Presence

I went and stood by the fishpond.

I was thinking about a text I had been reading

about Stillness.

I thought about the fishermen.

They don’t like us disturbing their fish.

The surface of the pond was like a dark mirror,

Reflecting the farmhouse, clouds and trees.

Some time went by.

A single rainbow trout caught my attention.

Drifting aimlessly.

I began to drift too,

then suddenly noticed

that there were many other fish in the pond.

It was teeming with them.

After a while,

I was disturbed by a wave,

rippling across the surface of the water.

A bird had swept down to scoop up an insect.

I watched the bird rise

To settle on the swaying branch of a tree.

Matt Gothill

An Empty Bowl

I have a metal bowl.

It was made by the latest in a lineage of such bowl makers.

It is empty, though the Ocean is in it.

If I strike it, it rings and that is useful.

I can put flowers in it, that is beautiful and that is useful but it wont ring.

My grand-son could pee in it and probably would and that would be useful but it wouldn’t ring.

If I approach it from stillness and get into joint practice with it, it sings beautifully

And the sound goes all round the Universe

And that is very useful

And the bowl is empty.

I have a mind.

It was made in eternity.

And if thoughts are in it, that is useful.

And if lesions are in it and edges of resistance, that is useful.

And sometimes it is full of roses and sometimes full of piss

and I can work with that and that is useful.

But if it is empty and I can approach another in stillness,

There is room for the whole story and she remembers who she really is

and the universe remembers who it is

and that is really useful.

And the mind is empty.

Mike Boxhall. May 2000

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Meditation For Totally Enlightened Human Beings