To Bow

04/24/2020 1 By BuddyCushman

I bow to begin. More, with times passing, I bow to it all. The thrill of waking up, sliding from the warm bed early, as I have bowed to the reality of warm bed and loved other at lights-out some seven hours earlier. I come to the meditation seat and I bow once, as the awareness of grace floods my whole being. First enlightenment, then zazen. To take the position is to be enlightened, it’s not the other way around, and I have deep gratitude for this understanding and, as directed by Shunryu, I bow nine times to my chair at meditation’s finish. Then I bow to one of my cow paintings that hangs on the living room wall, that’s mostly because I like it and think it’s cool and because I can.

There is hot coffee and later some degree of breakfast, healthier with each month’s passing – and don’t think I ain’t bowing every single day for a stray convo I had a couple of July’s ago with my main man and chronic mentor Gavin O. down there in Oaktown re: what’s what with carbs and fat and autistic food interventions and yeah, Bro, that very well might be my skinny ass locked down in some electro-zap mind-meld apparatus back there at Danvers State, meaning I’m pretty much grateful most of the time my brain still works pretty good (in the vast scheme of how good was it ever working?) and I bow to this very here writing/thought translation thing, where one thought leads fluidly into another, out beyond stream-of-conscious, and I have no regrets – I was thinking about that, now I’m thinking about this – it’s like the neuro-transmitting gabba fluid squishing between synapses, and see – I even bow at my own weirdness and it is all good, ahimsa is the word, the vow to harm no one, and so long as I’m not ingesting some industrial-strength floor cleaner or rat poison to keep my gizzards all spiffy and on the up and up, well there it is, Pilgrim, and

I bow that I grew up in Massachusetts and that my genetic boys seems pretty darn happy with the lives they’ve got, and I bow often this last week or more to my little granddaughter who schooled me – eventually (with technical assistance from her dad) on setting up a facetime/messenger thing so she can call me and we can see the other on our phones and as a result of this I have had two conversations with her seven-year old self the like of which I have never had, real, powerful, connected, devoted, relational which have left me thrilled and awed I could actually, finally, feel like good old granddad, and I bow to the openness of new possibilities and for sure, and talk about being school by three cats named Eddie, Frenchie, and Jack way back there in ’83 in Somerville at Saint Polycarp’s, I bow big time with their advice to don’t take yourself so damn serious, which I’m thinking is pretty good advice for most folks but I’ll keep the focus on me, as I learned at Walden House – “Own your own” – and I bow for that learning, which is where I met Gavin from the Big O and we have walked around Lake Merritt on many occasions and I bow to that Lake because it is of a wonder and home to so many amazing birds and I bow to the city of Oakland, where I feel more alive and at one with the planet than I do anywhere else

and this list can and could go on pretty much eternally but I’ll end this part of the tale because I believe it has been made as clear as I can make it – like those two ditch-digging cats back in Edgewater, Florida were always want to say – “This is the day the Lord hath made and I will rejoice in it.” Yowser, and what better way to rejoice than to count blessings and live with some degree of awe, wherever I can find it which pretty much happens to be everywhere I bother to really look – and really see – and it is all of a thing. Go to sleep where I can, wake up when I’m given another morning, get up sit and bow and drink coffee and read and look at nature and listen for and hear birds and read stuff and dance by myself and have gratitude that my knees while sore still work pretty well, look at the two-mile walk late yesterday and then, of course, this act, the writing, the sitting at the keyboard and sometimes with intent and forethought coming up with and typing down a story, an engaging (hopefully) interesting (hopefully) story worthy (hopefully) of someone else’s time, and then at other times, like right here right now sitting down with a phone timer turned on and just letting it rip my Homie, whatever shows up shows up and I ain’t editing and I ain’t promoting….

I just be typing and I suppose I actually plan what to write some nano-second before the actual writing – because I wonder what that would look like typing exactly at the same time I think of what to type, you get it there’s got to be some lag there so I can bow to the fact that these last few years I have minimized the lag and have come closer to the exhibitor of these here thoughts just as I’m hearing them. Some synesthesia or the like, hearing what I type, seeing what I think, and paying my best attention to my breath while in the meditation chair and the soft sound of small woodpeckers introducing themselves to that tree skin and from faraway the traveling dialogue of two or three geese, radar activated, they know where they’re going.

Which I often don’t, have that knowing, but with the commitment to ahimsa and the desire to do my best with the next right thing and always remembering to follow the Rule 62 of not taking myself too serious and even, and this brings me to a current desire to write about what will fall under mysticism of some degree – which I’m preferring to call “Lord Dedith” these days, this – Thou art That. And that, I believe, is well and good and see, nearly one half hour has passed and I am still here – I’m still here and can we get a big old Amen and a sweet, precious bow for that. And

I had a daydream the other day of traveling back to my hometown of Wareham, Massachusetts and twirling around like a top. Spinning Bows….just maybe….