To be still is to conserve energy. To be still is not to react nor rise to the bait of our thoughts and emotions. We’re cultivating the ability and willingness to just sit with what’s here instead of getting stuck in the loop of doing, grasping.
Inspiration sought from Pablo Neruda’s I Like For You To Be Still
I like for you to be still And you seem far away It sounds as though you are lamenting A butterfly cooing like a dove And you hear me from far away And my voice does not reach you Let me come to be still in your silence And let me talk to you with your silence That is bright as a lamp Simple, as a ring You are like the night With its stillness and constellations Your silence is that of a star As remote and candid
When I was researching for this poem, I searched for what transforms in 100 days. Turns out that sunflowers take about that amount of time to develop seeds. And so I use sunflowers as the metaphor, and draw on William Blake’s poem “Ah Sunflower”. Enjoy!
Story-poem written and read by me as part of Calm in Chaos meditation series. The theme for the week was Intentions (Purpose). As a background, using the train journey a young lady takes from New Delhi to Bodh Gaya where Siddartha Gautama attained enlightenment.
The stationmaster of curiosity asks, “My dear, where are you heading?”
“To Bodh Gaya”, I reply, hoping to impress
“Ah, the City of Enlightenment.”
“Yes sir, I go there to find wisdom.”
“But my young lady, enlightenment is a journey, not the destination.”
Inside the train, beside a small cracked window, I take my seat
A disheveled man jumps in as the train leaves. He sits across
“Let’s be friends,” he says, passing me a white daisy flower
“I escaped from prison.”
“Why do people run away?” I ask him
The train rumbles along
“People run away when they have desires,” he says,
And gets off at Lucknow.
A lady in black makes an entry and sits across
“Let’s be friends,” she says, passing me her silky shawl
“My husband died, and left me penniless.”
“Do you have desires?” I ask her
People around murmur in conversation
“Desires and regrets are illusions, they’re not real,” she says,
And gets off at Varanasi.
A soldier of one leg, hobbles in and sits across
“Let’s be friends,” he says, passing me his cross
“I lost my leg in the war.”
“Do you have regrets?” I ask him
Shadows of rolling hills pass us
“Regrets I have none, purpose is what I have,” he says,
And gets off at Sasaram.
A man with a straw hat enters and sits across
“Let’s be friends,” he says, passing me his last piece of bread
“I am a tourist.”
“What is your purpose?” I ask him
Amidst the din of the train clatter
“I want to live kindly,” he says
The train comes to a gentle halt
A quiet end to its noisy symphony
The conductor helps me with my bags: “Where do you wish to go from here, missy?”
“I am where I need to be now,” I reply
“Ah my young lady, are you here to get enlightened?”
“No sir, enlightenment is the journey, not a destination,” I say