waking up

March 30th 2017

This poem was written  a week or two ago, during meditation.

I was meditating, and felt I needed to express lovingkindness and compassion as part of my process right then. It seemed like the most caring thing I could do was to write a poem for my friends at IBMR’S Thursday Sangha’s, to help you all see your way toward experiencing what I’m experiencing these days. I don’t know if  you “do” emotion, but the joy I felt as I wrote this down to share with you all, caused me to just wail….several times.

I hope it will help you feel both courage and freedom to step forward on your path, in confidence that you are moving toward your own greatest happiness.


waking up

take off these shabby clothes;

underneath you are the sun

let go those tatters you still cling to,

and shine



take off the mask and cape

the dress-up wig and pearls

and shiny ballroom gown

that auntie lets you play with.


time to get out of the toy choo-choo

the plastic airplane

the hidey hole you dug in the sand


it was wonderful for a time to play

with all your might;

to pretend you were a knight, or housewife

a captain of a whaler, or a cook


it was really great fun for a while

but now you’re tired and kind of hungry

so get off the merry-go-round horsey

and come have the most wonderful lunch


filling, satisfying, so good


You had a lot of fun,

you really played your heart out, I know

and you were great;

nobody could kill the dragons better than you


but pretend time can wear a body out,

performance is hard work and after a while it gets a little old

so help Sally put away the stage curtains made of old drapes,

the schoolhouse desks and homework you graded that she wrote

put the soldier backpack away

and the diver’s goggles


look now at all your playmates,

irritable, hungry,

Hannah smacked Georgie on the head

because she just needed something to hit

and that there he was, getting on her nerves.


take Georgie in one arm, Hannah in the other

both howling

and guide them to the table

where there is a good good lunch


when you care for someone hurting,

you both take a bite of wholeness

so eat up now, I promise,

every taste of compassion

will remind you of That,

the Wholeness that you really are


Every bite of caring for another

gives you strength to eat the whole world.


Story time;


Now and then some clouds gather

and cover up the sun almost completely for a while;

very little light gets through

and after a while, you might be tempted to think

the clouds really won; they finally smothered the sun

and we’ll never see its happy light again.


But you know of course it’s an illusion.


Here’s what I want to tell you;


You are that sun

that brilliant light in my story.

And I know that you always knew

those flimsy vaporous clouds

were just a momentary illusion,


a trick the weather played on you

about a vast celestial object;

so big and brilliant they never had a chance;

you knew, you never doubted

what was really true


So now, try not to stare too hard at

these vapors and shadows you see around you

making it look like

this world is real,

like we are all tiny separate souls

alone, lonely,


remember not to call this darkness real

instead, see, feel the light of the sun that you are;

see the light in your friends here now,

waiting for that good meal, hungry and tired

when you can’t see the light in you, see it in them;

it’s the same light…


that girl, throwing her tantrum

on the playroom floor just now

see her frustration, feel it


then feel behind it to the light

that is who she really is

it is also who you really are


sooth her

help her to her feet

help her wash her hands and get her plate


go with her to the table

and help her choose a sandwich and take a bite

every bite of compassion that she takes

is a bite you take as well


every act of empathy, of love

is a bite of wholeness

a little nourishment,

is a bite out of those clouds

That block your light


every act of empathy is

a reminder of what it was like

what it will feel like once again

when you let go completely

all the tattered rags of stories and pretendings


gradually, gradually relax,

let go all that covers up the truth

all that hides you from

the oneness of all those people

that are also you–

each one pretending to be

a movie star or a soldier or a teacher or a nun


then there will be only that one vast sun


soon, after not so long

you’ll get good at this letting go

and you will feel so peaceful

one day, you will finally relax completely,

and just let yourself shine









Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s