Crows – harbingers of light

Crows – harbingers of light

Night is passing,
sun comes by dawn,
Awaken now,
beauty’s essence,
heart of love.

Hakim Omar Khayyám
Translated by Nahid Angha, PhD

The neighborhood crows regularly greet me as I open the front door in the morning.  Occasionally, one will hop along the railing of the stairway as I descend from our apartment to the street.  Or, they will swoop overhead so closely that I can feel a slight breeze from their wings.  Once in a while one will walk either in front or back of me along the street.  If none are close by, I can still hear them cawing in the treetops.

During my childhood I regarded crows as scary.  It seemed that their gait was awkward and their nighttime hue was foreboding.  Their voices seemed unnaturally sharp and irritating.   I believed the lore that they were omens of death and danger and associated them with Halloween and ghoulish images of skeletons and ghosts.

Now, instead of associating them with darkness, the crows are my harbingers of light.   They announce the transition between nighttime and daytime, symbolically uniting all pairs of opposites.  It feels that the crows are precious messengers who tirelessly herald the eternal luminosity and its timeless expression in the ebb and flow of life – in the breath, transition of days, seasons, and all forms of living.

In addition to being carriers of the essence of light, the crows are also my reminder to lovingly keep an eye out and care for others.  They patiently keep watch from high perches.  Having a higher perspective, they have a comprehensive view of the full scope of below and above, into the sky.  Their attentiveness seems to fluidly translate into constant and caring communication; for example, if one detects food, there may be a steady cawing until others arrive, along with a careful vigil while they eat.

When one swoops overhead or walks nearby, I am humbly drawn into a renewed awareness of how fears can be temporary.  And, as fears subside, such as my early perspective on crows, there is a de-cluttering of the mind and heart, making more room for the whole of all.  That expanded wholeness allows for a clearer view of the fragile interconnectedness of every morsel of life.  Fears, like hurting others, can hurt all, including ourselves.  And similarly, true caring has no boundaries – it is at the heart of love.

Practice
This short practice supports our capacity to let go.

 Prepare –

  • Turn your phone and any other devices to airplane mode.
  • Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit.
    • If you are on a chair, place the soles of your feet on the floor.
  • Make tight fist with both of your hands and hold for several seconds.
  • Release the fist and lightly shake your lower arms and hands.
  • Lightly brush your fingertips across your face, each of your arms, your torso and your thighs.

Practice –

  • Close your eyes for a few moments. Imagine any unneeded tension is melting.  Let it go from your face, chest, and rest of your body.
  • Open your eyes into a soft gaze.
    • With each inhale, imagine every cell in your body is smiling.
    • With each exhale, imagine your entire body is saying “aaah” as though you were settling into a hammock or a similar comfortable place.
  • Continue for a few minutes.
  • Notice the space between your toes. You might need to wiggle your toes a bit.  Notice the space between your arms and your body.  Notice the space between your fingers.  Notice the space behind you and all around you.
  • Invite an aura of ease into those spaces and imagine that ease is seeping into your skin, tissues, muscles, and organs. Invite ease into the core of your being.
  • Imagine you could hear yourself laughing. Laugh along with yourself.
  • Stand up and shake everything out – arms, legs, feet, hands – and sway from side to side as though you were a moving freely in the air.

Transition back into your day –

  • Return to your seated position. Sit quietly for a few moments.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

 

This poem appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 21, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.   Photo by photo dan Cardiff.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon. KateVogt©2021.  I humbly offer this reflection as a tribute to the generous, insightful, and loving spirit of Robert Michael Vogt whom I am honored to have had as a brother in this lifetime for 61 years.  May he abide in Infinite Love.

 

 

 

 

Giving

Giving

I was sad one day and went for a walk:
I sat in a field.
A rabbit noticed my condition and
came near.
It often does not take more than that to help at times-
to just be close to creatures who
are so full of knowing,
so full of love
that they don’t
chat,
they just gaze with
their
marvelous understanding.
(St. John of the Cross, Trans. by Daniel Ladinsky)

 

Autumn is approaching in the Northern Hemisphere.  The daylight hours are slowly giving way to the longer nights, the squirrels are burying their winter stash, and the deciduous trees are baring their trunks.  Even if we miss the cues in nature, nonprofit groups remind us of the arrival of fall with appeals for funds, a new school year has begun, and retail sites are announcing discounts on seasonal products and services.

