Mind-full

Mindfulness is trusting
that this moment is enough
showing our appreciation
for the gift of now

Setting aside our doubts
to delve deeper into the present
seeing past the surface simplicity
to be enveloped in sheer awe

Each minute becomes magnified
under the gaze of the focused mind
purpose found in pondering
a cloud's reflection in a puddle

It's surprising what can fill your cup
when you pay attention to the pouring
of each moment into the next
perfect stillness in motion

Reset Button

the smallest dose
of ancient medicine
breaks down the walls
I build around myself
letting the world in
once again

a reminder of what is
the tether of the present moment
pulling me along through time
the curiosity of the child inside
waking to a wonderful world
that's been here all along

the sheer beauty of bird calls
as I add my own joyous song
the deep knowing of connection
that binds me to all beings
in this mysterious adventure
of unlikely existence

the realization that I am here
a vessel to fill up with love and awe
by witnessing the miracle of reality
gratitude spills from my eyes
in salty streams of sacred serenity
thank you, thank you, thank you

Playing the Game

What if this is just a game?
would we still feel as attached
to the arbitrary outcome
and keep hacking away
at ourselves in order to win

What if we chose this avatar
in another life we've forgotten
was this path placed before us
with loving, mindful intention
a joyous challenge, a precious lesson

Will we feel silly to wake up
and realize we felt such urgency
a desperate need to get it right
in a form we can return to
as much as we'd like

A Life’s Work

A grateful heart
grows in size
as it gathers in
all the goodness
that surrounds

A cynical heart
licks its wounds
as it shrivels 
and becomes saturated
with complaints

Perspective is all
that separates the two
both can be formed or found
in any circumstance
or station of life

Let us not be fooled
by the feeling
of not enough
lest it linger on despite
all we continue to acquire

The mind may hold habits
that are hard to break
of looking for lack
feeling justified when
it always finds what it seeks

Creating illusions
of darkness and depravation
despair solidified through
misunderstanding and fear
disguised as certainty

Failing to see the joyous truth
that the mind's fruitful efforts
merely prove it's own power
to shape our reality
through sheer focus

Nothing has been lost
it's not too late
to turn the tides in our favor
and refocus our gaze
toward the sun

The source of light
that has formed
the shadows
we fixate on
yet fail to see fully

Finding balance
so we may behold
the beauty of duality
becoming like water to withstand
the push and pull of reality

The deep hollows made by hardship
leave more space for love to fill
our laughter resonates deeper
through the caverns carved by sorrow
may we cultivate a container that can hold it all

Cheat

I make myself sick
with secrets
deceptions meant to
bring me peace
justifying the ways
I try to cheat
agonizing over lessons
I should have learned
a long time ago
I'm lying to myself
as much if not more
than everyone else
the jolt of exhilaration I feel
when I come out unscathed
pales in comparison
to the wretched fear
that consumes me
in the moments before
why do I keep trying to
outwit the scales of life
to prove karmic justice
does not exist
when I feel it
in the marrow
of my bones

How to Win

When you believe yourself
to be at a disadvantage
playing fair feels like losing
but winning by playing dirty
doesn't feel much better

What is the real prize
I'm trying to obtain anyway
straining and clouding
my own soul for
material gain

It's time to reframe
what it means to succeed
maintaining my integrity
is worth more to me than
the rewards I discard it for

Certainty

Seeking certainty
used to be a quest
I believed I would complete
to find the bird of Truth
and keep it in a cage
to uncover when I needed
a song to deliver security and sleep

Certainty rises like heat waves
in the distant desert dunes
always disappearing when
you get too close but
still beckoning you 
forever onward across
the scorched, cracked earth

There is a desperation
that flutters in my chest
for something solid
in this ever shifting sand
a spot to rest, to feel safe
from the overwhelming
weight of the unknown

I'm struggling to reconcile
the irony of the only
small certainty I've found
a bitter powder on my tongue
"nothing is certain, my love
you must learn to walk blindly
with a confident step"

Instead of grasping
one crumbling perspective
after the next, flailing
in a frustrating, futile dance
clawing for some control
in a world that flows like water
I'm so afraid to float

The world does not
owe me an explanation
I am here to experience
not to understand
how strange to realize
I've been asking
the wrong questions

What does this feel like?
rather than what does this mean
there is some comfort in seeing
I am capable of answering
the first, not the second
the one question that remains
can I learn to let this be enough?

Stains

Somedays mistakes
feel like stains
on my soul
a filth I can't
scrub clean
with good deeds

Shame that saturates
the once white linen
of my small life
no amount of bleach
can undo the
damage done

I've always struggled
with shades of grey
one slight flaw
and I am forever
sullied and beyond
redemption

But the soul is not
a garment that I wear
or a soiled sheet
that can be
thrown out
and replaced

The soul is eternal
it cannot be tarnished
by earthly errors
there is always room
to make amends and
uncover my light once more

The Rain

Fear is a fire
that spreads and consumes
it catches quickly 
in the dry underbrush
of a parched heart

Worry is the wind
casting clouds of smoke
to cut off and obscure all exits
its insidious growth feels unstoppable
as it overwhelms me

Fear is an illusion
that comes from inside
it deceives and distracts
until we forget the truth
the recipe for salvation

Love is the rumble
of rain in the distance
the sky opening up
to silence the
roaring flames

Gratitude is the damp soil
that stops fear's expansion
the dark earth on the banks
of a river flowing with
waters of deep joy

Love is the antidote
to all that ails us
the soul's immune system
made strong by awe
and unending connection

True Strength

I used to think it was a sign of weakness
to be tender and loving in such a cruel world
I saw my own innocent moments of vulnerability
taken advantage of and wielded like weapons

to be strong, I thought, must mean to harden
to shut away my heart for safe keeping
I spent years closing myself off, savoring cynicism
scoffing at anyone who allowed themselves to be seen

Now I see they are far stronger than me
they were never ignorant of my pain, they knew it well
but chose to lay their souls bare despite it 
to allow themselves to feel fully even in the face of fear

A powerhouse of patience and persistence
to love each moment freely and completely
is the ultimate act of courage in this world
when it's so much easier to hide behind hate