As we reach the darkest season, the winter solstice, it feels especially important to slow down and connect with the deep source that is especially available to us now. It's the best antidote I know of to living in these challenging times.
In the Zen tradition, the Dark Mysterious is the womb of life, a darkness that is not frightening but rather consoling. It is a place where we can rest and find sustenance.
Here are some thoughts on how to focus your home practice in these dark days and nights.
-Light a candle in your practice space, and bring in items that bring you comfort. You might wrap yourself in a blanket.
-Let yourself settle into body and breath, counting your exhales from one to ten to help yourself focus.
-Allow yourself to be aware of this time of greatest darkness...the darkness of vast space between galaxies...the dark of the deep sea...the dark of the womb...the dark of the black earth.
-Sink into this darkness, feel its spaciousness, its nourishing quality.
-Feel that this darkness is your connection to the Great Source of life. It is not empty but, like the womb, full of radical potential.
-As your comfort and connection grows, notice if it gives birth to a small spark, the return of light, a flame that is like a pilot light.
-Feel how the balance between the fecund dark and the return of the light organically and dynamically inform each other.
Blessings of the season to you!