A Homeless Friend

January 1, 2014



We can always depend on our efforts to find and secure love, and the resulting need, to dictate our lives.

In this way we will not be surprised when the outcome shows us what we have become.

In love I plan for something that does not arrive, then, destitute or inflamed I turn on you.  Either way I christen you the killer of my dreams.

“Have I not introduced myself?… why… I am the mind… you know me. To fulfill my desire I will be whatever I need to be, no act is beneath me, no depth that I will not go.”

“But you accuse me. You say that to secure my wants I will deliver you to the very gates of the lower realms. That I will hand you over to the janitors and henchmen of the hells, even as I mimic them here in this very life.  And as I do so it will be the ones you love that I hold accountable for my pain.”

“You liken me to a cat, soft to touch, beautiful in motion, cruel by nature.”

What happens to those who become ill with this monotony?  Seeing the results of this merit massacre, done in the name of self, my legacy of accomplishment throughout the eons. Where is the refuge in this?

And what would befall this legacy if I were to invite these lurking fears to come closer?  What is it that must be so carefully avoided, is this “self” in some unseen peril?

So, I choose to dwell close to this private pain, has it not been here the whole time? Is it not a result of my own actions, the cause and condition of ages past, vastly beyond my reach of awareness?

It is through the austerity of patience that former causes are transmuted. This the Victorious Ones have said.

But confidence of this kind has long since departed.
Why is it so easy to deny all this? Amazing! As though it all happens elsewhere, to you, not to me. I reject the facts, “it is always other.” Then, with the steady hardening of the heart, I steel myself for what the days will bring, my ageless companion, discouragement.

The search for a new path leads away from the familiar. “Seek the blame,” it says, “be the cause and cleanse yourself of this rejection, abandon the crushing strain of your so called innocence.”

This strain is abolished by welcoming what has been discarded, namely responsibility. There’s an endless supply of it, cast off by people such as myself.

If I am to change this condition, an invitation must be tendered. Come here, unwanted friend, precious demon, come and enter me everywhere. I will catch thy humors in ritual vases, for I have abandoned the illusion of your menace.

Shantideva said, “other people’s pain cannot harm me, therefore I do not protect myself from their suffering.”

So, let me invite this homeless friend, so needy for shelter, into my home. Let all the blame of the six realms abide with me in their ghostlike vapors, I will make of them my beloved children.

And something mysterious occurs, the spine and crown open, stumbling around in the darkness we accidentally discover a secret passage, a doorway into a new kind of joy.

Has the garbage thrown out not been closely inspected?  It is full of gems, every kind of joy and protection.

The invocation is so obvious, how could I have missed it all these years?  As I longed for you to say it to me, I never thought to say it to you.  “It’s not your fault, the blame is mine”… and then the door opens, fear dissolves and for a moment I cease to convulse the universe with my actions.

Yet, I must guard this door. If I speak with even the slightest shade of anger my mind will betray me, resorting to fear, I strategize, anticipating rebuke. Until the mind is no longer rejecting, peace will have no place to abide. Conversely, residing in compassion, the mother of emptiness, peace will have no other abode. Blame is not dangerous if one knows what it is.

Who is it that picks up a weapon being faultless?

This goes beyond questions of conduct, it is a foray into the impressive Buddhist philosophy of Emptiness, the lion’s roar. To see for myself that, upon analysis, nothing is what it appears to be. It is a way of letting go, seeing the insubstantiality of forms, beliefs, becoming the lucid dreamer.

And all the while the light grows, it exposes hatred as utterly predictable, we anticipate its workings without effort.  It is love that surpasses the inevitability of isolation, it is love that gives the Saints and Bodhisattvas their power, it is love that is utterly unpredictable.

Perhaps this is how it comes by its indestructibility, camouflaged behind the fear of humiliation, love creates a magical portal to every universe in creation.

From this moment forward I invite the blame of the six realms upon myself in hopes that every being will be freed from the fear of being hated, and the further causes of fear’s results. May the Victorious Ones never forget my promise.

I love you,
I’m sorry,
Please forgive me,
Thank you,
I love you

a student