Affirmation

I lay with eyes closed
back on the cool floor
in a dark room
listening to soft breathing around me
and the instructor
who tells us
to imagine we are near the ocean
sinking into the sand
letting thoughts come and go
and my mind wanders
to how my mother
always sees her mother
in her dreams
and then to how
my Afghan friend
says her aunts are visited by their mother
in their dreams
but her grandmother does not visit her
and my grandmother only visits me
sometimes
except for always
because I am her
in many ways
in how I carry myself through the city
to how I dream of flying
and how I can never make up my mind
welcome your thoughts but let them go
it’s okay for the mind to wander
but bring it back
here I am
back on the mat
with eyes closed
in a dark room
just breathing now
instead of thinking too much
about whether I am on the right path

-L

Religion

My body is my temple
Because I use it to pray.

I always worship in the morning
When I wake to warm sun on my face
By stretching my arms back high above my head
And groaning with gladness in my bed.

Sometimes I whisper a silent prayer
When I wake in the dark to rainfall
By listening to the tapping on the pane
And counting all I have yet to gain.

Every day I touch the hand of God
When I first hit wood, grass or pavement
By savoring the feel of earth on bare feet
And grounding myself with nature’s beat.

In winter I shake with fear and awe
When I am surrounded by beauty
By purifying my soul with the white snow
And urging negative thoughts to go.

In springtime I sing of nature’s joy
When I see everything in bloom
By breathing deep the scent of flowering life
And filling my lungs with joy not strife.

In summer I listen for the call
When the long night is quiet and still
By closing my eyes to the cicadas’ sound
And finding truth in their constant pound.

In autumn I walk by faith not sight
When the leaves turn to vibrant colors
By crushing them in the long shadow I cast
And knowing nothing is meant to last.

Most nights I end the day with yoga
When the moon rises to greet the stars
By meditating on all that I have seen
And emptying til I am serene.

My body is my temple
Because I use it to pray.

-L