Forest Sangha Newsletter October 2000
Third Foundation of Mindfulness; Luang Por Sumedho
Traditional & Contemporary
The Space Between; Ajahn Candasiri


Mahaparinibbana Sutta

And how does one live as an island to oneself,
being one's own refuge,
with no one else as a refuge?...

Here, Ananda, one abides contemplating
the body as body, earnestly,
clearly aware, mindful,
having put away all hankering
and fretting for the world,
and likewise with regard to feelings,
mind and mind objects.

And those who now in my time or afterwards
live thus, they will attain to the Highest,
if they are desirous of learning.

(adapted from Maurice Walshe's translation of the
Mahaparinibbana Sutta - Digha Nikaya 16 2.26)

Buddha Image

Like a mother, like the sacred tree,
how this wood has loved him!
The improbable logic of awakening
echoed in the gracious declension of rigid mass
into a harmony of sweeping curves
that renders form as an act of consciousness;
and the unforced dependence of things and time
that adds the supreme delicacy:
the gold leaf flaking, the splintered foot
with its wormholes, honouring transience.
All of this while the wood goes on,
authentic, worn naked around the chest,
grain muscling through the balanced spheres of cheek and shoulder
to speak of subtler forces in the way of things.
As if the art and the wood have met to say something
that I can barely manage to hear within me
in the deep soil where their roots entwine:
that, knowing the way I shape myself,
he rose from the root of definition
(simply standing, simply walking)
to be this image: a blossoming in perfection
that, with such whole and undying heart,
is knowingly, utterly, breaking up.