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7. Two Kayas
(C. W. 37 The Two Trees)

Bodhi, bright essence in the heart
under what tree will you realize
the bliss known never to depart,
diamond light upon your eyes?

Nirmanakaya hues five-fold
adorn your body, scintillate:
this fact is certain to be told
and turned into a huge debate.

But let your blood tell you its truth,
how tremulous the current flows,
and how the splendored pitch of youth
keeps Tathagata decked in flowing robes.

Where bodhichitta make the rounds,
the flaming palace of our days
will decorate the charnal ground
and test the wisdom of our ways.

Nirmanakaya, beauty-bound,
on hair, on lips, the laughing glance
throws rainbow light freely around
so everyone will have their chance.

But count not just on Light alone,
for bliss is not without its match,
Sambhogakaya, vision-prone,
responds to all the sights you watch.

There is but one fatal mistake,
spun on the root of your desire,
self-nature requires you to make
one distinction, none can be higher:

For anything that comes to mind
does not escape the present tense,
and your desire just lives to find
how it excels in transience.

There, in bosom and in loins,
desire quells unresting thought,
Sambhogakaya so enjoins
Nirmana light, in passions wrought.

Together, bliss and what is seen
cannot be known by mind apart
from its own gaze, dual design,
two kayas, one root in mystic art.

kaya Sanskrit, “body,” understood to be a field, realm, or domain of dynamic play of three cosmic principles, Dharma, Sambhoga, Nirmana: truth, bliss, appearance

Bodhi Sanskrit, “awakened mind,” the capacity for enlightenment

diamond light Mysterious substantiality of perfect attention as the ground of all attention

Nirmanakaya hues five-fold five archetypal colors said to be present in the background of all appearances. Nirmanakaya, “field of emanation, or appearance”

bodhichitta Sanskrit, “the thought or disposition for enlightenment”

flaming palace of your days Allusion to the “Fire Sermom” attributed to the historical Buddha Shakyamuni in which he compares existence in the samsaric/sensorial realm to living in a house on fire

not just on Light alone The luminosity of appearances (Nirmana) cannot be realized apart from the blissful state of melting into those appearances (Sambhoga, “unitive bliss”)

one root in mystic art Allusion to the Buddhist teaching that the two kayas, Nirmana and Sambhoga, have a common root in Dharmakaya


8. The Shakti Cluster
C.W. 40, The Hosting of the Sidhe)

The Shakti Cluster surges in the rift
and crests above the charnal ground,
Sodashi dancing to the sound
of raucous cymbal, shaman drum:

For mind divested of samsaric fiction,
mystic winds arise, chakras spin and hum;
your look illuminated, your gaze the sum
of all your heart’s desiring, all predilection
bent into the curve on your just-parted lips;
And if your gaze be rendered unto void
samsara’s dream is finally uncoiled,
released to rapture where it slips away.

Dakinis in the rift, a wave stands
at the seam of life and death,
Sodashi blushing iron red, sweet breath
of the khandroma, bright emanation bands.

dakini Sanskrit word of uncertain origin, possibly from a Dravidian root meaning “fluent, dancing.” Celestial or sky-borne witches comparable to the Faeries of Celtic myth. In Vajrayana, they are guides and instructors of secret knowledge, especially concerning the union of emptiness and appearance

Shakti Cluster The mysterious vortex of devaic powers consisting of ten Hindu goddesses and eight dakinis of Buddhist Tantric origin

rift Allusion to a massive fault in the magnetic field of the earth, first detected in June 2007

Sodashi A Mahavidya or Indic goddess, considered to be an aspect of Kali. The name means “sixteen”

mystic winds Subtle currents felt as tremors or shivers moving in streak-like paths through the body

chakras Points of concentration and convergence of mystic winds

khandroma Tibetan equivalent to the Sanskrit dakini; literally, “one who travels in space,” figuratively, “sky dancer”

emanation bands Rainbow hues of the Nirmanakaya or “Body of Emanation,” consisting of inverwoven strands of light produced by the intensified vitality of the human body in mystical ecstasy


9. Non-Originated Look
(C.W. 41, Everlasting Voices)

The non-originated look beholds
the Buddha-fields and demon veils alike,
and in a transient fix it holds
each moment that devises time to pass.
Do you not see the moment strike
your eyes, transfix your view
like water caught in sudden glare on glass?
The moment not begun, that does not pass.

non-originated Vajrayanist term for the primordial ground awareness, source of phenomena and the power to witness it.

Buddha-fields Transcendental realms, usually pictured as celestial zones, where fully enlightened beings reside


10. Mudras
(C.W. 42 The Moods)

Time does not remove
or any gesture melt,
performed by hand or mind alike;
for nothing enters love
that has not first been felt
in co-emergent impact, like for like:
a fact no logic can disprove.

mudra Sanskrit “seal, consort”. A gesture of the hands made to convey sacred meaning or intention, a magical pass. Also, the partner in tantric intercourse

co-emergent Vajrayanist term for events that converge in spontaneity like surf crashing on a pebbled beach, rolling the pebbles as it dissolves into them


11. The Song of the Albino Bard
(C.W. 48, The Song of the Wandering Aengus)

for Riona, then and now

I walked upon the gleaming grass
where seabirds whirled above my head
And smelled the dew that shone like glass
And felt the turf beneath my tread;
And when a horse neighed in the air
And seabirds dove beneath the sky
I knew my love was coming there
To rouse my heart and make me sigh

And when I laid her on the rise
Where meadow flowers made our bed
I knelt before her maidenhead
And fire rustled in my thighs.
She was a slow dream of a girl
with rowan berries on her lips,
who breathed my name each time a swirl
of seabirds rose above the cliffs.

Though I live now another life
In other lands, in future time
She is not gone, she is still mine
And more than ever, mystic wife.
I kiss her lips and stroke her face
I walk beside her in the town
Where dappled oak leaves coming down
Fill the canals with autumn grace.

mystic wife Sanskrit mudra, the partner or consort in conjugal tantra

fill the canals with autumn grace Amsterdam, October 2008


12. Lotus of the Heart
(C.W. 50, The Heart of a Woman)

O wonder of this inner space
that brims with light and emptiness
I gaze upon her radiant face
and lend my fate to her caress

O wisdom infinite and clear
this refuge where we both abide
Her lovely brow, her auburn hair
this rapture that no fear can hide

O revelation of what is
no less than life, no more than death,
one lotus heart of dual bliss
this passion mixed, dakini’s breath

dakini’s breath Vajrayanist term for the secret instruction of the dakini’s, felt like a feathery current in the mind


13. The Tantrika Celebrates Loss
(C.W. 53 The Lover Mourns for the Loss of Love)

Pale eyes, bronze lock of hair,
I had a mistress young and wild,
And wondered if my old despair
Would end in love or end beguiled:
She locked away her heart to me
When she could not endure it there.
Her careless game hath set me free.

March 25, 2009