Thursday, 5 September 2019

Not So Crazy Wisdom

The Wisdom Of Tibetan Buddhism 
Reginald A. Ray (ed)
Shambhala Publications

Review by Rory A.A. Hinton

The Uniqueness Of The Dharma
The dharma provides
the gound for its uniqueness.
There is nothing else.
What's so unique about that?
This question has an answer.

The Necessity Of Tradtion
Everything that is
is traditionally found
within tradition.
We aren't unaware of this.
We just aren't attached to it.

If You Have A Map, You Won't Get Lost
The Tibetan way
is also cool and boring,
just like the Zen way:
it has a map to follow.
Unspectacular action.

The Necessity Of Correct View
First view, then renew
through continued attention.
Reason and practice
is what Bodhidharma and
Padmasambhava construed.

We Experience Duhkha - Pain - All The Time
From birth to death it's only
Can't get no satisfaction.
Hey, hey, hey, that's what I say.

Human Relationships Are Unreliable And Difficult
homo sapiens is like
walking on egg shells.
Every person is broken
into one million pieces.

The Truth Of Suffering
Everything is found
within the first noble truth.
Everyone is found
without everything if they
remain ignorant of it.

Pain Never Goes Away
You don't overcome
pain, as if it is something
you can get rid of.
This pain will always remain.
Then again, so will this joy.

Our World Is Relentlessly Impermanent
The only constant
is that things continue to
The words within this waka
will one day be deleted.

Why We Need To Understand The Origin Of Suffering
of the cause of suffering
is the true response
to the fact of suffering.

We Will Have To Deal With The Consequences
Moment by moment
we plant seeds of causation
in the ground of mind
with our thoughts, words, and actions.
Garbage in and garbage out?

We Are So Ignorant Of Karma
To praise and to blame
is a game not worth playing.
Because we forget
what we have done in the past,
it is best to just refrain.

We Are Constantly Creating Negative Karma
The deluded mind
creates negative karma
just like a machine.
An enlightened mechanic
will ensure it's well oiled.

We Must Work At The Causal Level
The law of karma
is very strict and precise.
No exceptions here.
You act and experience
the direct consequences.

The Foundation Of All Dharma Practice
There's nothing special
about lived experience.
action is what's happening.
No one ever practices.

A Rare Opportunity
Negative actions
can only be understood
by means of no thought.
Thinking about not thinking
only causes confusion.

Precious Human Birth
With each breath we take
there is birth and there is death.
It begins and ends
within the span of seconds.
Impermanence is precious.

Our Task
Our only purpose
is to understand ourselves.
It is possible
and necessary because
buddha-nature knows itself.

When A Sailor Has A Boat, He Should Cross The Ocean
What is the ocean?
It is what we swim within,
what we sail across,
and the shore we sit down on
during this goalless voyage.

The Perverted Notion Of "I"
The idea of I
and you and he, she, and it,
and we, you, and they:
the first person singular
is the start of this madness.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Sum Of The Dharma

some of the dharma
Jack Kerouac
Penguin Books

Review by Rory A.A. Hinton

Nineteen years ago I was on the road and needed change for the bus. I only had a $20.00 bill in my pocket. I looked around and noticed I was near a used bookstore. I walked into the store thinking that I could break the bill by buying a book. A book on the shelf near the front of the store window caught my attention. It was some of the dharma by Jack Kerouac. It was large and heavy, at least compared to Dharma Bums. Because it was used I got it for half the retail price. When I handed the cashier the bill I asked if they could break down the change into coins. “The bus?” she asked. “The bus” I said, smiling sheepishly. I left the store and waited for the bus. It was raining. When it arrived I walked on, settled into my seat, and carefully took the book out of the wet bag. I opened it to the first page and read the following words of dedication: "I love Allen Ginsberg - Let that be recorded in heaven's unchangeable heart - " (Jack Kerouac). Priceless.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Pebbles In The Ocean

Ocean Of Dharma
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Shambhala Publications

Review by Rory A.A. Hinton

001. The Challenge Of Warriorship
The sheer sanity
of nowness is as it is,
and not otherwise.
To think others are wiser
than this is karmic madness.

002. A Good Journey
Journey Without Goal
can very easily be
turned into an end.
One false step and all is lost.
Tantric wisdom is tricky.

003. Unlearning
If nothing is done
long enough, then empty space
will disclose itself.
It has been here all along.
It is the sine qua non.

004. What Is A Warrior?
Free to be itself.
Looking at it directly,
without perception.
True warriors do not fight
in any battles at all.

005. Facing Ourselves
What is there to fear?
Are you afraid of yourself?
There's nothing to fear.
It's only an illusion.
This too is an illusion.

006. Our Human Endowment
Holding back our tears?
Just what is there to fear here?
Be happy, be sad,
and be especially glad:
humanity is hopeless.

007. Creative Revolution
Not anarchism.
Not even scepticism.
Only what we know
through direct experience.

008. Seeing For Yourself
What's beneath language?
What's between mental concepts?
What's behind it all?
Is there anything beyond?
Questions like these are toxic.

