True love gives us beauty, freshness,
solidity, freedom, and peace.
True love includes a feeling of
deep joy that we are alive.
Thich Nhat Hanh

 

As I turned the corner toward my front door, a streak of color darted before my eyes. A soft hum penetrated the air, giving me the sense that I had entered an ancient temple infused with the peaceful chanting of Om. Almost instantaneously, I felt a childlike joy in this encounter with a hummingbird.

It is not surprising that this tiny bird sparked such feelings of delight.   Hummingbirds playfully move through the air as if they are dancing with the light.   Their aerobatic agility allows them to fly in all directions at full speed. With their fast wingbeat – 50-80 beats per second – they can appear to stand still when they hover, as though suspended in time.   This mirage of timelessness is echoed in their wings’ figure-eight pattern, or the symbol of immeasurable and boundless infinity.

The sign of infinity represents eternity and balance. In more modern times, it brings timeless messages of true love and the gifts of strength, vitality, peace, and beauty. There is simultaneously a sense of the divine and the eternal grace of existence.  It is buoyant and unburdened by the heaviness of brooding over the past or tension of worry over the future.   It offers a reminder to lighten up and tune into the heart of life.

I feel that the hummingbird carries the tranquil messages of infinity, and fills us with gratitude for the sweet nectar of life. With acuity for authentic sweetness, the hummingbird eloquently slides its slender beak past the bitter exterior of plants to fully delve into the sweetness within. Its inward journey not only retrieves the nectar, but harmoniously gives back to the plant by pollinating the flower.

Sages, saints and masters such as Thich Nhat Hanh are like hummingbirds transmitting timeless wisdom and filling us with awe and hope.   It is as though they lovingly nourish us with seeds of truth.  The beauty of nature and their wise words are reliable doorways into our deepest and most sincere selves.   Over the next few weeks, I will be more attentive to the small moments of wisdom. I hope you will join me.

Practice

This practice supports the sweetness of loving abundance.  Allow at least fifteen minutes. 

  • Prepare –
    • Choose a place with there is minimal ambient noise or light. Put your digital devices out of reach and turn the volume off.
    • Sit in a comfortable position, either on a chair, or the floor. Note: This practice could also be done resting on your back. Make any adjustments you need for comfort.
      • If on a chair, rest the soles of your feet evenly on the floor.
  • Practice –
    • Slowly, shift your attention to your breath. Notice the gentle expansion in your torso on the inhalation, and the release on the exhalation.
      • Gradually lengthen your breath, keeping it smooth and even.
    • The following has three segments, each segment with three breaths.
      • Breath throughout:
        • Inhale – Say to yourself, “Every part is loving abundance.”
        • Exhale – Let the feeling of loving abundance settle into every cell.
      • The three segments with the above breath:
        • Sweep your awareness from:
          • your hips to your legs to your feet, and to the tips of your toes;
          • your shoulders, your torso, arms, and to your toes; 
          • the top of your head, your body, arms, and to your toes.
    • Gently breathing, let loving abundance seep inward,:
      • e.g., into your tissues, muscles, organs, neural and circulatory networks, respiratory system, and your bones.
        • If you find areas that feel heavy or agitated, just notice them. Imagine that you can gently reassure them that you have noticed them, yet, for now, they may just rest in loving abundance.
      • When you feel ready, invite your awareness to shift to the center of your chest, symbolically the deep and timeless core of your being.
        • Imagine that deep within you is a beautiful, vast space that stretches into infinity. It is filled with loving abundance.
        • Let your awareness delve into that sweetness, enfolding and enlivening you with the nectar of loving abundance.
          • Remain here for a few breaths.
    • Bring your palms over your heart, one hand on top of the other. Imagine as though this gesture is sealing in the vitality, peace, and joy of loving abundance.
  • Transition back into your day –
    • Sit quietly for a few minutes.
    • Perhaps set an intention to notice “loving abundance” as you move throughout your day.
      • e.g., in the water flowing from a facet; the food that you prepare and eat; your friends and family; your home and belongs; the air you breath; and, all of nature.
      • You live in the midst of living abundance. You are loving abundance.
    • When you are ready, return to your day.

This poem appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 64, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash.

HEARTH is posted each new and full moon and written by Kate Vogt. To learn more about Kate Vogt and her “Living Wisdom . . . every day,” please visit katevogt.com.  KateVogt©2019

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