What has risen
from the tangled web of thought and sinew
now shines with jubilation
through the eyes of angels
and shouts of
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
It seems that everywhere there are signs of being in the heart of the fall season. Besides the posters with reminders to vote in the upcoming election, there are goblins and ghosts appearing outside of homes in anticipation of upcoming Halloween. The daytime light is shortening, the creek beds are dry, squirrels are gathering acorns, persimmon and pomegranate fruits are ripening, and the deciduous trees are releasing their leaves.
Along with these more obvious fall markers, there is the subtle arrival of spider webs. They are abundantly present, yet are designed in such a way that they remain nearly invisible. Usually, it takes a particular angle of sunlight to reveal their location. In the early morning, their silken threads can glisten in rainbow hues or appear other-worldly in their translucence.
Yesterday morning, I found myself caught in a web. Actually, it was my shadow that was caught as I was out walking at sunrise. As the rising sun’s rays poured across the pathway onto the trees and buildings, they literally shed light on several well-hidden spider webs – anchored between branches, along window sills, across streets to power lines, and in the eaves. In the center of the nearest web was my shadow.
I moved forward to allow the light to reveal the full web. For a brief moment, the light was the divine light. Through its grace, I was reminded of the intricate web of life and its infinite interconnections. Every thread glimmered, connecting with every other, symbolically forming a sacred web of relations. With a shift in light, the web disappeared. May its presence linger in my memory.
This short practice invites appreciation of wholeness.
- Slowly and gently, shake out your right leg for about a minute. Then, your left leg, followed by each of your arms. As you shake, imagine you’re are releasing and letting go of tendencies toward jealousy, resentment, selfishness, anger, and overconsuming in all aspects of your life, e.g., food, ideas
- Quietly walk in a clockwise circle, as small or large as you like. Then, stand in the circle’s center. Turn toward the east and pause. If you don’t know where to face, just choose to face in one direction.
- With an inhale, sweep your arms out to the sides and overhead. Pause for a breath with your arms overhead as though greeting the expanse of the heavens.
- If you have shoulder impingements, please adjust this movement to your comfort level.
- On your next exhale, bring your arms to your sides with your palms facing inward toward your body. Pause for a breath as though acknowledging the stability of the earth.
- Repeat the following four times:
- On your next inhalation, stretch your arms out in front of you, palms upward. Pause for a breath in appreciation of all that life in that direction to the furthest distance.
- On an exhalation, bring your palms together over your heart center. Pause for a breath in gratitude for all the nourishes you from that direction.
- Take a quarter turn to your right. On your last turn, you will be facing your initial position.
- Pause. Acknowledge the full cycle of breath, i.e., each exhalation seamlessly arising as the inhalation ends, and v.v. Take several breaths with this awareness.
- Come to a seated position. Allow your hands to rest in your lap or on your legs. Become aware of your surroundings in all directions. Imagine that all those directions are come together at the core of your being. Simply breathe in, and out.
Transition back into your day –
- Sit quietly.
- Bring your palms together in front of your heart center, and “thank you.”
- When you are ready, return to your day.
This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 41, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library. Photo by Meditation Teacher and Healer Kelly Galland. H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon. KateVogt©2022.