Autumn is a paradox. It is a season of beautiful color, yet a season of death. It is a season of loss (falling leaves, dying plants, ending of green life), yet a time of harvest and bounty. It is a season of warm colors, yet a season of cooling air. What a perfect setting for meditation.
Life is a paradox. The moment we are born, though we appear to be growing and developing, we are, unfortunately, dying. We will not live forever, though we generally have many years, decades, and maybe even a century to create and discover ourselves. Perhaps we believe we have a divine purpose, or maybe we believe we create our purpose. Either way, we are here a relatively short time and we have a lot of choices to make before moving on to the next plane of existence.
Meditation is a vital practice for many of us. We typically don't discover meditation until we reach a certain age - an age of reason, of understanding, of contemplation. Some of us never find meditation. Maybe we are too absorbed in other processes such as survival, or we find our meditation in experiences that do not look like meditation. We shall not judge how another person works to understand their lives.
Generally, we turn our thoughts to deeper things during times of significant change. Moving to a new home, starting a new year of school, changing jobs, being diagnosed with an illness, losing a loved one, having a significant birthday, getting married, getting divorced, and a change in seasons can all trigger moments of deep thought about our lives. We may become sad about the past or anxious about the future.
Meditation tends to bring us into the present moment. While the goal is not to stop thinking - this is not possible as long as the brain is alive and functioning - we train our minds to flow with whatever thoughts we are having and to become mindful that the only thing that is important is the here and now. We let go of both the past and the future. We listen to our breathing and our heartbeat and realize that we are alive, right now in this moment.
During the autumn season especially, we can take a walking meditation in the outdoors. We can take in all the senses - colorful leaves, cool breezes, rich odors, rustling leaves, and pumpkin spiced everything. These specific senses fire the nerves that tell us it is autumn - we've been here before and will be here again. We can take advantage of this time to contemplate what we have been through, how we survived, and the good things we have done. We can also look forward and plan for what we have yet to do. But most, through meditation, we can contemplate who we are and our aliveness.
I hope this information has been helpful and will inspire you to take advantage of this season of change.
Thank you for reading,
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