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Surrey leaves, letting go poems

Poetry for wellbeing and self-compassion

Favourite poems and meditation stories

We like to use poems in our mindfulness classes and drop-in sessions, as poetry can often help us get a deeper sense of themes and ideas we explore. People often ask about some of the poems, so we've collected a few favourites here.


Our chosen poems for wellbeing cover a range of themes, such as letting go or how to enjoy yourself. We tend to focus on self compassion poems or ones that enhance meditations for letting go and letting be.


We're keen to add to our collection of popular mindfulness meditation poetry, so let us know any of your favourite wellbeing poems. We're delighted to start the collection with a poem written by a recent participant on one of our courses.

This collection includes the following:

'Rested Mind' by a course participant

'The Unbroken' by Rashani Rea

'Letting go' by Safire Rose

'The Guest House' by Rumi

'Wolf tale' - which wolf do you feed?

'Joy in Life' by Thich Nhat Hanh

Rested Mind


When the thoughts stop whirling,

The 'what if's' are silenced,

The anxiety numbed 

And the mind gently calming,

A sound of a robin's song filters through.

I can smell someone's cooking nearby, 

The sky, bright and peppered with odd shaped clouds. 

It's a beautiful day today. 

Had you realised?


When the conversations stop playing out

The checking, remembering and planning quieten.

The chest and lungs expand and release

And the senses gently tune in.


A red admiral butterfly flutters on the now brown flowers of the buddleia,

The smell of freshly mown grass and the sounds of a lawn mower reach my nose and ears.

How long has all that bindweed been growing there?  How did I miss all that?

It's a beautiful day today. 

Had you realised?


So busy in your head,

So stressful and fraught.

The world turns on by and it's easy to miss

So much beauty and gentleness

So much life, so much joy.


Don't forget to tune in to the moment

as you're in it,

Don't regret that you didn't.

Grab life and enjoy it!

Mindful Surrey course participant

Rested Mind
The Unbroken poem

The Unbroken


There is a brokenness

out of which comes the unbroken,

a shatteredness

out of which blooms the unshatterable.

There is a sorrow

beyond all grief which leads to joy

and a fragility

out of whose depths emerges strength.

There is a hollow space too vast for words

through which we pass with each loss,

out of whose darkness we are sanctioned into being.

There is a cry deeper than all sound

whose serrated edges cut the heart

as we break open 

to the place inside which is unbreakable

and whole,

while learning to sing.


Rashani Rea

Wellbeing poem, Letting go meditation glider

Pause... Take a breathe… Read...

See what arises.

She let go.

She let go.

Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgements.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the 'right' reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry,

she just let go.

She didn't ask anyone for advice.

She didn't read a book on how to let go.

She didn't search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all the memories that held her back.

She let go of all the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of all the planning and all of the calculations

about how to do it just right.

She didn't promise to let go.

She didn't journal about it.

She didn't write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn't check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.


She didn't analyse whether she should let go.

She didn't call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn't do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn't call the prayer-line.

She didn't utter one word.

She just let go.


No one was around when it happened.

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.


There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn't good and it wasn't bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.


A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her.

And the sun and the moon shone

forever more...


Reverend Safire Rose

Letting Go

Letting go poem
The Guest House

'The Guesthouse' poem was rather amazingly written in the 13th century. Catherine has explored its timelessness in her mindfulness blog.

Guesthouse poem Rumi, welcome sign

This being human is a guesthouse.

Every morning, a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness.

Some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they're a crowd of sorrows

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture.

Still treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

Meet them at the door laughing

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.


Wolf tale
The Story of the Two Wolves
An old Cherokee Indian chief was teaching his grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he told the young boy, “A fight between two wolves. One is evil, full of anger, sorrow, regret, greed, self-pity and false pride.
The other is good, full of joy, peace, love, humility, kindness and faith.”
“This same fight is going on inside of you, grandson…and inside of every other person on the face of this earth.”
The grandson ponders this for a moment and then asks, “Grandfather, which wolf will win?”
The old man smiled and simply said, “The one you feed.”
meditation story, feeding 2 wolves

Joy in Life

Joy in life poem

You must be completely awake in the present

to enjoy the tea.

Only in the awareness of the present,

can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup.

Only in the present, can you savour the aroma,

 taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy.

If you are ruminating about the past,

or worrying about the future,

you will completely miss the experience

of enjoying the cup of tea.

You will look down at the cup, and the tea will be gone.

Life is like that.

If you are not fully present,

you will look around and it will be gone.

You will have missed the feel, the aroma,

 the delicacy and beauty of life.

It will seem to be speeding past you.

The past is finished.

Learn from it and let it go.

The future is not even here yet.

Plan for it,

but do not waste your time worrying about it.

Worrying is worthless.

When you stop ruminating about

what has already happened,

when you stop worrying about

what might

never happen,

then you will be in the present moment.

Then you will begin to experience joy in life.



Thich Nhat Hanh

Tea and poems for wellbeing, treat yourself
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