Three more poems from ‘The first free women’
These poems are from The first free women: poems of the early Buddhist Nuns, translated by Matty Weingast (Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications, 2020). The December 2020 Creative Dharma newsletter has an interview with Matty Weingast.
Rohini ~ wandering star
You don’t become the cloth
just because you put on robes.
You don’t turn into empty space
just because you carry a bowl.
The sun doesn’t bow down.
Trees don’t throw flowers at your feet.
Birds don’t start answering when you call.
The Path will hold even the biggest mistakes.
The Path will make room for even your deepest regrets.
But you don’t become
the cloth of the robe
It can begin very quietly.
Something you barely even notice.
Like the touch of water on your skin,
like a knife in a drawer,
like the next five minutes –
unless they’re your last.
The Path isn’t a line on a map.
It’s a great shining world.
Enter wherever you like.
You might get thrown back once or twice,
but if you push through
the outer layers –
oh, my sisters,
you will know
the true welcome
that is the very essence
of the Path.
Mitta ~ friend
Full of trust you left home,
and soon learned to walk the Path –
making yourself a friend to everyone
and making everyone a friend.
When the whole world is your friend,
fear will find no place to call home.
And when you make the mind your friend,
you’ll know what trust
I have followed this Path of friendship to its end.
And I can say with absolute certainty –
it will lead you home.
Vira ~ hero
who think themselves
who hide their
who talk of heroes.
Don’t be fooled by outward signs –
lifting heavy things
or picking fights with weaker opponents
and running headfirst into battle.
A real hero
walks the Path
to its end.
Then shows others the way.