About Dharma Road:    Dharma Road is a place to share your own and read others’ poetry, a place to  connect the creative process of writing and reading poetry with a sense of community and service in the world.

To post a poem, please send your post to gaylemarkow@gmail.com Let us know the title of your post (could be the title of the poem, or something else), any reflections you have about it, and let us know whether you want us to use your first name only, your full name, or some other “pen name”.

Recently Dharma Road has been supporting HIV/Aids relief work in rural KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.  We envision writing and reading poetry for the joy of it, as well as for a more equitable and sustainable world.

We invite you to share your poems and comments here, to organize a poetry benefit to raise money for your own good causes, local or global, and to let us know what you’re up to.

 About your co-hosts:    Thanissara    &    Gayle

Hi, I’m Thanissara. I met Gayle in 2000 when Kittisaro and I were telling SFI about the impact of the AIDS pandemic in the rural area of South Africa, where we were working as Guiding Teachers of the Buddhist Retreat Centre and Dharmagiri Hermitage. Gayle leapt up from her seat and said, ‘how can we help?’ That first intention, which rolled San Francisco Insight into action, resulted in our collectively co-initiating Woza Moya Project and Khuphuka Project (two community-based HIV/AIDS educational and service projects in KwaZulu Natal). It’s our intention to not stop there, but as encouraged by our South African spiritual leader, Sister Abegail Ntleko, to keep going in the spirit of service.

Tennessee and South Africa are my home bases, while I also teach in a number of places and countries.  I love the ocean and mountains and sometimes I like to wander through colorful market places. I like Hercule Poirot and Darjeeling tea, and I often sit quietly and listen into the heart until there is letting go and resolve. In silence all things are heard. I treasure those moments in life when only poetry will do – I look forward to sharing those moments with you.

Hi!  I’m Gayle.  I met Thanissara on the dharma road in the year 2000, when she and Kittisaro, her husband and teaching partner, first visited our sangha (meditation community – San Francisco Insight, SFI).  They described the situation in KwaZulu Natal, where they were in the midst of teaching at  the Buddhist Retreat Centre and Dharmagiri Hermitage, but also in the midst of the devastating HIV/AIDS pandemic that had struck the region. We began working together then, each in our own way, to support people facing the AIDS crisis in South Africa.

I live in San Francisco.  I like painting, singing, playing the ukulele, and poetry. I am often in love with and sometimes dismayed by this world.  I love to read or hear other poets, and I love to write and share my own.  In the last couple of years, our sangha has hosted two poetry benefits for the Khuphuka Project in South Africa. Linking poetry with service seems a natural connection, as natural as the connection between life’s ten thousand joys and sorrows.

Thanissara and I  share a vision of creating a cyber space, where people can come together to share poetry, inspiration, ideas for service, thoughts. Dharma Road is a meeting place for poets and people who enjoy poetry and for those who would like to serve their communities in some way. We hope you’ll join us on this dharma road.

with metta,     Thanissara  & Gayle