You are my lover, my longing,
my flowing stream,

my sun,
and I am your reflection.

Mechtild of Magdeburg


The stream was cold and brisk.  Yet, with its shallowness I had no qualms about stepping onto the rocky bottom of the moving water.  The stream was nestled in a broad, flat area offering an apt transition from shoe soled to unshod feet.

As I stood within the movement, I felt a kinship with the larger stones and boulders.  The stream simultaneously caressed and moved freely around the rocks.  Invisibly the fluid motion was slowly eroding the seeming boundaries and edges into pebbles that could merge into the flow.   All this offered me a sense of the movability within seeming immobility, and a sense of endless change within an illusory solidity – nothing sensory ever remaining the same, yet continually posing as permanent and ungiving.

A group of clouds passed over the sun and away, melting the boundaries of distance between the sky and earth.   The freed midday light transformed the stream and atmosphere into a stretch of glistening translucence.  All life was belonging, momentarily bared and released from worldly insistence on separateness.  The moisture in my mouth was that of the clouds, and the streams, oceans and even the ground.  Similarly, the breath was fluidly that of the breeze, sway of the trees and every sound far and near – all seamlessly disappearing into and arising out of the un-nameable, sacred eternity.

Somehow, while standing there, the modern use of the term “live streaming” seemed more and more humorous.  In the streaming of life there in that moment, there was no need for special gadgets or links for connectivity.  It was simply awareness abiding in itself.

This moment was the birthday grace marking the end of one, and beginning of another, journey around the sun for this embodied life.  Thank you for also being within the stream of life.


This short practice invites awareness of stillness within movement.

 Prepare – 

  • Find a quiet spot, relatively free of distractions.  If you are wearing a watch or any other electronic device, please place it in another room.
  • Standing, shake each of your limbs, one by one.  Imagine you are shaking off any restlessness or inner distractions.  Then, move around in any way that will help you feel somewhat restful within your body.
  • When you are ready, stand still within one spot.  As you are here, invite a sense of balance between both of your feet and throughout your body.  Relax through your palms and fingers and breathe gently for 5-6 breaths.

Practice – 

  • Still standing, once again scan your awareness throughout your body as though you are finding balance – front to back, back to front, side to side, downward and upward.
  • Slowly place one hand on top of the other over your heart-center.
  • Pause and breathe here for a few breaths.  Imagine deep within the core of your being there is an inner sun whose light is radiating in all directions.
  • Then, imagine this sun is your anchor for steadiness and balance.  So, rather than gauging a sense of seeking balance from where your body is in the space around you, you are instead seeking a sense of balance from the core of your being.  Please take your time, there is no rush – and there is no right and wrong.  You are just practicing observing this shift in awareness outward to inward.
  • With that sense of being anchored inwardly, slowly lift one foot and once again observe a sense of seeking balance from a place of quiet steadiness deep within you.  Breathe on one side for a few breaths.  Then, slowly shift to your other foot.
  • With both feet on the floor and standing quietly, allow your hands to rest at your sides. Breathe 5-6 breaths.  Perhaps invite a sense of deep inner calmness and allow your senses to rest peacefully within the even flow of your breath.

Transition back into your day – 

  • Seated, relax your hands into a comfortable position, e.g., turned downward onto your knees.
  • Stay here as long as you are comfortable, quietly observing the gentle ebb and flow of your breath.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.


The poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 49, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.   Photo by Robert Zunikoff.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2023.


EARTH – divine home

EARTH – divine home

You are the sky and the ground.
You alone the day, the night air.

You are the meal that’s being brought,
the flowers and their watering.

You are all this.

Translated by Coleman Barks


The road stretched across the flat landscape like a taunt ribbon.  The only rise in the land was in the distance.  There, the flatness rose into hillsides and mountains.  Otherwise, there was a seemingly inert expanse along both sides of the road.

Having grown up in such flatness which most view as nothingness, I felt a sense of joy being in this landscape, which was uncluttered by buildings and fences.  Although my childhood home was a different place where the land was parceled and purchased for farmland, I felt a keen kinship with this desert parkland.  The appearance of emptiness signaled rich fullness.

And indeed, in just slowing down and noticing, the openness was clearly full of life.  Recent rainfall had formed rivulets and streams. Birds and butterflies floated overhead. The ground that had dried had an intricate jig-sawed surface of crusty shapes of all sizes and forms. Spiders and bugs crawled between the cracks of earth’s natural puzzle.

Sweet smells and colors emanated from the soil.  Muddy spots had deep brown hues and patterns of paw-prints from those moveable beings who lived within the area.  Their prints reminded me that I was a brief visitor to not only this place, but the earth.  As if to emphasize that reminder, short-lived plants had broken open into lush communities of yellows, blues and purples.

