You are the sky and the ground.
You alone the day, the night air.
You are the meal that’s being brought,
the sandal knot, flowers and their watering.
You are all this.
What could I possibly bring You!
Translated by Coleman Barks
The early morning seemed oblivious of the weather prediction of uncomfortably high temperatures and winds later in the day. Instead, everywhere seemed awash with messages of loving comfort and peacefulness.
Overhead the clouds still carried faint traces of lavender and orange. The air conveyed soft cooing sounds of doves and a light rustle of the cottonwood and elm trees. A monarch butterfly glided between a row of stately red cedars.
The ground stretched beyond the sounds and movements into a smooth, even horizon. It was a wide expanse of flat land that allowed for an undisturbed evenness. There, the sky and earth calmly held one another and all life.
For me, there was an overwhelming sense of belongingness in this early morning moment. There was a visceral feeling that the outer horizon is a continuum of the inner horizon. And within that feeling was a twinkle of the divine everywhere – seemly invisible but continually visible in the profound miracle of the ordinary.
I am moved by such moments to steadily listen to and surrender into the messages of loving comfort and peacefulness for the whole of life – each grain of soil, each tree, every insect and bird, and every human and other moveable being.
This practice supports awareness of reverence within everyday life.
- Gently close your eyes. Imagine that you can release any tension in your eyelids and your eyeballs. Slowly move your eyes up to down, left to right, and then diagonally (first, upper right to lower left, and, then upper left to lower right).
- Open your eyes with a soft gaze. Slowly let your eyes scan around the area where you are. Silently acknowledge the gift of the space around you.
- Allow your eyes to rest on the floor or ground beneath you. Then slowly shift your gaze to a few other spots. As your rest your eyes in a particular spot, notice the textures, colors, etc., without judgment.
- Return your gaze to the first spot.
- Note: If you are indoors, let your mind take note of the source of the materials. For example, a natural wood floor would come from trees. A concrete floor would likely come from sand that has been ground and mixed with water.
- Then, lightly close your eyes and sit quietly for a few moments with a feeling of great reverence for life. (Please feel free to keep your eyes open, if that is more comfortable for you.)
Transition Back into Your Day—
- Continue to sit quietly for a few moments.
- Notice the gentle rise and release of your breath. Acknowledge the gift of breath as an ever-present reminder of your constant link to all of life.
- When you are ready, return to your day.
This 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 practice is an excerpt from Our Inherited Wisdom: 54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry, page 217-218. The land reference is my childhood homelands in Greeley County, Kansas in the Great Plains U.S.A. HEARTH is posted each new and full moon. KateVogt©2022.