Poem: Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson

Chapter 1
I walk down the street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in
I am lost... I am helpless
It isn't my fault
It takes forever to find a way out

Chapter 2
I walk down the street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I pretend I don't see it
I fall in again
I can't believe I am in the same place
But, it isn't my fault
It still takes a long time to get out     
Chapter 3
I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I see it is there
I still fall in... it's a habit
My eyes are open
I know where I am
It is my fault
I get out immediately  
Chapter 4
I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I walk around it
Chapter 5
I walk down another street

Mindfulness has to do with waking-up, opening your eyes, and seeing the choices before you.  Yes, you can go the same way, so mindfully choose it.  Or, mindfully choose another way.  What ever way you choose, as Anne Lamott says, be where your butt is! This is the simplest definition of Mindfulness I've come across.  

Book of Poetry: Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West


While this book has many poems about God, do not be put off if you do not believe in God; this is still a book to have on your shelf. Rabia, Rumi, Meister Eckhart, Hafiz, Kabir, + St. Teresa of Avila are among the poets included in this brilliant collection.

Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Book: Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There: A Mindfulness Retreat


While this really is an outline with practical instructions for a 3-day retreat, including Eating Meditation and Walking Meditation, the format is bite-sized and her kind + gentle voice and stories are ever so encouraging whether you’re on retreat, sitting daily or coming back from a sitting-hiatus.  Every chapter is relevant to your sitting and mindfulness practices on or off retreat.  Her experience is real, as if she’s right there sitting-along with you.  I use this book when I go on self-led silent retreats and it is instructive and supportive.  

Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There: A Mindfulness Retreat by Sylvia Boorstein

Book: Inviting Silence: Universal Principals of Meditation

One of the very, very best books out there.  Gunilla Norris’ writing style is poetic and practical.  I use some part of this book in every adult 1-on-1 and Group Sit.  Broken down into 4 main sections-Beginning Silence, Growing Silence, Practicing Silence, and Sharing Silence-she recognizes our deep longing for silence even as we “snail forward” toward silence “our deepest nature.”  This is a must have on every sitter/meditator’s bookshelf.

Inviting Silence: Universal Principles of Meditation by Gunilla Norris