In August 2005, I sat a ten day vipassana meditation intensive at the Tibetan Buddhist center Vajrapani, in the hills of Santa Cruz, with my teacher Gil Fronsdal. In the evening of the last of the ten days, all the meditators gathered by the center’s stupa (pictures above) for an acknowledgment ceremony that actually turned into something of a talent show. People sang songs and did some comedy, but mostly people recited impromtu poetry they had just composed about their days sitting in silence on the retreat. Today, I came across the poem I came up with that night, and wanted to share it here. For people who have been on sitting retreats, the experience may sound familiar.
What is protecting that tender tender heart, down there somewhere?
Vast turning wheels of thinking, criticizing, and doing;
sliding off the oily slippery right now and splash-landing my ass
on dense cloudbanks of thoughts and awkward confusions.
A few hours later, as the light through the window fades,
all sense phenomena as subtle vibrations emanating
out of the divine void and blinking back into it,
kneading and massaging me down to my soul.
Thank Dharmakaya I had one good sitting!
But what’s that I tell folks?
Oh yeah, you never can tell, and the good meditation is the one that you did.
Lost and found,
hell and heaven,
back and forth,
it will never end, until Poof!
suddenly it all does.