009. The Starting Point
Start with the ego,
and then end with the ego.
What is the ego?
This question is the beginning,
and this question is the end.

010. Friendliness To Oneself
Basic gentleness
toward this "oneself" is a
façon de parler.
If we use these words wisely,
only laughter will remain.

011. Buddha Is Everywhere
Is this the buddha:
the center that's everywhere,
and the circumference
that's absolutey nowhere?
If this helps, then so be it.

012. Chaos Is The Inspiration
The very order
of everything that exists
contains confusion.
All that is has within it
the seeds of its destruction.

013. What Is Fear?
Acknowledging fear
and recognizing that hope
is pure hopelessness
is the beginning and end
of living authentically.

014. Regal Existence
Begin by bowing
toward the nothing that is.
And then bow again.
When you are done doing this,
quietly sit down and sit.

015. The Buddha And Basic Goodness
kills the egocentric cat.
When you purr, just purr.
Why did it take the buddha
so long to cut this in half?

016. The Practice Of Meditation
What is sitting still?
Pattern recognition.
What is a pattern?
This bag of bones keeps breathing
in and out and in and out.

017. Self-Truth
Do what's best for you.
There is no need for self doubt.
Just keep doing it.
As long as you keep playing
with 'self' and 'doubt' all is well.

018. Eliminating Unnecessary Complications
The Diamond Sutra.
Shine on you crazy wisdom
diamond in the rough.
This is what it means to be
disciplined and devoted.

019. Crazy Monkey Mind
Crazy monkey mind
full of discriminations.
Crazy wisdom mind
full of crazy monkey mind
full of discriminations.

020. No Ambition
Recling Buddha
not unaware of karma
nor of saṃsāra.
Not unaware of being
not unaware of it all.

021. The Heart Of The Buddha
There is nothing more
basic than basic goodness.
The really good news:
the heart of the Buddha is
beyond both good and evil.

022. Going Beyond Fear
If there is no hope,
then lo and behold, no fear!
If there is no fear,
then lo and behold, freedom!
The hopelessness of no hope.

023. Phew!
Paying attention
to all that is happening.
What price attention?
We pay moment by moment
through every breath that we take.

024. The Greater Vision Of Compassion
What is privacy?
It's the product of thinking
that there is something
somewhere that can be hidden.
Where's the place for space to hide?

025. Beyond Good And Evil
Being beyond both
the good and the evil is
to just let it be.
It is not your enemy
because it is not your friend.

026. Make Friends With Yourself
To befriend yourself
is a highly ironic
exercise with words.
You exorcise the demons
named 'To', 'befriend', and 'yourself'.

027. The Lion's Roar
Rory's lion heart
roars inside of the chaos:
"This is the good news,
the liberating gospel:
every situation is!"

028. Arouse Your Sense Of Wakefulness
Excellent posture
and a sense of wakefulness.
This is all you need.
Meditation is nothing
but breathing, naturally.

151. Living On The Razor's Edge
Paying attention
on the edge of a razor.
The past and future
are that fiction and this dream.
Just what is it that gets cut?

152. Boredom And Compassion
Our own projections
can lead us to the boredom
of meditation.
It is cool and it is cruel.
Whatever it takes to sit.

153. The Big Project
How uncertain is
this mindless mentality?
How wet is water?
Once you dive in and find out
you can then say "I don't know."

239. One Version Of Infinity
Round and round and round
we run until we can see
ourselves from behind.
It is better to sit still
until we begin to sit.

243. Earth Is My Witness
At the dawn and dusk
of what the tradition calls
"one's enlightenment"
the earth remains as it is.
We cannot fall off of it.

244. Sacred Action
Super natural
awareness is mindfulness
in mundane action.
This natural worldliness
is as sacred as it gets.

245. Always Now
It is always now.
This is what makes the future
present in the past.
To honor our tradition
is to rest in this resource.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019


By Rory A.A. Hinton

And then suddenly
her words appear before me.
They are pure magic.
And yet, I have always read
them in all I have written.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Quite The Contrary, Perhaps

By Rory A.A. Hinton

“And no matter what anyone else might do or say about it, however they might judge or evaluate it, all is irrelevant in the reality of my vocation to solitude, even though I am not a typical hermit. Quite the contrary, perhaps. It does not matter how I may or may not be classified. In the light of this simple fact of God’s love and the form it has taken in the mystery of my life, classifications are ludicrous, and I have no further need to occupy my mind with them (if I ever did) - at least in this connection.” (Thomas Merton).

Mark Rothko. Untitled (1962).
Thomas Merton. Dancing In The Water Of Life. HarperOne. 2009.

和歌 December 2018

By Rory A.A. Hinton

December 2018

Saturday December 01, 2018
There once was an old
ballpark on Stadium Road.
It was completely
and utterly demolished
to make way for lesser things.

Sunday December 02, 2018
The world that she made
began before I was born.
I first read of her
rushing through two thousand one
hundred and twelve liner notes.

Monday December 03, 2018
Heard it from the hall
way down inside, woman you
truly needed it.
At least you sounded like it
in your palace of mating.

