Earthworm – Tending to the Unseen

Earthworm – Tending to the Unseen

To learn the scriptures is easy,
to live them hard. 
The search for the Real
is no simple matter. 

Deep in my looking,
the last words vanished. 
Joyous and silent,
the waking that met me there. 

Lalla

Small things can sometimes provide fresh awareness, so over the years I have learned to slow down and pay attention.   Usually, it is an unexpected encounter – for example, a swarm of honeybees along my path prompted me to choose a different direction, a spider in the bathtub caused me to pause and not mindlessly run a tub full of precious water and instead, I let the spider be.    This morning it was an earthworm slithering where I was about to step.  It was making its way to a pile of moist dirt that had slid off the hillside abutting our apartment deck.    

Earthworms’ homes are underground.  An apt reminder that life relies on humble, gritty work beneath the surface.  Just on a pragmatic level, earthworms are constantly working underground.   Along with bacteria and microbes, they support the growth of plants that nourish all of us humans.  Literally, they do the dirty work of ingesting the organic matter in the soil so that their castes can be used for food for other creatures.  Aerating and moving soil, they are some of our invisible earthly caretakers.  

Outer life relies on the workings of the invisible.   At life’s rawest level, we are dependent on other species for our air and our food.   The sun appears and disappears, offering us a sense of the passage of time.  The origins of earth and water began billions of years ago and continue as fundamental underpinnings to life.   The more that our awareness filters out these hidden dimensions of our collective existence, the more likely we are to be unaware of the innerworkings of our own mind, attitudes, and perceptions.  And, by extension, the more likely we are to be unaware of the countless ways our lives are supported by the hardship and labors of others.  

The earthworm patiently does its part to provide health to the whole.  There is a harmonic balance between what the earthworm consumes and gives back through its existence.  It reminds me of the timeless wisdom to leave the world a better place than you found it.  Within that are reminders of caring for the entire organism of life, and the hard and tedious discipline of constant vigilance about the hidden dimensions of our thoughts and lifestyles.  I hope that through deep introspection and consistent, conscious living we will begin to shape a world of wholeness and well-being for all.   Please join me in this work.

Practice
This short practice invites awareness of the unseen.

Prepare – 

  • Begin standing. 
    • Please minimize any possible interruptions, e.g., silence your phone, so that you can sit quietly for the next few minutes. 
    • If comfortable, remove your shoes and socks.  It is okay to leave them on.
  • Wherever you are, notice the surface beneath your feet. 
    • If your shoes are off, notice the quality of the texture, e.g., smoothness, coolness – just notice without judging.  Lift your toes, spread them apart, and then slowly lower the toes – starting with your little toes, then your 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and big toes.
    • If your shoes are on, notice the texture of your sock or inner sole of your shoe.
  • Still standing, imagine the layers of support beneath whatever surface you are standing on, e.g., the foundation of the building, the soil, the microbes and moisture in the soil.   
  • With that awareness of the life beneath your feet, slowly walk in a clockwise circle. 
    • As you walk, reflect on these words –
      “Walk as if your feet are kissing the earth.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Practice – 

  • Find a comfortable seated position.  As you settle in, again notice the surface beneath you. Silently offer a few words of appreciation for the layers supporting you.
    • If you are in a chair or on a bench, allow both soles of your feet to rest evenly on the floor or earth.
    • Allow your hands to rest wherever is most comfortable for you, e.g., palms down on your thigh, palms on top of one another in your lap.
    • Invite a softening in the small muscles around your eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and throat.
  • Bring your awareness to the sides of your torso and arms – left side and right side. Perhaps linger your awareness on one side, and then the other.  Then, return to awareness of both simultaneously.  Breathe with ease for a few breaths.
  • Bring your awareness to the lower half of your body, remembering the support beneath you.  Shift your awareness to the upper half your body (including your head).   Then, of your body from head to toe.  Breathe as effortlessly as possible throughout.
  • Become aware of the back of your torso and head.  Relax the muscles along the base of your skull, back of your neck, tops of your shoulders, and backs of your arms.  Breathe.
  • Imagine the inner workings of your body – e.g., your spine, bones, veins, nerves, tissues, and organs (including your brain).  Imagine all those areas relaxing and saying “aaaah.” 
  • Place one hand on top of the other over your upper chest.  Imagine infinite spaciousness deep within the core of your being offering endless support, ease, acceptance, and clarity.  Imagine all your thoughts, words, and actions arise from that place.  Pause here for a few moments and breathe. 