I feel at the very heart of this season is what I call giving-ness.  “Giving-ness,” to me, is a state where giving and receiving flow seamlessly. It is what sustains and nourishes us in our daily life.  My sense is that, like pure love, this intangible form of giving upholds the world.  With each breath, we exchange gifts with the trees.  Our food arises through the giving presence of the waters and soil.  Symbolically, we give back to the earth through our bodies.  The fall equinox offers a momentary balance in the otherwise constant swing between lightness and darkness.

St. John of the Cross and other mystics often use nature as a way to remind us that we abide in and are inherently part of giving-ness.  My hope is that this awareness will ripple into my daily choices and interactions.   Please join me.

 

Practice
This practice symbolically shakes off unwanted emotions and invites lightness into your heart.

Prepare—

  • Standing.
  • Gently shake one limb at a time, beginning with your right arm. Then, shake your right leg. Then, move to your left side and shake your left arm, and lastly, left leg.
  • Shake each limb for at least 30 seconds. If you have an injury, please take care.

Practice—

  • Begin by reaching both arms upward and apart.
    • Move slowly, as though you are caressing the space around you.
    • Allow the hands and elbows to be relaxed.
  • Then, slowly bring both hands to the center of your chest, with one hand resting over the other.
  • Continue this movement and add an awareness of the breath, as follows.
    • Inhale—Slowly allow your hands and arms to move upward into a “v” position.
      • Joints soft. Imagine you are reaching into the darkness.
    • Exhale—Slowly bring your hands over the center of your chest.
      • Place one hand over the other.
      • Imagine you are accepting lightness into your heart.
      • Allow a feeling of an inner smile as you receive this
      • gift of light.
    • Repeat 5–7 times.

Transition Back into Your Day—

  • Sit quietly for a few moments.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

 

This reflection is an excerpt from Our Inherited Wisdom:  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry, page 203-206, by Kate Vogt.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon. KateVogt©2021.

Upcoming Online Class
Pathways to Peace: Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Compassion, and Other Universal Principles
October 19-November 16, 5 Tuesdays, 3:10-4:30 p.m. PT, $80.
Registration is through College of Marin Community Education – (415) 485-9305

 

 

 

Hollyhock – holiness in the everyday

Hollyhock – holiness in the everyday

Silently a flower blooms,
In silence it falls away;
Yet here now, at this moment, at this place,
the whole of the flower,
the whole of the world is blooming.
This is the talk of the flower, the truth of the blossom;
The glory of eternal life is fully shining here.

Zenkei Shibayama
Translated by Sumiko Kudo


It is an early morning, and the skies are gray for the first time in days. The grayness is from a heavy, misty cloud cover.  For the prior week the morning greeting had been a different, smoky shroud, which brought a sad reminder of the wildlife and human habitats being consumed by wildfires north of this coastal area.   This silvery hued sky signals a sense of an old pattern of normalcy,  an indication that the summer was beginning to morph into the fall season, with eventual rain and some hope for the end of this year’s fires.

As I open the front door, the crows caw and a squirrel rushes toward a nearby tree trunk.  With the moistness in the air, the colors of the late summer blossoms seem especially vibrant.  The muted browns and greens are speckled with clear reds, yellows, and purples   I spot a patch of frilly hollyhocks swaying in the gentle, morning breeze.

Even in the gray, their pink petals are open and turned slightly upward toward the invisible sun.  Their stalks are untethered, giving the appearance of these hollyhocks growing freely in the grassy shoulder of the road.  They seem to boldly reveal their innate constitution of earth, water, sun, and air, belonging to all and yet to none, not even themselves.

I feel reminded of my own embodied substrate:  a body composed of the elements, forming a unique container for experiencing these ever-shifting seasons of life.   The gift of communing is through these more basal and shared commonalities of each morsel of life arising and returning to the earth, nourished and sustained by the elements.   The hollyhock spurs an awareness that within each precious container – whether flower, body, mountain, or the entire earth – there is a timeless, essence of eternality: pure spirit.

No wonder the first part of the name hollyhock gives a nod to “holy” or holiness.  Its perfect circle spiraling inward and outward from its base seemingly praises the infinite: both in terms of the ever-present divine untouched by the whirls of time; and, the ever-changing worldliness where one ending is continually merging into a beginning.  Perhaps this is why clumps of hollyhock pollen have been found in human burial remains dated up to sixty thousand years ago.  The holy is always present within the outer form, the outer container, even if we cannot see it.