Tuesday December 04, 2018
Intolerably noisy.
It does not matter
that you were enjoying it.
What matters is my silence.

Wednesday December 05, 2018
Reading in earnest
Hemingway's early torrents
of spring in winter.
He has a place of honor:
the Karsh is hung by my door.

Thursday December 06, 2018
The more that I know,
the less that I want to be
a part of it all.
This old civilized man is
full of renewed discontent.

Friday December 07, 2018
From doing logic
in the manufacturing
warehouse that summer,
to writing pedagogic
within the academy.

Saturday December 08, 2018
It has been one week
since the formal move took place.
I am settling
into a new routine now,
while the old habits return.

Sunday December 09, 2018
The little sister
is constantly watching
my every movement.
This message and messenger
are as beautiful as her.

Monday December 10, 2018
Fifty years ago
today my solitary
master passed away.
I pay him living homage
this last month of the hermit.

Tuesday December 11, 2018
Hang your father's cross
very gently on the wall.
The shadow remains
as it was when I was too
young to take on the troubles.

Wednesday December 12, 2018
Hit the ground running
with my old Romanian
mistress memories.
Knowing that she is grateful
for her Blahniks is enough.

Thursday December 13, 2018
Was it the person
that produced the conception,
or rather was it
the conception that produced
this old Homeric person?

Friday December 14, 2018
Heard from my old cat
again after an absence.
All that she wanted
was to seductively purr
into my inviting ear.

Saturday December 15, 2018
The old alien
anthology is very
difficult to kill.
Still, it is less about death,
and so much more about stealth.

Sunday December 16, 2018
Alien anthem
and Andy's arias are
arranged and administered

Monday December 17, 2018
Not that long ago ...
the gentle echo of her
Persian persuasion
proved to me that she's a muse
who does more than just amuse.

Tuesday December 18, 2018
The last flickering
remnants of the very last
flickering remnant.
My relatively obscure
pilot light is extinguished.

Wednesday December 19, 2018
The ambient sounds
of Deckhard's old apartment.
Strangely familiar.
Who plays beautifully for me?
The worst memories are hers.

Thursday December 20, 2018
The policed foyer
is as far as you will get.
Go ahead and take
pictures of my Christmas tree,
and toss yours while you're at it.

Friday December 21, 2018
Why do they try to stop it?
From TV programs
to computer programming:
resistance is futile.

Saturday December 22, 2018
I'm drinking Red Bull
first thing within the morning
now more than ever.
Ever since Baumgartner fell
to the earth, I've been jacked up.

Sunday December 23, 2018
Every so often
the sirens begin to sing
their destructive song.
They even use tunes I like.
The Garden is an instance.

Monday December 24, 2018
My own prison cell
devoted entirely
to my undoing.
For twenty four hours now
I stay wholly secluded.

Tuesday December 25, 2018
Concentrating on
the birth as well as the death
of the crucified.
Nothing more and nothing less
to stress over, finally.

Wednesday December 26, 2018
Still no word from them.
Be still and know that I am
good with this response.
This is what I have wanted.
Welcome to the new normal.

Thursday December 27, 2018
There's a new baby
now within the family.
I don't know her name.
I only heard second hand.
Third is more appropriate.

Friday December 28, 2018
For twelve straight hours
all my fingers kept moving
over the black keys.
I worked until I could not
work any longer at it.

Saturday December 29, 2018
It's the last weekend
of the year of the hermit.
I'm settled into
my manor and my manner.
The beginning of the end.

Sunday December 30, 2018
The external world
becomes physically distant.
The internal world
becomes timelessly present.
This is my reality.

Monday December 31, 2018
The refuged recluse
retreats from his fifty years
worth of recused clues.
Honestly hermeneuting
in the age of the hermit. 

Friday, 21 December 2018

Feuerbach's Essence

By Rory A.A. Hinton

The Essence Of Christianity is nothing but a footnote to Metaphysics. When Feuerbach states that he differs from those philosophers "who pluck out their eyes that they may see better; for my thought I require the senses, especially sight," he is echoing Aristotle: "All men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is in the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves; and above all others the sense of sight." To therefore claim with Feuerbach that theology is anthropology is simply another way of saying with Aristotle that the essence of a thing is found within the thing itself: the soul of the eye is seeing.
     This is why Heidegger argues that you cannot have Being without human beings. And this is why Rahner argues that to carry out Feuerbach's program of reformulating dogmatic theology into theological anthropology does not necessarily mean that God gets reduced to Man. Ecce Homo is merely the means.
     It turns out after all that not all philosophy is but footnotes to Plato. Feuerbach’s Essence is an exceptional exception.

Aristotle. Metaphysics. Princeton University Press. 1991.
Karl Rahner. Foundations Of Christian Faith. Crossroad. 1982.
Ludwig Feuerbach. The Essence Of Christianity. Dover. 2008.
Martin Heidegger. Being And Time. Blackwell Publishers. 1962.
Thomas Sheehan. The Dream Of Karl Rahner. The New York Review Of Books. February 4, 1982.