Our Life is Like a Play (Poem)


If you have any experience with meditation,  you might be familiar with the sensation that is about to be described below.

I wrote this poem in the rush of an emotional high – one of the many life offers us in the midst of its unpredictable twists and turns. We never know what is coming next – but if we can remember who we are, and access the peace and infinite wisdom of our innermost selves, then I believe we can overcome even the most difficult of times and experience joy in our everyday lives.

Our life is like a play.
We watch each scene unfold
in the magnificent theater of our hearts,
always on the edge of our seat.
We feel so deeply with the characters
we sympathize and empathize with them until
we forget our place in all this.
We laugh with them,
we cry with them,
with the impassioned actors and actresses.
We remain captivated,
invested in each new piece of the story
as the plot line unfolds before us.
We become wrapped up in the workings of the play,
lost in its comedies and its tragedies.
Our heart breaks with each heartbreak;
stomach swelling with borrowed butterflies.

We experience each and every plot twist and turn of events
as if they were our own.

Then suddenly
the music stops,
the actors freeze in frame,
the curtain reddens the stage
and the lights dim.
Our consciousness is thrust back into reality.
We immediately come to recognize ourselves again as mere bystanders,
as observers watching the drama unfolding.
We are the audience, we calmly remember
and reassure ourselves-
aware for an instant
of the elaborate and dreamlike facade that has been constructed for us.

Intermission.

We step away from the performance,
suddenly able to ponder what we’ve just witnessed
from an objective point of view.
It was never our experience.
Our true reality is so different than the one we have recently known.
We take a refreshment,
we refresh ourselves with this new-found perspective;
we enjoy the comfort of this separateness.

We take a glass of water, a breath of fresh air.

We take this necessary break, so as not to break;
so as not to become lost in the play,
in the same way,
the artists have become trapped in their work,
in the same way,
lovers become imprisoned in each other’s arms.

We take a necessary break
to compose ourselves
and to prepare ourselves
for the next act to come.

Then when the time is right
we take our seat.
A rhythm, a sweet song draws our attention back to the stage,
where the curtain splits to reveal a material but illusory world.
We take our seat in the audience;
merely a witness to every right and wrong,
to every this way and that way,
to every what if and if only,
to every should have and should not.
We quiet our mind and let it in, let each scene unfold as the writer intended it to.

As we return our attention to this work of art
this parade of life and death,
may we never forget
where we sit.

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