A visitor, a shared part of the timeless earth story.  That is what we have been, and are together – the land, rain, water, sky, birds, mountains, animals, flowers and insects, all supported by and belonging to the earth, spinning around the solar orb.  Like the great unnamable divine, life, too, is nameless.

My human mind, with its trained hankering for name and hierarchy, was rendered mute in this landscape.  Here the voiceless truth remained, preserved by countless beings over millions of years.  Descendants of the earliest humans, the native people, still belonged to this land.  They understood, and understand, the richness in seeming blankness, nothingness, vastness – each is part of a fluid and sacred stream of life dancing from sky to earth, and back to sky.   Only the mind called me back to labels and words, but my heart lingers in the memory of home – an endless horizon between heaven and earth.


This practice supports awareness of the ground of life and takes a minimum of ten minutes.


  • Find a quiet spot, either inside or outside. Remove extra digital devices around you, including any on your wrist (unless it is a medically prescribed device).  For the device you might be using for this practice, set it in airplane mode.
  • Standing or seated, slowly shake out one arm, then the other. Then, squeeze and your fingers of both hands a few times.  Shake out your wrists.
  • Allowing your hands and arms to be still, shake out one leg, and then the other. Take your time. Whether standing or seated, curl your toes under and stretch them apart a few times.
  • Then, gently roll one shoulder a few times in each direction, and then the other. Try to slow down and really feel the movement in each shoulder.  (If you have shoulder issues, please feel free to skip this step.)
  • If comfortable, soothingly brush your palms across your face, scalp, ears and neck. Then, lovingly stroke your hands across your shoulders, torso, arms, hands, legs and, if easily reachable, your feet.


  • Find a comfortable seated position. If you are seated on furniture, allow the soles of your feet to comfortably rest on the floor. Whether on the floor or furniture, without slumping, take a few moments to fully settle into the support beneath you.
    • Perhaps close your eyes and invite a sense of gradual unwinding away from the chatter and distractions of the day. Imagine the earth is saying, “Welcome.  Make yourself at home.  Settle in and allow your body weight to be fully supported.”
    • Release any holdings you may have away from that support as much as you can. The earth is the physical ground of life, continually inviting life to surrender into reverent awareness of the grace of living.
  • Place your palms facing downward on your thighs. Allow the your fingers and hands to fully relax into the support of your legs and the support beneath your feet and legs.  Allow yourself to notice if you are holding an alertness in your hands as though ready to reach or grasp something at any moment.  If so, reassuringly pat your hands on your thighs giving them a cue that you are giving them a little break from their daily toil.  They can relax and be supported.
  • Once you feel some ease in your hands, invite your palms to turn upward and your fingers to softly release. Imagine you are now the earth and holding all life in your hands.  Rather than being fearful of this responsibility, just imagine being the earth holding all life.  You are supporting the sacredness of all life – flowers, rivers, animals, trees, insects and all beings including yourself.  You hold sacredness in your hands.
  • After a few moments, bring your palms to your heart center – either one over the other or together. Slightly bow your head as though looking toward the center of your heart.  Invite a smooth and easeful breath.  As you breathe, imagine you are being breathed by the divine, in the form you hold as your true belief or simply pure vastness.  The divine is in your heart, breathing you.  The breath holds you and all life.

Transition Back into Your Day

  • Continue to sit quietly for a few moments.
  • If you wish, silently offer a prayer for the well-being, health, safety, peacefulness of all.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

The poem appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 91, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  The land references are: my childhood home on a family farm in the part of the Great Plains known as in Greeley County, Kansas, U.S.A.; and, the story landscape is Anza Borrego Desert State Park in California, U.S.A.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2023.


Mark You Calendar for my Summer Class “Transcendental Love” 
With the help of poets from around the world we’ll explore love for the other and beyond.   Logistics – 3 Thursdays (June 22 and 29, and July 6), 3:10 – 4:30 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time, Zoom Virtual Classroom #5866 with the College of Marin Community Education.  (The college will begin registration on May 15, 2023.)

The Park – living together

The Park – living together

Tranquil our paths
When your hand rests in mine in joy.
Your voice gives life, like nectar.
To see you, is more than food or drink.

Egyptian Wisdom
Trans. by Ezra Pound and Noel Stock


As I sat on a park bench the other day, I appreciated the sound of laughter and conversation from the people around me.   There was a family with three young children playing tag, an elderly couple, and a group of young adults sitting in the grass talking.  Eyes were beaming and everyone seemed to genuinely enjoying being together.

