The Lion with the Golden Hair

Description

The tip of each hair on the golden-haired lion is itself a whole world, an image of all the galaxies, all piled together. This lion is warm-hearted, delighted with everything, having a generally good time no matter what kind of time we’re having.

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John: 

[rings bell]  

The sound of the bell . . . the sound of birds . . . This morning it’s been mainly morning doves and farm machinery—the different voices of the Buddha, the roarings of the golden lion. 

So, just feeling, what is it? What is it like to be you? 

Just feel how wide consciousness goes out when we’re just here, when it’s not going back and forth all the time. Past, present, future . . . to be here. What is this time like? You can feel that things are changing—an opening up is happening, at least in some parts of the world. There’s a kind of excitement about that, and also—what do we do now? If we’ve been let out of jail, what will we get for a job? What will we do? How will we enjoy ourselves? 

And there’s a fairly simple answer, which is that practice is good. Practice will open the gates of all kinds of delight and joy and freedom. But also, plainness—the modesty of having this life. Not wanting another one other than the one we have. All the sounds of the Buddha’s voice. 

So we’ll just sit quietly for a bit. Just feeling this moment. 

You know, without finding fault with what’s arising in our hearts, or with our response to what’s arising in our hearts. This, this . . . we’re not anywhere else. This is pretty good, actually. Have it, and feel it, and taste it, and touch it. It’s your life. People are always asking one of the old teachers, “What about when this,” or, “What about when that,” or, “What about when it’s difficult?” Or, “What about . . .” And the old teacher would say, “It’s for you. This is for you.” 

So, the koan for this morning is a couple of great images:

A student asked, “What is the pure and everlasting body of reality?”

What does not change, what endures forever? I’m holding out for that! What endures, what does not change? We can feel that something always seems to be here. 

“What is the pure and everlasting body of reality?” 

And the teacher said—it happened to be the great teacher, Cloud Gate:

Yunmen said,  “A fence of flowers and healing herbs.”

The everlasting body of reality—the pure and everlasting body of reality is this thing that’s always changing. 

And then the student said, “Well, what about if I reach there?”
And the teacher said, “Golden-haired lion.” 

So, if you wish, just sit with that. Either the flowers and the healing herbs, or the lion, the golden-haired lion. And then let the koan teach you. You don’t have to wrestle it down and find out what it means. Just keep company with it, and see what happens. Let it come to you—let it fill you. Without you thinking, “I can’t do this right,” or without you thinking anything really. “I can’t do it wrong,” might be a fun thought. The opposite of some other thoughts we might be likely to have. 

Golden-haired lion. 

Just letting it extend out from us. The golden-haired lion. A fence of flowers and healing herbs. 

[bell]

I like the pull of meditation. It kind of pulls me down into it, and it just goes on. I don’t get a signal, “Time to stop now,” I’m thinking “I’m supposed to be teaching, so I’d better stop!” I don’t know. Fine just to meditate together, too. 

So, there are two images in this koan, but the golden-haired lion is the image of totality. There’s a little bit of a backstory for the image, where the tip of each hair on the lion is itself a whole world. So it’s an image of all the galaxies, all piled together. It’s this golden-haired lion—warm-hearted, delighted with everything. Having a generally good time no matter what kind of time we’re having. It’s associated with the Bodhisattva of Fierce Wisdom and the person with a sword, riding a lion—and that’s the person of emptiness. So that when everything we’re holding onto disappears—there’s the whole universe. It’s the great lion. That’s the world in which there are millions of things. We delight in them, or we’re afraid of them; it doesn’t really matter. Given the choices, you might as well enjoy them. That’s the flowers and the healing herbs. 

[referring to screen image] 

Oh! Manjushri’s just arrived. Thank you. Very good. Can we see Manjushri here with her sword? Rhinoceros is a kind of Manjushri, but rhinoceros will just step back for a second. Here we are. Swords.

Manjushri

The sword’s kind of sharp—not real, but it’s that “cutting through,” you know, when you see something and the whole world falls open? That’s Manjushri and the sword. You can’t tell with this one, just sitting on a throne, kind of boring! But you’ve got to take the thrones you can get when you’re a deity. The golden-haired lion is an image of fullness, but it’s also associated with everything being stripped off, everything falling away. 

