Inside: Poems About Mindfulness & Meditation
The world we live in today is one centered around instant gratification. We have cell phones to connect with people within seconds, we have drive-thru restaurants to get us our food without even leaving the car, and even our entertainment is getting shorter what with TikTok and its one-minute videos.
Our attention spans are dwindling. We are always in search of the next thing to fill our time.
During a commercial break, I find myself reaching for my phone to fill the space before my show comes back on. It’s nuts! I have a hard time picturing what it would be like to go back even one hundred years. What it must have been like to not have such constant distractions from the world.
It can be very overwhelming, even if we don’t consciously realize it. We’ve become used to the incessant mechanized cacophony of the modern world.
I am always so surprised when we have a power outage and I find that my house is eerily quiet. No humming from the refrigerator, no sound of music or TVs. These sounds that I filter to the background of my brain on the daily basis. But It’s not just at home, we do this everywhere.
Next time you are at a grocery store, take a second to stop and listen. You’ll be shocked by how loud it is.
With all of this stimulation going on around us, our brains are constantly on. Without taking breaks, this can lead to larger breakdowns at certain points in life. This is where the beauty of meditation comes in.
What Is Mediation?
Meditation is essentially the act of calming the mind and turning your focus inwards. There are many different ways you can do this, but chances are the first image that popped into your head was of someone sitting cross-legged with their hands out chanting ‘oommmmm’.
You don’t actually have to sit like that or chant while meditating, nor do you have to quiet the mind. When I first started on my mediation journey, I had such a hard time with it because I was under the impression that in order to do it properly, I couldn’t have a single thought in my head. It made it basically unbearable. But then I learned that quieting your thoughts aren’t actually the end goal here.
There is no right or wrong way to do it.
To me, meditation is separating yourself from your thoughts, and putting yourself in the role of the observer. You sit or lay down in whatever position feels most comfortable to you, and you close your eyes. Thoughts will pop up and all you have to do is let them.
You will find that similar to the loud world around us, we also have a loud world within. Hundreds of thoughts every 10 minutes just going on behind the scene.
I find that after I am done meditating, I tend to feel less stressed, less affected by intrusive thoughts, and am able to live a more balanced life.
The Benefits of Meditation
There are many benefits of mediation and mindfulness that have been proven through studies. You will be surprised to find the helpful things that come from such a simple act. According to the MayoClinic:
- Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
- Building skills to manage your stress
- Increasing self-awareness
- Focusing on the present
- Reducing negative emotions
- Increasing imagination and creativity
- Increasing patience and tolerance
- Lowering resting heart rate
- Lowering resting blood pressure
- Improving sleep quality
If you are interested in adding some of these benefits to your life, then mediating may be a part of your journey as well. To find some inspiration, I created a list of 31 Mindfulness Poems for Meditation that will get you excited about getting started.
It is so cool to see how many people throughout time have enjoyed such a simple action. Take a look!
Short Mindfulness Poems
This first list is full of shorter mindfulness poems. I’m sure as you look through these you’ll find a common theme: calmness. I think that inner reflection is such a wonderful and powerful tool for understanding yourself in deeper ways than you could ever have imagined. Take a look!
Be empty of worrying
Think of who created thought
Why do you stay in prison
When the door is wide open?
Move outside the tangle of fear thinking.
Live in silence.
Flow down and down in always
Widening rings of being.
is the belief
that one hand
reaching to another
touch the moon,
allowing the light
to guide us
through the night.
sit there right now
Don’t do a thing. Just rest.
separation from God
is the hardest work in this world.
Let me bring you trays of food and something
that you like to
You can use my soft words
as a cushion
I many times thought Peace had come
When peace was far away,
As wrecked men deem they sight the land
When far at sea they stay.
And struggle slacker, but to prove,
As hopelessly as I,
That many the fictitious shores
Before the harbour lie.
It was as if a window suddenly blew open
and the sky outside the mind came flooding in.
My childhood shriveled to a close,
thread of smoke that rose
and touched a cloud — or the cloud’s
replica adrift on the slow river of thinking —
and disappeared inside it. In that dark water,
a new lily was opening, sky-white out of the muck.
It was only a glimpse, quick,
like a bird ruffling,
but I saw the flower’s
beautiful stark shape, an artichoke
brightened from within by the moon.
A path lay shadowy at my feet,
and I followed it.
Give up wanting what other people have.
That way you’re safe.
“Where, where can I be safe?” you ask.
This is not a day for asking questions,
Not a day on any calendar.
This day is conscious of itself.
This day is a lover, bread, and gentleness,
More manifest than saying can say.
Thoughts take form with words,
But this daylight is beyond and before
Thinking and imagining.
Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
The earth says
stay put & listen to the roar of silence
hold on & root deep for treasure
feel the sap rising through your bones
wait & see what happens
The river says
into the lochs swirling & swelling & swishing
keep floating down down & down
falling & carving the mountains
down to the beautiful sea
9. I Am Not I
this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
in order to bloom
Within the body you are wearing, now
inside the bones and beating in the heart,
lives the one you have been searching for so long.
But you must stop running away and shake hands,
the meeting doesn’t happen
without your presence . . . your participation.
The same one waiting for you there
is moving in the trees, glistening on the water,
growing in the grasses and lurking in the shadows you create.
You have nowhere to go.
The marriage happened long ago.
Behold your mate.
-Robert K. Hall
Poetry can also be such a powerful tool. It can connect people and experiences in a way that little else can. Not to mention, you have the opportunity to connect with another thoughts in a deep and understanding level. The beautiful part is, they don’t even have to be the same age, place, or even century as you! You can get into someone else’s head from the past. If that isn’t time travelling…I don’t know what is.
“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 honourably.
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 as been sent
as a guide from beyond”.
13. The Healing Time
Finally on my way to yes
I bump into
all the places
where I said no
to my life
all the untended wounds
the red and purple scars
those hieroglyphs of pain
carved into my skin, my bones,
those coded messages
that send me down
the wrong street
again and again
where I find them
the old wounds
the old misdirections
and I lift them
one by one
close to my heart
and I say
14. Poem for Today
Bird at the top of the world,
it would come to this?
What are you
singing? What are you
Perhaps you just can’t
help yourself. Over
the entire hemisphere
your flute-phrases fall,
announcing spring again
– our northern spring,
stirring deep and dark
within bare forests,
advancing across plains
toward great cities
with their tatty city parks,
shading street cafes.
Even the seas
present no obstacle,
no border, because
you’re welcome, bird,
singing at the top of the world.
15. The Sun
Have you ever seen
in your life
than the way the sun,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon
and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again
out of the blackness,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower
streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure
that fills you,
as the sun
as it warms you
as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world–
or have you too
– Mary Oliver
16. That Lives In Us
If you put your hands on this oar with me,
they will never harm another, and they will come to find
they hold everything you want.
If you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer
lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land –
that sacred earth that is
If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm
that lives in us.
Exuberant is existence, time a husk.
When the moment cracks open, ecstasy leaps out and devours space;
love goes mad with the blessings, like my words give.
Why lay yourself on the torturer’s rack of the past and future?
The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities
will find no rest.
Be kind to yourself, dear – to our innocent follies.
Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance.
You will come to see that all evolves us.
If you put your heart against the earth with me, in serving
every creature, our Beloved will enter you from our sacred realm
and we will be, we will be
17. Let Love Go
Forget about ‘transcending’ the body.
Love it instead!
Let go of the idea of ‘letting go’.
Instead, let love go deep into the tender places, the parts that ache.
Breathe into your sadness. Let your fear move deep within.
Bow to your uncertainty.
There is an untouchable place in you that fearlessly allows itself to be touched.
Here, even your unworthiness has worth!
And that old feeling that you are unloveable? It is loveable here!
There is so much room in you, friend.
So much room.
There is nothing wrong with you,
including the idea
that there is something wrong with you.
So stop trying to love yourself;
simply be the Self that loves.
18. And Be
just to fall back on the grass
just to fall down on my bed
to be just a being on this earth
my head objects:
there’s a life to be lived
a path to be followed
a skill to be learned
a friend to be seen
a change to be made
a corner to be cleaned
a standard to be reached
to see everything I could pursue
in this world
and to stay sane
to know all that could be done
in this world
and to choose not to
just to fall back on the grass
The river is famous to the fish.
The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.
The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.
The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.
The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.
The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.
The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.
I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.
-Naomi Shihab Nye
Release the harsh and pointed inner
voice. it’s just a throwback to the past,
and holds no truth about this moment.
Let go of self-judgment, the old,
learned ways of beating yourself up
for each imagined inadequacy.
Allow the dialogue within the mind
to grow friendlier, and quiet. Shift
out of inner criticism and life
suddenly looks very different.
i can say this only because I make
the choice a hundred times a day to release the voice that refuses to
acknowledge the real me.
What’s needed here isn’t more prodding toward perfection, but
intimacy – seeing clearly, and
embracing what I see.
Love, not judgment, sows the
seeds of tranquility and change.
“Which is bigger,” he asks me, “the ocean or sky,”
and I want to tell him the heart, which even today
has been practicing vastness, is learning to say yes
in new languages, learning to stretch beyond
the center, beyond the lips, learning to be more moon
and less woman, to reflect light without owning it,
learning to lose whatever it has used before as a measure.