At this moment, I am grateful for the grace of living reminders, especially in nature.  Amidst the devastation and sadness of wildfires and all the other heart-breaking issues and events occurring on our planet, there is the eternal heartbeat of life.  These natural reminders feel like messengers to slow down, to grow qualities of gentleness, ease, steadiness, and to let go of clinging to that which was never ours in the first place.  Smells are borrowed, flavors are borrowed, sights are borrowed, textures and sounds are borrowed.  Perhaps the hollyhock is inviting us to practice surrender to each touch, word, thought, and breath, just in the way it appears and disappears, as a simple offering of all that it is and is not.

Practice
This practice supports awareness of inner sweetness

Prepare— 

  • Find a comfortable seated position.
    • Take a moment to shake out and stretch through your limbs.  Feel free to move in any way, or as long as you feel is needed for your own comfort.
  • Pause.
    • Imagine you are a plant gently rooting down into, and being supported by, the surface beneath you.
      • Allow your roots to branch out, easing their way downward and outward in all directions, offering a stable and nourishing base.
    • From this sense of connection to the surface beneath you, invite your spine to gently lengthen upward.
      • Imagine that, as a plant, your stem is slowly and evenly growing from your roots upwards through your spine.

Practice  – 

  • With this sense of rising upward while firmly grounded, bring your hands over your heart center, one hand resting gently on top of the other.
  • Take a few breaths.
    • Imagine on the inhalation that your breath is expanding and radiating outward in all directions from the core of your heart.    On your exhalation, it slowly lets go and effortlessly recedes on its own.
  • Pause.
    • Allow your breath to be free and easy as you shift your awareness to the depths of your being.
    • Imagine that, as a plant, all your energy is gathered in there – at the very core of your heart.
    • Imagine flowery petals emerging from there, creating a frilly and light, almost ethereal, blossom.
  • Sustain your awareness at the core of you heart:  the home of your sweet, eternal essence, which is always there.
    • If comfortable, breathe here for a few more breaths, your inhalation gently expanding outward into the world, and your exhalation returning home to the sweetness within.

Transition Back into Your Day— 

  • Sit quietly for as long as is comfortable.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

 

This poem is from Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 121, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  Photo by Jay Rosner.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon.   KateVogt©2021.

 

Please consider joining me this fall for one of my fall online classes.
– Support Wisdom in Your Life – This short class offer insight and tips for self-management of fears and desires related to daily life. 3 Thursdays, September 9 – 30 (no class on the 16th), 3:10-4:30 p.m. PT.
– Pathways to Peace: Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Compassion, and Other Universal Principles – This five week class delves into timeless human principles as keys for personal, planetary, and collective well-being.   We will refer to an Eastern text called the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.  5 Tuesdays, October 19 – November 16, 3:10-4:30 p.m. PT.

Registration is now open for these classes through the College of Marin Community Education.

 

 

Geranium – inspiring resilience

Geranium – inspiring resilience

Meditate within eternity.
Don’t stay in the mind.
Your thoughts are like a child fretting
near its mother’s breast, restless
and afraid, who with a little guidance,
can find the path of courage.

Lalla
Trans. by Coleman Barks

Over the past several months I’ve developed a new habit.  It is probably minor in the scheme of all the possible habits, but I’m ruminating on it because it is new.  And, because it has come about not only when a life-threatening virus is sweeping through the world, but also escalating severe natural disasters and human struggles.

Each morning, I now check on the geranium plant outside our front door – only a glimpse, but enough so that I was aware that my check had become routine.  This plant has been through many iterations.  It began as a houseplant, but because of the low light in our apartment I moved it outside to a sunny area.   Within a few days, the local deer had discovered it and eaten all but a bit of the stems.   I repotted and moved it to a spot where it grew and bloomed, until, the neighborhood crows began landing on the dirt at the edge of the pot and toppling it over; however, for the past year, it has steadily grown and formed new buds and sets of red blossoms.

I’m not sure when I began a daily acknowledgement of this particular plant.  I’m in the habit of greeting all of our indoor plants each morning, out of appreciation for the way they cleanse the air and their quiet presence.   Since the geranium is an outdoor plant, I normally would have noticed it only once or twice per week, but likely I increased that soon after the deer had eaten the flowers off the other outdoor plants.

