There are now a squillion books out there about mindfulness and I am tired of reading them, and even tired of the word itself.

But that’s OK, we don’t really need to read (or hopefully, write) more books about mindfulness, because R.S. Thomas, one of my favourite curmudgeons, indeed “a world-class curmudgeon” according to Luke Coppen, gave us a poem in his 1975 collection Laboratories of the Spirit that encapsulates the “spirit” of this phenomenon, without ever having to use the m-word.

THE BRIGHT FIELD

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

 

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