Midsummer Reflection: turning points

Dorset 2015This reflection – or meditation – was conceived on 20 June, Midsummer’s Eve 2015, with 19 of my yoga friends forming a sunny circle in a grassy Dorset meadow.

Since the dark depths of winter just before Christmas the balance between night and day has been tipping. The days have been lengthening. From the still-cold early months of spring, gradually there has been more light in the life of us creatures of the Northern hemisphere.

Here, take a moment to feel the light on your skin.

Seeds have germinated and pushed through the soil; plants have reached out to the sun’s growing warmth; new life has been born, begun to blossom and flower, to skip with the surging energy of youth.

Here, take a few moments to feel in yourself the energy flowing through your body and have an awareness of your different energy levels through the day: from morning, to noon, late afternoon, evening and night.

These last weeks and days have been a rush of lushness and blooms, of pollen bursting out and scattering its promise of new life. And now we are at the turning point in the year.

These are the longest days of light, the shortest nights. At this tipping point we are hovering in a moment of transition. The moment when the energy of light and life begins to settle and absorb. That which is no longer needed is left behind.

Here, take a moment to sense what it is you want to take within and absorb to sustain your strength and vitality for this next stage of the year, the next stage of your life.

Next, take a moment to sense with your gut feelings if there is anything you no longer need, anything you can leave behind.

All life has this rhythm of expansion and contraction, from the surge and retreat of tides, the circle of day and night, and the cycle of the seasons, to the beating of our hearts and the waves of our breath. A time of reaching outwards; a time of returning within. A time of growing; a time of dying. The expansiveness of the in-breath; the centering of the out-breath. The new breath can’t come in until we’ve let go of the old. To live, we constantly seek – and let go.

For the next few minutes be aware of this rhythm of life in your breath: the expansive, seeking of the in-breath; the transition at the turning point; the letting go of the out-breath; the quiet stillness and coming home at the end of the letting go.

Is it possible to feel the stillness in the movement –  and perhaps  a residue of the movement in that moment of stillness?

Stay with the breath for another few minutes before gradually bringing your awareness back to your surroundings and complete this reflection.

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