The Mountain Chant of Mappō

— a parting poem

It was a cloudy day, but my ears heard it bright and clear as the sun — a chant for journeying through these times of peril.

It began with a chickadee but by evening-tide even the owls and high wind were singing The Mountain Chant of Mappō.

It wasn’t until dawn-light, however, that I heard the sacred words coming from each of the four winds:

May all suffering beings

in hell realms

god realms

animal realms

human realms

realms of hungry ghosts

experience full liberation

from tormented heart-minds

in this predicted time.

May all wounded souls

seeking the balm of healing

come to know the boundless wellspring of luminosity

found within their own being.

May all sentient beings

yearning for the wish-fulfilling jewel

of a heart-mind at-ease with itself

learn the steadfast practice

of Serene-Mirroring

passed down, uninterrupted,

from the Lantern-Lit Heart-Mind

of the Great Forest-Counselor

to the Wayfarers in every age.

May all those caught in the

spinning blades of karma

and drowning in the poisoned waters of obsession, addiction, ignorance, and self-deception

benefit from the unbridled,

karmic chain-breaking power

of innumerable protectors and guides throughout the ten realms.

Buddha of the East

Buddha of the South

Buddha of the West

Buddha of the North

Buddha of the Vast Cosmic Void

Buddha of the Sun

Earth Powers-as-Buddhas

Buddhas of the Three Mountains

Buddhas of Caves and Rivers

Buddhas of Village, Town, and Market

Buddha Within the Beating Heart

of Every Suffering Being

Buddha Within the Beating Heart

of Every Awakening Woman

Buddha Within the Beating Heart

of Every Awakening Man

Buddha Within the Beating Heart

of Every Wonder-Filled Child

Buddhas On Pilgrimage

Buddhas On Retreat

Buddhas Creating Art

Buddhas Nurturing Community

Buddhas Tending Gardens

Buddhas Supporting Families

Buddhas Healing Buddhas

Grandmother Buddhas

Sister Buddhas

Grandfather Buddhas

Brother Buddhas

Mother Buddhas

Father Buddhas

Buddhas Being Born

Buddhas Dying

Buddhas Remembering

Buddhas-Remembering-Other Buddhas-Remembering

Bodhisattvas Remembering

Great Nature Remembering

Are you remembering?

Are you remembering?

Are you remembering?

Are we remembering...

...why it is

that we’re