I turn to the poets when I find myself suspended between truth and its opposite. Their way of speaking nudges me towards clarity. Clarity is a way of seeing. It is, I believe, what Seamus Heaney meant when he said that poetry is “a temporary stay against confusion”.
Poets & Placebos
is a map for the ineffable
tight-rope walk with men and angels
then put me in a room of poets
who administer their truth
like sugar drops
that heal by stealth.
Later in the day, I will return to meditate with you. For now, I invite you to search under RESOURCES, where I have posted a piece about an Israeli poet, whose words clarify what it means to live with compassion and forgiveness.
MEDITATION FOR THE DAY
Some of you have commented on the simplicity of the practice of meditation, so let’s take a moment to reflect on the idea of importing simplicity into the complexity of our 21st century world. To do so is to run against the grain of what we expect of life; what we expect of others. To court simplicity, and its sister, silence, will challenge us to the very core of our sense of identity. Remember the words of the poet?
“Quick now, here, now, always-T.S. Eliot
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.”
So, as you work with me towards THE FULLNESS OF BEING STILL, remember that each step is simple, but the journey, if it is to be a life-long one, will cost you nothing less than everything. Eliot quoted Julian of Norwich, who said that
Let’s bear this in mind as we settle to meditate
Return to your place of peace and rest there for a minute, Come fully into the space. Let time drop away. Relax into your own body, Forgive the painful parts; be grateful for the ease of health and strength. Breathe in to the count of four Hold for the count of four breathe out at your ease hold for the count of four Repeat Today, close your eyes and imagine a stony beach. Feel the pebbles under you feet. They are older than you are. Imagine, across a stretch of water, a range of mountains that change colour with the light like a Paul Henry painting. Hear the lap of water it is like your breath going out coming in Feel the wind on your face. Marvel at the realisation that the natural world is not separate from you You ARE the natural world Let go of the idea that you are the controller of the world. Feel a sense of relief when you are able to let go of the idea that you are in control You have taken the first step towards simplicity breathing in breathing out And then rest and know that