5 – Ruth’s Bell

Note: This poem is dedicated to Ruth Denison.  I invite you to learn more about her thru these links.  She has been traveling from her center, Dhamma Dena, in the high desert of California to Insight Meditation Society in central Mass for 40 years to teach a retreat that begins on Labor Day.  This is and has been the last year…

RUTH’S BELL

This Bell, Ruth’s Bell, is ringing
For you and I
To come
To the meditation hall
Now

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go

The bell ringer touches
The brass bell
With the gong
In awareness
Or not…

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go

You and I
Must now walk worn stone paths
One foot in front of the other
Repeating it
Until we arrive

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go

One last time at 89
She speaks to us
Forty years she has come here
Offering only awareness
And you?

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go

The Lioness now in Winter
Strong in all Seasons
She is unaverse
To the coming
Cold darkness

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go

A fierce protector
Of the Dharma
She roars with conviction
Comes fanged with insight
Wears a mane of time tested truths

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go

A nurturing mother
To young lion cubs
Now come to her side
For tender instruction
This one last time

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go

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10 responses to “5 – Ruth’s Bell

  1. This brings me to tears – for Ruth’s huge contribution, for her steadfastness, for her teachings, for my years at IMS of sitting, complaining, resisting, for the beauty of your evolving styles of poetry – some meditative refrain, others rhythmic, all heartfelt and articulate. Keep writing.

  2. I especially loved the verse “… She roars with conviction, comes fanged with insight” — a lovely tribute.
    thank you, James! and for your our parting exchange.

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