is a teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and has taught insight meditation since 1997. He is founder of the Mindfulness Institute and facilitates mindfulness teacher trainings. He leads wilderness retreats worldwide and is also an author and coach.
Following ancient traditions on this winter solstice, we will take this poignant time to retreat, slow down, and enter stillness, silence, and inner exploration. While the natural world appears to be dormant, the inner realms are alive with transmuting the passage between the old and the new. The solstice asks how we stand openhearted in face of the darkest night while holding faith in the returning light. On a practical level it is a time of sorting what wants to be released that is no longer serving our potential, and what wants to be called in to help us fulfill that journey.
Awareness and love (metta) are essential and beautiful aspects of any spiritual life. Awareness as developed through mindfulness practice leads to clarity, insight, and understanding. Love opens the heart, allows a kind embrace of ourselves, and connects us intimately with life. The fusion of love and mindfulness supports a compassionate response to the pain that we encounter in ourselves and in life.