LOVE – hidden within the gray

LOVE – hidden within the gray

But love of God
hath so absorbed me
that neither love
nor hate
of any other thing
remains in my heart.



Yesterday was a foggy summer morning.  The air had taken on form and texture.  Like a freshly painted canvas, it was heavy and wet with soft, silvery hues.  A subtle radiance seeped through the thinner layers of the fog, revealing the presence of light.

While in many ways this was a typical coastal California foggy day, it felt instead almost hallowed   A tranquil, loving gentleness enveloped the hillsides and canyon of the neighborhood.   There was a near stillness, with an occasional cooing of a dove or rustle in the tree branches.

I was grateful for my diligence in observing my habit of starting each day outside.  Sometimes this is just a brief greeting of the day while feeding the birds.  The peaceful atmosphere yesterday felt like an invitation to settle in for my morning contemplation outside.

When I had looked through the bedroom window, the fog appeared to be a flat, lifeless mass of gray.  Although I am normally a very curious person, it took the force of my morning habit – rather than curiosity – to experience fog as the opposite of my mind’s predisposition toward viewing it as gloomy and foreboding.

Ironically, the fog made me aware of the invisible presence of the heavens. It was as though the gray melted the distances and differences. Instead of cloaking my view, it offered a palpable experience of a boundless heavenly embrace tenderly holding everyone and everything.  It felt like a love beyond partiality.

While I still prefer clear, sunny days, my heart has been bathed by the soft and quiet lessons of the fog. It has stirred an awareness of the grace hidden within each casual greeting, rustle in the branches, morsel of food, or comings and goings of life.  Unseen but present, there is heavenly love.

This short practice invites awareness of the path of love.

Prepare – 

  • Find a comfortable seated position.
  • Slowly lean your right ear toward your right shoulder.  Smile gently and take few easy breaths.  Then, gently bring your head to center and pause.  When you are ready repeat on your left side.
    • Note:  If you have a condition that is irritated by taking your head to the side, e.g., positional vertigo, please make adjustments that are suitable for you.
  • Pause with your head to center.  Invite a few easy breaths.

Practice – 

  • Hold your hands in front of you with your palms upward, slightly cupped.  Imagine your hands are holding a boundless amount of love.  No matter how much you receive or give away there is still an overflowing abundance of love.
  • As though washing your hair and showering, bathe yourself in this love from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet as well as the back, front, and sides of your body and head.
  • Pause with your palms cupped in front of you.  An abundance of love still pours you’re your hands.
    • Lightly touch your sensory organs – nose, mouth, eyes, skin (choose one place, e.g., skin on your face), and ears.
      • If you are uncomfortable touching your face during COVID-19, please feel free to hover your hands over these sensory organs.
  • Pause with your palms cupped in front of you, again holding endless, pure love.
    • As though the love were rose petals, gently toss them upward and out into the space around you – in front, to the right, behind, and to the left of you.
    • Repeat this one more time.  Imagine as you release love in all directions that it is traveling the distances of the world from nearby to the farthest lands and people.
  • Pause with your palms cupped in front of you, still holding boundless love.
    • Bring one hand over your heart and the other on top as though you are sealing in the awareness of eternal love within your heart.  Invite all its expression of equity, kindness, and compassion to inform your thoughts, actions, and speech.
    • Bow your head slightly.  Invite all your sensory engagements to arise from your heart through your nose, mouth, eyes, skin and ear.  Invite them to be free of grasping and clinging and free of the conditioned filters that bring harm and injustice to others.

Transition back into your day – 

  • Relax your hands into a comfortable position, e.g., turned downward onto your knees.
    • Allow your eyes to rest in a soft gaze.
    • Invite an easeful, calm breath.
  • Stay as long as you are comfortable, perhaps following the rhythm of receiving and releasing the breath with each inhalation and exhalations.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

This post is an excerpt of a 2020 post.  The poem appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 105, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  The photo is by Alexander Kaunas.  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.)



Spring overall. But inside us
there ’s another unity.

Behind each eye here,
one glowing weather.

