Monday, March 03, 2008

Clown Buddha

Clown Buddha
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao
Right now you and I wear a mask, the clown costume.
That is our persona, our personality structures, and all the rest.
And the real question, spiritually speaking, is
"What is peering through?"


These past two weekends I have attended workshops with my Taoist Teacher, Wong Loh Sin See.
Each workshop has reminded me of Adyashanti’s teaching about the Clown Buddha,
a small drawing that he carries with him to all the retreats he leads.

Fortunately, I have found a copy of the Clown online, so I can share it with you here.
Adya explains the import of the image this way in The Five Truths:

A Zen guy said a great thing once about the Truth,
“It’s no more for being manifest as Buddha and It’s no less for being manifest as a human.” …

The Buddha is meditating -
and that Clown (that’s you and me by the way) that’s about as good as we ever get.
And it sees it’s true reflection that’s the Buddha Nature, the Pure Formless.
And that’s what we see in the Realization,
“Oh, my God, I am what I was chasing. I am the Buddha.”

But, just as important as this realization is this [other] realization.
‘Cause the Buddha Nature in you, when it wakes up,
What is it looking at? …
Buddha Nature is looking at the Clown…
And so Buddha Nature gets to have an opportunity to have a realization himself…
And the more deeply that [realization] dawns, you feel a seamlessness.

It’s not a sense of personal human perfection,
because what is that after all except for how someone defines it…
And even though in one sense there’s this beautiful pristine eternal gaze, inside…
there’s a seamlessness right into this Clown-like Nature: me-ness where there is no real me.

Another telling of the Cosmic Joke!
And, from where I sit, such very hopeful news.
I take it as an invitation to be kinder and more loving to ourselves.
Another invitation to Make Peace, Make Peace.

My last blog, about John O’Donohue, was inspired by a program called Speaking of Faith.
They used Irish music to create mood and deliver message.
One song in particular, On Taobh Tuathail Amach, seemed positively African in its wild drumming.
But, it was Irish and I didn’t understand a single syllable of the Gaelic.

This morning I found a translation.
On Taobh Tuathail Amach means, “From the Inside Out.”
Oh, what perfect timing!
Just as Buddha Nature may be surprised to see a Clown,
so the words of On Taobh Tauthail Amach surprised me.
The music has such a rambunctiousness, but the song is about making peace.
And the words seem so apropos this lesson of the Clown Buddha,

It starts almost with an invocation:
From the inside out
I don't want to fight again
From the inside out

(Then here’s the part I love)

I have fought with myself
Fought with God
Fought with my life
Fought with herself
Fought with my senses
Fought with himself
Fought so often
That I frightened myself

Don't make me fight again
It does me no good
Don't make me fight again
I don't want to misguide my soul…

You can hear the entire song on YouTube.
Or, visit Speaking of Faith (this seems a softer version, but you have to search a bit).

No comments: