I woke up at 3:30 am, went to the yoga studio, laid out my yoga mat, straightened out my sheepskin mat cover just so, arranged my water bottle in reaching distance, took off my socks, cleared my throat to get ready for the chanting, and promptly fell asleep for the full two hours of it. I awoke automatically at 5:58 am, as if the sun had volunteered to tap me on the shoulder so I wouldn’t miss our morning appointment. I packed everything up, put my socks back on, put my water bottle away and raced up the hill like I do every other day to catch the fiery frisbee as it hurls itself up toward the zenith of the sky. I arrived at our grassy mound with minutes to spare before the glow of the actual disc began to show itself. Brett and I have been learning a mantra to say in our heads as we stare, and to repeat to ourselves in the moments before we stare to ready our minds for the healing and vitality.
The mantra: “The perfection of God is now being expressed through me. The idea of perfect health is now filling my subconscious mind. The image God has of me is a perfect image; my subconscious mind recreates my body in perfect accordance with the perfect image held in the mind of God.”
I should explain here that by God I do not mean anything resembling an actual man, bearded or otherwise, and certainly not holding a staff and looking down on us with contempt. I also don’t mean a woman, shrouded in vines with the ability to command the earth at her will. And I don’t mean Jesus, or Buddha, or Gaia, or Mohammed. I simply mean the energy of life, the thing that makes anything you can think of grow. The force science can’t name but that is clearly underneath everything we call alive. By God I mean the force of life, the preference toward harmony, the surrounding energy that makes the sun rise and my fingernails grow.
Atop the grassy mound, I pulled my socks off for the second time since 3:30 am, but this time I stood up, firmly planted on the earth instead of curled up in a ball on my sheep skin yoga mat sleeping through chants. I stilled my heart and began repeating our mantra out loud until the sun was fully in view. Then I switched to saying the mantra internally, switched on my timer, and gazed. There is no challenge in this aspect for me anymore. My eyes love the sunlight and they don’t squint or try to turn away from the easy morning spectrum that used to make my whole face contort in an ache just 15 days ago.
The camaraderie between the sun and myself continues to deepen. I actually turned back to it on my way up the path after the gazing today, waved and said with a smile “Thank you, see you tomorrow.” The old man who I pass daily on his morning hike looked at me like “who the hell are you talking to?”, but I thought it was obvious. I am talking to the sun. I’m sure it seemed strange to him, just as the teary eyed weirdo who gazes from the heart of West Hollywood during sunset seems strange to my neighbors. But, I swear the sun waved back to me and said “you betcha.”
The sun is continuing to communicate with me. I know it has much to say and much to relate and I push for answers as I gaze. I feel a hand being raised to me in the midst of the ball of fire saying “patience Brian, the secrets I hold will be revealed, but first you must learn to love yourself the way I love you. I shine on all things equally, all people equally. You too must learn to bring that sameness of love to all with whom you interact. And I will help you, but there is no rush.” But I want to transcend into bliss now, Goddammit!
As I push for a new revelation the sun is unmoved, unbothered, and still unbridled. She warms or she burns. She enhances vision or makes blind. But one thing she won’t do: whatever I want, whenever I want. I am starting to understand that I don’t need to be in a rush, because the energy passed to me by the unpredictable sun is a rush of it’s own. I’ve been gazing, seeking answers and healing. But it’s simpler than that I’m learning. The only good reason to gaze, is so you can see the light.
SIDE EFFECTS: Again, none!
BENEFITS: Deeper feelings of calm and tranquility than I have experienced in years of city living.