The Inner Light

Some Buddhist schools insist you spend years practicing meditation in order to achieve spiritual enlightenment. In his article on the school of Ch’an Daniel Scharpenburg makes the argument that we are already Enlightened. In his words: “The only thing that keeps us from our Awakening is the fact that our minds are obscured by delusion.”

This raises a question. Is everyone born with an inner beacon that guides their path through life?

Many modern religions insist that their patented belief system is the only way to Salvation. They compel you to follow a strict discipline in order to succeed at their calling. They truly understand this Inner Light—and they hijack it. Taking over your moral compass, they replace it with their own.

Some traps are lined in velvet and may seem comfortable. But they are traps nonetheless. They take over your life, leaving you with a beacon that is set to someone else’s course. If your compass has been turned this way you are left spiritually bankrupt and unhappy.

Take each step carefully, as you follow your Inner Light.

The Zen of Flying


First Flight


the bird must be ready before it can fly
wings strong; eyes and coordination
fixed right, muscles tuned

feathers dry; skin tight flexed
and bold, unafraid

a little push (a nudge from the nest)
sends it falling headlong into the abyss
to flail; and frightened struggle to gain

falling like a rock fluttering
heart pounding
in fear

wings grip the air
like stair steps
returns to


to soar
with both wings
sailing the crest of freedom


I wore my suit and tie
like a Bodhisattva wears his robes
my wingtips his sandals

I drove my Mercedes C-Class
like an ox cart and read scripture as some
revere Kerouac; or Ginsberg

all these became in me
I thought—the markings
of a spiritual man

where some climbed mountains
in Sherpa chhuba; or crossed desert in Bedouin thawb
I walked sidewalks in Armani chic

as those who chant
mantras into the wind; I spoke “truth”
(into the wind) for no one listened

and the sun set
and the sun rose
and I woke up



The Road to Damascus

Death Valley by Montinovich

Reposted from Dec 30, 2017

The Sunday morning streets are quiet
except for the sound of the cold pavement. ~a pilgrimage

they say there’s a place in the
Sahara where you can buy Jeeps
ride into the desert all the way to

electronic billboards replace neon
fountains decorate Souqs
vendors entice you with the
spoils of early morning
devil’s horns
roast goat heads
fly covered dung heaps
and kefir washed Shish Barak

north past the palm circled Camelots
taxis weave in and out of traffic under the
towers of Babel through the
maddened crowds

enterprising Sumerian chariot drivers
scribble their fares on clay tablets
1,000 dinar will take you
to the Northern regions
of Damascus

urban sprawl and
the smell of industry
where concrete underpasses
open to a long silver ribbon between
snow-capped vistas and the
mountain passes of
the Moab

virgins bathe in that river
beneath the canyons
wave and say

you who travel the road to Salvation
the road to the land of the Saints
the road to the Sun where
Saint George once slew
the dragons of Zion
God now sleeps

These American Boulevards

Sunset Boulevard by Samentha

Originally posted December 2016

firing up
quantum rockets
listen to the step step
of cracks in cosmic emptiness
the divisions in the tarmac
of life along Route 66
Paradise and Sunset
these Boulevards
—a New Revival
of the Old West

cream green
on white
and big rubber
whitewalls padding
on asphalt radio juke
box doo wop bop

the heartfelt attacks
of teenage angst and aplomb
no change just brighter louder brassy
happy children must see god in the details
to wake from a tomorrow that will never come

transistors pop and fizz
an electronic dance on motherboard
bounce off radiator headlights and mud flaps
pinwheel tassels fly in the wind honk honk and smear
of bug on windshield’s tinted glass

beep beep!
sandals to the pedal
roaring with the swells
of mambo rhythms
noisy DJ babble
rock and Roll
and news

whistle of wind
squealing rubber
pounding pounding
bass and Gretsch on vinyl

one eye
peering at the
traffic light camera
waiting on the Rainbows
the Cimarrons and Buffaloes
of these American Boulevards

The Love Bomb of J. Prufrock


Evolution by AandG

Reposted from Dec 6, 2016

vapors wander
under the door sill
smoke drifting insolently
from Magdalene’s cigarettes
in the hallway like a teenager at school
lacking Self-Awareness

the Terracotta Princess holds her head
in her hands and complains of migraines
in Winter stuck indoors and camphor smell
of wooden chests from Indonesia carved
with birds elephants tropical palms
hold our memories

we read our thumbnails like tea leaves
across the picture window wall of the sitting room
desperately brushing at the webs
that encapsulate sterile
lives once breathed
now only suffocate
in stillness scrolling
the Ether mesmerized
by the Ether swallowed
by the Ether

lost in addresses unknown
our unexplored paths rerouted to
numerical errors multiplied in chaos
as we count our digits and laugh at the irony

the Dominion knocks at the door
and lets himself in shivering from the cold
outside and shakes his wet raincoat on the living
room rug with the abandon of an overzealous Dane

circles the dining room table
weary from journeys taken unsolicited
but lucrative just the same if you’re a lost
soul and he’s certainly a lost soul lacking

come in
make yourself at home
I ready a cup of fresh ground
Moka from the stainless steel pot
and sweeten it to taste and offer it along with
the finest French creme pastry you can buy
in a cellophane wrapper

it isn’t much and may not
go well with the Sumatran
but it’s all we’ve got our
last pennies gone
to the offering

god is pleased
but we are not
—the Terracotta
Princess rolls her eyes
and I in my uncertainty query
the Oracle to make sure Shakespeare
agrees and the script is canon

for I am,
what I am, Or
am I?

That Sort of Freedom

My first attempt at Haibun. 

The commuter train’s cars heave along dilapidated rust covered tracks. They wrangle past summer cottages, bungalows and the soot covered buildings of Poughkeepsie, to end their journey in a final sway of creaking springs and tortured steel, at Grand Central Station.

From my apartment it’s a short walk—close enough to afford a private view just outside the grounds of the retreats cropped along the Hudson—to touch the banks of that other river, the iron river—its flow caressing the heart of this huge land, lining it with the silver steel of a new adventure waiting just down the track.

I’ve walked those rails. I’d sit and meditate, or smoke, or just sing out-loud to myself, making up songs that I imagined could one day become part of the canon of American songs. Or, not. Either way, it didn’t matter. What I liked was the way the sun, warm on my back, reflected off the shiny rails, shimmering, as I tried to match my steps to the awkward spacing of the railroad ties.

The crunch of the granite stones under my feet, the heat rising off the rust and gravel between the tracks gave me a good feeling, as if stepping on the iron of those rails somehow could put me in touch with another existence, a reality detached from this world’s assault on the Stream of consciousness. Lost in the ozone, simplicit, without a care; a wandering will o’ the wisp dharma bum, content with the euphoric splendor of a Saturday afternoon all lazy-like and sunlit, replete with a breeze from the river swirling the leaves of the trees in a happy dance, I quietly contemplated the empty completeness of the earth and its Spirit, the life that flows in the leaves and dark dirt and pine needles underfoot; frogs whomping, breathing their own life into the Cosmic eternity of my being. Walking on these rails has always made me feel that way.

the simplicit fool
knocks sprockets with the universe
calls it freedom

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