mindful group poetry

At the end of my “Joy in Everyday Life” course at the Shambhala Center recently, we had a feast (which is paramount to the Shambhala gathering-of-any-kind tradition I am learning)…  Part of the ceremony this time around included the group as a whole participating (even by listening) to a free-form spoken word or poetry circle.  I had never done anything like this so it freaked me out a little.  (Imagine facing one’s fears at a place like Shambhala -ha)  Nevertheless I tried to clear my mind and allow myself to participate in any way that felt natural.  Believe it or not, I spoke a line out loud spontaneously, surprised at my own lack of inhibition. 

Here is what we came up with as a group.  Each line is a different person speaking.  All in all it probably took not much more than a minute to compose, however I am impressed by its resonance and how it could be read.

Despite all my initial hesitations, I do think this could be fun in a lot of settings…  

Joy Poem

I’ve learned that pain and suffering aren’t the same
Reality is a ripper
Try not to cling on to the sides of the river
Be present
Put on your oxygen mask first
Hear the music, feel the magic
Be
Cha
Don’t change change
Synchronized swimming in the vast blue sky
Parting is such sweet sorrow
Supported by my sangha
Losing is gaining
No feeling is final
What a beautiful feast