Black Buddhist

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**Was going through some old poetry archives and found this. So I dusted it off and brought it my blog. Enjoy*

Sitting on the floor

In the most humble of positions, legs crossed

The bell rings

I breathe

In peace

And exhale anxiety

This is me

A Black Buddhist

A traditional non-traditionalist

Amazed at how three months can yield transcendence

That I never got in twenty-three years of being a Christian

Church and the Ten Commandments

I just couldn’t get with it

What sense does it make to run behind

A faith that was never truly mine?

Our ancestors danced in the dirt

Pagan

Worshiped totems

Found meaning in the skies

And their third eye

So I sit and meditate

Contemplate

On the sound of one hand clapping

And recite Mettas

A friend of mine is going through it

She says “Pray for me today.”

I respond “Buddhist don’t typically pray, but I’ll send positive energy your way”

Basically the same thing, right?

Inhaling I let go of the fight.

Count the breath

Let go of thought

And Easter and Bible scripture

And ignorance

No more straddling the fence

I’ve opened myself to being the source of family comments

During Christmas dinner

But I’m one step closer

To the inner me

Where are you?

Just know

That when you give in to others

You deny yourself

And a spiritual journey must always be selfish

Exhaling I remember the five precepts

Abstain from false speech

Inhaling I let go of gossiping

Abstain from taking things not freely given

Exhaling I let go of greedy manipulation

Abstain from sexual misconduct

Inhaling I am more aware of who and how I fuck

Abstain from intoxicants

Exhaling I pay attention to the kinds of things my body takes

Abstain from harming living beings

Inhaling I remember that nothing is separate from me

Then the bell rings

Once, calling- I’m exhaling

Twice, the bell and vajra balancing

Three times, I rise

And bow, deeply

Paying respect

Just me, a Black Buddhist

© 2008 by Toya J

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4 thoughts on “Black Buddhist

  1. I remember this!
    My favorite lines:
    A friend of mine is going through it

    She says “Pray for me today.”

    I respond “Buddhist don’t typically pray, but I’ll send positive energy your way”

    Basically the same thing, right?

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