Remember that week back in spring of this year that was filled natural celestial events?
First, Tuesday morning both auroras in the northern and southern hemispheres were sparked by a particularly strong solar storm that sent charged particles toward the Earth. Auroras don’t come this far south, but with technology we all could see those lights live on YouTube.
Then last Friday was the vernal equinox, which marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, autumn in the southern hemisphere.
Friday morning was the total Solar Eclipse with the new moon occurring at perigee- when the moon is the closest to the earth so it appeared bigger and made this solar eclipse unique. To the naked eye you could see the eclipse only in areas near Norway, but once again we could all experience it real time on the Internet.
Did you watch it? I did. I wasn’t really interested in watching the moon cover the sun, but I was fortunate to find someone who posted what was happening on the ground during the solar eclipse.
Annie Dillard describes it perfectly in her essay TOTAL ECLIPSE: “The second before the sun went out we saw a wall of dark shadow come speeding at us. We no sooner saw it than it was upon us, like thunder. It roared up the valley. It slammed our hill and knocked us out. It was the monstrous swift shadow cone of the moon. I have since read that this wave of shadow moves 1,800 miles an hour. Language can give no sense of this sort of speed – 1,800 miles an hour. It was 195 miles wide. No end was in sight – you saw only the edge. It rolled at you across the land at 1,800 miles an hour, hauling darkness like plague behind it… We saw the wall of shadow coming, and screamed before it hit.”
Up in Acton, I enjoy clear skies and little light pollution. I take my patio lounge chair out in the backyard and lie down on my back and look into the night sky with my naked eye and just swim in the infiniteness of the Milky Way. I have those apps on my phone that know where I am and when I point my phone up at the sky it shows me the stars all nicely labeled exactly as I’m seeing them. I adore technology. It doesn’t change nature but it helps my mind wrap itself around the beauty of space that I see.
The Buddha says to “Develop a mind so filled with love that it resembles space.”
Sharon Salzberg has a whole meditation technique around this. Imagine throwing paint around in vast, endless space. There is nowhere for the paint to land. It doesn’t matter whether it was a beautiful choice of color or not. It doesn’t matter, because there is nowhere that the space is going to be painted or enhanced or ruined by it.
When we relax the barriers that we usually make, the mind becomes like space. Recognizing the power of our minds means that even as unfortunate or terrible things happen to us, we can receive them in a more spacious and ultimately, more enlightened way
This is not something that a fortunate few have the capacity to experience; it is the nature of the mind, which every one of us has the ability to know, using the tools of Science of Mind teaching.
May we all develop a mind so filled with love – that it resembles space.