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Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems

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Mindfulness poems invite us to bring our whole self to whatever moment we’re in, and truly live it. They encourage us to be more present, more attentive and compassionate, in the living of our days. They grant us a taste of being good enough, just as we are, in this world, just as it is. Poetry of Presence ($21.95; dimensions 6″ x 9″) is a collection of more than 150 mindfu Mindfulness poems invite us to bring our whole self to whatever moment we’re in, and truly live it. They encourage us to be more present, more attentive and compassionate, in the living of our days. They grant us a taste of being good enough, just as we are, in this world, just as it is. Poetry of Presence ($21.95; dimensions 6″ x 9″) is a collection of more than 150 mindfulness poems, mostly by contemporary or recent poets. These poems call us to the Here and Now, and help us to dwell there. The Here and Now is all that truly belongs to us, and as the poets say, it’s enough. This is a book for the times we live in. An inspiring read for lovers of beautiful, accessible poetry, it’s also a valuable resource for literature teachers, spiritual directors, meditators, interfaith clergy, mindfulness trainers, social workers, counselors, poetry therapists, hospice and grief workers, and medical personnel. Anthologized poets include Yehuda Amichai • Margaret Atwood • Ellen Bass • Wendell Berry • Robert Bly • Billy Collins • Mahmoud Darwish • Thich Nhat Hanh • Joy Harjo • Tony Hoagland • Miroslav Holub • Marie Howe • Erica Jong • Kabir • Galway Kinnell • Ted Kooser • Howard Nemerov • Kathleen Norris • Mary Oliver • Rainer Maria Rilke • Rumi • May Sarton • William Stafford • David Wagoner • Alice Walker and many more. "I’ll keep this by my side to read one poem a day to return to a state of mindfulness, breathing language through the heart. If you choose one anthology, I say let it be this one for the amazement⎯for the voices that, surprisingly, will speak to what you want to find in yourself.” ⎯ Grace Cavalieri, Host and Producer, “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress” “The poems in this book, arranged gently and creatively, are an invitation to mindful presence and to a world where words and phrases initiate us, wake us up, and guide us home.” ⎯ Kelly Boys, Host of The Year of Mindfulness and mindfulness consultant to the United Nations Foundation “These poems remind us to live `undefended.’ To stand, deliberately and consciously, as witnesses of the present moment. To gaze upon existence from the place of Divine Intimacy. To reach out from that place to those who suffer. Living this way takes lots of practice. Poetry of Presence will be a companion and guide, leading us into deeper communion with the world.” ⎯ Fr. Richard Rohr, Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, and The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See “After reading just a poem or two in Poetry of Presence, I started quieting down, breathing easier. The poems had already begun to do their work. What a gift! This will be a book I will return to again and again to find the peaceful presence I need to face the day.” ⎯ Megan Scribner, Co-author of Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach “Especially in times of challenge, I turn to poetry in my life, and in my work. Poetry expresses the ineffable⎯that which is beyond logic and linear thinking⎯like God, or love or presence. In my mindfulness teaching, poetry is always present and I look forward to using the poems in this beautiful collection on a regular basis.” ⎯ Rabbi Jill Berkson Zimmerman, Founder of the Jewish Mindfulness Network “This collection of poems is an invitation toward ‘being’ with the present moment, through the written word. I am moved, inspired and surprised by the powerful and clear voices in these poems: both new gems, and old friends. In teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, I know Poetry of Presence will be a regular resource, as it speaks directly to the heart of being fully human.” ⎯ Holly Nelson-Johnson, MBSR Mentor for the University of California-San Diego Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute, and president of Mindfulness for Living “Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby Wilson have collected an extensive anthology of exquisite poetry that can open the minds and hearts of readers to the richness and vastness of the present moment. As a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher, I find this collection to be a true gift, with poems that I will share with the participants in my classes for years to come.” ⎯ Diane Reibel, Ph.D., Director of the Mindfulness Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and coauthor of Teaching Mindfulness: A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Educators


