Autumn Surrender

Autumn Surrender

What they undertook to do
They brought to pass
All things hang like a drop of dew
Upon a blade of grass.
W.B. Yeats

Signs of autumn are seemingly everywhere.  The sun is setting earlier and rising later.  Cooler temperatures are beginning to settle in.  And, the leaves on the deciduous trees have become so brilliantly red and yellow that I’ve gone searching in my closet for blouses with similar hues, and finding some tucked behind the pastel pinks and blues.  Likewise with food:  the colors are shifting from the brighter greens to deeper shades in fruits and vegetables.

More than any other season, fall now reminds me of the sacred grace of surrender.  Perhaps it is because in the Northern Hemisphere, there is this easing from a season of growth to one of hibernation.  Like a long exhale, the plants abundantly yield into the beginning of a new cycle and the sustenance of other living beings.  In the letting go, openness seeps in, and light becomes more visible between the bare branches and withering stems.

As a child, this season was mostly a time of new beginnings and looking forward.  Preceding the expected new lessons was a much-anticipated visit to the local drug store for school supplies, which were then pencils and notebooks.   Still, I had some tethers to the timeless rhythms of the generosity that comes with releasing and letting go.  In the agricultural community where I grew up, harvesting was in the gardens and in the fields.  Regardless of whether scarce or plentiful, there was a tending to that what was and preparing for unknown possibility for next year.

Similar to the fall fruits, the insight of W.B. Yeats and other sage poets nourishes future generations – albeit the psyche and the soul rather than the physical body of others.  I feel the bittersweet messages of the autumn season is symbolically reflected within his poem “Gratitude for Unknown Teachers.”  There is a suspension between hope and foreboding, permanence and impermanence and known and unknown, as well as the inevitable disappearance of clinging into surrender.

Practice
This short practice celebrates autumn.

Prepare – 

  • Turn your phone and any other devices to airplane mode.
  • Standing, gently shake out one limb at a time.   Then, lightly bounce in place with a soft bend in your knees and slight lifting and lowering of your heels.

Practice – 

  • Placing your hands over your heart center one hand over the other.
    • With your hands over your heart, invite your awareness to shift to your breath.
      • Perhaps begin by noticing the movements associated with your breathing, e.g., the gentle sensation of expanding and softening of your rib cage.
      • Then, if comfortable, perhaps let your attention shift to allowing your exhalations to slowly lengthen a bit more than your inhalations.
        • If this doesn’t feel accessible to you at this time, please no worries.
      • If you have a cold or allergies, or have any other condition related to your comfort with your respiratory system, please adjust the breathing part of this practice as needed.
    • Slowly, sweep your arms out to your sides and upward.  As you do this, inhale.
      • If possible, synchronize your breath within the movement, i.e., begin your inhalation, moving, and finishing the movement before you complete your inhalation.
    • As you exhale, bring your palms together and down to your heart center.
    • Repeat three times.   After the third time, repeat this again with the option of folding forward on the exhalation and rising back to standing on the inhalation.
      • If you choose the option, please stay mindful of your own body as well as the continued relationship between the breath and the movement.
  • Standing, place your hands over your heart center, one hand over the other.
    • Invite three smooth, even breaths.
    • Continue breathing, adding the following movement on the exhalation:
      • Slowly open your palms, reaching them out in front of you as though offering a gift to the world.  Allow your fingers and wrists to relax as though you are completely letting go.
        • As you let go, invite a sense of freely releasing and total surrender without expectation of accolades or knowing the next part of the journey of this gift.  Simply, let go.
        • Feel free to pause here for a few breaths.
    • When you are ready, return your palms to your heart center on an inhalation.  Feel free to pause here for a few breaths.
    • Repeat another two or three times.

Transition back into your day – 

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

This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 28, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.   HEARTH is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2021.

Forest – sacred aliveness

Forest – sacred aliveness

One instant is eternity;
Eternity is the now.
When you see through this one instant,
You see through the one who sees.

