Yu: Apprencticing To Your Rainbow Body

first appeared in The Temple of Warm Harmony; nominated for a Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award

“Yu literally means ‘to play,’ ‘to enjoy oneself in a leisurely fashion,’ or ‘to go on a journey.’ Zen inherits this term from Taoism and suggests free and easy wandering is the way we should experience the world.” – William Scott Wilson, The One Taste of Truth: Zen and the Art of Drinking Tea

Go through this world of illusion in free and easy wandering.

– from the Kannon-kyo, Chapter 25, Lotus Sutra

I used to doubt the astrologers.

After a year of listening to the stars,

now I pay heed.

I used to doubt oracles.

Having witnessed the free-flowing dance

of thunder, earth, sky, mountain, and lake

The Book of Changes is a daily companion.

I used to keep a strong scaffolding in place.

It separated Pure Land from Zen

Zen from Dao

Dharma quarantined from

the way of mountain spirits.

With a sudden glance

in the middle of a storm,

the bottom dropped out

the scaffolding fell

along with my mind

and all of these nectars

poured into the same vat.



Human speech falls short on this one;

another poem that is not a poem.

It is about the moment you realize

you have been a stranger to yourself,

and, thus, to everyone else.

It is about the moment you realize

there is no outside to your inside.

It is about the moment you realize

you can feel the poisoning of the rivers

and the burning of the Amazon

without leaving home

because your own bloodstream

tells you the news.

It is about the moment you realize,

if you let go,

your breathing and summer breezes

will become enjoined allies.

I only share it

to break the trance

of constructed worlds

and to inform you

that those shackles you wear

have a lock

whose key

is resting

in your own hand.