Mindful Poetry Can Expand Your Mindfulness Experience

Poetry can use words to point towards deeper insights about mindfulness, wisdom and compassion – concepts that are often beyond words and common to cultures beyond the boundaries of the United Kingdom. Here are some favourite poetry books. The beauty of poetry lies in finding what resonates with your being.

  • Rumi: Bridge to the Soul translated by Coleman Barks (HarperCollins). Rumi was a thirteenth-century Persian poet and mystic. Coleman Barks’ translations help to transfer the harmony and beauty of Rumi’s words into the English language in a masterly way. As one reviewer eloquently said of Rumi’s words: ‘his poems bridge the gap between conscious knowing and soul-deep understanding’.

  • The Prophet by Khalil Gibran (Pan). The Prophet is a masterpiece of spiritual writing, although the text doesn’t refer to any particular religion. Passages include deep wisdom and observations about children, love, work, trading and marriage. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy if you haven’t read it – it’s special.

  • Dream Work by Mary Oliver (Grove Press). Oliver’s hopeful and wise words include her mindful observations of nature, art and music. She reminds you of the value of gratitude, of the miracles of the world around us and acts as a gentle tap on the shoulder to put down the to-do list and enjoy being alive.

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