Life’s Foggy Path

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Oh life, your path is foggy
And every step so groggy,
We are lost in a daze,
Drifting in mist and haze!

We glide through the years
Filled with hopes and fears,
We wander without direction
In mazes leading to perdition,

Whence we came from,
We never care to know,
Where we are going,
We ruin by our foolish doing,

Like greedy flies we fly,
Guided by ire and desire,
Away from the warm respite
Of Dharma’s bright light!

Comment:

The inspiration for this poem came from the two illustrations above (from the Eastern version of the Inferno) which depicts the solid bridges (of gold, jade, silver, stone) crossed by virtuous souls on their way to a good rebirth (top picture), and the treacherous and foggy wooden bridge for those who have accumulated no merits but plenty of sin.

Moreover, another inspiration was the following passage:

“At that time, Earth Store Bodhisattva Mahasattva said to the Buddha, “World Honored One, I see that every single movement or stirring of thought on the part of beings of Jambudvipa is an offense. Beings tend to use up any wholesome benefits they accrue, and many of them end up retreating from their initial resolve. If they encounter evil conditions, they magnify them with every thought. They are like people trying to carry heavy rocks while walking through mud. Each step becomes more difficult and the rocks more cumbersome as their feet sink deeper. If they meet a mentor, he may be strong enough to lighten or even totally remove their burdens. Helping them thus, the mentor will then advise them to stay on solid ground and be mindful never to go back into that treacherous path.”

Source: Chp. 7 of Earth Store Sutra

Note: Chp. 7 of the Earth Store Sutra is a short but extremely important chapter that explains the process of dying, the 49 day grace period, and rebirth. I strongly recommend everyone familiarize themselves with it. 

For more info on managing death and rebirth, please read my Free and Public Domain translation of the Last Rites of Amitabha and my article Beagle Meets Amitabha:

PDF Download:last-rites-of-amitabha

Archive.org Version (Kindle, Pdf, Daisy…)

All poems, resources and post text released into Public Domain

Memento Mori: Twilight in Paradise

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The lament of an evil man on the eve of death:

“It is twilight in paradise 
And the end of my idle life
Of lavish pleasure is nigh.
My dreams benighted,
Crumbling before my eyes,
I sorely regret frittering away
Those calm prosperous days
Of youth, wealth and peace 
On plunder and wicked deeds,
Wrathful violence and conspiracies,
On fraud, libel and charlatanry,
And slender courtesans who steal
Lascivious glances and feelings.
Now I stand before the abyss,
Old, withered and ready to slip
From my blissful mortal coil,
And into the infernal boiling oil.
Alas! I now rue my failure to do
Even a single upright deed!”

Poem released into Public Domain

Comment:

I was inspired to write this poem by the excellent recent painting of the Eastern depiction of the Inferno (Diyu) by Upasaka Jiang Zi Yi.

A full annotated English captioned version (translated by amtb.cn) of the scroll is available here: painting-scenes-of-hell

Kindly edited into the above PDF form by Upasaka Jim of the Dharma Talks Blog:

http://www.neozen888.wordpress.com

It is an excellent blog filled with profound insight that I recommend all visit.

 

Prose Poem: Loyal or Ingrate?

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An ugly contraption, but you didn’t mind ; a temporary solution of the permanent kind. It served you well in those hard years when you were most unwell, when you needed utility more than beauty, economies more than luxury, and loyalty more than the flattery of perfumed orators.

But now that the barren desert has been crossed, and new shiny things vie to seduce and usurp, will you forget your roots and the old that gave you fruit? Will you join the vast ranks of rakish ingrates, or will you prove loyal and true, and hold onto the hand of a wilting friend?

Poem released into Public Domain

Comment:

Poem inspired by the Taoist Treatise of Response and Retribution moral maxim that warns against Forgetting the Old Once Getting the New  (offense 58, page 13).

The Treatise also teaches that based on the severity of the offense, the offender will be punished by Heaven by having either a period(s) of 3 months or 12 years shaved off his lifespan and accompanying misfortunes (i.e. legal, disasters, illness etc.). Likewise, virtue will lead to an increase of lifespan (by periods of 100 days or 12 years) and various blessings such as wealth, health and prosperity etc.

Public Domain translation with commentary of the Treatise of Response and Retribution:

https://archive.org/details/Treatise2014Edition

Public Domain 2017 Liturgy Version of the Treatise of the Illustrious Sage on Response and Retribution

It is highly recommended that all daily recite this liturgy version of the Treatise. Doing so will eradicate evil karma and draw in a myriad of blessings.