Back to Basics


Empty your boat, bhikku!

Forget your history,

Forget all you’ve learned and studied –

Do you think you can reach the mountaintop

With that library strapped to your back?

There is nothing that you need to carry –

You are being carried.

You can never grasp the Dharma

With all your reason and cleverness.

The cosmic laws are written

So that a child could understand.

Quit trying so hard.

Go back to basics.

Be simple. Be silent.

Be empty.

Embrace each moment from your inner stillness.

Lay down your plans and expectations

And remove the mind from the equation.

Feel these currents of energy

Shifting and surging;

Just flow with it.

Dance with Tao.

Ride the razor’s edge of Now 

You are already home.

~ Ben


17 thoughts on “Back to Basics

  1. Ben, I have not learned to reblog before but this poem is soooooooooo good I may have to figure it out! could you share a little about the source of inspiration? by that I mean your state of being or some experience that assisted your process?

    glad you are back


    • Thank you Linda, I’m honored.

      This poem has been taking shape in the back of my mind for months; I can’t trace it to any particular point of origin. As with most of my poetry, it comes from my own spiritual contemplations. I often sit in silence, in awe of the mystery of it all, and sometimes words will come that are both true and beautiful.

      This poem speaks to the spiritual seeker – who is trying to earn, reach or achieve enlightenment through effort, study, discipline, austerity, etc… I see so many people who are working so hard to be something other than what they are, trying to get somewhere other than right here, now. It is one more way to deliver the same old message: relax, let go, surrender, just be.

      This is what we are all continuously learning. It’s always the same lesson, presented in different ways, with ever-increasing depth and subtlety.

      Does that answer your question?

      With love ~ Ben

  2. By Jove, I think the ole chaps got it. Now applying it is altogether another thing, eh?

    Jerry W. Shipman
    TPM Coordinator
    1901 NW Blue Parkway
    Unity Village, MO 64065


  3. This is amazing!! I cannot tell you how much I applaud what you have written. It resonated in a very deep place inside my heart. Thank you for listening long enough to write it down! –Susie

    • Thank you, Susie! I’m delighted to meet you. You touched the heart of the matter: listening. Speaking truly, I don’t write this stuff at all, I just listen to the One who does…

      Peace ~ Ben

    • Thank you my friend. This is one of my favorites – it took a long time from conception to completion (if there is such a thing), but it was a labor of love 🙂

  4. Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for first-time blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate

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