Wednesday, February 10, 2010

sudden unsought intimacy

here i find myself in the tropical warmth of bali reading a book about the cold snows of winter! the book is called "st. nadie in winter: zen encounters with loneliness." written by terrance keenan. nadie is pronounced nah-dee-ay, a spanish word meaning "nobody." in ganesha bookstore downtown ubud yesterday, i stumbled upon this book which i'd never seen before and immediately felt drawn. i leafed through and found a mix of poetry, memoir and stunning insight.
there is a part i'd like to share this morning...

"picture a small boy looking out his bedroom window at dawn. he sees below him a walled garden under very old trees, the brick walls heavy with ivy. there is the scent of green on the air, of apples, of earth and manure from the nearby farm. the grass in the garden is wet, and the small flowers are heavy with dew. in the garden he watches a woman with long white hair, the first time he has seen it long, let down. she is walking barefoot. her nightgown and robe are wet at the bottom. she is holding a cup of tea, walking very slowly, talking to her plants softly, words he cannot quite hear, until he realizes they are words she has never spoken to anyone, they are czech, her birth tongue. he senses without words of his own to articulate it, that this is a private moment, how she places herself into her day. the unexpected intimacy moves him deeply. ...what it is to be with another without judgment, to enter their vulnerability, a sudden unsought intimacy that eliminates "other." it is the intimation that the "light itself" has no boundaries."

in the above passage, the "light itself" is referring to the buddha's words, which are said to be the only actually recorded words directly from buddha, spoken on his deathbed. the words in pali language:

atta dipa
atta sarana
anana sarana

dhamma dipa
dhamma sarana
anana sarana

and a translation:

you are the light itself!
do not be afraid.
you are the refuge of the light.
there is no other refuge.

you are the truth itself.
light of the truth!
refuge of the truth!

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