Golden Light

Golden Light

If God
invited you to a party and
said,

“Everyone in the ballroom tonight will
be my special

how would you then treat them when you arrived?

Indeed, indeed!

And Hafiz knows that there is no one in
this world who is not standing upon

His jeweled dance
floor.

Hafiz

The trunk glistened on what was otherwise a modest redwood tree.  Some of its branches were filled with greenery reaching upward and others were bare, slopping downward.  Its bark was a little greyer than some of its neighbors, but on this morning, it glowed with a golden radiance.  It seemed to be joyfully returning the kiss of the dawn’s light.

As the sun rose, the tree blended into the background.  The early morning rays caressed every hilltop, street, and roof.  A few crows and smaller birds glided through the sky.  Slowly, shapes and forms appeared in greater and greater detail.  It seemed as though the first kiss of light had given birth to another day of activity.  Light with radiant reciprocity pulsed through every leaf, flower, and grain of sand.  

Life is spun of this constant grace of light.  Not only does solar energy sustain all earthly forms, but a nameless luminosity shines within, bringing light to all existence.  The redwood and other species in nature steadily grow, reflecting and absorbing the light.  In the fall season, countless deciduous trees echo the golden yellows, oranges and reds of the rising and setting sun.  Their colorful leaves are released from the tree, and fall to the ground to create a carpet for new growth.

Glistening objects are everywhere in nature – mica, gemstones, silken furs – yet the bland and unnoticeable are equally living expressions of light.  There are battles and contests for survival, but the light remains an equitable presence, untouched by time and space.  Light holds the heart of existence.

Within different traditions, the closing of the calendar year has a celebration of light.  Whether it is the flame of a candle or a string of sparkling lights, it is a call to luminously receive the ever-present kiss of illumination.  Still, it is a challenge for us as humans not to chase after and try to own the golden object.  It is also a challenge for us to accept that we are neither superior or inferior, and to realize that we are beings of light. In the light, we can fully see and compassionately heal our individual and collective fears, grief, and expectations.  

As the poet Hafiz reminds us, we are all guests on this “jeweled dance floor.”   May this season of light inspire all of us to ponder how we can be like the redwood tree, humbly returning the kiss of the light within every thought, gesture, and word.  

 Practice  
This short practice invites awareness of light.   

Prepare – 

  • Sit in a quiet place.  Turn your device to airplane and/or silence to minimize the disruptions for the next few minutes.    
  • Look around wherever you are.  
    • Notice any plants or items that are made of plant material, e.g., wooden floor, fabric, baskets.  Acknowledge the life process of that plant or plant item, especially the significance of solar light to its growth.
    • Notice any candles or electrical lights.  Acknowledge the light that they offer.  Perhaps also acknowledge the source of the energy allowing them to be a source of light.
  • With your eyelids closed, rest your eyes in your palms.  
    • Invite an easeful, gentle breath.  Relax around your jaw and temples.  
  • Remove your hands.  Slowly move your eyes left to right, up and down, and diagonally from one upper corner to the opposite lower corner.  Acknowledge the gift of sight and its relationship to earthly light.

Practice – 

  • Hold your hands palms upward in front of your chest.  Relax through the center of your palms, between the fingers, and along your wrists and fingertips.  
    • Imagine they are holding a golden luminous presence. 
    • Smile and imagine this radiance is filling your entire being.
  • Place one hand over the center of your chest – your heart center – and then place your other hand on top.  
    • Allow your eyes to rest in a gentle gaze, or be softly closed.
    • Feel the touch and weight of your hands on your chest.  
      • Invite a sense of being comforted and held by the most loving, generous, compassionate, caring and selfless being.  
      • Smile as you welcome this loving presence into every pore of your mind and body.  
      • Stay here for several moments, allowing your breath to become smooth and easeful. 
  • Lift your fingertips to your eyelids, then your ears, nose and mouth.  Pause for a breath or two at each of your sensory organs.  
  • Place your hands on the opposite upper arm.  Invite a smooth easeful breath as your arms are crossed across your chest.
  • Then, sequentially rest your hands for a moment on your thighs, lower belly, navel area, heart, throat, and crown of your head.   
  • Return your hands over your heart and pause.
    • Quietly say to yourself, “I release sarcasm, rudeness, pride-fulness, clinging, delusion, and greed.”  “I invite in clarity, trust, receptivity, justice, discernment, responsibility, decency, courage, equanimity, love, compassion, and light.”
    • Then touch your fingertips to your forehead, lips, and heart as if to seal in your prayerful message to yourself.  May all your thoughts, attitudes, and words be energized with this awareness.

