On August 18 IMSB hosted the second day-long session held at Westhope Presbyterian Church in Saratoga. Entitled Presence with Sense Doors and Poetry Readings, the day’s activities were guided by Jennifer Dungan and Drew Oman.


The day began at 9:30 with a sitting meditation followed by exploring mindfulness of the sense of touch through poetry and a walking meditation. The second sitting focused on the sense of taste, including both poems and fresh grapes! The morning ended with a walking meditation focused on the sense of smell and included The Perfume of Flowers by Charles Olson.

The very satisfying midday potluck meal was taken either outdoors in silence or indoors in quiet conversation, as the participants chose.

The afternoon session repeated the morning schedule, beginning with a sitting meditation centered around the sense of hearing and included poems by Rilke and Billy Collins. The walking meditation was a mindful exploration of seeing, as modeled by the bee watcher in Dr. Seuss’ Hawtch-Hawtch. The final sitting focused on our ability to think and included the very apt In the Moment by Billy Collins.

Activities ended at 5:00 after final poetry selections and group sharing of experiences and impressions on the value of the day followed by a communal cleaning and straightening up.

IMSB day-long meditation occur one Saturday per month either in Saratoga or Los Altos. No experience is necessary; these programs are open to all. Please check the calendar and join us when you can.

List of poems included in the daylong.

  • Take Refuge – John Donahue
  • Kindness – Naomi Shihab Nye
  • A Contemporary – W. S. Merwin
  • A Spiritual Journey – Wendell Berry
  • Onions – William Mathews
  • The Perfume of Flowers – Charles Olson
  • She Collected Dictionaries – Jan Owen
  • Sonnets to Orpheus – Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Silence – Billy Collins
  • More Than a Woman to Me – Billy Collins
  • In the Moment – Billy Collins
  • The Counterman – Paul Violi
  • Hawtch-Hawtch – Dr. Seuss