So it’s kind of marvelous in itself. The fence of flowers and healing herbs is interesting because it’s a multiple image. It’s the “spring” quality of the world: the healing herbs, the flowers. Persephone has come back up from winter—that kind of image. 

But also, they put scented flowers and scented herbs around the latrine to sweeten the trips to and fro. There’s a little bit of that in the Zen tradition, when people say, “Isn’t it wonderful.” There was a woman in Hakuin’s time who ran an inn, who had this wonderful, big enlightenment, and came to him, dancing for joy and singing, and said, “I can see there’s a light in everything. I’m so full of joy.” And Hakuin said, “Well, is it in a pile of shit?” That’s a very Zen move. She wasn’t impressed, she just slapped him. Bad behavior, I guess. But she was also showing, is it in this slap, too? The beauty of what is always here is in everything.

Then there’s the golden-haired lion. One of the things about the lion is that it’s that moment when you stop and fall through and everything stops, because the lion tends to stop things. I remember I had this great experience as a really small kid, when I used to go off to school—which was only a few hundred yards down the road—and then come back alone. My parents were at work; I had a little key around my neck so I could let myself into the house. 

One time, I came into the house and closed the door, and then I just knew there was a lion in my bedroom. I must have been five or six. I knew there was a lion in my bedroom, and it was sort of embarrassing to know that, because I thought, “I just can’t deal with this lion.” I had a neighbor who was a very sweet person, who very occasionally appears in my dreams, this sweet Guanyin-like figure who was very loving. 

We would just go through the hole in the fence and knock on her back door. I thought that I really needed her help. I was wanting to go into the bedroom, and I just didn’t feel easy sitting in my house, in case the lion had gotten in. But then, I had this really sort of bodhisattva dilemma: If there isn’t a lion, I don’t need her; if there is a lion, the lion will eat her and not me. It seemed unfair, somehow. Then, I decided to trust in everything larger than me, and so I went and asked her. I walked in behind her, and she opened the door, and the lion had gone. 

So, lions stop things. They stop you, they stop the world. When the world stops, then in a way, you are the lion—you become free. I think that’s a kind of great thing. In the Huayan—the Huayan is the Flower Garland School, so it goes with the fence of flowers—the whole universe is a flower garden, or a golden-haired lion—the mutual interpenetration of the universal and the particular. 

I think, in that experience, there’s a sort of chilly insight we get, sometimes. You can tell you’ve seen something, but you’re not there yet; it’s when everything’s kind of cold. And people say, “Well, there isn’t a self,” and “I’m not sure I approve of that,” and stuff like that. With the experience of the golden-haired lion, there’s a warmth at the center of the universe, and there’s a big-hearted quality in our experience of things. You know what that’s like. It’s like a person does something that’s absolutely the thing you don’t want them to do, and you enjoy it anyway. Like that! What choice do you have, really? 

(Checking if my daughter’s online with us, and she’s not, so I can tell this story. She wouldn’t mind, I guess!) 

I remember when I took her on a college trip, and she was acting a little mysterious— sometimes, anyway. College trips are rather fraught things, because you go and see all these colleges you know your kid’s not going to attend, but they’ve got to find that out for themselves. You don’t know what college your kid should go to, so . . . anyway, we’re somewhere on the East Coast, visiting east coast schools. We had a couple rooms in a little motel. I just suddenly—I tend to walk outside to look at the sky at night—so I just suddenly walked outside, and caught her smoking. 

And there were two possible thoughts. One is, “Knock it off! It’s enough trouble carting you around here at these schools you’re not going to anyway.” And the other was, “Can I have one of those?” And so I chose the second. And I think that’s the lion-consciousness. I used to smoke, and it was rather fun having two little puffs on this one cigarette. So, the golden-haired lion thing is where the universe keeps opening, and it’s cool, and it’s got this big, joyful quality about everything. “Fortunately, my kid is smoking.” 

And the great collector of The Blue Cliff Record says that if you’re not like the golden-haired lion, if you’re in your delusion-world, you’re like the monkey in the cage. Everything’s “the monkey in the cage” if you’ve got that small view, and you’re always protecting your small view—and it’s really hard. Really hard if you’re trying to fix your way out of circumstances. I mean it’s good [sometimes] to fix your circumstances, pay your rent, things like that. But, you know what I mean—trying to change our friends, trying to change our enemies, for that matter! 

