Death Poem from a Mother

From a mother to her children.
From a mother to her children.

To Those I Love…
When I am gone, just release me, let me go
So I can move into my afterglow
You mustn’t tie me down with your tears
Let’s be happy that we had so many years
I gave you my love, you can only guess
How much you gave me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown
But now it’s time I traveled on alone
So grieve for me awhile, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted with trust
It’s only for a while that we must part
So bless the memories within our heart
And then, when you must come this way alone
I’ll greet you with a smile and a “Welcome Home.”
Marian Wootton

All merit from this post and the poem go to Marian Wootton who died 21st January 2015. And to her children. What a wonderful poem¬† to find among the private papers of one’s recently¬†deceased mother. Lovely and thank you K for your continuing support.

Living On Alms

Not every day a hot air balloon comes close enough to see people in the passenger basket, dangling dangerously close to tree tops! Yesterday evening was such a day. Such excitement among the children. And the rest of us! Eventually the balloon made a dignified, all be it unscheduled, landing on the local playing field. Was it a flight or a voyage? It must have been scary what ever it was.

This evening a walk along the marshes at sun set. The tide was out the mud flats exposed. Not a place to venture out into. And stay alive.

Exactly a week ago I transferred across the Pennines from the monastery to stay in Cumbria again. This time to ‘flat-sit’ in South Lakeland close to Morecambe Bay. And close to a number of sangha members.

It’s been good to have lived in both Shasta and Throssel this past year and connect with my fellow monastics. Now time to return to where you all live. To connect. Directly.

Living takes many forms. Talking to a plumber about her work this morning on Skype and then this afternoon a short drive to visit an 80+ year old grappling with living her life. Then sitting in the car while a swarm of workers sprayed and wash it. ‘You work very hard’ I said in appreciation of a job very well done. Their English didn’t stretch to an answer. Living takes many forms. Living on donations, as I do, is……? Humbling.

Thank you people for your financial support which makes it possible to live as I do. And for offerings too. Today a bed sheet arrived by mail and a frying pan handed me. Much gratitude all around.

From the Forbidden City

Wu Wei translated as 'Doing Nothing'
Wu Wei translated as ‘Doing Nothing’

Here’s a nice bit of, what I think is very old, calligraphy hanging up in the middle of one of the most important halls of the Forbidden city. Wu Wei (translated as ‘Doing Nothing’ on the plaque outside.

Reading from right to left the first character is Wu which is the same character of my name – Mu which means…empty, immaculate, no and nothing! The second character of my name – go means work, karma/action. So the calligraphy is close to Mugo in meaning which makes this image rather special for me.

Doing nothing, an under rated activity, can be ‘doing’ a great deal. And doing nothing can be entirely the wrong thing to do! All worth sitting with.

Thanks to the very long-time reader of Jade for this photograph, snapped in China just the other day.

Listening Chicken

1White chicken

The hen can hatch her eggs
because her heart
is always listening.

From The Secret of the Golden Flower
A Taoist meditation text.

The other day I went for a long walk with some of the monastic guests staying here. Our route took us through a farm yard. A hen and a clutch of fluff-ball day-old, or so, chicks were scuttling for safety. I was bemused at how many of them there were and also that they came in two colour ways. Black and white ones.

Thanks to Jade in the US for finding the quote I was asking about in my last post. BTW I’d not recommend reading the book I’ve quoted from. It’s somewhat esoteric.

Together Under The awe-inspiring Sky

whispering together under the awe-inspiring sky

“The tall trees of Britain
We worshipped and were wise,
But you shall raid the whole land through
And never a tree shall talk to you,
Though every leaf is a tongue taught true
And the forest is full of eyes.

“On one round hill to the seaward
The trees grow tall and grey
And the trees talk together
When all men are away.

“O’er a few round hills forgotten
The trees grow tall in rings,
And the trees talk together
Of many pagan things.

“Yet I could lie and listen
With a cross upon my clay,
And hear unhurt for ever
What the trees of Britain say.”
From ‘The Ballad Of The White Horse’ by G. K. Chesterton:

And from Mugo

Did I ever mention
the saplings
in Derbyshire
one winter

The ones
shaking with mirth
cracking jokes
in the snow?

And how I
laughed out
with them.

But who to tell?

Thanks to Mark for pointing out the poem. Wonderful. And. Does anybody know the reference to the metaphor for meditation? Of a hen sitting on her eggs listening to them hatching? Send me an email via the contact form if you know. Please.

Practice Within The Order of Buddhist Contemplatives