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
Daniel Ladinsky rendition of Hafiz
I like to read a poem whilst I sit to practice in the morning. When I read this one, I hear not only the kindest of words, but the most comforting intonation. This brings a feeling of being lifted in caring arms towards the nurture, restoration and renewal that my heart needs. Being spoken to with these ‘soft words’ kindles my heart’s warmth like an inner flame being lit. It’s a short-cut to the sweetest self-compassion. I feel a vulnerability to the world, and a thirst for being held in the web of life. As I sit, I rest in this opening, letting the words of the poem indeed be a cushion for my head.
‘Just rest, for your separation from God is the hardest work in this world’. Now, personally I’m not a fan of the word God, but I still find that this line is the most wonderful contemplation in itself. Having read quite a bit of poetry inspired by Hafiz (admittedly only from the interpretations of Daniel Ladinsky which you can find here), I’m noticing how many different words Hafiz uses for what is ultimate and divine. Beloved, Truth, Divine Love, Great Circle, Sun, Moon, Ocean to name but a few. So, feeling like this somehow gives me permission, I have taken the liberty of ‘translating’ the word God in this poem into a feeling. For me it is a feeling of reverential opening to the miraculous vastness of existence. So yes, when I rest, just rest, and see if I can give up the hard work of separating myself from this wondrous universe I begin to feel the borders of my awareness become porous and recede, and my skin tingles and seems to no longer be a boundary.
I wonder what this poem would bring to you in your practice!
Ps. If you are interested in exploring mystical poetry in your mindfulness practice look out for our new short course Mindfulness Meets Mystical Poetry coming at the end of March 2022.
Photo by Nick Owuor on Unsplash