Written by Dr Olivia Thrift
I have just started a year long Mindfulness Teacher Training programme and am feeling very excited and inspired by what I am already learning. Mindfulness is central to my professional and personal life but the depth of such a practice needs to respected and thus I am always keen to enrich my understanding so I can both practice and teach it with authenticity and integrity.
I will share in upcoming posts what I am learning but for now I wanted to offer a poem which for me captures much of the essence of a mindful life. I was reminded recently of the power of poetry… I was on a rafting trip and each morning one of the guides would read a poem or inspirational story. When I really listened and let the meaning of the words settle into me I was struck by the emotional power of the prose. So I wanted to share one of the poems that really moved me. I invite you take time to listen and let the words settle…
By Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you
have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s
betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide
it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with
wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without
cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of
betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if
you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the
edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want
to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to
the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if
you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to
know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company
you keep in the empty moments.
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