I invite you to close your eyes and put your feet on the floor. Envision how they are connected to the earth, how all of us are connected to the earth. Place your hands, palms up, open to the universe, on your legs. Feel how your chair supports your body. Know that this can be a moment of rest. Feel the spaciousness of this sanctuary. Know that this can be a place of refuge. Feel the presence beside you of caring people, whether they are friends or family or strangers. Know that they, and you, are worthy of love and compassion.
Feel your breath. Know that the air you inhale and the air you exhale is shared among all of us.
Breathe in peace. Breathe out love. Breathe in wonder. Breathe out compassion. Whatever you need right now, feel it filling your body every time you inhale. Whatever you wish to share with the world, feel it gliding into the atmosphere on your breath.
Cup your hands together, as if you are holding a baby bird. Imagine that this baby bird represents the stirring in your spirit that brought you here today, the yearning, the questions, the gratitude. Maybe you don’t have a baby bird. Maybe you have a baby dragon. Maybe you have an egg that hasn’t yet hatched and still needs to be patiently kept warm. Now picture what is held tenderly within the hands of those who surround you. Maybe their birds look a little like yours, or maybe they are wildly different. Maybe they are chicks or emus or penguins or flamingos. Maybe your bird is a kind of bird never before seen or heard of on earth. Be as gentle with yourself and with others as you would with your baby bird, or theirs.