Breathing Bodhicitta


1 Where to begin

It's so hard to be good in a world that kills you for it. That's why so many of us get lost in those mundane rituals that comprise the body of normal existence.
The feel of the crisp morning paper and the warm, damp plume of white steam from a flaring kettle. Iron rattling in a rhythmic seizure atop the old fashioned hotplate. The conventional day -- a time to rest and reflect about the upcoming events. What meetings and reports have you not yet prepared for? Need to head to the post office, oh and the grocery list. Did you make the credit card payments and the loans? Will you have time to walk the dog? And what about the laundry piling up in the garage? Is the trash obstinately overflowing its imprisoning receptacles? Bound we are to these temporal, linear constraints.
On a parallel wave of livelihood reside beings in a space age of trancey nightclubs and thumping e parties. Of hollow dilated pupils who seek only the meaning of fun and escape from themselves and each other. It's to no wonder kids drop like flies every second of every day. What are you parents teaching us? Where have you gone wrong?
Maybe the artificial hormone injections and mega-mineral enriched diet of today is finally taking its toll. Perhaps the government's unconscious experiment of creating a race of the most well-nourished super-human Americans is going awry. Unknowingly introduced, foreign cells metastasize overpowering the subdued genes of our ancestors. Like a star that burns out from the inside, our mechanized, assembly-line existence is reaching its silent supernova. For when the creative force is swallowed up in the repetitive rotations of factory workers, only then will they be happy. You arrogant, frightful ruling bastards of the world! You make even true believers in peace want to crush themselves and die.
Periodic eras sweep over the world like a brilliant gust of violent wind. Soft baby bodies dance and float in the wind of truth to which they are tethered. Suspended in mutability, she is anxiously awaiting her rebirth. She hopes that this time her mother will truly love her for what she is, a bumbling idiot unraveling the mysteries of the world. Blundering along this delusional downbeat path, she will learn about mistakes and weakened moments in life. She forgets as she caresses her mama's tresses and wraps herself in the smell of silky hairs daily immersed in capfuls of Prell. Wavy, warm locks that drape like velvet above the mirrored stage of her peripheral vision.

2 To Know Bodhi's Roots

She descends like the down of a feather sprung from a baby eagle. She was born of the Indian summer of an Alaskan town with blue water. And she swims like baby tadpoles in springtime. She is the mother of all which surround her. She is the goddess of nature and compassion to all things that die beneath the rule of her finger.
Baby mites scab their way beneath her underfoot. She is love of flora and fauna. Her silk veil wraps the unborn of widowed spiders and dried, withered roses. Her cheeks beguile the dusty crimson skies of Arizonan deserts. Mojave pottery sun-dries on the orange landscapes of pueblan villages. The blissful sounds of thunderstorms squeeze pattering rain upon gold sunset fields. The smells of summer infuse the sullen ground and dampen the languid air. The atmosphere exudes a pungent gust of tumbleweed and woven reeds. This is the place of her birth and death. A story that begins and ends along the same sliver of spiral, of seeing not return, but forever rebirth.
Bodhi grew up alone in an old suburban town where cows lined the pastures, bovine bodies ripening thick with fresh nourishing milk and soft, marbled flesh. Cornfields and garden patches sprinkled the fabric of the town with comfortable, worn goodness. The cold age of computers and transparent reproductions was just finding its gleam in backyard garages. Idle, educated folk with nothing better to do rattled their brains with confused images and equations spelling the death of their slumber.
She saw stars once that shined and winked like golden lamplights in heaven. She remembers feeling emptiness in the depths of her heart and marvels how light could fill the voids of space. She then pensively recalls how friendships used to be made, when we were children and knew no other. She trusted outward smiles and funny words. She enjoyed idle talk and warm company. She found friendship in those completely outside herself.
Then she grew one day to learn the meaning of hate, just an outward expression at first but curious in its appearance. At first she tried to isolate the violent sound or contorted facial expression of the subject at hand as possibly something disturbing, unfit to like. But it made no sense, so she learned not only to accept but to even embrace it as an authority over her emotions.

