Mindful Connections

Videos, Podcasts, Books or Poems

What have you been listening to, watching or reading that clarifies your practice or provides insight about your mindfulness practice? Share a short review. This month we share a poem by Mary Oliver and a mindfulness practice to use when reading it. Make a submission now.

Invitation by Mary Oliver

Oh do you have time

to linger

for just a little while

out of your busy

and very important day

for the goldfinches

that have gathered

in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,

to see who can sing

the highest note,

or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,

or the most tender?

Their strong, blunt beaks

drink the air

as they strive


not for your sake

and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning

but for sheer delight and gratitude

believe us, they say,

it is a serious thing

just to be alive

on this fresh morning

in the broken world.

I beg of you,

do not walk by

without pausing

to attend to this

rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.

It could mean everything.

It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:

You must change your life.

My Octopus Teacher (85 min. Netflix)

One night when I was a little bored, I happened upon this film on Netflix. I didn’t know anything about it, but I decided to watch it anyway. I was transfixed. The film follows Craig Foster, a naturalist, and founder of Sea Change Project, as he dives in the kelp forests off the coast of S. Africa and forms a “friendship” with a fascinating and mysterious octopus. What amazed me was Craig’s willingness to show up every day with sensitivity and care, to be totally present. At first, there seemed to be an element of surprise upon encountering an unfamiliar world which we know so little about, that exists under the waves . Soon, however, curiosity emerged about this creature that is so unlike us and this led to extraordinary and intimate interactions with an amazing being.

Beneath the Waves (10:30 min. YouTube)

If you don’t have Netflix, or just want a shorter introduction to this fascinating world you might want to watch Beneath the Waves on YouTube. In this video Craig Foster says:

“There is something about the ocean that is so incredibly powerful. It’s more powerful than anything on earth. And so unbelievably unpredictable. Clear the one day – absolutely no visibility the next day. Flat and calm – and then giant waves. And you just go in every day and experience all these levels of wildness. It’s just this great, enormous tidal wave of unfolding mystery. And there is beauty in that. The more I learn from the kelp forest, the more I realize just how little I know and how great that mystery is. It’s not just under water… it’s under wonder.”

Are there videos, books, podcasts or poems that have inspired you? Write a short review and we’ll post it here or in our next newsletter.

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