The Lull of Summer…
Original Date: Aug 7, 2015
The summer months are a brief rush of warm temperatures and blossoming plants. Time seems to travel in a different rhythm in the summer. Perhaps it is that we measure the passage of time by the perennials and the berries. Is it the week for Lupines, Day Lilies or Mums? Are we picking strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries? It is fleeting and timeless both at once. I tend to take pause and be reflective in the summer. I don’t push myself quite so much, and sometimes a few balls end up on the floor! But I have learned to detach from my expectations and let the season play out as it will.
Summer is the time when I purposefully spend less time on Social Media and my email newsletters are shorter. I enjoy the fluid moment of letting my inspiration guide me. My family is home and I enjoy taking hikes, beach days, and picnics. Honestly, I could do more of all that with them, but I appreciate each moment that I can carve out to be with family. But What I find most easy in the warm lull of summer, and what creates the sense that there is even more time, is the ease with wich I can meditate. I think the warmer weather lends itself to slowing down (that’s why they take Siesta’s in warm countries!). Meditation seems to flow more easily in the summer months.
Take time out of your day, today, to meditate. The warmth of the sun and the music of the natural world are there to help you with your meditation.
Follow these guidelines.
Choose a time. Maybe you can meditate early in the morning, before anyone else wakes up! This is a precious time when the birds are out singing, and the air has a crisp quality. Or maybe you like the warm of midday, sitting in the shade. Sunset meditation can be the most lovely. Sit facing the sun and let the healing rays wash over you.
Take a comfortable seat. Be sure to support your back in any meditation. Sit in a chair with good back support, and your feet on the ground, or sit right on the ground, with a small cushion, blanket, or towel underneath you. You want to be sure to preserve the natural curves of your spine, so sit tall, and take extra care that you are feeling no strain in your back, hips or knees. This care will be sure to create a more nourishing meditative experience.
Take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes or let your gaze trail downward. Breathe deep in and out. Your breath is your instant connection to energy in the body. Engage Ujaii if you know it. Breath like you are trying to fog up a mirror. You can start with your mouth open, and then close your mouth but keep the “fogging” action. This action constricts the glottis muscle at the back of your throat and gives you a long deep breath and a gentle rhythmic sound to follow. Breathe like this for a few minutes. Then, you can choose to continue to use this breath for your meditation or to release it and take relaxed normal breathing.
Use a Mantra. For this simple meditation, try using the mantra “So Hum”. As you breath in, hear the sound “So”. As you exhale, hear the sound “Hum.” This Mantra translates into “I am that”, and connects to you to the oneness of the universe. It acts as a guide to your thoughts and will help to keep your mind centered. If you find yourself with straying thoughts, its ok! When you realize your thoughts are distracting you, simply come back to the sound “So-Hum”.
Take Your Time. Try to sit for at least 5 minutes. You could work your way up to 10 or 15 minutes. Whatever time you have, give it to yourself. You will find that a few minutes of regular meditation will help you to feel more grounded, and less reactive to stress in your life. Over time, you will find yourself craving your meditation time!
I savor each moment in the summer. Each trip to the beach, each campfire at night while starring at the stars, all the weeds that pile up in the garden. They all speak to me of life moving at its own pace. Meditation trains the mind to slow down. Lack of time is a state of mind, not a reality. When you choose to slow down, you can meditate with the rhythm of nature all around.