Wu-Men
English version by Stephen Mitchell

As the seasonal cycle once again turned toward summer, the mountain forests held the quietude of winter.  For months, they had been in hibernation with their ground blanketed under mounds of snow.  The immovable settling into prayerful silence absorbed each of these in its own reverent essence:  trees, plants, boulders, and granules of dirt were still and peacefully gathered in quiet, timeless communion.

To come to this moment of transition, the days have incrementally lengthened.  The snow has been melting.  And, the seemingly insentient community has transformed into a body of diverse shapes and forms.  Brilliant greens, browns and greys have emerged.   The expansive space between the towering trees seems to have taken centerstage – perhaps because the openness sustains the memory of quietude and is home to thousands of resilient, tiny plants that later blossom into soft reds, yellows, blues and lavenders.

Crystals of snow have steadily transformed into trickles and streams of water.  By the time human visitors arrive, the water is energetically rushing downward, cascading into waterfalls.  Eventually it begins to echo its quiet origins, slowing its pace and flowing into broad bodies of water.  There, like the mountain meadows, the lakes and even human-made reservoirs inspire memories of tranquil peacefulness and reverential awe.

Nature is a continual expression of sacred wisdom that abides in every morsel of life.  A visit to the mountain forest is a visit into the vastness of our own inner wilderness.   We are Nature.  The seasons move within us and we move within the seasons.  Nature’s voice is a quiet wordless offering of predominately subtle reminders of our temporal worldliness, being woven around the sacred Infinite.   The less subtle reminders are the turbulent storms – whether outer or inner – that uproot our confidence in predictability.

Within the pallet of worldly opposites of rising and subsiding, and offering and receiving, there is spacious, all-fulfilling serenity generously and equally holding all.  My hope is that we all rediscover what ancients have long observed, which is that the life’s essence is always nearby.  As the poet Wu-Men offers, Eternity is the now.

Practice
This practice supports awareness of the universality of the five elements. 

Prepare— 

  • Find a comfortable seated position.
    • If you are in a chair or on a bench, please rest the soles of your feet on the surface beneath you.
  • Steadily and gradually shift your awareness to your breath in any way that feels pleasant for you.
  • If possible, invite a sense of ease and openness.  Relaxing the muscles around your jaw and shoulders, your navel, and the base of your skull.

Practice  – 

  • With your eyes in a soft gaze or lightly closed, take a moment to reflect on five basic elements – earth, water, fire, air, and space.
    • With each, slowly and gently:
      • Whisper the name of the element three times.
      • Invite an awareness of the sensations and feelings associated with the element. Silently say the name of the element as you inhale.  Imagine as though your awareness of the element is expanding with your inhalation.  Perhaps notice its presence within and beyond the boundaries of your skin.  On your exhalation, smile slightly and feel as though you are completely letting go of all stresses, thoughts, and any clinging.  Repeat with each element.
      • If the above practice seems inaccessible to you, perhaps try the following:
        • Invite an awareness of your inner sensations associated with that element. Imagine with your inner eye you are scanning the inside of your body from your toes to the inner surface of your head.  In your scan, be open to areas of the body where there is a seeming predominance of that element.
          • For example, the solidity of earth within the bones, the fluidity of the blood and moisture on the tongue for water, warmth for fire, lightness for air, and spaciousness for space.
        • Gently shift your awareness to your outer environment – nearby and then extending as broadly as comfortable for you – and invite an awareness of areas of the environment where you perceive to be a predominance of that element.
          • For example, the ground beneath you for earth, the interior of your home and the expanse of the night sky for space.
          • As you scan the environment, simultaneously invite an awareness of your inner sensations and feelings that arise. Allow yourself to let and just feel and notice without labels and judgment.
        • Again, whisper the name of each element three times.

Transition Back into Your Day— 

  • When you are ready, return to your day.
  • As you go about your day, invite a view of the world as a composition of the elements continuously and seamlessly manifesting in innumerable ways – inside and out.

 

This poem is from Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 80, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon. KateVogt©2021.

