still my mind,
fill my heart,
yoke me to you,
heal the earth
and all our creatures.
a mnemonic device to remind me:
hidden in each heart is
the seat of the divine,
the neuro-center of humanity and wisdom
which calls me to use my mind and live in my heart.
when my mind slows down
the heart voice can be heard.
when I hear my own heart
I can hear the hearts of others.
when I hear the hearts of others,
I touch their divine.
tacked onto the wall next to the door from the garage into the laundry room
is a Bhutanese prayer wheel. when I remember, as I cross the threshold,
I spin it, clockwise, just as the elders of Thimphu circumnavigate
the National Memorial Chorten daily for hours.
screwed onto the wall just inside my meditation room is a panel
with three prayer wheels from Tibet. I spin them
when I enter and when I leave the room,
when I remember.
National Memorial Chorten, Thimphu, Bhutan
deep in central Bhutanese foothills in a broad glacial valley
along creek flow through open bottomland
sacred black-necked cranes
complete fall pilgrimage from Tibetan plateau –
they touchdown with wings extended and a swoop and a yaw
from our p-o-v at the visitor centre along the tree line
they land in plain if distant sight (aided by telescopes);
their choice of landing spot is open and clear
that they may spy lurking predators
this cloistered land nested between the peaks of the Himalayan Range
and the plains of the Brahmaputra River;
this epicenter of Asia, surrounded by behemoths in a cycle of billions:
cacophonies of busyness and survival in megalopolises and villages,
on plains, plateaus, deltas, mountains; in forests, deserts, valleys, riverbeds,
with landing strips, railroad tracks, roads paved and not,
that criss and cross, mount and slide, lead and follow
this unconquered land, nearly inaccessible so free from invasion,
beyond Aryan, Greek, Moghul and Sino thrust:
the force of empire nudged by greed but unable or unwilling
to penetrate this terrain protected by geography
these high-elevation flyers from high plateaus
must struggle between the highest peaks
to the cultivated Phobjikha Valley for a more temperate winter
and the barley harvest, evolving dependency on adoring humans
who at Gangtey Monastery above the north end of the valley
celebrate their arrival in annual festival
drawing folks and visitors from near and very far
in devotion and curiosity and hopes and prayers
that their cranes and their southern habitat
may be preserved in the climate of our century,
from natural predators on the ground
and the global predation of civilization
they suit each other:
mystical creatures and humans
in natural harmony
in the eye of the Asian hurricane.