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Silent Exchange

by Alan Harris
Settling down to meditate
in my book-lined alcove,
I gaze at Buddha on the shelf,
sitting palms up, cross-legged, calm.
What is he? Where is his mind?

Deep oceans roll between us,
the Buddha and me,
even though his cast iron likeness
is solidly planted before my eyes
among amethysts and books.

His sloping shoulders and benign face
reveal a radiant humility
surely possible to humanity,
yet seldom found in bodily beings.

Where is your mind, Lord Buddha?

Your focus seems a thousand miles within
as you meditate here
in silent serenity.

May I somehow join your journey?
What must I do to walk your path?

A sunbeam shines now
through the nearby window
and rests on Buddha's heart.

"Look within," he whispers innerly.

"Look within for a pattern of being
that will respond to your aspirations.
Consciousness is supple and supportive
if you discover and respect its laws.

"Bliss abides in every inch of space,
and will be found hidden in the obvious.

"Master nature by obeying her perfectly.
Examine her ways, ask her secrets,
and use her for the benefit of all.
Blessings accrue to the workman
who skillfully unfolds a subtle pattern,
then shapes from it a living temple to truth.

"You live in the pattern
and the pattern lives in you,
as the flower hides a seed
and the seed hides a flower.

"Proceed now into your peace,
into your meditation.
Leave my sunlit statue here
and turn to your inner light.

"Slip softly into the shining sea
of possibilities,
releasing love into life
as life releases you into love.

"I will be here when you return."

From the book Inward in Words (1990)

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