Song of the Self

I celebrate the Self—
And what I know you shall know,
    for every wonder I see you shall see.

I bow to that Supreme Spirit in you
    that moves and moves not, both far and near,
    within and without... in DNA & spiral galaxies.

Stop the flow of thoughts and you shall find
    the origin of all poems—
Where do all these words come from?
They come from emptiness. All form arises
    from emptiness and into emptiness returns.
Emptiness is a beginning and also an end.

Let scientists talk of beginnings and ends,
    and investors of pasts and futures.
The poet stands at the center of now—
    for never will there be a more perfect
    moment to hear the inner music.

All things from heaven and earth flow from this pen.
Out of non-being, being is born—
    out of silence, the poet weaves a song.

Write and write and write—
    the sound of one hand clapping
    is the sound of one hand writing!

Where is the winged horse to take me
    out of the dimness toward the light?
Surely there is a way to plumb the depths
    of mind, soul, spirit, and you.

I am content when sitting still and know
    I am That— beyond waking, dream, and sleep
but also joyful when I dance swirling
    around the ballroom to music of the spheres.

I believe in you my soul... that the pure in heart
    will find happiness, that the empty mind will experience
    enlightenment, that the path of sages will bring bliss.
Practice, practice, practice— be true to the path.

Suddenly arose a spark within that spread around me
    a flame of peace that passes all understanding—
And I know the twenty amino acids to be my elfin friends,
And I can discern the language of life and predict protein
    structures at a glance without computer calculations;
And I felt the joy of Galileo, first to see the moons of Jupiter,
And thanked Richard Bucke's Cosmic Consciousness
    following the steps of Dante, Goethe, Buddha,
    Plato, and Plotinus for their unitary vision—

"O wonderful, wonderful, and yet again most wonderful!"

Are you afraid to merge into Oneness?
Undress your ego... embrace the Self!
Break your room space... experience All-Space!
The real you is tireless, timeless, limitless...
    and can never be shaken or taken away.

What are we anyhow? What am I? And what are you?

"Shall I pray?" the disciple asked the master who was ill.
Confucius said "My praying has been for a long time."

And I know I am deathless, birthless, timeless—
    this orbit of mine beyond compass and chart,
    sailing the sea of essence into the wild night.

Ah! the libraries where I spend my happiest hours
finding windows to wisdom. Here cavern of minds
past and present commune with me. The spirits
of my favorite writers have guided me to find
quotes in their books without having read them.

But equally I'm enchanted by Nature's grandeur—
the gorges at Cornell with their babbling brooks,
the budding trilliums in spring on hikes at Windy Hill,
the wildbirds at Mount Shasta flying & feeding in my hand,
and watching the most beautiful sunset at Lac Leman in Vevey
    with a sage by my side telling me that Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    sat at the very spot in the wilderness two hundred years ago.

I believe the lilies of the field are more beautiful
than all the glories of Solomon and in touching
a flower we move a distant star for we are all
connected by this web of jewels— the Net of Indra.

I visit orchards of Space-Time and see the spherical universe,
And look at its fabric of quintillion quantum pixels,
And realize we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram.

It is time to explain the Self... let us sit still.
Strip away the known and launch into the unknown.
The clock shows the moment... but what is the face of eternity?

We have circled for trillions of winters and summers
And at last we have found the right address—
The Serpent cannot forget. Moses remembers this place.
Now here I stand on this spot with my soul.

Let my soul contemplate on the Great Soul—
    freed from doubt and deceit and collected into calm.
Calm be the body and mind, and even heaven itself be still.
Then feel how into that silence the Great Soul flows through.

If then it is the Soul that brings us beauty,
    how can we run after other trivial things?
You honor the Soul elsewhere, honor then yourself.

The Self is ever-present, not light nor darkness,
    never born and never dies, not defined or explained.
The rishis say the Self resides in the heart of all beings—
    smaller than the atom, greater than the vast universe.

Failing to see me at first, keep on trying—
Missing me there, search for me here—
As above, so below. Look within—
I go everywhere waiting for you.

            — Peter Y. Chou
                Mountain View, 2-4-2009