Is the
Root of all these

One thing: love.
But a love so deep and sweet
It needed to express itself
With scents, sounds, colors
That never before Existed.

Trans. by Daniel Landinsky


The morning sky has been grey and misty this past week. People scurry along the sidewalks with their chins tucked into the fronts of their jackets. In the coffee shop, the conversations are about the gloomy weather, with wishes that it would get a little brighter.

Instead of feeling dreary, I feel joyful within the grey. It is as though the earth has merged into the vast sky. Or, that the sky has come to visit the earth, to show us that it is always there, holding and flowing through us. The grey-ness softens edges and boundaries. It gives everything a quality of being infinite.

When the grey gives way to a clearer sky, the world begins to sparkle in its different colors and shapes. Birds sing, and the steps of people on the street seem to lighten. Surprisingly, some even pause and look up at the sky in a way that appears they are seeing it for the first time.

The grey invites us to realize anew the beauty of the world.  Being enveloped in grey along with our surroundings can feel like a tender caress. It can stir a sense of a sweet, loving Presence that is more immense than any other love we have known. This love is love itself, luminous; omniscient; virtuous; and everlasting.

Prophets, sages and great poets like Hafiz remind us that our world is an expression of a love that never ends. As an integral part of the world, we too, in our heart of hearts, are love. We forget this and go looking for the love that we already are. There is still our pain and discomfort, but beneath it all is the love that sustains.

Sacred poetry and misty mornings are outer reminders that we are living expressions of love.  A complete shift into this knowingness takes long-term, continuous practice of daily meditation and/or prayer.  Yet, little things also help. This inspires me to feel a little lighter and more hopeful every time I say, hear, write, or see the word “love.”


This practice supports awareness of love from the inside out.


  • Hug yourself. Shift so that your other arm is on top, and re-hug yourself.
  • Gently squeeze each arm, one arm at a time, using the opposite hand. Begin at your shoulder, then move down to your elbow and then your wrist and hand.
  • Pretend to wash your face with your fingertips.
    • For example, gently brush your fingertips up from the eyebrows to the hairline, and then down across the temples and cheeks.


  • Find a comfortable seated position, either on a chair or on the floor.
    • Allow your spine to be in a neutral, upright position and your breath to be free and unhindered.
  • Rest the back of one hand, i.e., palm upward, in the center of your lap.
  • Then, as though holding hands with yourself, rest the other palm in the palm in your lap (i.e., the palm is upward on your lower palm; and downward on the upper. The palms are at a 90-degree angle).
    • Imagine that your lower palm is the hand of your most loving friend.
      • Relax the muscles in that arm. Let that relaxation stem from your heart-center, shoulder blades, shoulder, entire arm, and fingers.
      • Let the other hand relax and receive the loving support.
    • Allow your eyes to gently close, or find a soft gaze. Relax the muscles across your face. Allow your breath to be soft and smooth.
    • Stay for as long as comfortable, preferably at least three minutes on each side.

Transition Back into Your Day—

  • Place the backs of both hands on your thighs. Invite a few full, gentle inhalations and exhalations. Allow for a slight pause between your inhales and exhales.
  • Sit quietly for a few moments.
  • Give yourself a hug and sincerely say to yourself, “I love you.”
  • When you are ready, transition back into your day.


This HEARTH is an excerpt from Our Inherited Wisdom:  54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry, by Kate Vogt, pages 315-318, available through Bookshop, or order through your local independent bookstore.  HEARTH is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2022.




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