2 Jan
Posted in: Poems
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New Year, New Moon

Yesterday was not only the first day of the New Year, it was also the first New Moon of the New Year…so in addition to my usual New/Full Moon Practice of keeping the 8 Precepts and extending my evening meditation till midnight, I added a little “selfie” retreat by listening to a set of 3 tapes from a day-long Phillip Moffitt led on the Awareness of Awareness at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in April. (You can find the tapes on Phillip’s website here.)

It was a wonderful way to start the New Year. In celebration of which I offer these lines from Four Quartets, by T.S. Eliot…lines that Phillip refers to again and again when he teaches:

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say,
there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

Time past and time future
Allow but a little consciousness.
To be conscious is not to be in time.

Desire itself is movement
Not in itself desirable;
Love is itself unmoving,
Only the cause and end of movement,
Timeless, and undesiring
Except in the aspect of time
Caught in the form of limitation
Between un-being and being.
Sudden in a shaft of sunlight
Even while the dust moves
There rises the hidden laughter
Of children in the foliage
Quick now, here, now, always–
Ridiculous the waste sad time
Stretching before and after. 


(image: set design for the entrance of the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, by Karl Friedrich Thiele)

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