An autumn day in the Sacramento Valley. The trout is thirsty, and the red tail hawk craves fresh air. I am a simple human; what do I want?
In her eyes, a field of wheat. And in her heart, the head waters of the Sacramento River. Wheat and river. Her hands can be as strong as iron, or as gentle as the birthday wish of a child. Often, when she tells me some long story that doesn't seem to have an end, I float downstream, past the wheat, past the iron forges, and past the birthday parties where the children run and laugh. Her heart, her eyes, and her hands, my friend, are here with me. Wheat and river. Here.
We stop to look upon the corpse in the snow. Blue skin and an open mouth. Open eyes. Moonlight across the frozen face. Moonlight that plays a soft music that entertains the snow. We say a prayer for the deceased. We say a prayer for the ones who grieve. And we say a prayer for ourselves, for our lives. We stop to look upon the corpse in the snow. And around us gather the ghosts of many others who died alone, without even their names. We stop. We speak the words. And we move on. But before we move on, we cover the body with snow, using our cold and wet hands like shovels.
At the edge of the world I kept walking. empty paces in the deep still of space. Stars like fireflies.
We are used to thinking of freedom as being free to do what we want, but the Buddha sees it as being free from wanting.
To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.
The universe is fundamentally a system which creeps up on itself and then says BOO! and then it laughs at itself for jumping.