Midsummer is a time of fullness – in the harvest, with family gatherings, and often in our sense of warmth and expansion. But it is also a time when we can slip into a prolonged sense of an ending. I am already hearing people say – summer is half over. While that may be true, we can equally say – half of summer is still yet to be experienced. While in June and July, we launch ourselves full steam into the northern hemisphere’s season of warmth and playful outdoor vacation-mode, in August there can be this feeling of putting on the breaks and trying to slow down time. Ironically, the more we want things to last, the faster they seem to slip away. It is like trying to hold onto a rushing wave. The thing to do is to ride the wave like a child on a board – totally exhilarated by the present, not searching to the next moment, nor hankering after the past. If we take every moment as if we’re surfing a wave, we’re fully involved with life.
Pick an activity to do for 20 – 30 minutes this weekend as a meditation. Whether it is riding a bike, taking a walk on a path or in a place where you don’t have to decide where to go, or paddling in a canoe. Pour yourself fully into the activity, without talking to anyone or occupying your mind with any particular plans or thoughts. When you start out, you may wish to find a rhythm of the activity with your breath. Inhale stroke. Exhale stroke. Inhale step-step, exhale step-step. Give yourself some time to harmonize your breath and your being with the activity.
Once you have found your rhythm, you may notice your mind takes the opportunity to leap in with lists and concerns. Come back to a focus on the harmony of breath and movement and add another element to keep you fully engaged. What is it that you want to really appreciate about the moment. Maybe it is the almost infinite shades of green on your walk, or the shape and sound of the waves as they crest, lap up the shore and recede. You may notice the arc of spirals created by the drips from your paddle. Stay with the experience as it is for you with whatever you choose to enjoy as a meditation this weekend. Feel our true nature is playful, fearless, joyful and expansive.