Saturday 30 April 2016

If you must believe anything


So easily caught in the trap
of birth and death
of coming and going.
Awaken, awaken
from the trap that ensnares.

If you must believe anything
believe we are free
as free as the uncontained wind
an immense force
blowing down houses if it chooses
a gentle caress
soothing a heated brow.

Be like the dandelion seed
removed from its pod
lifted by the wind and
resting as the wind abates
impartial as to where it lands.

If you must believe anything
believe we are free.
Be like the uncontained wind.

© 24 Apr 16

Thursday 28 April 2016

The cog factory


Today my upstairs cog factory
is busy with its ineffectual
to-do lists and planning.

Busyness overrides the golden time
when true nourishment arises
the freedom to see clearly
the whirring, whirring
incessant whirring
achieving nothing beyond keeping
the cogs in motion.

The golden time has its effect anyway
holding a mirror to the cog factory
bringing clarity to the incessant whirring
bringing awareness
the freedom to see clearly
the cogs in motion.

They are like juggling balls
constantly kept moving for no reason.
Let them fall!
Let them all drop and
after the clattering shock as
they hit the ground
see what happens next.

© 22 Apr 16

Wednesday 27 April 2016

I am ready


I am ready.
I am ready to receive the voice that calls
so familiar
it sounds as my own heartbeat.

I am ready.
I am ready to stop being small and
to accept the greatness of this being
becoming who I was born to be.

I am ready.
I am ready,
I know the voice as my voice
‘listen! Listen!
Listen to the silence
it has a lot to say.
Listen to its reverberations
in your body frame.
Let it speak!
Let it sound!’

I am ready.
I am.

© 21 Apr 16

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Good morning!

The trees are golden now
in the early morning light
glowing with a vibrance
of new sunlight.
Pastel clouds static
on a bed of palest blue
have never shown more beauty.
Green fields shine
with a fresh dewness.
The dawn birdsong
has never been sweeter.
With new eyes, new ears
I greet the new day.
Everything wakes up
resounding in its own brilliance.
I am a new-born
seeing everything fresh
greeting each aspect of beauty
with eyes wide and mouth agog.
Never has there been a better time
to say

© 17 Apr 16

Saturday 23 April 2016

Three and a half thousand

I sit this morning
with the energy of three and a half
thousand people
three and a half
thousand minds and hearts
turning towards light
turning towards goodness
like a compass needle that
cannot deny true north.

I sit this morning
with the energy of three and a half
thousand people
magnanimously sending ripples
of love
of peace
out into the world
cascading over the darkness
enveloping it
embracing it.

The power of darkness is overcome.
However small a candle flame
however wavering and insignificant
it appears to be
when this small flame
meets another flame
it grows
in brightness
in strength
in hope and trust.

When this small flame
meets three and a half
thousand flames
the light becomes concentrated  into
not a beam
but a wave
cascading over the darkness
enveloping it
embracing it.
The power of darkness is overcome.

© 19 Apr 16

Friday 22 April 2016

7 Pillars

A different version of the 9 words exercise based on the 7 pillars (Jon Kabat-Zinn's 7 Attitudinal Foundations), also from last weekend's retreat.


I am the willow, gently bending
yielding to the caresses of the wind
fluid, pliable
moving with
instead of resisting.

I am the moon, patiently waiting
for her time to shine.
Gazing down in wonder at the delightful
movements below
the comings and goings
the pushes and pulls
that I gently orchestrate.

I am the rock, solid and steady
a support to rest against
a place to be still
to catch breath.

I am the rain-soaked earth
soft and giving
gentle underfoot
yet supportive and holding.

I am the autumn leaf
willing to let go
as I dance into eternity
free from the tree.

I am the turning earth
allowing, accepting
making no judgements
denying none their rightful place.

I am all these and more
nature exemplifying
qualities I am working towards.

© 17 Apr 16

Thursday 21 April 2016

Descent and ascent

Another poem from the weekend retreat.

Walking down to the river
on, and sometimes in
a muddy, rain-sodden path
fear of falling
of descending quicker than anticipated
on slippery mud
becomes a joyous exploration of
‘will I arrive at the bottom in one piece?’

In the field discovering
a patchwork of narcissi
casually laid out
leading to the woods
as if no one has ever been here before
no one has ever seen what I am seeing.

The ascent is a delight of
squelching noise as the mud
clings to my boots
trying to remove them.

I am become a child again
I am become a child again
I am become a child again.