3 The fruits of hatred

Now, there is no beauty in the world. Everything is dead to her. Or so the world seems at this point in time. Every waking moment of every horrid pain-filled day is laced with the acrid smoke of hatred. To hate everyone else is to fully loathe yourself and your place in this world. She hates family, friends, boyfriends and people who tire her out with the aura of their existence.
"Why can't you all just leave me the fuck alone, and I will weary and grow tired of myself then learn to love you again."
Ah, periodic bouts of silence are healthy for the soul, but when you've been compressing anger to a tiny ball in your gut, it's apt to explode one day. Take it as a loss against yourself each time. She's tired of ringing voices who yell words that she is unallowed to scream. And so she weeps away the anger, hunger and fatigue. And the world doesn't notice her restraint 'cause they're so used to seeing her smile. Well, she gets angry, too, you know. She's not made of all love and clouds. She was wrought in an iron factory of steel-cold nerves. And when she was born, she sensed the scornful sentiments of a father who wanted only to rebuild his own image in the mold of a young boy. Parents are vain in that way. They aren't completely selfless as they would have you believe. She hates what they did to her. Sure, they aren't the only ones to blame. No one ever is. And so she lies in wait for some poor soul to understand her, but it's no use.
We lie isolated in our cocoons waiting for that miraculous change to take place, but it never does. She's tired of hoping and dreaming for something that will never ever happen.
"How fucking stupid the world is in all its false glory and faded entirety! Go fuck yourself! And clowns will dance round to celebrate your misfortune."

4 The blind act of seeing

The earth is abundantly dying. You don't kill love with love. You do it with hate spurned from sight. That's why it's so much easier to remain blind. When you're blind, you cannot see. There are no other excuses, and people pity you for the ignorant lack of completion . But you are isolated in blindness. One day, maybe your heart grows weary of beating alone, and so you cry enough to fill a thousand seas.
Bodhi is lost in thought, encircled in view, and attempts to hide from the surrounding world while seeking to better herself.
Maybe she really is lost, afraid of the ugliness that she has created and would rather ponder solitude as a healthier alternative to traditional medicine. After all, isn't sociableness a Western concept that we are conditioned to fulfill? Maybe not all of us were born as full-blooded Americans, and so we seek to defy your ugly codes. A language stockpiled with short, clipped sounds, buzz words and hypocritical oaths.
"Go find someone else to fuck, 'cause there ain't nobody home no more!"
"Why can't we love ourselves for what we truly are?"
Plagued by the same question for centuries, Bodhi seeks to understand the nature of the universe based on the postulate of man's soul. Without a basis in neither physical nor inherent existence, she finds herself trapped in the same cosmic bubble where Leuuenhoek first observed the first paramecium. And what about Coleridge and Wordsworth's ideas about language giving birth to humanly concepts and beliefs? Why can't we live life as it occurs? Why must we dissect individual moments to analyze them to shreds? Like that animating, panoramic spiral of black and white cartoons, we spin around aimlessly like sickened hamsters trapped in wire cages.
The simplest elements carry the most profound thought. And to be unable to share your ideas is worse than being trapped unawaringly in an isolation chamber. Restraint and shields that blind one from light force the ultimate confrontation with the uncontrollable mortality of ourselves.
This will be the darkest passage in her life beyond the blatant ignorance of childhood. Beauty balances youth, but when you grow old, there's no escaping that impending ugliness of solitude.
The mind's greatest barrier is belief. Once you break that down, you can handle almost anything.

