Introduction to a Poem
Twenty-three meditators attended each of the two retreats in the Thai Monastery, Sarnath, India, this February (2020). Far fewer joined the retreat this year than 2109 with many cancellations due to coronavirus, floods, firestorms, political unrest in India etc.
This meant I had an opportunity to engage daily in walking/standing meditation in garden of the Vipassana Centre.
I committed myself between two to three hours per day for walking/standing meditation. I appreciated especially the time from 9.30 pm to 10.15 pm or later. The silence of the night had descended offering a palpable stillness all round.
A meditator remained totally dedicated to the timetable of the day for 14 days and continued her practise after the timetable when others had gone to bed.
Towards the end of the two weeks of retreat, the meditator approached me with an unusual question.
“Would you be my spiritual father?”
I said “Yes.” Later, I told her she was my first spiritual daughter. She smiled.
If she ever contacts me, I can let her know if she has any spiritual brothers and sisters in the future if I receive a similar request.
After the retreat, I wrote a poem about the walking/standing meditation in the night hours.
Solitary and Solitary
A Prayer of Silence
Up and down
Closeness of Infinity
Not of ourselves
Of the Deep.
Up the Path
Down the Path
Slowly through air
In front of toes
Minute by Minute
Lives in the Deep
Steeped in Silence
Night sky above
Night earth below
End of the Day
We bow to This