The Khaggavisana instructs us:
Wander alone like a rhinoceros.
Niten Dōraku’s 21 Precepts
articulate the matter even clearer:
Take up the Path of Aloneness.
Dōgen’s light-filled transmission, Hachidainingaku,
tells of Shaka Buddha’s final earthly instructions.
It was the night he evaporated
back into the embrace
of the Cosmic Buddha.
The World Honored One stated it
without an ounce of ambiguity:
Dwell alone in a quiet place.
There you will know tranquility.
Like a night-blue thread
flowing through time
from his mouth to my own neck,
I have fallen in behind the Lantern-Carriers.
Most days and nights I know that serenity.
Kamo no Chōmei
Who am I to argue?
Even as a child,
sitting alone for hours
beneath shimmering pines,
I seem to have known I was destined
for this path of Lone Wolf Dharma.
Same light - different lantern.
Yet, some nights I’m haunted in layers —
Ten Thousand Waves of regret, as the saying goes.
Just last night, I had a recurrence of a long-ago winter dream.
There was snow on the ground.
Hot Moon Water soothed well-traveled bones.
The nigorizake was sweet.
A bare ankle
peeked out from the hem of a kimono
and reminded me of the days now gone
of Red Thread Zen.