Until recently I’ve never really appreciated poetry however, during a recent Mindfulness retreat, poetry was used throughout the week to emphasis points.  There were poets from those as famous as Rumi, poetry just written by those whom enjoyed writing and chinese proverbs were shared too.  Each of them beautiful in their own way!

The retreat was filled with other mindfulness teachers from near and far, some from the local area, some from nearby countries and others came to learrn from as far as Kuala Lumpur and Portugal.  One night, during an evening meditation session we were asked if we’d like to read out our own poems or perhaps read a poem by someone else, I didn’t oblige but, lucky for me, many others did.

Just listening to the words of the poem and it’s true meaning felt very special and it was made even more special because I was surrounded by like minded, open minded people who were all there to learn to help benefit others.  There’s something very connecting and special about that – us all giving back to the world in our own, unique way!

Two people within our group shared poems in their own native language, one in Portugese and one in French – both were so beautiful to hear and even though I couldn’t understand what they were saying, the tone and pitch of their voice gave so much away! Later when they read this poem again, this time in English it had a deeper meaning perhaps because I truly focused on the word’s meaning this time, in English. The Retreat was a learning experience in every sense of the word and I had the pleasure to share some special times with so many of my group.

Here are some of my favourite Mindfulness poems;

DEAR YOU
By Kaveri Patel

Dear you,
You who always have
so many things to do
so many places to be
your mind spinning like
fan blades at high speed
each moment always a blur
because you’re never still.

I know you’re tired.
I also know it’s not your fault.
The constant brain-buzz is like
a swarm of bees threatening
to sting if you close your eyes.

You’ve forgotten something again.
You need to prepare for that or else.
You should have done that differently.

What if you closed your eyes?

Would the world fall
apart without you?

Or would your mind
become the open sky
flock of thoughts
flying across the sunrise
as you just watched and smiled.

CHINESE PROVERB – Chinese proverbs (諺語, yànyŭ) are popular sayings taken from literature, history, and famous people like philosophers. There are hundreds of Chinese proverbs addressing all aspects of life from education and work to personal goals and relationships.

If there is light in the soul,
there will be beauty in the person.

If there is beauty in the person,
there will be harmony in the house.

If there is harmony in the house,
there will be order in the nation.

If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.

John O’Donohue

In out of the way places of the heart

Where your thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire
Feeling the emptiness grow inside you
Noticing how you willed yourself on
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

Poetry is something that’s very new to me and I’m not a poet myself but, by experiencing new things it’s encouraged me to cultivate a sense of appreciation for many other things.  I hope you too enjoyed reading these poems with us.