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Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Mendocino Coast

Spirituality Essay:

Let the Sun Shine In    ( June 2008 )

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As we approach the June 20 Solstice, we're all enjoying the brighter, sunnier days.

The sun is in its most majestic phase right now . . . but are we getting all we can from it?

We are cognizant of - and surely value - the sun's importance as the earth's essential provider of light, heat, and energy. But it has other more personal gifts for us if we're open to it . . . as a source of psychological and emotional sustenance for our souls. If we can create a spiritual connection to the sun - as many of us already do with nature - we can enjoy greater brightness, energy, optimism, nurturance, along with deeper feelings of peace and well-being in our lives.

I think the sun's spiritual importance has declined in recent generations. Indoor jobs, electric lights and other technology, and reduced time in nature have separated us from that wondrous relationship with the sun our ancestors enjoyed.

A profound loss . . . one worth correcting. This time of year, with the sun in its fullest glory, is an ideal time to reconnect our primordial selves with the sun.

We get 59% more daylight now than in December, but we receive about 800% more sunlight (because the sun is so much higher in the sky).

One helpful way of deepening that connection is by establishing a more physical relationship with the sun . . . .by simply becoming more observant. In previous columns, we spoke of how becoming more grounded in our physical connections to life can open doors to whole new spiritual experiences.

For example, have you noticed the quality of June sunlight? It's quite different, because it passes through so much less atmosphere. At 1:15, when the sun is highest in the sky, the yellow-red tints virtually disappear - everything is bathed in such a dazzling blue- white brightness.

Our June sun gives us other interesting qualities worth enjoying: how short the shadows are at 1:15; how far to the north the sun rises and sets; how horizontal the angle of the setting sun is (giving us those endless twilight hours when time feels suspended).

But I think we bring the sun into our lives most by bringing it into our spiritual practices. Kind of like invoking the sun's nurturance and goodness into whatever we use our spiritual practice for.

At this time of year, I like to spend a short while in the morning outdoors facing the sun - stretching, meditating, or just standing there, planning the day . . . .letting the sun shine in. Something very special always seems to occur - my day is different; it feels blessed . . . sun-kissed. Whatever form(s) your spiritual practice takes . . . yoga, chanting, journaling, praying, singing . . . see what adding the sun's golden energy and healing powers can do.

A whole summer of expansion and delight awaits us. May the sun be with you.

This is one in a series of essays on spirituality by Rick Childs, lay leader of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Mendocino Coast. You may want to:
Read more Spirituality Essays
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Read more about the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Mendocino Coast.

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