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Mindfulness poems invite us to bring our whole self to whatever moment we’re in, and truly live it. They encourage us to be more present, more attentive and compassionate, in the living of our days. They grant us a taste of being good enough, just as we are, in this world, just as it is. Poetry of Presence ($21.95; dimensions 6″ x 9″) is a collection of more than 150 mindfu Mindfulness poems invite us to bring our whole self to whatever moment we’re in, and truly live it. They encourage us to be more present, more attentive and compassionate, in the living of our days. They grant us a taste of being good enough, just as we are, in this world, just as it is. Poetry of Presence ($21.95; dimensions 6″ x 9″) is a collection of more than 150 mindfulness poems, mostly by contemporary or recent poets. These poems call us to the Here and Now, and help us to dwell there. The Here and Now is all that truly belongs to us, and as the poets say, it’s enough. This is a book for the times we live in. An inspiring read for lovers of beautiful, accessible poetry, it’s also a valuable resource for literature teachers, spiritual directors, meditators, interfaith clergy, mindfulness trainers, social workers, counselors, poetry therapists, hospice and grief workers, and medical personnel. Anthologized poets include Yehuda Amichai • Margaret Atwood • Ellen Bass • Wendell Berry • Robert Bly • Billy Collins • Mahmoud Darwish • Thich Nhat Hanh • Joy Harjo • Tony Hoagland • Miroslav Holub • Marie Howe • Erica Jong • Kabir • Galway Kinnell • Ted Kooser • Howard Nemerov • Kathleen Norris • Mary Oliver • Rainer Maria Rilke • Rumi • May Sarton • William Stafford • David Wagoner • Alice Walker and many more. "I’ll keep this by my side to read one poem a day to return to a state of mindfulness, breathing language through the heart. If you choose one anthology, I say let it be this one for the amazement⎯for the voices that, surprisingly, will speak to what you want to find in yourself.” ⎯ Grace Cavalieri, Host and Producer, “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress” “The poems in this book, arranged gently and creatively, are an invitation to mindful presence and to a world where words and phrases initiate us, wake us up, and guide us home.” ⎯ Kelly Boys, Host of The Year of Mindfulness and mindfulness consultant to the United Nations Foundation “These poems remind us to live `undefended.’ To stand, deliberately and consciously, as witnesses of the present moment. To gaze upon existence from the place of Divine Intimacy. To reach out from that place to those who suffer. Living this way takes lots of practice. Poetry of Presence will be a companion and guide, leading us into deeper communion with the world.” ⎯ Fr. Richard Rohr, Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, and The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See “After reading just a poem or two in Poetry of Presence, I started quieting down, breathing easier. The poems had already begun to do their work. What a gift! This will be a book I will return to again and again to find the peaceful presence I need to face the day.” ⎯ Megan Scribner, Co-author of Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach “Especially in times of challenge, I turn to poetry in my life, and in my work. Poetry expresses the ineffable⎯that which is beyond logic and linear thinking⎯like God, or love or presence. In my mindfulness teaching, poetry is always present and I look forward to using the poems in this beautiful collection on a regular basis.” ⎯ Rabbi Jill Berkson Zimmerman, Founder of the Jewish Mindfulness Network “This collection of poems is an invitation toward ‘being’ with the present moment, through the written word. I am moved, inspired and surprised by the powerful and clear voices in these poems: both new gems, and old friends. In teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, I know Poetry of Presence will be a regular resource, as it speaks directly to the heart of being fully human.” ⎯ Holly Nelson-Johnson, MBSR Mentor for the University of California-San Diego Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute, and president of Mindfulness for Living “Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby Wilson have collected an extensive anthology of exquisite poetry that can open the minds and hearts of readers to the richness and vastness of the present moment. As a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher, I find this collection to be a true gift, with poems that I will share with the participants in my classes for years to come.” ⎯ Diane Reibel, Ph.D., Director of the Mindfulness Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and coauthor of Teaching Mindfulness: A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Educators

30 review for Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bonny

    I have been choosing a poem each day at random from Poetry of Presence, and with everything that is going on in the world (the pandemic, racism, economic instability, our embarrassing, ineffective and hate-filled administration ...) this wonderful volume has felt like a lifeline. It seems I always choose just the poem I need to read, and that may be because we all need poetry now, more than ever. This is a superb collection that I highly recommend.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    This is a much more important poetry book than I have ever encountered before, and I have a lot of books from famous authors. I chose to include a reading of one poem a day into my morning practice. I have often been awakened, challenged and grateful to have read any one of the poems included in this anthology and since I have read all of the poems now, I will start at the beginning, but also just open it randomly, as a way of being surprised and invited to use the idea that every one of these p This is a much more important poetry book than I have ever encountered before, and I have a lot of books from famous authors. I chose to include a reading of one poem a day into my morning practice. I have often been awakened, challenged and grateful to have read any one of the poems included in this anthology and since I have read all of the poems now, I will start at the beginning, but also just open it randomly, as a way of being surprised and invited to use the idea that every one of these poems embody. There are famous authors, their are historical authors, there are authors I had not encountered before this, yet I have never been disappointed by my poem for the day.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    You can use this as an intro to some outstanding writers who're tuned into universally focused meditation and mindfulness - some from today and some from the past.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pablito

