My Lineage

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My lineage is the vast space of Longchenpa,
the precision of Jigme Lingpa, the tickster
Patrul Rinpoche and heart of Dilgo Kyentse.

My lineage is the perpetual union of all opposites,
the devotional music wafting through the
thick silence of a Rishikesh dawn.

My lineage is Durga the Invincible,
Kali, the Dancer of Destruction,
Parvati, the messenger of Love and Devotion.

My lineage is the lost language of the Algonquin,
the Mohican and the Miwok. It is the shining eyes
of a Lisu girl, the radiant gaze of a stranger
at the Maha Bodhi temple.

My lineage is the woolen robes collapsed like
ghosts on the benches of Shugsep nunnery,
the mountain peasants standing in line to
enter Samye monastery.

My lineage is tears of surrender on the cheeks
of pilgrims, whirling prayer wheels and wooden floors
worn by the prostrations of the devoted.

My lineage is the half-blind old woman greeting
me at the doorway of Gangri Tokar,
love beyond measure emanating from
a single ancient eye

My lineage is the morning mists of Gangtok,
the sanctuaries of Bagan, the lanterns hung
by the river at Hoi An.

My lineage is the master calligraphers of ancient Islam,
the Wailing Wall, the cathedral at Reims.

My lineage is the whales singing their
song across a thousand miles of ocean,
never singing an oldie, always a new song.

My lineage is slipping into the deep chill of the Yuba River,
diving the blue-green depths of Lake Tahoe,
climbing the trails of Devil’s Postpile
and the cliffs of Kalalau.

My lineage is egrets dive-bombing for frogs in the
rice paddies of Bali, a glistening web
hanging in a redwood forest, the wetlands, the badlands,
the white birch, the alpine, the Douglas fir
and the mighty sequoia.

My lineage is Rilke’s falcon, circling in a great storm,
the heart of Joanna Macy, the ecstatic passion
of Andrew Harvey, the mythic stories of Michael Meade
and the linguistic jail-break of Bayo Akomolafe,
voices of longing, resilience, illumination,
messiness and trouble; koans of entanglement.

My lineage is the relentlessly curious, the rule-breakers,
the sense makers, the light revealers,
travelers of the transverse, sentinels of the timeless,
fugitives of rationality, non-doers in a world of doing,
outlaws, burning and bursting through
the crumbling walls of every Jericho.

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