Item #1: personal note here first, Amy, your meditation stool is still here, that adorable little Casper the Friendly Ghost. If you can't live without it (and I can't see how you could) I'll arrange a way to get it back to you quickly. Give me a call.
Now, as I was saying,
It has been a blessing for me to host Sangha this morning at my house in Plattsburgh, and I am grateful to all who came and shared our presence together. There was some silent sitting, some moving meditation with tai chi, along with a short reading and great discussion afterward. All nine of us descended on Sawatdee Thai restaurant for lunch since Himalaya was closed (probably so that the owners could attend the Tibetan Festival events). After lunch we looked at photos of Tibet and butter sculptures at the Cultural Art Center and visited the Tibet Asian store.
For all our Dharma Sisters and Brothers unable to join us, we have hope to see you next time at the retreat May 5 at Evelyne's.
As requested, I am including here the citation for the short reading I gave, and also including the wonderful poem I received as a gift from a tai chi student in honor of a meaningful anniversary.
The book I used was a welcome recommendation from Gene Podhurst, Perfect Brilliant Stillness, beyond the individual self by David Carse, Chapter 25 beginning on page 195 (the entire short chapter entitled Never Interfere). It spoke to each of us in different ways. For me, the closing quotation of the final paragraph seems to encapsulate a clear image of the main point of the whole book, to wit:
"With the belief in the individual entity/doer, problems never cease. When the illusory nature of the individual is seen, problems never arise."
The poem, identified as An ode by Horace, is translated by Heather McHugh as follows:
"Get wise. Get wine, and one good filter for it.
Cut that high hope down to size, and pour it
into something fit for men. Think less
of more tomorrows, more of this
one second, endlessly unique: it's
jealous even as we speak, and it's about to split again..."