Sundar Dalton: The Barber of Samadhi

Sundar Dalton is a barber by profession. That in itself is not remarkable. But Sundar Dalton is also a poet. How many barbers do you know who are poets? (Limericks don’t count.)

Speaking of Limerick, Sundar doesn’t hail from there. He comes rather from Northern Ireland — Belfast to be precise. He’s lived in New York over 30 years, but his poems speak of a richer history still:


Alone in Glasgow Central Station
On a cool day in July I went
Into a coffee-house and ordered cappuccino.

As I sat there waiting with time
On my hands how welcome and consoling
That happy mixture of warm milk –
The first taste of all – and strong coffee was.

Looking round the cheerful crowded room
My eye was caught by a bust,
Porphyry and cream,
Whose baroque curls and philosopher’s
Beard I recognized, from coffee table
Books on Rome, and the illustrations
In serious histories, to be those of
The Emperor Marcus.

And I thought how almost nineteen
Hundred years earlier he himself may
Have stood at this very dear green place
And watched the legionaries build
The Antonine wall from Forth to Clyde.

I remembered reading in a book, or a book review,
How for centuries after his death
The peasants on the great Antonine
Estate at Lanuvium celebrated his
Birthday still and lit lamps before
An ancestral Image such as this.

Born Annius Verus, nicknamed by Hadrian
Verissime, the most true, he was an index
There for me of Scotland’s happy return
To that great realm of wide humanity,
Brotherhood, Freedom and Equality
And all the schemes of English Oligarchs
Their bastard and unrightful kings undone.

– Sundar Dalton, from Panorama

Sundar is a student of meditation master Sri Chinmoy. I jokingly call him the Barber of Samadhi because Samadhi is an advanced state of meditation in which one is said to experience great bliss — almost like getting a really good haircut.

Sundar first met Sri Chinmoy in Dublin a long, long time ago, and is happy with the spiritual lifestyle that he chose. He swims and runs pretty much every day, meditates every morning, and tries to sing some spiritual songs.

Recently, reporters (not unlike English Oligarchs) barged into Sundar’s barber shop and demanded to know: “Where is the Barber of Samadhi? We want to interview him. It seems he is perhaps the wisest man on earth!” Sundar did grant them a short interview.


There once was a barber named Sundar,
Who hadn’t a lolly or Dove Bar
He always ate healthily,
And as age crept on stealthily,
He found he could run like a racecar!


Sundar Dalton clasping the World Harmony Run torch, 2009

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