Sunrise/Moonrise Meditation

After a full week with my energetic, new crop of (mostly male) kindergartners-in-training, the importance of keeping my battery charged throughout the day has become very clear! It begins with a good night’s sleep and morning yoga. If I can fit in seated meditation before leaving for work, all the better. If not, I try to arrive at my classroom with enough time for a minimum of 10 minutes of practice. I slip in through the back door, turn on my illuminated water fountain, unroll my mat, place a cushion on top of it, open the Insight Timer meditation app (complete with the rich tones of Tibetan singing bowls), and sit in the Quiet Space behind my desk until the “get ready” bell rings. I don’t unlock my door or turn on the lights because taking this time to center myself is essential preparation for the school day. All else can wait. I keep a crate with meditation and yoga gear behind my desk and practice when the children are out of the room. And I find that I really crave and look forward to meditation because – after all these years – I finally “get” the benefits it offers on so many levels. Now it is a gift I give myself, rather than something I feel obligated to do.

This week, I have been waking up to a thick mist on the river. Meditating on the dock on my zafu (meditation cushion), wrapped in a blanket as the sun rises is a special treat. There is so much energy in the sunrise. It’s like pure fuel. (Photo courtesy of my husband.)

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This week, moonlight has been a mighty battery charger as well. I spent the last two evenings kayaking on a nearby creek as the huge, full harvest moon emerged and floated above the treetops. The first night, my camera was away for its annual maintenance, so I had to work within the limitations of my point-and-shoot – which was fine because it allowed me to savor the experience more than I would have with my big camera in hand. As I took the picture below, the moon had just come into view over my left shoulder.

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The wild, adventurous energy that I enjoy so much was engaged by kayaking in solitude on the moonlit creek. The rising harvest moon caressed the water, serenaded by a chorus of crickets. And I was there, paddling gently and rhythmically through the shimmering light on the surface, resting in the stillness, and gliding in the fullness that arouses all the senses and makes you feel truly alive. It was the perfect medicine to satisfy and channel the energy of a wild heart seeking expression.

To celebrate getting back together with my camera after eight days apart, I took it onto the creek the following evening for an equally exquisite moonrise. Again, there were no other people around, and the only wildlife I saw was the low-flying shadow of a great blue heron beating its strong wings en route to its next stop along the water’s edge. Then a pink-orange glow appeared just above the horizon, heralding another enormous harvest moonrise.

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I had to get creative with settings and processing for the images I captured because I was floating in a kayak in the darkness without a tripod and needed to achieve a fast exposure to control for the motion. (Hence, the noise.) The way the textured clouds framed the reflection was sublime. I could have floated on the creek all night under the moonlight.

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Despite the technical challenges, the finished images convey quite accurately how it looked and felt as I floated and glided along with the rising “super moon” in complete solitude that evening. It was at the same time exhilarating and serene. I just want to remember and to share the profound peace with you. It was like a dream. A transcendent dream. I hope you can feel it.

The photographs in this blog (except for those attributed to other owners) and in my Flickr photostream are available for purchase as prints or cards through my Etsy shop by selecting a “custom print” in whatever size you prefer and indicating either the name of the print or the blog post and order in which it appears.

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