Transition back into your day – 

  • 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 99, 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. 

Our Inherited Wisdom”  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry by Kate Vogt.  This book is a perfect companion for your personal reflections. 

Bat and Butterflies

Bat and Butterflies

We bloomed in Spring.
Our bodies are the leaves of God

The apparent seasons of life and death
our eyes can suffer;
but our souls, dear, I will just say this forthright

they are God Himself,
we will never perish
unless He does.

St. Teresa of Avila

The body of a small bat lay at the roots of the tree.  It looked as though it had just been in flight, with its clearly defined head and body and outstretched wings.  Yet, it was on the earth not in the sky, and visible at the peak of daylight and not at night.   As I stood and observed this microcosm of our greater outer world, two blue butterflies flew by. 

Living in a semi-urban as I do, it is easy to forget that the wilderness is always nearby.   Since the onset of the 2019 coronavirus, unexpected encounters with the wild have become the new norm.  Today, it was the bat and the butterflies along the trail.  Yesterday, it was a doe and her fawn outside the kitchen window, dragonflies leading the way on a nearby trail, and a skunk scampering across a street in broad daylight.  

Throughout different cultures, the presence of wild species carries timely messages.  The bat, for example, signifies letting go of anything that comes in the way of our divine nature.  That can be old habits that cloud our thinking, clinging to the impermanent, attitudes of judgment, and self-indulgent behaviors.   For most of us, this type of letting go feels like a loss of life as we know it.   The butterflies inspire us to have the courage to let go and embrace the gentler, wiser aspects of our humanness.   

For me, there is some comfort in this ancient observation that the microcosm reflects the macrocosm, and vice versa   Whenever I am not clear about what is happening within the wilderness of my own mind, I turn off my phone, put on my sneakers, and go out for a walk, even if only for ten or fifteen minutes.  As I walk, I remember that there are insects and microbes in the ground beneath me, even if it is paved over.  That helps me remember my embodiment is like a cell within the living organisms of the earth and universe.  Whether it is a bat or a butterfly, a redwood or a rose, most often some other being during my walk attracts my attention and sheds light onto whatever had moved me to the walk in the first place.  

It is nearly impossible to make sense of the scope of death and upheaval that has come with the presence of the coronavirus, but I take solace and hope from other species that if we heed their subtle messages, the road ahead will be much less painful.  It is time for us to let go of our habitual distractions, and instead step up to the responsibility of being attentive, caring, loving, and compassionate to all beings.  If we read the words of St. Teresa of Avila again and again, we may indeed discover that this is a time to rise up to our truest selves.   I am willing to try this steeper path and hope you will join me. In the meantime, please stay well.

Practice
This short practice invites an appreciation of being part of the larger whole.

Prepare – 

  • If possible, find a safe and comfortable place to be seated outside.  Inside is also fine.    
    • Wherever you are, acknowledge the surface beneath you by offering a silent appreciation for its steady support.   
    • Allow your hands to rest on your thighs or on your lap.
  •  Acknowledge the space around you – front, back, sides, and above.  Invite awareness that as you sit and move through the world, this space is always there.  It offers you complete awareness of your surroundings. 
    • Note:  We often only relate to what is directly in front of us, especially when using our technological tools.  Yet, we take in and share information holistically.

Practice – 

  • Soften your gaze and the area around your eyes.  Imagine you are looking from the back of your head rather than from the surface of your eyes. 
  • Keeping your 360° awareness, allow your breath to move into your lungs – front, back, sides, lowest and uppermost parts of the lungs.
    • Without forcing, breathe with this awareness for six breaths.
  • For three breaths, invite your arms to move with your breath:
    • As you inhale, allow your arms to move out to the sides, slightly back, and overhead.  If you have shoulder conditions, please adjust as needed.
    • As you exhale, allow your arms to return to the sides of your body.
  • For three breaths:
    • Bring your palms into a soft lotus bud shape (gentle prayer position) in front of your heart. 
      • Pause for a breath
    • Keeping your palms in prayer position, inhale your hands overhead, taking them up the center line of your torso and face to overhead. 
      • Pause there for a breath.
    • Keeping your palms in prayer position, exhale your hands back to your heart center.  Repeat.
  • Allow your hands to rest in your lap.

