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Black Lacquered Box

Updated on November 20, 2011

In my hands 


It is not heavy 


Inside it contains 

Outside it conceals 


It's beautiful 


Maybe you don't think so 


Inside it contains 

A goodbye 

Love letter 




Is always something different in 



Today it is not heavy 



It was heavy 

I could not lift it 


Inside it contained 



Hard like a brick of coal 


My hands 

Pulled me by 

My face 


It was regret 


Maybe you don't think so 


I dragged it to the river 

Dumped the brick in 

It sank 


I felt bad 

For the emptiness 


But today 

My face 


Is not heavy 



Inside it contains 

A hello 

Love letter 


In my hands 


Maybe you don't think so 


It is not heavy 



Returning to breathing with acceptance

Focused in the upper reaches of light

That which eludes the naked eye is glimpsed

Fragments of truth that inspire delight

If not understanding. Like broken shards’

Multifaceted reflections, so our

Visions are by our thought process shattered

Returning to us in pieces. Power

Resides in the returning: our strong-willed

Desire to come back to ourselves, our home

In waters that by mindfulness we’ve stilled.

We contain the Earth’s circle, the sky’s dome.

We carry back the oneness we have learned

When from our returning we have returned

 A box I found in the woods.   What's inside?
A box I found in the woods. What's inside? | Source

Box Meditation

I love to bring poetry back from meditation:  to see an image, to experience another dimension, if you will, or to see something I could not otherwise see.  The mind is a thinking organ, a maker of thoughts, images, ideas.  There is no better vehicle to deliver a message.  

Following is my version of a meditation that my teacher led:  

In your mind you can make a forest, a path through the forest, and a clearing in the forest in which a special box has been placed just for you.  Follow me there now.  Come on. 

Sit down and make yourself comfortable.  Let your legs be out in front of you so that your energy can flow freely throughout your body.  Sit up straight, but relax.  Place your hands loosely in your lap or rest them on your thighs.  Close your eyes or focus on a point on the floor a few feet in front of you.  Let your attention be drawn to your breath.  Think about each breath you take as you breathe in an easy, unhurried rhythm.  

Breathe in, breathe out.  

Every breath is acceptable, every breath is good.  

Every breath is a moment of your life worth enjoying.  

Breathe in... breathe out.  

Relax your body by thinking of specific parts.  Breathe in and relax your shoulders.  Breathe out and relax your back.  Breathe in ... breathe out.  Relax the muscles of your face Breathe in ... breathe out.  Relax your legs.  Breathe.  Relax your feet.  Continue breathing.  


Now, as you breathe, imagine yourself in a forest, following a path.  Somewhere there is the music of a small stream.  As you follow the path through the beautiful forest, you see up ahead that there is light filtering through the trees:  a clearing.  

As you near the clearing the sunlight gets brighter.  You arrive at the clearing.  There are wildflowers.  It’s beautiful.  Somewhere in the clearing has been placed a special box just for you.  Go and find it.  There it is.  

Look at it closely.  Notice the details.  Pick it up.  Look at it from all sides.  You’ll notice it has a lid.  Open it.  What’s inside?  

Here’s something else I brought back from meditation.   Again and again I am told that the breath is the key.  Return to the breath, the Buddhists and other spiritual leaders say.  Breath is life, isn’t it?  It is not just in learning to concentrate on our breath in meditation, it is within the act of accepting the inevitable distractions and returning to our breath that spiritual growth takes place.  


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    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Eiddwen!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      An amazing poem and here's to so many more to share on here.

      Take care and have a wonderful day.


    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks, TK! Meditation is powerful stuff.

      Thank you, RedElf! I'm glad you like "Returning." My wife likes it, too. My wife led the meditation in which I found the black lacquered box that I did my best to illustrate above.

    • RedElf profile image


      7 years ago from Canada

      Intriguing, and no less so, once explained. I particularly enjoyed "Returning"

    • TKs view profile image

      TKs view 

      7 years ago from The Middle Path

      Nice job including the meditation imagery. Shows how simple it can be to relieve stress throughout the day.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      7 years ago from United States

      That's true! At my job I'll take short meditation breaks here and there between calls - my wife's teacher calls them, 'minis'. Just three to six deep breaths to help clear the mind. It makes a big difference. I end the day less exhausted. Thank you, RealHouseWife!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I loved this and the imagery! Nice how you included the meditation instructions! Up and all that. This housewife can use a few relaxation tips as this season presses upon us:)

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks very much. I like group meditation very much, whether guided or not. Guided is nice sometimes because it provides a focus. Thanks again!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I really liked the poem about the black lacquer box, and I also enjoyed the discussion on meditation. I used to do guided meditation when I was in college, and the images still stay with me today. If you have a good leader, the pictures can be so bright and wonderful.


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