Saturday, February 4, 2012

what is God?

one day when I was four,
lying on my back with my sister,
gazing up at the clouds,
lords prayer on the phonograph
playing repeatedly in the Sierra Mountains,
the cumulous clouds would take on amazing forms
my initiation into mystical experience,
an early communion with God.

one day when I was fourteen,
science seemed to hold the key.
now, only wanting answers,
the questions lost their meaning
a birthday gift from my sister;
John Lennon’s album “Imagine.”
understanding only his words,
I then lost faith in God.

one day when I was eighteen,
discovered hallucinatory drugs,
had a communion with a fly
in the high California Desert,
and lost the way completely.
so absorbed in a world of sensory stimulation,
looking for the truth,
trying to understand this mind with the mind,
turned always down a dead end street.

one day when I was twenty-three,
a personal trauma sent me
reeling out of control.
when a month had passed
I had returned to this world,
tried to go to AA meetings,
but the Higher Power thing
always got in the way.
believing humans to be the ultimate,
Einstein said: “man is destined to prevail,”
returning to scientific roots,
seeking the truth in Universities,
psychology would surely help me
unlock the secrets of the mind.

one day when I was twenty-eight,
I encountered a psychotic man.
he taught me that all my understanding was meaningless
and I was powerless to help.
beginning the decline again, into a world
of drunken nights and sexual pleasure,
every night enjoying the trip,
every morning knowing better.
this split mind was inside one body,
trying to go both directions at one time.

one day when I was thirty,
I met a chubby Korean man.
he became an impasse in my life
and stopped my thinking cold.
he told me; “Put it all down, don’t make anything.
only go straight, then find your correct direction
and keep a don’t know mind.”
eventually I became a Buddhist teacher myself,
it seemed the safest route to me.
I thought there was no God in Buddhism.

one day when I was thirty-nine
I came to realize
that God was just my idea and it was
this idea of God that didn’t exist;
not God.
the Upanishads call it ‘Atman’
the Hindu’s name it ‘Brahman’
Śākyamuni Buddha lectured on ‘Sunyata’
Laozu wrote about ‘Dao’
Moses said it was ‘Yahweh’
Jesus talked about ‘My Father’
Mohammed preferred the term ‘Allah’
now I don’t know what to call God,
I guess a name does not fit.

Yuanzhi Daoqing
December 25, 1997
Costa Mesa, CA


  1. Oh my That is so... well there aren't words.Words can't begin to say how deeply I felt this. Thank you.