Boxes –  Mark Kogan Shawcroft

Scanning the green slopes below,
I discuss the profound principle with the white cloud.
Though the feeling of the wild is in mountains and waters, truly, I long for company of the way.

Driving past the fields turning yellow,
What principle is this?
The roadkill understands.
Let go to hold on to heart.
It was never mine.
But still.
Wind blows through wheat.
Whispering Hanshan’s Echo.

I sit sometimes with others.
Sometimes sit on my own.
When I sit with others it’s great. When I sit on my own, I am never alone.
When I sit I am always alone.
Never lonely.
Sometimes lonely.
People disappear.
Hanshan’s longings for a companion on Cold Mountain makes mine seem puny.
But what does he know about the dusty terrain of my garage?
Maybe he will pop round.
I hope he’s not hiding in my bike bin.
I hope he is.
He sounds great.
A most worthy companion.
But aren’t most people really?
When you realise we all get anxious.
I often need a hand up.

Being on Zoom is not as good as reality.
Apart from that it is.
Well reality anyway.
Though I can’t prove it.
So much to appreciate.
What else have I got to do?
Not as strict a form.
Or the form of Covid practice.
I decide to do it.
Royally waste my time.
Or not.

What was really great was seeing so many people.
Being brave by being vulnerable.
Being new and having a beginner’s mind.
Being old and foolish.
Being old and being wise.
Just simply missing the point.
Knowing nothing together.
Uncertain times.
For uncertain seekers.
Company of the way.

Worried about loved ones.
Sending out love
Feeling spiritual
Missing going to Starbucks.
What was important – was it sitting?
Was it sharing?
Open hearts in boxes.

And it’s keeping us all off Netflix

Some will be glad when things go back to normal.
Maybe not.
Either way.
Normal’s overrated.
Today’s normal.
Was it ever normal?
Was it just my habits making it appear so?

Zoom I am going to miss you.
Especially the interviews.
Teachers spoiling my Samadhi.
Appearing suddenly, waking me up.
Unannounced giving me a bloody heart attack.
Yikes where am I?
I don’t think I was asleep.
I can’t tell, it’s gone.
Feeling a bit stupid.
Why be self-conscious?
Whose face is it?
Wise words delivered by Wi-Fi.
Trying not to laugh.
This is weird.
Why do I keep pressing the wrong button and leaving the session?
I must be getting older.
Getting stuff wrong.
Who ever said Zen is boring?

I feel very blessed all this attention just for me.
Just for us.
It’s easy to think of you all as friends even when we’ve never spoken.
Little faces.
In boxes.
We commune.
Our hearts.
Sit to die.
Die to wake.
Anchored together in this.

So thanks.

The Buddha taught one thing and one thing only.

Don’t pick your nose on camera.

Seeing you all helped.
True bodhisattvas.

and what if he had held up a flower on Zoom?