We are celebrating more light, more warmth, and more time outside (for those of us with Covid restrictions lifting).
But really, the Summer Solstice (June 20, 2:43 pm PT) represents not only a time of peak light, but the beginning of the turn toward peak darkness again...
Light will start to fade as the wheel of the year begins to turn from full Summer toward Fall, and eventually Winter…
Most of us don’t want to think about that. We want to enjoy Summer’s bright, long days of warmth.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, where Dave and I moved last year, this is our first June and we have now been initiated into “Junuary”—beautiful growing light and flower-filled days mixed with grey and chilly rainy days. Not at all like St. Paul, MN where we moved here from, where June meant full-on Summer with ever-growing heat. In some ways, this mixed weather helps me not get too attached to the idea of never-ending Summer weather…
So, if the darkness is going to start growing again, how
about we take the time to let go into light right now?
The light is here, now, fully.
How can we be here, now, fully, in the light?
How can we see clearly in the full-on light?
How can we embrace it, live it, be it?
How can we revel in this season of light AND at the same time know that it is fading again?
That is part of what makes summer precious—what makes us value the light all the more. We know it will fade. We will move back into the darkness…
This reminds me of a practice I’ve just started from a book called The Science of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young. He calls it “Just Note Gone.”
To practice, you pay attention fully to anything arising with one of your senses. And you keep concentrating on it until it is gone. Then you notice, in its absence, what is there.
Thursday morning, one of the times I practiced, I was listening to the water filling the carafe. When I turned it off, I paid attention and listened to it as it slowly stopped dripping.
When it stopped, I had the distinct and calming sense that in the stopping of the sound, the return to momentary silence, that there was a return to something deeper, bigger, a holding container of sorts. In the cessation, there was a returning to Source.
Then in the evening I was leading my Chanting for Community, Healing & Hope and during a pause after a song, I felt it again. A sense of returning to a vastness out of which the next song would arise. I felt at home, safe, at rest, content.
Shinzen describes this return as a reunion with the womb of creation, with the Unborn. There is contact with something that is not a thing, that has no form, out of which all things come into being.
So, as you let go into the light, what would it be like to Just Note Gone?
With senses wide open, take in this beauty, this light,
this delightful season of Summer, and stay with
each moment until what you are sensing is Gone.
Feel what remains when it’s gone. Relax into that.
Let go into the light and receive the support of God, of True Nature, of the Universe that is always holding, that is always supporting us.
How do you let go into this ever-present support?
New chances to sing with me–in person and virtual!
Chanting for Community, Healing & Hope, 1st & 3rd Thursdays via Zoom!
Evensong, July 5th at Chetzemoka Park, Port Townsend