Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Instruction in Meditation (Poem)

Instruction in Meditation

You have one square inch
of quiet space. Take a look

around. Measure the borders
that frame your boundaries,

limiting what gets in, what goes
out. Consider how much

room you give up each time
you exhale, how your thoughts,

large before so terribly small,
move unevenly at once, pushing

you hard to make a connection.
Make the effort to listen

for what you cannot see without
trying. Write the thick taste

of honey on your tongue.
Utter the sacred syllable of Om

and let the sound that is
your past, present, and future

empty itself beyond silence. It is
then your mind, responding

to nothing at all, gives way, a dam
not breaking the rush of water.

© 2013 Maureen E. Doallas


Marina Sofia said...

Very Zen! I like your use of the imperative and the line breaks are pure genius. Make me think, exhale, read again.

Brian Miller said...

nice...love the thick honey writing on the tongue...and the meditation it brings maureen...

Maureen said...


If I recall correctly, in Hinduism, after ritual cleansing of a newborn, the Om syllable is "written" on the baby's tongue with honey.

Mystic_Mom said...

Your lines compress us to our square of space. Makes the reading more intense. Well done!

hedgewitch said...

A poem that leads the mind within.I also liked the line Brian mentioned, and find that cultural practice fascinating.

Joseph Hesch said...

This so closely describes my impressions of meditation, mindfulness and presence, Maureen.

I enjoyed it very much. Thank you. ~ jh

Mama Zen said...

Outstanding work with the line breaks!

Divya said...

Thats so sublime and yes Maureen your perfectly right , in India , Hindus write Om on the new born baby's tongue . could see that here .. Nice to know that you know so much about it .

Louise Gallagher said...

Your poem reminded me to stop, breathe, in, out, and grow still and quiet.

A perfect meditation.

Thank you.

Kelly said...

Wonderful to wake to this - your line breaks are impeccable - wonderful work!

Beachanny said...

Wonderful - made me realize upon reading it, that I need to return to meditation. It really does focus and relax one's being. I, too, am fascinated by the honey on the tongue. I always felt school figures on ice were a type of meditation. Watching the skaters early mornings for so many years of my life, I was fascinated that they were becoming one with the arcing lines they created with the blades on their feet.

Lovely to be able to read you again Maureen. I missed your poetry in my time away. Thank you for coming by!

Britton Swingler said...

Maureen, this reached in and grabbed my soul. Beautiful, beautiful...and so relevant to my recent struggle to find moments of peace while raising four rambunctious pre-teens. Thank you!

Britton Swingler said...

Maureen, your poem touched my soul, and helped me to find peace. I have been struggling with something, and this helped tremendously.