Ekphrastic Tanka 7: Funeral of a Buddha

Offrande de cent mille lampes sur le stoûpa de Bodhnath après la mort de Dilgo Khyentsé Rinpotché Photo by Matthieu Ricard

the world is awake

the whole world awakening

this world waking dream

how many kalpas to come?

secrets revealed in the lights

tanka #7 May 2 2022

I spent weeks in Boudnath at the feet of the great master Dilgo Khentse, whose western students nick-named him “Mr. Universe” because of his imperturbably spacious manner. I believe he spent twenty years in yogic retreat when a young man. The photographer Matthieu Ricard is the son of a leading French intellectual and they have tustled over their contrasting philosophical views together on French television many a time. He is as accomplished a photographer as he is a monastic yogic practitioner. I never once saw Dilgo Khyentse without Matthieu at his side; they were inseparable for many years…

Ekphrastic Tanka #1: Hear my Ancient Call

From Gabriel Rosenstock’s Tanka Book “Secret of Secrets” p 16 https://www.edocr.com/v/djr6qn6d/gabrielrosenstockbis99/secret-of-secrets

hear my ancient call

from mists beyond the hermit’s cell

see the rising dawn

we who gaze with bated breath

journeying from one to all

#1 April 28 2022

Tanka traditionally feature a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable structure.

YI JING: War in Ukraine April 2022

Full text in the pdf:

Note: this might be regarded as a controversial, even provocative, reading but at root this conflict IS a civil war and the perseverence of the woman IS the dominant Judgement of Hexagram 37 so attributing this to Mother Russia is hardly a stretch. This is a family quarrel on the international stage as well so let us hope that when it is over there are better relations for all involved. It seems unlikely now but we shall have to see how things play out. One thing is for sure: the way things were going with Ukraine shelling Donbass on a regular basis and about to actually invade again with US and NATO support cannot reasonably be expected to continue. Russia is putting her foot down. Leaving aside all the wartime propaganda, let us wait and see what the situation is like once the dust of the current conflict settles, hopefully sooner rather than later.

PS The nuclear trigrams were incorrectly placed; they should be Water below Fire above.

PS June 2 2022: on re-reading this it occurred to me that the Image can also be that of a tree or wood burning in a fire because of the Wood Above Fire Below trigram formation of Hexagram #37. A tree relates nicely to the notion of Family, as in family tree. So the family tree is burning in this civil war. In the broader context the family of nations is also at war with each other with some aligned with the US and NATO and others aligned with the emerging Eurasian axis led by Russia and China. And yet all nations are one extended human family and this war in Ukraine is a world wide civil war, the family of nations burning in the crucible of conflict. Hopefully it will purify obstacles and we will end up stronger from it. But war is a desperate measure in which many young lives are prematurely lost. So this is an unsettling image though it does fit the current situation, and I think it is a better Image than the one initially published. So a revision of that might read:

IMAGE: The World Family Tree burning in Cauldron of War.