I just got done teaching one of my weekly meditation classes on Zoom. It’s so warm, wonderful, and healing. When I’m teaching, I’m meditating along with the group. It’s a refuge, calming and connecting — taking care of others and being taken care of at the same time.
With everything that’s going on in the world — the war in Israel and Gaza, the climate catastrophe, the political situation in the United States that’s so disturbing — there’s only so much a human being can do to metabolize the chaos. That’s why I’m doubling down on teaching meditation as a volunteer and setting aside time to read and write poetry. I taught classes three days in a row this week, and I loved it!
I’ve written often about how volunteering is one of the biggest things you can do to boost your well-being. Of course, you need to have enough mindful self-compassion practice in place that you don’t burn out. You can’t pour from an empty cup. But once you feel resourced enough, volunteering is a great way to make yourself and others feel good — whether it’s doing errands for a neighbor, volunteering at a shelter or food bank, or just calling someone you know who is alone.
Volunteer teaching and poetry go hand in hand for me. I read poems, mine and others, at the end of each guided meditation. It’s a perfect dessert after a delicious meditation experience. During the pandemic I began writing poetry, but it’s only in the last month that I’ve started to submit poems for publication. I’ve had a couple of my poems published in the weekly online version of The Avocet Journal of Nature Poems, and I have a poem coming out in their winter print issue.
Part of my vision for this year is to get organized so I can submit poems to all the journals that might publish them. And producing my own poetry book is on the horizon for 2024 or 2025!
Here are two poems set in Idaho, and a third reflective prose piece set in San Diego: