Hark to the unstruck bells and drums!
Take your delight in love!
Rains pour down without water, and
the rivers are streams of light.
One Love it is that pervades the whole
world, few there are who know it fully.
They are blind who hope to see it
by the light of reason, that reason
which is the cause of separation —
The House of Reason is very far away!
Translated by Rabindranath Tagore
Everything around seemed to glisten in the afternoon light. The ocean stretched into the sky, shimmering evenly across its surface. A set of islands appeared to be floating with the lightness of the clouds on the distant horizon.
The grasses on the hillside where I stood sparkled with different shades of green. As the currents of the wind shifted between calmness and soft breezes, the blades of the grasses gracefully followed. The blades seemed to be tracking some ancient rhythm as they harmonically twisted and turned together, offering a visual verdant dance of light.
Beneath my feet, the footpath also twinkled in the sunlight. Small chips of stones on the dirt path caught the light, giving a sense of an earthly mosaic. Having been raised in Kansas, I was reminded of a lit pathway of the Wizard of Oz and its promising ‘yellow brick road.’
With all the nature around me glowing on this spring afternoon, I couldn’t help but feel an awareness of the loving Light that pervades all life. Universally, prophets, saints, and sages represent quiet testaments of the ever-present gift of Light. They have reminded us to let go of our attachment to labels and differences, which hold us in an illusion of separateness and cause us to suffer within the trappings of our own mind’s fondness for itself.
It is no wonder that a halo of light enfolds our dearest prophets and wise beings. They embody the pure love, equanimity, peacefulness of eternal Light. Every fragment of their presence endlessly radiates compassion and kindness. Like the sun, they bathe the ocean, the grasses, the soil, and all living beings with the blessings of Light.
I am grateful for this sweet moment on the hillside, where the solar light reminded me that timeless truth is carried within the forces of nature. All I need to do is pause, let go of expectations, listen and observe. Or, I should say, “try” to take these simple steps. Still, I hope you will join me.
This short practice invites awareness of daily light.
You may wish to read through this practice the day before practicing.
- Rise early enough time before dawn so you can:
- First, take care of your early morning hygiene and any personal habits.
- Then, make your way to a window or outdoor spot where you can witness the first light of the day for at least five minutes.
- Unless needed for a medical condition, leave your digital devices, including those on your wrist, behind.
- Standing or seated, face the eastern direction where the sun rises.
- Find a comfortable position.
- As though you are meeting a close friend, invite a sense of ease – and perhaps delight – into your awareness.
- If possible, allow yourself to be fully present for the next few moments with the rising of the sun.
- Promise your mind that there will still be time to do all that it wants to do. Perhaps let it know that for now it gets to take a little break from its constant work to run ahead of itself, full of anticipation, expectation, and evaluation.
- Once positioned, lightly close your eyes for one or two breaths.
- Invite your entire eye area to relax.
- Gently open your eyes, yet “see” with your entire being.
- Imagine your entire being is made of tiny eyes, all soaking in the full experience of morning’s first light.
- Try to wholeheartedly be present with dawn – the sounds, the sensations, the fragrances, the shapes, the colors, and the forms.
- Perhaps note your overall mood, feelings, impulses, and awareness; however, invite a sense of friendliness toward yourself, setting aside judgments and self-criticisms.
- Note: You may be used to only using your eyes for observing an occurrence such as dawn. If you choose to use only your eyes for this part of the practice:
- Consider the advice from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.” and “We see only what we know.”
- Consider all the many sages across the ages to try seeing from your heart, i.e., observe with loving awareness.
- Feel free to stay and quietly observe as long as comfortable.
- Silently acknowledge your inner light.
- Take one hand over your heart and the other on top.
- If comfortable, close your eyes. Otherwise, allow them to remain open in a soft gaze.
- Notice the gentle weight of your hands over your heart-center. Perhaps smile.
- Acknowledge the loving Light within your heart and its endless capacity for compassion, kindness, equanimity, and joy.
- Breathe three breaths.
- After your three breaths, three times reach your hands from your heart up toward the sun and back to your heart.
Transition back into your day –
- Sit – or stand, if you have been standing – quietly for a full breath.
- When you are ready, return to your day.
This poem appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 59, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library. H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon. KateVogt©2021.