What else do we have here? The other way to say, “What’s it like when you get here? What’s it like when you just go along like that?” Like, free. And that’s when the teacher says, 

“Golden-haired lion!” 

I want to read a couple of poems. This is Su Dongpo, who was one of the great Chinese poets who records, in a poem, a big awakening experience. “Spring Night.” We’re almost out of spring! We’ve just got this time to read spring poems to you: 

Spring Night

The few minutes of a spring night
Are worth ten thousand pieces of gold.
The perfume of the flowers is so pure.
The shadows of the moon are so black.
In the pavilion the voices and flutes are so high and light.
In the garden a hammock rocks.
In the night so deep, so profound.                 

So, that’s a kind of experience of the lion. This is one of the wonderful qualities about meditation. 

I don’t know—I think I wanted to get rid of things when I started to meditate. And I suppose I did. Maybe I wanted to gain . . . anyway, I didn’t know what I wanted, that’s why I meditated. There’s a kind of loving quality that’s good when you can get it; it’s good when it appears. I think the lion embodies it. 

This was when a friend of mine got married, and her then-husband was a classical scholar who read her this poem: 

Ancient Egyptian Love

This love is as good as oil and honey to the throat,
as linen to the body, as fine garments to the gods.
As incense to worshipers as they enter in,
as the little seal ring to my finger.
It’s like a ripe pear in a man’s hand,
it’s like the dates we mix with wine.
It’s like the seeds the baker adds to bread.

We will be together even when old age comes
and the days in between us will be food set before us,
dates and honey, bread and wine.

So that’s what love is . . . friendship’s like that, too.

and the days in between us will be food set before us,
dates and honey, bread and wine.

And what is there to do in this world in those days set between us? 

That’s from the 19th or 20th dynasty; 1,100–1,300 years before our era. More than 3,000 years old. Kind of nice. It makes the Tang Dynasty in the 800’s seem incredibly modern. 

There are another couple of poems I want to read. This is Elizabeth Bishop’s and it’s that fullness in the particulars, in the bigness. (He says, explaining it probably wrongly.) It’s called The Sandpiper: 

The roaring alongside he takes for granted,
and that every so often the world is bound to shake.
He runs, he runs to the south, finical, awkward,
in a state of controlled panic, a student of Blake.

The beach hisses like fat, on his left, a sheet
of interrupting water comes and goes
and glazes over his dark and brittle feet.
He runs, he runs straight through it, watching his toes.

 —Watching, rather, the spaces of sand between them,
where (no detail too small) the Atlantic drains
rapidly backwards and downwards. As he runs,
he stares at the dragging grains.

The world is a mist. And then the world is
minute and vast and clear. The tide
is higher or lower. He couldn’t tell you which.
His beak is focused; he is preoccupied,

looking for something, something, something.
Poor bird, he is obsessed!
The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray,
mixed with quartz grains, rose and amethyst.  

So that must be what he’s looking for, I guess. There’s a kind of dance in that. Sandpipers. And because of Bishop’s shoutout to Blake, I’m now going to read you Blake. This is Blake’s: it’s not a lion, but it’s a tiger. Which is close enough. Close enough for Tasmanians.

The Tyger

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
A
nd what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp! 

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

So, as Elizabeth Bishop says, the sandpiper’s a student of Blake, but it has a little study to go. Studying to become a tiger. 

Let me stop there and we’ll go into meditation. We’ll meditate with the great image of the golden lion. 

One of the things about a koan is to not try to wrestle it down to get what you can. Billy Collins has a funny thing about poetry classes—he said that in high school, they would tie the poem to a chair and torture it until it gives its meaning. There were probably some good poetry classes. I did not experience them as a child, but that was long ago. So, don’t do that with the koan! In other words, imposing our will on it, so that meditation becomes essentially a fascist exercise, instead of more voluptuous. You’re meeting the lion. You can’t impose your will on the lion. No need to try. You can become the lion, you can praise the lion, you can welcome the lion. Okay, ready?

[bell] 

The voice of the Buddha . . . 

So, just let the sound carry you. You know when you hear a sound, and you forget who you are for a minute? And the sound dies out and, in a way, you don’t have to become a person or a self again? Try it!  

[bell] 

What is the pure and everlasting body of reality?
A fence of flowers and healing herbs.
What’s it like when we go on like that?
What’s it like when we reach there?
Golden-haired lion.

