For me, it’s been a sublime week.
I shall mention only two events, editing out the ten thousand springtime joys that swirl every day around this kindergarten teacher in early May. If I started recounting kindergarten joys, I’d ramble on forever.
Joyous Event One
First, I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Tuesday night group, the Society of Friends, which met here May 4. We shared meditation, tea, the Dharma and warm fellowship. I felt nourished by all four.
I could feel Walter’s fellowship among us, blessing us, shining upon us. Saying things like that may sound a bit “West County,” as they say around these parts, but I could feel Walter’s spirit guiding us, encouraging us, and helping us see the Dharma and open our hearts. Walter was dedicated to opening hearts, beginning with his own heart, but helping those around him, too, and he’s still helping us. Thank you, Walter Blum. You are such a good friend. You are here with me, still, friend.
I believe that someday, science will catch up with Buddhism in these matters. It’s already happening to some extent in quantum physics and brain science. When science begins to find the reality Buddhist monks have discovered 2,500 years ago, modern skeptics will find the great joy and deep peace that are quite real and actually achievable by walking along the Buddhist path.
Joyous Event Two
Second, this week I enjoyed giving my very first poetry reading in public. Previously, I’ve read my poetry only to my wife and to the aforementioned Society of Friends.
Thursday night, May 6, I joined Sandy Eastoak in reading at Many Rivers Books and Tea. Our evening’s reading was titled “Poem as Native” and its theme was about reading and writing poetry as a way to open to our actual reality, Mother Earth and the web of life she supports. We experience the world debut of a new participatory poetry form: the Etheread. If someone asks, I'll describe it in the comments section.
Sandy, who is a painter as well as a poet, writes words that make my heart grow. I plan to share some of her poetry here on Mindful Heart in the future.
The poems I shared that evening have all appeared here on this blog. Thursday night was made the more sublime by being attended by special people: Sue from the Society of Friends, Jim Wilson, a poet who has inspired both Sandy and me, a grandparent of one of my kindergartners, among others. Why, you could find in the audience even the Mayor and the Vice-Mayor of Sebastopol—not the poet-Councilmember, sadly, but maybe it was good he didn’t come; there would have been a quorum!
Our evening opened and closed with songs of blessing and healing sung by a Native Pomo Indian healer, Armando.
Sandy surprised me with a gift of a double Etheree that she dedicated to me because she knows I’m beginning to fall in love with soil. The trees have been telling me about soil.
Here, I’ll share it now.
the surface where
leaves shimmer greenly
& birds flit through shadows
he wants worms mouthing darkness
millipedes racing with springtails
through hidden dampness of pregnant soil
drama of decay & mycelium
the secret movement of nutrient breath
the slow leach of rain past roots & stones
gophers & moles twist through tunnels
round white grubs spiral beside
by the millions
Is there any gift finer than a poem?