Transition back into your day – 

  • Find a place where you can sit quietly for a few moments.  
  • When you are ready, return to your day.    

The poem is translated by Daniel Ladinsky and appears on page 40 in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, 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.  KateVogt©2020. 

Hallowed Life

Hallowed Life

The weight of arrogance is such
that no bird can fly
carrying it.
And the man who feels superior
to others, that man
cannot dance,
the real dance when the soul takes God
into its arms and you both fall
onto your knees in gratitude,

a blessed gratitude
for life.  

St. John of the Cross

The weight of arrogance is such that no bird can fly carrying it. And the man who feels superior to others, that man cannot dance, the real dance when the soul takes God into its arms and you both fall onto your knees in gratitude, a blessed gratitude for life.  St. John of the Cross

The moon once again is fully bathed in the light of the sun, giving the appearance of a glowing disc in the night sky.  Like the solar source of its radiance, the moon illumines the surface of the earth with a glistening luster.    

As a child, I would pause outside on such nights, and be filled with a dual sense of a spooky eeriness and joyful astonishment.   The land around my parents’ farm gleamed with a surreal translucence.  The large buildings, such as a Quonset, and equipment such as tractors, had a ghostly weightlessness as though they were simply mirages floating within the moonlight.   All was aglow, regardless of shape or size.

Now, several decades later, I am still captivated by this primordial dance of the moon endlessly cycling from being completely visible to invisible – all due to its orientation to the sun.  I find the phases of the moon are a sobering reminder not only of ever-changing nature of my mind, but also of how the continual churnings of thoughts obscure clarity.   Yet, about every thirty days, the light shines evenly and free of impediments, offering hope for my heart to soar in infinite luminosity, with untainted compassion.

Universally, sages, prophets, saints, and elders model our innate human capacity to reflect – and revere – the boundless radiance.  They inspire us to recognize the sweet interconnectedness of all life, where no spirit is superior to the other and where each is a precious part of the whole.  The Indian poet Tukaram offers an image of all life belonging on God’s “jeweled dance floor.”  Navajo wisdom offers steady reverence for the earth, sky, moon, sun, and all beings.  And, the mystic St. John of the Cross honors the ever-present grace of divine light, inviting us to let it freely shine in gratitude for this hallowed life.

I continually venture to embody the wisdom that lives within natural phenomena and sacred poetry, and hope you will join me.  

Practice 
This short practice invites appreciation of the sacredness of the earth.

Prepare – 

  • Choose a place where you can be undisturbed for a few minutes.  If you are using your phone for this mini-practice, consider placing it on silent.  Also, if comfortable, remove your shoes. 
  • Standing (Note: if your balance is feeling unstable, feel free to be seated for this portion.) 
    • Slowly rotate your right ankle, a few times one direction and then the other.

Repeat with your left ankle.

  • Gently lift up the toes on your right foot and spread them apart.  Then, curl them under.  Repeat a few times and then do the same on your left foot.
  • Lightly tap one foot on the floor a few times, then the other. 

Practice – 

  • Standing quietly.
    • Pause.  As best as you can, balance between your left and right side, and front and back. 
    • Notice where your feet are touching the surface beneath you. 
      • If inside, acknowledge the floor and all the resources that made the floor.  If wooden, for example, acknowledge source of the wood, e.g. the trees, as well as the humans that laid the planks of the floor, and all the earthly resources that nourished them so that they could do the work.   Acknowledge the concrete foundation, and the stones from the riverbed that made the concrete, and the waters.
      • Whether inside or outside, acknowledge the soil and its life, e.g., the insects and microbes.  Then acknowledge the layers of earth, e.g., the rocks and whatever is unique to where you are.
      • Wherever you are, acknowledge the First Peoples of the land of your area.
  • Still standing, begin to slowly walk for a few minutes, e.g., in a small circle
    • Consider all the life beneath your feet.  As invited by Thich Nhat Hanh, “walk as though your feet are kissing the earth.”  Consider also the awareness that the earth is kissing your feet. 
  • Pause again, standing quietly. 
    • Reach your hands upward to the sky. 
    • Imagine that you are receiving the luminous light of a full moon through your open hands, and that light is pouring down your arms into your torso and down through your legs to your feet. 
    • Lightly touch the top your head with your fingertips and imagine as though that light is washing away all tendencies toward judgement and self-centeredness with joyful love, compassion, and equanimity. 
    • Then, rest your hands over your heart center with remembrance that the four horizontal directions begin and end with the light of your own heart.
      • With gratitude for the gift of life, say “thank you.”

