The Enlightened Mother's Door Curtain

with deep gratitude for the Dharma art of Iwasaki Tsuneo (1917-2002),

and to Paula Arai and Shambhala Publications for bringing his cosmic meditation maps to the world.

Flickering right there

at the moment of dawn’s blue light —

leaving, arriving

driven into one.


A vision:


dying and ‘being dead’;

a leaving of the body behind

without clinging.

A vision:

my earthly mother

finds my body in a heap

like an abandoned cicada shell.

Her hand on my shoulder,

tears fall for the unfulfilled.

A vision:

my sleeping body

feels the hand of my earthly mother

on my shoulder;

I awake with a jolt

wondering if she has crossed over.


Eyes snap awake:

Spark of dawn.

Ears ringing:

Eternal Bell-Echo



dead or alive,

we are never outside

the vast loving embrace

of the Enlightened Mother.

This is the Great Settling of Anxiety.

This is the answer to the question: “What is ‘home,' really?”

This is seeing the moon

of ten thousand buddha lands

in a single cup of tea.


The sounds of morning are the hymns of arriving.

Silence is the anthem of leaving.

Arriving, leaving.

Leaving, arriving.

It's all just returning...

And, dying?

Just brushing through

a curtain between two rooms.