This is the way I want to love: in an idiom stronger
than tongues, I want to love in the way that tides pull
and release, like the moon which holds without touch,
I want to invite the sky to create a bigger space in me
a place spacious enough to hold all the wings
of the passing moment. I want to be buoyant enough
to carry all of love’s weight. “The sky,” I say.
“The sky is bigger, but the ocean is also wide.”
He is satisfied by my words, closes his eyes.
In my chest, a star falls. In my belly
strong tug of tides.
-Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Mindfulness Meditation Poems
While getting these lists together, I was honestly inspired more than I have been in a while. I hope these are having the same effect on you. It can be so comforting to hear so many other people’s experiences with meditation, and how when they are able to take a step back from the business of the day to day, how much stillness and happiness they find. Though it is kind of ironic to be saying all of this on the internet, I find that there are ways that you can balance yourself in this day in age. Balance is key! No one can live 100% off the grid, but you can start to incorporate mindfulness practices into your daily life to help improve your inner world.
Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.
23. A Winter Bluejay
Crisply the bright snow whispered,
Crunching beneath our feet;
Behind us as we walked along the parkway,
Our shadows danced,
Fantastic shapes in vivid blue.
Across the lake the skaters
Flew to and fro,
With sharp turns weaving
A frail invisible net.
In ecstasy the earth
Drank the silver sunlight;
In ecstasy the skaters
Drank the wine of speed;
In ecstasy we laughed
Drinking the wine of love.
Had not the music of our joy
Sounded its highest note?
For suddenly, with lifted eyes you said,
There, on the black bough of a snow flecked maple,
Fearless and gay as our love,
A bluejay cocked his crest!
Oh who can tell the range of joy
Or set the bounds of beauty?
we will wake up
and forget to build
that wall we’ve been building,
the one between us
the one we’ve been building
for years, perhaps
out of some sense
of right and boundary,
perhaps out of habit.
-Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
It is possible, I suppose that sometime
we will learn everything
there is to learn: what the world is, for example,
and what it means. I think this as I am crossing
from one field to another, in summer, and the
mockingbird is mocking me, as one who either
knows enough already or knows enough to be
perfectly content not knowing. Song being born
of quest he knows this: he must turn silent
were he suddenly assaulted with answers. Instead
oh hear his wild, caustic, tender warbling ceaselessly
unanswered. At my feet the white-petalled daisies display
the small suns of their center piece, their — if you don’t
mind my saying so — their hearts. Of course
I could be wrong, perhaps their hearts are pale and
narrow and hidden in the roots. What do I know?
But this: it is heaven itself to take what is given,
to see what is plain; what the sun lights up willingly;
for example — I think this
as I reach down, not to pick but merely to touch —
the suitability of the field for the daisies, and the
daisies for the field.
26. The Silence
Though the air is full of singing
my head is loud
with the labor of words.
Though the season is rich
with fruit, my tongue
hungers for the sweet of speech.
Though the beech is golden
I cannot stand beside it
mute, but must say
‘It is golden,’ while the leaves
stir and fall with a sound
that is not a name.
It is in the silence
that my hope is, and my aim.
A song whose lines
I cannot make or sing
sounds men’s silence
like a root. Let me say
and not mourn: the world
lives in the death of speech
and sings there.
It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.
She looks back at the path she has traveled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.
And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.
But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.
Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.
The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.
Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I gain the embrace of the universe;
Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.
Each condition I flee from pursues me,
Each condition I welcome transforms me
And becomes itself transformed
Into its radiant jewel-like essence.
I bow to the one who has made it so,
Who has crafted this Master Game;
To play it is purest delight –
To honour its form, true devotion.
-Jennifer Paine Welwood
29. I Worried
I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And I gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
today I am breathing through fatigue, fear, and
I breathe because when I breathe, I am reminded
that I am alive.
I am reminded that to be able to fill my body with
air means that I have the ability to keep going.
I am reminded that my time on earth may be short
but it can be powerful if I dedicate it to love
when I breathe
I am reminded of Mary Oliver when she wrote,
“tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one
wild and precious life?”
so I breathe
and let my breath
turn into a smile that says back to her,
“as much as I can.”
31. Dear You
You who always have
so many things to do
so many places to be
your mind spinning like
fan blades at high speed
each moment always a blur
because you’re never still.
I know you’re tired.
I also know it’s not your fault.
The constant brain-buzz is like
a swarm of bees threatening
to sting if you close your eyes.
You’ve forgotten something again.
You need to prepare for that or else.
You should have done that differently.
What if you closed your eyes?
Would the world fall
apart without you?
Or would your mind
become the open sky
flock of thoughts
flying across the sunrise
as you just watched and smiled.
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