Welcome, traveler! Enter and take your rest...

A chaikhana is a teahouse along the legendary Silk Road pilgrimage and trading route linking China to the Middle East and Europe. It is a place of rest along the journey, a place to shake off the dust of the road, to sip tea, and to gather together to sing songs of the Divine...



When They Sleep

by Rolf Jacobsen

English version by Robert Hedin

All people are children when they sleep.
there's no war in them then.
They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.
They pucker their lips like small children
and open their hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and a haze veils the sky,
a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.
If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.
-- God, teach me the language of sleep.

-- from Night Music: Selected Poems, by Rolf Jacobsen / Translated by Robert Hedin


/ Image by Wayne S. Grazio /

View All Poems by Rolf Jacobsen


For much of the past year I have been free from chronic fatigue symptoms, but they have been kicking up again in the last few weeks. So today why not a meditation on the easy wisdom of rest and sleep?

In sleep, we rediscover our simple innocent being. We are open, vulnerable, in an odd way supremely present in that unconscious state.

All people are children when they sleep.
there's no war in them then.


All our careful defenses, which have a way of mutating into unnoticed cruelties, loosen in sleep, and slide off our shoulders like a heavy coat. All harm and armor are set aside.

...a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.

Even when our hearts struggle to trust and rest, we have a built-in biological faith that kicks in at night.

The stars stand guard...

The chest unlocks, and the stifled tide of the breath resumes its flow in and out again.

They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.


Imagine the waking world blessed with such unavoided honesty. Think what words and deeds our blossoming hearts would draw to them.

If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.


I look outside the window to see a hazy morning sun. The call of a lone finch echoes through the morning air. My breath slows and deepens. My eyelids grow heavy.

- God, teach me the language of sleep.

=

Everyone, be well, be safe, and take care of each other! Sending lots of love!



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/ Photo by Daisuke Matsumura /

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