Transition back into your day – 

  • Sit quietly for a few moments.  
  • Then, consider ways you might move through your day with awareness of the world around you.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.    

This poem is translated by Daniel Ladinsky and appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 73, 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. 

NOW AVAILABLE!!   My new book “Our Inherited Wisdom”  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry  (click for online purchase).  This is a perfect companion for your personal reflections. 

Owl

Owl

As you fill with wisdom,
and your heart with love,
there ’s no more thirst.  

There ’s only an unselfed patience
waiting on the doorsill, a silence
which doesn’t listen to advice
from people passing on the street.   

Sanai

It is the month of May, and our neighborhood is teeming with flowers of all colors, shapes, and sweet scents.   Some blossoms like the California poppy are native to this region and others have been imported from distant lands.  Their collective presence creates a sense of lightness, as though their coming into their beauty had been effortless.  Yet, their growth has been nurtured by the light and heat of the sun, insects and birds, moisture, minerals in the soil, and the phases of the moon.   

As the daytime wanes, the heightened fragrance in the air announces the coming of night.   Then, the smells give way to sounds.  On a clear night, constellations of the stars are visible, and this week there is a supersized full moon.  In the depth of the night, there is an occasional howl of a coyote and or a bark of a dog.   Within the last few weeks, an owl has settled into the neighborhood, revealing its presence with its rhythmic hooting.  

Although I couldn’t see the owl, I am sure, with its keen sense of vision and observation, that it was aware of my efforts to peer through the darkness in the hope of seeing its form glide through the sky.  After the passage of a couple minutes, I chose instead to let go of the trying to see it and just appreciate that an owl was temporarily visiting our semi-wooded neighborhood.  I stood outside and felt the cool night air on my arms and face.  Silence enveloped me, offering reminders of times of feeling simultaneously safe, yet alert, when staying in a tent in the wilderness earlier in my life.  

“Keep your wits about you,” arose into my awareness.   Immediately, a sort of sixth sense arose, allowing me to intuit the night’s wholeness.  The surrounding trees had eclipsed the moonlight so where there normally would have been shapes and forms, there was only an expanse of darkness.  I had to rely on an innate set of “wits” to detect subtle movements around me, and to be able to respond in focused and discerning ways.   I thought of the owl, and all the owls around the world who are heralded by humans for their patient ability to observe and see what most species can’t, and to move with quiet, fluid precision.   Some cultures consider them as omens of death – not only loss of embodiment, but the demise of established systems and well-worn habits.

The wings that carried this owl to our neighborhood were those of sorrow and grief.  Near and far, a large number of humans are experiencing multitudes of loss and change.  The comfortable din of busy-ness has been momentarily muted, baring all that we normally can choose not to see.  This is a sad time of transformation. 

Other species have stepped forward with timeless messages of listening to our inner guidance; paying attention to and caring for the little things, especially those that go beneath our radar and that we take for granted; revering all that supports our comforts; taking and consuming only what we need; letting go of old patterns and voices of those that feed our fears and judgments; being courageous as we face the unknown; being patient, listening, and observing, then acting with discerning focus; offering beauty, sweetness, and kindness in all that we say and do; and, being filled with lasting truth and wisdom.   At the core of these is a change in heart toward thirst-less love.  Please join me in stepping into the nighttime of love, where all belong.  

Practice
This short practice invites an appreciation of silence.

Prepare – 

  • Find a comfortable seated position on the earth, floor, or on a chair. 
    • If on a chair, allow the soles of both feet to rest on the floor. 
  • Invite your breath to be free and easy, again without forcing. 

Practice – 

  • Close your eyes, or keep a quiet gaze.  Breathe:
    • As you inhale, imagine your breath is radiating outward from your heart center simultaneously in all directions – back, sides, front, up, down.  Relax your belly and release tension around your shoulders, chest, eyes and jaw.  
    • As you exhale, imagine your breath is softening into your heart center, deeply nourishing the very core of your being.
    • Breathe this way for six breaths.
  • Lightly place your hands over your ears. 
    • Continue with the pattern of breathing above for another three breaths. 
  • Allow your hands to rest in your lap.  Lightly smile and continue this heart-centered breath for another three breaths.

