Vipassana 

(For Jack Kornfield)

 

Sometimes life goes by so fast,

My life goes by so fast,

That all I can catch is the blur

As I'm pushed forward,

Or as I go around in circles.

 

The fan whirls briskly on the ceiling

As I revel in its artificial breeze

In the heat of sweltering Poipu.

 

If I concentrate on the center of the fan,

All I see is the blur

Of motor, of machinery, whipped air.

But if I focus on a single blade,

Following it around and around on its predetermined path,

I see the four propellers,

I see the mechanism of how it all works,

I see fanness.

 

I can do this best when the fan is at medium speed,

But the same principle of observation works at high speed as well.

You follow one propeller blade round

As the fan slows itself

Into its essential pattern. 

 

So I try to look at my blur

In pieces now,

One day at a time,

One action at a time,

One feeling at a time...

One breath at a time.

 

                                                                                               (Kauai, Hawaii: August 1992)

 

                                                           from Songs of Non-Enlightenment: Transformation Press, 1995