I wrote this poem “Crucible” for the “30 poems in 30 days” project.

We can be the crucible to burn up the pain of those around us, or the crucible for our own pain and suffering. It works either way. In the Tonglen practice as taught by Pema Chodron, you can choose to breathe in the pain of someone you know to be hurting and who you want to help. Then, in breathing out, breathe out happiness and peace for them.

That’s it.

Similarly, we can breathe in cooling peace, and simply let go of the residue from our own hot fires within. Being our own purifying fires, we can release that which seems to be causing our suffering.


Breathing in. Coolness.

The air of flowers and trees.

Breathing out.  Our pain.

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