So, you don’t need to do anything when you’re meditating. The golden-haired lion… You look back, and the golden-haired lion is padding along beside you. Or, if you come to one of those stoppages in life: Let’s say you come to one of those places in life where you’re blocked—your job right now, your relationship right now, your energy or courage has run out, or whatever it is—you’re stopped. Maybe your despair ran out, your pessimism ran out. 

In the beginning of the universe, as far as the best authorities knew, there was a dragon, there were dragons. But dragons really don’t care—universes come and go, and the dragons are always there. So, the beginning of the universe was a golden lion, and it’s full of this warm-hearted quality. And so when you meditate, you kind of fall through the cracks of your regular thoughts, which are not smashingly interesting, really. There’s not that much about them, right? They’re rehearsing things, or worrying about something, or recriminating, or excited about something. But they’re just thoughts. If you want a distraction, the lion is a kind of distraction. 

So, look at the lion, touch the lion. Feel what it is to be the lion. And so you’re just walking along on an ordinary sort of day, and thinking, “Well, meditation. Right.” Then you get distracted, and you notice that even when you meditate, and it seems pretty bad, or not very helpful, even then, Oh, somehow things become more transparent. You slip through life more. You’re enjoying the dream. Dancing more. 

Being the Lion (a Story)

So, you’re walking along the path, along the hillside in late spring, and pretty soon it’ll be too hot to walk like that, but right now it’s okay. And you’re walking along, and there’s a kind of large-hearted quality in you about walking along in spring. But then you hear gunshots, and you become afraid, and you don’t know what is happening. “What kind of neighborhood is this paddock? What kind of neighborhood is this farm?” And somebody’s having target practice, and you don’t want to be a target. You don’t want to get hit. So you get afraid. But maybe it’s not that—a fear comes out of nowhere, and there’s a sorrow that you’ve been carrying for a long time. Then a pit opens up in front of you, but you don’t notice because you’re looking around, and you just fall in, and you just keep falling and falling, down through the dark. 

And it gets dark, so dark that even though it’s day, when you look up, you can see stars, a little piece of the Big Dipper. You can’t tell what’s up or down. 

And suddenly, you’re looking down from a great height. You look around, and the immensity of things is thrilling, actually. Your view is vast! And you realize that you are resting on an eyelash of this great lion. You’re looking down through galaxies, and you’re looking out through galaxies—and you are that lion. That warm-hearted quality is with you, and that joy is with you, and you are at peace. And the world is always doing the things it does, but you’re at peace. And a joy fills your heart. And you’re still looking down an awfully long way. Even though you started out by falling, you end up by being at a great height. And there is the golden glow of the sun, and the stars, and the silver glow of the moon. And you’re at peace.

What is the pure and everlasting body of reality?
A fence of flowers and healing herbs.
What’s it like when you reach there?
Golden-haired lion. 

So, in the meditation, nobody needs anything from you. Enjoy yourself. You don’t need anything from you. Enjoy yourself. 

And on no account spend time disapproving of yourself or condemning yourself. Or if you do, perhaps you can not condemn that. Or perhaps just have a warm-hearted attitude toward that. Enjoy yourself. This might be my last chance to really disapprove of myself? Golden-haired lion! Just feel. Feel the life, feel the time. But really, that’s an extra task. Awakening is really just a matter of noticing what’s going on. You just sit down, and hang out with the lion. If you’re having problems with your meditation, then you’re doing something else, you’re doing something extra. Just let the lion worry about the extras: death and taxes. Whatever’s happening right now, it’s for you. 

That’s what the lion says, “It’s for you, dear.” Golden-haired lion.  [bell]

Chocolate Mousse

Thinking about a lion story this guy told me, his name’s Dave Colson. He, and a team that lives mainly in Kenya and South Africa, go around and document rock art, African rock art. So you get these amazing things, like, in the middle of the Niger Deserts, you have rock art pictographs of hippos drinking at a lake. It’s this marvelous, timeless thing. The lion would approve. 

