The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.

Rumi
Translated by Coleman Barks

I awoke to what seemed like a timeless love story. At first, I thought it was the gentle hoot of the neighborhood owl or the sweet fragrance of freshly moistened earth from earlier rains. Yet when I opened my eyes, I realized that dawn was patiently making her way around the globe and still far away. The light that had pulled me awake came from the full moon.

Moonlight bathed the surrounding area.  For as far as I could see, the ground seemed transformed into a glistening expanse.  It was as though the starlight that was rendered nearly invisible by the brilliance of the moon was instead shimmering across the land.   The trees, especially those with springtime blossoms, sparkled like twinkling stars.

I felt embraced in the sacred communion between heaven and earth.  I experienced them as divine lovingness arising long before the limits of the ideas of time, space and separateness. Although forgotten and dismissed by much of humankind, the loving pulse of existence is seamlessly interwoven within all planetary beings and phenomena. This divine essence tenderly expresses itself through the gentle give and take of compassion and kindness.

Within this communing spirit, I felt the Earth and the Moon were inviting humans like me to wake up and – even if momentarily – view life from an interconnected perspective in which all existence is sacred.   After all, it was the eve between Earth Day and the day of the Pink Moon, both human-constructed reminders, on which we recalibrate our minds and actions for the well-being of all life.  This means a radical re-shifting of our inner radar from one of accumulation and domination to one of trust in communal reciprocity.

The natural world is a constant source of wisdom.  Along with wise sages and saints, our nature-kin and universal phenomena are continual voices of inspiration to nurture ageless values, such as compassion, in our lives.  Through that there is the promise of rediscovering that love is always within love – there is no separateness.  The love is there all along.

Practice
This practice is more like a prayer of appreciation for the all- pervasive support of love in life.

Prepare—

  • Sit upright on a chair or the floor.
  • Notice and release any tension around your legs, hip creases, belly, chest, throat and face.
  • This practice involves placing one hand on different parts of the body, and then quietly acknowledging ways love touches our worldly life. You may wish to read through this a few times and then personalize it.

Practice—

  • Place one hand on your lowest belly.
    • Silently say, “I acknowledge the soil, its capacity to hold and nourish me, and all those who protect and care for the soil. I acknowledge the plants, insects, birds, and animals, their strength and vulnerability, and those who protect and care for them. And, I acknowledge my digestive system and its ability to process food to nourish my body. I appreciate my feet and legs and my ability to stand and to make choices to do the least harm possible.” Take a few breaths.
  • Place one hand below your navel.
    • Silently say, “I acknowledge water, its capacity to sustain and cleanse me, and all those who protect and care for the waters. I also acknowledge my renal system and its role in nourishing and cleansing my body. I appreciate my ability to move and to create.” Take a few breaths.
  • Place one hand on your navel.
    • Silently say, “I acknowledge the sun, its capacity to nourish and warm me and the world around me, and the light it provides for me to see. I also acknowledge my emotions and the ability to feel and experience the world.” Take a few breaths.
  • Place one hand on your throat.
    • Silently say, “I acknowledge the air and wind, their capacity to nourish me through sound and breath, and all those who protect and care for them. I also acknowledge my throat and its capacity to carry the breath, food, my voice, and the messages in the nervous system to and from the brain. I appreciate my brain and senses for the capacity they give me to compassionately interact in the world.” Take a few breaths.
  • Place one hand on the center of your chest, the symbolic heart center.
    • Silently say, “I acknowledge ever-present love and its sister qualities of compassion, peace, joy, kindness. I appreciate the capacity to feel, and act with, true compassion for those who are suffering from war, violence, abuse, hunger, dislocation, injury, and illness. I acknowledge the teachers, poets, and writers who inspire true love and the grace of peace and freedom.” Take a few breaths.
  • Place one hand on the top of your head.
    • Silently say, “I acknowledge the ocean of love.”
  • Take a few breaths.

Transition Back into Your Day—

  • Sit quietly for a few moments, with the eyes and ears tuned inward.
  • Place your hands over your heart and pause for a moment. Invite a sense of sealing into your awareness of acting and speaking with compassion and love.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

This poem appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 42, 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.   Photo by Jakkapan21.  This practice is an excerpt from in my book Our Inherited Wisdom: 52 Inspirations from Nature and Poetrypages 341-343,  KateVogt©2024.

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