If God invited you to a party and said,
“Everyone in the ballroom tonight
will be my special guest,” how
would you then treat them
when you arrived?

Indeed, indeed!

And Hafiz knows that there is no one in
this world who is not standing upon
His jeweled dance floor.

Hafiz
trans. by D. Ladinsky

A muffled growl resounded through the morning air.  It was so pervasive that I thought the wheels of our ever-changing world are at last making themselves audible.   Rather than being silent, the gears of time, future transitioning into past, seemed to grumble and groan.   Yet, as a chilly moist breeze blew into the bedroom window, my mind stirred out of its slumber to register the sound of a foghorn from a nearby bay.    

Although the breeze had wordlessly conveyed the source of the sound, I eagerly looked out the window for the promise of a clear day.  Instead, the only discernible forms were the telephone wires and houses across the street.  The sky and towering redwoods were enshrouded in an expanse of grey.   I sighed.  Even in this changing world, there are some consistencies such as the foggy weather along the California coast during the summer. 

The view out the window felt like snapshot of clouded perception where the bigger picture is obscured and our vision is limited to the nearby.   The light of the sun, for example, is always there even if we can’t see it.  Whether covered by clouds or fog, or invisible because of the turning of our planet causing night and day, the light stays like a steady axis to the wheel of change.   

The 14th century poet from Hafiz invites us to an unencumbered perspective where we see the world through the lens of eternal light.    There we see wholeness, equity, and abundance rather than a world restricted by the language of subject and object and labels and measurements.   Hafiz inspires us to step into the luminous center in the midst of the whirls and gain fresh perspective, and perhaps even touch the endless grace of God’s love.  

The summer fog will be my reminder to try to live and act with love and the light at the core of my heart for the wellbeing of all.   I invite you to join me. 

Practice
This short practice invites awareness of the ever-presence of love

Prepare – 

  • Standing,
    • Gently shake out each of your limbs. 
      • Lightly roll your shoulders around.

Practice – 

  • Still standing.  With your hands in front of your heart in prayer position, face:
    • East (if you are not sure where the eastern direction is, wherever you are is fine.)
      • Acknowledge that the sun rises in this eastern direction kindly offering continuous light around the world. 
    • South
      • Acknowledge the expanse of land in this southern direction offering in equanimity a ground to live and move to all life. 
    • West
      • Acknowledge that the sun sets in this western direction offering compassion and care to all beings.
    • North
      • Acknowledge the Northern Lights this direction offering the joyful gift of light in darkness.
    • East
      • Acknowledge all the directions, including that of above and below, come together in the center of your heart.  Acknowledge that the qualities of kindness, equanimity, compassion, and joy are present in all directions joining the outer and inner with endless love.

Transition back into your day – 

  • Find a comfortable seated position, and sit quietly.  Allow yourself to feel that the eternal light is filling you from the crown of your head to the tips of your fingers of toes.   For as long as is comfortable, allow yourself to be bathed in that light.
  • When you are ready, transition back into your day.

This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 95, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  Photo by Casey Horner.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2020. 

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