Guidelines For Meditators

Appendix A
List of Approved Reasons For Interrupting A Sitting

The beginning meditator may find it difficult to commit to sitting without giving in to distractions. While it is ideal to sit without interruption for the prescribed period, there are a few situations in which a brief interruption or suspension of the session may be permitted. In order to relieve the beginner of the burden of attempting to determine which situations qualify, a list has been compiled and is included here. Review of this list is recommended immediately prior to one's first twenty (20) sittings, after which one should keep this page available for easy reference.

1. Fire

2. Flood
    A. waters 3" or higher, and rising
    B. your cushion is on the floor, in which case you may move it to a bench

3. Earthquake
    A. you may relocate your cushion under a doorway
       (1) in the event your doorway has collapsed, you may attempt to leave

4. Tornado, hurricane, or tsunami
    A. you may pause to:
       (1) close the window
       (2) hammer plywood across the window
       (3) run

5. Someone nearby calls for help
    A. at least twice, if you're not sure the first time

6. You left a burner on (see 1. Fire, above)

7. You left the water running (see 2. Flood, above)

8. You forgot to put your phone on vibrate

9. It's possible you've left the door unlocked all night

10. An insect you find impossible to ignore is buzzing at the window
   A. if the insect is inside the room, you may capture it in your bowl and release it outside
   B. if the insect is outside, you may close the window, taking care not to trap it between the glass
           and the screen

11. The dog will not stop whining until you let it out

12. Come to think of it, you have to go, and it really can't wait

13. A text notification sounds
    A. only if you're pretty sure it's from someone you really miss

14. You remember an email you actually really do have to send right now
    A. or a text

15. You can't stop thinking about the last piece of cake in the kitchen
    A. have you had cake yet today?
    B. how likely is it someone will take it if you don't get it first?

16. It would probably be good to make the shopping list now, before you forget

17. You notice the bedspread is hanging longer on one side

18. A "Kung Fu" rerun is on
    A. only if you haven't seen the episode they're showing
        (1) or not within the last six months

19. A really insistent poem
    A. extreme caution is advised: some days, everything sounds like a poem.

by Andrea Wolper

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Widely known as a singer and songwriter working in jazz and experimental music, Andrea Wolper is also a writer whose published work includes journalism, poetry, and two non-fiction books (Routledge; Watson-Guptill). www.AndreaWolper.com


The Charge of the Lycra Brigade

One summit, two summits
Three summits upward
Up the Sierra mountains
   Rode the thirty hundred.
"Forward, the Lycra Brigade!
Charge for the passes!" they said.
Up five Death Ride summits
   Rode the spandex warriors.

"Forward, the Lycra Brigade!"
All so garishly array'd
Not tho' the cyclists knew
   Whose fashion sense had blunder'd.
   Their's not to whine or cry,
   Their's not to reason why,
   (But you might say I'd rather die)
   Their's to finish th' Ride of Death)
   Kilometers two hundred.

Cannondale a brand du jour
Campagnolo derailleurs
Carbon fiber de rigueur
   (De-lu-si-ons of gran-de-ur?)
Steamin' hot with sweat and smell
Boldly over hill and dell,
Pedaling on though out of breath
Sucking thin air not so well
   Gasped the spandex warriors.

Flash'd all their shaved legs bare,
Flash'd not a hint of hair
Savoring bright jerseys' flair,
Charging downhill fast they dare,
   (But falls could be atrocities).
Sculpted glutes and bulging quads
Proud they are about their bods
Chafing where in shorts too tight?
Butt-butter there for bottoms' plight
   Those ischial tuberosities.
Then many quit, yet most rode on, but
   Not all thirty hundred.

Clouds to right of them,
Clouds to left of them,
Tempest atop of them
   Lightning'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with rain and hail,
While gumption sagged and spirits fell,
Cramps caused some to face defeat
(And others de agony of de feet)
Tired and sore they hurt like hell
All body parts but 'specially
   Those ischial tuberosities.

When can their bragging fade?
O the wild boasts they made!
   All spectators wonder'd.
"Here's to us the charge we made!
Here's to us the Lycra Brigade!
   (Vain)glorious spandex warriors!"

by Richard Drace

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Richard Drace is a lapsed academic living in Grass Valley, CA. Retired from a variety of careers in architecture and education, he has resumed his literary interests writing poetry—sometimes frivolous, sometimes serious, and non-fiction—sometimes serious. When his art muse is indolent, he works wood, cooks, keeps bees, skis, fishes, and cycles. This poem is his third contribution to Parody, but his first venture into self-parody.


Rapunzel Sets the Record Straight

No one ever talked about
the hairs I lost or times
my prince slipped and fell
two stories to hit hard the hay below.
You should have heard him yell!
The bruises and scrapes he took,
the elbow he fractured once.
I never heard the last of that one.
For three months he stopped calling.
Too much risk, the clambering
up my slippery ropes of hair.
I changed my shampoo,
worked the split ends,
all to help him improve his grip.
I practiced my operatic songs
and the balancing of my nest
of hair curled atop my head
as I circled in my room
over and over so many times
bored out of my mind
day after day
waiting for his return
to yank me into headaches.
Point is: Don't grow your hair miles long!

by Lynne Goldsmith

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Lynne Goldsmith can be found roaming the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains with a dog or two. Her upcoming book-length manuscript won the Halcyon Poetry Book Contest and will be published by Middle Creek Publishing. Check her out at lynneagoldsmith.com.


The Unromantic Version of Kissing Sleeping Beauty

Frankly, she wasn't that healthy—
looking with her pale skin and crust
across closed eyelids, spittle
running down her cheek and neck,
and those nails so long and curled!
The room was stuffy too
with dust built up everywhere.
In fact, my asthma kicked in
with the air so bad, and I tripped along
Sleeping Beauty's rings of tress
that made trails across the floor
Her stomach growled too,
and while I stood there
she passed gas once, then twice.
But my girl had me mesmerized
as she snored away the hour...
before my one quick trip outside
to get my breathing back to normal.
I returned to her bedside with lungs better,
when I knelt down upon my sore knee,
ignored my dear Beauty's rancid breath,
dry skin, ripe body odor, and kissed her
gently on the lips—well,
really it was on the side of the mouth;
and I brushed her hair with my hand
down along her face.  She rubbed her eyes
and moved her head from side to side.
A moth flew out
from underneath her dated dress.
She smiled with yellow teeth
and we embraced.  With just one look
we knew we'd have a lot of work to do
on building a house, our relationship,
and with telling people what we were:
an ordinary peasant couple who dreamed big
with plans to shower three times a day
and always be on the lookout
for cobwebs, phobias we have to live with.

by Lynne Goldsmith

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Lynne Goldsmith can be found roaming the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains with a dog or two. Her upcoming book-length manuscript won the Halcyon Poetry Book Contest and will be published by Middle Creek Publishing. Check her out at lynneagoldsmith.com.