My Story and Poem of Meditation
I sat alone in the small dark Poettential Unlimited Poetry Theatre in Harlem with my eyes closed, resting in its silence when a circular light appeared in my mind’s eye. Years later, Grandmama, the woman in his home I was staying in Los Angeles, one morning handed me a tabloid sized journal. I did a double take because the full page photo of the man on the front page looked like one I had known in Chicago who called himself, Just People, J.P. But, the name beneath the photo was Swami Muktananda. I took the paper with me to read as I soaked in the tub. I looked like a prune when I got out of the tub because I could not stop reading the journal until I finished it.
For months, I had been trying to meditate with a group of dreadlocked musicians but it didn’t make sense to me. Now, Muktananda’s words were like a lightbulb and I understood. I found a Siddha Yoga group in Los Angeles and sat in meditation with them and saw the same light I had seen years ago in the theater. The amazed response of the more experienced meditators surprised me. Eventually, I attended an initiation with Swami Muktananda.
For years afterwards, I struggled spending months sitting for up to two hours with much of the time my mind running like a wild stallion. Then years passed when I didn’t sit at all. I left Siddha Yoga and became a Sufi. Then finally, ended my quest for a spiritual home when I took refuge as a Buddhist in Denver. Since moving to Hopiland I have found myself able to meditate fairly consistently for 10 to 30 minutes at a time. Recently, I had the fortune to receive meditation teachings from my teacher, Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche, to provide a solid base to my practice.
Responses to last weeks question: I thank everyone who took time to respond. Interestingly those who liked one version over another were very definite. But, several suggested that I combine the best images to create a stronger poem. Then, as I worked on that, I realized that a verse in the second poem deviated from the middle rhyme scheme. So, below is my final version, a new poem, but one that communicates better some of my experiences in meditation.
Silent petals are minutes of meditation
starlight and moon cower to meditation.
In her youth she dreamed flights of fretless singing
her voice found its power in meditation.
New year tosses arid vows on barren sand
I seek the flower bloom of meditation.
Hold the ambrosial sweetness of emptiness
wealth fails to tower over meditation.
Dakinis carve verses that make mountains cry
Skywalker devours time with meditation.