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Arts & Culture > Poetry & Prose > Poem Susan Browne
 

Poem Susan Browne



 

Buddha's Dogs

 

I'm at a day-long meditation
retreat, eight hours of watching my mind with my mind, and I already fell
asleep twice and nearly fell out of my chair, and it's not even noon
yet.

 In the morning session, I
learned to count my thoughts, ten in on minute, and the longest
was to
leave and go to San Anselmo and shop, then find an outdoor cafe and order a
glass of Sancerre, smoked trout
with roasted potatoes and baby carrots and a bowl of gazpacho.
But I
stayed and learned to name my thoughts, so far they are: wanting, wanting,
wanting, wanting, wanting,
wanting, wanting, wanting, judgment, sadness. 

Don't identify with your thoughts, the teacher
says,
you are not your personality, not
your ego-identification,
then he bangs the gong for
lunch.  Whoever, whatever I am is
given instruction in the walking
meditation and the eating meditation and walks outside with the
other meditators, and we
wobble across the lake like The Night of the Living
Dead
.  I meditate slowly, falling over a few times because I kept
my foot in the air too long,
towards a bench, sit slowly
down, and slowly eat my sandwich, noticing the bread, (sourdough),
noticing the taste, (tuna, sourdough), noticing the smell, (sourdough,
tuna), thanking the sourdough, the
tuna, the ocean, the boat, the fisherman, the field, the grain,
the
farmer, the Saran Wrap that kept this food fresh for this body made of food
and desire and the hope of getting
through the rest of this day without dying of boredom. Sun then cloud then
sun.  I notice a maple leaf on my sandwich. It seems awfully
large. Slowly brushing it away, I
feel so sad I can hardly stand it, so I
name my thoughts; they
are:
sadness about my mother, judgment about my father, wanting the child
I never had.

 

I notice I've been chasing
the same thoughts like dogs around the same park most of my life, notice
the leaf tumbling gold to the grass.  The gong sounds, and back in the
hall.

 I decide to try lying down
meditation, and let myself sleep.  The Buddha in my dream is
me, surrounded by dogs wagging their tails, licking my hands.
I wake
up

for the forgiveness
meditation, the teacher saying,
n

chasing those dogs around
and around in the sun then cloud then sun. ~ Susan
Browne
~

Web version: here.

posted on May 29, 2011 6:15 AM ()

Comments:

Nice.For me I sit in cross position and then about the waves at the ocean.
The sounds that we hear and the music.Then and now my child hood comes to mind.Thinking of all the things that I missed for not having one.
Then the roar of the ocean comes back and stayed with me,when time is up.
enjoyed the post.
comment by fredo on May 29, 2011 8:30 AM ()
In stillness and listening, opening, revealing, uncovering, awaiting, smiling....
comment by marta on May 29, 2011 8:21 AM ()

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