Monday, February 25, 2013: “And this is life… we think it’s one thing and then it’s something else…”

Kali Yantra

This week’s class wove seemingly disparate elements that are actually deeply connected into a meditation on sitting in the presence of this incredible dance called life… Full disclosure: this talk is somewhat hilarious and irreverent. And, fyi, because my own daily life will soon shift into a much simpler dance, some time in April I should begin tending this blog in ways that have been impossible over the last few years.

For now though, I still need to keep it simple. Here’s my dharma talk from February 25:

You’ll have to listen for Sheik Nasruddin stories. I don’t have time to write them out. Here however, are the poems:

SITTING ZEN
David Whyte
 
After three days of sitting
hard by the window
following grief through
the breath
like a hunter
who has tracked for days
the blood spots
of his injured prey
I came to the lake
where the deer had run
exhausted
refusing to save
its life in the
dark water
and there it fell
to ground
in our mutual
and respectful quiet
pierced
by
the pale diamond
edge of the breath’s
listening
presence.

WHAT I SAID TO THE WANTING-CREATURE
Kabir/Bly

I said to the wanting-creature inside me:
What is the river you want to cross?
There are no travelers on the river-road, and no road.
Do you see anyone moving about on that bank, or resting?
There is no river at all, and no boat, and no boatman.
There is no towrope either, and no one to pull it.
There is no ground, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford!
And there is no body, and no mind!
Do you believe there is some place that will make the soul less thirsty?
In that great absence you will find nothing.
Be strong then and enter into your own body; there you have a solid place for your feet.
Think about it carefully!
Don’t go off somewhere else!
Kabir says this: just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things. and stand firm in that which you are.
 

Finally, two clips of chanting. The first is Om Namah Shivaya and a dharana; the second is Sri Krsna Chaitana Prabhu Nityananda.

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