allison miller

November 25, 2014 Comments Off on allison miller


We drive to the marketplace, from our quiet country retreat house in southern Vermont.  I have no desire to leave, or buy anything, but when I see the fine stores, and the people selling homemade Vermont Pies, I become excited.  

I don’t even like eating sugar and gluten.  But I am fortunate, I know I am excited by the idea of a homemade Vermont Pie, by what it means to me, much more than the reality of eating one.  This knowledge saves me from having to eat it, and then feeling tired and foggy — the opposite of the clear energy I feel now.

wielding the sword
of self-knowledge
illusory temptations
slain by seeing what they are

It’s so nice to be here with my friends.  We are poets, on a writing retreat, and have come to town “looking for poetry,” not clothes, though I joke that a good sale is poetry!  The night before we talk about the power of mindfulness.  How being mindful gives our lives — our moments — the depth, richness, and even sweetness that we so often complain is missing.  We wonder aloud — is it easier to be mindful in the country or the city?  Some think it is easier in the country.  That the city’s distractions and temptations dissipate our intent.  The question hangs in the air, is it true?  

As I step into the marketplace, I remember this conversation.  I remind myself that what I truly want is not in these stores.  I do so in response to the “wanting excitement” that has arisen within me as I see them.  The word equanimity forms silently on my lips, encouraging me to be so.  This reminder helps me reject anything that is not in accordance with this intent, but also, to relax and enjoy it all.  Throughout the day, I don’t fall into any indecisiveness about what I want and don’t want to buy.  I notice this is the best time to go shopping.  When I am not looking for answers in the wrong places, but rather seeking poetry.  When what I’m buying is a condiment to the nourishment already found within.  Anchored by my deepest desire as I try on the finely made warm, comfortable robe, and beautifully fitting winter coat, it is not hard to forgo buying them.


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