5 Love is real?

When she first met Martino, she truly found herself for a moment. Martino dwelled in the abandoned mission of his ancestors. He swept the floor, kept house and cared for the animals. He did as he was told for the sake of others. He even accepted his own unimportance in a home that sought to teach him fathomless faith. Now, Martino still resides in his physical home but has learned to transport his heart to the outside realm. Sadly, he has discovered the selfish love of human companionship and has placed it above the hollow idol of God on his mantle. So, there is someone to soothe his swelling, scabbed heart when it hurts at night.
Bodhi loved him when she first saw him after the day they met. Bodhi grew to love him with all her heart then tempered her passions with distrust.
Martino has always hidden the fact that he was once a believer in storybook romances. Bodhi was the same way. Both were tired of being burned by unrequited honesty and painfully grew ill to the quarks around them. Tired of being walked all over in a world of twisted words and mental games, they serendipitously found what they were looking for - someone to love you for who you are, someone to have angry dreams about, someone to watch you eat like a chicken, someone to point out the zits on your face. True love is like a brilliant orange pumpkin patch. You pick the one most beautiful to you. Whether it is plump and round or shriveled and decrepit is up to you. The thing is bringing home the one that makes you most happy.
Waddling home with that gigantic pumpkin, she dreams about scary faces and funny teeth. Then gutting the poor fellow with the back of a spoon, pulling out stringy, white fibers and tough, dry seeds, she spills his guts across the porch. She thinks she has given him life by enflaming that twinkle in his eye, but really all she did was light a candle, one that goes out with the breath of time. Smiling as she admires her lovingly carved smile, she hopes that her children one day will also learn to love the simple joys of life without fear or doubt. That's all she has ever wanted for anybody, but selfishness always ruins your well-intentioned plans. And you have no one but yourself to blame for that.