    The poems in this anthology, as per the subtitle, were all selected for their capacity to inspire 'keeping our heads and hearts where our bodies are'; in other words . . . moments of mindfulness. As with any anthology, there will be poems that speak to you, and ones that won't. I was pleased by how many here did, particularly as preludes to meditation . . . which is exactly what I used them for. Before meditating each morning, I would read one poem. Armed with my cup of coffee, it helped me step i The poems in this anthology, as per the subtitle, were all selected for their capacity to inspire 'keeping our heads and hearts where our bodies are'; in other words . . . moments of mindfulness. As with any anthology, there will be poems that speak to you, and ones that won't. I was pleased by how many here did, particularly as preludes to meditation . . . which is exactly what I used them for. Before meditating each morning, I would read one poem. Armed with my cup of coffee, it helped me step into the present . . . or prepare to. On page 52, Kabir writes, Let your arrogance go, and look around inside. The blue sky opens out further and farther, the daily sense of failure goes away, the damage I have done to myself fades, a million suns come forward with light, when I sit firmly in that world.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nick Lemon

    This is a really exceptional anthology, and exactly what I needed for pandemic perusal.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cara

    This collection is the perfect morning companion, offering a poem each day to create mindfulness and centering for the day. Featuring well known and some of my favorite poets such as Naomi Shihab Nye, Mary Oliver, Alice Walker, Rumi and others interspersed with poets that were new to me. I will be putting Poetry of Presence in the rotation with some of my tried and true volumes I use as part of my spiritual disciplines. My only complaint is that someone should have designed the cover better--suc This collection is the perfect morning companion, offering a poem each day to create mindfulness and centering for the day. Featuring well known and some of my favorite poets such as Naomi Shihab Nye, Mary Oliver, Alice Walker, Rumi and others interspersed with poets that were new to me. I will be putting Poetry of Presence in the rotation with some of my tried and true volumes I use as part of my spiritual disciplines. My only complaint is that someone should have designed the cover better--such a lovely book and such a dated cover!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan (The Book Bag)

    Poetry of Presence is a beautiful collection of poems, written by many very talented poets. It is a collection to savor and reread. You will find yourself coming back to it over and over as life changes happen, each time gaining more wisdom, advice, and peace from the words within. Okay, I have to be completely honest here for a bit. I did not enjoy poetry in high school; all that analyzing and pulling each poem apart, trying to discover it's meaning. It just wasn't fun for me as the teacher trie Poetry of Presence is a beautiful collection of poems, written by many very talented poets. It is a collection to savor and reread. You will find yourself coming back to it over and over as life changes happen, each time gaining more wisdom, advice, and peace from the words within. Okay, I have to be completely honest here for a bit. I did not enjoy poetry in high school; all that analyzing and pulling each poem apart, trying to discover it's meaning. It just wasn't fun for me as the teacher tried to get us to 'get it'. So, my attitude has always been, I don't do poetry. Poetry of Presence advises the reader to slow down, read and enjoy each poem, think about how it relates to your life. Some you may 'get' right away—it will speak to you. Others, maybe not. Or maybe not right now. Maybe it will speak to you at a later time. Come back to it. This is going to be a slow read for me because I am going to take their advice. I am going to savor each poem, marking the ones I love and noting the ones to come back to. Honestly, Poetry of Presence made me rethink my feelings about poetry—I now do poetry.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bobby

    Being an anthology, this collection exposes the reader to many different poets and many differing approaches to poetry. Not all of them will be enjoyed equally by any one reader, of course, but I'd imagine that most readers who enjoy poetry and are interested in being more mindful and present would enjoy these 200 pages. I certainly did as I found old friends like Mary Oliver, Alberto Rios, and Thich Nhat Hanh here in addition to dozens upon dozens of poets unfamiliar to me. This book was well w Being an anthology, this collection exposes the reader to many different poets and many differing approaches to poetry. Not all of them will be enjoyed equally by any one reader, of course, but I'd imagine that most readers who enjoy poetry and are interested in being more mindful and present would enjoy these 200 pages. I certainly did as I found old friends like Mary Oliver, Alberto Rios, and Thich Nhat Hanh here in addition to dozens upon dozens of poets unfamiliar to me. This book was well worth the investment of time and attention and reminded me over and over, in many ways, to be more mindful.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bobbie N

    A collection of "mindfulness" poems, poems that call the reader to be more attentive and live more deeply in the present moment. In order to achieve its purpose, it is best that one poem be read meditatively each day, and that the reader stay with a line or phrase or image that resonates with them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Sams

