Oranges & the gift of roundness

Oranges & the gift of roundness

I cannot lose anything in this
place of abundance
I found.

If something my heart cherishes
is taken away,
I just say, “Lord, what
happened?”
And a hundred more
appear.  

St. Catherine of Siena
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

A few weeks ago, oranges began to mysteriously appear outside our home.  Every morning there would be a couple nestled along the curb, with no obvious clues how they got there.  Their color was bright and shape was still perfectly round.  Yet, they were a bit soft to touch.

Since there is a lot of vegetation around where we live, I assumed there was an orange tree nearby and simply started doing what I do with fallen leaves – pick them up and put them in the compost bins.   But, in the same way that I do with the leaves, I found myself considering the lifecycle and qualities of these oranges and the similarities to my humanness.  

I am particularly drawn to their roundness.   They’ve made me much more aware of the spherical foundation of life.  Not only is our planet earth an orb within space but most of nature, including our own bodies, are formed by arcs, curves, columns, and spheres.   Delight is often stimulated by the sun and the moon, as well as the glow from candles, stars, and our eyes.   That joyfulness offers a sense of rich fullness and satiation.  

Personally, I feel that humanity could use more connection with our innate roundness.  The obvious arena is getting back to holding one another, taking our arms around each other for hugs, and being in circles of our friends.  But, equally pressing is turning around and holding all those that support us – from unseen essential workers, the trees and other entities that form the fundamental underpinnings of our lives.  Roundness is wholeness holding all equally, with love and infinite generosity.  

Geometrically, all forms begin with a dot.  We need to bring back old-fashioned analog clocks with a dot at the center to remind us of the interconnectedness of all living things, but also the necessity of a core.  The beauty of flowers radiates from a central point, and the delicious sweetness of fruit from their inner core.   Of course, there is the fiery heart of the earth upon which we live, and the all-important dot at the end of each sentence reminding us that after the bustle there is stillness.  Sadly, in our being enamored with our digital inventions, we becoming untethered from our core.  

Perhaps, like the orange, our roundness is both our nature and our fate.  Every aspect of our life – thoughts, ideas, actions, behaviors, words – has a rounded ripple effect outward, far beyond the boundaries of our body and community.    Recognizing, reclaiming and respecting the inherent roundness of life is a key to reshaping systems and values for collective well-being.  Yet, maybe it is a key to our folly.   The oranges were from a tree far up the hill from where we live.  Once they fell, they rolled with such momentum that they passed several homes, rounded a corner, and continued to travel along our relatively flat street, only to meet their demise in the compost bin.  

For now, I appreciate the oranges and how they have continued to show up each morning.  I know that there are many more lessons to be learned from this now-common fruit.  Over the ages and around the world, oranges have symbolized good luck, prosperity, love, endurance, abundance, beauty, happiness, longevity, and divine energy.  I hope you will join me in endeavoring to embrace these more unifying messages from the orange. 

Practice
This short practice invites awareness of wholeness.

Prepare – 

  • Find a comfortable seated position. 
    • If seated on a chair or bench, place the soles of both feet on the floor. 
  • Lightly rest your palms downward on your thighs.
  • Notice the surface beneath you – for example, your chair, bench, or cushion – and the support that it offers.  Then, gently shift your awareness to the floor, if you are inside, and its support.   Lastly, shift your awareness to the earth – the soil, the microbes, the layers of rock, and even the very firey core of the earth.
    • Invite a sense of being supported by this planet, which supports and has supported all earthly life over a large span of time.
    • Allow your breath to be easeful and comfortable without forcing.
      • After several breaths, continue to the next steps.

Practice – 

  • Seated or standing.
  • Support your awareness of water:
    • Sway or rock gently from side to side, acknowledging the gift of fluidity with in the rivers and streams as well as within our bodily fluids and tissues. 
  • Support your awareness of light:
    • Stretch your hands toward sky in a v-position.
      • As you reach your hands upward, become aware of the sun and the light and heat it offers life.
      • Touch your fingertips to your eyelids with awareness of how light supports your sight. 
        • Thank your eyes for all that they do for you and the gift of seeing shapes and forms.
  • Support your awareness of air:
    • Lightly touch the top of your head, your face, arms, legs, and torso.
      • As you touch different parts of your body, become aware of the gift of touch and all the ways it supports your life.
    • Gently touch your nose.
      • As you touch your nose, become aware of the gift of your breath as a constant companion in your life.  
  • Support your awareness of space:
    • Lightly lightly cup your hands over your ears, appreciating the gift of hearing and sounds. 
    • If standing, slowly walk for a few steps with appreciation for the gift of space supporting your ability to move and navigate from place to place in the world.
  • Support your awareness of the core:
    • Place your hands over your heart – one on top of the other – acknowledging your innermost heart always holding all equally with love. 

