Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bed Stand Reading

The hotel on Maui in which we stayed during Ann's working sessions on the island is now owned by Marriott. I believe it was an Intercontinental hotel in those days. This poem is a true memory. In the course of Ann's social work career, she finagled three vacations for us. There were social work seminars which qualified as continuing education for her, a professional requirement and also a tax write off. Two were at this hotel on Maui. One was in New Orleans, in a hotel at the very edge of the French Quarter.

The poem refers to the Gideon Bible which is placed in nearly every hotel and motel room in the USA. It also refers to a Japanese Pure Land "Buddhist bible" placed in the rooms at the hotel in Wailea. Pure Land Buddhism is the most popular Japanese Buddhism despite all we hear of Zen, which is another form of Buddhism entirely. The distance between Pure Land and Zen is very large and I have struggled and failed to find a Christian counterpart to try and illustrate it. I presume the Buddhist work was placed in the rooms to please the huge inflow of Japanese tourists who vacation on Maui.

I read that Buddhist book during my visit and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Bed Stand Reading

In my hotel room
I looked for you, Gideon.
Instead in that space
I found the Buddha,
Amitabha and Pure Land,
found in Wailea
on Maui - what fun!

Better than tears, my pilgrim,
better still, nothing.

August 8, 2010 1:37 PM
Slightly modified, May 13, 2015

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