Twilight Birdsong

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It’s noisy inside
with the Beatles record
spinning in my husband’s
newly refurbished turntable,

so I take myself outside
on our front porch
to write at a little, round,
glass-topped table.

I settle in, feeling muddled
and even a little blocked,
and I scribble some words
filling a couple of pages in my journal.

Suddenly I hear it
woven through the blue evening sky,
crescent moon
shining just overhead,
some bright star glowing courageously
in the sea of blue–

twilight birdsong,
there the whole time,
only now there is
enough space in my head to hear it.

Peace Need Not Be Spoken

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Lost
In a sea of feeling
Obstructed
by miscommunication
What to do
when feeling so alone
surrounded by people
with so many words to say
and no courage to speak?

I go inwards and take a breath.
Though the walls
are closing in on the outside,
I make space on the inside,
claiming the space that is rightfully mine,
the space to be,
the space to breathe,
the space to not have to speak.

Silence now,
silence and breathing.
Peace need not be spoken.

The Path of Peace, Joy, and Love

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And then I realized
that peace isn’t being told
which path to walk

and joy isn’t managing
to change the path
you’re on now
to fit the vision of
what you think is right

and love isn’t
asking the path to complete you
and fix you
and fulfill all of your desires

peace is recognizing
the path you’re on now

joy is finally
understanding it

and love is
choosing to walk it fearlessly

This Moment Is

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Grey day
and I’m tired again
when will I have more energy?

Sunny day,
and I feel wonderful.
When will I be tired again?

In the roller coaster ride of duality,
the ups and downs of life
can make our heads spin.

Forget the analysis of this moment,
good or bad.
Forget measuring time,
long or short.
This moment is.

The time is now,
and the self that is you
simply exists.

In that stable place of being,
take a long deep breath
and know what true contentment is,
and true peace.

I Am

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This morning,
for the first time
in several days,
I sat on my cushion
for a full thirty minutes.

Life has been busy
and my practice
has been sacrificed,
cut short,
so that I can give more,
do more,
be more for others.

One could easily say
that it is good of me
to give more of myself
to my children, my family,
my home…

But the result of
reducing my practice
is the feeling that
I have been reduced somehow,
that the part of me who
abides beyond
the roles of
cook, laundress,
chauffeur, doer
ceases to exist

As if there is
only room for my function,
and not for myself.
As if I am a shell,
instead of the being
who lives within it.

But this morning I sat,
and I sat to come home
to this self.
It was early, 5am,
the light was grey and dim
and the world was quiet,
save for a few chirps
here and there
of morning birds
proclaiming their enthusiasm
for this day.

The reassuring texture
of my cushion
and the familiar posture
of my body
let me know
that it was time,
and it was good.
I sat up tall,
closed my eyes,
and breathed.

At some point
I found myself
breathing even more deeply,
repeating as I inhaled
Here
and as I exhaled
Now

It didn’t take
long at all
and I remembered…

I am not this body
nor am I this mind
I am not this name
or this job
or this relationship…

I am.
Very simply,
I am.

This One Breath In, This One Breath Out

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The walls close in
and the air grows thin
gasping for breath,
pushing, straining
against the weight
of that which wants
to contain me

But I break free,
I move
I stretch
I remember that
freedom is here,
in this one breath in,
this one breath out.

Inspiration is here,
in this one breath in,
this one breath out.
Creativity is here,
in this one breath in,
this one breath out.

Practice Makes Perfect

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Never underestimate the power
of standing in your center and
–instead of unconsciously reacting–
choosing your response
when faced with a challenge.

Even the smallest
irritations, vexations,
and disappointments
are great teachers.

The traffic jam,
the cranky child,
the burnt toast,
the biting fly
have been sent
to bring you home to your truth.

Learning how to be
with minor inconveniences
we teach ourselves
how to bear with great adversity.

Day by day,
let life train you in the great art
of peace amidst chaos.

Practice makes perfect.