Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Words as Inspiration for Direct Experience

For many years I have chosen a poem a year to learn by heart and return to as the year passes. The process of learning and returning again and again to the same poem has acted as a mirror of sorts and has deepened my appreciation and understanding of myself and the poem. A good poem suggest possibilities of how I might perceive and engage with the myself, the world, and the many relationships that sustain us.

Sometimes a single line from a poem or piece of prose is enough. Sometimes I will borrow and change the single line and use it as a vehicle for practice — a place to cultivate and deepen a specific concept as sensation and somatic embodiment. Here is short haiku-like piece I borrowed from a longer poem by Rilke called "On a Vast Plain" and have made part of my current practice.

sink back
into the source of everything
go into your heart
as onto a vast plain

Here are links to other poems I have worked and played with — learning by heart: Poems To Live By. Perhaps they too will be useful for you (yes you) as we go about our journeys into the vast wilds of this human experience.