Squirrel

Squirrel

If you want money more than anything,
you’ll be bought and sold.

If you have a greed for food,
you’ll be a loaf of bread.

This is a subtle truth:
whatever you love, you are.

Rumi
Trans. by Coleman Barks

Wildlife often grazes on a hillside outside our kitchen window.  Yesterday, as I was eating breakfast, a squirrel romped across the hill and then scurried up a tree.  After a few minutes, the squirrel darted back to the ground and began digging up and moving some of its stashes.  I am sure that whatever they are, there will be just enough food to sustain its nourishment through the winter.

I marvel at the wild species’ ability to use only what they need.  Unlike humans, they rarely over-consume.  Most animals are careful with their food sources, i.e., not over-grazing, polluting, exploiting, or destroying, but leaving enough to foster regeneration.  Like the squirrel, they accurately predict what will carry them through leaner times.  Overall, they model timeless principles of non-greed, trust, respect, patience, responsibility, and authenticity.

Abundance is something that is innately understood and often shared in the natural world.  As humans, we struggle to reconnect with this fundamental aspect of our existence.  It isn’t surprising that, universally, various religions warn us to beware of the pursuits of gluttony, pride, lust, envy, anger, greed, and sloth.  Most of us likely feel as though we have these negative traits in check, especially since we can readily identify them in others.

However, with almost every aspect of our life orchestrated by commercialism—from pregnancy to sickness to death—the words from the poet Rumi are even more valid now than they were during his lifetime in the 1200s.  Slothfulness, for example, has seeped into our lives in the guise of convenience.  Gluttony seems to be woven into the comforts of our paved, plastic, metallic world.

Rumi’s words “whatever you love, you are” inspire hope that we as humans can once again fall in love with what has been there all along:  not only the eternal love of the divine, but that love expressed in every aspect of nature.  I endeavor to reclaim that gift of our humanness of being joyfully alive, and in kinship with our sacred world.  To do that, I choose to intentionally cultivate and “squirrel away” those subtle qualities that engender peace and love, e.g., kindness, gentleness, and respect.

Practice
This practice supports gathering eternal, loving values.

Prepare—

  • Find a comfortable seated position.
    • If you are seated on a chair, place the soles of both feet on the floor.
  • Quietly notice your surroundings—that which is beneath you, around you, and above you.
  • Notice your body, sense of self, and breath.
  • Say “thank you” to all.

Practice—

  • Choose one inner value that you would like to befriend.
    • For example, gentleness, calmness, kindness, or lovingness.
      • Take your time. Just like a squirrel that patiently collects and stores acorns, you are embracing one inner value to guide and support you in life.
  • Breathe sweetly, as though sipping in the air.
    • Inhale: Imagine you are greeting your value and inviting it into every aspect of your being.
    • Exhale: Imagine as though your value is comfortably settling into every dimension of who you are.
      • Allow yourself to trust that, like a well-cared-for plant, your value will steadily grow and deepen its roots.
    • Let yourself be absorbed in the sweetness of your value for as long as is comfortable.

Transition Back into Your Day—

  • Place your hands over your heart to seal in your friendship with your eternal value.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

This H E A R T H reflection is from Our Inherited Wisdom:  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry, pages 81-84, authored by Kate Vogt and published through IngramSparks.   The poem is translated by Coleman Barks and re-printed with his permission for this reflection and also in Mala of the Heart:  108 Sacred Poems, page 5, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.   Photo by Ian Tuck on Unsplash.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon in honor of the living Wisdom.   KateVogt©2022.


Upcoming Classes
Join me for one of my virtual classes in supporting your inner well-being and the vitality of community education.  My classes tap into the timeless wisdom of ancient literature for practical insight and guidance in today’s world.

  • “Inner Well-Being: Ancient Perspectives and Practical Insights” – 5 Thursdays, 3:10 – 4:30 p.m. PT, Jan 27 – Feb 24 ($80). Registration begins Jan 4.
  • “Transcendental Love” – 4 Tuesdays, 3:10 – 4:30 p.m. PT, Feb 1 – 22 ($73). Registration begins Jan 4.
  • Beginning in March “Path to Quietude” and “Support Wisdom in Your Life.”

 

Heart Wave

Heart Wave

Not speaking of the way,
Not thinking of what comes after,
Not questioning name or fame,
Here, loving love,
You and I look at each other.

Yosano Akiko
Translated by Kenneth Rexroth

As the postman rounded the corner in his little white van, he waved.  I raised my arm and moved my hand to and fro, waving back.  A simple exchange between strangers.  Yet, I was taken by the warm, loving sensation that flooded my body as if I were within the currents of this particular wave.   There was a sense of pure sincerity – free of filters or anything more than the wave.

