I remember growing up as a kid and every summer going to camp Eagle’s Nest, located in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. We would wake up in our rustic cabin enveloped by dense morning fog. Quickly the summer temperatures would rise, and the warmth of the sun would evaporate the clouds away. In the afternoon, seemingly out of nowhere, the booming sound of thunder would come rolling across the majestic hills. This would be followed by a heavy downpour of rain soaking everything in sight. After the rain, everything was incredibly fresh, clear and alive. I can still remember that vivid smell of pure, clean air. Eventually the sun would set, temperatures would drop, lightening bugs would put on a dazzling show of illumination, and the cool, blue light of the moon would ease us into the mysterious world of dreams.
Just like there is a variety of weather, part of life also involves encountering a wide range of experiences. Some days, life is amazing, from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep, everything is sunny perfection! Other days life couldn’t be more stormy and challenging. We struggle within our relationships, our job feels horrible, and our health seems to be falling apart. We can feel isolated, depressed and alone. Then there are the days where you get some of everything. These days are probably the most common.
Our yoga and meditation practice gives us the gift of space. The more space that we cultivate, the less affected we will be life’s darker weather. It’s only when we become swept away by the weather that we lose our bearing. When we find spaciousness we find freedom.
The Buddha explained it this way. If you take a table spoon of salt that is symbolic of negativity, and you poor that salt into a small cup of water, the toxicity of the salt will easily pollute the cup of water. However, if you take that same table spoon of salt, and poor it into big, open lake, the spacious of the lake will easily diffuse the negativity of the salt, and the water remains pristine and pure.
Be spacious like the sky. Allow the natural flow of weather experiences to float across the sky of awareness. Rest in the space of the ‘one who knows.’
Practice Tip: Take some time to sit and meditate in a quiet place. This can be 5 minutes or up to 30 minutes. As you close your eyes, and relax, imagine that your thoughts, sensations, and feelings are weather. Picture your current life experiences also as weather. As you observe these allow your presence to be vast like the sky.