Have you ever seen or experienced something so beautiful that you were at loss for words ? In that very moment we have a deep knowing that there is nothing to add or subtract, no improvement to fix it.

Have you ever seen or experienced something so beautiful that you were at loss for words ? In that very moment we have a deep knowing that there is nothing to add or subtract, no improvement to fix it.


Perhaps it was a slice of sea and sky or the light of connection in a fellow beings eyes or the small miracle of the way a raindrop sits just-so on the succulent leaf edge.

I am always heartened by the fact that in those moments, I wouldn't change a thing. The object of admiration cannot be bettered – full stop. It feels like I am just resting. What a relief . (Aren’t we funny, we wouldn't think, oh that dewdrop would be improved if it were a wee bit higher up and to the left, please).

Might we offer this attitude of acceptance to situations and people that annoy and delight in equal measure?

Good poetry can also offer this space of acceptance.

And rather than being struck wordless, it is the words that strike the silence and can offer us rest. Deep rest. Carl Sagan said that a book is proof that humans are capable of working magic . So are poems. We don’t know what that moment will be. Magic or confusion? We can just show up and see. Either way, something profound occurs if we can let words trickle out of dry meaning and into our receptive selves.

There comes a moment near the end of teaching an eight week course when I know my chance for sharing poems is dwindling and I start mourning in advance for the words that will not be heard . Pick me, pick me ! They lie in wait for their next turn to fly free from the page.

Try this practice sometime : sit with yourself and receive a poem, really receiving its music, the way you’d take in air for breathing. Let it ripple through your being: the heart, belly and bones.

If you are game for it right now, here’s a translation of an ancient verses from sanskrit called The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche, a wonderful book to savour page by page. This poem didn't make it to the last group and it has been waving up to me for liberation since then.

 

Radiance Sutra 226 & Sit (link)


Mary McIntyre

Mary McIntyre teaches MBSR courses in Dunsborough and Bunbury, SW Western Australia and is an associate teacher with Openground.

 

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