Sky Cuckoo

"The Omniscient One" is not the historical buddha who lived circa 500 B.C. known as Shakyamuni.

It is that part of you that you can consult on all kinds of matters, even those which you should have no right to be able to know, and it will tell you.

Sky CuckooIt is that "little voice" or a "little bird" that whispers to me, that tells me so.

The picture on the right of Barnang Khuyug, Sky Cuckoo, of the "mind transmission lineage" of teachers is a detail from a Tibetan Bon Dzogchen lineage thangka. Bon is the pre-Buddhist shaman religion of Tibet and Dzogchen, the Great Perfection, is a Buddhist teaching similar to Zen. The thangka [hanging scroll painting] can be found in Samten G. Karmay's the Little Luminous Boy, published 1998, a White Orchid Book, Orchid Press, Bangkok.)

In the midst of certainty about the way things are about this and about that, the Sky Cuckoo comes in the middle of the night.

"Its cry," according to Harold Isaacson, "may be heard an hour or two before dawn. It is unlike the sound of any other bird.... It is a haunting sound. Beauteous? Perhaps, but one that could much better be called disquieting than pleasing. The tone is low in pitch and...almost seems murmured. In its curious intimacy it is as if a piece of the labyrith of the ear spoke inside the hearer's head."*

Son (Daughter), this which you hold, that is just not so.

Neti neti, the sound of the bird. And in that most disquieting, uncomfortable moment, in the blink of an eye, nonceptual (prajna) awareness dawns upon one, the most precious of revelations. For one see for oneself things just as they are!

Selection from Peonies Kana: Haiku by the Upasaka Shiki. Translated and edited by Harold J. Isaacson, 1972, the Bhaisajaguru Series, Theatre Arts Books, New York.

-- Norman Guberman

NEXT -- Monkey's Secret Teaching

HOME || Unbecoming || Links