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Gillian Sanger

Poetry that melts the heart

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"Life has left her footprints on my forehead.

But I have become a child again this morning.

The smile, seen through leaves and flowers,

is back to smooth away the wrinkles,

as the rains wipe away footprints on the beach.

Again a cycle of birth and death begins."

Call me by my true names, Thich Nhat Hanh

Edited by Antonieta Martin
typos
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Another beautiful one, this time by David Whyte.

https://www.davidwhyte.com/english-poetry#Opening

Excerpt from the full piece:

"That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.
It is the opening of eyes long closed."

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Poetry is such soothing medicine.

From Dr. Jaiya John, a current favorite of mine right now.  This is from his collection of writings called

Freedom:  Medicine Words for Your Brave Revolution.

 

Would you like to hear an epic Love story?

You.

Healing.  From all of it.

And living free.

 

 

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Another of my favourite poems, called When Death Comes by Mary Oliver. Here is the link to the full poem, along with an excerpt of my favourite lines:

"When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world."

Mary Oliver

https://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=477

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Two poems to share with you this morning - one called Awakening Now by Danna Faulds and the other called Sweet Cream-Coated Mashed Potatoes, by me - a poem on mindful eating.

Awakening Now

The moment your eyes are open, seize the day.
Would you hold back when the Beloved beckons?
Would you deliver your litany of sins like a child’s collection of sea shells, prized and labeled?
“No, I can’t step across the threshold,” you say, eyes downcast.
“I’m not worthy, I’m afraid, and my motives aren’t pure.
I’m not perfect, and surely I haven’t practised nearly enough.
My meditation isn’t deep, and my prayers are sometimes insincere.
I still chew my fingernails, and the refrigerator isn’t clean.”
Do you value your reasons for staying small more than the light shining through the open door?
Forgive yourself.
Now is the only time you have to be whole.
Now is the sole moment that exists to live in the light of your true Self.
Perfection is not a prerequisite for anything but pain.
Please, oh please, don’t continue to believe in your disbelief.
This is the day of your awakening.

by Danna Faulds

https://www.mindfulnessassociation.net/words-of-wonder/awakening-now/

 

Sweet Cream-Coated Mashed Potatoes

I stopped today

closed screens down today

tasted sweet cream-

coated mashed potatoes

and peas and beans and fish

dance across my teeth

and tastebuds today. 

Consuming no words of war,

not even pleas for peace

as I noticed, in silence

the dinner leftover

the way it swished and squished

and nourished me. 

I chewed and chewed

until the stew

slowly moved its way through;

down my throat, into my belly

and my body settled,

quiet and still as it filled.

I wondered:

how much of my food

do I miss?

How often

does my mind take off

to other times;

times past, imagined

but not this.

This moment

these gifts

pass by in one blink

of an eye;

And so I vow

to take pause, to recognize

the simple beauty

of just this

and this and this

of each breath, each bite

each blessing that exists.

By Gillian Florence Sanger

https://www.gillianflorence.com/blog/sweet-cream-coated-mashed-potatoes-poem

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18 hours ago, Gillian Sanger said:

Two poems to share with you this morning - one called Awakening Now by Danna Faulds and the other called Sweet Cream-Coated Mashed Potatoes, by me - a poem on mindful eating.

Awakening Now

The moment your eyes are open, seize the day.
Would you hold back when the Beloved beckons?
Would you deliver your litany of sins like a child’s collection of sea shells, prized and labeled?
“No, I can’t step across the threshold,” you say, eyes downcast.
“I’m not worthy, I’m afraid, and my motives aren’t pure.
I’m not perfect, and surely I haven’t practised nearly enough.
My meditation isn’t deep, and my prayers are sometimes insincere.
I still chew my fingernails, and the refrigerator isn’t clean.”
Do you value your reasons for staying small more than the light shining through the open door?
Forgive yourself.
Now is the only time you have to be whole.
Now is the sole moment that exists to live in the light of your true Self.
Perfection is not a prerequisite for anything but pain.
Please, oh please, don’t continue to believe in your disbelief.
This is the day of your awakening.

by Danna Faulds

https://www.mindfulnessassociation.net/words-of-wonder/awakening-now/

 

Sweet Cream-Coated Mashed Potatoes

I stopped today

closed screens down today

tasted sweet cream-

coated mashed potatoes

and peas and beans and fish

dance across my teeth

and tastebuds today. 

Consuming no words of war,

not even pleas for peace

as I noticed, in silence

the dinner leftover

the way it swished and squished

and nourished me. 

I chewed and chewed

until the stew

slowly moved its way through;

down my throat, into my belly

and my body settled,

quiet and still as it filled.

I wondered:

how much of my food

do I miss?

How often

does my mind take off

to other times;

times past, imagined

but not this.

This moment

these gifts

pass by in one blink

of an eye;

And so I vow

to take pause, to recognize

the simple beauty

of just this

and this and this

of each breath, each bite

each blessing that exists.

By Gillian Florence Sanger

https://www.gillianflorence.com/blog/sweet-cream-coated-mashed-potatoes-poem

I love this sweet cream coated mashed potatoes poem. For me it is reminding me of slowly awakening into the preciousness and beauty of each single moment and this and this and this... love it. Thank you for sharing!

