Monday, January 11, 2010

108 Friends: Lost and Found

This poem is in a form that I call 108 Friends. It has, not counting the title, exactly 108 words. The number 108 has significance in Buddhism.

Lost and Found

on my original birthday,
i burst out—screaming—after
bathing for months
in warm, dark, inner waters
that had been pulsing, gurgling
and holding me in
safety, happiness, and ease.

at birth i was
blinded by light and dark
deafened by noise and silence
pinched, prodded
lost and abandoned—
mother gravely ill

deeply lost
finally i found
help from Shakyamuni
whose own mother died.

shut my eyes,
become only breath
laser focus:
inhale, exhale, pause, inhale exhale, pause....
count 108 pauses without once losing track
dwelling in emptiness,
bathed in a dim, warm glow
surrounded by Kindness,
swaddled in Compassion
afloat in Joy—

lost and found in Love


Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Dan: Beautifully done in 108. 'lost and found in Love'.....sounds like the human journey.

jinksy said...

As far as numbers go, your 108 words are a vast improvement on Room 101!

Sarah Lulu said...

*sigh* .... just lovely.

steven said...

hi dan, the process of birthing - which is repeated at several times in different ways throughout our lives - does carry all those extremes, hand-in-hand. i really appreciate the jon kabat-zinn words on your sidebar. have a lovely day. steven

The Pollinatrix said...

You've been so poetic lately! It's inspiring.

Did your mother die when you were born?

By the way, I'm glad you went back to "LOVING WHAT IS." That just speaks so directly to me.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, thanks. I'm glad you enjoy the poetry. I think it's great that the internet is inspiring people to write, read, and think about poetry. And there's something extra special about getting to talk with readers about it. If you find it inspiring, I hope you'll write more. Certainly steven is inspiring me to write more.

My mother lived until 72. The i in the poem isn't necessarily the biographical "me".

Loving what is. Not always easy, though, huh?

Dan Gurney said...

The human journey. This poem got its start in a comment I made on Polly's blog, Whole Blooming World. I said, as I remember, we're always lost, we're never lost, something like that.

Dan Gurney said...

Jinksy and SL thank you.

Dan Gurney said...

hi steven. yes, i've been feeling more "swingy" from happy to angry than usual. My usual equanimity is at an ebb, i guess. I really like that jkz quote, too, which is why it's up there (and in my classroom). I've found it very helpful to remember to follow that advice over the years.

Delwyn said...

I used to read Joel Goldsmith who talks of dying each day and being reborn starting afresh. Seeing each day as a new opportunity to become closer to God/all that is...

Your poem reminded me of that. Do you do a 108 breath meditation?

Dan Gurney said...

I like Goldsmith's idea. We might say we die and are reborn on even shorter time cycles, like from mood to mood. "My angry self is dissolving; equanimity is being born in me," like that.

As to the 108 breath meditation: that meditation is in my repetoire. It takes only a little more than 20 minutes when in slow deep breathing, >5 breaths/minute. It's a great way to develop concentration.