Transition back into your day – 

  • Find a place where you can sit quietly for a few moments.  
  • When you are ready, return to your day.    


The verse appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 11, 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.  KateVogt©2020. 

Fall Morning

Fall Morning

It is there
that our hearts are set,  

In the expanse
of the heavens.   

Pawnee Wisdom

Outside the open bedroom window, the sound of birds escorting another day into being.  Even before the had light arrived, new sounds accompanied the melodic chirps and warbles.  There were the familiar signals that it was a Tuesday, with the clanking of the lids of the trash bins as the garbage workers made their way up the street.  For a short while, there was the scratching sound of a metal rake against cement as a neighbor tended to the weekly sidewalk grooming.

In spite of the newness of the day seeping through the window, the walls of our apartment were still infused with the pre-dawn silence.   Being as noiseless as possible, I dressed and made my way out the front door for a daily offering of seeds for the birds.   As I closed the door, a squirrel scurried up a nearby oak tree and paused motionless on a lower branch, silently gazing in my direction.  

Just as sunlight began to make its way through the tree’s branches, the squirrel scampered onward, causing a mini shower of leaves and acorns in its wake.   It became still.  The raking and clanking had long since stopped and the birds had quieted.  Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there would have been a constant stream of sounds, such as the chatter of children making their way to school.  Now, there was only the noiseless presence of the light and the oak.

A spider web glistened as the sun’s rays made it into the higher branches of the tree.  The anchoring strands reached unimaginable distances from one another.   At the center of roundish spirals was the weaver of this shimmering masterpiece.  The spider had a plump body with its two lobes forming the shape of a figure eight, or the sign of infinity.  There was such symmetry in the evenly spaced protrusions from the body that I assume it had all eight of its legs, allowing it to freely navigate across its web.  

As the sun’s rays shifted, the spider and its web disappeared, perfectly camouflaged within the lattice of the tree’s branches.  Even though no longer visible, the web surely remained, not only as a home for the spider but also as a net to entangle some unsuspecting insect.  

I continue to marvel at the timeless wisdom woven into everyday occurrences in the natural world.  Just within a few moments on a fall morning, there had been lessons of infinite potentiality, stillness, interconnectedness, patience, and resilience.  There had been reminders of the steady, peaceful essence cloaked by the ever-changing earthly cycles of day to night, and of season to season.  There had been the sense of belonging to a larger whole, within which there is ample room for the diverse expressions of existence.  

If a bird can sing and a spider can spin silvery threads into intricate webs, then surely contemporary humanity can rediscover our gift to appreciate, respect and care for one another, and for all life.   I will try to arise each morning with this reminder, and hope you will join me.

Practice 
This short practice invites appreciation of wholeness.

Prepare – 

  • Standing.
    • Slowly and gently, shake out your right leg for about a minute.  Then, your left leg, followed by each of your arms.  As you shake, imagine you’re are releasing and letting go of tendencies toward jealousy, resentment, selfishness, anger, and overconsuming in all aspects of your life, e.g., food, ideas
    • Quietly walk in a clockwise circle, as small or large as you like.  Then, stand in the circle’s center.  Turn toward the east and pause.  If you don’t know where to face, just choose to face in one direction.

