#NaPoMo 27

Today Hafiz teaches us about mindfulness.

“Buttering the Sky”

Slipping

On my shoes,

Boiling water,

Toasting bread,

Buttering the sky:

That should be enough contact

With God in one day

To make anyone

Crazy.

“I Want Both of Us”

I want both of us

To start talking about this great love

As if you, I, and the Sun were all married

And living in a tiny room,

 

Helping each other to cook,

Do the wash,

Weave and sew,

Care for our beautiful

Animals.

 

We all leave each morning

To labor on the earth’s field.

No one does not lift a great pack.

 

I want both of us to start singing like two

Traveling minstrels

About this extraordinary existence

We share.

 

As if

You, I, and God were all married

And living in

A tiny

Room.

 

I love these verses, but as I type them up, I wonder what you will think.

Are they too simple? Too silly to be worth noticing? 

I understand the impulse to dismiss poems like these, but just because something is simple, doesn’t mean it’s easy.  To live mindfully is perhaps the greatest challenge of all.

We think our everyday lives are somehow separate from our spiritual path, but Hafiz is inviting us to see them as one and the same. Have you ever thought of God as your roommate? Your office partner? Your sous chef and dishwasher? Why not? Wouldn’t every moment be richer in possibility, bathed in companionship, steeped in meaning? It costs us nothing to try it and we might find that we are getting a much better value for our mortgage.

A few years back, right after I finished at The Living School, I thought I might find some kind of “holy” work to do, but what arose instead was an opportunity to put in more hours at Wavelines, our surf shop.  And so I began what I jokingly referred to as “mindful bikini hanging.” Tim and I would be at the shop in the early hours before the store opened and I would be hanging delicate, expensive nylon triangles on plastic hangars. At first, my ego railed against the smallness of the task before me, but eventually, it stopped. “Mindful bikini hanging” wasn’t a joke any more; it really was a spiritual practice. One day, as I was smoothing out the wrinkles on crop top, Hafiz’s perspective prevailed. The backroom was filled with a soft glow. I looked over at Tim and I thought, “If I never do anything more than this, it is enough. I have everything I need right here.” I had learned to butter the sky and it was “enough contact/ With God in one day” to make me crazy, not every day, of course, but enough to keep me singing.

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