Monday, January 8, 2007

Alchemical Zen

Constructing the Furnace:

To turn this base material into something glorious is an amazing feat
When lead is pulverized and exposed to air it bursts into flame
The dense element of your earthly body is the heaviest substance in the universe
It collapses into itself like a black hole
Collecting the dull ingredients necessary for the next
Big bang of consciousness.

Mash your lotus legs like herbs in a mortar
When the pain bursts into flame fan it gently with a constant air supply
Feed the secret fire below with seamless vigilance.
The ashes drop to the pelvic floor, accumulating in the perineum:
Collecting the ashes together, start the process here.
Just above is the primary crucible of transformation.
A hermetically-sealed pressure cooker,
Where the magical potion is boiled clean, so
Keep your head screwed on tight!
Downcast eyes and a lowered chin keep the lid snug.
An unspeakable metamorphosis is taking place, so don’t say a word.
Simmer the mixture all day and all night
For days on end, for the heartiest, complex flavor.
Don’t peak in just yet or let out any steam, for you’ll spoil the entire brew.

At a surprising moment:
At an unprescribed certain time
When all else has failed, but before turning away,
Everything changes: the opposites align, step through each other, and exchange places
The triangle is inverted: the liquid flames blazing water.
What you thought was outside is in, and inside out.

Solve et Coagula (Dissolve and Coagulate):

Like a cube of salt dropped into the great sea of awareness
The body sinks to the bottom while it dissolves and disperses.
When the form vanishes from sight
A new substance congeals, fixed solid within the volatile fluid:
Nestled deep within the cresting waves
Like a duck far out to sea settling into the surges of a typhoon.
On the other side of the bottomless black darkness
A florid array of colors appears
Diverse and intricately bright, like a peacock feather
Transforming poison into rainbow light
The colors’ movement, modulated by the oscillating alignment,
Corresponds with specific spots along the band of awareness
Residing at the core of being.

Too afraid that the tumultuous, overturning waves
Would break over my fragile identity
Washing it away forever,
The bottomless pain yanked back my courage
Like a choke chain, dividing my mind and body once again.
How much more can be suffered?
Resolve building in the throat, it
Burst through the crimping collar, splitting open the seams.
The lead anchor of my stubborn determination now
Dropping down to the bottom of pain—
The bottom comes up, painless--ethereal
Rising hydraulically by the impulse to actualize.
Reality returns to its former pristine state
Free of corruption, innocence never lost,
The untarnished luster reflected everywhere
Everything exquisitely clear and bright
Shining in the golden sunlight.
Has the body now changed?
Or has it never remained the same?

Turned Back Into Earth:

Stepping into infinite space
Beyond the edge of the universe,
Into the inconceivable realm beyond the sense gates
Where no one has tread before
The fearless stride . . .

Steps back into myself—
All the way out is all the way in.

Stepping out and stepping in—
In-stepping stepping out actually—
Step-by-step; each step never before taken
On a path with no destination.
Each sensational stride so familiar, yet so strange,
My misunderstanding so obvious now.
Every step into emptiness, it turns out
Opens up a complete brand new universe.

Inside out now. coming
Mysteriously out from the heart central to me—
Where have I been hidden all this time—so well deceived?
Deep inside, underneath my fraudulent self—
(Manipulating everything for a little attention):
From that secret place nectar rises
Bursting forth in endless blossoms
From a within beyond reach

The Philosopher’s Stone:

The despised holy thing—all along it wasn’t hidden,
Spat out by everyone
The remedy feared as the poison.
All along just me
The tiniest, inconsequential thing
The mini-me at the heart
Abandoned so long ago
Steps forward to be enthroned
The king that turns everything touched
Back to Gold.