Mindfulness Arts

These poems & songs have been aired on KPFK FM (Los Angeles)

Some Fun
Shinzenian Verse
(Retreat Poems with Music)


Written & Performed by
Stephanie Nash

These poems were written for the Talking Circle at the end of retreats led by Shinzen Young.
Many of the jokes are 'insider' and reflect what Shinzen was teaching at that retreat.
But when Roy of Hollywood started playing them on KPFK, we realized
that others would appreciate them, as well. In case you do:

WHY she writes these.
Steph introduces the original CD of the "Retreat Poems" just after she recorded them in 2003.

"Twas the Last Night of Shinzen"
JAN 1999 - Written after her first residential retreat. Steph arrived, new to meditation, the 2nd week of a 2 week year-end retreat - thus she riffs on "Twas the Night before Christmas"

Getting the Hang of Retreats
JULY 1999 - Written after her second retreat. She was starting to get the hang of this.
But her legs were falling asleep and all this sitting was making her fat.

"30 DAYS of THIS??!"
JAN 2000 - Written after the 30-DAY RETREAT with Shinzen (- yes, it was 30 days.)
After 12-14 days, Shinzen declared he'd taught all he usually does or had at any 10 day retreat
in recent history and that from here on out - we were going to get his 'brain dump.
It was an amazing experience. He's got quite a brain.

About Losing a Loved-one
MAR 2000 - This retreat was right after Steph's beloved dog, Leo, passed away.
Leo had been a regular at yazas (all night sits), was sometimes called the "Dharma Dog"or "Yaza Hound" and was considered his own meditation.

One Foot In....One Foot Out
JUN 2000 - Steph was in a stage play during this retreat - trying hard to deal with her stress & spinning mind.

God's Love Hold's Everything Together
JAN 2001 - Another year-end retreat - and another riff on "Twas the night before Christmas".
Steph reviews Shinzen's dharma talks - all in verse - with punchlines, of course.

Too Sleepy
JULY 2001 - Steph said she wasn't going to write a poem - she was too sleep-deprived.

Deep Stuff, Light Stuff...with Music
InJAN 20002 - Inspired by Native American ceremony -yes this was a few months
after her Vision Quest. starts getting MUSICAL.

(This retreat was post-9/11 and the poem reflects some of the deeper
emotional work being done at that retreat.)

"Let's Go Cerfing"
JUNE 2002 - Ashort musical tribute - a la the Beach Boys

JAN 2004 - This was Steph's version of "THE WIZARD of OZ" Guess who plays the wizard?
The one includes all the MUSICAL NUMBERS - complete with Dorothy's journey - in some place that is not Kansas...)
JAN 2005 - By this time, Roy Tuckman was playing these poems on-air (late night) on KPFK
so Steph decided to write this one about a radio interviewer who had come to a retreat
to get the scoop. All sorts of CHARACTERS arrive in this one.
Not sure where it came from, but it's cute & colorful..

The Meditation Bar & Clarity Cafe
JAN 2006 - This one was MICKY SPILLANE describing the landscape - complete with dames & dresses & drinks. Ended with a special lounge singer supplying the musical number of the evening. (Will post as soon as we find it.)

No, Steph doesn't write poems for the Talking Circles at retreats any more.
(She's usually too busy helping out Shinzen in other ways, like teaching first-timers at retreats
or leading his phone-based Basic Mindfulness retreats while he's busy. )
But with these recordings, (and the occasionaly air-play late night on KPFK). hopefully the humor lives on
(even if for only an insomniac Shinzenian crowd.)


@ Stephanie Nash - All Rights Reserved