My intrigue prompted my curiosity about waving.  I was tempted to intentionally begin noticing the nature and feeling of passing by others along my walk.  Instead, it seemed better to just keep walking.  I felt enveloped by the calmness and gentleness of the morning air.  To embark on that experiment would likely bring about a feeling of separateness from this quiet embrace of the day.

Some part of me knew that human to human waves would still happen.  Dogs wag their tails, sniff, and bark.  Humans mostly greet with their hands: whether it is a wave, palms together, or some other familiar gesture.  One of my earlier childhood lessons was watching my father effortlessly lift his index finger up from the steering wheel as he passed someone on the road.

It was and still is the custom in many communities around the globe to offer and receive a heartfelt greeting in passing by another.  I am grateful to my father and the community in which I grew up for the gracious and prayerful humility in a brief moment of communing.  It comes and goes as quickly.  Yet, with the arms and hands as natural extensions of the human heart-center, sincere waving can be a true heart-to-heart connection.

Sadly, even before the presence of COVID-19, the milli-seconds are filled with the next moment, and hands and eyes are occupied.  Noticing and communing with other living beings – both human and non-human – has faded since my father’s generation.  I think that is why it was so noteworthy to receive and return a timeless message from the postman as he drove by.

It was a shared transmission of love, a love that I experience as boundless divine love.  A love present in the living currents – of the air, the ocean, the swaying of the trees, and the extension of the heart through the hands.   May I learn to be more present within the love of the everyday.  In the meantime, I send a wave of gratitude to you for your presence with these
H E A R T H reflections and my books.

Practice
This practice is more like a prayer of appreciation for the all- pervasive support of love in life.

Prepare—

  • Sit upright on a chair or the floor.
  • Notice and release any tension around your legs, hip creases, belly, chest, throat and face.
  • This practice involves placing one hand on different parts of the body, and then quietly acknowledging ways love touches our worldly life. You may wish to read through this a few times and then personalize it.

Practice—

  • Place one hand on your lowest belly.
    • Silently say, “I acknowledge the soil, its capacity to hold and nourish me, and all those who protect and care for the soil. I acknowledge the plants, insects, birds, and animals, their strength and vulnerability, and those who protect and care for them. And, I acknowledge my digestive system and its ability to process food to nourish my body. I appreciate my feet and legs and my ability to stand and to make choices to do the least harm possible.” Take a few breaths.
  • Place one hand below your navel.
    • Silently say, “I acknowledge water, its capacity to sustain and cleanse me, and all those who protect and care for the waters. I also acknowledge my renal system and its role in nourishing and cleansing my body. I appreciate my ability to move and to create.” Take a few breaths.
  • Place one hand on your navel.
    • Silently say, “I acknowledge the sun, its capacity to nourish and warm me and the world around me, and the light it provides for me to see. I also acknowledge my emotions and the ability to feel and experience the world.” Take a few breaths.
  • Place one hand on your throat.
    • Silently say, “I acknowledge the air and wind, their capacity to nourish me through sound and breath, and all those who protect and care for them. I also acknowledge my throat and its capacity to carry the breath, food, my voice, and the messages in the nervous system to and from the brain. I appreciate my brain and senses for the capacity they give me to interact in the world.” Take a few breaths.
  • Place one hand on the center of your chest, the symbolic heart center.
    • Silently say, “I acknowledge ever-present love and its sister qualities of compassion, peace, joy, kindness. I appreciate the capacity to feel, and act with true compassion for those who are suffering from war, violence, abuse, hunger, dislocation, injury, and illness. I acknowledge the teachers, poets, and writers who inspire true love and the grace of peace and freedom. I acknowledge the presence of love in other humans.” Take a few breaths.
  • Place one hand on the top of your head.
    • Silently say, “I acknowledge the ocean of love.”
    • Take a few breaths.

Transition Back into Your Day—

  • Sit quietly for a few moments, with the eyes and ears tuned inward.
  • Place your hands over your heart and pause for a moment.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

 

This poem appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 31, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.   Photo by Anitha Cumming. The practice is an excerpt from Our Inherited Wisdom:  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry by Kate Vogt, page 341-343, available through Bookshop, or order through your local independent bookstore.   HEARTH is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2021.

 

 

Acorn – tree of life

Acorn – tree of life

There ’s a tree that existed before the woods,
in age twice as old.
Its roots suffered as the valley changed,
its leaves deformed by wind and frost.
People all laugh at its withered aspect,
caring nothing about the core ’s beauty.
When the bark is all stripped off,
only essence remains.

