Drumsound rises on the air,
its throb, my heart.

A voice inside the beat
says, “I know you’re tired,
but come. This is the way.”

Translated by Coleman Barks


A roar captured my attention.   Unlike the sound of a large truck or low flying plane, it was continuous, with no sign of fading.  In my childhood, I would imagine that the land quietly roared.  I imagined that the roar was the enduring resonance of the thousands of buffalo hooves that had freely run in the area that had become my family’s farm.

I was far from my childhood both in distance and time, yet the roar felt intimately familiar.  It had been with me my entire life, pulsing within my veins and reverberating in my footsteps.  To me, it feels like the prevailing pulsebeat of life – always there as an unbroken soundtrack of all life.

Here at the beach, the ocean’s waves amplified the wild, untamable nature of this underlying roar.  I felt soothed and calmed by the rhythmic sound.  It contained the seeming paradox of living with the ups and downs of sorrows and joys.  I felt within the roar there was deep sadness toward the growing exaltation of violent harmfulness.  Yet, I also felt it held a powerful reminder of the hidden but enduring lovingness manifesting in all life’s shapes, colors, forms and sounds.

I would like to imagine that we could press pause, and then rewind, back into the apparent evolution of humanity until we reconnected to the roaring wisdom.   Until then, I will endeavor to tread a little more lightly, and live a little more prayerfully.  I hope you will join me.


This practice supports awareness of ambient sound.  


Prepare –

  • Remove any digital devices from the room or space where you are, i.e.., place all digital watches, earphones, computers, etc. in another room.  If you are reading this on a digital device, close all windows except this one, turn off notifications and place your device on airplane mode.
  • Then, swipe your hands along your arms, legs and torso as though cleansing your body.  Gently sweep your fingers along your face as though cleansing your face, including your eyes, nose, mouth and ears.
  • Shake out through your limbs, inviting a release of any unneeded tension.  Again, sweep your hands across your body and face.  Sweep the backs and fronts of each wrist and hand.

Practice –

  • Find a comfortable seated position.
    • As much as possible, allow yourself to settle into the support beneath you.  Imagine you are growing roots into the earth, with those roots fanning out in all directions.
    • With a sense of rootedness, invite your torso to lengthen upward.  Imagine your trunk is supported by the space behind you and around you – as though you are embraced from behind by space.  Invite a sense of trustingly leaning into that invisible support.
    • From the level of your heart center, imagine the area around your upper torso, neck and head is an aura of endless expansiveness.
  • Within that groundedness and lightness, invite awareness that air is touching your face, your clothing (front, sides and back) and any part of your uncovered skin.
  • Resting your hands on your thighs, gently turn your palms upward.  Invite a sense that your palms are filled with air.
  • Cup your palms over your ears and listen to the ever-present ambient sound, which only disappears in a soundproof environment.  Invite yourself to just listen and feel for a few moments.
  • Remove your hands and allow them to rest again on your thighs, in any position that is comfortable.  Close your eyes for a few seconds, open them and then repeat once more.

Transition back into your day – 

  • Pause and sit quietly.
  • When you feel ready, transition back into your day.

This poem is from Mala of the Heart:  108 Sacred Poems, page 48, by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt (editors), published by New World Library.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon on katevogt.com.  KateVogt©2024.

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