The Art of Meditation

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breathe in –
breathing becomes laboured
snagging and catching before the end
 
breathe out –
the breath becomes a cry
caught on a gasp of surprise
 
sit tall –
the spine aches from holding
stories thousands of years old
 
be soft –
i feel not softness but threadbare fragility in
bone and skin that threaten collapse
 
i am falling –
but in the falling, an acute awareness
of what i’ve neglected so long
 
i am restless –
i have within me infinite little pieces
that have been struggling to be heard
 
i am suffering –
i have awakened to brilliant depths
of what it means to be alive and trying
 
i am human –
i will ache and burn as i sit with each one of us
feeling a unity in all our pain but also our triumphs
 
i am learning –
every moment, every breath in, breath out
is a change, a movement, a new leaf born. – TS

I Stay

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heartland
world goes to dusk
verdant landscape blushes
as sun paints the world
one last streak of fire
for this time
 
i stay
as she makes
her serpentine descent
i mourn the world
that will soon be
shrouded in dark
 
i resist
the temptation
to leap toward the horizon
and follow the sun to
all those places
on the other side
 
instead
hands to heart
i fix my gaze on the tree
i slow down my breath
that pulses with twilight fear
and i stay – TS

All the Brilliant Things

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sometimes
i want to gather
the most exquisite patterns
the most transporting paintings
like a mural-sized piece of outsider art
I found once by a Japanese artist in Toronto
that put a lifetime of colour and emotion onto one plane
together with the books
that fold all the way through time
that i can only spread out in my imagination
and it is not a spreading out so much as
a tunneling through, an accordion expansion
so that i can traverse them as i would
a dense forest trail in which everything lives
and also every loved one
i would like to gather
all of this brilliance around me
like a pile of crisp autumn leaves
and I’d like to take a deep breath at dawn
and finally, finally understand what i have,
and say thank you for waiting, and dive right in. TS

Tiger Eye

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our foreign land
eyes cast out
aeons and
memories deep
knowing not
perspective
from where
they gaze
 
our foreign body
groping wildly
in the dark
struggling
from a place
of unseen
clamoring
unbidden
 
a home our home
taking those
weary eyes
to task
filling them
with fire
turning it
around – TS

The Peace Revolution

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holding the
arms of love
breathing into it
with all you’ve got
holding on
to let go
loving mightily
to set free
believing with
every last part
of you
in what
comes next
 
soft love
a fervent wish
for the
kind of peace
that lies
encased in
your chest
like a jewel,
that transcends
our moment
in time
beyond our
wild dreamings
 
our faces
in the stream
throwing wishes
into moving waters
knowing that
now is the
time to love fierce
to commit fully
to want more
than the same
on the other side
this the time:
our revolution – TS

Who We Are

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the breath that knows no breath
the step that knows not it treads
the shadow unaware of the dark
the growth that sees not its rise
 
the sun that does not light itself
the moon free of her revolutions
the earth that has not a home
the sky that fears not its falling
 
until i can take you to this place
where we are untethered and free
i stand with you, hold your hand
i honour who you are, who i am. – TS

Shine Light on the World

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Life floods itself with life
but this is no drowning;
life will not be submerged.
 
The abundance can be
so difficult to grasp,
the infinite regeneration,
 
The peeking out from
winter’s dusky deep,
when from quiet readying,
 
From having burrowed
far, far down in the
ground of reckoning,
 
A budding into where
time dwells, governed by
phases of sun and moon,
 
And here it is again,
the thresholds surpassed,
the bounty pouring forth,
 
And it is as large as
dense forest trees
tumbling onto the road,
 
As magnanimous as
a mountain range hosting
the play of serpentine clouds,
 
As redemptive as grass
growing through the concrete,
going on and on and on,
 
And it is as small as
a cosmos being born
in the heart of one flower
 
The sacred lotus teaching:
how from murky depths, we
can shine light on the world. – TS