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Monday, August 20, 2012

Why I'm Only a Faux Buddhist

Lately I've been reading this great book called the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch.  It's a translation by Philip Yampolsky of the classic 8th century foundational text of Chan Buddhism -- China's homegrown version of Buddhism that first flourished during the Tang Dynasty.  The book was recommended to me by Professor James Miller, and I can't thank him enough for the suggestion.

More precisely, the book is the foundational text for the Southern School of Chan, also known as the School of Sudden Enlightenment, as compared to Northern School which apparently adhered to a more gradual approach.  I realize at my heart's core, this is my school after all.  So with that by way of background explanation, let me now tell you that  the full title of this poem is actually: 

 Why I'm Only A Faux Buddhist
And Devout Adherent 
To the Southern School

Writing itself having
Evolved into something 
Akin to a spiritual practice
It's left little room
To accomodate
So much jargon

All those levels
Of being and
Always looking
At yourself looking
Even when you're not

Sometimes it seems 
A little absurd
Yet at life's core
I too believe
In the importance
Of knowing Nothing
Most of all

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