Friday 3 August 2012


In this fading light
while the crickets sing,

A chant rings out
aboriginal, whole -

Keeping tune with the rhythm
of the humming gong -

Of the bell that brings me

© Shaista Tayabali
Bergerac, 2012
How can it be that I have gone and come? I left on my in breath, and I have arrived on my out breath. How can it be that only this morning I was on Plum Village soil and whisking my skirt along with a frisky French white butterfly, and now I step into the doorway of my little house in the garden and a white butterfly pranced around at my feet, flirting outrageously near my cheek before sidling off to you. Watch out for him!
The girl that I was belongs to ether now. In her place, something firm has grown roots and spread branches, from which fall green curtains of mists and memories.

So much to share. Will it suffice to say it was perfect, from the first person I met waiting outside the airport with the name Padma, meaning Lotus? To emphasise the depth of her name, a tattoo of a lotus adorned her right foot. My beautiful blue room was named Mulberry, and had a hot water shower! The unexpected thrill! The loveliest of roommates, from Israel, Canada and Romania, and the heartbeat of compassion that wove its thread around every one of the thousand retreatants.
I have arrived. I am home. But from the moment I arrived in Plum Village I was home too. Some of the time I was sick, but I was tended to carefully by strangers who were not strangers. A cup of hot tea in the morning, made by a loving new friend while you are still snuggled under the duvet - now tell me, does it get better than that?!


SG said...

Ah! It really doesn't get better than that. Your post tells me you've had an amazing time. There is nothing more joyous than inner contentment. Lovely pictures, lovely poem.

Ruth said...

My dear, home is in your heart. I know you will carry this home-beauty in your beauty-heart always, from Plum Village. And no doubt Plum Village will also carry you there always (and some will think you are a butterfly, but we know better).

Aayushi Mehta said...

Loved reading this. I could get a slight taste of how you must have felt while over there, that's how well you wrote.

Marcoantonio Arellano (Nene) said...

Home is; when one is cognizant of where one is, no matter where one is. Some are luckier than others knowing this, for their is beauty even in the loneliest of stones.

Welcome home, Shaista

Gracias for sharing your contentment.

Brigid said...

What a beautiful post. It was a joy to see you at Plum Village, fresh and blossoming like the most beautiful lotus. What a light you are. I feel really privileged to have met you. Do hope to see at Plum Village next summer. Or hopefully before. Lots of love from your cutting carrots dharma sister x

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