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Mindful Poetry

A collection of Mindfulness based/influenced poetry...

 

Allow (Danna Faulds)

There is no controlling life. 

Try corralling a lightning bolt, 

containing a tornado. Dam a 

stream and it will create a new 

channel. Resist, and the tide 

will sweep you off your feet. 

Allow, and grace will carry 

you to higher ground. The only 

safety lies in letting it all in – 

the wild and the weak; fear, 

fantasies, failures and success. 

When loss rips off the doors of 

the heart, or sadness veils your 

vision with despair, practice 

becomes simply bearing the truth. 

In the choice to let go of your 

known way of being, the whole 

world is revealed to your new eyes.

 

 

Enough

Enough. These few words are enough.

If not these words, this breath.

If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to the life

We have refused again and again

Until now.

Until now.

By: David Whyte

 

Admit Something

Everyone you see, you say to them,

Love me.

Of course you do not do this out loud;

Otherwise,

Someone would call the cops.

Still though, think about this,

This great pull in us

To connect.

Why not become the one

Who lives with a full moon in each eye

That is always saying,

With that sweet moon language,

What every other eye in this world

Is dying to Hear.

By: Hafiz

 

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

I.

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk

I fall in.

I am lost ... I am helpless.

It isn't my fault.

It takes me forever to find a way out.

II.

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don't see it.

I fall in again.

I can't believe I am in the same place

but, it isn't my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

III.

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in ... it's a habit.

my eyes are open

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

IV.

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

V.

I walk down another street.

By: Portia Nelson

 

Embracing Formal Practice: Tasting Mindfulness

Have you ever had the experience of stopping so completely?

of being in your body so completely,

of being in your life so completely

that you knew and what you didn’t know

that what had been and what was yet to come,

and the way things are right now

no longer held even the slightest hint of anxiety or discord?

It would be a moment of complete presence, beyond striving,

beyond mere acceptance,

beyond the desire to escape or fix anything or plunge ahead,

a moment of pure seeing, pure feeling,

a moment in which life simply is,

and that “isness” grabs you by all your senses,

all your memories, by all your very genes,

by your loves, and

welcomes you home

By: Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

Walk Slowly (Danna Faulds)

It only takes a reminder to breathe,

a moment to be still, and just like that,

something in me settles, softens, makes

space for imperfection. The harsh voice

of judgment drops to a whisper and I

remember again that life isn't a relay

race; that we will all cross the finish

line; that waking up to life is what we

were born for. As many times as I

forget, catch myself charging forward

without even knowing where I'm going,

that many times I can make the choice

to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk

slowly into the mystery.

 

 

Between Going and Staying

Between going and staying the day wavers,

in love with its own transparency.

The circular afternoon is now a bay

where the world in stillness rocks.

All is visible and all elusive,

all is near and can't be touched.

Paper, book, pencil, glass,

rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats

the same unchanging syllable of blood.

The light turns the indifferent wall

into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye,

watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters. Motionless,

I stay and go: I am a pause

By Octavio Paz

 

The Summer Day

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

 

 

The guest house - Rumi 

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

 

The Door 

Maybe outside there’s

a tree, or a wood,

a garden,

or a magic city.

Go and open the door.

Maybe a dog’s rummaging.

Maybe you’ll see a face,

or an eye,

or the picture

of a picture.

Go and open the door.

If there’s a fog

it will clear.

Go and open the door.

Even if there’s only

the darkness ticking,

even if there’s only

the hollow wind,

even if

nothing

is there,

go and open the door.

At least

there’ll be

a draught.

 

By: Miroslav Holub

 

Picking Blueberries (Mary Oliver)

Once, in summer,

In the blueberries,

I fell asleep, and woke

When a deer stumbled against me.

I guess

She was so busy with her own happiness

She had grown careless

And was just wandering along

Listening

To the wind as she leaned down

To lip up the sweetness.

So, there we were

With nothing between us

But a few leaves, and the wind's

Glossy voice

Shouting instructions.

The deer

Backed away finally

And flung up her white tail

And went floating off toward the trees -

But the moment before she did that

Was so wide and so deep

It has lasted to this day;

I have only to think of her -

The flower of her amazement

And the stalled breath of her curiosity,

And even the damp touch of her solicitude

Before she took flight-

To be absent again from this world

And alive, again, in another,

For thirty years

sleepy and amazed,

Rising out of the rough weeds

Listening and looking.

Beautiful girl,

Where are you?

 

The Peace of Wild Things (Wendell Berry)

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For the time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

 

 

Grace (Wendell Berry)

The Wood is shining this morning.

Red. Gold and green. The leaves

Lie on the ground, or fall,

Or hang full of light in the air still.

Perfect in its rise and in its fall, it takes

The place it has been coming to forever.

It has not hastened here, or lagged.

See how surely it has sought itself,

Its roots passing lordly through the earth.

See how without confusion it is

All that it is, and how flawless

Its grace is. Running or walking, the way

Is the same. Be still. Be still

 

 

 

Thoughts (Rumi) 

 

Everyone is overridden by thoughts;

that's why they have so much heartache and sorrow.

At times I give myself up to thought purposefully;

but when I choose,

I spring up from those under its sway.

I am like a high-flying bird,

and thought is a gnat:

how should a gnat overpower me?

 

 

(Kabir)

. . . You know the sprout is hidden inside the seed.

We are all struggling; none of us has gone far.

Let your arrogance go, and look around inside.

The blue sky opens farther and farther,

The daily sense of failure goes away,

The damage I have done to myself fades,

A million suns come forward with light,

When I sit firmly in that world.

 

 

Self-Observation Without Judgment (Danna Faulds)

Release the harsh and pointed inner

voice. it's just a throwback to the past,

and holds no truth about this moment.

 

Let go of self-judgment, the old,

learned ways of beating yourself up

for each imagined inadequacy.

 

Allow the dialogue within the mind

to grow friendlier, and quiet. Shift

out of inner criticism and life

suddenly looks very different.

 

i can say this only because I make

the choice a hundred times a day to release the voice that refuses to

acknowledge the real me.

 

What's needed here isn't more prodding toward perfection, but

intimacy - seeing clearly, and

embracing what I see.

 

Love, not judgment, sows the

seeds of tranquility and change.

 

 

The Cookie Thief

by Valerie Cox

A woman was waiting at an airport one night, With several long hours before her flight.

She hunted for a book in the airport shops. Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see, That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be. Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.

She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, Thinking, "If I wasn't so nice, I would blacken his eye."

With each cookie she took, he took one too,

When only one was left, she wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,

He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other,

She snatched it from him and thought... oooh, brother. This guy has some nerve and he's also rude, Why he didn't even show any gratitude!

She had never known when she had been so galled, And sighed with relief when her flight was called. She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate, Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,

Then she sought her book, which was almost complete. As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise, There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair, The others were his, and he tried to share. Too late to apologize, she realized with grief, That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.