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Namaste Venerable Friends,

Summer solstice blesses us with the longest day of the year. Our nervous system is most active during daylight. This is why many meditation techniques are practiced before sunrise or sometimes after sunset before the nighttime rest. Our moods and emotional wellbeing are dependent on the sunlight and its duration, and longer days are a means to be either more active or planning for some time off to experience being with the light. Thus, there is the tendency to plan vacations during these longer days.

The nerves calm down during darkness, and while meditation or rumination is better suited at those times, there are many higher yoga techniques that are better practiced during the daylight. Summer is an ideal time to brush up on yoga practices that are based on guided movements, such as in yoga-vinyasa-krama wherein the breath leads the movement effecting a synchronized ballet of postures and counter postures.

Similarly, active capacity to work increases during longer days despite the shackles of an indoor work environment. And some of that spare energy can be used to facilitate grounding and other outdoor activities. Much of these activities are planned based on the change of weather and feasibility of outdoor recreational activities. This extra energy and urge to be active is naturally brought about by the longer daylight periods.

While we always welcome the extra daylight when planning outdoor activities, solstice is a reminder that there is much more to life than increasing its speed. Direction is so much more than speed. Otherwise, you go nowhere fast. To the one anchored in mindfulness, those who are busy seem to be running and chasing after something.

Those who believe in the quality of their work, and who treat the ideal behind work as worship, find that becoming unimportant gives them peace. Not seeking reward is a way of naturally letting go. When remaining unrecognized no longer bothers the heart, then freedom is said to be near. It is possible to be unimportant and unrecognized when serving unrushed while experiencing the present mindfully. The right direction will take you afar even without expectation.

You are not what you have achieved. You will know the value of your contribution for the greater good when you have overcome your subtle fears. Success resides in the internal victory over tendencies that prick your conscience. Having overcome such tendencies, you can watch the duties discharged effortlessly without the need for a claim to fame or to keep up the chase. The Summer solstice is a good juncture to evaluate your ramp-up with speed.

Do you really need to increase the experience of the world and become important, or would you like to be peaceful while being more efficient due to the reposeful mind of a true server? A server is satiated by the after-effect poise from serving. Becoming pleased or upset based respectively on either a favourable or a detrimental situation is a loss of freedom. An ardent server does not crave favour, but reposes in the joy of participation. Moreover, service satiates the desire to be served in return, and freedom is inherent in that state of mindfulness.

Acting without thinking begets regret. Thinking without acting brings frustration. On this Summer solstice when the daylight is at its maximum, make an affirmation for invoking the light of silence. The pause of silence allows for reflection. The light makes way for clarity of vision. Following through with mindful actions after thinking them through is harnessed from the lighted silence. Reflective pause allows you to be neither inactive nor reactive but be wisely proactive. In this way, save and protect the lighted paths attained through truthful deeds.

With abounding light of blessings on this Summer solstice,
Swami Vidyadhishananda

Coordinates of the Summer Solstice:

June 21, 2021  03:33 GMT
June 20, 2021 11:33 PM US EDT
June 20, 2021 10:33 PM US CDT
June 20, 2021 8:33 PM US PDT
June 21, 2021 9:03 AM IST

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