Seeds of Self

I am the gardener of this field

There are seeds I sow

And those that have been sown

I am the expression of myself

And all those I have met before

I am the gardner and my job

Is to cultivate these seeds

Regardless of how good or bad

So that they can come into the light

Of the midday sun.

So that I can continue to nourish and cultivate those that benefit myself, my family, and my friends.

For too long I have covered them up

With the soil from which

they try to emerge.

I have tried to hide those that I don’t want,

or have been too distracted to understand their true manifestation.

We are the gardners,

and this is our field.

**This poem came about from a meditation session after beginning to read Understanding our Mind by Thich Nhat Hanh. The book is a personal translation, or rather a personal interpretation (?) of fifty verses based on Vasubandhu’s Twenty and Thirty Verses. Vasubandhu’s is based on the Abhidharma, which is a scholastic approach -written by many different Buddhist scholars over time- to the Buddhas sutras. (I’m sure some of this could be corrected, however the point is that this poem comes from a translation of an interpretation, of an interpretation, a continuation of many in between.)

So this poem and the continual personal reinterpretations of these insights enumerates what is said in the fifth verse:

Whether transmitted by family, friends, society, or education, all our seeds are, by nature, both individual and collective.

I can’t say that I really feel that this is my poem in the sense that I am the sole author, the creator of the piece. I feel a great humility in being a part of the immensity of these insights. Understanding that the poem may not make as big of an impact to others, I still wanted to share it as I’ve noticed recently that when I look back on poems I’ve written all the things that I tried to say, but was unable to convey in words comes flushing back, which may just be one of the greatest things about poetry (of all the great things). I hope only that in some way it conveys something similar for you.

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