Mindful Musings Blog

Poems of Presence – Summer 2023

Celebrating summertime here in the northern hemisphere. Loving awareness, like the sun, shines on everything. These poems reflect and enliven our weekly class themes. 


“We are stars wrapped in skin;

the light you are seeking

has always been within” ~ Rumi


What Do We Know (Mary Oliver)

The sky cleared

I was standing

under a tree.

and there were stars in the sky 

that were also themselves 

at the moment

at which moment

my right hand

was holding my left hand

which was holding the tree

which was filled with stars

and the soft rain —

imagine! Imagine!

the long and wondrous journeys

still to be ours.



Walking Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh

Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere. (entire poem here)


Breath of Life (Danna Faulds)

I breathe in All That Is-
Awareness expanding
to take everything in,
as if my heart beats
the world into being.
From the unnamed vastness beneath the mind,
I breathe my way into wholeness and healing.
Inhalation. Exhalation.
Each Breath a “yes,”
and a letting go, a journey, and a coming home.

Quote by Phillip Moffitt: “Life dances. It dances with you and it dances with me however it’s going to. Good things are going to happen, unpleasant things, scary things, and that’s not a choice. So the willingness to show up in your own life moment to moment, to know the fire of your life, takes genuine courage. But it’s not a kind of invincible courage–it’s the courage to be with the up and down, to be with the movement, to be with the dance. That’s the opportunity of practice. 

Transitions: Doing and Being

Rest (Nikita Gill)

Every day is not an opportunity

to improve yourself.

Some days are just there

for you to accept yourself

and look at the clouds… (entire poem here)


Hope (from Everwood TV series)

“If you’re feeling frightened about what comes next… don’t. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path towards happiness. Don’t waste time with regret. Spin wildly into your next action. Enjoy the present – each moment as it comes – because you’ll never get another one quite like it. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart, where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again…”

The Door (Miroslav Holub)

Go and open the door.
Maybe outside there’s
a tree, or a wood,
a garden,
or a magic city… (entire poem here)


The Road (Victoria Erickson)

It’s ok not to know.

It’s ok to rest 

through in between.

Until you don’t

need the breaks. 

Until the

view unfolds.

Until resistance 

gives way.Until the road

is clear.


The road will clear.


The Way of Truth

Grace (Alice Walker)

gives me a day
too beautiful
I had thought
to stay indoors
& yet
washing my dishes
my shelves
throwing out
the wilted
onions … (entire poem here)

I’m Not The River (Mary Oliver)

I’m not the river
that powerful presence.
And I’m not the black oak tree
which is patience personified.
And I’m not redbird
who is a brief life heartily enjoyed.
Nor am I mud nor rock nor sand
which is holding everything together.
No, I am none of these meaningful things. Not yet.


Grace (Frederic Buechner)

Listen to your life.

See it for the fathomless mystery that it is.

In the boredom and the pain of it

no less than in the excitement and gladness:

touch, taste, smell your way

to the holy and hidden heart of it

because in the last analysis

all moments are key moments,

and life itself is grace.


I Worried (Mary Oliver)

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless… (entire poem here)



The Jewel of the Lotus

Unconditional (Jennifer Welwood)

Willing to experience aloneness,

I discover connection everywhere;

Turning to face my fear,

I meet the warrior who lives within;

Opening to my loss,

I gain the embrace of the universe;

Surrendering into emptiness,

I find fullness without end… (entire poem here)


Mantra for insight and guidance: OM NAMO BHAGAVATE VASUDEVAYA (Jay Shetty, Think Like a Monk, with gratitude to Charles T fromFriday Meditation) “I offer praise unto the all-pervading divinity present within every heart; who is the embodiment of beauty, intelligence, strength, wealth, fame, and detachment.” 


Balancing Doing With Being

“We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet.”

― William Butler Yeats, The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore


The God Who Only Knows Four Words (Hafiz)

Has known God,

Not the God of names,
Not the God of don’ts,
Not the God who ever does Anything weird…(entire poem here)


I’m There Now With You (Loren Wilber’s gift to our Friday Meditation Group)

I’m there now with you

When we all get together:

Meditation Time



Be like the flower; turn your face to the sun. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Why I Wake Early (Mary Oliver)

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe… (entire poem here)