Practice: Poetic Inspiration to Love and Serve
With this practice, we celebrate the gift of poetry, the way it both brings into focus and helps us transcend the world around us, the way it opens and puzzles us, delights and moves us.
We offer “Love” by Nobel Laureate, Czeslaw Milosz (from Selected Poems: 1931 - 2004), as inspiration for this practice. In this poem, he invites us to step back from our egoic selves to see how we are interconnected. “For you are only one thing among many, And whoever sees that way heals his heart,” he writes. With gentleness, he guides us toward greater humility and service, which he reassures us, does not require an intellectual or even spiritual understanding.
The wonder of poetry is that we filter it through our own lens. We invite you to read “Love,” let it wash through you and consider in what ways you “love” and “serve” others best. Are there any adjustments you’d like to make in how you love and serve others? If so, what would they be?
by Czeslaw Milosz
Love means to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills –
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend
Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness,
It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn’t always understand.