Every forest branch moves differently
in the breeze, but as they sway
they connect at the roots.

Translated by Coleman Barks


The front walk is covered with leaves and branches from the surrounding trees.  This is a common occurrence in the fall when the ground receives layers of new nutrients from the trees.  The earth is cushioned with colorful foliage and padded for the winter chill.

Yet, winter has come and gone.  The hills are covered in crisp green tones, frilly cups of daffodils are sprinkled throughout the neighborhood.  The soundscape seems suddenly filled with birdsong throughout the day.  Deer have reappeared outside our back-window, dining on the new sprouts of ivy.

This year it seems the trees have had a spring-cleaning.  Over the past few weeks, gusty winds and stretches of rain have swept through their limbs again and again.   With each storm, the skyward broom passes through the branches, finding even more lichen-covered twigs and leaves that have waned in chlorophyll.   Seemingly with each stormy sweep, the trees have yielded more and more hidden excesses. And, slowly, the sunlight freely finds its way into the wider open spaces between the canopy.

As I go to sweep and gather up the remains along the walkway, I notice my broom has disappeared.  I had forgotten that someone had borrowed it a few days earlier.  While I could use a rake or another garden tool to move the leaves to the public composting, I chose to leave them.  The broom would reemerge and I could sweep another day.

In the meantime, the trees are reminding me to allow life’s storms – e.g., small and large losses, disappointments, slights or hurts – to interrupt my habitual patterns enough to shake loose the unneeded excesses in the branches of my mind.  The wise and lasting words of sages, prophets and saints speak of the poisons of greed and hoarding, whether material or social-psychological.  While I find unsettling a disruption in the familiar, I am inspired by how the trees reveal that the season of letting go and shedding is boundless.

I, too, can consistently let go and recalibrate. One of the most recent gifts was an insight.  It arose simply out of observing this uncharacteristically weather turbulence.  The shift in perspective was subtle, but one that immediately flooded me with appreciation for the most ordinary.

There are actually no words to fully share and specificity the change in inner perspective, but, in short, I truly feel that the richness of the world sparkles within every morsel of life.  And, even more intensely within the voices of those other two-legged beings who live around the planet.  My gift was being with my siblings and their families this past week where I could truly experience the potent wealth of just being alive.  I offer gratitude to the great, unseen broom.

This practice brings awareness of letting go. 


  • Find a comfortable seated position.  If you are seated on a bench or chair, please place the soles of your feet on the floor.  However you are seated, please take a moment to acknowledge the enduring support beneath you.  The earth is always there supporting all life.
  • With your palms upward and fingers relaxed, softly bend your elbows and hold your hands in front of you (mid-chest height).  Invite softness in your forearms and forearms.  Invite a sense of letting go of your unneeded tensions and excessive attachments.   Quietly breathing, stay here for a few moments, softening and releasing.


  • Place each palm on the opposite shoulder.  Slightly bow your head.  If comfortable, softly close your eyes.  Imagine everything unneeded or that causes internal or external harm is being received by the earth – your forms of speech, ways of interacting, or thoughts.   Pause for a few moments and breathe quietly.
  • Open your eyes, if they were closed, and lift your head to level.  And, once again, open your palms in front of you.  Imagine you are receiving the grace of natural abundance from that which upholds all life.  Pause here for a few moments, quietly breathing.
  • Return your palms to your shoulders and allow your head to bow.  If you have a particular faith or belief, invite their presence.  If not, invite awareness of being embraced by boundless, loving support.  Breathe here, surrounded, enfolded and nourished by unseen grace.

Transition Back into Your Day— 

  • After a few moments, bring your head back to center.  Allow your palms to rest wherever they are comfortable.
  • Sit for as long as you are comfortable, peaceful and refreshed.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.


This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 85, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2023.