One of Dave’s friends is George Adamson, part of the Adamson family, who are the lion people. George lives in a reserve in Northern Kenya. So Dave drives up a long, hard way to get there. And he pulls into the outskirts of the camp, and stops his four-wheel drive, and a juvenile lion sticks her head in through his window. There’s just odd things happening around his friend’s camp, so he thinks it must be in that category. The lion moves back a bit, so he gets out, sort of trying to keep something between him and the lion as he’s walking into the camp. Then the lion comes, and it turns out that the lion lives there. It’s a teenager, and so it’s hanging out at the camp—I think it might have been some degree of rescue animal. 

So the lion would just come and kind of lean into him, like a big dog will sometimes. And he found that somewhat alarming. He didn’t want to fall over. Didn’t want to encourage bad behavior in the lion. Lions do have, like all the great cats, they have this equanimity. The golden-haired lion, you can see how they are a good image for totality, because they have an appreciation for the thusness of things. They haven’t made up their mind what to do yet: “Will I befriend you? Will I lean on you? Will I eat you?” Those categories don’t need to become clear in a hurry.

So, there’s a camp, and there are a lot of local bush people who speak the “click” language. A lot of them would come and go and live at the camp. And occasionally other visitors, too, and somebody had brought in these vast supplies for chocolate mousse. So they make chocolate mousse way out in the bush. They are having this huge plate of chocolate mousse. So George Adamson is saying, “Now, you’ve got to leave a bit. Don’t take it all. Don’t take it all.” Dave doesn’t know what that’s about, but then finally, when everybody’s had their chocolate mousse, George calls the lion in, and this huge tongue gets the chocolate mousse. 

I think the golden-haired lion probably also likes chocolate mousse. The intensity of a great animal like that is an image for life. There is this marvelous intensity, and it’s also everything. You’re also at peace in the middle.

So, who might like to speak? Allison, anything you’d like to say?

Allison: Well, what came to me is that on Thursday and Friday of last week we’d gone to visit some friends who were staying in a beach house, at Stinson Beach, and I didn’t know this couple very well. We spent a lot of time just sitting around drinking tea or talking, or sitting outside talking, or walking on the beach talking. And it’s been such a long time since I’ve had that kind of no-mask, deep in conversation with someone. I kept noticing that the woman, she was from the Midwest, and she was really tall—she was, like, six feet tall, and very, very pretty. And young, compared to me. So she had this sort of midwestern warmth. But, in a way, it was a kind of first layer, and in a way, I just fell through the smile and the warmth. Then there was her personality, which I fell through, but I just kept looking at her, and then I kept falling. 

Then I would meet the golden-haired lion. Inside of her. It was us both—she could feel it, and I could feel it, the golden-haired lion in me. Then the same thing happened with her husband, where the first layer was that he’s this tremendously hip guy. I’m not a hip person. Maybe I am? No, not like him. He’s really, truly hip. It’s sort of really fun to meet that. And then, his intelligence, and then his history, and then the subject we’re talking about, and then there’s the golden-haired lion—I just let myself keep falling—was inside of him too. I hadn’t felt the golden-haired lion in that way, inside of each person. That’s it.

John: Thank you. Very good. Jon Joseph?

Jon: I’ve just been enjoying sitting, even while listening to the chainsaw in the background. I remember in an interview, that your interviewer had said, “You told me once, (this guy was a musician, or a promoter) don’t be snobbish about sounds during meditation.” That was beautiful.

I just love the sound of the chainsaw. But this koan of “fence of flowers and healing herbs” is just beautiful. It sort of dragged me into the garden where I had been all day yesterday. My petunias are coming up, my lantanas are coming up, but I’m trying to get my cosmos and my zinnias going. But it was such a glorious day, because I was sitting in my garden and I could look to the north, and as far as the eye could see there were these thick cotton-like thunder clouds. Just clouds, and the possibility of mist or rain. And I’d look to the south and it was completely clear. Not a cloud in the sky. And I realized that I was standing on the very edge of what’s turning out to be a rather disastrous drought in the Southwest, and what is a sufficient rain in the North, where to the south it’s dry and dead, and to the north it’s green and alive. 

With the golden-haired lion, I felt like I was sitting on the back of this lion, really, on the edge of these two worlds. And how the lion stretches in both directions, but this is our life . . . being right in the middle of that, right on the edge of that. It was delicious.

John: Thank you. Excellent. Sarah Bender?

