Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bhante Mixalot

This manuscript was recently discovered in the jungles of Burma. The author (given the unusual name Bhante Mixalot) was clearly a devoted student of Buddhism, judging by his references to "vedana" (feeling tone), atimana (superiority-conceit), sakkayaditthi (belief in an independently existing permanent self), bhikkhus (mendicant monks), devas (celestial beings), yakkhas (demons), and kilesas (suffering states of mind). The song seems to be his complaint about the persistent seduction of mental proliferation, indicating that despite his ardent practice he had not yet made much progress along the road to liberation. There are several lacunae in the manuscript. Perhaps other scholar-practitioners will be able to form conjectures about the missing content of this verse


I like big thoughts and I cannot lie
You meditators can’t deny
That when a thought walks in with a pleasant vedana
and some sweet atimana
I get caught: I can’t help myself
Proliferating future selves--
Although I know I’m raving
I’m hooked and I can’t stop craving
Identity—I wanna become ya
I’m takin’ on ya
My teacher tries to warn me
But a thought comes up—sakkayaditthi!
Ooh--these sankharas,
sometimes they seem to have no end
but I'm workin', workin',
coz I ain't no uninstructed worldling.
I see thoughts dancin'
but I'm still advancin'
I just note it when my mind is racin' like a turbo jet.
I’m tired of magazines
Sayin’ self-improvement is the thing
Take the average bhikkhu and ask him that
He’ll say the self ain’t that.
So Bhikkhus! (Yeah!) Bhikkhus! (Yeah!)
Do you know your self ain’t that? (Hell yeah!)
Just shake it! (Shake it!) Shake it! (Shake it!)
Shake that sense of self
Self ain’t that!
(Got no use for sakkayaditthi)

A word to my kilesas: I'm gonna erase ya--
no time to waste here
But I gotta be straight when I say I wanna [OMMM]
Till the break of dawn
Got my sati goin' on
A lot of simps won't like this song
'Cause them punks like to sit and then quit it
And I'd rather stay all day
'Cause samadhi is strong
And I'm down to get my insight on
So devas! (Yeah!) Devas! (Yeah!)
You wanna cool your kilesas? (Yeah!)
Give it up! Throw it out!
Even yakkshas got to shout
Self ain’t that
Yeah bhikkhus—when it comes to rebirths,
this cosmos ain’t got nothin’ to do with my selection.
Identify with form, mind, consciousness? --Only if you want to suffer!
So your practice is really movin’
Your Chopra tapes are groovin’
But you’ve still got a self that you’ve improving.
My aspiration don’t want none
But libera-tion, hun.
You can do yoga and pujas
But don’t think your self is that.
Some bhikkhus wanna play that hard role
and say there ain't no self at all
so they get all nihilistic
but I keep an eye on my sila!
So greed says I need that
but I ain't down with that
Though the fires of greed may be overrulin’
I’m thinkin’ ‘bout coolin’
So I got some samadhi and pitti,
but I'm not stopping there
I'm on a mission to the unconditioned,
startin' with some bodhicitta

So bhikkhus if you're feeling caught
and you wanna really know what's what
dial 1-900-anatta: I'll tell you what it's all about:
Self ain’t that!
(No matter what you’re looking at your self ain’t that)

(This is the version performed on April 28 at DPP3 Dharma Follies)

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