and family in bitter crises' despite
Grateful for gratitude as heaven's most healing boon
Joy dreams on in its pain's starry bedroom

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 18 June 2001)



Sea of Suchness: Crucible of Compassion

We are all the streamings
of consciousness
Currents eddying in the Ocean
of Mind
Beyond the beginning and ending
of time

Oyasama is the singular savour
of that Ocean
In that savour
all tastes and tastings
are consumed

Beauty bathing all the worlds
like pearls adorning the Body
of Bliss
Sparkling crystal facets
of water
Warmth flowing into its jewellery
of ice

Tariki betides the pure potential
of that Ocean
Be borne there before winds
of return
Be born dyed in vapours
of light

Nirvana's sea drinks samsara's solution
crystal clear
Votive perfection of form implicit
in the very fluidity
of the Deep
Na man da bu...
Na man da bu.....

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 6 January 1995)



His faith frank: Infinity gone fishing

The truth of tariki
Believe it or not
Plays the catchiest line
Now, wherever baited bonno's sinking
Angling compassion's causeway whitely luring
Here hearing's drawbridge rightly lying

Of suchness is life's moment
When shinjin's star has shot
Dark mirror-mindful rivers tracking
Light sounds, Lord Shan-tao
Just so I go
On reflexion reeled across

Na man da bu
My Oya's passant portage listing
Na man da bu
Splendour's span o'er silence trawling
Na man da bu
Purity's landing is candidly calling

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 24 January 1996)



The Game of the Name

Na man da bu!
Na man da bu!
Bouncing ball against
The wall
The wall
The wall
Bouncing ball with
The wall
Again going

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 28 July 1997)



It's a gas: a rarity ditty on pure wind blowing by

It's just like this and that's that
It is and it isn't
It's everything and nothing
It's neither here nor there
It's everywhere's elusion
Currency then blowing a fuse
Quicksilver reflexion
Namo Amida Butsu
Namo Amida Butsu
Likeness just so

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 21 February 1995)



Idyll of Ingenue

This life's carnal wallow - quicksand hotbed of my rankness
Yet a haunting beauty condescends to lie with me there
In love's blooming play a frank native to my need
Perennial purity ceded in the prostitution of her graciousness
My shameful self favoured by her sacrifice
My dark desires with devotion's radiance requited
Lonesome longing initiated to intimate warmth
Cruel confusion's coming home so softly addressed
Such lostness found by compassion's courtesan
She and I in faith, alone at last
Evocative bouquet of that candid company - Na man da bu
Goodness mothering my selfsame son

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 12 March 1995)



Jiriki Jam; Tariki Timbre

Shin strains not instruments of artful audition
Audience inspires the Amida's moving air
Play's the music of nembutsu
Beating time's measure meet
Natural justness jives
Dharma dances

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 21 December 1994)

Loose living

A ripe arrow
Fruitfully falling away to ground
Life of itself plucked from the heartstring
Loosed with the infinitely seeding sound

Gather memories of moments before me scattered
Settle the dust of a gloriously darkening day
To what do I owe this strange pleasure?
Terrific force of flight at play

Arching press of hot and cold comfort
Whitherward transfix of this lightening arc
Made so sublimely small my world's rebirth
Mundanely meteoric kernel of a truly infinite spark

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 20 August 2000)



Melting Moment

The ocean of the Universal Vow is
naught but a teardrop welling
in the eye of a stormy world
Still focus of the irradiant light
Beauty burning in a sea aflame
Heart of the beating heart's haven

What primal promise may a droplet fulfil?
What dire gauge of thirst fully quench?
Pure meniscus of deliquescent time alighting
Presently see its crystal ball catching thee
Mirror bright imaging the tense-less sense
Striking centre of a rippling mind

What depth in a raindrop falling
What wonder in Iris' rainbow womb
Spectral covenant of clarity's splendour
Sky crying over the vivid vortex
Life now flowing into exultant earth
Life then hard upon dry ground