Transition back into your day – 

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


This  verse appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 87, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  Photo by Lulucmy.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2021. 


Support Wisdom in Your Life! Join me for this is well-loved class with practical tips to nourish and make room for wisdom.  This class celebrates that we each innately wise, but get sidetracked by life and forget our own capacity for ease, clarity, and creativity.  5 Tuesdays starting March 30 and ending April 27, 3:10 – 4:30 p.m. PT, fee $40.  Register Today! College of Marin Community Education, virtual classroom (course #4880)

Plum Blossoms & Contentment

Plum Blossoms & Contentment

That one is blessed and at peace
Who doesn’t hope, to whom
Desire makes no more loans.

Nothing coming, nothing owned.

Lalla  
Trans. by Coleman Barks

As I peered out the front door, I noticed that the front steps were covered with delicate blossoms.  It seemed nature had given voice to the wind by leaving these sweet floral traces wherever a breeze had been.

The blossoms appeared as perfect as they had the day before when they were still clustered on the plum tree branches.  Each rested unscathed facing skyward with ample room to spread out.  Every floret was as beautiful as the next.

These blossoms needed no audience.  In their simple grandeur, they had their own role in the broader life story.  When the sun came, they opened and allowed the light to shine through their translucent petals.  When the wind came, they let go and danced in the air until softly landing in their new spot.  Then, they will wilt away taking their memories with them. 

Like the great prophets and poets, the blossoms offered reminders that contentment is at the heart of each moment.  They model the capacity to stay anchored in inner peacefulness while living within the whirls of the world.   I hope that I might learn from the grace and lightness of these blossoms, and let go of what was, or what is yet to be.  Perhaps you will join me. 

Practice
This short practice invites awareness of balance.

Prepare – 

  • Standing.
  • Lift one foot and rotate it in small circles.   Then, place that foot down and lift and rotate your other foot around.  Place that foot down.
  • Lift and lower and your heels a few times.

Practice – 

  • Walk at a slow even pace for twelve to fifteen steps.
  • Enjoy the fullness within each step.
  • Notice the sensations as one foot and leg move forward.  For example:
    • Notice the muscles involved, e.g., the thigh muscles, and how they respond as: the leg lifts; the foot comes down; and, the foot stabilizes in preparation for your other leg and foot to come forward. 
    • Notice as the heel of your foot comes down and then as the rest of your foot rolls forward until you have enough stability on that foot to allow your other leg and foot to come forward.
  • Notice how the rest of your body shifts as you walk. 
  • Optional:
    • Sync your movements with your breath.  For example, one breath for each side:  inhaling lifting your right foot and leg; and, exhaling placing, rolling and stabilizing your right foot.  Then, repeat with the left leg and foot. 
    • Add a saying as you walk, such as, “I am loving the earth with my feet as I walk.”

Transition back into your day – 

  • Find a comfortable seated position and 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 30, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  Photo by T. Hirai.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2021. 



Kate’s Upcoming Virtual Class 
Support Wisdom in Your Life,
5 Tuesdays, 3:10-4:30pm PT,
Mar 30-Apr 27
$40
Please register online through College of Marin Community Education (course #4880)

Rain and Rejuvenation

Rain and Rejuvenation

I am filled with you.
Skin, blood, bone, brain, and soul.
There’s no room for lack of trust, or trust.
Nothing in this existence but that existence.

Rumi
Translated by John Moyne and Coleman Barks

A few days ago the ground crumbled and crunched under footfall.  The leaves and pine needles in the wooded areas swirled in the dry winds.  Now, with the gift of rain, the soil has become spongy and receptive to the pressure of my boots.  Emerald green carpets are everywhere – covering fields, hillsides and lawns with precious blades of grass and ferns.  Dandelions sprouts have popped up within the sidewalk cracks, and ferns have filled every open space between stones.

