what happens to the scale
when love


Trans. by Daniel Ladinsky


Looking out the plane’s window, I was mesmerized by the curvy pathways of the waters and the undulating contours of the earth.  Every bend in a river and every rise in the land seemed like individual brushstrokes shaping an unending scene of existence itself.

There was something peaceful about having a bird’s-eye view of our planet earth. Within the landscape below, nearly nine million species were coming and going.  Flowers were blooming, butterflies were coming out, and petals and wings were falling.  Viewed from above, it looked whole and serenely beautiful, free of all harm.

This flight experience reminded me that the mind is like the sky.  When it is cloud-free, the view and perspective are clear. But, most days there are clouds covering all or part of the sky.  The cloudier it is, the less clear the view, and the more likely we are to focus on the play of the clouds and forget the expansive, serene clarity that is always there.

It takes effort not to cloud the mind or feed its tendency to self-absorption.  With a constant stream of impressions coming in from commercial entities and our social communities, our minds have come to long for continual stimulation.  When we try to interrupt the techno-cravings, we look for a predictable engagement of time and environment, e.g., by choosing an online tool for meditation, mindfulness, or yoga.

When I step back and truly look, as the 5th century poet Kabir suggests, I realize life is not a commodity to be earned or bartered.  Instead, it is held in the eternal embrace of love.  Like the sky holding the cloud, love doesn’t grasp or cling to us.  It just patiently holds all of life.  And, as with Kabir’s imagery of the scale, love doesn’t erase the world.  Instead, it is the doorway within the world to infinite peace and calmness.

Sages and other wise beings, such as Kabir, speak of our essence as limitless love.  When the mind is clear, it is luminous and filled with boundless truth, light, and joy.

This practice supports awareness of peace and serenity.


  • Turn all electronic devices to airplane mode. If you are wearing a watch and/or any other wrist items, remove it/them. Ideally, place these items in another room.
  • Seated, allow your hands to relax, with the backs of your hands resting on your thighs. Relax the center of your palms and the fingers.
    • If you are seated in a chair, rest both of your feet on the floor.
  • Eyes closed, or open with a soft gaze, gently bring your attention to the movement of the breath. Without strain, slowly exhale. Slowly inhale.
  • Release any unneeded tension along your temples, forehead, and the rest of your face.


  • Softly bend your elbows and lift your hands and forearms away from your thighs. Allow your forearms to be somewhat parallel to the floor.
    • Rotate forearms and palms so that they are facing downward. Allow your hands to fully relax.  (Note: in this position your fingers are also fully relaxed and dangling downward.)
  • Slowly rotate your forearms so that your palms are facing upward. Keep a relaxed feeling in your hands – perhaps imagine you are holding fragile blossoms in your palms.  Invite a feeling of simultaneously letting go and receptivity.
    • Your elbows are still softly bent and away from your thighs.
    • Pause here for a few breaths.
    • If it feels comfortable, repeat silently, “I welcome eternal truth, light, and love” during the pause.
  • Repeat above movements of your hands and forearms from downward to upward for three or more times, pausing when the palms are upward with a few gentle breaths.

Transition Back into Your Day

  • Relax the backs of your hands onto your thighs. Invite your mind to follow the flow of receiving and offering the breath.
  • When you are ready transition back into your day.

This poem appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page VII, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  The reflection and practice is an excerpt from my Our Inherited Wisdom: 54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry, pages 332-337..
H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon on katevogt.com.  KateVogt©2023.

Enjoy gems of natural beauty 
& #naturesutras

invitation to connect

Are you wondering if this is the right time for a Living Wisdom Mentoring session?
upcoming events

©2019 Kate Vogt. Privacy Policy. Portrait Photography by Paulina Paczkowska