Autumn is a time when we start to draw inward. The birds and squirrels are preparing for winter–gathering and storing food. With the chill in the air, we too begin moving into hibernation mode, tending to become more introspective and internally-focused, and to spend more time at home. Home in the sense of the physical dwellings that shelter us, as well as the home that we find within ourselves–in our bodies and in our hearts–a home that we carry with us wherever we go. So no matter where we are, we are home.
In his writings and teachings, Thich Nhat Hahn shares a number of short verses, which are intended to be recited during daily activities to help us return to ourselves–to help us return to mindfulness. These short verses are intended to be used with the breath. So on the inhale, we recite one line. And on the exhale, we recite the second line. The first two lines of one such verse are:
(Breathing in) I have arrived
(Breathing out) I am home
The full verse that Thich Nhat Hahn shares in his writings and teachings is:
I have arrived
I am home
In the here
In the now
I am solid
I am free
In the ultimate
I dwell.
Arrived, arrived
At home, at home
Dwelling in the here
Dwelling in the now
Solid as a mountain
Free as the white clouds
The door to no-birth, no-death has opened
Free and unshakable I dwell.
Take a moment now to silently repeat just the first two lines, or the entire verse, to yourself as you breathe deeply and evenly in and out.
Then bring the palms of your hands together to touch at heart center, in a prayer position–Anjali Mudra–and gently bow your head toward your heart. We spend so much time in our heads, following our thoughts wide and far. Take this opportunity to surrender the wandering mind to the home of the heart. Welcome home.
Namaste. Anneke

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