This glorious Summer Solstice morning I found myself awake even before the birds. Got up at 5:00 AM, opened all the doors and, almost exactly four hours past the exact Solstice moment (1:04 AM EDT), went out on my back porch to do yoga and chi kung. I didn’t plan to do this. Rather, I found myself doing it. Then I came back in and, working mindfully, mixed the batter for the gluten-free muffins that I’ve been meaning to bake for the past three months, poured them (without spilling! a record) into a muffin tin, and set it aside. Turned the oven on to pre-heat.
Then I did the first part of the meditation process that I learned in Thailand during February and March, the prostration, three times, to the Buddha. Then, moving mindfully, once again went out onto the porch for the first part of the meditation, a six-part-step walking meditation. For 15 minutes. Came in, placed the muffin tin in the oven, and went into my bedroom to sit cross-legged on the bed for the second part of the meditation, again for 15 minutes. I have a timer. The muffins were timed to end at the same time.
All this was an exercise in spare, but successful “multi-tasking.” I remained centered the entire time. This kind of mindfulness practice has replaced the more formal solitary ceremonies that I used to do for Solstices and Equinoxes and other annual turning points. Instead, each morning, I intend to make the entire day a practice in mindfulness, to celebrate all day long.
A glorious, sunny day. The GANG garden is growing like crazy. Perhaps too much. (See photo above!) My young permie housemate Jim have a slight tussle about that. He doesn’t want to trim back or remove anything, seeing it all as “living mulch.” In this, he is learning from master permaculturist Jeoff Lawton.
I notice my resistance to this practice. How I like things a bit more “tidy,” as they say. Not much, but a bit more.
I’m allowing him this permacultural experiment.
I’m getting used to noticing, and dissolving, my resistance.
I’m more interested in “working on myself” in solitude than I am in attending any of the five Solstice events to which I’m invited this weekend. Does this mean I’m becoming a curmudgeon? Somehow, “socializing” holds no allure. It’s all “been there, done that” for me. Even at 70, I can understand how my 94-year-old Mom, Lady Renee, is ready to let go.
Meanwhile, I worked with a friend last night via skype on the transits and progressions to her chart, her boss’s chart, her husband’s, both in relationship to her. And I’m aware of a number of situations involving those in my overlapping circles where people are at odds with each other. I tell them all, follow two rules, and you can work anything out:
1. Assume good will.
2. Assume everybody’s doing the best they can.
When we actually do absorb these “rules” into our being, then we can approach any situation with another person with fresh eyes and open hearts, rather than remaining locked into some kind of (righteous) mental position from which we refuse to budge. The issue, it turns out, is always (unless our values are completely divergent, in which case we probably wouldn’t even be in the same environment) some kind of communication glitch, disconnect, misunderstanding. We didn’t realize each other’s assumptions, background, tendencies, intent, etc. Aaaaah!
The question, “Where are you coming from?” which we began to ask in the ’60s, turns out to touch on something profound. Indeed, it holds immense epistemological significance. Rather than argue with each other with left-brain reasons at the tops of clever logical chains, we learn to dig down into the deep inchoate right-brain ground of the seeming “disagreement.” We begin to recognize and even feel our way in to where the other person is actually “coming from,” we really do begin to “walk in their shoes,” we enlarge our felt experience of the world to include their living presence as, like our own, one of good will, one in which they are doing the very best they can, and are, most likely, when we dig down far enough, planted in the same living soil as are we!
Resolution unfolds like an opening flower.
I personally am not presently actively engaged an interpersonal struggle, but am highly aware of struggles going on all around me. Some seek my advice. I make it my practice to internally hold open space for struggle to resolve. I know that so much is coming up for everyone these days, that not only our own personal “stuff,” but all the old emotional gunk that has held the human race stuck in place for millennia is boiling up for review, and that it’s up to us, we the ones whose souls chose to BE HERE NOW, at this extraordinary juncture in human and gaian, and even, perhaps, galactic history, to find our way through.
MAY THE SOLSTICE LIGHT SHINE THROUGH ALL OUR HEARTS!
P.S. I’ll be off-line the rest of the day.