Friday, January 15, 2016

Surface of the Sun

I've always been a sun person, always had a certain reverence for it.  Us, our planet, and our solar system wouldn't have developed without the creation of our sun happening first.  It's birth, gave birth to everything else.

Sometimes, from here on earth, when I'm looking up at it, it looks like it could fit in my hand.  And it seems to shine in a kind of quiet, peaceful way; flickering here and there.  It brings such gorgeous light into my life in different ways everyday.  I like to watch it move around, smile at how it dances between buildings and find peace in how spreads out over fields and water. It is almost like a companion.

But that's just how I experience it here on earth.  Working at NASA with the sun people, I read and work on projects about the sun from a different perspective.  From it's surface. And the  surface is probably the most  intense and volatile place in our entire solar system.  The surface is unimaginably hot and super, super active.  That peaceful, quiet, almost candle-like-flickering sun we see down here is constantly erupting with massive explosions of energy.  The video below below in text shows the massively destructive and powerful nature of the sun's surface. I recently read about a solar flare, a type of massive eruption from the sun's surface, that was 7x the size of earth...and that was just one flare.  The sun's diameter itself is over 100 times the size of earth's diameter and these eruptions are happening all the time.

Although I am continually amazed by the beauty of the sun's light and how it shines on me and the world around me, I also stand in reverence to the other things the sun is that aren't the happy, hippie-Aaluk things I tend to gravitate toward. Yes, it is light for us, life, actually, but only as long as we stay where we are.  Too much closer it would kill us and indeed, when it finally does implode in something like 4 billion years, it will kill us - if we haven't already killed ourselves off.  But right now, I can sit and bask in its beauty and its warmth from this perfect distance, marveling in the fact that the source of its beauty is explosive and the warmth of its rays are from a massive intensity of violent energy spewing out into the universe. I like noticing the layers of difference in things, I like learning how something is multi-faceted and not just one thing.  Perhaps one thing to me at one point in time, but different at other times.

And, the more I pay attention, the more I see how nothing, truly nothing, is actually one thing or black and white.  From the life in the sun to the life in ourselves to the life around us, everything is constantly evolving along a spectrum of experience and understanding...I could have lived my whole life not knowing about the duality of the sun's nature being both light and beauty but also intense and destructive.  Many humans in history did not know anything about the surface of the sun.  But, when my perspective changed, I saw more.  Living today, I am given the opportunity to see the sun differently.  Beyond the sun though, I think we are given opportunities every day, in many different ways, to see differently.  To know and understand differently.

As I look out at the sun each morning, I smile, thinking of all I see, all I can know and understand right now.  And all I don't see or haven't yet had the opportunity to know or understand.

Surface of the Sun: Solar Flares and CME's

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Forgive, Surrender and Accept

Sometimes I talk to people who are interested in meditating but don't feel like they can do it.  They say things like, "I just can't quiet my mind." or "I don't do it right." This quote speaks to that. It says forgive yourself for not being at peace and by forgiving, surrender to where you are. Accept where you are.

Forgiveness is like a hug you give yourself. And in forgiving, you tell yourself it's ok to let go, to surrender.  Surrendering creates space in your heart for new things and through acceptance, your heart opens. By forgiving, surrendering and accepting, you can open yourself to the peace in that moment.  In practice, after you surrender, the peace kind of flows in on it's own, like the ebb and flow of a wave.  You forgive pushing out to sea, letting go of any judgement, any frustrations, whatever and after letting that go, something comes back in waves. And if you really let go, the waves that come back are full of peace.  They don't splash you in the face, you aren't gulping for air. You are refreshed.

In this quote, I also hear, surrender to not knowing, surrender to fear, surrender to seeking validation from others. About how good you are, how sexy, how lovable.  And, accept where you are.  When you are trying to know, trying not to fear, looking to others for validation, you are reaching.   Reaching for something outside yourself while looking at what you aren't inside. Not letting go, creating space, opening. Forgiving ourselves of our short comings while accepting where we are creates new space for us to embrace the parts of ourselves we want to grow. The part of ourselves we want refreshed.

Try this: Surrender to a more open-hearted you today as a test, as an experiment.  You will likely fail in being open-hearted all day; you may make a short reply to someone without meaning to, you may find yourself being quick to anger, feeling disrespected in some way. Whatever creates the moment in which you find your heart closing, try to forgive yourself for finding yourself in that moment, surrender to not being perfect and accept where you are, no judgement.  And see what happens.  I imagine, if you do this all day, by the end of the day you will not only recognize more peace coming in and out of your heart, but you will grow your relationship with your heart and yourself more deeply.  And maybe, if you try again tomorrow, your capacity to be open-hearted might grow more.

It's in our hands, our hearts, to bring more peace into this world.  And like Ghandi said, it has to start inside first. If we all practiced having an open heart every day,  can you imagine what the world would be like in a month, a year, 50 years?  Open to the world through your heart; you will likely close it again many times. But keep opening it.  Keep forgiving, keep surrendering.  Keeping accepting.  And one by one we can build more space in this world for peace. And love.

Forgive yourself for not being at peace.  The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace is transmitted into peace.  Anything you accept fully, will get you there, will take you into peace.  This is the miracle of surrender.   Eckhart Tolle <3: