Mindful Poetry


John O'Donohue

- from 'Anam Cara'

 May your soul calm, console and renew you,

 May the light of your soul guide you.

 May the light of your soul bless everything you do        with the secret love and warmth of your heart.

 May you see in whatever you do the beauty of           your own soul.



May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those who work with you and those who see and receive your work.

May your work never weary you.

May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.

May you be present in whatever you do.



May you never become lost in bland absences.

May the day never burden.

May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities and promises.

May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.

May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.

May your soul calm, console and renew you.


The Way It Is

- William Stafford


There's a thread you follow.  

It goes among things that change. 

But it doesn't change.

People wonder about what you are pursuing.

You explain about the thread.

But it's hard for others to see.





   While you hold it you can't get lost.

   Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die;

   and you suffer and get old.

   Nothing you can do can stop time's unfolding.

  ... You don't ever let go of the thread ...




Song for Going to the Water

old Cherokee song

If your heart is not well,

If your spirit is not well,
These words may help you.

Wake in the hour
Just before dawn.
Wake in the hours
Before first light.
Wake when the animals of the night
Have ended their songs,
When the animals of the day
Have not yet begun their songs.

Walk without words.
Follow the path
That leads to the river,

Then, as the first light
Touches the river,
Bend to the water,
Speak these words:


 "Long Person...I come to ask your help."

 Then hold up a cup of that water and drink the dawn.



(Gaelic for "Blessing")

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.



And when the canvas frays 
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home. 

May the nourishment of the earth be yours
May the clarity of light
be yours
May the fluency of the ocean be yours
May the protection of ancestors
be yours.

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue 

~ Echoes of Memory ~



BREATH OF LIFE - Danna Faulds 


I breathe in all that is

Awareness expanding

to take everything in,

as if my heart beats

the world into being.


From the unnamed vastness

beneath the mind, I breathe

my way to Wholeness

and healing.


Inhalation, Exhalation.

Each breath a "yes,"

and a letting go,

a journey, and a

coming home.






  What if it truly doesn’t matter what you do

but HOW you do whatever you do?

How would this change what you choose to do with your life?

What if you could be more present and open-hearted with each person you encounter than if you were striving to do something you think is more important? How would this change how you want to spend your precious time on this earth?

What if your contribution to the world and fulfilment of your own happiness is not dependent upon discovering a better method of prayer or technique of meditation, not dependent ON reading the right book or attending the right seminar, but upon really seeing and deeply appreciating yourself and the world as they are right now?

How would this affect your search for spiritual development?

What if there is no need to change, no need to try and transform yourself into someone who is more compassionate, more present, more loving or wise? How would this affect all the places in your life where you are endlessly trying to be better?

What if the task is simply to unfold, to become who you already ARE in your essential nature – gentle, compassionate, capable of living fully and passionately present?  How would this affect how you feel when you wake up each morning?

What if who you essentially ARE right now ...

...is all you are EVER going to be?

How would this affect how you feel about your future?

 What if the essence of who you are and always have been


  How would this affect how you see and feel about your past?

What if the question is NOT why I'm so infrequently the person I want to be, but why I so infrequently want to be who I really am?

How would this change what you think you


What if becoming who we truly are happens NOT through striving but by recognising and receiving the people, places and practices offering us the warmth of encouragement we need to unfold ? How would this shape the choices you make about how to spend today?

What if you knew the impulse to move in a way

that creates beauty in the world

will arise from deep within you

and guide you every time you simply


  How would this shape your stillness 

   . . . your movement . . .

    .  . . your willingness to follow this impulse . . .

  . . .   to just let go and DANCE   . . . ?


   'LOST' - David Wagoner

Stand still.  The trees ahead and bushes beside you

Are not lost.  Wherever you are is called Here,

And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,

Must ask permission to know it and be known.

The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,

I have made this place around you.

If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.

No two branches are the same to Wren.

If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,

You are surely lost.  Stand still.  The forest knows

Where you are.  You must let it find you.





This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all !
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably. 

He may be clearing you out

                for some new delight . . .                      


The dark thought, the shame, the malice
meet them at the door laughing, 
and invite them in


Be grateful for whoever comes 

because each has been sent 

     as a guide from beyond . . . 












MINDFUL MOMENTS . . . . . Mindfulness-based courses or individual sessions . . . . . .  Aileen Ross            Phone: 0845 458 9944       or       Email: aileenross@mindful-moments.co.uk