The One at the Center

The One at the Center

You don’t see the water itself.
You see wavering trees, rippling clouds,
a sun rocking back and forth.
The pond is clear glass
until a small black fish
with a stout nose
wiggles and taps the air
from below, sending out
concentric haloes that spread
like portholes opening wide
and melting back to clear glass.
In the same way
you don’t notice silence
until the bell master breaks it
striking wood to metal
sending out wave upon wave
of ringing, traveling outward, disappearing
like a ship into the horizon
or a meteor’s tail.
The motion of love is no different.
Touch your beloved with a smile,
a warm hand, a kind word.
Watch the joy radiate from his face.
Feel the ease echoing down her body.
Again and again
water moves into waves.
Silence folds into song.
We change each other into love.
Again and again
each moment is a new chance
to reach forward.
Be fearless as the stout-nosed fish.
Be humble like the bell master.
Be the one at the center
making a motion
of beginning.

The lotus pond at Deer Park Monastery, where I watched small black fish tapping the water's surface from below, & wrote this poem.

The lotus pond at Deer Park Monastery, where I watched small black fish tapping the water's surface from below, & wrote this poem.

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4 responses to “The One at the Center

  1. I like your poem. I also like the tortoises sitting by the pond in your picture. Do tortoises sit in full-lortoise position?

    I’m betting those ones do.

    Actually, I’m thinking those are probably turtles. And I’ll bet if a turtle tried sitting full-lurtle…

    it would hurtle.

  2. I tell teachers that “In order to teach, one must first know how to learn.” I was so glad to read “learning is the real reward of teaching” in your blog!! Trying is not Doing; therefore, one need not Try. Teaching isn’t work, it simply happens when a person, or people, near you want(s) to learn and you, in turn also want to learn and all show gratitude for the energy received from the others involved. The lesson is always irrelevant. The people involved and what they add to one another’s invisible quilts have consequence. The finger follows the Mind, the eyes follow the finger. What does the empty mind point to? The moon has no light of it’s own.

  3. I tell teachers that “In order to teach, one must first know how to learn.” I was SO VERY GLAD to read “learning is the real reward of teaching” in your blog!! I wish more teachers would feel just so. Trying is not Doing; therefore, one need not Try. Teaching isn’t work, it is simply what happens when a person, or people, near to each other want(s) to learn and all show gratitude for the energy received from one another. The lesson is never relevant. The people involved and what they add to one another’s invisible quilts have consequence. The stitch holds the fabric in place. The finger follows the Mind. What does the empty Mind point to with no finger to follow it? The moon has no light of it’s own.

  4. this poem – wow!
    i see you being the stout nosed fished these days and following your own advisement.
    🙂

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