Joanne Lozar Glenn

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.

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