Mar 08 2013

Stephen Levine – Trust Your Vision

Published by at 9:31 am under Poetry

Trust Your Vision
by Stephen Levine

Trust your vision
      make it whole
      hold it like the Navajo
      his solemn desert oracle
      in quest of shaman passage
      gaining his healing chant
      guiding him through life.

Hold the vision
      constantly rising
it is the way nature works
      through you
it is the only self
      an everchanging underdream
a vision (if you see it)
      up to you
to make real.

Act on your vision
      and pray that you are blessed.

— from Breaking the Drought: Visions of Grace, by Stephen Levine

/ Photo by AlicePopkorn /

I found out last night that Michael Black, a good friend, died unexpectedly a few days ago. He was hit by a truck while walking along the side of a road.

Michael was a generous soul, a man of immense love and great heart. He was an environmental scientist, a lover of nature, and a visionary. The world is blessed by his journey through it.

According to his girlfriend, the last thing Michael wrote, on February 27, was a lovely meditation on death:

Death is neither something to be judged nor feared, but rather approached with compassionate dignity. The Arc of life is both fleeting and profound; our lessons stemming from being present all along the way. You are being invited to hold space for the living and the dead, for in their conscious re-union is an opportunity to return to celebrating the entirety of life, carrying forward accumulated lessons which, once acknowledged, cease being either “tears or breaks in the field of love.”

Sending love to Michael’s son, his girlfriend, and everyone who was lucky enough to know him.

Stephen Levine, Stephen Levine poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry Stephen Levine

US (1937 – )
Secular or Eclectic

You may know Stephen Levine as the author of several classic books in the field of conscious living and dying — including A Gradual Awakening, Who Dies?, Healing into Life and Death, and A Year to Live. He is also the coauthor, with his wife Ondrea Levine, of the acclaimed Embracing the Beloved: Relationship as a Path of Awakening.

But I was surprised to discover that Stephen Levine is also a poet. As with the rest of his work, Stephen Levine’s poetry reflects a deep attention, a recognition of the immensity of the still moment and the still heart, and the opportunities given to us as we approach that unavoidable mystery, death. His collection of poetry, “Breaking the Drought: Visions of Grace” is a wonderful meditation on life and death, the known and the unknown, being and becoming, and how awareness flows through them.

Stephen and Ondrea Levine live in the mountains of New Mexico.

I’ve been told that some of Stephen Levine’s earlier work can be found in the Oracle (eg. vol 1, no 9, 1967) and other underground San Francisco papers from the Sixties. A treasure hunt for collectors…

More poetry by Stephen Levine

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Stephen Levine – Trust Your Vision”

  1. Sobhana Bardhanon 08 Mar 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Ivan,

    How are you?

    Forgive me I have chosen only on Michel Black’s death; it is so very touching

    Yes, Michel is right “death .. is .. not to be feared” rather welcomed If I may add his writing mrditation on death as if Michael’s invitation to it

    To coclude death is the only TRUTH in life… in all; it cannot be escaped

    Thank you for sharing it

  2. Debra Willison 08 Mar 2013 at 4:34 pm

    I’m sorry for the loss of your friend Michael, Ivan. He sounds like he was a wise man. May he rest in peace. Thoughts of him, his friends, and his family are in my heart. May warm memories comfort you all. Blessings.

  3. ellenon 08 Mar 2013 at 6:31 pm

    thank-you for this today. it seems sad he died so suddenly.
    but ……

  4. franon 08 Mar 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Thank you for that beautiful reminder, how fortunate to have a friend like that and he you.

  5. marrobon 08 Mar 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Ivan, I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend Michael.
    May prayers support those close to him , who will miss him most.

  6. yoginion 08 Mar 2013 at 10:26 pm

    I feel sorry for your friend Micheal’s death.

    He must be a good soul.

  7. jim carlinon 09 Mar 2013 at 12:56 pm

    character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow
    the shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing-abe lincoln

  8. Patricia Tayloron 09 Mar 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Maybe it is fortuitous that I have been reading John O’Donohue over the weekend. He, as you know Ivan, also met with an untimely death at an age we deem [too young]
    In reading about John, I chanced upon David Whyte’s beautiful tribute to him, and noticed Poetry Chaikana on the web site. It is worth telling your readers that to google David Whyte’s Tribute to John O’Donohue will bring delight. May Stephen, John and all our poets continue in an everlasting stream of goodness and joy. May all those who grieve be enfolded in that joy.

  9. Pegon 10 Mar 2013 at 8:10 am

    Today is a good day to grieve. I will relish this time to feel, to be safe in my womb of grubby relaxed clothes that sag and drape, leaving room for expansion and contraction, my smooth house slippers that will travel the sacred path of warn carpet and flooring reaching from bed, to sofa, and toilet. I will allow the pores of my soul to breathe today.

  10. Yewtreeon 11 Mar 2013 at 3:36 am

    So sorry to hear about your friend Michael, he sounds like an amazing guy. What a beautiful meditation he wrote there.

    Thanks for today’s poem too, I really like it.

  11. Therese Monaghan O.P.on 11 Mar 2013 at 7:53 am

    Dear Ivan,
    My blessings to you and Michael–as you feel the gift of his life and death drawing you to a deeper reality. I include his son and girlfriend for comfort as the pain of loss—so unexpected–has entered your lives.
    In communion,

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