Saha swirling darkling tempest
Straight'way spews the lightning flash
Incandescent blade of immanent space
Mighty Monju's imminent time come
Cutting open the bowels of compassion
Amida's newborn sun delivered just so

Blazing eye of the beloved beholder
Glistening oculus - glistering blistering oracle
Namo Amida Butsu - Namo Amida Butsu
Hail falling rapt in your forge
Annealing ambience erupting into life
Glowing gold at hearth the gloaming matter

Void as form as clear water mist
Bathes in beauty the blinded I
Condensation cataract of potent purity thundering
Dewdrop dispensation catching dawn's sparkling web
Transparent global gesture of light's ocean waving
Molten moment westward set - Namo Amida Butsu

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 14 January 1995)



Promissory Notation

So ultimately simple is the balance.
We owe what matters.
Hence the closely loving attention
We would rightly pay it.

Fine the flowing focus is,
And so very dear the dear address
That franked by feeling economy is
Rightly finding its way.

But no cheque in the mail this.
Rather look to the everywhere engraven communion plate;
Perhaps slipping through fumbling fingers;
Bent on immaterial senses.

With a care to gratitude's oh so particular causes,
This liminal welcome waits world upon world.
And well we wink at its beauties ever brushing by;
The open eye offered in pale recompense.

Weight for weight of daring chiaroscuro,
Life precisely matters.
In the image of all is this graven
Namo Amida Butsu.

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 14 July 2001)

Pyre Afloat

Namo Amida Butsu
A votive flame
Just burn you beauty
Render my fat heart
Tiding of waxing warmth
Waive me Oyasama
Catch me alight
Carry my embers on your crest
To the ends of the Earth
Unto this last
Everlasting ocean
Namo Amida Butsu

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 7 April 1995)



A recipe for not making a meal of it all

1 - Pour forth the good oil in a nutshell.
2 - Spice with variety and sheer zest.
3 - Seal the juicy meat of the matter, tongue-in-cheek.
4 - Add ripe fruits of your labour.
5 - Stuff what's known from bitter experience.
6 - Place over and above the heat of the moment.

Serving suggestions:

- Season liberally with the salt of the earth.

- Toast the good graces of whatever has panned out with the heady brew of a storm in a teacup.

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 29 July 2001)



The Last Resort

"The last resort is the Infinite itself - Amida."
[From The Great Natural Way (1976, p.131) by Ven. Hozen Seki.]

When is life alive?
When is death dead?
The empty moment vaulting
All under one roof

Accomodation so starkly free
On holiday's nowhere going
Shelter but solitary shedding
Desire regretting no more

Nothing left to gain
Nothing left to lose
Hope and fear averted
Pastime of time surpassed

Now here I live
Just so I die
All this as is
Na man da bu

Where is waywardness home?
Where is hell spent?
Within the Word's saying
Recreation elsewhere no more

Paths there beat us
Vacation hitting the spot
About our weary extremities
Advertising the last resort

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 27 August 1997)



Rolling off Fortunatus' pursed lips

Life's a pointed balance
A whole within a whole
Where the falling-through all comes together
There you're on top of the ride

Coaster of the inward outing
Messenger in a Klein bottle broadcast
Convoluted in translucent calling
But clearly on air where his name comes to ground

[NB Fortunatus was a European folkloric hero rescued from destitution by the goddess Fortuna, who gave him a magical money purse which could never be emptied.

In one of his stories (ie 'Sylvie and Bruno Concluded'), Lewis Carroll, the paradox-loving mathematician and fantastical author of 'Alice in Wonderland', describes the stitching together of a real version of Fortunatus' purse with inner and outer surfaces that are continuous and indistinguishable, so that: "Whatever is inside that Purse, is outside it; and whatever is outside it, is inside it. So you have all the wealth of the world in that leetle Purse!".

