Buddha in the Garden
It is four-thirty a.m. in the desert -
And oh so many stars!
Against a pitch-black curtain,
Points of light crackle with silence.
It is cold, and wrapped
In flannel vest and wool scarf
I walk a slow, steady pace by flash light
To a small stone building, a former Catholic chapel.
Here, alone in the pre-dawn light
My meditation cushion is like an island
That gives just enough support
For muscle and tissue to relax.
On my little island, the mind is watched,
And what a show it gives!
Of grasping and grabbing,
To a past event, a future course of action.
Clamoring for attention -
Attempting to convince a sitter of its relevance.
Until it settles down, rather bored of repetition.
Humans have been sitting and looking
Into their vast inner sky asking
“Who Am I?”
For as long as feet have impressed steps on earth.
“Who Am I?”
That is unchanging, without
name, story, form, without any conclusion.
In the asking, and looking
Words disappear and so does the sitter…
. . .
A quiet warmth envelopes the room,
Two hours seem like five minutes.
Bells ring in the distance,
I stand up and bow to my little island.
Bells Against the Sky
The sun has eaten the night sky.
Again I walk a short path to join others
In prayer before breakfast.
Prayer and gratitude,
For all that IS.