Today is the occasion of the Winter Solstice. On this day, I usually reflect on the meaning of the season – this period of stillness when the sun stops before it once again begins its ascent. The origin of the word solstice comes from the Latin word for sun, “sol” and the Latin word “sistere” which means stopped or stationary. Over the years, translations of the Latin derivations were converted into old French and then middle English to create the one word “solstice”.
I became most connected with the meaning of the solstice with the help of one of my teachers. David Lipschutz or Swami Enoch Dasa Giri gave a wonderful dissertation on the Winter Solstice back in 2001. I try to listen to the recording each year to remember the significance of this phase in our cycle. This year, I transcribed it so that I could read it again and again (also, I don’t know how long my old cassette player will continue to run). Copying down the words summoned a new intensity and brilliance for the piece. The wonder of its simplicity was fresh and motivating. I would like to share some of my teacher’s words with you.
“You are the light that is returning. You are the sun that has returned. You are the light that grows every day; you are the gift that is to be given. Dedicate yourself afresh to finding that light with delight and being a source from which that light emanates. For there are others near you who are hungry. They have forgotten what is it that they seek. If you wish to be peaceful, give that peacefulness to others. If you want to be loved, give that love. If you want to be taught, teach.
Love, appreciate and accept those around you – especially the ones that annoy you. They are the ones that are waiting for someone or something to reveal their beauty to them because they have forgotten the snows of yesteryear.” –Swami Enoch Dasa Giri
Go in peace, be at peace and share that peace with those around you.