Okay, I am going to ask a question that on the surface may not seem contemplative, but bear with me.
Do you like poetry?
I do. Poetry calls us into conversation with the Sacred. So, I read it. I write it. I call my poetry reflection arcs. They invite me, and the reader, into the moment and notice how the sacred speaks through the melody. I share those reflection arcs daily on Facebook.
Although I write poetry, I also read the poetry of others. Two of my favorite poems are Hafiz and Rumi. Both are contemplative poets who invite you to experience the Sacred in the ordinary world.
Let’s experience the Sacred with a Hafiz poem.
Stay close to anything that makes you glad to be alive.
Have you ever really thought about what makes you glad to be alive?
A way to paraphrase this poem is to view what makes you glad as bringing you joy. I am thinking about Marie Condo: keep what brings you joy. Because, I believe that any thing that makes you glad to be alive is joy-filled.
What makes you glad to be alive? What brings you joy?
You may need to reflect upon that for a bit. Begin with the Hafiz poem: Stay close to anything that makes you glad to be alive. Say those words. Breathe into those words. Notice what surfaces. Feel the joy in those memories.
What brings me joy? The laughter of my son, the chitter of my cats, the sun dappling through the trees, the first sip of hot tea, a card received through the mail, a text from a friend. There is so much that brings joy. I just need to open my eyes to see it.
The more that you discover joy, the more you have to hold close.
This isn’t about clinging to the joy but to inhale the presence of the Sacred. And, in each exhale, breathe joy into the world. That is the power of holding on to but not being attached to what makes us glad.
Holding close reminds me to reframe the world when it seems a dark scary place.
Within the dark, I intentionally seek the seeds of joy embedded in my soul. Through my awareness, they burst forth in a glorious array of wildflowers. See what happens through awareness of the joy in life?
But, back to the bouquet of fiercely wild flowers.
I gather the wild gladness to me, bring it to my nose, and inhale deeply what makes me glad to be alive. And, in that aliveness I find my connection to the Sacred.
How about you?
PS. Don’t think you can write poetry?
Create a haiku: first line: 5 syllables, second line: 7 syllables, third line: 5 syllables. Don’t be concerned that it isn’t good. That’s not the point! The point is to express yourself in a rhythm of words.
Example: inhale the unknown / let it swirl through my being / exhale sharing me