For seven years a mask I wore,
Secure behind, and firm before;
A mask acceptable and neat,
As folk accustomed are to meet.
It went to school, it went to college,
A mask it was of wit and knowledge;
Older grown, it wined and dined,
Was mask superior, mask refined,
Mask prominent, mask most renowned,
Mask with a hundred masks around.
One day, it felt so hot and tight,
I took it off to say goodnight,
Shake hands, – I think I tried to smile
(’Twas only for a little while).
They shrieked aloud with rage and pain
Until I put it on again.
Sangharakshita on “The Mask”
Listen to the whole interview. Or to individual tracks below.
The sixth in a series of ten intimate interviews between Sangharakshita and Saddhanandi, reflecting on Sangharakshita’s own selections from his extensive body of poetry. In this segment they discuss the poem “The Mask”.
Track 3: The difficulty of dropping the mask
Track 4: Wearing robes as a mask or as a symbol
Track 5: Meditation, becoming authentic, and the public mask
Track 6: Balancing public and private personas
Track 7: Encounters with Allen Ginsburg, a Man Without Masks
Track 8: Doing our best to become our ideal selves and communicate authentically
With thanks to Urgyen Sangharakshita, Saddhanandi, Rijupatha, and Candradasa
This space created by the team at Dharmachakra
Recorded in 2016