A Brown Robe, a Brown Coat

“A Brown Robe, a Brown Coat” is a poem by my dharma brother and fellow Order of Interbeing (OI) member, Mike McMahon.

It was posted on the OI listserv yesterday and many brothers and sisters had wonderful things to say about it.

Photo by Jerome Freedman

Photo by Jerome Freedman – Plum Village, March 2000

A Brown Robe, a Brown Coat

I was a person in the world.
I became a nun, I became a monk.
I gave away my money, my job,
my house, my clothes, my status, my titles.
I moved far from family and friends.
I shaved my head, I put on a brown robe.
I joined others with shaved heads, with brown robes.
I became no one with nothing.
Serving all of life.
I was a person in the world.
I became a man, a woman in the Order of Interbeing.
I kept my money, I kept my job,
I kept my house, I kept my clothes
I kept my family, I kept my friends
I kept my status, I kept my titles.
I kept my hair.
I added to these a new name, a new title, a brown coat..
I now looked different than my brothers and sisters-
no longer in my day-to-day clothes..O Buddha! O Thay! O Sangha!
Help me to be a little servant.
To sweep the floor, to make the tea,
to give a talk, to yield the floor, to lead the group, to help others be strong,
to sit quietly as a member of the sangha body.
Help me to give the sangha back to the sangha.
To be no one with nothing,
wearing a brown coat.
Serving all of life.-Mike McMahon

I love it when I can find wonderful writings from my dharma sisters and my dharma brothers to share with you.

Please write to me if you have anything you want to share.

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