Over time, I’ve grown to deeply respect this hardy, resilient being.   It reminds me of my grandparents and parents who survived and weathered many storms in life, including the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, a major world war and many personal disappointments and losses.  It reminds me of our collective human ancestors who survived and showed the way for others.  It reminds me of wise prophets, saints, and poet seers such as Lalla, who survived hardships with patience, kindness, and equanimity, and then compassionately shared gems of truth to uplift and guide the rest of us.

I trust this simple yet robust plant and am glad it is part of my new habit.  It continues show me ways to navigate life.  For example, it thrives on little water and care, yet it absorbs what it gets, multiplies it, and gives back abundantly.   If the deer come, it will regrow.  As a plant, it has its own way of recognizing threats, but it continues to stay rooted and freely offer the world its bright colors and fan-shaped leaves.   I hope you will join me in honoring the plant world!

Practice
This practice supports inner resilience and courage anchored in kindness.

Prepare— 

  • Find a comfortable standing position with your feet about hip-distance apart.
    • This may be with or without shoes.
    • If you are not able to stand for any reason, please feel free to skip to the latter third of the practice.
  • Steadily and gradually shift your weight from one foot to the other.
    • Do this a few times.
  • Stilling your movement, pause.
    • Notice the surface beneath your feet.
      • Invite an awareness of its offering of support to you at this time and in this moment.
      • Lightly walk in place, lifting one foot and solidly but gently placing it down before lifting the opposite foot.

Practice  – 

  • With your feet grounded, gently bounce through your knees – a small and barely visible bounce.
    • Invite a sense of trust of the strength in the large muscles in the upper part of your legs, e.g., the frontal ones called the quadriceps.
      • Lightly tap your palms on the front of your thighs saying, “I have confidence in my natural strength.”
  • Still standing, allow yourself to feel securely supported by the earth and the strength in your lower body.
    • For a few moments, gently sway like a plant in a summer breeze.
      • Open your arms to your sides, slightly away from your body.
        • Allow your palms to be open and facing forward, and your fingers lightly relaxed.
        • Invite a sense of openness in your torso and throat. Invite your eyes and facial muscles to relax.
      • Invite a few easy breaths into your mid-ribs.
        • If comfortable, invite a soft, sincere smile from the inside out.
      • Quietening the movement in your upper body, return to a comfortable, easy stance while retaining a sense of steadiness in lower body and ease in the upper.
      • Breathe:
        • Inhale: While inhaling allow your arms to radiate outward and upward from the side of your body.
          • Note: If you have shoulder issues, simply stand and breathe without movement.
        • Pause: Pause with your arms alongside your ears, palms facing inward.  Take a full breath.
          • Note: Allow your elbows to bend if that offers more ease in your shoulders.
        • Exhale: While exhaling, bow your head slightly and cross your palms in front of your face to bring them to the front of opposite shoulder.
          • e., your right palm to the front of your left shoulder, and your left palm to the front of your left shoulder. (Your fingertips will be lightly touching your collarbones and your wrists will be crossed.)
        • Pause: Pause with your hands touching the front of the opposite shoulder and your head slightly bowed.   If comfortable, close your eyes.
          • Invite a sense of peaceful kindness toward your whole self – from your innermost self, to your body, senses, mind, and breath.
            • Breathe in and out one smooth, easy, breath.
          • Invite a sense of peaceful kindness toward others while staying steady with a sense of kindness toward yourself.
            • Breathe in and out two smooth, easy, breaths.
          • Invite a sense of peaceful kindness toward all beings while staying steady with a sense of kindness toward yourself.
            • Breathe in and out three smooth, easy, breaths.
          • Gently say to yourself, “I am grounded inwardly in peaceful kindness. This offers me courage and resilience to stay inwardly grounded and steady in the midst of outer struggles and changes.   In this kindness, I am strong and supported.”

Transition Back into Your Day— 

  • Find a comfortable seated position.
  • Sit quietly for as long as is comfortable.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

 

This poem is from Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 6, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon. KateVogt©2021.

 

Fall Online Classes!!  Register Now!

