To help feed your mindfulness practice, I've put together a small collection of poems that have inspired me to live with more awareness. Much like meditation and our other practices that lead to a life with more intent, reading poetry can be a reflection of our own expression. Sometimes a poet has a beautiful way of finding the right words that say what we're really feeling. As you enjoy each of these short poems, think about how you interpret them and identify which ones really spoke to you.
Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Bring the Earth your love and happiness.
The Earth will be safe
when we feel safe in ourselves.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Be empty of worrying
Think of who created thought
Why do you stay in prison
When the door is so wide open
Move outside the tangle of fear thinking
Live in silence
Flow down and down
Into always widening
Rings of being
If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty
of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
to be. We are not wise, and not very often
kind. And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
is its way of fighting back, that sometimes
something happens better than all the riches
or power in the world. It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant
when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the
case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
Because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
If luck you chase, you have not grown
enough for happiness to stay,
not even if you get your way.
If, what you lost, you still bemoan,
and grasp at tasks, and dash and dart,
you have not known true peace of heart.
But if no wishes are your own,
and you don’t try to win the game,
and Lady Luck is just a name,
then tides of life won’t reach your breast
and all your strife
and all your soul will rest.