The moisture brings a welcomed relief to what seems like an endless drought.  As the earth seems to be silently but visibly rejoicing, I feel my inner compass turn to join in this promise of renewal.  The few short showers remind me of the stalwart trust that my father had in the elements.  As a farmer in an area of the Great Plains that has very little annual moisture, he would say “it will rain – it always has.”   Like most of humanity prior to him, he had a humble and ongoing understanding of humans’ symbiotic connection with the elements and rhythms of nature.  

The rain reminds me of the necessity of tears to sustain our souls.   They can be those that come with laughter and joy, or sorrow and grief.   We need the rivulets and deluges to allow our deepest selves to speak and express far more than everyday words can ever say.   Without tears, we begin to forget the first language of the heart that knows compassion, caring, and companionship.   Yet, it is just those kind and gentle qualities that allow us to offer to one another a trusting haven, so that the rains can come again, offering revitalization and hope.  

Wise words from sages, prophets, and saints inspire me to see anew.  While pointing to the eternal essence, Rumi also helps me remember that the heart is woven into the broader ecology of the universe, where there is equitable kinship between humans, the elements, the soil, and all species.  He prompts my awareness that the ecology of the heart takes loving care and nourishment.  Otherwise, it feels dry and unsated, isolated and longing within its own desert.  

As humans, most of us have never been in full harmony within our earthly embodiment.  But, I feel the rain and the timeless wisdom of the ancients are invitations to embrace wholeness and the shared nature of the parts of the whole, whether within our body, community, nation, planet, or universe.  I feel they are invitations to see the whole of life within one heart.  And, in doing so, to have the courage to grieve and begin to repair the parts that have been forgotten or dismissed, so that the whole can inter-live and reimagine a dynamic world.  This is not easy, but I want to future generations to have the ability to know, “it will rain – it always has.”   

Practice 
This short practice invites a pause.

Prepare – 

  • Sit in front of a table or a desk.  Please find a place where you can be alone with yourself.
    • If seated on a chair or bench, evenly rest the soles of your feet on the floor.
  • Gently tilt your head to one side for three or four breaths.  Slowly bring your head to center.  Pause.  Then, gently tilt your head to the opposite side for a few breaths before bring your head to center again.
  • Slowly roll your shoulders in one direction a few times.  Then, the other.  
  • Interlace your fingers with your palms facing your chest.  With your fingers interlaced, squeeze your palms and fingers together.  Notice which thumb is on top.  Then, switch the interlace so that your other thumb is on top.
  • Relax your palms wherever they are comfortable, e.g., on your lap.  
    • Allow your attention to turn toward your breath.  Just notice the quality of your breath – is it smooth, raspy, ragged.  Just notice.  After several breaths, continue on with your practice.

Practice – 

  • Place your elbows on the table in front of you.  Lean in toward the table.   
  • Bend your elbows and drop your forehead into your palms.  
    • If comfortable, allow eyes to rest in the heels of your palms.   
      • Find a comfortable place for your fingers.  For example, your fingertips can curl toward the crown of your head and your thumbs toward the sides of your head.
  • Allow the weight of your head to be fully supported by your hands.  As much as needed, repeat an awareness of letting the weight go.  (Often, we hold back from completely letting go.)
    • Invite the muscles in your shoulders, jaw, and neck to relax.  
  • Allow your breath to follow its own pattern.  You may even feel like sighing.  If so, follow the cues of your body and breath.
    • Perhaps imagine that you can release, even it temporarily, all the stress that you’ve been carrying.  Again, allow the breath to just be.
    • Stay here for as long as is comfortable.
  • Very slowly bring your head away from your palms; open your eyes into a soft gaze; begin to sit upright; and, then relax your hands back onto your lap or wherever they are comfortable.  

Transition back into your day – 

  • Remain in quietude for a few moments.  
  • When you are ready, return to your day.    

The verse appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 88, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.    Photo by Marc Zimmer.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2021. 

Join me for a two-hour virtual workshop!
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Friday, February 5, 2021, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. PT, $25. 
We’ll explore simple ways to support your own innate wisdom and inner ease. 
Sponsored by YogaOpenSpace, Oahu, Hawaii 
Register.

