Winter Solstice: The Hero's Journey from Darkness to Light

 

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“The black moment is the moment when the real message of

transformation is going to come.  At the darkest moment comes

the light.” – Joseph Campbell

 

As we move through the darkest days of the year and toward the winter solstice

and the light, I am thinking of the hero’s journey. I am thinking of the stellar

culmination of our first fall Practice 200 hour yoga teacher training, and I am

thinking of transformation.

 

The winter Solstice marks the shortest day/the longest night of the year in the

northern hemisphere. From this day moving forward each day becomes longer.

Hooray! Solstice celebration marks the returning of the light, the warmth, the

growing season.

 

To be fair, the darkness affords us the opportunity to come inside and take

stock of ourselves. It is a time to turn the attention inward and explore our own

shadows. To clear out the cobwebs and to bravely go where we may not want to

go! Courage and commitment to walking the path of truth is founded in darkness.

Darkness is fertile ground for the seeds of change.

 

This journey into and out of darkness is one of transformation. It is a hero’s

journey, because it takes a heroic effort to manifest change. The Practice

Teacher Training just ending is a perfect example of such a journey. Each of

these beautiful heroes stood bravely and slayed dragons that had surely held

them hostage before. Each found ways to shine so bright that they certainly

surprised themselves. They/we began as a group of individuals and ended as a

sacred circle of friendship, support and commitment to personal and collective

integrity. It is a proud moment for all, for PRACTICE!

 

(The next teacher training begins in February! It will surely change your life!)

 

To me, ultimately the hero’s journey is everyday of my life on and off the

mat. It is the Practice of cultivating awareness of thoughts, words and actions

in relationship with my loved ones, my community, and myself. It is living on

my growing edge and working all the time to be connected to infinite love and

compassion and not be limited by fear. It is the commitment to being awake and

present in each moment of life, grateful for the gifts before my very eyes.

 

This Native American Parable speaks volumes:

 

The Creator had this precious gift and needed to hide it somewhere where

no one would easily find it. So he gathered the animals and asked their advice.

The eagle said” I know I will fly it to the moon. No one will find it there. The

creator replied, “Good idea, but I don’t know I think those people will build rockets

and get it.”

 

The Buffalo said, Oh I know I will dig a deep hole in the earth and bury it.

They will never find it. The Creator shook his head, well, I think they will. The

salmon said, “ok I’ve got it:” I will swim it to the bottom of the ocean and hide it

there. “Not bad really” said the creator, “but I just know those people will find a

way.” Finally the little mole spoke up. “ I know”, he said, “Hide it inside of them.” 

 

"Perfect!” the creator replied, “It is the last place they’re going to look."

 

The hero’s journey insists on the looking. Looking is key! Opening

the eyes and the heart! Waking up! The very idea of looking is revolutionary!

Transformational!

 

As Guruji said, “Eyes are closing, Sleep is coming.”

 

“The main sin is inadvertence, not being attentive to life,

to the moment you are in, to its mystery, to what is happening

right here now. When that is there, and realize that the whole

mystery and void is shining through at you, you are there." 

                                                                       –Joseph Campbell

 

 


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