Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Solstice: Summer Begins!

Ananda (MARC); Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero (eds.) Wisdom Quarterly

The way to insight is to calm down first.
First, what is "summer solstice"? It's the longest day of the year, though usually not the hottest for some reason. But it's hot in California this week, and the beaches are crowded. It's a great time for yoga, starting with 108 sun salutations by the sea. Hail, Sun! It's also the best time to get the mind-heart in shape.

I've been worrying about my body and going to the gym all spring and winter. So now it's time to meditate, starting with tranquility for peace of mind. "Summer time and the living is easy." By the time we start to fall into winter, I can sign up for a Goenka retreat and work on vipassana. But until then I'll be at MARC, UCLA's mindfulness meditation sessions in West Los Angeles by the beach thinking about sunsets and nirvana.

I'm an all-American meditator. Thank you.
Seven came up with the best "all-American meditation" technique, sinking into a warm tub and becoming perfectly still. The phone off the hook, a candle or incense stick as a clock, and progressive relaxation holding attention at the breath. I can do that!

Then comes the sitting up. Once I can hold my heart-mind steady, I can take the relaxation response I strengthen with me onto the mat. From there, I can take it walking. I might even be able to stay mindful all day even at the beach. The Buddha says mindfulness is the key to coherence/concentration (samadhi) and insight (vipassana).
  • Summer Solstice 2017 (Farmer's Almanac) begins June 20 and June 21 (depending on time zone)! Celebrate with a fantastic live solstice show with Slooh telescopes streaming extraordinary views of the Sun from around the world!

Breathing in (Budh), breathing out (dho) as the waves softly crash on the sand.

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