FRANGIPANI – The World Within A Tree

FRANGIPANI – The World Within A Tree

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

Translated by Coleman Barks


I have long been taken by the endless generosity of trees.  They are more than human to me, and hence I refer to them with human sounding pronouns, such as she or her instead of it.   As a child, I relied on the elm tree in our front yard for understanding and insight into life.  Some of my deepest and most foundation lessons came from the elm, especially to never forget humans are latecomers to the larger earthly family.

Now, whenever I travel, my first guide to any terrestrial region on the planet usually is a tree.  Exceptions are high altitudes or other non-treed areas.  The tree may not be native to the area, but is quite literally a very grounded local inhabitant.  Almost as a center of a compass, a tree has a full view of the surrounding terrain and has been a quiet observer of the passing of generations of occupants.   The tree’s steady presence feels like an invitation to slow down and see the broader view. While I might just be a visitor passing through, I, too, belong with her and others into this part of the worldly epic.

Most recently, I spent about one third of my waking hours with a frangipani tree.   She lived outside the home where I was staying with my dear friend (aka husband) Jay for a half a moon cycle –  it was near full moon when we arrived, and shortly after half-moon when we left.   During that I time, I began to remember childhood lessons from the elm tree; for example, I observed the grace and fluidity with which the tree danced with the wind, received nourishment, welcomed any insect, bird or mammal and unhurriedly grew new growth.

Within the constant change, the tree was still fully herself.  She was there at sunrise and sunset.  If I happened to arise in the middle of the night, she quietly reflected the light of the moon and stars.  Morning and evening birdsong arose within and around her, yet her quietness remained.  Leaves and blossoms slowly came and went, and she gracefully reached outward and upward.

Like a prayer for the well-being of the earth and all beings, she graced the air with her elegant fragrance.  Her scent seemed to glide between worldly and extra-worldly realms.  I could imagine why some cultures attribute her blossoms as sacred, while others consider them as symbols of death or the supernatural.  When coupled with their physical beauty, the smell of the blossoms seemed to evoke a full universe of feelings and memories.

Not surprisingly, when I checked with friends later about the meanings of the frangipani flowers, I heard:  hope, passion, intensity, courage, strength, romance, friendship, good fortune, devotion, godliness, nobility, power, purity, death and rebirth, innocence, clarity, healing, beauty, energy, strength, being welcomed, fertility, transcendence, optimism, play, warmth, immortality, and joy.  So much lovingly flowing from just one tree!

I hope you also view trees as more than inanimate supports of our human activities – breathing, cooling off in their shade, taking photos, eating, sitting (furniture), building, reading (paper books and media) and playing music (wooden instruments).  If anything, my wish is that trees inspire the “humus” (soil, dirt, earth) in humanity to patiently live within the ancient presence of other beings.

This practice brings awareness of our interconnectedness with other humans and species. 


  • Choose a day when you have some extra time in the morning.  On the night before, just as you are ready to go to sleep:
    • Simply remember a moment in your day when you were aware that you were interacting with one of the elements, e.g., air, or the life of another species.  (There are no further instructions here, but follow your own intuition, e.g., ask yourself, how did that interaction enrich or support your life?)  If nothing comes to mind, don’t worry. Just invite awareness that throughout the day, your existence has been supported in all sorts of invisible ways.


  • When you awaken from your sleep and still in bed, notice what you first notice. No judgment, just noticing.  Take your time.
  • Then, before you arise, bring your awareness to the bedding on your bed. For just a few moments, reflect on your bedding.   For example:  How does it feel on your skin? Soft? Scratchy? How do you feel, taking the time to notice an everyday item?
  • If you feel so inclined just for this single morning of practice, you may wish to extend this to a more analytical inquiry.
    • For example, you might reflect on:  Where was the fabric made?  How did it get to the factory or place where the bedding was made? Who transported it?  Who made the bedding?  What elements support their lives, e.g., water?
    • You don’t need to spend a lot of time on this, nor try to find answers to the reflections. This is simply a way to help reawaken our awareness of and respect for the anonymous, intricate, and delicate web of our existence – human and non-human.

Transition Back into Your Day— 

  • Arise. If you have time, sit quietly for a few moments.
  • When you are ready, move into your day.


This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 74, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  The practice is an excerpt from Our Inherited Wisdom: 54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry, pages 141-143.  Photo is by “shelter” on Unsplash.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2023.




You’re in my eyes.
How else could I see light?

You’re in my brain.
This wild joy.

If Love did not live in matter,
how would any place
have any hold on anyone?

Translated by Coleman Barks


It is nearing springtime here in the Northern Hemisphere.  Rainbows and migratory robins seem to magically re-appear.  They arc their way across the sky to the earth.  And, from the earth back across the sky.

They are an odd couple – the rainbows and robins.   Yet, sightings of them become more common as this side of the planet begins to tilt toward the sun.   The light seems to shed the wintery cloak of greyness and reveal the brilliant diversity of color, shapes and forms.  With their red crests, rainbows and robins boldly boast the beauty and fertile vibrancy that had been enshrouded in the darker season.

In a way, this springtime pair is a harbinger of the potency of light.  There is not only the power of the sun to nourish or destroy earthly existence, but that of the indescribable, boundless resplendence of everlasting light.  In springtime, the pair comes together as poetic messengers of light, both formed and formless.

Within their momentary presence, rainbows and robins are offerings of timeless wisdom.  Life is neither past nor future.  It is simultaneously both.  Through song and hue, they are joyous expressions of the ephemeral and eternal nature of existence.  Thus, it is no wonder that humans of different traditions, religions and cultures have viewed rainbows and robins as the grace of eternal peace, truth and love.

They are considered reminders that timeless wisdom is always nearby.  I view this as a prompt to remember that the planet and other living beings have long been loving and generous inspirational companions to prophets, sages, saints and other enlightened beings.   This sparks within me a sense of humble gratitude and praise toward rainbows and robins.  I hope you will discover uplifting insights from nature wherever you are on the planet.

(Please note:  This reflection refers to migratory songbirds of North America with the common name of robins. They are of the thrush family.  Their song, appearance and flight patterns are different from the European robin of the Old World flycatcher family.)


This practice supports awareness. 


  • Set aside any potential distractions.  For example, remove digital watches, and set your phone to airplane mode.
  • Find a comfortable seated position.  If you are on a bench or a chair, rest the soles of your feet on the floor.  Rest your hands in any position that is comfortable for you.
  • Regardless of where you are seated, notice, relax into the support beneath you.  Imagine you are lovingly supported by the earth.  Pause for a moment, truly feeling this support.
  • Invite your spine to softly rise upward.  Imagine you are being gently and lovingly embraced by the space around and above you.  Pause again, appreciating the space and air supporting you.
  • Soften across your neck, shoulders, jaw and your facial muscles.


  • With a soft gaze, slowly look around wherever you are.  Try to do this without labeling or naming, and just  allowing the various shapes and colors to register through your eyes.  Take your time.  Whenever you feel ready, return your gaze forward.  You may wish to close your eyes for a moment.
  • As your sit quietly, notice any sounds – near or far.  Again, take your time.  When you are ready, please continue.
  • Gently rub your palms together until you feel some warmth in your fingers.  As you do this, continue your awareness of being supported by the earth beneath you and the air and space around you.
  • (Read through the next step before practicing it.)
  • Raise your palms upward in front of your face.  Close your eyelids.  Then, lightly rest one or two of your fingers of each hand on your eyelids, i.e., fingers of your left hands on your left eyelid, and fingers of your right on your left eyelid.  With your fingers in place and closing off visual inputs, close off sounds.  Do this, by stretching your thumbs and gently pressing your thumb tips over your ear flaps (tragus).  Breathe here for six, easy slow breaths through your nostrils.
  • After your sixth breath, slowly look around once again, taking your time.  When you are ready, pause and then again notice sounds near and far.
  • If you feel so inclined, smile.

Transition Back into Your Day— 

  • With soft, gentle inhalation and exhalation, sit quietly for as long as is comfortable.   Invite continued awareness of the seamless support within the ever-changing visual and auditory diversity.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.


This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 48, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2023.