© 17 Apr 16

Wednesday 20 April 2016

This music, these words

Another poem from the mindfulness teachers' weekend. This one is a reflection on hearing Persian music and listening to the words of Rumi read in both English and Parsi.

“This music crept by me on the waters”*
This music danced into my heart
shaking out the dust
like a well-beaten rug.

These words descended as a rainstorm
from the heavens.
These words danced into my heart
washing away dirt
like a swirling tempest.

This music
these words
found a home in my heart
were welcomed as old friends
familiar faces.

This music
these words
were born in my heart.
They have encircled the world
all space, all universes
looking for a place to rest
and now they have come home.

* From Shakespeare’s The Tempest

© 16 Apr 16

Tuesday 19 April 2016

In this quiet space

This weekend I had the great fortune to be part of a retreat for local mindfulness teachers focussing on poetry. We had a wonderful 2 days of different exercises, meditation, mindful eating and sharing, all in the beautiful atmosphere of Whitby. We had a session on Rumi, with Persian music and poems read in English and Parsi! We had a session focussing on the 7 pillars of mindfulness (Jon Kabat-Zinn's 7 attitudinal foundations) and I learnt a lovely exercise from Margaret Chapman-Clarke starting with 9 words. Here below is the poem that came from this exercise.

In this quiet space
because I am warm
I feel at ease.
Warmth is my comfort blanket
top on my list of requirements
which otherwise are few.

In this quiet space
curiosity is aroused by this exercise.
I am eager to discover what emerges
what words are already playing
at the periphery of my vision
itching to come to the foreground
to be seen.

In this quiet space
peacefulness and space merge
each nurturing the other and
I cannot decipher which came first
the environment is conducive to both.

In this quiet space
there is dancing
between who and who?
between what and what?

A playful dance
the dance of life
the journey to nowhere
except right here.

The dance of peace and space
as these two characters take centre stage and
begin to interplay.
It is a dance of stillness and silence
with no apparent melody and
no apparent choreographer.

A playful dance
the dance of life
the journey to nowhere
except right here.
I am the choreographer
I am the melody.

© 16 Apr 16

Monday 18 April 2016

Here is the passion

Here is the passion
here is the fire
my heart has been longing for.
Here is the language
my tongue could not put words to.

My ordinary life is torn asunder
to reveal
a shell, exquisitely fashioned
creating and reflecting light
creating and reflecting beauty.

The fa├žade of ordinariness
is shattered
into thousands of fragments
and I am left whole
untouched, unsullied
full of light and beauty.

Here is the passion
here is the fire
my heart has been longing for.

© 16 Apr 16

Friday 15 April 2016

Rainbow dancing

There is a rainbow dancing within me

vibrating, healing. 

A play of colours moving in harmony
nourishing, healing. 

Tiny molecules of light 

shimmering, dancing. 

A harmonious concord 

playing, healing. 

Growing up out of the root

undulating, healing. 

Moving skyward in a surge
rhythmically, healing. 

Releasing out of my crown 

surging, bursting.

Becoming one with the universe
spreading, nourishing. 

Beginning within, 
moving without
vibrating, healing. 

© 11 Apr 16

Sunday 10 April 2016

What does Dharma mean to me?

A pink cloud floating
over shimmering water.
The call of curlews echoing
across open space.
A harsh word
an impatient gesture
hiding a deeper suffering.
Aching shoulders saying hello.
A smile, a hug of greeting.
a late arrival.
Those who haven’t made it here.
Those who have gathered together.
Across the universe
each atom is teaching
each atom is calling

© 30 Mar 16

Thursday 7 April 2016

The tree

In yesterday’s storm
one tree stirred wildly
moved by the force of nature.
The ground beneath its trunk
lifted as the tree swayed.
I was equally moved to see
this symbol of solidity shaken
to the core.
It helped me to look at
my clung-on-to beliefs and
question their solidity, their permanence.
It appeared the tree could fall
at any moment
perhaps taking others with it
as it crashed to the ground.
My imaginative mind easily jumped
to this conclusion.

Today I had to visit again
to discover if the tree still stood.
I was relieved to find it upright
strong and stable as ever
despite swaying in the strong wind.
A picture of resilience and fortitude
instead of the frailty I imagined.

Letting go of rigidity
it demonstrated fluidity.
Not resisting or fighting nature’s force
but bending with it instead of breaking.
May I find the same ease to move
through life, with life
not resisting or fighting
but demonstrating fluidity,
bending instead of breaking.

© 2 Apr 16