 

 

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. 

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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. 

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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. 

Bark – staying in touch

Bark – staying in touch

I know a cure for sadness:
Let your hands touch something that
makes your eyes
smile.

I bet there are a hundred objects close by
that can do that.

Look at
beauty’s gift to us –
her power is so great she enlivens
the earth, the sky, our
soul. Mirabai

Mirabai

Near our apartment is a small, wooded park.  It is nestled between two streets with a ravine in the center.  On both sides are magnificent coastal redwood trees. They are only echoes of their parent trees, some of which would have been as wide as a two-story house is high, at the time those trees were milled by the colonizers more than a century ago.  This park is a type of haven where this second growth can thrive as living representation of the story of this locale, and beyond. 

Each day when I take a neighborhood stroll, I pass through this park.  The wide path is cushioned with the redwoods’ needles, so there is a quietness that muffles even the sound of the teenage boys daring one another to ride their bicycles down the steep slope.   I like to linger with the trees for a few moments of touching and admiring their bark.  

Just being near the beautiful reddish-brown bark of these giant conifers reassures me that dominance doesn’t necessarily mean oppression and destruction.  It can be compassionate, gentle, and genuinely equitable.  The redwoods’ bark has a larger role than just protecting the tree.  Its soft, almost spongey fibrous texture of outer bark is home to many types of insects and other invisible species that are integral to the vitality of the multi-dimensional web of life.   

When I touch the bark of redwoods, I am reminded of the words attributed to the 15th century ascetic Mirabai.  The beauty of the redwoods, like all of nature, continually invites us to pause and re-connect with the most fundamental part of our embodiment – we are part of a dynamic, earthly organism that gracefully and generously offers the air, ground, and endless nutrients for the well-being of all.  

Ancient sages such as Mirabai offer us both:  a warning –  e.g., if we remove ourselves from nature, humans will become coarsened toward one another;  and, guidance – e.g.,  stay in touch with something greater than us.  As a small way of heeding their wisdom, I will continue to touch the redwoods as a reminder of our innate human capacity for honesty, endless loving kindness, sharing and caring.  

Practice 
This short practice invites awareness of our connection with nature.

Prepare – 

  • For this practice, either be outside, or, if inside, be near a living plant.    
  • Standing, gently shake your forearms and hands for a few times.  Roll your shoulders around in any way that is comfortable for you.  Smile.  Smile again.  And, then really smile at how silly you might feel just smiling.  
  • Invite a few deeper inhalations of your breath.  Then, smile again.

Practice – 

  • Take your hands in front of you, palms facing one another.  
    • Slowly, take them apart and then back together a few times, similar to playing an accordion.  
    • Allow your palms and wrist to be relaxed.   Perhaps add a feeling of playfulness to this movement.
    • Breathe.  
      • As you inhale, invite your hands to move away from one another; and, as you exhale invite your hands to move closer together.  
      • Imagine as though you’re are playing music with your breath. 
      • Maybe sway gently with these movements.
      • Do this for at least a minute.
  • Come near a tree or other living plant.  Smile as though you are with a dear friend.
    • Hold your hands on either side of your plant friend, close but not touching.  If it is extra large, choose just a branch or a smaller part of the plant.  
      • Similar to above, allow your hands to gently and slowly move away from and then closer to the plant.  If you wish, connect the movements with your breath (as above).
      • If you are comfortable, imagine as though the plant is breathing.  Imagine your breath and movements are synchronize with the plant’s breath.  If you have found it comfortable to do this, be playful and free.
    • Now, lightly touch the plant.  Smile.
      • If you are comfortable, allow yourself to feel any sense of touch in return.
    • Say, “thank you” to your plant.

Transition back into your day – 

  • Find a comfortable place to sit quietly for a few moments.  
    • Allow your eyes to rest in a soft gaze.  
    • Invite an easeful, calm breath.
  • Touch your heart center lightly with your fingertips.  With a smile, say, “thank you.”
  • When you are ready, return to your day.    

This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 9, 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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