Practice – 

  • With an inhale, sweep your arms out to the sides and overhead.  Pause for a breath with your arms overhead as though greeting the expanse of the heavens.
    • If you have shoulder impingements, please adjust this movement to your comfort level.
  • On your next exhale, bring your arms to your sides with your palms facing inward toward your body.  Pause for a breath as though acknowledging the stability of the earth.
  • Repeat the following four times:
    • On your next inhalation, stretch your arms out in front of you, palms upward.  Pause for a breath in appreciation of all that life in that direction to the furthest distance.  
    • On an exhalation, bring your palms together over your heart center.  Pause for a breath in gratitude for all the nourishes you from that direction.
    • Take a quarter turn to your right.  On your last turn, you will be facing your initial position.   
  • Pause.  Acknowledge the full cycle of breath, i.e., each exhalation seamlessly arising as the inhalation ends, and v.v.  Take several breaths with this awareness.
  • Come to a seated position.  Allow your hands to rest in your lap or on your legs.  Become aware of your surroundings in all directions.  Imagine that all those directions are come together at the core of your being.  Simply breathe in, and out.   

Transition back into your day – 

  • Sit quietly.  
  • Bring your palms together in front of your heart center, and “thank you.”
  • When you are ready, return to your day.    

The verse is translated by Frances Densmore and appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 5, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  Photo by S. Lukka. H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2020. 

Boulders

Boulders

I am the Mother
of fair love…
and of knowledge,
and of hope.
In me is grace
of the way and of the truth…
My memory is
unto everlasting generations.

Book of Ecclesiasticus

The rising full moon loomed over the boulders at one end of a nearby beach.   On the opposite end, the sun was disappearing behind a cloudbank.  Every grain of sand and atmospheric particle seemed aglow, as though promising to carry forward the memory of light into the nighttime. 

A golden warm hue caressed the crevices of the massive rocks.  Otherwise appearing inert, they seemed to happily reveal their deepest secrets of majesty, tranquility and beauty.  They are in no hurry to get somewhere or be anywhere other than where they are.  Slowly they erode and give way to the inevitable cycle of change.  They are imbued with patience and quiet ease, undisturbed by the lichen or countless crustaceans that grow on their surface.  

These mammoth stones, like all their smaller, rocky counterparts – even to the size of a pebble – are models of strength, constancy, and inclusiveness.  They tirelessly comfort whomever comes near.  Birds in need of a rest pause on their surface.  Adults and children are drawn to touch, lean against or sit on them as though instinctively attracted to their steady calming, soothing, and non-judgmental presence. 

 As I walked toward the boulders, I noticed my pace began to slow.  Perhaps that was the result of awe of the intimate and dynamic dialog of the light with the air and earth.  More likely, however, it was the serenity of the rocks that stilled anything close by.  It is no wonder that humans have long created stone structures, gardens, sculptures and markers to evoke steadfastness, longevity, peacefulness, and divine permanence.     

In the turmoil of our individual and collective times, it is easy to forget that Nature is infused with timeless wisdom.  Nature invites us to acknowledge that we are an integral part of the larger universe.  Seeing a rock could be a reminder that we are stubbornly resistance or complacently silent.  Yet, these boulders are an example of how Nature continually offers insight to decelerate, pay attention, and honor all that we take for granted.   Nature generously offers the land on which we live, the air that we breath, the sunlight that sustains the plants, and constant reminders to re-align our inner rhythms with the outer rhythms.   As a way to stay grounded and hopeful, my touchstone will be to cultivate lessons from the boulder – selfless generosity, fairness, and fortitude.  I hope you will join me.

Practice
This short practice invites appreciation of patience.

Prepare – 

  • Find a comfortable seated position.  
    • Become aware of the surface beneath you.  Notice the effortless support that it offers.  If on a chair or bench, reflect on the layers of support down to the earth.  
  • Lightly touch the surface beneath you with your fingertips.  
    • Silently say, “thank you.”  

Practice – 

  • Even though there are times that the layers of the earth stir, imagine the steady layers of support for earthly life.  Particularly, consider the seemingly everlasting nature of mountains, boulders, rocks, stones, and pebbles.  Because of their apparent immovability, they are models of steadiness and patience.  Say “thank you.”
  • Patiently, allow your breath to steadily flow in and out.
    • Invite your eyes to relax with a soft gaze as though looking inward.
  • Invite a sense of deep inner stillness as your breath gently moves inward and outward.
    • Imagine that your breath moves so quietly that it barely brushes that inner stillness.
    • As you continue, imagine the stillness slowly infusing your inhale and exhale a bit more breath by breath.  Invite the quality of patient awareness as you observe the quieting of your breath.
    • Perhaps savor the slight pause as one inhalation slides into the next exhalation.
    • Continue inviting awareness of the breath moving at the pace of a stone – patient, gentle, accepting, and calming.

