Departure

I knew I was going to have to work hard,
but I'd had a good start, not realizing.
Eleven now, no one around seemed to know
there was far more than five, even six, senses.

Twelve, dug in deep and set off, gentile's bar mitzvah
in hand & commitment to nothing less than the truth.
Learned electro-chemical language of breath first,
then to control it, imperceptibly slowing it.

Fifteen and brothers gone, six-hour meditations hung
me beyond space/time, but I had to know how
long the middle breath was. Clock-checked it,
forty-five minutes and hyperventilating still . . .

Sub-autonomic breath+ only brought in oxygen.
Had to slow it, too, or tingle head to foot.+
Learned a few years later some called it pranayama.+
No reading on or meditation teacher of, learned on my own.

   --5/11/07