To me, sunrise is magical. Outside in the blue-black darkness, just before sunrise, you can catch a chill even in the dead of summer. It never fails to catch me by surprise when all of a sudden, the blanket of darkness lifts for a slow reveal of shapes that begin to take on recognizable from and color. I can see my hand in front of my face and make out the still silhouettes of trees, my horses, the barn. Stillness surrounds my tiny space on earth as all falls silent just for a brief rest between the notes of the day that is coming into view. I breathe in, I brea out, I smile, my heart opens. I realize that I want to share this with others. Even though this peaceful gift has always been here, I didn’t sense it and neither do so many others. We run too fast, do too much, give our lives and hearts away to the rush of life. That rush will carry us a long way, but at the end of that flow we feel drained, empty, exhausted, longing, and so many other things. I’ve been there at the end of that rush and I discovered that I’m not alone in that experience.
Since I love meditating out there with my horses at sunrise, I came to the idea of offering a series of three free beginner meditation classes outside near my horses at sunrise. My thought was that since I’m out here anyway, I could open up my space for others in my community. I wondered if anyone would be willing to come here at 5:30 in the morning? After debating, I decided to take a chance and create the three classes that built on one another. All the while, I told myself that even if no one came, I would be out here meditating anyway so it wouldn’t be a failure in that sense. It would be a failure to not even try though. I put the advertisements out into the universe of my community and several people answered the call. Not only did people show up for the classes, it was fun for me, the horses, the people, and we all got so much more than I ever could have imagined.
Yes, this meditation series was well received, and much appreciated by the participants. It went way beyond that for me and the others too though. I was able to see and feel how much this practice is needed in people’s lives. I observed tensions melting away, neighbors meeting for the first time even though they live in close proximity, and deeply rich conversations about life and hope were shared. The horses enjoyed the peace of all of us meditating. They would gather close by us to cock a foot, lower their majestic necks, and doze with half closed eyes. We could hear their deep slow breaths connecting with ours. In these moments we were all one, all connected, all at peace as though wrapped in a lightly woven cocoon.
Here in this connective space, I realized that we have lost some of our sense of community and belonging. We’re missing the important piece of the pie that is connection. We need to be reaching out to others in need and reaching out when we are in need. One participant shared that she was grateful for me opening up this space for all of us. Her comment helped me understand that this is a way I can give back to my community and create pathways to foster those connections that we all need. My take home message from teaching these meditation classes is that connection to all life and each other is vital for our souls.