Poetry


Religious Matters


Brother, what sort of religion do you teach?
Who told you that I've got religion?

Brother, you teach us just like a prophet?
That's what you say, you lousy gangster!

The words 'No Religion' confuse me!
Just study the law of nature, that's enough!

But isn't that religion, or what is it?
Just see nature and it takes care of the rest!

What's the reason, then, for not calling it religion?
It's only ordinariness, naturally, nothing more!

Where, then, is religion?
Gangs of noisy authorities stuffing people's heads!

* * *

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Why Leave Home?


What sort of going forth is correct?
The kind that aims straight for liberation!

Can't you stay at home just as well?
Sure, but it isn't nearly as convenient!

How is being a wanderer speedier?
Ones feet are lighter when not carrying a house!

Where is liberation found before time runs out?
In not clinging to anything to tie you up!

What is given up to not get all trussed up?
Give up hugging all the fruits one might find!

How do we give it up so as not to be strangled? 
Simple let go of self and all self's stuff!

* * *

Hey, It Can Change!


Whatever must be done, do it joyfully,
No need for even a hair's breath of suffering.
Why foolishly gnaw on life like an old bone, 
Making human birth nothing but misery!

Incompetent at adjusting one's mind to the facts,
Making life torture and assassinating the joy
One ought to find every moment everywhere.
Roasting oneself to a crisp — what fun is that?

Come on folks, give this some intelligent thought:
This human birth, in what way is it any good?
It ought to be good at freedom from suffering — 
Suffering itself will never amount to anything of value.

* * *

The More Learning, The More Stupid


The world today is encyclopedically foolish, 
because of texts heaped upon us to death's door, 
all these books, papers, journals, and the rest 
as we outdo each other in overflowing the libraries. 

With scriptures flooding their heads till they waddle, 
knowledge flooding their hearts most pitifully, 
weary scholars washed out by their studies, 
a world staggering without the light of Dhamma. 

The more learning the more stupid, it's hard to believe, 
but the simple matter is ridiculously thus, 
learning only what pulls the mind into more karma, 
fondling sensuality, raving mad about status & fame. 

Lots of play, eating too much, excessive money, 
babbling speech, indulgent veterans in obscenity, 
whoever upsets is joyfully cursed all day long — 
yet they think this gravely malignant ignorance is good.

* * *

Fighting with Pillows


A low pillow makes it easy and pleasant to sleep supine!
But with a thick pillow you're in danger of sudden death, 
Your neck broken in a snap, all ready for the coffin

It's so much more safe to sleep on one's side!

Dear Father rules over two or three fluffy pillows
Spooking himself just to excuse padding his body!
Don't even bother with them, they wear you out.
Whether on side or back, use an arm for support!

Sleep just enough. Don't linger after the pleasures 
Of sleep, not wanting to get up. It's a brain disease 
With selfish defilements puffing up the heart
Until we need far too many luxuries for our own good.

*   *   *

You Just Create Mara Yourself


Mara* exists when we want things good or to get, 
Even wanting to die Mara exists most peculiarly, 
Because the grasping of "ME" is so excessive
Desire in all its guises never falls into disuse. 

If there's no wanting to get or be anything 
How could Mara exist? So why not oppose it! 
Don't go wanting anything through not knowing,
Then no Mara will ever appear before you!

Think, speak, and do everything with wisdom
You don't really need to crave anything, now, do you?
Without desires it's so much more cool & peaceful,
What Mara could happen then? There's just no way!

*   *   *

Note: Mara*, The Killer, the Buddhist personification of evil

Why Revile Them?


Please tell me, why do you love to curse them?
What? I don't like cursing anybody at all!

Then why do all your words pierce the heart?
How can they pierce if the heart is good?

They rumor that you scold magnificently & loudly.
Only dirty minded souls think such a thing!

Well, it hurts and penetrates their hearts.
Those who eat lime will always get heartburn!

If you don't like to, why stir up such resentment?
They're in hopeless trouble already, so I strike!

Can't you hold back just a bit, can't you wait?
When else do you beat iron but when it's still soft!

* * *

More Progress = More Crazy


If we say, "the more progress, the more insane," 
It looks rather hard that we'll find any takers, 
Because everyone likes progress that exceeds reality — 
Progress like a spirit possession is even better!

The world progresses beyond its means and Nature breaks up
Many strange things changing the world sorrowfully,
Making humans into an extraordinary species
Caught up in killing both above and below the ground.

The more progress, the more it boils and bathes in blood;
The smarter, the more sinful, far worse than the stone age;
Creating tortuous problems proliferating endlessly,
The whole world clings to craziness as progress. 

*   *   *

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Buddhadasa Never Dies


Buddhadasa shall live, there's no dying.
Even when the body dies, listening to no one,
Whether it is or goes doesn't matter at all,
that's only something passing through time.

Buddhadasa carries on, there's no dying.
Through ups and downs always one with the teaching.
As befits ones who's offered body and mind
In ceaseless service under Lord Buddha's command.

Buddhadasa lives on, there's no dying.
In service to all humanity without resting
through the Dhamma proclamations left behind —
O Friends, can't you see that nothing dies?

Even when I die and the body ceases forever
my voice still echoes in comrades' ears
clear and bright, as joyfully loud as ever.
Just as if I never died the Dhamma-body lives on.

Carry on with me as if I never died,
as though I am with you all as before.
Speak up whatever Dhamma is on your minds
as if I sit among you helping point out the facts.

Treat me as if I never died,
then many streams of benefits will accrue.
Don't forget the days set aside for Dhamma discussion,
Realize the End and stop dying!

* * *

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (on the occasion of his eightieth birthday, 27 May 1987)

[Translated by Santikaro Bhikkhu, 28 April 1994]

Note: "Buddhadasa" in this poem doesn't primarily refer to him.

Mind Training Principles


Dukkha always occurs through three causes:
1. doing abundant evil in the past,
2. not doing any good right now, which is common,
3. not lifting the mind above worldly things.

There's no dukkha when three causes occur:
1. much supporting good done in the past,
2. right now, always doing only what is good,
3. keeping the mind upright, undeluded, & sober.

If you know how to train the mind even higher, 
not messing around with pleasure & pain, 
letting go of everything, freed of all moods, 
done with sweet and bitter, calm and cool in Nibbana.

* * *

Seeing Holy Dukkhaness


Blind & silly when finding joy
Don't be fooled into suffering about it,
Though happy it's poisoned with impermanence,
See the dukkha-ness in each kind of joy.

While everything is poisoned by impermanence,
We go mad, like falling in love with a ghoul,
They delude & confuse most disgustingly:
This dukkha-ness means "revolting."

Both "sukha" and "dukkha" are despicable,
The thickest prisons entrapping the heart,
Tricked by them like a fish by tasty bait,
Despite having eyes, still caught on the hook.

Seeing only the joy, not the dukkha within,
Like a fish crazy about lasting stability,
So used to its tricks they seem real
Until mind lets go seeing dukkha in sukha.

* * *

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The More One Brags of Being Straight,  The More Deeply Crooked One Ends Up


The straighter you try to be, the more deeply crooked 
Turns out a hidden, secret enemy surprisingly nasty. 
Wanting to be straight, to show off and succeed —
How straight is it really? Come on, be honest. 

One brags "straight" according to what they praise
Too straight one sinks into the strict mess created
Wanting to be straight so that somebody will accept us
So that this little kid will grow up for once. 

A mind clear enough to let it all go, 
Not seeing a problem between straight and bent. 
Beyond crooked & straight not deceived by "me" or "it" 
So purely at peace, freed of the world, unburdened.

*   *   *

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