Transition back into your day – 

  • Sit quietly for a few moments.  
  • Then, consider ways you might move through your day with an inner sense of quietude, and how that might manifest in your thoughts, speech and actions.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.    

This poem is translated by Coleman Barks and appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 83, 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. 

NOW AVAILABLE!!   My new book “Our Inherited Wisdom”  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry  (click for online purchase).  This is a perfect companion for your personal reflections. 

(May 2020 – NATURE WISDOM FOR OUR FUTURE (video length is 1 min 47 sec)

Gentle Giants

Gentle Giants

Our hands imbibe like roots,
so I place them on what is beautiful in the world, 

And I fold them in prayer, and they
draw from the heavens light. 

St. Francis of Assisi

As I stepped outside to feed the birds, the neighborhood redwood trees were bathed in the early morning light.  In this bucolic view, there was no visible trace of the pain and suffering in the world.   There was only light, and sky, and treetops. 

It made me wonder if such beauty always carries a sense of hope for harmony and peacefulness among all earthly beings.  Certainly, the redwoods themselves are living reminders of the power of equanimity.  Their strength and ability to weather storms is ever-present in their graceful, columnar trunks and evergreen needles.  

There is a hidden beauty to these Coastal Redwoods.  Rather than their prominence or grandeur, their secret charm is in their natural way of being.   Unlike the giants in most of our human mythology, the redwoods are gentle sentinels.  For thousands of years, they have modeled true generosity, kindness, and steadfast devotion to the wellbeing of the whole.  They support all life around them from beneath the ground to the uppermost regions, e.g., other plants, insects, worms, mammals, reptiles and birds, along with the health of the soil and air.  At their roots, they intertwine with and nourish one another from generation to generation.  

Almost everywhere on earth, there is some part of nature with similar altruistic qualities of the redwood.  The soil itself offers the ground for us to live and move, not to mention being a source of our food.  It has mostly been in the last couple of centuries that our human species has experimented with shaping economies and group attitudes in opposition to our earthly inherited values of cooperation, altruism, non-greed, and being grand in our gentleness.

Now with our global pause on this Earth Day, we are challenged as humans to reflect.  We have a choice as to whether we can humbly acknowledge our own ancient, human ancestors who gave us the ethical roots on which we grow and stand.  Ironically, their tenets reflect those natural ones of our earthly home.  Or, do we choose to continue the path on which name, fame, impatience, and indulgences are all that matters?   

The choice is ours – individually and collectively.  I’m choosing to listen to the ancient beings – human sages and saints, and earthly caretakers like the redwoods.  I hope you will join me.

Practice
This practice invites gratitude for our earthly home.

Prepare – 

  • Find a comfortable seated position on the earth, floor, or in a chair.
    • Allow your spine to lengthen upward.  Try to gently lift from your pelvis, navel area, and then lower ribs.  
  • Wherever you are – inside or outside – acknowledge one or two parts of the natural earth that sustains your body, e.g., the ground beneath you. 
    • Pause for each and imagine as though you are holding them in your hands.  Notice how that feels, for you e.g., scary, calming, reverential. 
  • Invite your breath to be free and easy, again without forcing.  Perhaps smile to further support ease in your breath. 

Practice – 

  • Lightly place your hands on:
    • Your thighs, acknowledging the grace of solidity within you.
    • Your lower belly, acknowledging the grace of beauty within you.
    • Your navel area, acknowledging the grace of vitality within you.
    • Your chest, acknowledging the grace of transformation within you.
    • Top of your head, acknowledging the grace of equanimity within you.
  • Bow your head with your hands in front of your heart with gratitude for these gifts that are represented in the gentle giants and the rest of natural world around us.  
  • Then, allow your hands to relax lightly in your lap or on your thighs.  Sit quietly and allow yourself to breathe with an even length between your inhalation and exhalation.  

Transition back into your day – 

  • Gently rub your hands together.  As you do this, invite a sense of loving, caring attentiveness not only to your hands, but to all that they touch, create, and express.
    • Then, if you wish, hold your hands, palms open and upward, in front of your chest. Imagine you are holding the entire earth with caring, loving attentiveness.
  • Relax your hands into your lap or on your thighs once again.  
  • Sit quietly for a few moments.  And, when you are ready, return to your day with renewed appreciation for your embodiment and earthly home.

