Sound of Sunshine in Meditation
As I sit down to write this blog, I am sitting on the porch of our family beach house in Oak Island after a glorious walk on my favorite part of the beach. It’s the middle of November, a few days before Thanksgiving, and the sun feels warm against my face as the cool fall breeze floats across my skin. I am struck by the immense stillness and quiet that is permeating through the air.
The ocean is glass today and the waves resemble more of a lake than an ocean creating a peaceful quiet place for reflection. There is no post election news here, no day to day stress of living, no anxiety of the future. There’s only a small breeze, the occasional sound of a car driving by, the distant sound of someone hammering on their house. It has created a peaceful, dreamlike state, an in between place of being. It seems in stark contrast to my daily life of commuting, teaching, parenting, giving, loving. Here there are no roles to fulfill, responsibilities to take care of, a child to teach, students to inspire, a partner to share life with, women to mentor. There’s just me connecting to nature, to something greater than myself.
It’s about recognizing the peace of this moment, being able to turn off the constant chatter of the mind, to disconnect from social media, the news, and to honor the peace and fall in love with the silence. It’s something we do too little of in our culture.
I always get a little jumpstart back into my meditation practice after connecting to nature. I’m fortunate to have access to the beach and beautiful woodsy trails in Durham. Walking outside has always been a huge part of my meditation practice. I remember after my mom died in my early twenties and I was in deep with my drinking, I found solace in connecting to my inner, truest self through being outside walking. It’s something I carried through to my early recovery and is still a part of my weekly routine today.
Meditation comes in all forms although we often think of it as sitting quietly. Meditation is a clearing of the mind and also its becoming aware of the mind, of the patterns the mind creates. Meditation can be connecting to a Power Greater than ourselves through prayer or chanting and sometimes meditation is connecting to our highest self. Some of my deepest connections to the Universe and most creative ideas have emerged out of a solo dance party in my living room.
As I sit on the porch basking in the feeling of the sunshine on my face, I feel a deep peace coursing through my veins. With this peace comes a feeling of santosa or contentment. I want to stay in this place, this state of being, for as long as I can.
I’ll have to return to my responsibilities soon but will take the peace and serenity with me. I’ll recall the stillness of the moment when I climb into my car to travel back to Wilmington for work and when I sit down for my meditation practice I will be grateful to be able to recall my happy place as the beautiful quiet place of stillness and peace.