The prayer of thwarted desires

Interrupted monastery night:
First, teens on street wake me up three times
but worse, my bed,
poor and neglected – good for monks but not for funky backs
I move to couch, not great but better, at least so I could complete the night.
Ah, when a retreat gives way to the world!
When tightly controlled environments’ limits are passed
and the world, messy and imperfect, comes tumbling in
reminding me that imperfection is everywhere,
messiness not to be feared but accepted like a time-worn aunt at the door
that imperfections – and more, my thwarted desires –
have their place in both my life of flesh and life of spirit
so much that my aching back, too, becomes a prayer,
my laggard, tired body, too, becomes a prayer –
a prayer of greater worth than mechanical utterings
or celestial serenities, folded hands: Instead,
my body becomes a prayer of earthiness, for I see what I want be taken from me
or simply not granted at all; I, staring at my still-empty hands
whisper a prayer that I struggle to pray and which becomes a
wizened elder teaching me, the novice on retreat:
It doesn’t matter if I get what I want, but if your will is done in me –
somewhere, on some hidden level
the soul becomes more whole
as the student accepts the lesson
as the retreat continues on

© Meisaan Chan

About Meisaan Chan
This entry was posted in meditation, Poetry, Scripture riff, Spiritual poetry, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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