6 Why must we suffer

Women were born to suffer. From the moment we enter the world till the day we die, we are in pain. We like to verbalize and express our grievances - make our problems known to the world. And when people feel sorry for us, we hurt all the more. It is to no wonder men don't understand women. Hey, we don't even understand ourselves, let alone each other.
That's why no one takes us seriously. Critics think us overly emotional or melodramatic. The only thing we know or care to write about is love, that weak feminine preoccupation, the mother of all pain.
It's evening now and the moon is warmly lit with a pure somber glow. Driving home in silence with nothing left to say, she wonders what he is thinking, why he is so quiet tonight, why she feels nothing but a wall around him. Though he asked to see her, she feels a lack of his presence. Maybe he wanted to feel strong; maybe he was angry and resentful. Echoes of past hurts lay heavily furrowed on his brow. How long has it been? Two months now? God, how time flies. And still he is here with her again. She turns to look at his glazed eyes staring blankly at the road, determined to go home. If she could just catch a glint again of that lovely sparkle she fell in love with, everything would be right. But he won't even give her that satisfaction. So, she turns to look out the window, lost in song. She doesn't remember her name anymore. And the pain is lulled lovingly to sleep by her melody.
She sings songs about rainbows, silly dreams and wishful thinking - songs that little girls might sing, songs that have no basis in reality. She dreams about Dandelionville, silly moments in powder blue house dresses and designer red kerchiefs. Stomping down streets in search of blackberry bushes with Aunt Peggy. It was here that she discovered he who made her smile and roll with laughter. She wondered why he asked her to go off to the woods in the first place. She had some sense, but it made no sense, and so she refrained from thinking and just went. And so they swam upon liquid-black lakes and carved ceremonious landscapes. They climbed waterfalls and fought off mosquitoes together - just one of those things. He made her feel happy to be alive and that's how she came to love him, why she still loves him.
It's just one of those things. Though, she couldn't recall how it really began. Oh, yes, now she remembers, that one night on the old porch. He was her confessor, the soother of all her sins. He held her and made her feel beautiful and loved. He swept away the dirt from her hair and kept the candle lit in the blowing wind. He spotted the moon peaking from beneath the ghostly pale urban fog. He created snow in the midst of summer. He had magic, she was sure of it! Settin' back in the rocking chair with his arms around her arms and his chin upon her head, she knew that everything would be all right. She knew he would be hers to love. How she wished they could have sat all night in the snow. But seasons change and reality drowns out the loose watercolor of dreams.
Mornings were always funny, a little shy and embarrassing catching his smile in the morning light. Funny how they had nothing to say in the morning. Nope, just watching him cut mushrooms and onions for those super-duper sandwiches which she didn't find out till later were only for special occasions. They ate them every morning. A lot of things she didn't really notice or understand until now such as how a man loves. A woman's heart is narrow; she yearns and hurts for what she can never have. A man's love penetrates more deeply. It seeks out what it wants and sows even in soiled ground.
Even now she slips into dreaming about how much she would like to feel his arms around her, to smell that natural perfume around his neck, to feel those fingers patting her head and stroking her hair. She misses him and it hurts. She wants those lips pressed softly against her own like they did for the first time that night on the beach. How they padded shyly through the dark and lovingly embraced the warm tenderness of her lips. She had never known a kiss to be more sweet, more warm or more aching. She wanted to be with him forever. She wanted to love him with all her heart. But life never ends up the way you want it to, especially when you don't know what the fuck you want. By the way, he taught her "fuck." She never used to curse until he told her it was okay. He taught her how to say, "Fuck the world!" He made her shout it out the window of a moving car. He taught her a lot of things like how to deal with smoking, how to take it as a loss each time you light oneand yet, he would always light her cigarettes for her, and she always admired his gentlemanliness in doing so.
The first time he lit her cigarette was after a long battle to retrieve the exact pack of smokes that she had entrusted him to carry on their stumbly little walk down to the woods. She didn't understand why someone would be so annoying as to not give back her cigarettes. It both enflamed and enamored her. The thought bothered her so that she couldn't sleep that night. Maybe she loved him then without knowing. Nothing makes sense anymore. It's funny when you love somebody. When you look back into the past, you cannot imagine how you could have ever not loved them. She loves him because he cares if she is alive or not. Unlike other people who claim to love her, he cannot stand to watch her light another cigarette. He cannot stand to let her waste another precious breath innocently perfumed with reeking cancer He's special that way.
And that one day, when he convinced her to conquer her fear of the sea. It was the most natural thing to strip down to her underwear and splash in the ocean, running hand in hand to that cold, refreshing foam. Lunging up and down to let the earth naturally steal her wind. She began to appreciate her own breath. And laughing and splashing together in the gray-green water that sparkled with the sheen of opaque emeralds and dancing seaweed. He adorned her in a coat of sand that cascaded down the hills of her body. And shivering as the sun went down, she thought only of him. She wanted to run free with him forever. How much her body ached to hold him and how her soul cried out with desire for him. He untamed the wildness in her that had been crying for attention her whole life. It was through his world that was borne a new star.
But all stars fade at some point and die thousands of years before their light ever reach us. So when this light went out, her world became a thousand lightless years darker. In order to cope, she keeps her eyes closed all morning to shut daylight out. That way, she can keep daydreaming forever. But she can't tonight. Here comes his driveway. He needs to go home now. She knows he thinks she has expectations about what she wants to happen, but she doesn't. She never has. She just wants to be with him all the time. The only time she fully comprehends that fact is when she is with him. The rest of the time, she's too caught up in her own world. She wants to see him again. She wants to be with him again. That is how irrational a woman's mind is. Sometimes it is crazy enough to drop everything it has for the sake of love. Call it selfless or selfish. She doesn't pay attention to what's good for her. She wants and she gets, then feels used and betrayed. She falls and she falls then stumbles blindly towards safety. Her feet move to the rhythm of her heartbeat. She loses all sight of future, past and present when she is happy. A woman becomes love, itself, irrational, undisciplined and enigmatic. She is both transformed and killed by her desire. A tumbling entity of perfect emotion. She is the devil.
Angel boys, on the other hand, innocently draw her blood by batting their eyelashes and coaxing her with sweet words and red roses of poetry. They lift the hand that slits the wound.

