In the northern hemisphere, today is the autumnal equinox, from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night). Why is this scientific phenomenon of any interest to our exploration of the benefits of mindfulness? Here are a few reasons:
- Awareness of anything that is happening in the natural world reminds us we are alive at this moment. Each of us is a vibrant expression of life loving itself into being in all its infinite variations. Awareness connects us more deeply with life. As one student put it, “The changing scents of the seasons remind me that I am part of the cycles of nature. I feel a sense of connection and belonging.”
- If we live in a location with marked seasons, we might notice how the changes activate our relationship with impermanence, one of the three characteristics of existence. We might notice a sense of longing or dread. Whether you are excited for the coziness of fall and winter or sad to see summer come to an end, notice how it pulls you out of the moment, this moment, just as it is.
- With the equinox comes equal amounts of daylight and darkness, and we might feel a sense of balance. But a sense of balance is always possible, regardless of planetary alignments. If you often feel out of balance, read this post.
- In meditation, we pay attention to the cycles of the breath, so there is something familiar in the spring and autumn equinoxes’ planetary inhale and exhale. And solstices then are the briefly experienced full and empty breath.
What, if anything, comes up for you as you think about the changing of the seasons? Your comment is welcome.