I have been reading about Rudolf Steiner’s interpretation of the in-breathing and out-breathing process of the earth that goes hand-in-hand with the seasons.
Continuing our study of the yearly breathing cycle of the earth, we find that… the earth has completely outbreathed. All its soul forces have been poured forth into cosmic space, and are permeated with the forces of the sun, with the forces of the stars.
— Rudolf Steiner, Cycle of the Year, March 31, 1923
It is not humility to insist on being someone that you are not. It is as much as saying that you know better than God who you are and who you ought to be. How do you expect to arrive at the end of your own journey if you take the road to another man’s city? How do you expect to reach your own perfection by leading someone else’s life? His sanctity will never be yours; you must have the humility to work out your own salvation in a darkness where you are absolutely alone.
—Thomas Merton, “New Seed of Contemplation,” (New Directions Publishing & The Abbey of Gethsemani, 1961) p.100.
PAINTING: Odilon Redon, “Buddha Walking Among the Flowers,” 1905. From the free weekly Parabola Newsletter.
This morning I woke up about a half hour before sunrise. I thought, “Oh no, now I have to decide! Should I go back to sleep, taking a chance I will miss sunrise, or get up?” I propped myself up to look out of my window. The sky was blazing orange in the northeast; that was my answer. I did not regret my decision. I felt the soft silence of the early morning enveloping me. I found it so easy to put my full attention on tiny details– like a small, white fluttering moth, the faint sound of distant birdsong.
Over the course of about 45 minutes, the blazing sky darkened. Soft, warm drops of rain landed on my face as I sat on the front step; it felt like a blessing. The sky, beautiful and dark, punctuated my understanding that getting up before dawn was the best thing to do.
I had resolved to get up before sunrise this morning, to re-establish my sun “rise” discipline. I had convinced myself that getting up to greet the sun this time of year and staying up was just too much to expect (sunrise at 4:21, sunset at 11:42 today). Wrong. I did have to miss sunset in order to get enough sleep. Being naturally a night person, this was a sacrifice, but well worth it. Greeting the sunrise on solstice morning reminded me of how precious this time of day is. The world is so new and fresh, and I am like a sponge for what it has to offer.
I took this photo right around the time that the angle of the axis has reached its limit.
My plan is to take a photo of the hedge at the time of maximum angle at the winter solstice.
No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.
~ Ansel Adams
Lack of patience is merely an untamed mind, an unruly mind.
Our miniature blue spruce will take years to reach its full height of 8 feet maximum. Brian has been so patient. He wanted a tree to put Christmas lights on, yet it will be years before it will be able to be seen from the street (this winter it was totally under the snow).
I am sometimes impatient when I begin to meditate. It’s hard to allow my mind the time to slow down. Yet when I persist, I enter a state of being where impatience is totally absent. I am content to sit in my spot forever. At the end of the allotted time I DO get up. When that happens, I am able, more and more, to meditate with the eyes open, as I go about my day.
Patience is the mother of will. — G.I. Gurdjieff
So it was the little spruce that inspired my meditation this morning: Meditation isn’t a pastime; it’s a baseline.
It is necessary for me to see the first point of light which begins to be dawn. It is necessary to be present alone at the resurrection of the day, in the solemn silence at which the sun appears.
On the morning of June 10, the sun rose at4:24. I got up around 4 am, pulled my pants on top of my nightgown, put on my hat and layers of jacket, coat, vest, and drove along the streets of Anchorage looking for a place where I could see the sun rise in the north. The spot I found was on 3rd Avenue, just next to the Snow Goose Restaurant. I was there in time to see the sun emerge from the low cloud cover, just north of the parking meter.
It has been difficult to rise for sunrise these last few days before the solstice. I have been late, allowing myself to say my sunrise prayer whenever I wake up, which is usually about the time the sun peaks Jenny’s house. This morning I woke when the sun peaked Jenny’s house, thinking I would say my prayer in bed and go back to sleep. But something grabbed hold of me and pulled me out of bed. I chanted my morning chant on the front porch, did my five minute nature meditation, then put on the coffee. The day has begun! Tomorrow I hope to keep my sunrise vow and truly be up and out on the porch for the crack of dawn.
I have to get over the voice in my tired body that says no one should have to get up this early, especially when they have stayed up to see the sunset the night before (4 hours and 38 minutes previous).