Transition back into your day – 

  • Sit quietly.  
  • After a few moments, look around and slowly observe the space around you without labeling or judging – just observing.  
  • Touch your thighs with your palms downward and take a deep breath.  Then, once again touch the surface beneath you and say “thank you.”
  • When you are ready, return to your day.    

This verse appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 84, 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.  KateVogt©2020. 

Upcoming Virtual Class with the College of Marin Community Education: The Path to Inner Quietude: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali   In the midst of sweeping global changes, many of us are looking for reliable insight into re-orienting our perspective and lifestyle to foster clarity and peacefulness. In this course, we will look to the 2,000 year old text, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, for its theory and application to stilling our mind. (lecture, discussion, & guided experiences; 6 Wednesdays, 3:10-4:30pm PT, Oct 21-Dec 2)   Registration class #4749

WIND OF LIFE

WIND OF LIFE

The great sea has set me in motion,
set me adrift,
moving me like a weed in a river.

The sky and the strong wind
have moved the spirit inside me
till I am carried away
trembling with joy.

Uvavnuk
Netsilik Inuit

Wind everywhere.  Smoke rode the invisible currents across the land to the east.  Gales spiraled across the waters to the south, making their way toward landfall and then to the north and east.  Across the airwaves, voices rose with blame. 

Within hospitals around the world, ventilators sustained the wind of life and loved ones prayed for revival.  On the streets, this wind was, and continues to be, extinguished in humans with black bodies, sending rippling reminders of the heaps of humans and other species extinguished for the triumph of progress.  Where wind was lost, it gave birth to a surge of its expression in a storm of appeal for change. 

Ever-present, wind touches all of life.  We know it mostly by the manifestations of its presence. As a child, I would notice it in the movement of our windmill’s blades.  Or, on the days when it would cause my short hair to stand straight out from the sides of my head.  Having grown up on the flat expanse of the Great Plains, I still hear stories about the wind, such as the time my brother had run out of gas and opened both doors of his pick-up for the gusts of winds to push him along on the road home.  

Throughout the world, wind is found in the gracefully swaying of reeds or leaves, a sweet fragrance wafting through an open window, and the dispersing of pollen or seeds for new growth.  It carries away bad odors, and luckily for those of us near the recent fires in California, it clears away smoky air.   Our breath is considered a wind, resonating in musical instruments, song, poetry, and all our day-to-day vocalizations.  

The wind communicates in a larger-than-life language, yet its tenderness is visible in dragonflies and butterflies gliding across the sky.  In indigenous traditions, the wind is the soul of the divine spirit sweeping through all of nature.  Invisible, the wind is a constant messenger to attend to all life with reverence and respect, until at last we come to know the truth of the wind.   As I read the poem of the Netsilik Inuit woman Uvavnuk, I am inspired to listen more closely to the messages of the wind.  I hope you will join me.


Practice
 
This short practice invites appreciation of voice. 

Prepare – 

  • Find a comfortable seated position.  
    • If you are seating on a chair or bench, place the soles of your feet on the floor.
  • Open your mouth wide as possible, not worrying about scrunching up your face.  Relax your facial muscles.  Repeat again if you wish.
  • Smile, even if it feels fake.  Then, pout with your lower lip extended.  Smile again.
  • Take a few easy breaths.  On your exhalations, gently sigh.

Practice – 

  • Still seated, take a deep inhalation.  Exhale completely, and with your breath out, try saying the sound “aaah.”  
    • Note:  if you completely exhaled, no sound will come out.  We need a residual of air in the lungs to make audible sounds.  
  • Breathe in again.  
    • At the end of your inhalation, open your mouth and sing the sound of “aaah.”  Imagine as though this sound is rising up from your lower belly, i.e., not just from your throat.  Sustain the “aaah” sound as long as comfortable without straining.
    • At the end of your inhalation, open your mouth and sing the sound of “eeeee.”  Allow your mouth to form the shape of a smile as you make this sound, again letting it arise from the torso and not just the throat.  Sustain the “eeeee” sound as long as comfortable without straining.
    • Repeat two more times, alternating between the “aaah” and “eeeee” sounds.
  • Read Uvavnuk’s poem quietly aloud, inviting a pause as though listening for the wind at the end of each line.  Imagine as though you are caressing her words with your voice.  
    • Note:  if you have a favorite verse, you may choose to read that instead.
  • Pause.  Notice the space around you and inside of you.  Say “thank you.”

