West London Buddhist Centre

Poetics of Awakening – Friday

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Day 6

30th September

‘May I be kin to all beings, may I live without fear, in solidarity with all life’

rugged cliffs and blue sea

Session 1 – 9am


Poem by Gunnar Ekelof

Talk by Paramananda

Mindfulness of Breathing in four stages led by Paramananda

Metta Bhavana first stage led by Paramananda




The black image
Framed in silver worn to shreds by kisses
The black image
Framed in silver worn to shreds by kisses
Framed in silver
The black image worn to shreds by kisses
Framed in silver
The black image worn to shreds by kisses
All round the image
The very metal worn to shreds by kisses
Framed in metal
The black image worn to shreds by kisses
The Darkness, O, the darkness
Worn to shreds by kisses
The darkness in our eyes
Worn to shreds by kisses
All we wished for
Worn to shreds by kisses
All we never wished for
Kissed and worn to shreds by kisses
All we escaped
Worn to shreds by kisses
All we wish for
Kissed again and again…

Gunnar Ekelof


Session 2 – 3.30pm


Reflections from Bodhilila

Green Tara mantra in call and response led by Bodhilila and Paramananda

Just sitting/abiding with care




If there is beauty, there must be ugliness;
If there is right, there must be wrong.
Wisdom and ignorance are complementary,
And illusion and enlightenment cannot be separated.
This is an old truth, don’t think it was discovered recently.
“I want this, I want that”
Is nothing but foolishness.
I’ll tell you a secret –
All things are impermanent!


Session 3 – 7.30pm


Reflections from Bodhilila

Origin story of the Karaniya Metta Sutta

Song of Meditation by Hakuin

Unled Metta Bhavana with bells

Sevenfold Puja in call and response led by Bodhilila and Amoghalila

(with Verses that Protect the Truth instead of Refuges and Precepts)





Song of Meditation

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas. 

It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no Buddhas.

Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar.
What a pity!
It is like one in the water who cries out for thirst; 

It is like the child from a rich house
Who has strayed away among the poor.
The cause of our circling through the six worlds 

Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance. 

Dark path upon dark path treading.
When shall we escape from birth-and-death? 

The Zen meditation of the Mahayana
Is beyond all praise.
Giving and morality and the other perfections, 

Taking of the name, repentance, discipline,
And the many other right actions,
All come back to the practice of meditation.
By the merit of a single sitting
They destroy innumerable accumulated sins. 

How should there be wrong paths for them?
The Pure Land paradise is not far.
When in reverence this truth is heard even once, 

They who praise it and gladly embrace it
Have merit without end.
How much more one who turns within
And confirms directly their own nature,
That their own nature is no-nature –
Such has transcended vain words.
The gate opens, and cause and effect are one; 

Straight runs the way – not two, not three. 

Taking as form the form of no-form,
Going or returning, we are ever at home.
Taking as thought the thought of no-thought, 

Singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth. 

Wide is the heaven of boundless Samadhi, 

Radiant the full moon of the fourfold wisdom. 

What remains to be sought?
Nirvana is clear before us,
This very place the Lotus Paradise,
This very body the Buddha. 




Karaniya Metta Sutta

(translated from Pali by the Amaravati sangha)

This is what should be done By one who is skilled in goodness, And who knows the path of peace: Let them be able and upright, Straightforward and gentle in speech, Humble and not conceited, Contented and easily satisfied, Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways. Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful, Not proud or demanding in nature. Let them not do the slightest thing That the wise would later reprove. Wishing: In gladness and in safety, May all beings be at ease. Whatever living beings there may be; Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none, The great or the mighty, medium, short or small, The seen and the unseen, Those living near and far away, Those born and to-be-born — May all beings be at ease! Let none deceive another, Or despise any being in any state. Let none through anger or ill-will Wish harm upon another. Even as a mother protects with her life Her child, her only child, So with a boundless heart Should one cherish all living beings; Radiating kindness over the entire world: Spreading upwards to the skies, And downwards to the depths; Outwards and unbounded, Freed from hatred and ill-will. Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down Free from drowsiness, One should sustain this recollection. This is said to be the sublime abiding. By not holding to fixed views, The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision, Being freed from all sense desires, Is not born again into this world.

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