sunrise-on-winter-solstice-2016
Sunrise at Cowels Mountain, San Diego. CA  Dec 20th 2016

Around this time of the year our natural world experiences a cyclic energetic shift: the Winter Solstice: Darkness birthing Light. During these days Nature feels silent as if awaiting the shift….

I invite you to take a moment, right now as you are reading these lines and and hit the pause button of the never ending parade of thoughts and to do lists. Let the phone or computer enter “hibernation”.Bring your attention to your sit bones and allow your body to enter Silence…

Winter dreams

If we pay attention to life during Winter, we will observe that all things in Nature wither, return home, hide and enter a resting period.  Sleep and rest are key ingredients for a healthy you.  Winter is “the” time to sleep in later in the morning and go to bed earlier at night.  During this season, particularly around the time of the Solstice, you may want to consider  dimming the overhead lights at sundown or using lamps or candles instead. Remember that darkness is very nourishing and regulating to our bodies natural light/dark rhythms so allow and explore it whenever possible.

This is a time when Energy storage dominates over Energy spending. Therefore Chinese Medicine suggests that we be mindful on how we use our Yang ( or “go-go) energy” . To harmonize with the season allow yourself to be more receptive, introspective and storage oriented and don’t forget to spend some time in the dark to reconnect with the healing and humbling power of the Unknown.

Warm, hearty soups, whole grains and roasted nuts feel  good on cold days. Dried foods, small dark beans, seaweeds and steamed winter greens fortify the Kidneys (the organ that corresponds to winter time according to Chinese Medicine). You may want to cook foods longer, at lower temperatures and with less water. Thich Nhat Hanh’s wise teachings recommend us to eat mindfully. Here is one out of many of the beautiful verses that we can “digest” as we eat: “In this food I see clearly the presence of the entire Universe supporting my existence” .

During this shift in Nature’s metabolism, fresh energies are issued forth which we can use to help us prepare for the upcoming cycle and for physical and spiritual renewal. The Renewal Ceremony is a supportive practice to do at this time in front of your shrine or facing the early morning sun out in nature. It can help refresh and refocus your direction.
You can also use the ceremonial Yule Log as a metaphor for the new light coming forth into the next cycle. It’s always a very simple yet deep way to re connect with the Light born out of the darkness of your Ocean floor.

To your Wisdom!

Yamin