Nov 10 2017

Stephen Levine – Trust Your Vision

Published by at 9:07 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


/ Image by AlicePopkorn /

Trust your vision

So often we pour ourselves intensely into life’s purposes without actually pausing to consider why we are doing what we are doing. What is our real goal? How is it a reflection of who we truly are? How does it express our specific qualities and role within the larger panorama? What does it imply about the fundamental nature of reality?

Rarely in the modern world are we encouraged to discover our vision and to dedicate ourselves to it. To the prevailing mindset, one’s vision is thought to be intangible, suggesting something that a fantasy whose pursuit is narcissistic or even delusional. The focus of life must be practical with goals that are approved and easily measured.

That approach, while seemingly reasonable and safe, is devastating to both the individual and to society as a whole. While we certainly must live effectively within the physical and social worlds that require a certain level of practical purpose, we are not such stunted creatures that exist only on that level. We are magical beings, here to embody immensity and love and the will of the universe as it expresses itself uniquely through each of us.

Hold the vision
      constantly rising…

Vision is the way we discover our personal path through the world. Vision is the way we come to know ourselves, allowing us to be as we are, showing us how to act with strength and creativity in the service our true goals.

…it is the way nature works
      through you

I love the insight of this line. A vision is not the same as some fantasy or daydream. A true vision is the voice of nature, the intention of the universe, uniquely tuned to our soul.

The word “vision” can trip us up because we think of seeing things that are external to our physical bodies, so we often consider a vision to be external to us. But vision in the spiritual sense is the conscious mind’s way to assign meaning to the deep recognition of self as a harmonious expression of the self-aware universe.

In other words, vision is not so much about seeing as it is about being.

it is the only self
      an everchanging underdream

A vision is a challenge to ourselves to be more fully ourselves. Vision is vocation, the calling of the soul to its true role.

a vision (if you see it)
      up to you
to make real.

The first question is, how strongly do we want to see? And then we must answer the second question, do we dare live the truth seen? Then again, what’s the point to any other path but our own?

Act on your vision
      and pray that you are blessed.

Have a beautiful day!

(And thank you, everyone, for your patience with my irregular poetry schedule recently.


Recommended Books: Stephen Levine

The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology) Breaking the Drought: Visions of Grace A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last Who Dies?: An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying Healing into Life and Death
More Books >>


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

US (1937 – 2016) Timeline
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 Levine died in 2016.

More poetry by Stephen Levine

One response so far

One Response to “Stephen Levine – Trust Your Vision”

  1. christineon 10 Nov 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Love your commentary, Ivan… Encouraging words I needed to hear today, about following one’s unique “vision.” Even at 68 I still hold a “vision” for my life – yet unrealized. My husband too. He just gave his two week notice at work today – not to retire, but in order to continue to follow his vision; scary, yet exciting… Living outside the box – authentically. _/\_

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