This poem is translated by Daniel Ladinsky and appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 86, 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. 

NOW AVAILABLE!!   My new book “Our Inherited Wisdom”  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry  (click for online purchase).  This is a perfect companion for your homestay. 

Stay!

Stay!

If God
invited you to a party and said,
“Everyone in the ballroom tonight will be my special
guest,”

how would your treat them when you arrived? Indeed, indeed!
And Hafiz knows that there is no one in this world who is not standing upon
God’s jeweled dance floor.

Hafiz

“Stay!”  Though an open window, I heard my neighbor Ruby’s voice.  This has been a near daily, early evening occurrence for several years.  It is one of those ordinary, everyday things that I take for granted and rarely even notice.  My normal response is to think “Oh dear, Matri has run into the street again.”  Matri is Ruby’s dog, who is consistently friendly, curious and ready to greet the world. 

After two weeks of sharing with millions of others the experience of staying at home, I am ever more attentive to routine moments.  My senses have more acuity and awareness of nuances.  For example, Ruby’s call to Matri conveyed her love for her dog.  In the sternness, there was an expression of sincere concern for Matri’s well-being. 

Maybe for the first time in our lifetimes we have become attuned to the word “stay.”  If we really peel back the layers of emotions that we are going through, we might discover that there actually is an inbuilt desire to stay.  Most of us want to stay, be alive, and continue to be connected to all that we love.  We wish the same for those dear to us, knowing we will grieve if we can no longer laugh or walk with them, or if we did not take advantage of the chances we had to do so. 

Most humans, particularly those of us with comfortable lives, are unaware of our primal impulse to stay.  We tend to be equally forgetful that while we are alive, we share a common home – the earth.  In fact, we are in a kind of communal “homestay” where we are guests living with other species and elements, which are the source of our air, heat, water, food, and even space to move about and commune.  While sages, poets like Hafiz, ecologists, and public health experts have long told us about the nature of our interconnected home, it has taken a tiny virus for us to hear the multilayered wisdom within the word “stay.” 

I thank those of you who have my book “Our Inherited Wisdom: 54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry” and read this H E A R T H blog.  My consistent call is for us to stay with each precious moment, and recognize we live in the midst of wisdom.  This little experience with Ruby and Matri is one of many that I have had in the quietude of slowing down, and staying. I hear the bees humming loudly, smell the fragrance of the air even at midday, and see sparkle on the leaves and grasses.  The sky is clearer.  And, on a human scale, there is amplified awareness that not all have homes, or are safe at home.  As easy as it would be to feel imposed upon and view the directive to “stay” as a lockdown, I choose to let the experience further erode those layers of unawareness.  After all, as Hafiz says, we are guests on God’s “jeweled dance floor.”   

Practice
This short practice invites grounded-ness.

Prepare – 

  • Find a comfortable seated position on the floor or in a chair.
    • If agreeable, remove your shoes.
    • If you are on a chair, please place your feet on the floor.
    • Note:  If you have chronic neck issues, please skip the following neck movements and simply sit and invite relaxation into your facial muscles.
  • Allow your right ear to drop toward your right shoulder.  
    • Pause. Breathe a few breaths as you invite a stretch in the opposite of your neck.  
    • Shrug your right shoulder upward to the ear, bring your head back to center, and relax that shoulder.
  • Repeat on the left side.  

Practice – 

  • Stay seated.  
    • If comfortable, close your eyes; otherwise, leave them open in a soft gaze.  
    • Bring your awareness to the surface beneath you.  Notice where your body is touching that surface.  
      • Allow yourself to accept that support, whether it is the earth, floor, cushion, chair, or bench.
    • Open your eyes if you had them closed.
  • Still seated, place your palms on your thighs.
    • Gently press your palms downward.   
    • Feel that the skin on your thighs is embracing the touch of your palms.  
    • Remember that support beneath you.
  • Stand.
    • Notice the surface beneath the soles of your feet.  Notice where your feet meet that surface.  
      • Allow yourself to accept that support, whether it is the earth or floor.
    • Walk carefully around the space where you are and feel the embrace between your feet and the surface beneath you.  