7 Alone Again

Every morning she wakes to loneliness. She pulls down the covers and is greeted by the gray morning light. She wakes to emptiness and to pain and wonders when the rain will stop, if it ever will stop. She wants to be whole again and wonders if wholeness is even possible. And to see the brown crinkled leaves blowing along the ground, scraping the vulnerable flesh of earth in all her glory and mutability. To be like the earth and swallow the ugliness surrounding her and to transform that muck-encrusted debris to new fruits of understanding, that's what she wants to do. But all she knows is how to swallow the acrid smoke and pollutants of death, the creation of man.
Like the beak from a swooping hawk, she crushes the love of those around her, until they hang limply like a tangled, pulpy mass of dead quarry for her to suck on. Ugliness and dirt enshroud her every waking vision. That's why he is no longer there. That's why no one can bear to stay with her for long. All she wants is to be forgiven. But even she can't grant such a wish.
Here is another pathetic story of love found then lost, of dream-filled parachute flights and dismal cloudiness. Another boy she could not give love to, another moment now passed. Women are vain in that we live in pensive nostalgia, of times semi-conquered and lives semi-lived, of torment carried and battles slaughtered to the bleeding dust of confusion. Lust is a powerful thing. It breaks the morals of men and contaminates the virtue of women, but in this case she was victorious. And so the love will never die and that self is never completely destroyed by her own hand.
Do angels really exist? Glimpses of purity seemingly seep into her very existence, but ugliness leaks out like dripping shadow-laced tar and ash from weary yellow-stained fingertips. To want to fly and never come down. We never change, just mutate and manipulate till we get what we want. To be woman is to create shame in everything we do 'cause that is the sole of our existence, the blackness we inherit from the lonely depths of our creation. This is why we find no comfort in each other. Our mothers mold their own faces in the mushy, vile beginnings of their feminine offspring, A byproduct of Eve. Every single day is a journey towards understanding; and coping with the loss of our goodness is what every woman must deal with when the sun goes down.

8 False beauty

She saw stars tonight. She stared up to that brimming dome of indigo heavens and lacy lunar-painted clouds and contemplated her existence. The glowing orbs seemed to sink in the ashy blackness like drowning embers.
"My soul is lonely tonight and will continue to be for all my days. With no one to understand me, and no one to even try anymore, makes the world so empty. And it both relieves and repulses me to recite such words because to be woman is to be weak and to whine about our hardship. Perhaps I will try to grin and bear it like a man. Then I could create walls and shut out the world, shut out emotion and live without pain. But I'm not strong enough for that. Instead I choose to drown in the power of my own delusions. Instead I sink in the strength of my own weakness."
Women can escape their pain through finding virtue in new love. They clip their hair and brush powder on their cheeks. Their ruby-red lips sparkle with glutinous colored oils, and their hair stinks of bleeding herbs and refined chemicals. That is the nature of women, to be fake and plastic and beautiful. That is the woman that all men want, for to be ourselves would be to raise hell, itself, upon this world.
We wake up and cleanse the scaly residue from our complexions. Then we reapply our faces to make ourselves look presentable. Maybe baby pink blush and mahogany eye shadow. Yes, to create the illusion of natural beauty. This is why she envies men. They can wake up to the morning and be their true selves, beautiful and splendid in all their glory. Oh, if only she could be as beautiful as the ugliest man. But wild-overgrown brows and dark under-eye circles are anything but attractive. Routinely, she covers her natural odor with the scent of extracted fruits and flowers that create the illusion of sweetness. And monthly she drips with the most foul and wretched discharge the earth has ever seen. Maybe because she hurts so much, that is why she is cursed to bleed for eternity with no sign of her injury to the open world. Aside, the world laughs at her, makes commercials giving the illusion of an active, unencumbered life; but all women know the truth. Our lives are dictated by that vicious hormonal cycle.
" I want to stop bleeding. I want to stop giving my blood to your nourishment."
"What gifts have we been given? What good can we do but bear your children and feed the powerful. Don't you think we ever hunger for your position? We are only women, right? We are bestowed the passage of safety under your protection, and we dance according to your tune."
She is tangled up in a strange melodic trance that makes her his puppet. He can tug her heart strings or clip them. She is left dangling by a thread and expected to hold her head up high. A dancing marionette, a painted doll. She no longer wishes to dance. She wants to dream of being a battle-o-bot, with boxy exterior and simple mechanical weapons. The weapon of words is an art taught to all women from the moment they are born. It's a difficult one to wield and to sharpen, but the magnitude of its destructive capability is beyond anything a man could comprehend.

