Australian poet Jen Compton shares verses about her visit to Sravasti Abbey and other Dharma-inspired poems. Jen’s poems are published in her book Life’s a Mango

A Jewel in the Crown

By Jen Compton

The name is Jen Compton
And I’ve come from Down Under
To visit my friend, Tsepal
Who lives here with kind sangha.

Oh, what a delight
I’ve found the Abbey to be.
The soft, natural beauty
Is simply stunning to see.

Walnuts and pine trees,
Gardens, trails and views;
The landscape’s amazing
And to the mind it soothes.

Thanks to Buddhadharma
This monastery inspires
All those who come here
To leave behind their desires.

There’s thangkas of Tara,
Chenrezig and more.
Objects of virtue make
Our mind content, that’s for sure.

At Sravasti’s heart is the
Jewel of Bodhicitta;
This loving nectar of giving
Is the Abbey’s crown feature.

There’s a daily routine
And they get us up early.
Prayers and prostrations
Keep us kind and not surly.

We purify past actions
As we praise and prostrate
To the thirty-five Buddhas
Before it’s too late.

We breakfast in silence
In the big dining hall.
We sing praises and mantras
To keep our mind on the ball.

After eating, we work
With jobs that need to be done;
Cleaning up, fixing things,
Picking fruit – lots of fun!

Karma Yoga takes up
A large part of the day.
We offer our services
To the Triple Gem for no pay.

All the healthy food we consume
Is offered by others.
Nothing is bought by the nuns;
Our nutrition it covers.

Then it’s back to more work
For the benefit of all.
Clean out the fridges
Or vacuum the hall.

In the afternoon late you
Can study, rest or walk before
The light medicine meal
Where we eat and we talk.

From seven to eight fifteen
Meditation in the hall.
Everything we do here
Is for the benefit of all.

The Buddha has told us
Happiness comes from the mind.
Study Dharma, then reflect.
You’ll wake up, not be blind.

If you wish to be kinder,
More compassionate and wise,
Make the effort to practice.
Dharma speaks the truth, no lies.

So, come to Sravasti Abbey
In Washington State.
The warm sangha will guide you
To more love; change your fate.

Yes, these sixteen monastics
Help create peace in the world.
The Abbey’s one of a kind;
It’s a Kuan Yin precious pearl.

Jen Compton reads her poems for Sravasti Abbey