09 October, 2013

If Buddha

if Buddha
is in my toothpaste tube
I wish he'd come out


ezorro said...

would you recognize buddha if you met him on a street?

Hobbes said...

Indeed, a classic!

I'm secretly accumulating bad karma for being quite proud of this silly little haiku. A long time ago, I was a student sitting in the audience of a lecture given by a visiting Zen preacher, and he talked about mindfulness while brushing one's teeth. He said, "Every time you brush your teeth from now on, you will think of me."

It's (almost) true - his speech comes to mind several times each week during my ablutions.

I was fighting with a toothpaste tube recently - a very humble battle, and there could be only one victor. It wasn't me, naturally. The words of Robert Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) came back to me, where he talks about "Buddha in the circuit boards".

Is Buddha in my toothpaste tube? Zen answers in the affirmative. If he is, he's certainly holding on tightly to the darned toothpaste.

The image that makes this haiga is from the cover of a wonderful book given to me by a good friend when he was a practising Tibetan monk. It had an effect on my life equal to the tooth-brushing Zen master and to Pirsig's motorcycle...



Steph said...

Funny and provocative - how hard to get at both in one small haiku.

sketchandtea said...

Stop thinking about the toothpaste and he is out. Now brush your teeth.