Monday, November 19, 2012

[Poem] Kwam Yan: A Dharma Discourse

Ajahn Anan always wants to frame
Five famed precepts of Buddhism
In a way tomorrow’s Lao parents
Will appreciate and happily pass on
Without any more snoring
During our daily meditation.

He experiments on occasion in Cali:

The first precept in Pali is the lengthy
Pānātipātā veramanī sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi.
"Don’t take life." So, most monsters
Would not make good monks.
Especially a menace who kills gleefully,
Offering no justification for their bad manners.
The thin road to nibbana is not observed easily
With a bloody hand, an obscene heart of malice.

Adinnādānā veramanī sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi.
Even in the aftermath of an apocalypse,
Such as nations falling into the sea,
Or a blight of rampaging zombies,
Looting stains one’s karma permanently.
It's worse when one's a thief with no emergency.
"What goes around comes around,
Even if it seems like the world’s end."

For precept number three:
Kāmesumicchācāra veramanī sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi.
If one is being chased by malevolent jungle predators
Or lounging leisurely among many lovely alien beauties,
Knowing not to engage in improper promiscuity
Is a mark of wisdom and aids survivability.
"This should be clear as a crystal lake."

Musāvādā veramanī sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi
"Do not lie. Treasure honesty."
In our world of shapeshifters,
The desperate, despicable despots,
And a thousand sneaky phi,
Trust can be hard to gain easily.
In the old days, if you found yourself on the run,
Being known for your kindness and good word
Got you farther than just a sharp sword or a gun.

Observing precept number five can keep you alive.
Surāmerayamajjapamādatthānā veramanī
sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi is admittedly
A long way to say “avoid drunkenness or highs.”

Getting red-faced or stoned invites reckless drama,
Increasing your odds of discovering various ways to die,
Or breaking other vows you once intended sincerely.
Often quite embarrassingly.

"Don't meet your fate clumsily tripping," he advised.
Incidentally, he discouraged drinking old snake venom,
Rancid bull bits, bear bile or tiger pee. 

"Fear should not be what brings you
To a righteous path," Ajahn insists.
There are profound reasons the rules exist.

“Don’t make this sound like a fortune cookie,”
He pleads. “If people pay attention properly,
You’ll only hear this in one last life.”

He excused himself in time
For the next prayers for an impermanent world.

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