noble truths
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by Gerard Sarnat



April Fool’s Impermanence



 Everything changes


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 now’s extending lovingkindness to Trump.




a line, (a short blue one)



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

Mick’s 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.






a line, (a short blue one)



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, there’s 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; I’m 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. 


What’s left is my boundless appreciation

for these fruitful decades.

Again -- thank you thank you thank you.


With deep bows of gratitude and sadness.




a line, (a blue one)


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