Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.
Rumi

 

As the season changes to spring in the northern hemisphere, it feels as though nature is inviting us to begin anew. As the days are grow longer, migratory birds reappear along with insects, such as butterflies and bees. Fresh leaves are unfurling on the trees, tulips and daffodils are forming buds, and mountain creeks have reappeared.

The springtime meadows and fields are wide expanses of green. I have many memories associated with fields as the new growth emerges. My earliest ones are from my childhood when I would ride with my dad to look at his fields.   I could barely see out of the pickup window, but was captivated by the immensity of the flat Kansas horizon and vastness of the blue sky and green land.   More recent ones are from hikes with my husband Jay to large meadows in the wilderness

These memories carry a sense of spaciousness, peacefulness and the promise of eternal abundance. To me, open spaces are both symbolic and physical reminders of the essence our of humanness. On a practical level, they are the sources of the plants that nourish our bodies. Regardless of our dietary preferences, plants form the foundation of nearly all of the worlds’ foods.

Symbolically, we can rest our minds and hearts in the boundless openness. There, there is only pure awareness.   It has no purpose other than to nourish the soul of all. It is ever abundant, eternally free and open. In the world, it sprouts seeds of kindness, equanimity, gentleness, and compassion. These are rooted in the universality of truthfulness, non-harming, and non-greed.

The springtime fields can remind us of how to be authentically “human.” The word human, as with humility, derives from the Latin word, humus, earth. The earth itself is nourished and fertilized by the changing of seasons. Leaves from last year’s trees are nutrients for renewal. As we let go of old paradigms and habits, new growth can occur.   I believe that we once again can remember that we are connected to all life through our breath and food, and through the enduring field of divine love.   Perhaps we can join Rumi there.

Practice

  • Prepare –
    • Find a comfortable seated position. If seated in a chair, place both feet on the floor.
    • Take a moment and vigorously shake out your arms. Imagine as though you are letting go of habits of gossip, judgment, and finding fault with others.
      • If comfortable, shake your arms alongside your body and overhead.
      • When you feel complete, let your hands relax in your lap.
    • Stretch your mouth wide, and make an imaginary yell from deep in your belly.
      • Imagine as though you are clearing out any debris of insecurity, lack of confidence or clinging to scarcity.
      • Relax your mouth.
    • Take a few deeper breaths.
  • Practice –
    • Place your hands over your heart.
      • Choose one of the following qualities that you would like to grow within your newly cleansed inner field: kindness, equanimity, gentleness, or compassion.
    • Breathing naturally
      • Silently, lovingly, and slowly repeat the quality your have chosen.
      • Feel as though that every cell in your mind and body is longing for, and soaking up, that quality. Particularly pay attention to the palms of your hands, the center of your head, and your mouth – the areas of your thoughts, words, and actions.
      • Let your entire being be infused with that sense that you are that quality.
  • Transition back into your day –
    • Slowly stretch your hands and arms outward and upward.
    • Bring your palms lightly together over your head. Then, with the palms still together, lower them to the front of your heart in a prayer position.
    • Nod your head downward toward your heart and with a sense of humility, offer gratitude for your capacity to let go of old habits and embrace new, qualities for the wellbeing of all. If you have a particular faith, please adjust this prayerful gesture according to your belief.
    • When you are ready, return to your day.

This poem is translated by Coleman Barks and re-printed with his permission in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 74, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash.

HEARTH is posted each new and full moon and written by Kate Vogt. To learn more about Kate Vogt and her “Living Wisdom . . . every day,” please visit katevogt.com.  KateVogt©2019

 

 

 

 

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