Hanshan
Translated by Tony Barnstone

My day began with my hearing a loud pop.  Then another.  And another.   Suspended somewhere between being bewildered and fearful, my mind felt useless.   This was a new sound – one that somewhat resembled the pelting of hail against the roof.   And even with the resemblance, hail was unlikely: sunlight poured though the bedroom window and the sky was cloudless.

After a few minutes, my mind had drifted into a state of curiosity.  The sound seemed to be waning so I wanted to tap into my amateur sleuthing skills and unravel the mystery.  It seemed to be coming from the skylight in the living room, so I quickly dressed and moved in that direction.

As I entered the living room area, there was again two or three quick clunks.  They were indeed against the skylight.  By now, my mind had found a new theory of a neighborhood crow pecking on the skylight.  That occasionally happens – usually when I have forgotten to put out bird seed in the morning.  As I looked up, there was only blue sky and no crow.

Rather than fluster myself by further looking for an answer, I decided to settle into my morning routine with some contemplative time, including a stroll among the nearby redwoods.  This land is the traditional home to the Coast Miwok, so it feels appropriate to begin the day with a humble acknowledgement of being a visitor to a vast and wise community that stretches over time and countless life forms.

The stroll often offers a glimpse of the intelligence woven into a seemingly simple existence.  Earthliness abounds in subtle gestures of generosity, gentleness, courage, reciprocity, joy, sweetness, strength, wholeness, respect, compassion, togetherness, and eternal love.  There is the vastness of heavenly space and invisible tethering of the breath holding all.

Sometimes, an unexpected insight arises in these morning meanderings.  It might be a sensation or feeling akin to boundless love, or something more practical.  On this morning walk, it was noticing the acorns gathered on the deck of our apartment when I returned.  Of course!  The acorns have long had a relationship with this land and those who live here.  These acorns are filled with nutrition, medicine, and all the potentiality of mighty oaks that offer endless other forms of support.  Now, it is the squirrels that remember, and gather the acorns in this neighborhood.

Embarrassingly, I had overlooked these gems.  They have been gracing our deck for the past few weeks, and likely have plunked onto our skylight without my attention.   But from now on, I will look forward to their arrival and treasure their presence as unassuming reminders of the tree of life.

Practice
This practice supports awareness of receiving and letting go.

Prepare—

  • Hold your hands in front of you.
    • Rotate your wrists 3 times in each direction.
    • Close and open the fingers 3 times.
    • Then, gently hold one hand in the other and squeeze.
    • Repeat with the other hand.
  • Shake out your arms, wrists and hands.

Practice—

  • Repeat the following 3 times:
    • Breath One:
      • Inhale—Reach your arms and palms out in front of you. Spread the fingers.
        • Hold the Inhale—Reach your arms to the sides, shoulder-high. Fingers are still spread.
      • Exhale—Arms still to the sides.
        • Vigorously make a fist with the hands.
      • Breath Two:
        • Inhale—(Arms still to the sides.)
          • Release holding the fist. Spread out through your palms and fingers.
        • Exhale—Lower your arms to your sides. Palms and fingers relaxed.
      • Normal breath (for 6-12 breaths) – Arms relaxed at your sides.
        • (If seated, rest your palms on your thighs, palms upward.)

Transition Back into Your Day—

  • Sit quietly for several minutes.
    • Backs of your hands rest on your thighs, palms upward.
  • Imagine yourself as a tree, and that your hands are the roots.
      • Inhaling, imagine nutrients and fresh energy flowing inward through the fingertips and palms into your body and mind.
      • Exhaling, imagine that everything no longer needed is being released through the palms and fingertips.
    • Continue this rhythm of receiving and letting go for several minutes.
    • Then, allow your breath to return to normal before returning to your day.

 

This poem appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 111, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.   The photo is by Katie Azi on Unsplash.  The practice is an excerpt from “Our Inherited Wisdom:  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry” by Kate Vogt, page 41-42, available through Bookshop, or order through your local independent bookstore.   HEARTH is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2021.

 

 

 

Ubiquitous Orange – a daily delight

Ubiquitous Orange – a daily delight

You’re in my eyes.  How else could I see light?
You’re in my brain.  This wild joy.
If love did not live in matter,
how would any place have any hold on anyone?