A Klein bottle (named after German mathematician Felix Klein) is similarly a geometric 'container' of continuous three-dimensional space, without an inside or outside, formed by inserting the small open end of a tapered tube through the side of the tube and making it contiguous with the larger open end.]

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 26 July 2001)




Ever hungering for otherwise wonders
My oppressed palate yields but little juice
An overeaten emptiness under my very nose
Makes of Amida's savour arid sense

So shameful this infidel appetite
Eschewing dharma prepared to none other's taste
In fact what wondrous subtlety in the service
Diet upon which I otherwise would choke

Can I go on lusting after final satisfaction?
How are my insipid moments finally made meet?
Jiriki flavours with blood in my mouth
And with this prey - Namo Amida Butsu

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 31 August 2000)



Light Sketch Fantastic

Drawing not the living thing
but Ah!, the life within it

Drawing life like water
drawn from a well

A spider's web of lines
catching the light-laden air in mid-motion

Kindly the home to which
the quiet breath returns exhausted warmth

What a dream of joyful capture
unfolds all around me

My less than dextrous hand
caressing such graphic peace

Betwixt thee and me
this meniscus of waxing wonder

Beauty walking into the world
to join the general dance

Paged on the widening path
plain as pure steppes here landed

Between one and oneself this aching access
I follow but think not

What then into this dim tracing drawn -
shaping up deeply Namo Amida Butsu

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 20 July 2001)



Solvitur Ambulando

Step by step by step
It sinks in
Clarity as mud between the toes
Downtrodden focus printed

Step by step by step
Pathway wends within
Wonder as water falling forward
Edging to the endless end

Walks a way
Moment its place knowing
Waits golden weight upon
Lightness travelling incognito

Walks right a way
Minded world in poesy's motion
Soles singing the line drawn astride
Umbilical skipping grounded

Wild and strange everything is
Turned upon purely domestic concentration
Plainness' pilgrimage this
Smooth-rippling horizon

Wild and strange it is
Rolled through excrement of ages
Nose rubbed in life's following
Heart burst abroad

Value is earth's pedestrian purchase
Gazumping freehold fancied
Here the pelt naked stalked
Enters "nothing special"

Value placing upon pedestrian purchase
Spacing seminal planted
Rhythm franks immediate despatch
Simplicity's constitutional overtaking

Pacing openness' enclosure
This worldling's doing a world away
Moment in space, away!
An idling business all

[NB Solvitur ambulando is an old Latin aphorism meaning 'It is solved by walking'.]

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 2 October 1998)



In shinjin's sauntering stride

'I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks - who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering, which word is beautifully derived "from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going a la Sainte Terre," to the Holy Land... Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea.

... If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again - if you have paid your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man - then you are ready for a walk.'

[From the essay 'Walking' by Henry Thoreau.]

"In life or death
	with the Buddha
		the journey continues."

[Poem by Rev. Zuiken Inagaki.]

"What is the Way?"
"Walk on!"

[Zen master Ummon.]

Directly through this wide world walking
Every trusting step falling away home
The quickening ground bearing all journeys
Namo Amida Butsu
We walk on

Where I go I know not
Wandering lost yet founded in wonder
Oya's westering steppes my travail turning
Becoming so becoming
I walk on

Pottering clay of pure land afoot
Mind's pan settling golden lotus pods
Jinen seeded in grave footprints ceded
Gateless gait swinging
Just walk on

At Buddha's nativity pedestrian lotuses bloom
As above, so below, bombus borne
Faith's flesh is grass blades' scabbard
Womb wounds healing
Compassion walks on

Pain slipping o'er sobriety's faltering mudflat
Tariki's tripping advert of intoxicating purchase
Dharma's elixir pressing Earth's drunken ease
Infinite spirit imbibing
Oneness walks on

Ambit of saponaceous wisdom so elusive
Wetness soiling soulful soles of embrace
Freshening fatigue gratefully taking for granted
Namo Amida Butsu
Waywardness walks on

Namo Amida Butsu
Going and returning are moving on

Ambu-lancing Amida Butsu
That peregrine power of lightening ON!

