Tavern of Awakening


I got bored with spiritual practices.

Inhale counting to 4, exhale counting 6.

Didn't I do this in first grade arithmetic?

On your inbreath say, "breathing in,”

on your outbreath, "breathing out..."

But why not say, "My grandmother rides her tricycle

through golden atoms of intergalactic chicken broth?"

I can’t even lie here in Corpse asana.

Is there a Coyote pose, a Wounded Raven posture?

That smiling bronze yogini’s been sitting over an hour
in Full Lotus: maybe she got a better mantra.

Here’s the koan l could never solve:

“Replace the concept of her butt with No Mind.”

Really? So I took my complaints to the Master,

who just laughed and said, “When did you
actually see me doing any of that crap?”

Then he threw his arm around my shoulder

and led me to the Tavern of Awakening,

where everyone gets instantly drunk

by practicing absolutely nothing.

Nobody knows who's giving the party, or why.

Lovers just show up with big empty cups and dance

in a mambo line all night, swigging from a jug of stars
whose light won't arrive for a thousand years.

Just before dawn, he whispers in my ear,

"Don't call me Master anymore, call me Friend,"

then gives me all the advice I'll ever need, for free.

"Honor your body: it is a garden of ancient weddings.

Christ kisses Magdalene here, where your rib is missing.

Be a flute at Krishna’s lips, he’ll breathe music through you.

Before you bow to anyone, bow to your heart:

its pulse is the hum inside all names of God.

Now take off your shoes, walk softly over the earth,

and pulverize diamonds with your whirling.


 Listen to a reading of this poem HERE.
Persian miniature by Mahmoud Farshchian

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