The Starry Sky

This is a time to remember vastness and mystery. The year is ending with a cosmic conjunction unseen on Earth for 800 years. InsightLA held an important community gathering and ritual for letting-go of our Olympic and Melrose centers and envisioning the future. We had a stellar and joyous Christmas Eve meditation and singing concert. There was a beautiful celebration honoring the one-year anniversary of Ram Dass’s December 22 passing. Meanwhile someone is dying of Covid every 10 minutes in LA County and we’re still waiting for pandemic relief. What a Christmas week! This is a liminal time and a hard time. I join many disappointed families who have had to cancel holiday plans to visit and enjoy each other after so many months apart. 

We watched the largest planets in our world move closer and closer together until, thanks to a neighbor’s birding scope, I could see the little moons of Jupiter and the rings of golden Saturn. Amazing! Late at night the week before, I stood still, head tilted up to the cold night sky to spot shooting stars during the annual Geminid meteor shower. An ancient sage said, the only thing more vast than the starry sky is the inner world of our hearts and minds. Mindfulness and meditation bring them together. 

Looking across millions of light years at distant stars is like meditation: it calms the mind so there can be a sense of wonder and sensitivity to the world around me, to my family, communities, this earth. The miracle of starlight, the grace of predictable planetary movement, the rhythm of my breath and the moon’s phases amidst the messiness of every day, steady me and open my heart.  Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who saw Earth from the moon in 1971, said: “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it.”

Simply taking time for mindfulness and meditation you too can awaken to the sacredness of life. Your heart can be touched and tender. Then you care. As the Dalai Lama said on Monday, “Compassion is simply taking care – of your community, of your brothers and sisters. Lovingkindness is expressed in community. Taking care of each other is taking care of your future. This is a matter of our own survival.” This is why we meditate, to remember the mysterious vastness of being and the infinite love of all creation born in each of us as we muddle through this life together, moment by moment, under the starry sky. Joyful holy days to you!