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 3 January 1996)



Air on the attached strings

Heaven's love for the hell of it improvises
Artless art in craft's counterpoint fine
Everything has strings attached
But freedom won't work without their play
Our very puppetry is the music's instrument
Dancing of itself in the open sky

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 1 July 1997)



Shinjin for the Steppenwolf : a flagrant Middle Way for those in two minds

Passionate self-immolation
Living leaving no residue
From this fiery fleshing out
Thoroughgoing irradiant space

Cool is the all-embracing reception
Compassion reflective within sheer emptiness
Yet arcs its smile upon the lusty pyre
And evenly so Namo Amida Butsu

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 7 July 2001)



Memoirs of Vacation at Wit's End

Na man da bu
This entering inn of pure hospitality's calling
This vacancy in one's very own clearing
When hopeless is my cause so lost
My foundering yet effects such fearless resignation
That with rough indifference to accomodating outcomes
Out comes Na man da bu

Signatory smoothness starred in such becoming blackness
Portering thus the empty luggage I cannot carry
And unlocking my room within shadow's clearing
Of that which I vacantly call myself
Na man da bu
Now a heart-broken-open holiday flat

You might say what an awful place to stay
But in samsara's swathe where better?
Wit's End lies at the end of all life's roads
And sooner or later all we tourists go there
Perchance to let good old hard times roll
In our own way a levelling spirit in play
With this recreative Na man da bu

Surely it's sick to freely suffer suffering
To visit our patient selves enjoying Hell's hospitality
Most prefer river resorts along the Lethe
Drunkenly drowning themselves in its vain tonic
Overlooking the toxicity of tears called for but begrudged
Truly forgetting what means Na man da bu

But to Wit's End I let myself go
On this infernal riviera called to mind
Beached on the edge of ocean and of night
In overreaching darkness touching the face of the deep
My overshadowed being skimming its eventide
Borne upon plain mystery in Name one and only
Na man da bu

A thing of beauty is the end of my world
See-level meaning that it all comes round to this
A sunken life's treasure herein all washed up
Upon surfacing tension like that of Sona's lute
Liberty's strain to loveliness attuned when my tether's end snaps
Na man da bu!

What is my calling where Life works to unemploy me?
Vocation here on holiday totally taken at ease
Taken with salt's grain into sea water's bittersweetness
Vacation at Wit's End tasting of nothing else
Crushing exaltation breathing this ocean of clarity
Passion within Compassion inspired as light's darkling point
Piercing space sounding my Na man da bu

Thanks to tariki's nowhere-going here my play is fast
But am I really grateful for timelessness off work?
Beauty reconciling all, alone cries yes - but no
This resonant reflection finally takes no listing sides
Yet still I list and in faith free-fall flat
My evening grounded by Na man da bu

Na man da bu
A rosy thorn in mind embedded
Astringent remembrance well-opened thus
Entrusted to the End its strange recreation
Nadir met with Nature's quiet confidence
No destination intimate but arrival so well-met
Just this alone - Na man da bu

[NB The Lethe was, in ancient Greek mythology, the river of oblivion in Hades from which the dead drank, thereby forgetting their lives.

Sona was an accomplished musician who became an over-zealous and dangerously ascetic student of Shakyamuni Buddha. In response to the counter-productive extremism of Sona's practice, the Buddha instructed him that he should instead tune his practice in the same way that he tuned the strings on his lute, finding just the right tension for the music to play. Sona understood this, and went on to become an arhat.]

