Empty Mind

Writing about empty mind is not easy.
When I have got it, there are no words.
When the words come, it goes away.

Sitting in anger and fear,
Mind is full of the past and future.
Images of catastrophes big and small
Jostle for a seat at the brain.
Resentment, incredulity and disappointment
Slide their way into heart spaces
Pushing out loving-kindness.
Equanimity lies in pieces.

Some of us scrape up that slimy
Emotional stuff and put it in jars
To carry along with us,
And then we complain that
Our load is too heavy.
We need to put down that
Lumpy sack of ooze
And take a breath.

The sage said,
“I pack no provisions for my long journey—
Entering emptiness under the midnight moon.”
He did not pack his ego,
Or his remembrance of self.
He carried no big plans
Or regrets of the past.
Like a wise fool he may have
Even forgotten to leave.
While he sits still in darkness,
The moon travels the sky.

— Tom Barrett