I went everywhere with longing
in my eyes, until here
in my own house

I felt truth filling
my sight.

Translated by Coleman Barks         


As I stepped outside the front door this morning, I was immediately reminded of the elemental liveliness of the fall season.  The length of daylight may be shorter and the skies may be cloudier, but the landscape felt joyfully vibrant.

The first rays of sunlight were freely pouring across the hillsides and onto the trees and rooftops.  It seemed that every blade of grass and leaf glowed, showing off their uniqueness yet fully celebrating one another.  Some leaves rotated with the gentle breeze, revealing their changing colors from greens to reds and yellows.  The redwoods and other evergreens seemed peacefully calm as the light slipped through the open spaces between their limbs.

As the sun-rays streamed further into our neighborhood, the seasonal aliveness was even more palpable.  This was mostly because of the lingering presence of the rainstorm from the previous night.  With raindrops still attached, the bushes and spider webs glistened and seemed to radiate from the inside out.   The earth was soft, a tapestry of rich brown colors and textures.  And, the air had an almost divine sweetness of being beyond time.

This was all in a matter of seconds.  Yet, I felt these seasonal gestures offered a precious glimpse of the otherwise hidden substrate of physical existence.  Within any season, any time, any form of life, there is a continuous meeting of the elements – earth, water, fire and air – giving rise to sights and other sensory experiences.  Their presence remains largely hidden in the normal everyday patterns.

Along with the sense of surrender and letting go, the fall season also offers the grace of seeing the abundance and mystery of life.  Perhaps it is no wonder that this is the season where the light reveals the greater wisdom and truth.  Whatever the reason, I feel humbled to appreciate the gift of this fall morning.

This practice fosters elemental awareness


  • Remove any potential distractions—for example, take off your watch, and put your phone on airplane mode. If comfortable, remove your shoes.
    • Stretch out and move in any way that your body seems to need, e.g., from side to side. Take your time.
    • Gently, alternate between bending your knees and rising upward onto the balls of your feet. Repeat two more times.  Please adjust the movement to your ability.


  • Standing or seated. Evenly connect your feet with the surface beneath you.
    • Reach your fingertips toward the floor. Silently say, “thank you, earth” three times.
    • Reach your arms overhead. Silently say, “thank you, sun” three times.
    • Reach your arms to your sides. Silently say, “thank you, space” three times.
    • Reach your arms in front of you. Soften your elbows and wave your forearms in and out as you wiggle your fingers.  Silently say, “thank you, water” three times.
    • Reach your arms in front of you. With your palms upward at the level of your mouth, gently blow air from your mouth toward your hands.  Silently say, “thank you, air.
  • Pause with your arms and hands in a comfortable position. Breathe comfortably for a few breaths.
    • Place your palms facing downward on your thighs acknowledging your bones and larger muscles as more earthly expressions.
    • Place your palms over your belly, acknowledging your digestive fire and body warmth as more fiery expressions in your body.
    • Place your hands wherever they are comfortable, acknowledging the spaciousness within all parts of your body, e.g., the skull, rib cage.
    • Place your hands wherever they are comfortable, acknowledging the fluidity within your body, e.g., blood flowing, saliva.
    • Place your hands wherever they are comfortable, acknowledging the in- and out-flow of air within your body.
  • Again, pause. Place your hands over your heart center.  Silently say, “thank you” three times.

Transition Back into Your Day—

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


This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 24, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.   The photo is by healer and meditation teacher Kelly Galland.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2022.

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