Lone Wolf Dharma & the Red Thread Dream

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

Lady Rengetsu

Yoshida Kenkō

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.