Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Living in the Light

 
 

Facing the Sun... Becoming the Sun

Nov 25, 2021


Jerusalem-Antichoke

Jerusalem-Antichoke

We live amid a setting sun world, which focuses on what deceases liveliness, not enhancing our sense of Beauty and Goodness. Yet, we live amid the risen Sun world, also. We need to direct our attention to the Sun in its midday brilliance. We are not to fight the setting sun world. That increases its gloom. We bring more Light into the setting sun atmosphere, warming it up, as the Sun warms Earth and its atmosphere. We warm up any environment we walk into, provided we are nourished by the Light and Love of the Sun. Our being present, without saying or doing anything, can bring the Light.

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After a morning in Quiet, about midday, I walk to the outdoors. It is still cold. Winter has arrived in Maine, and nights are in the 20s. The Sun is shining brightly, so it has warmed the air somewhat. I walk slowly, prayerfully, and mindfully. I see the Sunlight to the right. I turn to the Sun and walk in its direction. After many steps, I stop and look up. I recall the Sun is healthy to expose myself to. I learned this after moving from Florida to Maine. Here, seasonal depression is prolific due to the lack of Sunlight in the winter months. In Florida, I enjoyed Sunshine year-round. During my first winter in Maine, I got depression, the first time in about 30 years. I was told by a medical practitioner to get outside in the winter for at least ten minutes of Sunlight daily, regardless of temperature.

Today, I feel somewhat downcast, having not gotten a good night of rest. Dwelling in a new residence seems to add a sense of loneliness, having moved in only three days prior.

Facing the Sun, I recall it is healthy and healing, able to uplift. I take off my glasses, for they shade out the light. I immediately feel the blessing. The Sun gives itself, asking nothing in return. I am calmer and feel better.

I walk some more. I stop and read a humorous poem. The humor cheers me. I smile. Inside, silent laughter rises.

I keep walking, stopping to read poetry, sing, pray, chant, listen deeply, and observe what is about along the way. Ending the walk, I read more poetry, while I stand in the chilly wind. My spirit has been warmed up, even as the Sun has warmed the Earth. Thank you, Sun, for touching me with your gentleness and kindness. You are a true Friend.

* * *

What we give our attention to shapes our lives. In a sense, we become what we give our attention to. If we think about the setting sun aspects of life, we become a setting sun person. If we give ourselves to the risen Sun features of life, we become a risen Sun being.

The Sun, for me, represents all that is uplifting. We have the potential to cheer ourselves up by making positive, life-affirming choices. Good music, positive people, edifying worship, ambling about quietly in the wood, gardening, reading a good book, watching an inspirational show, quietly sipping hot coffee or hot tea, a friendly chat with someone, doing a good deed ... so many ways that can brighten us up, warming us up to gratitude and a smile.

While being honest about our downcast feelings, which happen to us all, we can see them as an invitation to turn to the Sun. We cannot escape darksome emotions. They will come. They are our teachers, as pleasant feelings are. Hence, in cheering up, we do not deny our afflictive feelings, but we simply do not accept them as the final word on how we must feel. We may be downcast, but downcast is not our fate.

We are not predestined to misery, though some of us may be more inclined to it due to genetics and past history. I have had to work diligently at integrating the experience of pleasant feelings and positive thoughts. I was conditioned to misery. I had to realize that was not my destiny, and I could choose otherwise. I learned it takes years for some of us to shift from misery to joy, and this includes many positive choices, large and small., to welcome that transformation.

* * *

Since all feelings are co-arising with varied conditions, we can create conditions to brighten up. For example, my sluggishness and sadness were linked with pain, a new place to live, loss of sleep, and other conditions. I could make positive choices to transform the feelings while not repressing or denying them. If we cannot feel totally positive or well, feeling better to any degree is a positive alternative. Seeing into the conditions that have led to our feeling down and responding with compassion to ourselves is helpful. If we feel guilty about how we feel, we have only added to our lack of feeling well. Being in the mud is one thing. Staying stuck in the mud is another. But we begin in the mud, showing loving-kindness to ourselves.

* * *

Even as I was drawn to the Sun, blessing is our natural refuge. Here, refuge can mean a hiding place and, also, our natural mind-heart environment. We all need a place to be alone. We also need to learn to live with life itself being a refuge. For some, this might mean God, Jesus, the Buddha ... is their refuge. Refuge goes with us like a portable sanctuary. I see my vows to the contemplative life as a creating and honoring refuge... not escape from the world, but inscape into the world, but with the stable, stabilizing environment of union with Sacredness.

* * *

What is uplifting is present already. Distraction, speed, and busyness lead us away from the blessing. We need to settle down often, inviting the Light in. Through this settling down often, we learn how to live settled and centered better amid others and activities we must engage in. What once would lead us from ourselves no longer does. We remain in ourselves, able more fully to give ourselves in what we give to others without losing ourselves in the offering.

* * *

Turning to the Sun, we receive from the Sun. The Sun is life-giving. Jesus embodies this life-giving for many persons. He is shown saying in the Gospels, "I have come, for you to have life, life more abundantly" (Gospel of John 10.10). We become a means of the Sun for others, sacraments of Life. We can see ourselves being among others to invite them to life, even a more fully experienced life.

Our world needs all the Sunshine it can receive. We can be Sunlight for someone every day. We can be a Sun for ourselves. Growing in awareness and compassion, we naturally, spontaneously emit Light - Love, Joy, Peace. We draw close to the Light to become the Light. Becoming the Light, we, like the Sun, spontaneously radiant Life, including giving freely, not asking for anything in return. The Sun is a blessing to Itself, as we are when we are Light-givers.

Our attitude is gratitude for having become the life-giving brilliance of Grace for others. We do so without looking back in expectation. We have learned to live lives free of being purpose-driven; instead, Love flows with the waters of quiet, gentle bliss, for Love is Love.

* * *

*©Brian K. Wilcox, 2021.

*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse.

 

Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Living in the Light

©Brian Wilcox 2022