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Poetry and an Essay read at the Semiahmoo Spring Day of Mindfulness

26 Mar 2018 5:02 PM | Tim Burnett (Administrator)

Read by Tim at the March 24, 2018 Day of Mindfulness at Semiahmoo County Park

Mary Oliver - The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice –––
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.

‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations –––
though their melancholy
was terrible. It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
nthe stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –––
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Dan Nussbaum -
            In Meditation You Have Permission

 You have permission to do the meditation practice of your choice, or, not do it.          

You have permission to do the meditation practice you’ve been doing all along. You have permission  to believe in it or question it or enjoy it or let it take you where it takes you. You have permission to be bored. How else will you ever get to the bottom of boredom? You have permission to try something else.

You have permission to think. You have permission to worry. You have permission to wonder if you’re doing it right.

You have permission to wonder what doing it right means. You have permission to see yourself wondering. Did you start meditation to become a good meditator? You have permission to do it wrong. But if you have permission to do it wrong, how can you do it wrong? You have permission to be bad.

You have permission to remember what it was like to be carefree. You have permission to doubt those memories. You have permission to get back to those memories whether you made them up or not. You have permission to know how you make up memories.

You have permission to go over German verbs. You have permission to think about the different grades of motor oil. You have permission to wonder, How is this meditation? You have permission to note body sensations. You have permission to do something else with body sensations. Love them. Be suspicious of them.  Forbid them. Give them meaning. Question that meaning.

You have permission to have feelings. You have permission to need someone, to worry out of habit, to fear vaguely, to feel disgust, to insist on getting things your way.  You have permission to let things go on. You have permission to find yourself in unexpected mind states.

You have permission to get lost. You have permission to be curious and interested. You have permission to get transfixed. You have permission to feel calm. You have permission to feel sleepy. You have permission to sleep. How else will you know about waking up if you don’t have permission to be asleep?

You have permission to know yourself in meditation. You have permission. You have permission. You have permission.

By Dan Nussbaum (advocate of open awareness meditation, no techniques)

From: http://skillfulmeditation.org/articles/threeconditions.html

Rosemerry Trommer - One Morning

 One morning

we will wake up

 and forget to build

that wall we’ve been building,

 

 the one between us

the one we’ve been building

 for years, perhaps

 out of some sense

 of right and boundary,

 perhaps out of habit.

 

 One morning

 we will wake up

 and let our empty hands

 hang empty at our sides.

 

 Perhaps they will rise,

 as empty things

 sometimes do

 when blown

 by the wind.

 

 Perhaps they simply

will not remember

 how to grasp, how to rage.

 

 We will wake up

 that morning

 and we will have

 misplaced all our theories

about why and how

 and who did what

 to whom, we will have mislaid

 all our timelines

 of when and plans of what

and we will not scramble

to write the plans and theories anew.

 

 On that morning,

not much else

 will have changed.

 

Whatever is blooming

will still be in bloom.

 

 Whatever is wilting

 will wilt. There will be fields

to plow and trains

 to load and children

 to feed and work to do.

 

 And in every moment,

 in every action, we will

 feel the urge to say thank you,

 we will follow the urge to bow.

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