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Friday, June 10, 2016

Summer Heat

Sacred Seasons

Each moment of our lives is a spiritual experience. To live fully in joy, we need to learn to enjoy the good times as well as weather the storms. Most of us are good at hunkering down and getting through the winters of our lives. Now it's time to learn something different.”
Melody Beattie (Journey to the Heart, p.167)

I don't know about you, but I do a lot of griping about Alabama's heat in summer. It's hot, it's humid, and sometimes I feel like it just sucks the life right out of me. But I love the flowers and the birds and the scents that float in the air in summer. I love the green-of-every-hue of it. Yes, there are bugs and mosquitoes. But there are also bats and martins and swallows that feed on them. Recently, I saw a nuthatch collecting spiderwebs from my bedroom window to wrap her nest—what a smart bird.

Learning to enjoy whatever a season brings is a difficult thing for some of us. Too cold, too hot, too wet, too dry—we find all sorts of off-putting things in our habitat. One of the ancient Chinese Zen masters, Dongshan Liangjie, suggested to a follower who complained that it was too hot to go out to collect alms, that he go to a place where there is no heat and no cold. When the follower begged to know where this magical land might be, Dongshan said: “When it is hot, become one with the heat; when it is cold, become one with the cold. That is the place of no heat, no cold.” (global.sotozen-net)

As long as we live in the natural world we will experience temperature swings in our environment. We can't change that, but we can change the mind that complains about them. We can learn to enjoy the heat of summer and the cold of winter and give ourselves two more seasons of the year to celebrate this wide, wonderful world. Today, go outside and soak it in.

                                                  In the Spirit,


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