Today’s winter solstice always feels like a welcome turning point for me in the cycle of seasons as the zenith of darkness gives way to the return of the light.
Slowly but surely the days begin to lengthen once more.
It takes a few weeks for the change to be truly noticeable; however, that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
A Powerful Metaphor
I see this as a powerful metaphor for our individual and collective experience.
Sometimes it seems like the darkness of personal challenge or global ignorance is endless.
Yet when you look closely and see directly without the bias of conditioned perception, the truth in plain sight reveals itself – aha!
The Luminous Truth
These moments are like waking up from a trance and experiencing the light shining into whatever darkness you may be feeling at the time.
They can occur spontaneously as if by an act of grace or they can be cultivated by focusing your attention on the luminous truth within.
My favourite mid-winter quote from Albert Camus describes it like this, “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”
Return to Radiance
Today I’m inspired to share a practice to guide you to discover your invincible summer.
Aligning yourself with inner light is one way to acknowledge and celebrate the winter solstice.
It’s also an option for consciously returning to radiance whenever you’re experiencing any kind of darkness.
1. Make a conscious choice to step out of business or seasonal activities for 10 to 15 minutes and sit quietly in a safe space where you won’t be disturbed.
2. Take 3 deep breaths. Inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth, and with each out-breath let go of the tension you’re holding in your body.
3. Drop your attention from your mind to the lower part of your belly just below the navel and feel the sensation of your breathing (don’t just think about it!)
4. As your body relaxes further with each exhale, draw your attention up from the navel to your heart and let it rest there effortlessly.
5. Sense your way into the presence of your heart and notice the light that is always and already there.
- Feel the radiant fullness as deeply as you’re able to at this time;
- Then allow the luminosity to expand and flood your whole being with brilliant white light.
- Abide in that inner glow for as long as you like.
6. When you’re ready to complete the practice, place your hands lightly over your heart and draw the light back into this area of your body where it will continue to nourish you from the inside out.
7. Finally, take a deep breath in and remain in stillness for a few minutes to absorb the richness of your experience.
I wish you a joyful solstice celebration!
How do you feel about my interpretation of the “invincible summer” Camus describes? Please share your comments and experience of doing the practice below. Thank you!