Integrative Healing

celebrating the depth and breadth of the human experience

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Poetry and Meditation

Poetry and Meditation

Poetry is a wonderful accompaniment to meditation, especially when the poet speaks of a deep spiritual, human truth through skillful use of words. Naomi Shihab Nye is such a poet, and I first found her through her popular poem, Kindness. Here, I share a poem I read at a meditation group recently. I was guest teaching for Heart of Light Meditation in Berkeley, California. At the end of a silent sit, I read aloud these words.

naomi-shihab-nye
Naomi Shihab Nye

The Music Box

I don’t know who gave me this instrument,

what happened to the box that once housed

this now-bare motor … I turn the knob,

again, again, till the thing is tightly wound,

then watch the intricate wheels spin against one another

clicking out tiny metallic notes.

It is a familiar song but I couldn’t name it.

It repeats over and over, a miniature anthem

vibrating in my hand.

I feel there is something I should remember,

at least who gave it to me, but this memory has fallen away

like so many others. Sometimes I feel the mind’s

thin shavings scattering the minute they fall,

like the notes of this music-box disappearing into Monday,

even the ones that play together, the highest note,

even the pause.

~ Naomi Shihab Nye, Words Under The Words

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” – Anna Quindlen

“The sacred is the reality of you. It’s the reality of everything.” – Adyashanti

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”

– Aristotle

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, because what the world needs is people who have come alive!” – Howard Thurman

“If we could untangle the mysteries of life and unravel the energies which run through the world; if we could evaluate correctly the significance of passing events; if we could measure the struggles, dilemmas, and aspirations of mankind, we could find that nothing is born out of time. Everything comes at its appointed moment.” – Joseph R. Sizoo

“If you find an intelligent companion,
A fellow traveler,
A sage of good conduct,
You should travel together,
Delighted and mindful.”
– The Dhammapada, translated by Gil Fronsdal

“The point is to learn from whatever is experienced, whether it’s liked or disliked, beautiful or ugly. Everything will teach us if we let it.” – Ajahn Amaro, Finding the Missing Peace

“Healing is being present with what is, exactly as it is.”

– Rain Elizabeth Stickney

“The body tells a story. It is, in fact, a living autobiography.”

– Elaine Mayland

“The symbols of the self arise in the depths of the body.”

– C.G. Jung

“This sky where we live is no place to lose your wings so love, love, love.” – Hafiz

“Meditation is not a technique to master; it is the highest form of prayer, a naked act of love and effortless surrender into the silent abyss beyond all knowing.” – Adyashanti

“We cannot say that there is no past or no future, only that past, present, and future occur in the timeless Now.” – Dorothy Hunt

“Eye contact, gentle touch, warmth in our voices, and caring words are balm for your child’s being.” – Patty Wipfler

“When hearts are open and awake, we bring warmth and blessings to our community and the world.” – Jack Kornfield

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