9 Dumbfounded in numbness

Last night she had two drinks, a whisky sour and a rum and coke. She liked the whisky sour, just the name of it attracted her. She liked the caustic taste of alcohol in her dry mouth. It tasted pungent and flavorful. Downing two drinks in one sitting, she was left stoned in her own world, a sad drunk on the dance floor. With no more excuses or need to go with the motions of everyday social existence, she wept in the midst of all these people. And though she could hear their whispering and caught a glimpse of their pointing, she was too drunk to make sense of it. And so she discovered what it meant to be a sad, lonely drunk.
"Big deal I mean, it was okay, but surely not worth musing about."
Because even the drink cannot draw a woman from her pain of existence. For we become what you call a lush, and surely there is no honor in that. And when we smoke, we become a crack whore. And when we love, we become a slut. We can never win. The world is out to get us from the get-go, and to try to dismantle the stereotypical bricks of our social existence would be a task impossible for any man, let alone, woman.
The only way to repair ourselves is to start weaving a new fabric of existence, to loop over and strengthen the binds that have kept us contained. Pretty soon, we can twist ourselves into a new shape, molding our bodies to fit yours. Our versatility and gullibility entwined in your expectations of us. One day she will be stored in a box somewhere for winter. Maybe she'll be forgotten or given away. Who knows? She doesn't care. She can shed her soul like snakes shed their skin, painless and easy.
"That's what you want, isn't it? And of course, we always give you what you want. Whatever's easiest for you is what we are here for."
A woman's love runs as deep as the world's darkest ocean trenches. Big enough to hide a different heart for every man. Now tell me there is no beauty in that.

10 Trapped in a bottle

Have you ever tried to make friends by not talking? You just sit and smile and enjoy the warmth of their company. Their home becomes your home, and like a fool, you never want to leave. So you become this sore that festers on their shoulder, weighing them down and drawing their pity.
Never aware of whether they really want you there or not, you take in another illusory puff from that chamber of swirling dream smoke and find yourself lost in yourself as well as in their company. "Why did you do it?" you ask every time but find yourself caught in the same vicious circle. Freedom exists for you my friend, but not today. So you're lost and alone again in a tragic rampage of drug-induced solitude. And no one stops you as you get into your car and weave yourself home.
And when you reach that empty house, you open that drawer of goodies to reveal a crumpled brown paper sack half-filled with 16 blue tube-like chambers of ice-cold gas. The whole ritual involves twisting off the metal popper, attaching a yellow balloon and twisting the contraption back and forth until you fill your lungs with that foreign gas that takes you out of your head for 6 minutes, after emptying 4 cartridges. Not even funny or relaxing, just foreign, taking you to another place for a while. Don't even know why you do it, 'cause you saw that sea monkey doing it before, and it looked interesting. This is what they call fun, and you're just bored and lonely and tired like you always are. You want to smoke but even that brings you no relief, just draws you deeper into your isolation. There comes a time when inanimate substances cease becoming your friend.

Breathing Bodhicitta ch. 1-10
ch. 11-23

Painted Doll Series


Naked Truth


Blue Reality Comic p.1-2


p. 5-6


p. 9-10




p. 16-17


p. 20-21

p. 22

Reflection on another world