Support Wisdom In Your Life
September 9-30, 3 Thursdays (no class 9/16), 3:10-4:30 p.m. PT, $70

Pathways to Peace: Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Compassion, and Other Universal Principles –October 19-November 16, 5 Tuesdays, 3:10-4:30 p.m. PT, $80

Registration through College of Marin Community Education 
(415) 485-9305, or contact me for more information

Ladybug – spark of joy in a grey world

Ladybug – spark of joy in a grey world

Are you jealous of the ocean’s generosity?
Why would you refuse to give
this joy to anyone?
Fish don’t hold the sacred liquid in cups.
They swim the huge fluid freedom.

Rumi
Translated by Coleman Barks

I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy upon spotting small ladybug along the pathway.   Her distinctive coloring, with bright reddish-orange and splashes of black, stood out on this foggy summer morning.

Only minutes before I had noticed the muted tones of the foliage and the fading shades of the flowers.  Along with the soundless creeks, these were reminders of the severe drought absorbing the vibrancy of this part of the planet.

The ladybug disappeared quickly, but left a remembrance of that spark of delight which I had felt upon seeing her.  It was that raw childlike enchantment and awe of life.

There was a feeling of kinship with the surroundings, sensing the thirst of plants and the creek and simultaneously the lightness of insects and clouds.  Fueling that sense of kinship were memories, such as:  feeling ebullient aliveness emanating from others – strangers, friends, family, and pets; and, even from that which we call inanimate – stones, soil, trees.

Along with those remembrances, I found myself imagining a world infused with a large dose of pure joy, seeding hope and compassion to begin anew.  The ladybug apparently begins as a bland monochrome larva and then transforms itself into a round, colorful form.

Perhaps it is childish to imagine that we could disarm the deep grooves of hatred, greed, and jealousy with joy, but our human inventive capacity can turn wild imaginations into possibilities.  For now, I am heartened to see the pre-school children in our neighborhood carrying ladybug backpacks. Maybe ladybugs will show us the way to the future.

For now, I’ll heed the wisdom of the timeless poets, prophets and sages, and appreciate that the world and we are intricately tethered together with a collective of small joys.  Joy is not devoid of grief or sorrow: it nourishes and uplifts us like a loving mother.  It is ours to share and treasure as lovingly as it graces us in the precious journey of life.  I hope you will join me.

Practice
This practice supports awareness of joy.

Prepare— 

  • Remove any potential distractions.  For example, remove non-medical electronic devices from your wrist and surroundings.  Place them in another room.  If you are using a device for reading, please place it on silence and/or airplane mode.
  • Standing, stretch out through your arms in any way that feels comfortable. Then, gently shake each limb, one at a time for several seconds.
  • Sigh a few times, also in any way that feels comfortable.  Invite your shoulder and facial muscles to relax and soften.  Smile for about twenty seconds.

Practice  – 

  • Seated, allow your lower body to settle into the support beneath you. Gently invite an awareness into your feet and legs that they are free to just be. For now, they do not need to be on alert in anticipation of moving of doing something.  They can relax naturally.
  • With ease in your lower body, invite a few easy breaths to flow in and out through your nostrils.
  • Pause, allowing your breath to return to its normal background state.
  • If it feels comfortable, invite a remembrance of your own personal experience of what felt like pure joy in your lifetime.
    • Again smile for about twenty seconds, this time feeling as though your whole being is infused with remembrance of that joy.
  • Then, invite a smooth, even, and gentle inhalation through your nostrils. As you inhale, imagine that joy is spreading to all of your cells – from your toes to the crown of your head.  On exhalation, allow your breath to flow out with ease while sustaining that joyfulness in your tissues, muscles, organs, and bones.   Continue this for several breaths.

Transition Back into Your Day— 

  • Sit quietly for as long as is comfortable.
    • Perhaps touch your heart center in remembrance that joy is always within you and that it is always there for you at any time during the day.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

 

This poem is from Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 8, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  Photo by  Neringa Hünnefeld on Unsplash.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon. KateVogt©2021.

If you would like to know about the philosophical underpinnings of these H E A R T H reflections, I am offering an online study group, 1st Wednesday each month, 10:30 a.m. to noon PT, July, August and September 2021.  Please contact me for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

Light – generosity of being

Light – generosity of being

Like a great starving beast
My body is quivering
Fixed
On the scent
Of
Light.

Hafiz
Trans. by Daniel Ladinsky

 

It seems fanciful that a new moon can appear to shimmer. Yet, about once every eighteen months, there is a radiant glow around a new moon. It occurs when the two orbs of the moon and the sun seem to mate in the daytime sky, and the moon partially obscures the sun.

