My Heavenly Realm Capers

hen I arrived at the Heavenly Realm, I saw the enlightened
samurai sitting in the Zen garden. The samurai, startled by
the roar of the machine, came toward me scowling.

“What in Hell’s name is that contraction?”

“It’s my heavenly realm machine. I constructed it with parts
from an old motorcycle, and a virus infected PC. It
transports me from Earth to the Heavenly Realm and back.”

“Did you have to make it that ugly?” he asked with a sneer.
“Look at my armor it’s a masterpiece. Japanese make all
useful things beautiful.”

“Yes, I can see the intricate workmanship. Very nice reds and
yellows too. But why do you need to wear an armor if you are
already dead?”

“I’m not wearing it, you’re just seeing it.”

“Is it a real armor then, or just an appearance?”

“Please spare me the philosophy.” he said with disgust.
“Are you not enlightened, why should a question bother an
enlightened being?”

“Yes, I am enlightened.” he said.

” Who is this `you’, who is enlightened?”

“Another silly philosophical question from you, and your
head will be off.” His hand closed over the pommel of his
sword.

“Is that sword real or I’m just seeing it?”

“As real, or unreal as your head, but it would do the job.” he
said pulling it out.

It was truly a beautiful blade, gracefully curved. It reflected
light with rich silvery hues. But I couldn’t relish its perfection.
It was aimed at my neck.

“How did you become enlightened? I asked to change the
subject. As I had hoped, he sheathed his sword.

“It happened on my last battle. We were charging the enemy,
hen their archers let their arrows fly. That always had been
a particularly unnerving moment of the battle for me. But that
morning, for some reason, the noise of ten thousand arrows
flying, sounded incredibly cheerful. As singing nightingales,
they soared an blotted the sky. I realized it wasn’t me who
watched and delighted in that spectacle, but something
infinite and eternal, something that couldn’t die. I stopped
running and watched in fascination as those black birds
reached their apex and dived, their blood thirsty beaks
ready to strike.

I heard the deadly rain clatter on helmets, and armors, I
heard the slight thud they made when piercing flesh, and
the drumming of metal boring into trees and the frozen soil.
I was drunk with joy, and dropping my sword , I walked away.

“Then what?

“I walked toward the mountains that were a smoky blue
outline in the distance. I found a cave and sat in meditation.
Soon I ascended through all the jhanas and entered Nirvana.”

I felt tempted to ask him whom was this, who had attained
Nirvana, but remembering the sword, I kept my mouth shut.
“So what did you do after coming out of your trance?”

“I never did. That night I froze to death, and found myself here.”

“Hmm! That was unfortunate, you could have taught other
samurai.”

What difference, would that have made? They are all dead and
gone now.”

“You are still here.”

“No, I’m not. It just seem that way to you.”

“Am I here?” I asked.

“Good question!” He gave a belly laugh and walked away.

“Could you send Buddha out, please. I would like a word with
him.”

“Coming Up. He yelled, and laughed again.”

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