Sharing Our Joys

Sharing Our Joys

Discussion date: Thu, Aug 30, 2007 at our weekly Thursday evening practice

Dear Still Water Friends,

This Thursday Evening, after our meditation period, we will have a Tea Ceremony. It is a time for us to come together, enjoy tea and simple treats, and also to share with each other something that brings us joy: such as a song or a poem, a story or a short reading, or an appreciation. If you would like to also offer tangible joy, please bring a healthy vegetarian finger-food, such as fruit or cookies, to share with others. (Herbal tea will be provided.)

In the Plum Village tradition of mindfulness, Tea Ceremonies are an important practice. They are a way of being with others and, at the same time, living in the present moment. They are also an opportunity to nourish our hearts, both for the sheer enjoyment of it and, also, so that we are better able to face our suffering with equanimity and compassion.

A poem that touches me this week – maybe because I just had a birthday – is "Break the Mirror" by Nanao Sakaki. I offer you the poem below along with a photo of the poet.

You are invited to be with us this Thursday.

Peace and joy to you,

Mitchell Ratner
Senior Teacher


Break the Mirror
by Nanao Sakaki

In the morning
After taking cold shower
—–what a mistake—–
I look at the mirror.

There, a funny guy,
Grey hair, white beard, wrinkled skin,
—–what a pity—–
Poor, dirty, old man!
He is not me, absolutely not.

Land and life
Fishing in the ocean
Sleeping in the desert with stars
Building a shelter in the mountains
Farming the ancient way
Singing with coyotes
Singing against nuclear war–
I’ll never be tired of life.
Now I’m seventeen years old,
Very charming young man.

I sit down quietly in lotus position,
Meditating, meditating for nothing.
Suddenly a voice comes to me:
“To stay young,
To save the world,
Break the mirror.”


Discussion Date: Thu, Aug 30, 2007