‘Calling the Corners’: A Novasutras meditation/practice

This video describes and demonstrates a practice you can use to open ‘sacred space’ in celebration of agaya and ubuntu. You may wish to use it at the beginnings and/or endings of gatherings, rituals or ceremonies, or for personal mindfulness or metta meditation.


It borrows from many indigenous and newer Earth-centered spiritual traditions in honoring the gods, guardians, spirits or winds of the four compass directions – the ‘corners’ or ‘quarters’. It also borrows from Buddhist ‘metta’ meditations, in that it is an expression of love, compassion, and gratitude, directed from your own center out into the world – a wish for wellness and peace to yourself and other beings around you.

It relies on rough spatial orientation in six cardinal directions — the four compass directions (East, South, West, North) plus ‘Above and Below.’ If you wish to extend this practice, you could break the compass directions into eight (E, SE, S, SW, W, NW, N, NE) or sixteen (E, ESE, SE, SSE, S, SSW, SW, WSW, W, WNW, NW, NNW, N, NNE, NE, ENE).

You may do this standing, turning to face each direction as you name them out loud (as I will demonstrate). You may also do this sitting still and silently for meditation, and casting your feeling and intention in each direction.

I like to start in the quadrant where the sun currently is (relative to where I am), and then move sunward through the compass directions, then finish on above and below. If you were in the southern hemisphere in mid-day, you might go N, W, S, E, A, B. If it is mid-day (or midnight) and you are in the tropics, you might start with Above and Below (or Below and Above) then East, then North or South (depending on the time of year and your location), then West, then finish with N or S.

When I think about above and below, I think not only of beings literally above my head or below the soil where I am. For ‘above’ I also think of all beings that reach skyward, or that dwell largely above the surface of the soil or waters. When I think of ‘below’ I am considering all those beings that live in the soils, and especially all those that live beneath the surface of the waters – below is really where most of the life on earth dwells. Trees may be included in both the ‘above’ and ‘below’ as they are the great connectors of these two realms of soil and sky.

I often follow this simple calling of the corners with a projection from my center of wishes for agaya and ubuntu to ever-wider ‘circles’ of appropriate geographic or ecological zones, as shown and discussed in the video.

Don’t forget to include yourself and your sense of ubuntu with everything in each direction and circle.

Wishing ubuntu and agaya for you in every meditation, ritual, ceremony, celebration and event this year and in years to come!

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