Sunday, June 28, 2015

July 3, 2015 Meditation and Poetry Writing Group Resources

FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2015* Meditation in Motion 
with a focus on Walking
Facilitated by Jacqueline Gens
*Normally we meet on the first Saturday of every month

MEETING LOCATION: Shelburne Falls (Contact Jacqueline). PLEASE NOTE that for July and August we will meet in Western Mass, then return to Gullford, VT first Saturday of every month.  TBA

TIME: 11:00 AM-2:00 PM

Jacqueline’s cell: 413-522-1125 & Email:

Next door is a traditonal Labyrinth where we will engage in walking meditation after discussion/sharing followed by lunch. Another great walking space is the Bridge of Flowers if the presence of people won’t bother you.

OPTIONAL: 2:00 PM  Field trip to Buckland retreat land (Khandroling) for a demonstration of sacred dance


 A Guide to Walking Meditation by Thich Nat Hanh

 History of Labyrinth in the Christian Contemplative Tradition

 NAVAJO Walk in Beauty excerpt  the Navajo Night way ceremony

In beauty, may I walk.
All day long, may I walk.
Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
Beautifully I will possess again.
Beautifully birds…
Beautifully joyful birds…
On the trail marked with pollen, may I walk.
With grasshoppers about my feet, may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With beauty, may I walk.
With beauty before me, may I walk.
With beauty behind me, may I walk.
With beauty above me, may I walk.
With beauty all around me, may I walk.
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty,
lively, may I walk.
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty,
living again, may I walk.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.
- Excerpt from the Navajo Night Way Ceremony

Experience Walking
Explore this poem for yourself…embark on a mindful walking meditation, full of awareness of your interconnection with all around you. With each step, remain aware of your breath…how your weight shifts as you walk…from heel to toe and from one foot to the other, your shifting weight moving you forward.
Listen to the sounds around you, whether from nature or human-made…for you are part of each. Let your senses heighten, catch the smell of the wind around you, feel the warmth or coolness on your face, allow your senses to relax so you can naturally take in the vividness of life and color about you.
You are connected to the bird winging by, the tree standing firmly rooted, the vast sky above and the rich, solid earth beneath your feet. Allow yourself to take each step feeling the shifting weight of your body upon the earth…in heightened appreciation of all that is around you…in the harmony of our co-existence.
We are each reflections of ourselves, each other and all that surrounds us…and with each step we can walk in harmonious and loving balance with all we see, both without and within.

II. Some Walking Poems to Consider:

Pablo Neruda – Walking Around

Leslie Scalapino –Walking Person who has Sky Flowing

Interview with Mary Oliver

Allen Ginsberg – Kaddish

Frank O’Hara –The Day Lady Died

III. Writing Exercises

Exercise 1: Try cataloging both inner and outer images as they emerge. Don’t force a narrative but simply let the flow of images trigger memories, thoughts, sounds, vivid perceptions and see what happens. Analyze some of the walking poem samples for structure especially opening lines of Ginsberg’s famous eulogy for his mother - Kaddish which alternates inner memories with the outer details of his walk through his mother’s life with Ginsberg’s present.

Exercise 2:  Regard your walking ‘poem’ as an entre into a different reality, as a kind of window or gateway like Frank O’Hara’s walking poem—The Day Lady Died, another famous eulogy for Billie Holiday which conveys great immediacy. Look carefully at O’Hara’s verb forms.

Exercise 3:Write your own “Walk in Beauty”

****If you bring work to share with others
 please make multiple copies****

Years ago I attended a workshop in Patzcuaro, Mexico with Anne Waldman which I organized for the Great River Arts Institute called “Luminous Details”. Here are her directives prior to a walking poetics from notes I took at the time:

1) Act of Observation/Attention – Compassionate engagement with other

2) Act of Observation/Notation –Entre into sacred world as pure perception

(3) Act of Notation/Articulation –Generosity of spirit

4) Poetic Notation– a dot in the continuity of poets past and present

5) Poetic Articultation – Mingle with the world

6) YES  - Lineage to sing  “in the teeth of  impossibility”

7) Lokapala ----Local guardians, bio-region,  Place—the bigger picture.

Coming Soon - August 1, 2015 meeting will take place at the Dickinson/Evergreen homesteads in Amherst with Chard deNiord, a great scholar of Dickinson’s life and work.