West London Buddhist Centre

Poetics of Awakening – Tuesday

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Day 3

27th September

‘You are constantly arising in the world. The world is arising and we are arising as part of it.
We co-arise with everything else, everything arises in relationship with everything else.’



purple blossom on wood

Session 1 – 9.00am


Talk by Bodhilila

Meditation led by Bodhilila

Walking meditation

Just Sitting




‘Since merely allowing (thoughts) to settle into their own condition, without trying to modify them in any way, is sufficient,
How can you say that you are not able to remain in a calm state?
Since allowing (thoughts) to be just as they are, without trying to do anything about them, is sufficient,
How can you say that you are not able to do anything with regard to them?’

from Self Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness (A terma text of Padmsambhava) 




Just as is the case with the sesame seed being the cause of the oil and milk being the cause of butter,
but where the oil is not obtained without pressing and the butter is not obtained without churning,
so all sentient beings, even though they possess the actual essence of Buddhahood, will not realize Buddhahood without engaging in practice.

from Self Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness (A terma text of Padmsambhava) 


Session 2 – 3.30pm


Poem – Overland to the Island by Denise Levertov

Meditation led by Paramananda

Q&A with Paramananda and Bodhilila





Overland to the Islands 

Let’s go — much as that dog goes,
intently haphazard.  The
Mexican light on a day that
“smells like autumn in Connecticut”
makes iris ripples on his
black gleaming fur — and that too
is as one would desire — a radiance
consorting with the dance.

Under his feet
rock and mud, his imagination, sniffing,
engaged in its perceptions — dancing
edgeways, there’s nothing
the dog disdains on his way,
nevertheless he
keeps moving, changing
pace and approach but
not direction — “every step an arrival.”

— Denise Levertov


Session 3 – 7.30pm


Thoughts on Green Tara

Green Tara mantra led by Bodhilila

Just Sitting

Midnight Star, a puja to Tara in call and response led by Bodhilila and Kamalavajri






by Vessantara  

Heart of compassion,
For whom no thought of self
Could ever arise,
Committed to the welfare of the world,
You encourage your devotees
To express their love for you
By serving all beings.

So, out of devotion to you,
I offer to all beings
The fruits of your heart:
To each individual being
I give without end
Cool lakes and rivers
So they may bathe in your compassion;
Sweet food and drink
So they may feast on your compassion;

The sun, moon and stars
So they may be lit by your compassion;
Rich breezes, full of perfume and flower scents
So they may breathe your compassion;
Music of birds and instruments
So their minds may be filled with your compassion.


Midnight star,
Lighting up the northern sky,
With the brilliance of your love,
You who are worshipped
Even by the loving gods,
To Tara I pay homage.

Sweet breath of all the Buddhas,
Perfuming the world
With the scent of your compassion,
You who are worshipped
Even by the compassionate gods,
To Tara I pay homage.

Great archer of the Sugatas,
Striking down the Hydra-heads of jealousy
With the unfailing arrows
Of your sympathetic joy,
You who are worshipped
Even by the joyful gods,
To Tara I pay homage.

Victory banner of the supreme Dharma,
Raised standard of the Victorious Ones,
Planted in the firm soil of equanimity,
You who are worshipped
Even by the equanimous gods,
To Tara I pay homage.  


Mysterious Queen,
In the deep midnight of despair,
When there is no safety,
No clarity,
No certainty,
You appear.

With your gift-bestowing hand
You hold the double vajra
In which all opposites unite

May I accept the wisdom that you offer,
See beyond the prison of duality,
And emulate your still activity.

Where samsara and nirvana
Fuse and disappear
There I go for refuge.

Where birth and death
Fuse and disappear
There I go for refuge.

Where wisdom and compassion
Fuse and appear everywhere
There I go for refuge.


Fearless lady, powerful queen,
You who save beings
From the Eight Great Terrors,
Please rescue me
From the thousand and eight
Fears and anxieties
That possess my mind.

Before you I confess
To all the commonplace worries and anxieties
That fill my day,
So that I rarely take
An easy breath:
The fear that stops me trying,
The fear that creates a façade,
The fear of being with others,
The fear of being alone,
The fear that makes me harsh, tight, and unkind,
The fear of not getting what I want
That makes me grabbing and self-concerned.

Before you I confess
The deep fears:
Fear of madness,
Fear of death,
Fear of life,
Fear of anything
Beyond the tortoise shell
Of my own ego.

Before you I confess
Most of all
The fears that hold me back
From giving myself to the Dharma:
Fear of commitment to the Path,
Fear of change,
Fear of renunciation,
Fear of generosity,
Fear of courage,
Fear of going deeper,
Fear of freedom,
Fear of wisdom,
Fear of devoting myself to all beings.

These fears did not arise by themselves,
They stem from a million  choices and acts
In many lives –
Choosing unawareness,
Choosing lack of courage,
Choosing to bury my head in samsara.

Please forgive me,
And help me
To lay these fears at your feet.
May you pacify them all.

O loving Tara,
Please take my shaking hand in yours,
And gently form it
Into the mudra of fearlessness.


O joyful Tara
Titans rejoice in their own conquests,
Their one source of happiness is themselves;
You rejoice in the good deeds of all beings,
So you have infinite sources of delight.

Fearlessly and free from envy
I rejoice in the achievements
Of all those who bring
Beauty, peace and courage
To the world.

Fearlessly and free from envy
I rejoice in the spiritual heroes and heroines,
Those victorious ones
Who conquer self-conceit.

Fearlessly and free from envy
I rejoice in you,
The emerald goddess,
And in your endless selfless activity
That accomplishes all deeds.

Fearlessly and free from envy
I rejoice in your intimate care for the world,
So that every leaf,
Every blade of grass,
Is soaked with the green
Of your compassion.


Love travels faster than sound,
Swifter than light,
It traverses the galaxy
In a moment.
O Queen of Great Compassion,
Wherever your love is needed
It is instantly there.

Caught in the hurricane of suffering
Its winds tearing
At my body and mind,
I have only to call your name:
Tara, Tara, Tara!
And the gales of longing and fear
Are pacified.

Who could have imagined
That those two tiny syllables
Could contain so much love –
Tender love,
Fearless love,
The love of all the Buddhas.

May I and all beings
Always call on you:
Tara, Tara, Tara!
And in response
May you shower the Dharma
Of your great love
Upon us all.


May the merits of this praise
Ring out like a vajra bell,
Playing always Tara’s name,
The gentle heartbeat of compassion.

Vajra bell of Tara’s love,
Echoing through time and space,
May your sounding never cease
Its voyage out beyond the stars.

Vajra bell of Tara’s love,
Rescuing beings in every realm,
May your sounding never cease
Until all suffering has gone.

Vajra bell of Tara’s love,
Ringing gently in my heart,
May your sounding never cease
Till you and I
Are one at last.



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Drinking tea, sitting, quiet – ahhh. This Saturday enjoy Zen tea. More info here. Book here.