Thank you, pillows. Thank you, mattress. Thank you, sheets. Thank you, duvets. Thank you, floor. Thank you, ceiling. Thank you, walls. Thank you, windows. Thank you, door. Thank you, electricity. Thank you, water. Thank you, gas. Thank you, neighbourhood. Thank you, city. Thank you, country.
Continue, with or without words.
More than ten years ago, I realised I had never seen a good English translation of The Kannon Sutra, a.k.a. Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo, so I decided to attempt one that was both accurate and easy to chant. This is the result, Romaji followed by English. (Note: in our sangha, we still chant it in Japanese.)
ENMEI JUKKU KANNON GYO
KAN ZE ON NA MU BUTSU YO BUTSU U IN YO BUTSU U EN BUP PO SO EN JO RAKU GA JO CHO NEN KAN ZE ON BO NEN KAN ZE ON NEN NEN JU SHIN KI NEN NEN FU RI SHIN
TEN-LINE LIFE-PROLONGING KANNON SUTRA
Kanzeon Veneration to the Buddha The Buddha is my origin The Buddha and me — no separation The Three Treasures and me — no separation Bliss outside of time, pure freedom from self First morning thought: Kanzeon Last nighttime thought: Kanzeon Thoughts, thoughts arise from the mind Thoughts, thoughts are nothing but the mind
a tug boat horn pulls me out of sleep. it is still dark out, the wind blows. the trees are mostly bare as only leaf buds dot the boughs. the sound of the wind, a low whistle, as opposed to the wrestling of leaves as if it were full summer.
my thoughts drift: a brief conversation with a homeless man, a chittering sparrow, my grams's progression towards death, a woman who miscarried.
“i am hungry, do you have any spare change? i'm not lying about being homeless. let me show you what's in my bag—all i have is a blanket and a pair of socks. please, believe me.”
“thank you for talking to me. people don't like talking to homeless.”
the young sparrow, the corners of its beak maturing from a yellow colour to cream, perched atop a wooden sign post, chittered at its brethren before shitting, then flying away.
my grams, no longer able to chew food, can only eat pureed meals.
a woman who miscarried is surprised by how much grief she feels for the fetus.
the closing line of philip larkin's poem, The Mower, came to mind while the coffee steeped:
…we should be kind While there is still time.
everything in the cosmos is interconnected. our separation is bridged through compassion and kindness; to others, ourselves, and the world around us. it travels further than the pealing of a temple bell.
by the by, The Mower can be read in its entirety here