For the Sake of True Love

img_3281

But for the sake

Of true love

I let go…

Of pride

Of fear

Of illusion

Misunderstandings

Like a wind

Blowing through 

The forest

In a sacred dance

Of leaves

I let go…

For the sake

Of true love

I let go…

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016*

“Everyday we say or do things that might leave behind ‘internal formations’ in the person we love. Following that, then the suffering and pain grow, and the person we love turns into something like a bomb that might explode at any moment. A few words are all it takes to trigger anger in this person, who you are afraid to approach and who you are afraid to talk to because he or she has become a bomb loaded with too much suffering. When you try to get away from him or her, this person thinks you do so out of contempt and their suffering increases. You also have become a bomb, because you have lost the ability to speak the language of peace, of understanding. You have lost the ability to listen, and so all communication has become impossible.”  ~Thich Nhat Hahn, True Love

img_3272

Cultivating the energy of loving speech and deep listening is a daily practice that begins with ourselves. When we reach that point where we are no longer able to speak and listen with compassion either to ourselves or to another being then its time to pause and look deeply and to trust our heart to guide us. The practice of mindfulness can help us. Mindful breathing and walking. It can help us to come back to ourselves. Bringing our mind and body together in alignment. That happens because we take the time to be present with ourselves by connecting with our breath. Or if we are walking our concentration is on the step connecting with the Earth. This brings a sense of grounding to our being. A space of calm can open our hearts so that we can see ourselves again. Mindful breathing helps us to take care of our body, our painful emotions, and to become aware of our mind.  Sometimes we lose perspective and see ourselves as something apart…something separate. We become overloaded because we aren’t taking care of ourself. But, we don’t have to get caught up in the stories we tell ourselves. Instead, we can retrain ourselves to focus our attention. When looking at our views and perceptions we can find a way to let go of our conditioning, illusions and misunderstandings. We don’t have to do anything…we don’t have to try hard. Breathing happens naturally because we are alive. We just need to notice our breath. Coming back to our breath and reconnecting with our bodies and mind opens up a space for our heart to guide us back to safety…the island of mindfulness. Where we can reconnect to Life. To True Love.

img_3269

*this poem is dedicated to the monks and nuns, Wake Up staff from Plum Village and laypersons who guided us through the retreat “Happy Teachers Change the World” at EIAB during October 14th-23rd

Advertisements

I Will Never Die

undercurrents

Do I have the courage

To allow the undercurrents

Of pain to rise in my life

There is healing and then…

Something simple like 

The sound of a piano

Breaks me wide open

A stream of pain…

Running waters

Yet these are waters 

That can gurgle

With the mirth 

Of laughter

water death

But I am haunted by fear

Fear that these waters

Will begin to rage 

Flooding my existence

That I will be surged under

To my death

pines cradle the sky

Then I look to see 

How the tips of swaying pine

Cradle the sky with love

I remember how deep their roots 

Reach into the Earth

How she holds them to her bosom

I wonder…

I wonder whether this is my pain

Or the pain of my ancestors

I can still be grounded

Even when the waters are rising

I can allow this fear

To have as much space as it needs

To breathe

naked before my own eyes

I find that I can allow the pain 

To mingle with mistakes I have made

Over the years…

I can allow the pain to flow freely

I can unlearn behaviors that bring despair

I can let the underclothes of judgement fall

Once again I am naked and vulnerable

Before my own eyes

leaflets and buds

Again I breathe

This time the running waters

Aren’t undercurrents of pain

But a cleansing rain

Cascading down upon 

The leaflets and buds of my heart

Nurturing the spring within me

That will awaken new life

Delicate and tender

I am flower fresh

jutting granite

Inwardly, jutting granite speaks

Of the solid strength

That we all bear together

In state of Oneness

Running waters grow still

As they collect in a natural basin

Of Love…

Reflecting what is true

Until the sun and moon

Sing of boundless freedoms

Ever expanding…

through the clouds

I know that I have arrived home

I have my place in the cosmos

I will never die…

I will return again and again

To kiss the earth through the clouds.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

*photos (in order of appearence) by:

Adam Taylor,

https://fstoppers.com/nature/photos-adam-taylor-captures-captivating-landscapes-5925

Brooke Shaden,

http://www.flickr.com/photos/brookeshaden/4916539764/

Luke Gram,

http://man-and-camera.com

Greta Tu,

http://www.gretatu.com/about-me

Droplets from Tumblr:

http://mariplopis.tumblr.com/post/29797090845

Alan Howell,

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashcroft8/3128393783/

Silouhette of girl on swing from Tumblr:

http://valscrapbook.tumblr.com/post/23284163399

***this poem was inspired by a dear friend on Twitter @stillnesspeakin