by Gerard Sarnat
April Fools Impermanence
So above never occurred to me until I sat down under a tree.
In-out breaths, old age, sickness and death become apparent.
Then life changed chasing Benji falling off a merry-go-round.
Walker/ cane, my salty lithe body morphed to pretzel pudding.
One second I feel okay, the next spinal stenosis lightning pain.
Family plus friends, the dharma, poetpourris support equanimity.
My roughest challenge nows extending lovingkindness to Trump.
Irisin, You Are On My Mind
House boy knows that he's doin' all right
You should have heard him just around midnight
Brown sugar, how come you taste so good
Brown sugar, just like a young girl should
- The Rolling Stones -
Seventy-three but still strutting like a skinny thirty year-old
Micks prancing may aid weight control and fend off diabetes
by increasing blood levels of a newly discovered hormone
that turns his fat cells from white to brown thus improving
their ability to burn calories -- so say Harvard researchers
in paragon publications such as Nature or Cell Metabolism
then most recently The American Journal of Physiology.
NB pass a quiz, get continuing medical education credit.
Four Brahmaviharas/ Noble Abodes
-- in honor of Brahmavihara
Cambodia closing its doors
on December 31 2016
The holiday went similarly smoothly.
Traditional people visited different wats
daily for at least a week
to feed ancestors through their monks.
Unfortunately, kids who used to romp
out of doors now huddled inside
as a bunch have deteriorated with age.
I told staff about financial arrangements:
no one would be left destitute
($5,000 is a tremendous lot of money here).
And that I would do everything possible
to support finding other work
and to help absolutely any way I could.
I tried to talk about how lucky we were
to have had so many years
and how employee knowledge and growth
would likely continue to develop because
most are grounded practitioners
and the Four Noble Abodes would remain.
We broke for a snack, went back, had space
for all to speak without interruption,
ending, as we began, with a full meditation.
Early-on it became apparent chattering minds
were caught up so we switched
to Metta practice, ten minutes for ourselves,
around the room offering Lovingkindness
for patients, chanting
in the ten directions then closing chants.
Amidst shock sorrow fear, theres a welling
of Compassion, Empathetic Joy plus
the ultimate Brahmavihara, Equanimity.
They really do understand impermanence.
Experience it at depths
impossible to imagine as unlikely survivors
of Khmer Rouge as well as mostly peasants
with AIDS repeatedly close to
death or who lost family before antiretrovirals.
So here we are in limbo until actual closing.
Some have been seriously ill with
Pneumocystis pneumonia; Im just recovered.
In a kind of hiatus for the Water Festival,
after that, we begin to dismantle.
Despite turmoil, everybody gives meticulous
care to the sick and works to find alternative
sources of support where possible.
The hardest task of course is telling clients.
Whats left is my boundless appreciation
for these fruitful decades.
Again -- thank you thank you thank you.
With deep bows of gratitude and sadness.
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