Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Deeply committed to freedom

By G. R.

Photo by pxhere

My legs walking swiftly
While I sit still and quiet
I’m thinking—this can change.

What seeds have I planted today?
Is the heavy mountain pressing me down?
Or am I mindfully picking the
Healing herbs from its rocky face?

Am I the bouncing ball of belligerence
Being beaten by the bruising bats
Of Mara?—or am I in sync with the
Bounty of cherry blossoms?

Will I be approachable today?
Will I serve as an enjoyable experience
My repetition of devotional rite,
Skillfully dedicated to all beings?

I sit thinking
These are the qualities that harbor
The views of the awakened mind.

Habits and therapy—
Committing yourself
Taking the risk to provide helping hands.

Your thoughts of clapping applause
Being present in every part
Of your bodies tissue.

These hands dirtied from the garden soil,
Then washing them before eating
A wonderful green salad.

I sit thinking—to taste just a sip
Even though I do not drink.
I do not know you, but thank you.
I’ve eaten today—and I have garments
To clothe myself.

I was stung by a bee and had honey
With my tea.
I freed fish from captivity
And was bitten by a shark.

I sit thinking—the calm
Of this quiet lake that brings me
To contentment.
These same drops of lake water
Are the raging tsunami that devastates.

The nourishment of this caring friend
Or the glorious adversary
That is my teacher.

The anger stirred by these challenges
This anger to gouge
And pluck at your will.
It is sweet to abandon conflict.

The quarrels that guard you
Are countless from the womb,
Breaking this karmic chain of internal struggles—
Enemies, friends and family
A great misconception
I sat thinking—practice, practice, practice.

You’ve only forgotten
The conversation with
Your virtuous thought.

So you begin the focused task
Night and day—dedicating
Whatever aspiration and wish for beings
To be happy.

Deeply committed to your true freedom.

Incarcerated people

Many incarcerated people from all over the United States correspond with Venerable Thubten Chodron and monastics from Sravasti Abbey. They offer great insights into how they are applying the Dharma and striving to be of benefit to themselves and others in even the most difficult of situations.

More on this topic