Mindful Musings Blog

Poems of Presence – Winter 2022/2023

A new season — the last days of one year and the beginning of the next — moment by moment. These poems reflect and enliven our weekly class themes. It’s truly a joy to curate these expressions of Awareness and Presence.

Inner Light

Solstice (Robyn Sarah)

A sly gift it is, that on the year’s
shortest day, the sun
stays longest in this house– (entire poem here)


Kind Presence

Twenty-four Hours (Thich Nhat Hanh, from Peace is Every Step)

Every morning, when we wake up

we have twenty-four brand new hours to live.

What a precious gift!

We have the capacity to live in a way

that these twenty-four hours

will bring peace, joy and happiness

to ourselves and others. 


What Are You Practicing?

My Work is Loving the World (Mary Oliver)

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished… (entire poem here)


From True Meditation (Adyashanti)

“Effortless doesn’t mean no effort; effortless means just enough effort to be vivid, to be present, to be here, to be now, to be bright…We each need to find out for ourselves what this means. Too much effort and we get too tight; too little effort and we get dreamy. Somewhere in the middle is a state of vividness and clarity and inner brightness.”


One Cleaning the Closet of the Mind (Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer)

how threadbare these thoughts

I’ve chosen to wear every day–

replacing them with nothing


For a New Year (Holly Wren Spaulding)

Let plain things please you again

and every ordinary Monday.

Bean soup in a white bowl,

firewood in your arms. 

The weight of longing. (entire poem here)


Being With Things As They Are

Smart Cookie (Richard Schiffman)

The fortune that you seek is in another cookie, 
was my fortune. So I’ll be equally frank—the wisdom 
that you covet is in another poem. The life that you desire  
is in a different universe. The cookie you are craving 
is in another jar. (entire poem here)

Fluent (John O’Donohue)

I would love to live

Like a river flows,

Carried by the surprise

Of its own unfolding.