New Moon – humble beginnings

New Moon – humble beginnings

I was delighted with myself,
having offered everything that I had;
my heart, my faith, my work. 

“And who are you,” you said,
“to think you have so much to offer? 
It seems you have forgotten
where you’ve come from.”

Rumi
trans. Coleman Barks

“Moon.”  It was simple one-word exclamation.  Yet, to be sure that I understood her latest discovery, my youngest neighbor – a toddler named Natalia – reached her arm toward the sunny afternoon sky and pointed.  She repeated, “moon?,” although this time with an inflection of curiosity.  

As I mimicked her – pointing upward and whispering moon – Natalia beamed at having successfully communicated.  She was with her grandmother, who seemed equally proud. Apparently Natalia was excited about her new understanding that the moon is up there in the daytime sky, and had been testing everyone along their afternoon walk.  

It seemed like such an insignificant interaction, yet it caused me to ponder the ethics within our verbal exchanges, e.g., honesty, humility.  There is so much that happens within milliseconds.  Natalia had, in her own childhood way, deemed me as a grown-up who would responsibly respond to her in that moment.  

Part of my pondering came about because it was a day of new moon, when the moon is not only absorbed in the nighttime hues but invisible during the daytime.   Our minds in many ways are similar to the moon, with the potentiality to fully reflect the luminosity of eternal truth.  Yet, for the most part, our mind only catches glimpses of the truth.   

The famous Sufi Rumi reminds me that, within the shadowy orbits of life, I should remember that my human mind is vulnerable to misperception.   I found his words helpful as I reflected on how trustingly Natalia looked to others for affirmation with her learning to communicate and navigate the social nuances of human connections.  She offered a small lesson in the humility of remembering the deep responsibility that comes when someone asks for our advice or opinion.  In the coming weeks, I hope to continue to reflect on the gift from Natalia. 


Practice

This short practice invites awareness of inner awareness.

Prepare – 

  • Find a quiet spot where you can sit with minimal distractions or interruptions.
    • If seated on a chair or bench, evenly rest the soles of your feet on the floor.
  • Take a moment to shake out through your arms and roll out through your shoulders.
  • Then, sit quietly with your hands comfortably resting on your thighs.  Invite awareness to your breath.  Just take notice of how it feels in this moment, e.g., raspy, calm, and smooth? 

Practice – 

  • For each of the following, take six breaths.  Invite your breath to be smooth and even:
    • Close your eyes (and take six breaths)
    • Again with your eyes closed, place your middle fingers on your eyelids, index fingers on your forehead, and thumbs on your temples (again, take six breaths)
    • Repeat the previous by moving your thumbs onto your ear flaps, i.e., closing off the outer sounds (again, take six breaths)
      • Note:  you may wish to lightly rest your ring fingers on the outer edges of your nostrils and your little fingers on the corners of your mouth.
  • Relax your hands in lap.  Sit quietly, either with your eyes closed or resting in a soft gaze.  
    • Notice any areas of your body where you may be holding extra tension.  Gently shift your awareness to an area that feels tense.  Invite more calmness and relaxation into that area with each inhale, letting go of tension on the exhales.  Repeat with as many areas of your body as you wish.   

Transition back into your day – 

  • 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 31, 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©2021. 


Join me in virtual offerings!  
Registration for the following online through College of Marin Community Education

  • Transcendental Love, course #4916, 5 Tuesdays, 3:10-4:30pm PT, Jan 26-Feb 23
  • Key Yogic Principles: Their Vedic and Ancient Influences and Their Relevance Today, course #4783, 6 Thursdays, 3:10-4:30pm PT, Jan 28-Mar 4
  • Support Wisdom in Your Life, course #4880, 5 Tuesdays, 3:10-4:30pm PT, Mar 30-Apr 27 

Registration for the following workshop through YogaOpenSpace (Oahu, HI)  online

  • Support Wisdom in Your Life, Friday, February 5, 11:30-1:30 pm PT
Starlings – Roosting in Peace

Starlings – Roosting in Peace

Being is not what it seems,
nor non-being.  The world’s
existence is not
in the world.

