Empty Mind


Here it is again.
Yesterday, I was making plans to kill my banker.
Today I listen to tapes of Ram Dass
overdue at the North Portland Public Library,
watch the brilliant and perfect life of Bob Marley on video,
gratefully listen to and give advice
to my beautiful child on the phone,
and it comes to me again, the great gift,
the empty mind, the no-mind.

Say something, say something, was Bob’s song.
Were these events today connected,
or was it just grace?
I don’t know, I guess it was these things.
But just to experience no-mind is enough,
trying to figure it out seems greedy.
Plus it interferes with the experience.

Could you be, could you be, could you be love?
It’s like this:
no thoughts, no anger, no conditioning.
No worries. Nothing is not okay.
No description is really accurate.

By conditioning is meant fear.
Yikes! I hate to even say it.
No-mind is fearless. It’s immortal.
Whatever has happened in your life-
doesn’t matter.
It dissolves into the eternal present.

I’ll tell you, love.
Just close your eyes.
Wander around inside the temple.
Inside the body.
The turmoil of the congregation is gone.
The church organ is quiet
except for a slight hum.
The pulpit is empty, baby.
You don’t feel that much under
these circumstances.
You can’t distinguish between what is and what isn’t.
Except you know that what is, really isn’t.

Jesus is still,
hanging there behind the pulpit.
You know again, it’s true,
like you told your Mom, who is dying of emphyzema,
he didn’t suffer on the cross.
He didn’t. He was empty, like this,
of everything conditional,
of concerns and evaluations and thoughts,
of hatred and revenge and desire,
asking that the stone-throwers be forgiven
in their ignorance of the freedom-bestowing source.

And I ask to be forgiven, too,
including for my righteousness,
like Jesus throwing the moneylenders
out of the temple (the banker),
(that was yesterday, okay?)

And I love my mother,
source of all that is conditional,
truest love on this planet,
although even she now stands outside the temple,
or perhaps is laying on a white cot in the dispensary nearby,
waiting, ready, relaxed,
while a friend is visiting, visiting,
perhaps to stay.


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