Writer’s note: This poem was written on my last day of a seven day silent meditation retreat at the Bhavana Buddhist Society of West Virginia. Below are some of my thoughts.
by Cora Kessler
My seven days at Bhavana Buddhist Retreat
Soon will be over…how bittersweet.
While I hate to admit it, I spent some moments craving
The next meal, next break, or even next bathing.
What I know for sure is my time here, was enchanting.
With thick woods and moss Sleeping Beauty would envy.
I shake my head wondering, “How did I get so lucky?”
I’m a novice meditator, barely a Buddhist at all,
but being surrounded my monks makes me feel
one with all.
I’ve reflected on life, as one does at a retreat such as this
and found nothing is perfect and never will be.
Dark as that sounds it’s actually freeing.
For the illusion of happiness
is very displeasing.
You can strive all you want
but we’re suffering beings.
I’d lust after shoes, jobs, and lives I could lead.
But that’s not right livelihood
it’s just plain greed.
Impermanence is my saving grace.
There’s an end in sight to any challenge I face.
Though it will also be the death of me.
At least I will try to die
Someone may read this and think to themselves,
“This writer does not understand Buddhist thought.”
Well you’re right– I do not.
I have much to learn
nor do I even yet know
if I yearn
to follow the way of Buddha himself,
or first follow my heart towards sex, love, and candy.
Then grab Buddha‘s hand as a sugar crash plagues me.
But I’ll do my best
and start with meditation.
Just ten minutes a day.
I’m not a nun anyway.