Transition back into your day – 

  • Come to a seated position.  
    • If comfortable, close your eyes.  Otherwise, invite a soft focus to your gaze.
  • Sit quietly for a few moments.  
  • When you are ready, return to your day.


This poem is translated by Daniel Ladinsky and appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 91, 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.  The photo is courtesy of the New York Public Library. KateVogt©2020. 

NOW AVAILABLE!!   My book “Our Inherited Wisdom”  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry  (click for online purchase).  This is a perfect companion for your homestay.  It is a handbook designed to support your personal reflections and practice.  There are even blank pages for you to write or draw your responses to the poems and reflections.  There are also mini practices to help ground, calm, and uplift you.  The index functions like a browser where you can search on different themes, such as inner qualities for well-being.  Enjoy!    

Gracious Embrace

Gracious Embrace

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

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

Rumi
Translated by Coleman Barks

A sweetness entered my awareness as I opened the front door.  Immediately, the inner grumpiness dissipated with an infusion of fresh early morning air.  The mood change had come about because I had arisen an hour earlier than my biorhythms had expected.  It was the Sunday when time had “sprung” forward an hour for the annual shift to daylight savings time 

 Outside it was mostly dark.  A few stars lingered in the sky that was giving way to light.  Silhouettes of nearby redwood trees and rooftops were beginning to appear.  Soon, the bustle of the town would begin.  I stood still and savored this moment that I had almost missed.

This morning embrace was a humbling reminder of the gracious essence of existence.  For eons, life has dynamically folded and unfolded within an invisible, infinite unknown.   The tides ebb and flow.  Living beings are born and die.  Laughter rises and fades.  Perhaps it is the sheer immensity of reality that causes us to narrow our focus to our little irritations such as the time change and its impact on our sleep. 

 Rumi invites us not to get overly attached to our experiences or beliefs in life.  We can so easily take any one of them as our own, and then wrap it in judgment and arrogance, or fear and anger, or even delight and happiness.  For now, I’ll stick with reverence and awe.  I hope you will join me.


Practice
This short practice invites ease.

Prepare – 

  • Turn your electronic devices to airplane mode.  Remove any non-medical measuring devices, such as your watch.
  • Stand.  Stretch.  Then, gently shake out your limbs – one at a time.  

Practice – 

  • Standing, bring your hands in front of your chest and open them like a book.  Imagine that you are holding your truest self within your hands.  Let this be a reminder of your own inner sweetness and kindness.   Then, bring your hands into prayer position in front of your heart-center. (Let your fingertips and base of your palms touch.  Leave a little space in the center of your palms.)
  • In the following, you will be quietly saying the words “Namo Namaha,” which can loosely be thought of as “not mine.”  You may wish to re-read the poem by Rumi to support this practice.   
    • Inhale:  Sweep your arms out to the side and upward.  Bring your palms in prayer position over your head.  Pause.  Take a full breath.
    • Saying or chanting “Namo Namaha” (Nah-mo Nah-ma-hah), bring your hands back to prayer position in front of your heart-center.  Pause. Take a full breath.
      • Remember that feeling of holding your highest self in your hands.  
      • For the movement, you may:
        • keep your palms together and let them slide down the center of your face and upper torso;  or, 
        • sweep your arms out to your sides and back to your heart-center.
    • Repeat this six times.  

Transition back into your day – 

  • Come to a seated position.  If comfortable, close your eyes.  Otherwise, invite a soft focus to your gaze.
  • Sit quietly for a few moments.  
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

This poem appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 31, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  Photo by M. Wrona.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2020.

NOW AVAILABLE!!   My new book “Our Inherited Wisdom”  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry”   This is a perfect companion, whether you are quarantined or just need to uplift your mood and mind.  Here’s is some of what BookLife, a magazine for bookstores and libraries, has to say:  

  • ” Vogt’s calm mentorship invokes a sense of peace and gratitude. “
  • “… [Vogt] does an excellent job making the poem, personal story and practice for each element feel cohesive and mutually relevant.”
  • “[Vogt’s] practices are easy to understand and execute while remaining original and inspiring.” 
  • “Both experienced meditators and those still learning to cultivate intentionality and presence can gain much from this paean to thoughtfulness and peace.” 
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