To Live While Living

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A moment comes
when what is trailing by
slowly, drifting,
stops time, this
is its secret power
in the world of humans,
who live in time’s domain.
There is a rupture,
like watching a leaf
float in a still lake,
a remnant of life
in that which breathes
ceaselessly, according
to Nature’s way.
What has been
swims in the pool
of immanence: here
we imagine any number
of possible futures
refracted in shimmering
surfaces, until we
are reminded of the end,
ever-present, the death
that accompanies us
our whole journey long,
at every moment
a siren call, piercing,
asking that we listen
without being overcome.
Make me your friend,
death wants to say,
so that you greet me
happily where the road divides,
so that you will know
nothing but pure joy
on your way there,
from the gifts like diamonds
living in the light
of your precious time here.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
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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

Expansion

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i can imagine
the circle breathing
taking that sweet
inhalation to allow
even more if its
beautiful, rounded
shape to fill
space.
who knows
what has always
been in the
circle, that
will reveal itself
on the wings
of such
expansion.
i breathe in
and imagine
each cell a
full, fluid
vibrant circle
growing, as
i allow myself
to have
presence,
allow for the
splendor of
my being,
and for the
endless
possibility
of discovering
the magic
in each
and every part. – TS