A Tailor’s Daughter Explores Loving-Kindness Meditation
In the seven points of mind training, one must become accustomed to ripping the selvage edges of even beautifully brocaded material. It is important to train in the preliminaries, so first the tailor’s daughter scraps the vestiges of old patterns. Then she mends the tears ever so gently, basting the garment parts to each other as carefully as the stone frog balances on the edge of the red lacquered chest, joining in meditation whatever she meets unexpectedly: a snag in the silk noil, skipped stitches where the presser foot hiccupped. She knows to thread a sturdier needle with new yarns cut from string art in random arrangements brought to light under the soft glow of the Chinese porcelain lamp resting in the alcove. In advanced practice, she will learn to pink the seams so there is no unraveling. She must not allow things to come to a painful point. Inserting a freshly wound bobbin allows the new garment to be fused from both sides, so that sending and taking can be practiced alternately. It is an operation as delicate and as precise as the Tiffany lamp fitting its light over the filigreed brass bookstand that holds the tracing paper, yet she abandons any hope of fruition. “Gold leaf over all,” the tailor insists, and so she turns the wheel, correcting all missteps with this one intention: regarding all dharmas as dreams. The grow lights in the Tiffany lamp are doing their work. Soon she will have a slice of lacquered redwood to show for all her efforts, being grateful to everyone and vowing from this day forward to be a child of illusion.
Joanne Lozar Glenn writes and edits content for clients in healthcare, education, and business, and leads writing retreats at the beach and in the mountains. Her essays and poems have been published in Amaranth Review, Peregrine, Under the Gum Tree, and other literary journals.