An early morning. The greenery and birds fill the windows as I clank around, rattling the room. The silken tapestries hang silently. The little statues stare back at me, ever-cool in their bronze detachment. I sit for a few minutes, still groggy and struck by the absence of inflowing information, inflowing anything. This leaves the morning vacant, open like heaven.

The empty palm upturned, the fearless hand outstretched. The air, the birdsong, the thoughts of the person viewing you. They all coalesce in your gripless grip, held by not being held.

On the cushion, the torrents roll and crash, entangling thoughts dashed against rock. Flashes of hunger, memories, realizations. They all roar past and break upon the stone, reduced to foam and nothing, They are nothing, but there they are.

Am I so bound to this body, so caught in bodily self-understanding and bodily possibility? A flower hidden and bowed by its container, I obsess. But what are these obsessions save old matters imprinted, accretions bound to be unraveled? And yet I come home to the body, live in the body. The body may be a dream, but the body is a real dreamer.

And so the dream. It surges upward, urging me to sing in a voice not my own:

To be crowned with summertime’s yield,

To walk softly, white soles pressed against dirt and slick stone,

To boast cheeks faintly red, fingers slim, eyes quick and piercing.

But I sit longer, seeing the song and singer as passing color and preparing to spend the morning among the monks and trees.

Then I think again, ‘The body may be a dream, but the body is a real dreamer.’

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