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 22 November 1997)



The Golden Wind

'A monk asked Yun-Men, the great ninth-century Chinese Zen master, "How is it when the tree withers and its leaves fall?" How is it when you are empty-handed and naked, when you have nothing to hold onto, when everything you might have relied upon falls away? Yun-Men said, "Whole body exposed in the golden wind." '

['The Blue Cliff Record' cited in 'Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art' (1990) by Stephen Nachmanovitch, p.146]

With the lightening comes the wind
Comes the wind cleansing the world
Westering warmth blowing where it listeth
Space aglowing where it nowhere alights

Stillness' ground upon this slipstream stands
Bullion vapour veined in its blast
Hearth fire in the whole emblazing
Heralded castles in the air breath-taken

Life naked dyes as day borne
Before its dawning autumnal sails sun-set
Homecoming earth so emptying travails abroad
Through and through the golden wind

Where to go with this flow?
Where to let slip the sky?
Drop all your Namo Amida Butsu
And where you are just fly

Alluvial ease mines the golden wind
Luffing at all this hot air
Wing-weighted words lie all about you
Take off then Namo Amida Butsu

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 13 August 1997)



Ham on the Bone

This actor's "sundry practice"
Exertion cramped in distraction
Self-working not working
'Illusion' indeed 'ill in play'

"Great practice" ever extempore
Recollection eruptive at ease
No-self in action working itself out
Illusion an illusion positively at play

Sundry are my many parts in practice
Peace of mind in presence tense
But Greatness is thrust upon my working illusion
Playing up self-ridden Namo Amida Butsu

Bombu persona so practicable
Dharmakara's make-believe deviant dramatic
Truth to itself on stage
And all the world's acting Amida



I's Amida's staggering stand-up straight-man: a vice-verse confession of dry self drunk on stage

Amida's humour humours
Amida's world winks
Her laserlight livens
Her work's wit
Namo Amida Butsu

Oya's folly's freedom
Oya's truth's trick
Our laughter's leaven
Our sorrow's sweet
Namo Amida Butsu

Balloons go up
Buddha's belly rocks
Dharma wheel rolls
Dig pure playground
Namo Amida Butsu

Faith's eyes sparkle
Gambolling games guaranteed
Tongue tickling meaning
Tariki's tale wags
Namo Amida Butsu

Compassion wisely cracks
Punchline gets me
Me all over
Knock knock nembutsu
Namo Amida Butsu

A-cute angle Amida
Felicity's act gratis
Buddha entertaining bombu
Dissolving in merriment
Namo Amida Butsu

Applause ecstatic applause
Oya's occasion rising
Nature's standing ovation
Eternal encore infinite !
Namo Amida Butsu

( © Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 24 December 1994 )



T-time: a poem unfinished

Annihilating despair again blisters within
My bitterly corrosive shadow
In its impotence raging and writhing
On the boil under this skin

Not to belittle your hell my dear demon
But I seem to be your stormy cup of tea
Through your teeth some sweetness, old boy?
Midway meeting now to taste if we can't finally be friends

Brutally bullying is our past together
And our home world's fate is everywhere fouled
So deeper refreshment is presently in order
In this poisoned cup of ours, one good drop

( © Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 2 September 2002 )



Void avoiding

No suffering and no end to suffering
Joy arisen and empty
Living out this inbred life in the Land of Bliss
'My' 'Amida' daily dying by inches

Non-dual is the great kindness and shame
A tear overflowing happiness and grief
Crying Namo Amida Butsu
Namo Amida Butsu

( © Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 30 July 2002 )



Gyõ odori - dancing practice

Be deeply moved
Move on more
With integrity, connection, ENERGY
Let go
Let's go
Gently, wholly, bodily
Go down
Go down deeply
Go down where we are now
Go down where we're going to go

Living light
Yielding weight
Settling into sliding
Falling about all over the place
A shadow caught with his pants down
Molten on the ice
Dark substance skating
Frozen in DANCE

( © Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 14 September 2002 )




To the west of the centre
Reflections in infinite recession
Illusion's grand procession mirrored through life
Grooming the vanity of 'my' Namoamidabutsu

