James Poulter: "Recurrence"
This piece by James Poulter is a poetic meditation on the concept of 'recurrence'. While James accepts the harsh reality of living with mental ill-health , he highlights the power of his faith and how his spiritual journey has provided 'joy' in his life.
A 3 foot block of ice does not melt in one day,
Nearly 18 years of mental health problems do not disappear overnight.
Ups and downs, highs and lows,
This is how the story goes…
Like an onion being peeled we get closer to the centre
Layer after layer, through the dimensions of consciousness.
After a few days of fun and laughter and spiritual enrichment, I tumble down from my higher ground, and back on to the merry-go-round of confusion and low mood.
But I have the memory of joy, I know I can obtain it, however fleeting.
I was told once, in a poem long ago, that the realm of peace and happiness can be attained for evermore, once the illusions of this world are left behind.
But first we must suffer painful trials and tribulations, as we break the shell of our understanding, and reach out to Buddha’s infinite embrace.
The fear for me is to return to the depression.
But this fear is itself an attachment, holding on to things long gone by.
The antidote is faith, faith that things will improve for the better, faith that if I hold on to Truth, Compassion, Forbearance in my heart, then the universe will open its doors to me once more.
So many positive things have happened recently.
My son, with joy in his heart and a lightness in his step, returned to natural wonder and awe.
My work has been going well and I feel respected and valued.
My relationships are gradually deepening and I feel more at ease.
I have managed to speak openly of matters of great importance and close to my heart, the return of the Great Buddha Law to the human realm.
So I mustn’t feel despondent or blue.
Take the rough with the smooth, the good with the bad, and walk through this barren earth… to reach the Promised Land.