Bobcat

Sarah: Hi. A couple of things came up for me. One of them was that we had a one-day retreat here, last Sunday, in Colorado Springs, on Zoom. But I had one man [in person], Jeff, who’s staying here [in CO] for a while. He went for a walk when we had our long outdoors walking time—he went down by the creek. And he came up with his eyes wide, saying he was looking at the ants in the anthill, and sort of thinking about ant life and how fascinating it was, and what odd creatures they were. And when he looked up, he was face-to-face with a large bobcat. He said they just looked at each other for a little while, and then the bobcat turned slowly, and walked away. What was so touching to me was this feeling, that as he came back up, that Jeff brought the bobcat with him, in his eyes. So we can share that—there was a golden-haired lion looking at me, from Jeff’s eyes.

The other thing that came up was that I agreed, foolishly, to be part of an interview about Buddhism. And we met in a library meeting room, with equipment and a screen. And the other person who was joining it with me was in New York. But the young woman who was the interviewer hadn’t done this before. So it just became, really, a conversation about our lives. 

At the end of the conversation, when our time was up, she asked, “Is there one more thing you’d like to say about this?” And I said, “You know, it’s so much, for me, about delight. Like sitting here with you—you are an enormous delight.” And she just started to cry, the interviewer. It felt, again, like here in the middle of this kind of mundane thing that we were doing, you know, in the room in the library, that there we were—together in the presence of golden-haired lion. And the room just got very big. 

John: Nice. Thank you. So let’s just sit with that. That’s that moment that fills eternity. So, I’m looking at your faces—everybody’s faces, actually. And some of you are good friends, and actually, many of you I know . . . all of you, ultimately. There’s that there too, that flash of openness, being greeted by the face of a friend, the light from the faces of friends. 

Okay, this is a banger and ringer for the bell.

 [bell] 

The bell is your friend. Golden-haired lion. Flowers and healing herbs. A hedge, a fence. Not needing to get anywhere. Accomplish anything. Not needing to get rid of anything. Enter here. 

Jordan: [plays guitar, improv for meditation] 

A fence of flowers and healing herbs. A golden-haired lion. Just let it hold you and carry you. Just a little bit more peace and joy, a little bit more eternity in the now. Whatever you have to do to be in this life, it’s okay. Golden lion. 

[bell] 

So, just again: Whether we think we’re meditating, or we don’t, right now, feel it already: What color is that golden lion? How tall is that golden lion? What do you say when you meet it? 

Eduardo, do you have anything to say?

Lionness

Eduardo: Yes, the lion has this dignity, this generosity. But at the same time, I remember a small incident I had with a lioness at Kruger National Park. Very early in the morning, I had my window down, and was watching the lions. Suddenly a lioness started coming at me with open eyes. Raw. Raw. I felt like I was a big steak, just a piece of meat. So I immediately turned the window up. So, this quality of the lioness is generous, but it also has this raw quality.

John: Yes, life. Thank you. Nicola. Do you have anything you’d like to say?

Nicola: Sorry, the phone was going at the same time.

John: Don’t be snobbish about sounds!

Nicola: I’m really enjoying being on the lion, especially on the lion’s eyelash. I loved that journey into the galaxies. I’m here in Edinburgh, and in Edinburgh we have cobblestones on the roads; and the cars, as they go by, make a kind of purring sound. They also come and go, like waves. So I was thinking that I was kind of being the lion, while I was listening to the purring; or being the running in and out of the waves, as the cars went by. That’s my Edinburgh experience.

John: Very good. We have hardly any time, but James Anthony, do you have anything you want to say? He’s quickly scarfing down his coffee.

James: It’s a magical concoction of chocolate and black tea and mushrooms. And then I have to have coffee on top of it to cop a buzz. You know, I’m a sucker for a new-age product. Yeah, I’m really feeling the lion in the us-ness of my experience. It’s like, Oh, there’re all of these people I’m surrounded by now who are doing things, and helping me do things. I sort of, deliciously, don’t have to control them. They’re off in little pods happily doing things that I’ve managed to express. The lion has asked for help and is receiving it, and can calmly enjoy the lion-ness of the whole . . . what is a group of lions? A pride.

John: Okay! Thank you, James. Amaryllis, do you want to take us out? 

Amaryllis: [plays violin, intro to the Vows] 

John Tarrant

Jordan: [plays guitar and sings] The Four Boundless Vows . . . 

John: Thank you, everyone.

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