12 Mar
Posted in: Poems
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But What Action?

As many of you know, the Community Dharma Leader (CDL) program starts up at Spirit Rock next month with a 7-day retreat/workshop. Since one of our first homework assignments is to read Joanna Macy’s Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work that Reconnects, it’s safe to assume that a big emphasis will be on Socially Engaged Buddhism.

Which I’m not that thrilled about.

Because, frankly, the whole ACTIVIST thing is really kind of annoying to me. (Aversion!) But just going off on retreat all the time is not the answer. LIVING what I’ve learned on retreat is what feels most engaging to me. But what, in terms of specific activities, would that mean?

Once again I turn to Mary Oliver…not for the answer, but for insight into the question:

What I Have Learned So Far
by Mary Oliver

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of–indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone. 


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