Poetry can be used as a wonderful tool for your meditation. There is a layer of a good poem that is “off the page.” When I teach poetry, I ask my students to try to understand, not only the literal interpretation of a given poem, but also whatever levels they find off the page.
Often, we read this layer with our hearts and have a difficult time explaining that level of the poem to another person; we’ll say it’s hard to put into words or we’ll say “you know” a lot while nodding our heads. It’s the layer of the poem that speaks to us the loudest and with a universal message of what it means to be human. We know, and again it’s a nonverbal knowledge, that the other person understands, or maybe I should say FEELS what it is the poet is trying to convey.
When listening to or reading poetry, RELAX open your heart center, and invite your Self to become the poem. If that sounds too airy-fairy to you, just sit back and softly focus your awareness on each line of the poem.
Here is the transcription of the poem:
Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu
Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion
or cultural system. I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up
from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all. I do not exist,
am not an entity in this world or in the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve or any
origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul.
I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
worlds as one and that one call to and know,
first, last, outer, inner, only that
breath breathing human being.
And if they don’t speak to you, don’t worry, I’ll post something completely different next week.
After you have “experienced” each video, you may wish to sit quietly with your eyes closed for a few minutes and let them reverberate in your heart and mind. As you do so, welcome whatever bubbles into your awareness consciously. Then let that thought go as you create room for whatever else may come before your mind. Do this as long as you feel comfortable.
If you’re inspired, by all means pick up your pen and paper, or head to your keyboard and let loose. Mevlana would be pleased with your efforts, I’m sure.