greeting others

Poem: Container of Compassion

mb33-Container my teacher once asked me, how can we package compassion, wrap it up in a small parcel to sell at the local grocery store?

carefully, I looked at the tree before me, are you a package of compassion? she stood silently, leaving no room for doubt.

this morning, sitting, the sky growing light, i set my mind on compassion. can my mind be a container of compassion? a parcel of loving kindness? can my breath be a solid, tangible manifestation of compassion?

quietly i sat allowing the mind of love and understanding fill me, nourish me the love of my teacher the love of the air the understanding that embraces a sister i struggle with, an offering of peace.

my mind journeys to a recent day, walking along the road leading to the cliffs and ocean below. with each person i pass, i allow my heart to open lightly some look easily, friendly we say, “hi” others caught in their thinking not available to look each other briefly in the face.

the dance of moving closer, looking down, up, over then allowing our eyes to meet a warming of our faces, a half smile sometimes a bow and i pause, my two feet next to each other giving space to our greeting heads lowered, then a brief smile eyes touch and we continue our paths.

can we walk all through the day, the evening and the night and allow our fresh hearts to greet each living being?

and as we greet the people, animals, plants and minerals along our path, above and below shall we also meet the subtle beings, the mental beings – our thoughts, our feelings, our perceptions and our consciousness with kindness, with warmth, and equanimity

and perhaps we may become containers of compassion, parcels of light for each other.

sister steadiness, 2001

PDF of this article