Rumi

The late afternoon sky suddenly darkened.  Expecting a rain cloud, I looked up and saw hundreds of birds dancing in the sky.  A friend had told me about the European starlings returning to this area at the onset of winter, but still I was surprised to see such a massive number of birds.  So typical of the mind is that it jumped to its own visualization based on a predication, i.e., of rain.

Fortunately, I had an impulse to look skyward and not just trust my mind’s presumption.  It is possible the impulse arose in response to the eerie covering over the light, thus prompting a fear of imminent danger.  Or, it could have been a simple curiosity to understand.  Regardless of the reason, the result of looking up was pure awe.  

The starlings were pulsating and swirling into countless arrays of undulating 3-D forms.  New flocks continued to arrive and join in the dazzling aerobatics.  Swooping, diving, and twirling, they moved like giant amoebas creating jaw-dropping displays.  Even great artists, such as Miro with his magical mobiles, couldn’t match their artistry.  

Within those moments, I felt a wide range of emotions, from concern to elation.  Yet, I noticed that as the starlings began to settle into a group of trees for the nighttime, I felt a shift toward quietness.  It was prompted by the open expansiveness of the sky.  Cloudless with no sign of rain, the sky glowed in a luminous rosiness.  A sweet, calm joyfulness seeped in, leaving me with a sense that I too had settled down to roost.

Prophets, sages and wise poets such as Rumi advise us that no matter how beautiful or sensational, the world’s existence is not as it seems.   On a very basic level, it can be our thoughts that skew our perception and prompt false expectations.  For example, the splendor of the starlings’ group behavior in the sky can give us a distorted view that these birds are heavenly beings.  Yet on the ground, they devastate farm crops and destroy the habitats of other birds.  

I was grateful for the appearance of the starlings’ first summoning me into their mesmerizing movements, and then into the stillness of their roost.  They inspired me to reflect on how this year of 2020 has been humbling, as time after time it has shown how things are not always as they seem.  Too many comforts of our modern lifestyle are woven of a fabric of harm and unchecked appetites.  My hope is that within that humbleness, I can remember that calm, joyful feeling of roosting in the rosy dusk sky – and then move, speak, and act with that remembrance.  Perhaps a turn of one heart will spark that in others, and together we can move in harmonious ways for the well-being of all.

Practice
This short practice invites loving awareness.

Prepare – 

  • Find a peaceful spot where you can sit with minimal distractions or interruptions.
    • If seated on a chair or bench, evenly rest the soles of your feet on the floor.
  • Gently find a soft gaze.  Or, softly close your eyes. 
    • Invite a release of tension around your face and shoulders.  Relax your hands on your thighs on in your lap.
    • Without judgement, notice how you are feeling.  Just notice appreciating your own attention for yourself in the way you would if a good friend were listening to you. 

Practice – 

  • Still seated, slowly look around where you are.   
  • Allow your eyes to rest on one item with a soft gaze. 
    • Imagine you are looking at this item for the first time, lovingly appreciating every aspect of it. 
    • Take as long as you wish.
  • Slowly shift your gaze back to a spot in front of you. 
    • Blink your eyes several times.
    • Then, if comfortable, gently close your eyes again. Otherwise, invite a soft, steady inward gaze.
  • Imagine that deep inside of you is an ever-present, caring friend who is observing you with pure appreciation and acceptance.  You are being lovingly observed from the inside out. 
    • Invite an awareness of your breath:
      • Inhaling – The loving observation is steadily reaching every cell of your being.
      • Exhaling – The loving appreciation is roosting, settling down in each cell.
      • Allow your breaths to be smooth and easy with as minimal effort as possible.
    • Continue for at least six breaths.  If possible, longer.
  • Sit quietly.  You are the ever-present lovingness.

Transition back into your day – 

  • Remain in quietude for a few moments.  
  • When you are ready, return to your day.    

The verse is translated by Coleman Barks and appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 93, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.    Photo by Marcel on Stocksy.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2020. 

Kate’s Virtual 2021 Classes: 1st Quarter
Registration begins January 5, 2021 – College of Marin Community Education

  • Transcendental Love (4916 | 5 Tuesdays 3:10-4:30pm | Jan 26-Feb 23) 
  • Key Yogic Principles: Their Vedic and Ancient Influences and Their Relevance Today (4783 | 6 Thursdays 3:10-4:30pm | Jan 28-Mar 4)
  • Support Wisdom in Your Life (4880 | 5 Tuesdays 3:10-4:30pm | Mar 30-Apr 27)
Rain – an invitation to wholeness

Rain – an invitation to wholeness

u
n
i
v
e
r
s
e
?
?
?