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On 8/9/2021 at 9:11 AM, Gillian Sanger said:

Sharing an excerpt of a Rumi poem that I love (see link for full piece):

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about."

https://onbeing.org/poetry/a-great-wagon/

Hello Gillian

Thanks for sharing this beautiful wise poem. Just looked up Rumi online and found an interesting quote that reminded me on a post you recently shared about grief. 

It says: "Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes around in another form."

For me these lines were encouraging especially when you realize the fact that you indeed experienced a painful loss. I haven't been into poems for a long time, that is why I am really grateful coming across your poems section here. Namaste.

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    • Guest Laura
      I mostly feel gratitude then envy. I feel gratitude for the air I breathe, peaceful, quietness life. Waking up in the morning and seeing my children.
    • FYI - This article was published by the Meditation Magazine and you can find it here, https://www.meditationmag.com/meditation-science/awake-asleep  
    • FYI - If you haven't read my first article, Awake Sleep, yet, you can find it here,    
    • “Do Nothing”, or “Effortless” is a concept originated from Taoism more than two thousand years ago in China. Inspired by this concept, many Chinese people have found the true meaning of their day-to-day life, and many ancient emperors have used it as a secret weapon of ruling their countries. But what exactly is “Do Nothing”? Everyone’s interpretation might be different, but one thing in common is that very few people will literally interpret it as doing nothing. The reason for this is that, first, such an interpretation seems too superficial, and second, it is not aligned with the real life experience at all. From a very young age, we worked hard to study at schools, to find a decent job, to start a family, and to be promoted at work. All these “achievements” need a lot of effort instead of doing nothing. Thus, a well-accepted interpretation is that human behavior should obey the laws of nature, or Tao, as Laozi mentioned in his book. But is it true that nothing in this world can be done without doing anything? The answer is false, because at least one thing can be done by doing nothing, and that is meditation. On the other hand, it is most likely that the ancient sages got this counterintuitive idea from meditation and applied it to other fields like the politics and the everyday life. Before we jump into the meditation topic, let’s look at how human body works. Human body activities can be divided into two big categories. Some activities are controlled by consciousness, such as the movement of the limbs, brain thinking, and so on. The other activities do not require the control of the consciousness, such as heartbeat, breathing, and the automatic function of all the internal organs. In fact, the so-called automatic function is also controlled by the brain, but only by a different part of the brain. We might as well call these two parts of the brain the “conscious brain” and the “nonconscious brain” respectively. When people are awake, the body is controlled by both the conscious brain and the nonconscious brain, but because of the domination of the conscious brain, we seem unable to perceive the existence of the nonconscious brain. This state, dominated by the conscious brain, can be called the “effort world”. After falling asleep, we lose consciousness and the body is completely taken over by the nonconscious brain. This state, dominated by the nonconscious brain, can be called the “effortless world”. Note that the “effortless” here refers to the inaction of the conscious brain, but at the same time, the nonconscious brain starts working in full capacity – dropping heart rate, lowering blood pressure, slowing down breathing, making limbs “paralyzed”, relaxing muscles, generating growth hormone, renewing skin cells, repairing immune cells, consolidating memory, etc. However, because people lose consciousness after falling asleep, we are not able to experience any of these changes during sleep. As we pointed out in the previous article, Awake Sleep, the essence of meditation is to put the body into sleep while keeping the mind awake. That is to say, the only difference between meditation and sleep is that we lose consciousness during sleep but we remain conscious in meditation. And because of this, meditation gives us the opportunity to experience the magical world of effortlessness. However, while we remain conscious, we must exclude any control of the conscious brain over the human body, because once consciousness is involved in any body activity, even a little bit, it will take us back to the world of effort immediately. One special body activity which can be controlled by both the conscious brain and the nonconscious brain is breathing. In other words, you can control how fast and how slow you are breathing. But when you don’t pay attention to it, the breathing won’t stop either. In fact, it will adjust by itself without any problem. Because of this, the ancient people treated breathing as a bridge from the “effort world” to the “effortless world” and came up with a meditation technique called “observe the breathing”. This technique works great, but for beginners, a common mistake is often made when using this technique without knowing how to observe correctly. When we are not observing our breathing, everything is going well; but once we start observing the breathing, the conscious brain will try to take over the control. It may adjust the length of breathing, it may even adjust the interval between the inhale and the exhale. This will cause more and more chaos until it reaches a point where we can’t breathe at all and have to start all over again. So what is the right way to observe? Very simple, we just need to observe our breathing from the perspective of a bystander. In other words, regardless of whether the current breathing is fast or slow, long or short, do not make any intervention with our conscious brain. We have to trust our nonconscious brain that it can take care of the breathing by itself, just like it takes care of the automatic function of other internal organs in our body. As a matter of fact, as long as the conscious brain does not interfere, everything will run perfectly under the control of the nonconscious brain alone. Another common misconception for most beginners is that meditation is to empty our mind so we should not be thinking at all during meditation. In fact, either thinking or forcing yourself not to think, is an attempt to use the conscious brain to control the mind. And the purpose of meditation is to let the conscious brain give up all the control over our body and the mind. As a result, either thinking or not thinking is the opposite way to that goal. So, should we think or not during meditation? The answer is yes and no. It sounds contradictory, but actually it is very simple to achieve. Just like observing the breathing, we need to observe our own thinking from the perspective of a bystander, so that the thoughts in our mind can come and go freely. Never try to stop any thought from coming out, and at the same time, don’t let your mind go with any of the thoughts either, just observe. 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