A love meditation for the solstice

A solstice meditation for the heart chakra

The darkest time lights the heart

I was raised sort-of Christian. Enough so the mythology fills me this time of year, in images and feelings, though I haven’t been to church in years, and have never taken my own kids.

The dark, long nights. The smell of pine. And amazingly, the celebration of a mother’s love for her newborn child. I’m still surprised and awed by this, in America - a culture struggling with patriarchy and its legacy of violence. At the heart of the Christmas holiday celebrated by so many is a young mother with little money, a traveler; and her overwhelming love for the new baby in her arms.

Here is a meditation I have turned to over the past year when I have a long dark night of my own, struggling with symptoms of Lyme disease. It seems especially appropriate to this season, and to this time in our country. You don’t have to be a mother, a Christian, or a woman to practice it. You just need to be a human being.

Love meditation

When we get sick, we are stripped of our egos. Not all at once, but in waves. It’s a vertiginous, terrifying feeling. It’s clear that we will die, that we will abandon all the ideas we ever had about who we are and why we are here, we will abandon everything we ever had.

When I am obliterated by these feelings, the one thing that survives is a fully humbled, almost unbearably tender, unconditional love that pours through my heart. It isn’t self generated, but seems a living force. We all carry this powerful love in our heart chakra. The energy is always there, it’s a matter of opening.

Start by imagining something you have loved with all your heart - a child, an animal. Pay attention to your heart center as you imagine this being. Let your heart fill with love. Let the physical feelings grow stronger and stronger, until you no longer need an image to sustain them.

As you can, turn this unbelievably powerful love energy toward your own self. You are fragile and innocent. You will not last. You are forgiven any mess.

Every last living being deserves this love, and you have it to give, and you have it to give yourself. When you feel this, all the questions seem less important, and the mystery is whole.

Have a meditative and gorgeous solstice,

Shona