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 with the College of Marin Community Education.
Click here for more information and to register,




HIBISCUS – gentle beauty

HIBISCUS – gentle beauty

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

Hwang Chin-i
Translated by Peter H. Lee


A new month has waltzed in, causing me to turn the page of my old-fashioned paper calendar.   The holidays of the month hold promises of remembrance of love and spiritual sacrifice as well celebrations of the praised and unsung heroes.   To the right of my calendar is my sketchbook, which holds a different form of promise – one of remembrance of the everyday beauty and grace in the natural world.

I am shy about sharing my sketches.  They are a sort of personal diary of my attempts to register the feelings of communing with another living being – a tree, a flower.  To an outsider, the image may or may not be recognizable, but for me, the blank space punctuated with a random set of lines is like a record of celebration of my heart.

One such sketch was of a hibiscus flower.  The drawing itself barely looks like a flower, but I still feel a rush of having been immersed in the presence of pure, delicate sweetness.  This was a complete sweetness of spirit – free of any traces of malice, greed, or prideful-ness.  That sweetness felt powerful, almost like a condensed essence of the timeless potentiality of all life.   There was an inner stirring within me of the feeling of the grace of true beauty – ever-present, independent of form.

In being in the presence of the hibiscus flower, I felt like I had tuned into the real news channel.  The “breaking news” alerts were messages for my soul and reminders of the fleeting nature of existence.   Within one breath, there is an entire universe, reaching across all time and boundaries.  Similarly, within a blink of an eye, there is all time: waking, sleeping, and dreaming; and, sunrise, high noon, and sunset.

As I journey through this month, I will remember the message of the hibiscus – that each moment blooms and then fades.   In the blooming, there is a wholeness and completeness.  There is a grounded-ness in what is, rooted in the present.  There might be insects or hummingbirds that come to rest on the petals, or other potential disturbances, but the blossom blooms fully.  I hope you will join me in being more attentive to thoughts, words, and gestures in each moment.


This practice supports awareness of the loving support in the world around us.


  • Set your phone on airplane mode.
  • Interlace your fingers, stretch your fingers out in front of you, and reverse your palms. Invite two to three full breaths into your lungs.
  • Let your hands relax into your lap and notice their natural weight on your thighs.


  • With your hands resting in your lap, recall being in a place, or situation, where you felt completely safe, trusting, supported, calm, joyful, and maybe even in the presence of unimaginable magnificence.
    • If you have difficulty doing this, slowly look around at your surroundings and find something from the natural world that you find beautiful—a flower, a plant, a wooden floor, a cotton fabric. (Ideally, the choice is not an image of another human.)
  • Invite this memory (of being totally safe, trusting, supported, in awe, and/or being loved) to seep into your awareness. Imagine this sweet memory is spreading throughout your entire being.
    • You may wish to imagine that with each inhale, this sense is slowly expanding outward from deep within your heart center. Like rays of the sun, it radiates out in all directions. And, with each exhale, you can savor the sweetness as it nourishes each cell of your body.  Take your time with this. You may feel or notice resistance. If you do, try to gently coax your awareness toward this subtler, more peaceful memory.
    • Once you feel the sweetness having gently filled your entire being, sit quietly.
  • Imagine: awakening into this feeling; moving through your day; eating your meals; talking and interacting with others; and then, falling asleep, still with this feeling.
    • Know that this sweet, gentle part of you is always there.
  • Throughout the practice, invite the facial, neck and shoulder muscles to release tension. Invite a soft gaze into your eyes. Your breath is easy and relaxed.

Transition Back into Your Day—

  • Invite this feeling to settle into the tips of each of your fingers.
  • Take your time before returning to your day. Instead, consider sealing in this practice within the environment around you through touching your surroundings. (If you are in a public place, you can imagine touching your surroundings.)
  • When you are ready, return to your day.


This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 60, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  The practice is an excerpt from Our Inherited Wisdom: 54 Inspirations from Poetry and Nature, pages 329-330, authored by Kate Vogt.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon. KateVogt©2023.

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