This morning I rose early to clean my home.  It was a way to deal with the trauma in the world, all that’s being exposed, even as people are coming together in beautiful ways to support each other.  

What is my part?

My son introduced me to a wonderful book, “the first free women: Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns”.  The poems, written at the time of the Buddha and handed down orally until they were written down, are in this book translated by Matty Weingast with a Foreword by Bhikkhuni Anandabodhi.

There are several translations of the Therigatha (Verses of the Elder Nuns”,  73 poems written by enlightened women of all ages and backgrounds.  Matty wanted to be less literally accurate while bringing forth the essence of what was said.  I love the book, each poem a jewel.  

Last night my son and I, each sheltered in our separate homes, watched as Matty and Bhikkhuni talked about the book on Zoom.  She read some of the poems, and people asked questions.  

Naturally what’s happening in the world came up.  How do we respond?

She felt White people should join a group to work on our understanding of racism.  The way to delve into what we don’t even know and understand is with a facilitated group.

He felt we can learn through literature, and suggested reading Frederick Douglas, Audre Lorde, and Lucille Clifton.  I thought of James Baldwin as another source.

They both agreed that the poems show the many different paths to Enlightenment.  We are not the same, nor should we want to be.  We each choose our way to support the changes that are occurring in ourselves and in the world as we travel on a journey to peace.


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