Poetry as Meditation
Hello again, bowls full of cherries!
Another meditation technique I use as an entrance into meditation, which I am sure is not unusual at all, is reading poetry before I sit. It is a beautiful technique that I also adopted from my yoga and spiritual teacher, Tias Little (who is also oriented in Santa Fe). This morning, I read the following poem of Wendell Berry's (a true treasure, especially if you like nature poetry--similar to Mary Oliver in many ways):
I think of us lying asleep,
eyes and hands filled with the dark,
when the arm of the night
entered, reaching into the pockets
of our empty clothes. We slept
in the element of that power,
innocent of it, preserved from it
not even by our wish.
As though not born, we were carried
beyond an imminence we did not
waken to, as passively as stars
are carried beyond their spent
shining--our eyes granted to the light
again, by what chance or price
we do not even know.
In this poem, I love not only the imagery of sleep slipping into death--perhaps--but also the unlimited universe of the stars, the imminence, stretching so easily--so passively--beyond human comprehension and into the space of spent stars......om shanti shanti shanti.
Welcome Norma Rae.
Thank you for sharing that beautiful Berry poem, Stephanie, and I wholeheartedly agree: Poetry is a marvelous way to ease into meditation ... I go through phases where I'm faithful to contemplating a Biblical passage for a while .... and then I just have to switch back to poetry - especially nature poetry - for a few weeks.
I have also been remiss in not commenting on your post about the Tonglen method. I first started doing that years ago - Pema Chodron is such a wonderful teacher - and for whatever reason .... stopped. Thank you for reminding me to start it up again. It is an extremely valuable technique for extending compassion to others. Thank you again for bringing it up .... I will get back into my practice of it now!
What a beautiful poem. Thank you so much for sharing... Shar
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