December 22 is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year here in the northern hemisphere, a time when the sun is hidden, when all beings are cloaked in darkness. This is a time of planting, of putting down the seeds for the next year. What we plant at this time is what will flourish in the warmer months of spring. The intentions that we set now are what will bear the fruit in the sunny, bountiful time of the summer.
The summer Olympics are coming this year to London and as someone who loves sports, I think of the winter season as the deep personal training time. This is the time that the athletes are away from the crowds, away from the stadium, and away from the competition. They are by themselves working out, training, getting stronger, setting their intentions, and deepening their focus, so that when they are in the moment of competition, when the test of fire burns away all pretense and deceit, all that deep practice can reveal itself and they can reap the rewards of their training and practice.
While most of us aren’t planning on competing in the Olympics (at least not this year), the private practice that we maintain will reveal itself in our public actions. For myself, I’ll be trying to deepen my practice during these long, dark winter days so that when the spring and the full days of summer arrive, I’ll be in much better mental, emotional and spiritual shape, even if I still won’t win any gold medals.
To help deepen our practices together, I hope you can join us for this month’s M3 gathering on December 20th, at 7:30pm. As more people are able to join, we want to discuss ways that M3 can both reach more people and provide a gathering place physically and virtually for like-minded men.