If you want money more than anything,
you’ll be bought and sold.
If you have a greed for food,
you’ll be a loaf of bread.
This is a subtle truth:
whatever you love, you are.

Translated by Coleman Barks

It seemed odd that a gaggle of wild Canadian geese was lolling around and grazing by a nearby pond in the late afternoon.  Usually, they fly in early in the morning and leave by mid-afternoon.  But today, they were peacefully moseying around, appearing content to be where they were.

“It’s a full moon,” explained a friend who is a bird-watcher, when I shared my concern that the geese hadn’t left for the day.  On a clear full moon day, geese often continue to feed under the moonlight.  As the lunar cycle wanes, they return to their normal arrival and departure times.

Wild geese are best known for their v-shaped flight pattern, which allows them to effortlessly migrate thousands of miles to nesting and breeding grounds.  They move with loving synchronicity.  The wing flap creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. When one goose is injured, another stays with it.  The ones in front regularly change positions with the ones in back, encouragingly honking to the ones ahead.

Even with their amazing flying capacity, I was struck by the quiet presence of the geese along the shoreline.  The sense of caring support that carries them across the sky was noticeable even on the ground.  They moved together across the lawn, several geese forming one graceful, unified movement.  It is no wonder that they ascend to great heights.

The geese were seemingly at peace.   Perhaps it was because they were silent on the ground, attending to their needs and nothing more.  Most of nature is this way— following ancient patterns—where they are content with living within their needs.

My father, who lived into his nineties, wisely began his days with a prayer to know the difference between his wants and his needs, and to take only what is needed, not more.  This is not an easy path to follow, but it allowed him to have ample room for laughter and for interest in the stories of strangers.  Like most in earlier generations, he had missed the escalation of longings and wants that has been cultivated by the growing marketplace.  Thus, his wants for material possessions were mostly work-related, leaving him freer than most to simply long for peace.

As humans, we are part of an earthly organism.  Older generations understood that we live in a shared community where true wealth is learning to live lightly and in harmony with oneself, the natural rhythms, and one another.   May I remember this natural wisdom.

This practice invites you to remember our earthly connection with all beings.


  • Please find a comfortable seated position.
    • If you are in a chair, rest the soles of both feet on the floor.
  • Invite awareness of your breath.
    • Ask yourself, “How is my breath today?”
      • There is no right or wrong; just observe how your breath feels today.
      • If comfortable, softly close your eyes. Otherwise, leave your eyes open in a soft gaze.


  • Allow the palms of your hands to relax, upward, on your thighs.
  • Sit quietly and breathe.
    • With each inhale, silently say, “May all beings be safe. May all beings be cared for.  May all beings be free. ”
    • With each exhale, silently repeat, “May all beings be safe. May all beings be cared for.  May all beings be free. ”
    • Continue for eight to twelve breaths. Pause when needed.
  • Sit quietly for several minutes.
  • Bring your left palm over your heart center. Rest the right palm over the left.
    • Imagine all beings are safe, cared for and free. (Remember you are part of this earthly community.  Imagine you are safe, cared for and free.)
  • Silently say, “thank you.”

Transition Back into Your Day—

  • Pause in silence for a few moments.
  • Take your time returning to your day.

This reflection is an excerpt from my Our Inherited Wisdom:  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry, pages 69-72.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon on katevogt.com. Photo by Gino Santa Maria.  KateVogt©2023.

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