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Category: Buddhism

POEM: regrets

regrets

while breathing in & breathing out
I picture myself on my deathbed
tearful family surrounding me
*
it’s just a few years from now
which is so disappointing
I waited & waited until I was free
but I was never free
*
I treated my life like a prison sentence
waiting for a red parole stamp
to mark the beginning of the happy phase
*
I thought my argument to the board
was convincing but I never quite got over
always ending the day with a slow march
back to my cell
*
what does it mean to be unhappy
from the moment you’re born till the very end?
*
back in the present I return to the breath
again and again back to the breath
I feel it deep in my gut
but the anchor slips and I’m adrift again
*
in four-and-one-half years I’ll be 50

///

Jason Crane
29 April 2019
State Motherfucking College PA

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POEM: the world’s breath

the world’s breath

I’m in some
bastardized
Burmese posture
as the wind
tries its many hands
against the walls.
Are we ever so
comfortable
as when
whatever shelter
we’ve conjured
proves able
to withstand
nature’s
not-so-gentle
reminders?

///

Jason Crane
29 December 2018
Cheshire, NY

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POEM: 300

300

300 times on the cushion
or the couch or the bed
or the seiza bench.
300 trips into the carwash
of my brain, brushes
spinning, thoughts
spraying this way and that.
300 dances with the monkey,
banging on the typewriter keys
with no paper in the machine.
Light the incense, light the candle,
sit, breathe, rinse, repeat.
Three bells to start, three bells
to finish. I guess that’s
eighteen hundred bells.
Seems like a lot.

///

Jason Crane
3 December 2018
State College PA

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Enlightenment*

I’ve been very reluctant to talk about this, but I think that sometime in the past year I’ve had one or more enlightenment experiences as a result of meditation and some life shocks. I hesitate to even use that terminology because it’s so weighted.

In any case, there have been several tangible results of seeing the world more clearly this way, one of which is that I’m exploring ideas I would have rejected before, including those rooted in nature. These experiences are also the cause of my recent job decision and the attempt to redesign my life around a different set of principles.

My life has always been moving in this direction, but very slowly until this past year, when suddenly I see the universe and my relationship to it (and the reality of whether or not there’s a “me”) in a way I never imagined before. I’m still figuring all this out, and definitely not laying claim to any special knowledge or status. It’s another step on the path.

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haiku: 5 August 2018

grasshopper softly
sits on the mallet waiting

for me to begin

8.5.18
O-An Zendo

///

outside the window
a leaf that looks like a face
“hi, leaf, my name is—”

8.5.18
O-An Zendo

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POEM: things the Buddha said

Photo by Jason Crane

things the Buddha said

the Buddha said to thine own self be true
the Buddha said take two of these and call me in the morning
the Buddha said a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
the Buddha said better dead than red
the Buddha said don’t fire till you see the whites (of their eyes)
the Buddha said we have nothing to fear but fear itself
the Buddha said we didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock
            landed on us
the Buddha said outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend
the Buddha paused then said inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read
the Buddha said mourn for the dead and fight like hell for the living
the Buddha said the only way to stop a bad man with a gun is
            a good man with a gun
the Buddha said no puppet, no puppet, you’re the puppet
the Buddha said one of these days I’m going to cut you into little pieces
the Buddha said come with me if you want to live
the Buddha said the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice
the Buddha said these prices are insane
the Buddha said get away from me kid, you’re bothering me
the Buddha said this could be the start of a beautiful friendship
the Buddha said where’s the beef
the Buddha said taste the rainbow
the Buddha said a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle
the Buddha said only you can prevent forest fires
the Buddha said one and one-half wandering Jews
the Buddha said ancient Chinese secret
the Buddha said I never met a man I didn’t like
the Buddha said don’t look back, something might be gaining on you
the Buddha said I stop somewhere waiting for you
the Buddha said put a tiger in your tank
the Buddha said god does not play dice with the universe
the Buddha said Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall
the Buddha said ich bin ein Berliner
the Buddha said freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose
the Buddha said the brown acid that is circulating around us
            is not specifically too good
the Buddha said when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro
the Buddha said I am everyday people
the Buddha said but wait there’s more

/ / /

Jason Crane
20 March 2018
Butler, PA

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