Wow Interlude: “surrender” by Christina Perri

I’ve been wanting to pause in the middle of my alphabet poems to tell you about some works of writing, in various forms, that have been significantly enriching my life lately. The first is the song “surrender” by Christina Perri. It’s not only gorgeous, but its lyrics are exactly what I need to hear all the time (as you can see from my meditation poems so far). It’s such a gift, I can still hardly believe it–I’ve never heard anyone else in popular media saying these things that are so major in my life. (She even mentions “fighting the river”!) It now heads up my “favorites” playlist (followed by “Easy on Me” by Adele and “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor), which I listen to most days while driving as a sort of meditation/calming-down practice. I feel extremely blessed to have such a beautiful piece of music to accompany my self-reminders that I am not in control of life and that I need to let go and let come what may in order to have a calm mind.

You can listen to the song here: “surrender” by Christina Perri (official YouTube audio)


Alphabet Meditation Verses: L

Let go, ego, loosen your grip
on your pretend reins of life.
Trying to control it
just makes stress, strain, and strife.

Life is a wild creature
beyond anyone’s control.
Accepting this can be scary or sad,
but it’s calmer for my soul.

Alphabet Meditation Verses: K

 Keep my quiet, inside and out.
 Contain the ego mess
 of what I want, what’s in the way,
 and words unto excess.

 Keep my quiet: cede my war
 against reality.
 Accept what is, in others
 and in life. Let go and breathe.

 Keep my quiet, except to speak
 from careful thought—but when
 I slip and spill my contents,
 try again, and then again.

 Keep my quiet, even in pain
 that no one else can see.
 Be my own parent and theirs too,
 alert and alone, but free.

Alphabet Meditation Verses: I

I have a rock to cling to
in the raging river of life:
it’s simply my experience in
each moment, sans the strife

of trying to control things,
caring so much how they go,
like holding a spoon to the rapids
to try to change the flow

or leaving my rock to help someone
who seems to need me to
or to catch a fish, as if
it matters so much what I do.

The water rushes on its
complex journey all around.
I can let it, staying on my rock,
or meddle, flail, and drown.

Alphabet Meditation Verses: E

Ego cares how things go.
Rest-mind just rides the flow.
Ambition wants to get things done,
then Stress and Violence join the fun,
and Ego tells a tale of woe
because it cares how things go.
Rest-mind feels, but makes no claim;
observes, but does not play, the game.

I actually have two E poems, which work together. Sometimes I recite them both; but in a pinch I just use the original one, which is shorter and earthier but packs a more powerful equanimity-restoring punch for me:

Ego-mind cares very much.
Rest-mind don’t give a shit.
What will be will be, whatever I do
and however I feel about it.

Alphabet Meditation Verses: C

Come back again, my soul, and again
to what is real right now.
I can hate it or deny it,
but it just is anyhow.

What’s real is not in my control.
Pretending otherwise
only brings me misery.
Peace grows where delusion dies.