I admire the odd and wondrous relationship between this unlikely pair. They couldn’t be more different in their natures. The moon is tiny and constantly mobile, whereas the sun is massive—about four hundred times larger than the moon— and ever-steady and luminous. Still, they have an intimate inter-connection, and model balance and altruism despite their unique and vast differences.

The sun, even with its center-stage prominence in the solar system, freely offers warmth and light to all. In some cultures and religions, the sun’s radiance is an archetype of the immortal, supreme light and love that holds life.  And, the moon is its partner, reflecting light into the nighttime. It helps stabilize the earth’s rotation and regulate our tides.  Together, they provide us with energy, illumination, inspiration, and our sense of the passing of time.

Ancients recognized the magnificent power and significance of these two spherical bodies. Nowadays, we need a cosmic jolt to renew the awe of our raw link to them and the rest of life. When the dark moon covers the sun, it is like a power outage, especially in the locations where an eclipse will be visible.

For days, and some human lore says for months, things can be turned upside-down before and after a solar eclipse. There can be distressing energies, turbulence, and waves of negativity and misfortune. Plants, animals, humans and the elements can be affected. The change in the gravitational pull may cause earthquakes and other terrestrial phenomena. We may feel forced to leap into the new. Still, all is not gloomy with an eclipse; the sun reveals its radiant presence by giving the moon a glimmering appearance.

Poets like Hafiz remind us that light is always there. It will always illumine us, even if we ignore or forget about it, or when we think it has abandoned us in our bleakness. Like the moon, we have the capacity to reflect or eclipse the light, with the former a more normal way of being and the latter, temporary and occasional.

In our daily lives, the orbs in the sky are always there—day and night—inviting us to remember our own inner luminosity steadily shining, even during the eclipses of life.   And, with that remembrance is an awareness of our endless capacity of generosity, reciprocity, equanimity, and all other loving qualities of light.

Practice
This practice supports awareness of your inner light.

 Prepare—

  • Invite quietude—Turn your phone to airplane mode and put it aside.
    • Remove items from your wrists, such as your watch or any non-medical monitor.
      • However, if you know you only have a set amount of time, please feel free to use an alarm.
    • Sit comfortably—Come to a seated position, either in a chair or on the floor, where your spine is effortlessly upright.
      • If seated in a chair, place the soles of your feet on the floor. If your feet don’t reach the floor, please place a cushion or a block under them.
    • Relax your hands—Give a gentle squeeze to each hand by placing the thumb of the opposite hand on the palm and wrapping the other fingers over the back of the hand, and squeeze.
      • Then, let the hands relax on your lap in any position that is comfortable.
    • Relax your eyes and face—Either close your eyelids or have them open. If open, let your eyes rest in a soft, gentle gaze. Relax your forehead, jaw, and chin.

Practice—

  • Imagine a steady, radiant glow of light similar to that of the early morning or late day sun. Imagine that with that light, there is an overwhelming presence of well-being, protection, and love.
  • Sequentially, imagine that the building that you are in is infused with light—every wall, ceiling, floor, window, and door, as well as the roof and foundation.
    • the room you are in is made of light.
    • the cushion or chair that you are seated on is made of light.
    • you are bathed and enfolded in light.
    • you are luminous…you are the steady, radiant glow of light.
    • there is only light.
      • Note: You may wish to open your eyes, silently read a line, e.g., “the building…,” and then sit quietly imagining that layer before moving to the next line.
      • Follow your pace of awareness. Savor the light.

Transition Back into Your Day—

  • If your eyes were closed, slowly open them.
  • Allow the awareness of your breath to seep in. Notice the gentle movement of the chest and ribs associated with the breath.
  • After several breaths, slowly lower your chin to your chest and rock your head from side to side in half-circles. Shrug through your shoulders. Stretch through your palms and squeeze your hands. Before standing up, stretch through your toes and feet.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

 

This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 32, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon.  This post is an excerpt from Our Inherited Wisdom:  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry.  KateVogt©2021.

If you are interested in exploring more about an perspective on the interweaving of our mind, senses, and our inner orientation to life, please consider joining me in my virtual community education class “Path to Quietude” starting June 17 for 5 Thursdays.  Register before June 14, 2021.

 

 

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