For years I pulled my own existence out of emptiness.
Then one swoop, one swing of the arm
that work is over.
Free of who I was, free of presence, free of
dangerous fear, hope,
free of mountainous wanting.
The here-and-now mountain is a tiny piece of a piece
blown off into emptiness.
These words I’m saying so much begin to lose meaning:
existence, emptiness, mountain, straw: words
and what they try to say swept
out the window, down the slant of the roof.
We slipped quietly in, sat dow on the cushions, and listened to the chanting monk. And I found myself unable to close my eyes; the snow-capped mountains and fluttering prayer flags were too beautiful a sight. How can one sense emptiness with eyes open and filled with beauty? (Shedrub Choekhor Ling monastery, Saléve, France; January 2016)