Last Night as I was Sleeping

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

~Antonio Machado~

Reflection on the Canal

Today was my last day in Copenhagen and my friend took me for a classic tourist canal boat ride. Waiting for more passengers to board I sat completely in the back to see what I could see…and so upon arriving home after a two hour flight my reflection from earlier today presented me with this meditation right before a good night’s rest.

ImageIf we still ourselves, we can mirror the divine perfectly. But if we engage solely in the frenetic activities of our daily involvements, if we seek to impose our own schemes on the natural order, and if we allow ourselves to become absorbed in self-centered views, the surface of our waters becomes turbulent. Then we cannot be receptive.

There is no effort that we can make to still ourselves. True stillness comes naturally from moments of solitude where we allow our minds to settle. Just as water seeks its own level, the mind will gravitate toward the holy. Muddy water will become clear if allowed to stand undisturbed, and so too will the mind become clear if it is allowed to be still.

ImageNeither the water nor any object make any effort to achieve a reflection. In the same way, meditation will be natural and immediate. ~Deng Ming-Dao~



Naturally curving outward

Playing in watery light

Splashing in between

A dark submerging night

Inwardly curving deeper

Without taking flight

Nakedly crossing over

In wet, rippling might.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2011

artist: Ruud Van Empel