Yet focussed within the living eye
Space everywhere emergent in perfection
Dharmas upon dharmas fallen through and through
Seeing naught but ways clear

( © Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 1 April 2003 )



Ultra vires

I thought I wasn't really evil
But to Mara's mockery I truly do attest
Being powerless to protect those I love
I hatefully empower that with which we are most sorely oppressed

Still, cruel though the standing trial
Bereft of wisdom to self-acquit
Life's sentence is naturally just nembutsu
And for that my impotent evil is, albeit painfully, fit

Bitter time served in the blameless face of such freedom
What an ultimately wholesome but bloody pill to swallow
Mugeko as a massive last meal made of light
The cell's openness bursting my aching heart's hollow

( © Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 1 May 2003 )



War crime

Locked into my incendiary chamber
Furiously fighting fire with fire
Tortured and torturer taking turns
Applying coals to Newcastle

But 'friendly fire' wounds very well
And free the foregone conclusion
An ashen space for Amida's stage
A plain at pains for purity

To the ground my burning indignation
Equal all on this sweeping level
Yes, even here is Pure Land plain
Plain as our cruelly stupid complicity

( © Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 3 August 2002 )



Home birth

Soiled seed
Radical earth
Internecine symbiosis
Co-evolution express

Wild culture
Native life
Ended meanness
Equilibrated excess

Beauteous, bounteous, sensuous
'Competition' in original sense
The naturally Selected Vow
Nembutsu of naturalness

( © Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 26 October 2002 )



Traipsing tariki - homecoming abroad in peregrine practice

'Walking is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of heartiness and soul primary to humankind. Walking is the exact balance of spirit and humility.'

[ From 'The Practice of the Wild' (p18) by Gary Snyder.]

Vagrant tramp
Void motive on the ground
Placing foot before foot
Falling forward
Ever towards and tangential
To turning earth's centre
My own
And Amida's...

Thus borne none but neighbours known
Namo Amida Butsu !

( © Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 15 April 2004 )



Singing grief's counsel in lament and reprise

Listen in to the weary world's turning.
Rest assured of strength for which you dare not hope.
With nembutsu fear not taking to heart your greatly sorrowing joys.
Before and beyond you throw to the Amida what so wildly calls his aid.
Wide are the Pure Land plains upon which all wondrously gather,
but personally terrible is the lostness unavoidably felt along the way.
Nevertheless are all in time gathered in together.
Pure and accommodating is the naturalness of Compassion's patiently unfolding power.
Namo Amida Butsu.
In mind within Oya's aid of ones so lost,
Namo Amida Butsu.

( © Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 2 June 2004 )



Tariki's time spent, perchance 'in meditation'

Namo Amida Butsu.
Play its livelong meditation
like a fascinated child
or a lover with a lover.
Kiss the Name entirely
and into the bubbling moment
away it's blown.

( © Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 10 November 2004 )



Zazen of mine waiting upon nembutsu, and nembutsu of course just sitting it out

Within the grounded moment round
Rain upon a wishing well
A well into which a golden coin is tossed
Turning over and over and over

Dark and fathomless is the well
And bright the coin so turning
A coin tossed wishing for rain
And pouring rain already in step fallen

Down and down and down
Through air and water and desire of dark, dark depth
Marking thus the moment round
And roundly well it is in fulfilment

( © Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 9 November 2004 )



Recital's recompense

Namo Amida Butsu
Sweet it is just saying the Word
Timelessness then spending my precious time so utterly well, well, well
Buying me nothing a sales pitch could cover
But effecting true value's incalculable purchasing power nonetheless
A pure purchase upon all the slippery self-salesmanship
My daily dying then so damn lively
With Namo Amida Butsu
Namo Amida Butsu
Namo Amida Butsu

(© Copyright Gregg Heathcote, 24 June 2005)



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