Archive for April 20th, 2012

Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Ram Dass

“In the earlier parts of your life, up through your mid-years, you switch identity from ego to soul by doing spiritual pratices.  In aging, life itself take over a bit more.  It becomes the practice that take you to the soul.”

~~Ram Dass in Journeying East by Victoria Jean Dimidjian

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What if?

While on retreat, Roshi Joan Halifax read us this poem.

It was on the first night of our retreat and I think it really set the tone. . .  the first small crack into the heart… a heart that was burst wide open and is still lovingly and achingly raw and exposed….  I truly love this and would hope that all caregivers would appreciate it…

We never know what will be one second into our future. . . do we want to miss it?  don’t we want to be present for it?


If You Knew by Ellen Bass

What if you knew you’d be the last

to touch someone?

If you were taking tickets, for example,

at the theater, tearing them,

giving back the ragged stubs,

you might take care to touch that palm,

brush your fingertips

along the life line’s crease.

When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase

too slowly through the airport, when

the car in front of me doesn’t signal,

when the clerk at the pharmacy

won’t say Thank you, I don’t remember

they’re going to die.

A friend told me she’d been with her aunt.

They’d just had lunch and the waiter,

a young gay man with plum black eyes,

joked as he served the coffee, kissed

her aunt’s powdered cheek when they left.

Then they walked half a block and her aunt

dropped dead on the sidewalk.

How close does the dragon’s spume

have to come? How wide does the crack

in heaven have to split?

What would people look like

if we could see them as they are,

soaked in honey, stung and swollen,

reckless, pinned against time?

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