Lessons of Emptiness
- Lessons of Emptiness -
The First Lesson
There was a rugged bridge over a turbulent riverbed,
Washed over by clear waters fed from the mountain.
Swordsmen oft clashed there, turning the waters red,
When their blood sprayed out, like unto a fountain…
Released at the moment when they realized their end.
Coming to emptiness, and in that finding their destiny!
To prepare themselves: for whatever fate might send,
The Samurai would contemplate emptiness in dignity.
Can you think back to a point before you knew fear?
When innocence fired your imagination with boldness.
Before your first sorrows, before the first shed tear…
You were empty, and yet filled with wonder’s caress.
In contemplating the sword, one is ever the student…
The world is the teacher, and every battle the lesson.
True mastery comes not ever to one who is arrogant!
So empty your ego; thus, let your katana truly glisten.
Wait not for death to show you the enlightened path,
The dead need learn no more, for they are beyond…
Be empty of any anger; be not ruled, by petty wrath!
Seek to learn, and of the journey become most fond.
The Second Lesson
Thus were the thoughts, of one beautiful swordsman,
Who came to the bridge one morning: in the spring…
His sword at his side: his mind shifting, like fine sand.
Empty of fear, open to the world and to everything…
Like a child hoping to discover some golden wonder.
Another waited for him upon the far side, so silently!
Above in the sky, gathered clouds and loud thunder.
Whilst the waters of the river flowed forever gently…
Caressing the bones, of those who perished in duels.
Both men looked down at the dead; felt no terrors…
For fear could not touch them as it could most fools.
To give in to one’s fear is to give in to one’s errors…
But also to know one’s limits is to find new strength.
So each swordsman looked upon the other intently!
Their eyes met and time seemed to halt for a length.
Each knew, that the other could kill almost instantly,
And to the moment of that realization came peace…
For both knew, that they could not hope to prevail!
So they bowed and walked away, never to cease…
Learning: about life and living, without shame or fail.
The Third Lesson
Mercy and benevolence are both honorable virtues,
As strong as steel that cannot be broken with wear.
To be open to them, one must be willing to choose,
The path of emptying oneself of greed’s evil snare…
Becoming humble, and willing to serve their fellows.
Lest one fall into the waters, that await the prideful!
One cannot easily fathom, wherever the river flows.
But one cannot learn, by being stubborn or spiteful!
The mountain cares not, for it stands tall, unmoving.
People are not mountains, for we care as we roam,
Each upon a path that can, countless fates so bring!
Yet, only one will be yours, as solidly as cold stone.
Living in the moment, open to all that life can offer…
One is empty of fear and free to see what is hidden.
A gift and a treasure not found, in any gilded coffer.
One’s destiny is not to be thrown unto the midden!
We all come to a bridge to be crossed cautiously…
Some will fall, some will stand, and others walk on.
You cannot plan for that hour; accept it, gracefully!
For a path can be long, and oft we have but begun.
Written by Kou_Indigo
(Kara Lucielle Pythiana)
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