Hear comes the heat! In Melbourne today we are expecting 34 degrees, yesterday was about the same .. and the week ahead .. more of the same! It is being reported that we are about to embark on the longest run of November heat in 80 years.
Tonight I am SO lucky to be able to spend time beachside .. I am really looking forward to moving closer to the water at the end of the day, listening to the sea and meditating on the balcony with the sea breeze all around. Tonight is the first night of our next Exploring Meditation program and I feel truly blessed to be able to offer classes at this most beautiful and inspiring beachside locations. Every time I open the doors, I breathe in the sea air and give thanks for having found this amazing space ..
Given the location, I like to talk about the water and ocean around us as a powerful metaphor for meditation. If you imagine the mind as a vast expanse of ocean, our daily chattering thoughts are like the waves that continually rise and fall, chopping up the surface and distorting our view of the beauty below. Sometimes the waves are wild, dark and tumultuous .. they toss us around and make us edgy, anxious and weary. Sometimes the waves are just a gentle ebb and flow, a lapping rhythm that naturally calms us allowing us to more easily 'let go' and relax into the flow of life.
When we dive under the water .. we leave the waves overhead and immerse our body/mind into a deeper quiet and stillness. In meditation we remain aware of the waves (thoughts) occurring above us, but there is no need to engage with them, instead we relish the opportunity to swim deep below the agitation and touch a sense of real freedom. Most of the human body is made up of water, somewhere between 60-80%, so we are naturally a part of the great body of water around us, also effected by tide and lunar cycles. In the Buddhist tradition the symbol of water denotes purity, clarity and calmness .. reminding us to cleanse our minds and attain a state of purity.
* sea air is charged with healthy negative ions .. these increase our ability to absorb oxygen, thus helping to balance our levels of serotonin (the chemical associated with mood and stress)
* Listening to the waves alters and mellows the wave patters in the brain .. soothing us into a deeply calm and relaxed state.
Hot weather delights:
* drinking plenty of cool water with jingly ice
* being still more .. body and mind
* reading, feet up, on the couch with nil guilt
* sarongs and bare skin
* ice cream .. or better still .. fresh green apple gelati
* cool red grapes eaten straight out of the fridge
* a dip in a friends pool or a late afternoon beachside plunge
Please also make sure your animals/pets/local wildlife are provided with some water and shade.