16 Dec
Posted in: Poems
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Look Around

On Saturday, I “attended” (by live webcast) Phillip Moffitt‘s day-long retreat on the Three Levels of Knowing. I thought it would be something that I’d just log onto and then pop in and out of, but it had snowed the night before…and was continuing to snow all day long….and there was really “nowhere to go and nothing to do,” so I turned my upstairs study into a little meditation hall. From 11:30 am to 6:30 pm, I sat and walked and sat and listened to Phillip, and it was wonderful….and really very much like being on retreat!

Here is one of the poems Phillip used in his talks:

Look Around, by Mark Nepo

If you try to comprehend air
before breathing it,
you will die.

If you try to understand love,
before being held,
you will never feel compassion.

If you insist on bringing God to others
before opening your very small window of life,
you will never have honest friends.

If you try to teach before you learn
or leave before you stay,
you will lose your ability to try.

No matter what anyone promises–
to never feel compassion,
to never have honest friends,
to lose your ability to try–
these are desperate ways to die.

A dog loves the world through its nose.
A fish through its gills.
A bat through its deep sense of blindness.
An eagle through its glide.

And a human life
through its spirit. 

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