Falling Water

Drip, drip, drip
thoughts forming streams
on the soft sand of my mind
small trickles that seemed insignificant
become rivers that pull me down
underneath a current of violence

Soil erodes as the drip, drip, drip
continues to grow this gulf ever larger
will everything be consumed?
bedrock wearing thinner by the day 
the slow, patient might of water
persistence can overpower anything

The slow trickle of new intention
will take time to form new streams
perform maintenance by planting trees
deep roots of mindfulness preventing
more pieces of awareness from
falling into the rapids

New landscapes are not formed overnight
even in the realm of the conscious mind
the river may continue to rage after
years and years of drought
even emptied, it needs only one storm
to refill and start flowing

Cultivate the land with patience and care
we are mostly water after all
trust that it gives us the strength
to also create incredible things
drip, drip, drip your energy faithfully
to form valleys of peace and protection

When the moment it right
the garden of Eden will be revealed
deep beneath the desert of the inner critic
don't lose heart while diligently
shifting through the dry earth
heaven is hidden within 

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

Meditation Metaphor

Imagine the mind as a flowing river. Normally we, ourselves, are submerged in the rushing waters of our own minds. Trying desperately to keep our heads above the current. We are swept along with every passing thought. Unable to separate ourselves. Meditation is a chance to step out of that raging river.

When we sit down to meditate, we have stepped onto the bank of the river. As we nestle in, the sunlight begins to dry our dewy skin. We align our backs with the trunk of a sturdy tree. We imagine our own roots sprouting from the sits bones, anchoring us. Finally finding solid ground after being carried by the cold rapids for so long.

As we watch the river in front of us, we notice leaves falling from the tree and landing on the water’s surface. These are our thoughts. Fragile and fleeting, the river carries them off quickly. As we meditate, our job is not to stop these leaves from falling, nor is it to catch them or collect them from the water. We simply observe them. We watch them land on the water, floating gracefully for a few moments before the current carries them out of sight. We don’t need to identify the leaf or discover why it fell. We don’t need to stop the flowing waters. Just watch. Just breathe. Feel your new roots grounding you, anchoring you in place. Secure as we watch the river of the mind and it’s many thoughts.

This is one way to visualize meditation. It isn’t about control. We can never hope to control our minds. Meditation is about observing. We are watching ourselves. Noticing what it feels like to exist. Maybe as we watch, realizing some of our own patterns, and maybe not. Just giving ourselves permission to sit on the bank for awhile. To just breathe, just watch, just be. It may even be helpful to visualize yourself at the side of a river as you meditate. Whenever you notice yourself getting tangled in thought, bring your mind back to the image of the water. Imagine the thought falling as a leaf into the river, and watch it go. We are not the leaves of thought. We are not the swift waters of the mind. We are the one who watches.

Photo by Rachel Xiao on Pexels.com

The Flower Metaphor

As someone who has a hard time loving their body, I have always really appreciated the comparison between humans and flowers. It is sometimes hard for me to accept that even though I don’t look like the women I aspire to, I can still be beautiful. The idea that different looking humans can be equally attractive in their own ways just as all flowers are stunning even though they have extremely different colors and types of blossoms. For some reason this is the only thing that was really able to reach me and allow me to look at myself in a new light. And I am so grateful for the new perspective it has given me since I first heard it.

While meditating on this idea, I began to realize that humans are a lot like flowers in many others ways as well. Not only should we not criticize ourselves for not looking like others, we also shouldn’t worry about our differences in motivation, energy, talent, productivity, etc. Just like the flowers, we follow different schedules so to speak. Some flowers have many blooms, some just a few. Some bloom multiple times a year, some just once. Some come back again and again, others fade after just one season. Some flowers come more easily than others, some for longer periods of time. Some flowers even bloom at night instead of in the day.

It is important for us to also honor these differences within ourselves. Maybe we can’t wake up at 5AM and workout like our neighbor does. Maybe we don’t have the energy to work full-time and be a mother. Maybe we don’t have as many “productive” days as those around us seem to. Maybe we still haven’t found our passion after 40 years, while we read articles about a child who already excels in theirs. We don’t have to feel bad about these differences. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to others in this way. It can never be a fair comparison.

You and I are two completely different types of flower. We can admire one another without thinking less of ourselves for not “measuring up”. It’s okay to be different. It’s wonderful in fact. Who would want to live in a world with only one type of flower? We need all different kinds to allow our ecosystem to thrive. So never stop reminding yourself that you are an important part of this world. Just as you are. Because you are like no one else, not in spite of it. Biodiversity is a beautiful thing. Don’t you forget it, you incredible flower, you.