Tukaram

It was a rainy day.  My impulse was to hibernate, but a glance out the window inspired me to instead go out for a walk.  Other species had yet to take cover so I took a cue to join them.  A few sparrows hopped around on the deck, crows were flying around and a deer was calmly eating the new growth of ivy on the nearby hillside.  Raindrops glistened like jewels on the tree branches and overhead wires.

I couldn’t help but laugh at my human leeriness of getting wet.  A few days before, I was longing for rainfall to refill the creeks and temper the risk of fires in the California forests, mountains, and natural habitats.  Now, the rain had arrived, and it took a cue from other species to get me to join in the celebration of the promise of our collective relief and renewal.  

As I walked in our hilly neighborhood, I barely felt a drop.  The boughs of the redwoods and other evergreen trees reached out over the streets and pathways, offering a canopy of shelter.   There was no longer a need to be hunching my shoulders or scrunching my face – a fairly typical human habit that I have, believing those gestures will shield me from wetness.  Instead, I felt an easeful sense of belonging to life’s greater wholeness.  

“Whole rather than separate” is an ancient human experience and worldview.  Early humans were keen observers of everyday natural phenomena and saw life as a living organism, within which they lived.  The wellbeing of all shapes the wellbeing of the whole.  If one part is depleted, then the whole is disrupted.  Harmony within the greater whole reflects observable qualities such as the generosity of the rain to nourish new growth, the non-greed of the animals in leaving enough plant life for continued survival, gentleness in the step of even the largest mammals, along with kindness, equanimity, reciprocity, and non-harming.

World wisdom is always nearby, but sometimes it takes other species to stir us out of our conditioned sense of individuality and separateness.  A step outside of a boxed-in world of walls, ceilings, and online squares into the natural world is like coming in touch with a sacred poem.  There, we belong.  There, we are whole.   

Practice
This short practice invites awareness of wholeness.

Prepare – 

  • Sit in a quiet place.  Turn your device to airplane and/or silence to minimize the disruptions for the next few minutes. 
    • If you are seated on a chair or bench, allow the soles of your feet to rest on the floor.   
  • Gently, cradle your head with your hands.  
    • Do this in any way that is comfortable.  For example, rest your palms on your temples and curl your fingers over the top of your head.  
      • If you have shoulder impingements and find it uncomfortable to hold your arms overhead, then simply rest your palms in your lap.  
    • Soften your gaze or close your eyes.  Relax around your upper chest, belly, shoulders, neck, and face.  
    • Invite an easy, calm breath to arise.  (This may take a few breaths if you have had a busy or agitating day.)
  • Allow your hands to rest in your lap.  Quietly say to yourself “I am whole.” 
    • Imagine every cell in your body is listening as you repeat this three times.

Practice – 

  • This practice can be done seated or resting comfortably on your back, e.g. with support under your head and knees.
  • With a sense of wholeness, gradually move your awareness through your body from the top to the bottom.  
    • Slowly and sequentially rest your attention in one part of your body at a time.  Imagine a luminous radiance touching each area.
      • For example, your scalp, your forehead, your temples (the right, then the left), your eyes, (the right, then the left), your ears (the right, then the left), your nose, your jaw, your mouth, your throat, your arms and palms (the right, the left, then both simultaneously), your torso, your pelvis and sacrum, your hips, legs, and feet (the right side, the left, and then both simultaneously). 
    • Shift your awareness to your entire body, sensing it as a field of radiance.
  • Sustaining your awareness of being held within a calm field of radiance, quietly observe the gentle movement associated with your body’s breathing.  
    • Linger here for as long as is comfortable.  
    • If your mind begins to chatter, gently invite your awareness to return to the subtle rise and fall of your rib cage and softness around your throat and nostrils.
  • When you are ready to return to your day, slowly bring your awareness to the surface of your body and the room around you.  If you are on your back, slowly return to a seated position.

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 is translated by Daniel Ladinsky and appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 101, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.    Photo by Aaron Burden.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2020. 

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