Poetry

 

MEDITATION: CALMING THE MIND (Excerpt)
By Bob Sharples

Don’t meditate to fix yourself, to improve yourself, to redeem yourself;
rather, do it as an act of love, of deep warm friendship to yourself.
In this way there is no longer any need for the subtle aggression of self-improvement,
for the endless guilt of not doing enough.
It offers the possibility of an end to the ceaseless round of trying so hard that wraps so many people’s lives in a knot.
Instead there is now meditation as an act of love. How endlessly delightful and encouraging.


THE GUEST HOUSE
By Rumi
Translation by Coleman Barks

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
Because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


WALK DON'T RUN
By Rob Bell

Walk, don’t run.
That’s it.
Walk, don’t run.

Slow down, breathe deeply,
and open your eyes because there’s
a whole world right here within this one. The bush doesn’t suddenly catch on fire, it’s been burning the whole time.

Moses is simply moving
slowly enough to see it. And when he does,
he takes off his sandals.

Not because
the ground has suddenly become holy,
but because he’s just now becoming aware that
the ground has been holy the whole time.

Efficiency is not God’s highest goal for your life,
neither is busyness,
or how many things you can get done in one day,
or speed, or even success.

But walking,
which leads to seeing,
now that’s something.
That’s the invitation for every one of us today,
and everyday, in every conversation, interaction,
event, and moment: to walk, not run. And in doing so,
to see a whole world right here within this one.