Forest Sangha Newsletter January 2001

Simplicity; Ajahn Sundara
The Natural History of the Mind; Nick Scott
The Monastery - A Verse
Clearing Space; Ajahn Candasiri

The Monastery

Once I knew, nothing in life could save me
& the monastery will wake you up in the cold mornings
it will kick you & drive you with more efficiency
than any alarm-clock, it will bore you with its routine
then seek forgiveness with a bowlful of food
& the monastery will always be showing you
that you are nothing & restore a sense of wonder
at the falling of a leaf, the monastery will turn you
into a giggling child & a crying child & a wise old man
whose mission is telling the world that it has to let go
& the monastery will dredge up all the horrible
secrets from the corners of the mind of a long-dead boy
screaming the truth of misery to the birds & trees
& the monastery will show you acceptance
in a good friend, the poetry of restraint & the patience
of sitting with restlessness & you will hate it & hate it
because your love is stronger & the monastery will get into your blood
more exciting & depressing than alcohol & you know
the monastery will forget you if you leave
& remember you with gratitude when you return
& the monastery will give you the open silence
you will be unable to receive they say until years later
they say the monastery will give you the strongest of feelings
& you will want to run away & curl up & die
& be born again like the greenness of a beech & the monastery
will make you want to dance & sing & regret those times
when you could & didn't & the monastery will protect you
like an island & you will want to swim & like a kind parent
the monastery will remain where it is.