    This book has been an inspiration and a life-saver for me and a widening circle of my friends. Do yourself a favor and order multiple copies from the start. Over the past two months I've ordered 3 batches of these - hoping it would say more than I could to friends and family dealing with illness, grief, the stresses and fears of ordinary life, or the simple need to slow down and take a quiet breath. Every one of us has found a lot of what we needed to hear in this wise volume. The editors have g This book has been an inspiration and a life-saver for me and a widening circle of my friends. Do yourself a favor and order multiple copies from the start. Over the past two months I've ordered 3 batches of these - hoping it would say more than I could to friends and family dealing with illness, grief, the stresses and fears of ordinary life, or the simple need to slow down and take a quiet breath. Every one of us has found a lot of what we needed to hear in this wise volume. The editors have gathered a wide range of expressive voices to create a moving collection of the kinds of poems they describe as "good medicine" - the ones we keep copies of in a desk drawer or on a bulletin board, forward to friends, copy in our journals. Their book has spoken more eloquently than I could to a lot of people I care about. If you are looking for a wise companion for yourself or someone you love, this is it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    Exquisite book. "Poetry of Presence" is my new favorite companion. My treat for each day is to read a few poems from this delightful, insightful collection and think about them, as curators, Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby Wilson suggest in the “Invitation in the front of the book. I feel like I am visiting with many of my favorite poets, Lucille Clifton, May Sarton, Mary Oliver, Rumi, Denise Levertov, William Stafford as well as other fine poets I have come to know through this book. Each poem has nu Exquisite book. "Poetry of Presence" is my new favorite companion. My treat for each day is to read a few poems from this delightful, insightful collection and think about them, as curators, Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby Wilson suggest in the “Invitation in the front of the book. I feel like I am visiting with many of my favorite poets, Lucille Clifton, May Sarton, Mary Oliver, Rumi, Denise Levertov, William Stafford as well as other fine poets I have come to know through this book. Each poem has nuggets of wisdom and comfort: Hannah Stephenson, “Ancient Language”; Helen Bass, “The Thing Is”; Albert Huffstickler, “The Cure”; Grace Butcher, “Learning from Trees”, and so many more. My copy is filled with bookmarks so I can return often. This is a must-have addition to the nightstand. It makes me feel better as a person to read these poems; it will not gather dust on a bookshelf at my home, it’s a handbook for living.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nathalie

    I'm not a huge poetry lover but I love this book. It's full of poems that make you feel better or that make you laugh or look at the world in a different way because they are all about mindfulness. Mindfulness helps you being in the present in a non judgmental way, it reduces stress, improves focus and emotions, helps with resilience and physical well being among other things. So, yes, I love this book and my own copy came in the mail today!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dan Gobble

    This is one of the best collections of poems on living fully in the present moment I've ever come across. In fact, I don't know of another collection like it. I've copied down probably about half of the poems in my journal. I could only read one or two at a time before laying it aside to ponder them deeper. A favorite from John O'Donohue: Fluent I would love to live Like a river flow, Carried by the surprise Of its own unfolding. (p. 82)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura Beasley

    Some poems compelled me to read them a second or third time. A volume to reread and enjoy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rome Doherty

    This is a really excellent collection of poems which help with insight into meditation practice.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Give your mind some proper pointing to calm with this collection.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ruth Kamp

    I will continue to return again and again to the well.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I enjoyed this collection very much. Each poem was a great centering tool in its own way. I plan to buy a copy of my own to peruse when I need some help focusing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Foote-Blackman

    After reading this lovely compendium of poems I realized this is the perfect gift for friends and family--for their birthdays, for the new year, for moments of agitation or despondency. Comfort food in the form of pages. The book features works by such venerable names as Rumi, Rainer Maria Rilke, Octavio Paz, Seamus Heaney, May Sarton, Pablo Neruda, and Czeslaw Milosz, and by household names as Margaret Atwood, Wendell Berry, Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, Louise Glück, and Alice Walker. But this a After reading this lovely compendium of poems I realized this is the perfect gift for friends and family--for their birthdays, for the new year, for moments of agitation or despondency. Comfort food in the form of pages. The book features works by such venerable names as Rumi, Rainer Maria Rilke, Octavio Paz, Seamus Heaney, May Sarton, Pablo Neruda, and Czeslaw Milosz, and by household names as Margaret Atwood, Wendell Berry, Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, Louise Glück, and Alice Walker. But this anthology will also allow readers interested in mindfulness, and its expression through poetry, to discover thought provoking, often lyrical poems by a wide selection of marvelous if lesser known artists, including Teddy Macker, Joyce Sutphen, and Rosemerry Trommer and Jimmy Santiago Baca. The key though is to not read more than one poem at one sitting. Because of their emphasis on the present moment, on taking time for quiet and for deep reflection, these pages call for a languid pace; ideally, they should be read at moments that are conducive to meditation or at least reflection, early morning before the children are awake, or just before dusk, sitting under a tree. These are not to be swallowed as much as savored, slowly, and to let these voices from many backgrounds bring solace to the soul.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Earon Davis

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Ann

  22. 4 out of 5

    Krista Madigan

  23. 4 out of 5

    Arvind Thambidurai

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Isabelle

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robin Carlo

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Polly Giantonio

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christy

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