Ten years ago, I might not have even noticed the jovial atmosphere.  Not because I’ve necessarily become more aware over the past decade, but because it would not have been noteworthy to hear and see people happily conversing and interacting.  The woman of the elderly couple rested her hand in the palm of the man’s hand.  The parents of the young children smiled at the sound of their children’s voices.   Even the trees, grass, and flowers seemed more alive.

While savoring this rare moment, I began to fantasize that somehow this group of humans had discovered an ancient secret to happiness.  It seemed that if they had had musical instruments, they would have made music together.  Or, with paint brushes, they would have harmoniously created a painting together.  I could only fantasize so far; like me, they have shelter, food, and access to a clean public park.   Yet, it was still striking that given their age, gender, and racial diversity, none were using digital devices.  All heads were raised, hands free, happily engaged.

Humans have long experimented with and been influenced by our tools – flint arrowheads to earthenware to typewriters and robots.   None have been as overpowering and as luring as our most recent inventions.   It is rapidly becoming more commonplace to see humans interacting with screens and electronic devices than with one another or nature.   The average person is unaware that this shift is radically narrowing – rather than widening – our capacity for true happiness.

Social bonding, compassion, creativity, contentment, and the generally ability to be able to feel and care evolve from interacting with other humans and living beings.  Studies of the brain show that it needs dynamic interaction.  While our screen world seems to be multi-sensory, the studies show we have the illusion of being more connected but are less aware and more isolated emotionally.  We need real physical social interaction, like these people in the park, for well-being and inner tranquility.

The anonymous Egyptian poet from about 1500 B.C.E. summarizes the gifts within everyday touching, listening, and seeing.  When we gently hold the hand of a loved one, no words are needed.  The love and support is understood.  Their voice can bring us ease and a mere glimpse of their face can make us smile from the inside out.  The seemingly mundane shapes our ability to trust, accept and explore, and to surrender our cravings and other obstacles that cloud our day-to-day perspective.   I will continue to take intentional cyber-breaks – some short and some long – in honor of those ancient poets and sages who preserved perennial truths about the beauty and joy to be discovered through our innate humanness.  I hope you will join me.

This practice helps renew your awareness of the sense of sight, hearing and touch.

Prepare –

  • Sit somewhere where your digital devices are out of reach, sound, and sight. Even if they are in airplane mode, create some distance between you and them.
    • If you are in a chair or bench, place the soles of your feet on the ground.
    • Close your eyes, or have a soft gaze.
  • Give yourself a gentle hug. If you feel fearful about being out of touch digitally, squeeze your upper arms with your hands and quietly reassure yourself that for the moment you are surrounded with support of the air around you and earth beneath you.

Practice –

  • Place the palm of one hand over the center of your chest. (Your fingertips will point toward the opposite arm and shoulder.)
  • Allow yourself to explore whether there are any sensations or emotions. There is no right or wrong here.  Just explore.  For example, does the skin on the chest – even beneath the clothing – feel different when your hand is lightly touching your chest, resting there, or moved away.  How about the skin on the fingers and palm?  Does it register different sensations if you let your hand completely relax and rest on the chest versus if you lightly touch?  Are there any feelings, such as comfort?
  • Keeping that hand resting on your chest, rest the other hand on top of the hand on your chest. Explore sensations and feelings that you may have in the hands.
  • Breathe here for a few moments. Notice any movement in your torso associated with the inhalation and exhalation, e.g., your ribcage expanding as you breathe in.
  • Lightly cup your palms over your ears. Relax through the shoulders and eyes.  Breathe five to six breaths.  Notice the sound of your breath and any sensations associated with having your hands over your ears.
  • Lightly place your palms over your eyes. Fingertips are pointed upward and lightly curling over the top of your scull.  Breathe five to six breaths.  Notice any sensations, both while the hands are over your eyes and when you bring your hands away from your eyes.

Transition Back Into Your Day –

  • Rest your palms lightly in your lap.
  • Breathe calmly and peacefully for as long as is comfortable.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.


This reflection is an excerpt from Our Inherited Wisdom:  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry pages 144-148, author Kate Vogt.  The poem appears in Mala of Love:  108 Luminous Poems, page 26, co-edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  Photo is by Janis Smits.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2023.

JOIN ME FOR MY UPCOMING VIRTUAL COURSE “Pathways to Peace:  Truthfulness, Non-Stealing, Compassion and Other Universal Principles”  – 5 Thursdays.  March 30 to May 4 (with no class on April 6). 3:10-4:30 p.m. PT via Zoom.  Offered through the College of Marin Community Education and their virtual Zoom classroom.  Here’s the registration link!!





Rain – an invitation to wholeness

Rain – an invitation to wholeness



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.   

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. 

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.

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. 



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.

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

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