Focusing in Ireland

Poetry Gathering Reflections - June 2022

Kindness - Naomi Shihab Nye - 1952

Listening to the poem 'Kindness' being read to me by my focusing partner allowed me to experience the emotion which the words evoked in my body.  I initially experienced feelings of fear running through me at the sense of loss and desolation. Then I felt a sense of sorrow behind my eyes and nose evoked by the suggestion that you must travel where 'the Indian in the white poncho lies dead by the side of the road' before you can know the 'tender gravity of kindness'. I was struck by the richness of our life experience and the emptiness and insignificance of death and the wonder and continuum of it all. I loved the reference to the 'simple breath', the breath of life.

When kindness was described towards the end of the poem, a sense of warmth spread across my chest and into my heart which felt like a balm that soothed everything.

The notion that you can only know kindness if you have deeply experienced sorrow reminded me of my travels in India when I had experienced a dark night of the soul. Feelings of deep isolation and separateness and a lack of belonging kept me from sleep.  They brought me back to the loneliness I felt sometimes when I was growing up as an only child. Feeling the depth of that separation and being with the rawness of the sorrow that arose in me because of it, broke my heart open and enveloped me in a compassionate inter-connectedness to everyone and everything around me like I had never experienced before.

Listening to the poem 'Kindness' in a focusing way allowed me to experience the emotion evoked by the words in my body rather than just an understanding in my head. It gave me a sense of the whole meaning of the poem and the cadence of life's journey.

Focusing provides such a beautiful container for exploring poetry in this way. Thank you Marie for facilitating such a wonderful session.

The kindness in the group and in my triad created a safe space for a very inspiring session.

Tina Kiely

Poetry Corner

This is a great opportunity to share our favourite poets and poems using Focusing to gently evoke felt senses, felt meanings, symbols, and memories.

In the following poetry offerings, you are invited to click on the image of your poetry choice, and allow yourself to rest into the guidance, the silences, the resonances with the words, or lines from the poem. To further explore the focusing way with poetry click here to access our main poetry page.
Deeply, Deeply, Deeply
by Marie Mc Guigan
Recited by Marie Mc Guigan It has been a pure gift to join the Irish Focusing Network on zoom weekly in giving and receiving, helping me to connect deeply with how I am carrying it all at this time..

Click here to go to the poem
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Recited by Marie Mc Guigan For our third offering of the Irish Focusing Network's Poetry Corner I have choosen a poem called Breath by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Click here to go to the poem
Ask Me
by William Stafford
Recited by Tom Larkin This poem was chosen by Tom Larkin. Watch the video below to hear Tom recite the poem and offer some guidance along with it. You are in for a treat with Tom's offering.

Click here to go to the poem
For Beauty
by John O'Donohue
Recited by Marie McGuigan This poem was chosen by Marie McGuigan. I hope you enjoy this offering and your own focusing time with the poem/blessing.

Click here to go to the poem

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