It is there that
our hearts are set,
In the expanse
of the heavens.
Translated by Frances Densmore
Large shadows covered the pathway along the road. I felt as though I was walking through a tapestry of grayness. The long, slate-colored shapes were delicately held together with a lacey web of pale smoky shades. Far ahead, there was a ray of light.
The glow ahead seemed to be a quiet reminder for me that shadows are revealers of light. With this subtle nudge of truth, my pace slowed, allowing me to look at my surroundings. Redwoods and shrubbery lined the roadway. These were large, but peaceful shadow-makers. Their presence was tranquil as was their shadows. I walked forward.
As I arrived at the spot of sunlight – that had earlier seemed distant – a vivid red caught my attention. It was a flower blossom on a wooden fence. At first, it looked as if someone had picked it from somewhere and then inserted it in a crack in the fence; however, it was a geranium that had peacefully grown through a knothole and then blossomed in the light.
These peaceful expressions of the ever presence of light prompted me to walk a little more lightly. It is heartening to know that colossal beings such as the redwoods live lightly. They have no need to assert their dominance over the landscape. The imprints they leave from their existence nourishes the earth’s surface and effortlessly supports other beings. It is heartening to learn from the geranium that there is always an opening to a more peaceful way to bloom.
This practice supports your awareness of light.
- Take a moment to clear away potential distractions. Remove your smartwatch and set your digital devices to airplane mode – you will be fine without them for a few minutes.
- Gently rub your palms together, creating some warmth in your fingers. Then, with both hands lightly touch (in the following order): your mouth, cheeks, nose, eyes, ears, shoulders, belly button, crown of your head, and heart center.
- Imagine you are placing light into all your senses and your mind as you do this.
- Standing or seated, look around the environment where you are.
- Allow yourself to focus on one part of the area where you are, e.g., a pot, houseplant.
- Soften your gaze and simply be present as you allow your attention to be absorbed in the presence of your area of focus.
- Perhaps begin by appreciating that this is a living being, likely appearing inert but in its beingness an expression of eternal light. Perhaps imagine you, as an expression of light, are also being observed in return.
- Gently close your eyes. Imagine a soft radiance deep with you, steadily glowing. With each in breath, imagine this glow slowly fills every cell in your body from your innermost self, outward. As you exhale, imagine the heart of the glow brightens and grows steadier.
- Keeping that awareness, imagine the same is happening with the area of your focus. Breathe together.
- Then, open your eyes. If seated, come to standing. Slowly walk in a clockwise circle with an awareness that your movement is an expression of light. After you have completed the circle, pause and reach your hands in front of you, palms upward. Imagine you are both receiving and offering light.
Transition Back into Your Day—
- Come to a seated position. If in a chair, place the soles of your feet onto the ground.
- Repeat the part of the “preparation” where your rub your palms together and then sequentially (and symbolically) place light into your senses, body and mind.
- When you are ready, transition back into your day.
This poem appears in Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems, page 5, 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 on katevogt.com. KateVogt©2023.