Rumi
Translator Coleman Barks

 

Orange there.  Orange everywhere.  At our neighbors across the street, pumpkins of all sizes parade along a ledge showing off their shapes and orangish hues.  Further up the hill, persimmons glisten in the morning light.  Monarch butterflies dance through the air with their deep orangish color in contrast with handsome black veins and body.   Marigold flowers, rose hips, and leaves bring more awareness of this particular season of orange.

As if this weren’t enough, the November full moon takes on an orange color as it passes through the shadow of the earth in a partial lunar eclipse.  The normal luminosity of the moon will be mostly hidden.  This odd occurrence in the nighttime sky has long captured human attention, evoking stories of both fear and wonderment.  The orange reddish color inspired myths of the moon being eaten by a wild animal, such as jaguar, leaving the color of blood as evidence.  It also is said to represent a welcomed pause, and a time for inner reflection.

Of course, orange appears throughout the year. Our sense of time and timeless is measured in radiant colors, including many shades of orange, each dawn and dusk.  The color orange evokes many feelings, such as joy, warmth, playfulness, and even tranquility.  In restaurants, orange is sometimes added because it sparks the appetite and a desire for more.

Orange, ushering in nighttime and daytime, praises the fabric of earthly life, especially the constancy of transition and connectedness.  This is a sweet reminder that each moment is a transition from what was into what will be, with pure being-ness in between.  This reciprocity is apparent in our fluid receiving and offering of the breath, and the larger cycles of life.  The present is a continual bridge between the past and future.  All directions meet each morsel of life wherever it is, whether in the air, rooted in the ground, reclining, or walking.

Regardless of its depth or lightness, the color orange simultaneously carries the flavors of golden sunlight and earthly reds.  Thus, it symbolically offers a sense of balance between the heavenly and worldly.   So, even when the moonlight seems to have abandoned the earth during an eclipse, the orange hue conveys an uplifting reminder of the steadfast and tranquil presence of solar and eternal light.  (Ironically, it is the planet earth that hides the light by coming between the sun and the moon.)  It is not surprising that in some parts of the world, holy people wear orange robes as they live with the light of pure awareness.

As I read the words of Rumi, I gain yet another insight into the joyfulness of being in the companionship of the color orange – Love, God’s Love, Eternal Love.   My hope is that orange sparks a fresh perspective or insight in you.  If so, please share.

Practice
This short practice offers an awareness of letting go.

Prepare – 

  • Turn your phone and any other devices to airplane mode.
  • Find a comfortable seated position, supporting and inviting ease in your lower body.
    • If you are in a chair, allow the soles of your feet to relax without tension by placing them evenly on the floor, a cushion, or any other stable surface.
  • Rub your palms vigorously together until you feel some heat in your fingers.
    • Then gently brush your palms down your arms from your shoulders to your fingertips.
      • As you do this imagine you are brushing off the energetic dust that you have accumulated in your activities prior to this practice.
      • Then, brush off your legs, front and back of your torso (as far that is comfortable for you to reach), the back of your neck, your throat.
  • Once again, rub your palms together and then gently brush your fingertips over your face, including your nose, eyes, mouth, chin, cheeks, and ears.
  • Pause quietly for a few minutes, lower body supported, and breath free and easy.

Practice – 

  • Turn your palms upward, allowing the backs of your hands to rest on your thighs.  Pause for one or two breaths.
  • With your palms still upward and in front of you, lift your forearms and hands slightly away from your thighs to a level where your shoulders and upper chest still feel relaxed.
    • Slowly open your palms and your fingers.  Allow your fingers to tilt slightly downward as you reach full openness of your palms.   As you do this, say to yourself, “I let go of unneeded tension.”
    • Repeat three times.
  • With your palms open, either still slightly elevated away from your thighs or resting on your thighs, invite a sense of receiving an orange in each hand.  Allow yourself to fully receive the gift of this round fruit.
    • Using your imagination, feel your palms, fingers, and wrists relax as they receive the weight of the orange.  Allow that relaxation to move up your forearms into your shoulders, upper back, and your heart center.
    • Pause.  Just receive, relax, receive – free of labeling or inner dialog.  There is no right or wrong here.  You are just here with the gift of these imaginary oranges.
    • Note: if you are allergic to oranges, please choose another orange colored natural food, e.g., a yam.
  • When you are ready, reaching your arms slightly forward and upward while staying with a feeling of relaxation and perhaps joyful reverence – particularly in your hands, fingers, and wrists — offer the oranges to that which you consider most sacred.
    • Pause with the feeling of offering, again free of inner dialog.
    • After a few moments, invite an awareness of your seemingly empty palms being filled and overflowing with love.
    • After a few moments, bring your hands to your heart center, one palm over the other with your head slightly bowed.  Silently say, “thank you.”

