December 2000 / January 2001
Winter Solstice and New Year's Meditation

Winter solstice is the longest night of the year. After the winter solstice the light returns, the days grow longer. The longest night of the year is a precious time. Night is a time of dream, vision and journey into the depths of oneself, the darkness of unknown possibility. From that journey into the dark new life as well as new light emerges.

The time of the winter solstice is the time of the labyrinth. It is a time for feeling your way in the dark. In the dark you have to feel your way. You can't see where you are going. You have to trust your senses, your intuition. The winter solstice is a time of heightened intuition, a time to pay attention to your intuition, believe in it.

The winter solstice has the energy of the womb and the days after the winter solstice have the energy of birth and becoming. The best meditation for the winter solstice is a simple one that some of you may already know. It is the star in the heart.

The evening of the winter solstice, turn out the lights, light a candle, and meditate quietly for a while with the candle, and then blow it out. Sit for a while in the dark. Notice what arises. Is there a fear of the dark? Does it feel peaceful, relaxing? Ask that dark to guide you. People are fond of asking the light to guide them. But there is guidance in the depth of the night, in the darkness of the night sky.

Imagine the night sky. Imagine one star coming closer and closer and closer to you, until it enters your heart. Feel that star in the heart . It is radiant. Its bright white light permeates your being, pulsates within you. Feel yourself as a star in the sky, the darkness around you, the light within you, the energy that radiates from you. You, from your heart, by simply being, illumine the darkness. That radiance guides you and illumines the path for others. Light the candle again. Notice the shadows, the interplay of light and dark. You are participating always in that dance of light and dark, day and night, sun and moon and star and sky, the dance of the seasons, autumn, winter, spring, summer. Feel the rhythm of the flickering light, the stillness of the darkness. Feel the radiance of your own heart illuminating the night, guiding you as you feel your way through the labyrinth of this life, this world, this universe.

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May all beings be happy, peaceful and free of suffering.

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