The Meeting of Like Mindedness.

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I'm open to new paths, myself. I'm very much a 'road-less-traveled' fellow. And this weekend I found myself with a lucky Friday night free to do as I please. I've only recently ventured out of my writer's cave having completed my Book of Gardens: A Lover's Manual for Planet Earth, and so after a deep stretch yoga class I followed my feet to a local poetry reading with Doug Wilton's Elephant Mountain and Nelson's BookSmyth.

It was nice to cross paths with the likes of Nelson's local poets. As it is a special culture, it's poets are a highly special bunch; the cream of a highly eccentric crop, where I have always felt myself amongst esteemed company (albeit secretly esteemed). Nelson is one of these places which either draws in our deeper thinkers, or it will draw deeper thinking out of a person. Either way, I'm deeply proud to be a part of this little town.
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I made an offering to the group at the top of the evening: after each presenter, they would choose a number between one and sixty-four, and then I would lead in a brief meditation on the subsequent hexagram chosen, concluding with a reading of that I Ching poem from my Book of Gardens.

Everyone thought that was rather lovely, and for me it was certainly a test... ever looking toward the underlying fabric of how I Ching will always reveal only what-is.

The readings began with Linda Crossfield, who was there with her grandson. Linda is well known in the literary community here and I enjoyed listening to her read in person at our recent Elephant Mountain Literary Festival. Afterwards, she picked #37 People in the Home. The meditation centered upon fire inside wind, or, illumination inside action. This was naturally quite fitting to her work (copies of which can be obtained HERE.) which seemingly effortlessly brings out a sense of wisdom tucked into the corners of the everyday. It was rather suiting that her grandson was present, as he - quickly! - memorized a piece of hers, and we were delighted to have this young voice at the podium. Indeed: illuminated... illuminating... and quite dynamic to have a multi-generational presentation of her work that night.

We moved next to Phil Madar, whose postcard stories are filled with chuckles. His story ended with the character searching for the Norwegian word for storm... and no doubt a little later Phil asked for #51 ... Thunder. 

The meditation is governed by action inside action, one thunder inside another thunder, culminating in one larger and pervasive thunder. The meditations I crafted were based on my usual Inside & Outside couplings, placing each image in the belly and behind the forehead - localizing the imagination and concentration.

Next arrived one of Nelson's dear War Poets, Dennis Foley, whose appreciation of form and metaphysics is both curmudgeonly and formidable. Truly by no coincidence - I Ching only reveals what-is - Denis asked for #21 ... Biting Through. It astounds me that each time I cross this mans path he has another 'almost-got-shot-there' story. And despite such a history, here thrives a Poet.

Lastly, our host, Douglas Wilton, whose blog need be on every Kootenay Poet's "follow" list - ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN - shared a metaphysical musing from a recent walk in one of Nelson's many gorgeous pathways. Doug chose #8 ... Accord, a deeply metaphysical consideration, whose meditation is centered upon receptivity inside pitfalls. The study of Self is ripe with pitfalls of grandiosity as one peels away the postures of ego; followed with new feelings aside from overt feelings on the self, a new awareness naturally 'appears' to take up more space...

I look forward to bringing my Book of Gardens to future poetry readings throughout the Kootenays, offering small hits of mindfulness, and generating further discussion on my favourite subject, the I Ching.

Thank you Doug, for hosting an excellent evening. See you all again soon!


  1. It was a lovely evening. Thanks for your I Ching meditations and for your kind words about my poetry.

  2. My pleasure Linda. I look forward to the next, and do call/write as you step through the Book :)