My Godson, Connor, invited me to go to JIKOJI Zen Center on Sunday to meditate and to take part in a poetry reading with the community. An offer I couldn’t refuse; mainly to spend time with him and then the added bonus of a poetry reading.
You may remember I shared that his book, Atomic Flower, was coming out quite a while ago but there were delays in getting it out right away which is the case with everything these days. But it’s finally here and he was bringing me my signed copy which I was so excited about.
We met there since we were coming in separate directions. It took me a little while to find the Zendo but I stumbled on the chef Mark, who was very kind and led me to the room. I spotted my Godson and there was a spot next to him, where I took my seat.
It had a familiar feel as 2 of my dear friends Misha Merrill and Jill Kaplan Ordained Zen Buddhist Priests used to come to my studio with their Sangha and sit and give Dharma talks. They truly were my inspiration for transforming my studio and separating out my workout space from my yoga/meditation room. I turns out, they give a talk every year at JIKOJI. Do visit them if you have time. I love 6 degrees of separation.
Luckily, I was about 20 minutes late since we sat cross legged on the floor for what felt like hours, before the bells rang and we were able to stand for walking meditation. I meditate everyday, but these hips aren’t practiced for much more than 20 minutes, which my body can attest to with it’s creeks and groaning upon standing. The community was very gracious and kind and it was a joy to be around like minded people who share the same values. They made a tribute to Thich Nhat Hanh which was just lovely.
When I announced my sadness that Thich Nhat Hahn had died Saturday night at the dinner table, my family all laughed and said “who in the world is that”? This is when it’s nice to have extended family out of your immediate family, that “get you”.
Everyone was invited to read poetry and a lot of people read Rumi and there were some other beautiful pieces shared. Of course Connor and I assumed they wanted us to read our poetry which we did.
Connor read his poem on page 10 of his book:
And I read my poem:
Clouds in My Coffee
When will the stars
stop raining crimson,
the moon stop hiding
behind the clouds,
and we stop dividing?
Drown out the white noise,
our frequency of peace.
When will enough blood be shed
on the street.
The aroma of bread baking
invite a growling tummy,
the horn from a distant ship
to this moment.
Birds sweet song invites hope,
of a nearby pond
worry and regret.
I awake to scratchy kisses
from my sweet kitty,
and savor these tender moments,
with clouds in my coffee.
I say a prayer for all humanity
and begin my day in hope,
as the sunrises once again,
and my toes touch the earth
and a promise to be the best I can.
The words of Thich Nhat Hanh echo
through the land
as he takes his final sip of tea
and becomes a cloud
for all to drink.
Thank you so much for visiting today.
I’m so excited to do an interview with him on his book, Atomic Flower, on Fri-Yay Funday and I hope you’ll join me to hear more about his incredible book.
Have a blessed Wednesday, until Friday!