Winter Solstice Blessings
I love the time of the solstice–winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, and summer solstice for our friends south of the equator. In the middle of the season of holidays, the solstice gives us an opportunity to connect with the rhythm of the earth, the quiet, still depth of the winter season, and to experience the perfect balance between day and night, light and dark, sun and moon.
The winter solstice reminds me to take time to go deep, to become still and quiet, to allow myself time to complete what needs to be completed, release what needs to be released, and open my heart and entire being gently to the first glimmers of the light of new beginnings.
I’ve been working with the energy of the polar bears recently. Although polar bears don’t hibernate as other bears do, in the winter, around the time of the winter solstice, the pregnant females dig caves in the ice and snow in which to give birth to their young and raise their cubs in the first few months of their lives.
I love this teaching and reminder from the polar bears that to give birth to the new requires going deep into the darkness, the cave, tenderly nurturing the new life until it is ready to emerge into the light of the world.
Especially at this time of year, I love to include the Lovingkindness (Metta) Meditation from the Buddhist tradition in my spiritual practice. There are many versions of this prayer; here is a simple one:
May I be peaceful.
May I be happy.
May I be well.
May I be safe.
May I be free from suffering.
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be well.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings be free from suffering.
It is important that we offer this intention-blessing-prayer first for ourselves, for if we are not able to offer lovingkindness and compassion to ourselves, we will not be able to truly offer it to others.
Here is a beautiful musical version of this prayer by one of my favorite artists, Jennifer Berezan:
May sorrow be the doorway into an open heart…May we hold the whole world in our arms…May all beings be happy, safe, and free…
If you’d like to work with a free guided meditation this season, the Full Moon meditation that Anne Dellenbaugh and I offered last month is now uploaded for free download on my blog. Click here for the blog post and to download the meditation.
I wish you and your loved ones all of the blessings of this season. I am deeply grateful for your presence in my work and my life.