Transition back into your day – 

  • With your eyes in a quiet gaze or closed, sit quietly, simply observing the passing thoughts being carried by the winds of the mind.  Then, notice the wind of the breath, and allow your awareness to be bathed in the flow of the breath.  
  • Stay as long as you are comfortable.  
  • When you are ready, return to your day.    


This poem is translated by Stephen Mitchell and appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Scared Poems, page 70, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  The photo is by Jamie Street.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2020. 

Begonia – opening to gratitude

Begonia – opening to gratitude

The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you,
not knowing how blind I was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along. 

Rumi

Here in the northern hemisphere there are signs of the upcoming fall season, especially in colors across the hillsides. The squirrels have been more visible as they scurry along near bare branches.  Neighborhood hydrangeas are fading and persimmons, grapes, and pomegranates are finishing their final ripening.    

In the midst of the seasonal waning, a begonia plant on our back deck just sprouted an array of new leaves. Two weeks ago, it had nearly disappeared after deer had made a nighttime meal out of its foliage and stems. As if to protect the begonia from another foraging, a larger nearby plant had extended its canopy over the begonia’s new growth.  

Imagine if several hundred years ago, colonization would have taken a very different path, allowing indigenous cultures to flourish unimpeded.  Humans would have sustained an understanding of being part of, rather than superior to, nature.  Plants, which make up nearly eighty percent of the earth’s biomass, might be viewed in the way they are in some ancient languages, as “those who take care of us.”  

We might have recognized that within this earth school, plants are continually modeling their exquisite abilities to: adapt; peacefully care for and protect one another; let go; and, offer beauty, nourishment and support to the world.  Particularly in their natural habitat, they harmoniously thrive in a dynamic and sophisticated community where understory plants, such as begonias, are as significant as the overstory. 

While we are in the midst of multiple pandemics – health, social, climate, and economic – it can be challenging to be hopeful.  Some of us have lost loved ones, others have lost homes, and others livelihoods.  Still, the begonia on our back deck models a spirit of resilience, and its neighboring plant one of loving attentiveness.  It inspires a deeper sense of gratitude for the grace of life.  And, it causes me to ponder Rumi’s reminder that all is within all.  Perhaps it is not an accident that this particular begonia is called an “angel wing.” 

Practice 
This short practice invites some inner ease. 

Prepare – 

  • Find a comfortable seated position.  
    • If you are seating on a chair or bench, place the souls of your feet on the floor.
  • Gently and slowly roll your shoulders around in each direction.
  • Place your palms on your thighs and lean forward slightly.
    • Three times, open your mouth wide and hiss like a cat.  
    • Then, turn your nose up toward the sky and sniff the air like a dog, turning your head from side to side 3-4 times.
  • Give yourself a hug, each hand wrapped around the opposite upper arm.  Accept being held – albeit by yourself. 
    • If comfortable for your shoulders, shrug your shoulders forward as you are hugging yourself.  Feel the stretch and openness across the center of your back. 
  • Take a few deep breaths.  Smile.

Practice – 

  • Standing, bring your arms alongside your body. 
  • Rotate your wrists in both directions. 
  • Relax through your hands, arms still along the sides of your body.
  • As though you were a bird, arc your arm slowly up from your sides to alongside your ears.  And, then, lower them back down. (If you have shoulder issues, please adjust as needed.)
    • Playfully and lightheartedly walk around the room, loosely flapping your arms as though you were flying. 
    • Continue for about a dozen times.
  • Standing in one position, rhythmically sway from side to side. 
  • Pat yourself on the back and then give yourself another hug.  Smile.

Transition back into your day – 

  • Come to a seated position.  Allow  your breath to return to a  smooth and easy pace.
  • Stay as long as you are comfortable.  
  • When you are ready, return to your day.    


This poem is translated by Coleman Barks and appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 42, 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.  KateVogt©2020. 

 

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