The Dog Days of Summer - August 2022
I can feel the Sun moving itself just a little farther away from earth, its well-grooved path changing on the horizon.
The days are a little shorter and the leaves give their drink to the roots of their trees; preparing to let go as they always do.
As summer slowly makes her way down the thin and dusty trail covered with dry grasses, crickets, and stickers, she takes her time.
The hem of her gown once filled with hummingbirds and bumble bees collects thistles and burrs.
The green clover under her feet, now dry and brittle, doesn't bemoan her leaving, it brushes against her and says, 'thank you for this beautiful season’.
We have arrived, at the tender heart of summer, the dog days of summer. And it is not about dogs at all, but about the brightest star in the constellation, Canis Major, which is of course a dog. This brightest star, so brilliant in the August sky now, sits close to the sun, the two of them side by side, white-hot in the sky.
It is the season of Pitta, brilliance, and the element is fire. A balanced fire in its brilliance brings us heat, it purifies, burns and metabolizes, and frees up old and unused energy. It is the passion in our desires and the warmth just under our hearts, it is the Bunsen burner of life that stokes our movement and fires up our imaginations.
I sat with a friend at the edge of a beautiful lake the other evening, the sun was dipping down and the water lapped against the shore, it was cool and peaceful and smelled like summer; fresh cold lake, wet swimsuits, with a little hint of Tahitian oil of Monoi. The sun had squeezed itself between the roll and fold of two mountain peaks and the sky was a wash of violet. They said they could feel the end of summer coming, and it was as if they just wanted everything to stop and hold it so tightly, to stop time and be here in this August moment forever. I thought to myself, this is just as it should be, be so filled with gratitude and appreciation that if something else were to show up it would be met with the utmost surprise and wonder.
So how can we linger in the energy of late summer? How can we hold on to the divine hem of Summer’s gown filled with hummingbirds and bumble bees? We can, with intention and awareness, continue to carry and cultivate the element of fire, the abiding inner flame that sustains our bodies and our minds, in a healthy and supportive way. We can saturate our thoughts with the energy, the feel, the sense of this inner sun, anywhere, and at any time. We can create our own energy of late summer.
In the traditional Chakra system, the Manipura Chakra is associated with the element of fire, working with Manipura can enliven the element of fire within ourselves, bringing the well-being associated with summer. Unlike the Neo-western Chakra system which infers that the Chakras are entities within the central channel of the body, most eastern and traditional Chakra Systems place the Chakra in the central channel, the Sushumna, with meditation and visualization.
To work with our ‘inner summer’ begin by sitting quietly, and gently closing your eyes. In the screen of your mind, in the space between your brows, visualize a ten-petaled lotus flower. Slowly count each petal as you breathe deeper and slower. Bring to mind the color of the lotus, see the lotus as fiery, golden, yellow-orange. With your next exhale move the lotus downward, exhaling and visualizing Manipura chakra, the yellow-orange lotus flower moving to the center of the throat, on the next breath, exhale the lotus to the center of the heart, breathing deeply, on the next exhale bring the Manipura chakra, this yellow-orange, ten-petaled lotus to rest just below the solar plexus.
Visualize Manipura chakra, this lustrous gem, just below the solar plexus and above the navel. Feel and sense the dimensionality of Manipura, increasing your awareness of the lotus from front to back, side to side, and from top to bottom. Allow this ten-petaled lotus to fill your solar plexus area with a warm effulgent flame.
As you breathe deeply imagine breathing in and out of this lotus flower. Allow your breath to move the lotus flower the way bellows would move a flame, gently increasing the vibrancy, the color, and warmth of Manipura, allow your breath to bring a shine, a brilliance to the lotus, see the shine, the brilliance, and the luster, like a beautiful faceted gemstone. Breathing in and out of Manipura chakra let the radiating warmth and light spread throughout the body, down in the toes, the feet, the legs, the pelvis, all through the abdomen and begin to saturate every organ, moving warmth and light up through the torso, down the arms and into the fingertips, moving warmth into the throat, the third eye, and to the top of the head. Saturate the whole body with the effulgence of Manipura chakra, the lustrous gem.
Spend as much time as you like in the power of Manipura. When you are ready gently let the visualization of the lotus soften into the background of your awareness.
The element of fire in the body/mind is associated with power, digestion, purification, freedom of choice, and will. Take time after your Manipura meditation to use the energy of Manipura for the following reflections.
- What energy is stagnant in my body or mind? Is there an old belief, pattern, or habit that could benefit from the purification of fire?
- Finish the statement, “I Am ___________” with a powerful affirmation that embodies a desire of your heart.
- Bring to mind an experience of summer that left you filled up and allow yourself to be fully present with the sensations of the experience. Invite the warmth of this experience to saturate your being. After a few moments thank Summer for her beautiful season.
OM & Blessings, Kate
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