Today I reached another milestone, ten full minutes of gazing. I have officially been doing this for two entire months now so I find myself again looking back and taking an account of my life. Bottom line: it’s better than it was thirty days ago. It’s not better because circumstances have changed. I haven’t been offered a book deal or anything and my collective still skates by with just enough money to make it to next week, but still somehow I know my life is better. I feel better. I finished my early morning chanting today a little after 6:00am so the sun had a thirty minute head start to take her place high above the horizon and shine brightly. But to my surprise she was gentle today. Despite being thirty minutes into sunrise the light emanating from the molten core of our solar system was the most soothing and welcoming I had glimpsed in days. I feel like I just ran a marathon and the gentle sun today was my tall glass of water. I stood side by side with Brett on the little patch of earth surrounding the parking meters on Highland Ave in front of the Golden Bridge Yoga Studio. Traffic was whizzing past us on the street, joggers were whizzing past us on the sidewalk and there was a homeless man near by taking a wiz. But we simply focused our eyes above it all and gazed. This promises to be a very good day, I thought to myself. And I was right.
Brett and I had just made the decision yesterday to start a Farmer’s Market in the Golden Bridge parking lot and had a very productive planning meeting, all hopped up on sunlight and caffeine. Then as the day wore on our Farmer’s Market vision transformed into something more along the lines of an indian bazar where there will be artists, and musicians and face painters along with all the organic fruits and vegetables anyone could want. This new vision stoked the flames of my excitement even more. But where were we going to find all the vendors? Later that evening I was scheduled to attend and art opening with my friend Kelly and upon our arrival I noticed it had a section with booths where many local artists where selling their products to the attendees. I collected contact information better than a hoover collects dust. The Indian Bazar was already off to a very good start.
My relationship to the Animal Kingdom has also been transformed since the sun-gazing began. On my post-gazing morning hikes with Nikki almost every single dog we pass comes up to me to say hello. Today in the park it was the same way. Birds fly low over my head and hover near by. At one point Nikki and I noticed a moth and starting discussing it’s wing structure and comparing it to a butterfly. In the midst of this it landed on the grass, and with the tiniest grain of sand eyes, stared straight at us. They say a moth is attracted to the flame so I wonder, has the sunlight set me on fire? About two weeks ago I was wandering home from the coffee shop blissfully after writing an entry in the blog and decided on a whim (read: tug from Infinite Intelligence) to make a pit stop in the park two blocks away from my house. I sat down on a bench and took out a book. Then I noticed out of the corner of my eye a tiny young bird and a beautiful golden yellow butterfly playing in a cluster of trees and bushes just a few feet away. The bird was brown with a splash of white on his belly. The butterfly was riddled with black speckles and perfect symmetry in his wings. I am not sure if they were playing with each other or just in proximity to each other, but they were carefree and beautiful. My attention had been captured. Over what must have been thirty minutes I sat transfixed on the dance of colors and shapes and life unfolding before my eyes. My heart was with their hearts. I didn’t know this at the time but I must have been making as much of an impression on them as they were on me…because they followed me home. Once I had regained my faculties I tried to dig into my book. But the words just seemed like senseless black smears on dingy paper compared to the butterfly and the bird. I closed the pages, gave the creatures a last wonder-filled look of farewell and headed home.
About a block and half from the park I stop to admire a family of black crows chowing down on something in a patch of grass. I must have startled them because in a rhythmic plume they rise like black smoke and spread out on the telephone wire above. They are safe there. With my eyes tilted toward the sky now I notice for the first time the same tiny bird and the same yellow butterfly hovering overhead. Where they following me? I laugh at myself for the thought because, that’s crazy, right? Who did I think I was, fucking Snow White. I shake this off and amble peacefully back to the house. As I’m rounding the bend toward my mailboxes a butterfly dives down from the sky and flys low past my face. It was him, the same bespeckled butterfly. Instantly I began looking around and right over head the same tiny brown bird hovers. Almost in unison they seem to bid me a fond farewell because they both turn and fly off, seemingly now satisfied that I had made it home safe.
The sun has caused the entire universe to rally around me. I click into my place in the universe now like a small but essential cog clicks into a watch. I am a defining particle inside the atom that is our planet, without which the entire thing would be different. I know that now, and the more I believe it the more true and reliable it becomes. This first phase of the sun gazing (1-3 months) is said to be the emotional/mental phase, where all benefits are directed toward one’s mind and heart. Now two months deep into phase one I can say the sun has taken it’s scrub brush to my mind and heart and is washing them clean. I feel it. My friends and neighbors feel it. And it seems the creatures of the earth are starting to notice it too.
SIDE EFFECTS: You may fritter away an afternoon captivated by the marvels of nature in your back yard or the local park.
BENEFITS: The marvels of nature in your neighborhood are going to take a shine to you, and may even follow you around from time to time.