Quarterly Electronic MagaZine from Sakyadhita USA
Issue No. 12, Fall 2016
Caroline Netschert is a second year M.Div. student at University of the West and is the current Chaplaincy Club president. She's an aspiring hospital chaplain and currently works for the Buddhist-based drug treatment program, Refuge Recovery, as well as volunteering as a Buddhist Chaplain at the LA County women's jail. Her main Buddhist teacher is Anam Thubten Rinpoche. She was ordained as a Buddhist minister by the International Center of Chinese Buddhist Culture and Education (ICCBCE) and considers herself a student of all Buddhadharma. Caroline is an alumnus of American University, where she graduated with an M.A. in Public Communications, a B.A in Public Communications, a minor in Women's and Gender Studies, as well as earning a Graduate Certificate in Women in Politics.
When I hear you say things
My body is inadequate…
“Better luck next time.”
“Practice real hard, and maybe next life.”
My ears instinctively retract
and my spine lengthens.
This body is not “contaminated.”
It is my perfect vehicle
of flesh, blood, pus, shit…
And Big Mind.
Take my womb and it will still be perfect.
Take these breasts and the nectar of awakening will still flow within me.
Take my heart and I will still beat to the rhythm of Life...
Cells vibrating as I erode into Mother Earth.
So, don’t tell me it’s not the body to awaken in.
The thought of it not being even the slightest of possibilities
makes my finger curl
with the awoken rage of past generations
who dance through me
like the fire of awakening dances in my consciousness.
Trampling two corpses:
Goddess of grace
We are one.
“Do I exist?
Do I not exist?"
“What am I?”
Woman. Buddhist woman. American Buddhist woman.
Emptying the Mind.
If everything is illusory,
This dream seems so real.
How do I be “in the world, not of the world?”
Like the Buddha. Like Jesus?
One grounds the other.
One prevents the darkness of hopelessness.
They depend upon the other.
Are we all the same?
We start where we are.
Caught in the fire.
Somewhere between devastating heartbreak,
and brilliant luminosity.
Will I fear these emotions, again,
and continue to run?
Or will I step into the fire?
this human skin suit feeling a size too small.
The choice makes itself clearer:
and let the emotion consume me—
Ego victorious with its trail of ashes.
this Holy Anger baptizing me through suffering.
Rising again with my heart ablaze.
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