Writing

Make Peace with Your MindMAKE PEACE WITH YOUR MIND
How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic
By Mark Coleman
Introduction by Tara Brach

Many of us are well acquainted with our “Inner Critic.” This is the voice that says not enough, not good enough, or sometimes too much. It’s the voice that makes every step we take subject to criticism. The Inner Critic is inner because it knows our history, our feelings, how we tick. This might make the Inner Critic seem invincible, but it is not. In fact, our disparaging mental voices reflect profound sources of suffering. They didn’t come out of nowhere and they can be addressed, not with anger or panic but with compassion and deep understanding. Mark Coleman helps readers understand and address their inner voices. Each chapter offers easily digestible insights into what creates, drives, and disarms the Critic, real people’s journeys to inspire and guide, and simple meditations anyone can immediately put into practice to invite, cultivate, and nurture their best, most free, and most fulfilled selves.

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Available for purchase through Amazon: https://amzn.com/160868430X

 

AWAKE IN THE WILD
Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self Discovery
By Mark Coleman
Introduction by Jack Kornfield

Many of us have forgotten how to listen, feel, and sense the natural world—and why it’s vital to our own humanity. We can turn the tide by engaging in regular contact with nature while cultivating the simple yet profound quality of mindful attention. Awake in the Wild is a guide to using Buddhist meditative techniques in the natural world as a way to access nature’s gifts, blessings, and guidance.

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Available for purchase through Amazon: http://amzn.com/1930722559

 

 


Poetry

The Turn

Your only duty
Is to not run
From here
Even if the hole
Of loss burns deep
In your belly
And on waking
You feel the dread
Of walking into the day

You could pretend
Try putting on a face
Other than your own
But that’s a game
That never works
And burns
A deeper hole inside
The pocket of longing
Making the shell
You’ve chosen to live in
Even more hollow

But there are times
When there is no choice
But to surrender
To turn towards
Your loneliness
And the empty places within
You’ve spent a lifetime
Running from

Embracing them
With delicate hands of love
The way the evening fog
Envelopes the solitary tree
Without flinching
Pressing into and
Loving every gnarled crevice
Every twisted branch
Even the forgotten needles
Fallen to the ground

This is the first step
That begins the slow
Journey of completeness
Keeps inviting you deeper
Into the roots of yourself
Claiming your place
That has been waiting
That is always right here

Copyright Mark Coleman 2010
(Now Available on Poems from the Wild)

 

Aging Sunflowers

Summer draws its last breath.
Aging sunflowers
Hang heavy heads low,
Faces blackened in the sun.
Yellow crowns
Long since gone.
Tired figures waiting
For the reaper’s blade.

A flicker of time
Ages fields of gold
Into charcoal.
I want to turn
To brighter pastures,
But wizened faces
With sharpened teeth
Holds my gaze.

A deeper silence
Enters the fields.
A life less brazen,
Not flaunting beauty to the sun.
Contemplative,
Awaiting return to the soil.
A place we all near,
With more protest.

I bow to these elders,
Ancient wisdom gatherers,
Reminders of mortality.
For beauty that remains
In unbending hands
Of the thief of time.

Summer draws its last breath
Aging sunflowers
Hang heavy heads low
Faces blackened in the sun
Yellow crowns
Long since gone
Leaving tired figures
Waiting for the reaper’s blade
Its takes a flicker of time
To age fields of gold
And turn
Away from withering
To brighter pastures.
But wizened faces
Charcoal teeth
Catch my gaze
A deeper silence
Enters the fields
A life less brazen
Not flaunting beauty to the sun
Contemplative
Awaiting return to the soil
A place we inch toward
With more protest
So I take my bow
To these elders
Ancient wisdom gatherers
Reminders of our mortal lot
And for the beauty that remains
In the unbending hands
Of the dreaded thief of time

 

Dawn’s Palette

She came today
A banquet of colors
On her palette,
Spraying the sea
Indigo and lilac.
With a sweep of her brush
She lit the sky on fire.
Meanwhile the dark leaves
In the forest
Rest in quiet shade,
Happily overlooked
By her artwork.

As time passed,
She opened her chest of silver
Coating the sea in bullion
Then every shade of gray.
Later, as she breathed
Her tropical breath,
Thick clouds billowed
Eclipsing the rose horizon
With a solemnity.
While I prayed to the Gods
Of the morning
With nothing but gratitude
In this growing heart.
What else is left
When we’re opened
And filled to the brim
With grace?

What Is to Come

I will sit and wait
For a long time
For the sight of the snowy owl
Hurling through the trees
Like a spear.
I will sit and wait
For the dusty red fox
With his tail of flames
To prance through the snow
Untouched by the piercing cold.
I will sit and wait
While red-tail hovers motionless
Above the crest of the moaning hill
While he waits for perilous
Movement on land.

There are many things in this life
Worth pausing for,
The sun breaking through miserable clouds,
The wind assaulting the maddened trees,
For the one
Who has yet to reveal themselves
To step out from the shadows
From the dark cold places
Where the soul hovers
For protection and safety.

What is it you wait for,
For your life to be different
Than you imagined?
What if all that lingering was in vain.
Imagine releasing that burden
And for once stepped into the chalice
Of your life
That was waiting for you to drink
From its silvery depths

 

Morning Song

It begins with a single finch
Followed by the sound of
Chickadees and blackbirds.
Then comes the hammering
Of woodpecker
Bearing down into heartwood,
And boisterous geese
Descending like planes
Into cold ponds.
Until a unison of song
Heralds the new day.

I want everyday to be like this,
Where I feel dawn
Rise up in my body
And sunrise in my heart
Warming fingertips
And crisp frosted leaves.
Where early rays
Turn still aspen trees
Into pillars of light,
So luminous,
They transcend
Their rootedness.

While the silent stars
Make way for this day
Teem with possibility,
Reminding me,
I too can paint the canvas
Of this life
With confident strokes
And usher in
Some new song of delight.

 

What I Know of This Life

But what of our lives
Sunlight warms the crinkly bark,
Birds touched by morning sun
Sing cantatas at daybreak.
The clouds at this hour
Rest motionless,
While even the waves
Pounding the shore
Fail to stir the stillness,
Which can be carved with a blade.

What I love in this life
Are the simple things.
The curved reach of the sun,
Leaves fallen to earth
Left behind by the passing moon
And feathers found on a path
Gifts from the secret lives of birds.

What I know of this life is little,
What I sense is great
Too vast too open
For any words to wrap them in.
Yet we try anyway
Holding them in pockets of thought
Morsels to ponder and muse.
Yet how rarely they touch
The vibrancy of our senses,
Nor coming close
To the flare of a cardinals wing,
Or the silent pause of dawn.