Practicing mindfulness and compassion makes an invisible, but nonetheless very powerful, heart-path for we humans who earnestly wish to directly connect with and understand what is happening within and around us.
While the path may wend through both bright and dark regions, it goes inevitably toward wisdom and peace.
Often, the inward focus of these time-honored contemplative methods gets highlighted, as in sitting meditation.
That said, these innate human capacities we practice and develop can also be turned toward our experience of each other and the laws of nature as well. We can notice that in a way, we are time, movement, and change:
Years do odd things to identity.
What does it mean to say
I am that child in the photograph
at Kishamish in 1935?
Might as well say I am the shadow
of a leaf of the acacia tree
felled seventy years ago
moving on the page the child reads.
Might as well say I am the words she read
or the words I wrote in other years,
flicker of shade and sunlight
as the wind moves through the leaves.
–Ursula K. Le Guin
Awareness of how our lives, relationships and circumstances are changing at every level can bring a poignant wish to live fully and well, to love compassionately and, yes, even unconditionally.
We can also sense this love and wisdom in larger arenas. When we recognize that the earth is turning and the seasons are changing, as the winter and summer solstices sometimes inspire us to do, we can remember that we belong in and are a part of this universe.
Somewhere in the middle, between the micro and macrocosms, the possibility of bringing awareness and care to our relationships with ourselves and one another sits. There are so many ways to do this. Gathering in community to pause reflect and set intentions for the coming year is one.
To mark the solstice time this year, we invite you to an hour or so of internal and external mindfulness and compassion practice. Our time together will include guided meditation to support awareness of the inner landscape, community connection to inspire our intention setting for the coming year, and contemplation of the vastness of the world and universe as well. Please feel welcome to join us if you can and wish to – RSVP Here. If joining our gathering isn’t possible for you, perhaps this reflection can inspire you to find your own way to pause and recognize your heart’s intentions for the coming year.