We went to an amusement park today.
What feels like play to many
seems to suck the soul out of me at times.
I tried to breathe as we waited in lines,
applying the tonglen meditation technique…
breathing in the impatience
for myself and all beings,
breathing out relaxed presence.
Sometimes I was successful,
I’m pretty sure at others I wore a faint scowl
unconsciously…as I dreamed of silence.
It’s a head game being around so many;
The noise and the commotion
remind me of how much I love quiet,
how important solitude is to my wellbeing.
Looking back on the day I see
another opportunity for balance,
dancing that fine line between being with self
and being with others,
giving enough time to each
to keep sanity and connection both within reach.
I keep getting to this place
as I sit down to write
where I think
But I have nothing to say,
nothing interesting anyway.
What I have to say will be boring.
Why should I bother writing about my normal life?
And then I remember
Life is at once ordinary and extraordinary.
Sometimes the most ordinary of things
provide extraordinary pleasure,
and sometimes it’s our pursuit
of the extraordinary
that deprives us of appreciating
the beautiful ordinariness of our lives.
What determines how we see
are the expectations we bring to this moment.
Therefore, let me cultivate extraordinary perception
and see with new eyes.
Let me see the profound virtue in silence,
I won’t ever again worry
about having nothing to say,
because I’ll know in my heart
that the most important things
need not be said.
Sitting in the quiet
after everyone has fallen asleep
I give thanks for these simple blessings–
and a mind ready to let go of this day.
Softening into stillness
I let the silence rise up within me
until I can hear
what it has been saying all along.
The words don’t come.
I have no idea what to say.
What is important?
What is worth being said?
Sometimes, silence is better.
After so much spinning noise,
it’s so nice to sit and just be.
But as my body becomes still,
the noise in my head grows louder.
Where is the spinner of noise?
Does she weave a tapestry of many colors?
Does she cackle and croon
and delight in all the textures?
Even in silence there is noise.
Even when my mind is quiet,
the noise continues on,
in the beating of my heart,
in the sound of cars driving by,
the TV downstairs where my husband
is watching a show.
I thought once that I wanted the noise to stop,
but I know better now–
the noise cannot stop.
The day the spinner of noise stops spinning,
so will the great green globe we call home.
So here is to sitting in the center of the spinning noise
and remembering the stillness that hides in the movement
and the sound that is concealed by silence.
We seek out a conversation
because we are uncomfortable with the silence.
We want to bring more objects into our lives
because we are afraid of emptiness.
We seek companionship
because we are terrified of being alone.
Can you be the brave one
who stops this madness?
Can you listen instead of speak?
Can you sit in the fire of silence
and be burned completely
and then rise from the ashes
pure and clean and clear?
Can you give away
what you are attached to?
Can you sit with your open heart and mind
and enjoy the simplest of gifts–
this breath in, this breath out?
For one moment,
could you stop surrounding yourself
with so many faces and voices
could you sit quietly and be embraced
by the inner friend?
What if you were told
that the future of this planet
depends on you being okay
just as you are right now?
What would you do then?
In a sea of feeling
What to do
when feeling so alone
surrounded by people
with so many words to say
and no courage to speak?
I go inwards and take a breath.
Though the walls
are closing in on the outside,
I make space on the inside,
claiming the space that is rightfully mine,
the space to be,
the space to breathe,
the space to not have to speak.
silence and breathing.
Peace need not be spoken.