Transition back into your day – 

  • With your hands wherever they are comfortable, sit quietly for a few moments.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

The poem by Rumi appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 48, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.   The photo is by Peggy Sue Zinn on Unsplash.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2021.

 Stay in touch with the wisdom that lives in every moment.  Listen. Observe. Absorb.
If you wish to explore the posts further, please explore katevogt.com for:  meeting up with me virtually one-on-one;  joining one of my virtual community classes; contacting me about whether you are a fit for my monthly Wisdom Circle: or, having inspiration at your fingertips with your own copy of my book “Our Inherited Wisdom:  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry,” available through Bookshop, or order through your local independent bookstore.

 

 

 

 

Mountain – staying steady

Mountain – staying steady

Mountains are steadfast but the mountain streams
go by, go by,
and yesterdays are like the rushing streams,
they fly, they fly,
and the great heroes, famous for a day,
they die, they die.

Hwang Chin-i
Translated by Peter H. Lee

 

With the recent autumn rains, the streams are rushing once again. They bring a reminder of the broader landscape of where of I live.  Wetlands, which spread along the shores of the San Francisco Bay, gently begin to slope upward westerly toward the hillsides, eventually rising into a single peaceful presence – Mount Tamalpais.

The downpours of this past week enlivened a lacey network of rivulets, creeks, and brooks, revealing an intimate connectedness.  It feels as though Nature has found a way to maneuver around the streets and roads and reclaimed her own pathways through the ravines and indentations in the surface. There is some pooling of excess waters, but most find their way into one of the natural waterways.  That allows the droplets to cluster and travel freely, forming their own “rush hour.”

For now, there is only a faint memory of dust clinging to the leaves.  It feels that the waters have filtered into my own skin, washing away any apprehension of a fire spontaneously hurtling across this terrain. This is the season of rain, of letting go, and absorbing the nourishment that comes this way.  It is a time of remembering that yesterdays were once tomorrows. Seconds gather into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, days into years, and years into lifetimes.  This is the season to behold the inherent belongingness of all life, and to be fully accept that change is ever-present.

It seems to do that is to embrace the quiet, steadfast qualities of the mountain. Like a grand sage, the mountain seems to carry timeless messages of generosity and humility.  Its magnificent peak endlessly touches the heavens, and its base is gently rooted into the surrounding lands.  It nourishes all near and far, being home to many plants, birds, and wildlife while providing a source of comfort.   It seems that poets such as Hwang Chin-i of the 16thcentury invite us to come near the mountain.  I will try to do that more often, and hope you will join me.

Practice
This short practice explores steadfastness.

Prepare – 

  • Turn your phone and any other devices to airplane mode.
  • Standing:
    • Gently rotate each ankle around in one direction and then the other.
    • With both feet on the floor, or earth, curl your toes toward your arches a few times.
    • Then, one again rotate your ankles in each direction.
    • Note:  if standing is not accessible for you, please feel free to be seated for this practice.

Practice – 

  • Standing throughout the practice.  (remember if standing is not accessible, please adapt the practice for your comfort.)
  • Find a comfortable distance between your feet.
    • As much as possible, align your ankles, hips, and shoulders, allowing your weight to balance evenly over your feet.  Permit a micro-bend in your knees.
    • Invite an awareness of the surface beneath you – the floor, the surface(s) beneath the floor such as the building foundation, and then the earth.
      • In whatever way that is comfortable for you, offer gratitude for the steadfastness of the earth.
  • Allow your mind to be absorbed in the feeling of steady peacefulness.
    • With each inhalation, invite this feeling to expand into your bones and slowly into every cell of your being from head to toe.
    • With each exhalation, invite this feeling to settle in as though taking root within you.
    • Stay for six breaths with this awareness.
  • Slowly stretch your arms overhead with your fingertips reaching toward the sky, and your palms facing one another.  Breathe for a couple breaths.
  • Allow your hands to rest over your heart center, one hand on top of the other.
    • Quietly repeat to yourself, “Inner peacefulness is steadfast.  I am like the mountain – bold, humble, and content.”

Transition back into your day –

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

 

This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 60, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.   HEARTH is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2021.

To support your inner steadiness, please consider gifting yourself with a copy of my book “Our Inherited Wisdom:  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry,” available through Bookshop, or order through your local independent bookstore.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy gems of natural beauty 
& #naturesutras

invitation to connect

Are you wondering if this is the right time for a Living Wisdom Mentoring session?
upcoming events

©2019 Kate Vogt. Privacy Policy. Portrait Photography by Paulina Paczkowska