“…radical break from rationalism. the moment of empowering. we will make a way to make our dreams. the way to do it is through channels of communication. having the courage to do it. collectively, gently, and with complete faith. nature wants this to happen. we are a necessary oddness. this is why we’ve been graced with self-reflection.”
“Have I ever shown you Smokey’s regal portrait?”
Find her on Instagram: @therealsmokeyb
Great Uncle Shorter: I remember when Gary was around twelve years old, he called me over to impress his friends on how well I can shoot a bow and arrow into the target they set up over on by a tree…
Gary: I looked up to my Uncle, he could do everything. I remember telling them, just wait until you see what my Uncle can do! *laughs*
Great Uncle Shorter: Never shot a damn bow and arrow in my life, but I wasn’t about to tell him that… So, I picked it up and uh, aimed and hit the bullseye right in the middle! My eyes got real big, *chuckles* then I turned around and I looked over at ’em kids with a serious face, “Well boys, that’s how ya do it.” Gary looked back at his friends saying, “See! I told you!” Luckiest goddamn shot I ever took…
Gary: *laughs* Yeah, I remember that.
Northern Cali. 2016.
So whatever our lives are like, our buddha nature is always there. And it is always perfect. We say that not even the Buddhas can improve it in their infinite wisdom, nor can sentient beings spoil it in their seemingly infinite confusion. Our true nature could be compared to the sky, and the confusion of the ordinary mind to clouds. Some days the sky is completely obscured by clouds. When we are down on the ground, looking up, it is very difficult to believe there is anything else there but clouds. Yet we only have to fly in a plane to discover up above a limitless expanse of clear blue sky. From up there the clouds we assumed were everything seem so small and so far away down below.
We should always try and remember: the clouds are not the sky, and do not “belong” to it. They only hang there and pass by in their slightly ridiculous and non-dependent fashion. And they can never stain or mark the sky in any way.
So where exactly is this buddha nature? It is in the sky-like nature of our mind. Utterly open, free, and limitless, it is fundamentally so simple and so natural that it can never be complicated, corrupted, or stained, so pure that it is beyond even the concept of purity and impurity. To talk of this nature of mind as sky-like, of course, is only a metaphor that helps us to begin to imagine its all-embracing boundlessness; for the buddha nature has a quality the sky cannot have, that of the radiant clarity of awareness.
Naked and Awake.