Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy Fall Equinox!

While flipping through my copy of the book Earth Prayers this evening, I came across an old post it note on a poem about Autumn.  When I was in my yoga teaching training several years ago, the trainees would take turns with different segments of a class our instructor was teaching.  During one of the meditative sequences I led, I read this poem by Edward Hays:

O sacred season of Autumn, be my teacher, 
     for I wish to learn the virtue of contentment. 
As I gaze upon your full-colored beauty, 
     I sense all about you 
     an at-homeness with your amber riches. 

You are the season of retirement, 
     of full barns and harvested fields. 
The cycle of growth has ceased, 
     and the busy work of giving life 
     is now completed. 
I sense in you no regrets: 
     you've lived a full life. 

I live in a society that is ever-restless, 
     always eager for more mountains to climb, 
     seeking of happiness through more and more possessions. 
As a child of my culture, 
     I am seldom truly at peace with what I have. 
Teach me to take stock of what I have given and received; 
     may I know that it's enough, 
     that my striving can cease 
     in the abundance of God's grace. 
May I know contentment 
     that allows the totality of my energies 
     to come to full flower. 

May I know that, like you, I am rich beyond measure. 

As you, O Autumn, take pleasure in your great bounty, 
     let me also take delight 
     in the abundance of the simple things in life 
     which are the true source of joy. 
With the golden glow of peaceful contentment 
     may I truly appreciate this autumn day.

Edward Hays from the book Earth Prayers From around the World: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth

I finished the class by telling the students this: As you go about your day to day, getting caught up in busy schedules and commitments, remember to come back to this place of peace and contentment that you have created within yourself.  Carry it with you!

I hope you enjoy this beautiful season, wherever you find yourself and whatever you are doing.