All good experiences in daily life add to the harmony of the brain function: good music, good food, good rest, good environment. Everything which is favorable to life does make life more harmonious.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Welcome back to our Co-Creative Mandalas blog!
Each month, we share insights, inspiration, and all the ways the cycles of the Great Mandala uplift and support you. We draw upon the metaphors and messages of each season to explore and celebrate our individual and collective journeys toward Freedom.
The Co-Creative Mandalas have a vibration that represents something about the natural world and the energy in the universe at this current time.
This month's mandala is Harmony
Happy Autumnal Equinox!
As the Great Mandala rotates through its seasonal cycles, we find our lives shaped by the rhythms it generates.
Are you ready to step into the dance of harmony with the autumnal equinox?
The arrival of the autumnal equinox, on September 22nd or 23rd depending on where you live in the northern hemisphere, announces a shift in our seasonal energy, bringing balance to our lives through nature's display of harmony.
Autumn is the time for gathering your energy and for allowing your energy to turn inward.
After a busy summer, filled with growth and activity, now's the time to ease up, take a breath, and collect and calm yourself. By going inward and connecting to your essential self, to the beauty and biorhythms of nature, to the present moment, and to infinite spirit you allow the healing blessings of autumn to fill your life.
Perhaps you experience a sense of serenity, an instinctual need to prepare for the winter ahead. Just as the natural world begins dropping its old leaves to make way for new growth, you, too, might find yourself releasing things in your life. What are you letting go of that no longer serves your spiritual growth?
The most ancient spiritual wisdom was centered around the predictable shifts in seasonal rhythms that govern all of life, including the autumnal equinox. With mindful awareness, we can draw on a multitude of healing blessings inherent to each season of the Great Mandala.
The evolution from summer's vibrant energy to autumn's calm serenity can be likened to the yin yang philosophy. The word "equinox" literally means "equal night." The fall equinox balances light and darkness, yin and yang, masculine and feminine--inviting us to do the same.
The human condition reminds us that it's completely natural to have periods of both stability and challenge, and the fall season invites us to find harmony by accepting these ebbs and flows.
Just like the vernal equinox in the spring, the fall equinox is a time of new beginnings. In the spring, nature's invitation is toward growth and light. Now, we're invited to reflect, rest, and release as we enter a season of increased darkness.
When you're in harmony with the autumnal equinox, you’ll realize that it’s the perfect time to reflect on the intentions you set at the beginning of the year, and the seeds you planted and tended throughout the spring and summer.
Among the characteristics of autumn are releasing and harvesting. The trees surrender their lush greenery, demonstrating the art of letting go. This is the time to reap the rewards of your hard work. Just like farmers who harvest their crops, you can use this as the time to celebrate your accomplishments and gather your personal "crop" of successes. In parallel, I'm witnessing my gardens reward my perseverance with bounty and abundance, as the plants and flowers lose their vibrancy. This poignant moment can provide inspiration to reflect upon what I can release and harvest within myself.
These are both challenging and enlightening times. We have opportunities this fall to explore what we want to harvest, what we want to leave behind, and the intentions we envision for the rest of the year. Life is inviting us to be more aware than ever of what we’re creating with our thoughts and beliefs, and new perspectives on our divine nature are presenting themselves.
I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because it was Autumn and the other leaves were falling.
The leaf told me... “No. During the whole spring and summer I was completely alive. I worked hard to help nourish the tree, and now much of me is in the tree. I am not limited by this form. I am also the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue to nourish the tree. So I don’t worry at all. As I leave this branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell her, ‘I will see you again very soon.’
That day there was a wind blowing and, after a while, I saw the leaf leave the branch and float down to the soil, dancing joyfully, because as it floated it saw itself already there in the tree. It was so happy. I bowed my head, knowing that I have a lot to learn from the leaf because it is not afraid ... it knew nothing can be born and nothing can die.”
I share this “Leaf Wisdom” story today as I am also contemplating my own progression along this unique & wonderful life path.
Thich Nhat Hanh
So, are you ready to step into the dance of harmony with the autumnal equinox?
Our practices offer ways of living in harmony. When we bring our practices off the cushion and into the world we are often confronted with difficult and uncomfortable truths in our personal or professional lives and in our society. Whether it's our interpersonal relationships, climate catastrophes or the social, economic and racial injustices surrounding us, by grounding ourselves in the practices of harmony we have the opportunity to experience well-being while meeting life as it is.
Aligning ourselves with nature's ceaseless cycles calls for embracing these experiences, not resisting them. It's essential to transition through this period with grace and adapt our lifestyle to stay in sync with the energy of autumn. Practicing mindfulness, incorporating seasonal foods into our diet, getting an adequate amount of rest, and nurturing our creative and introspective sides can assist in achieving this.
Ahhh, welcome to autumn!
Along with the daily practices, I like to add a little fall fun to my routine.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get my hands on some gourds and arrange them in a cornucopia basket on my dining room table. I’m about to head up to the attic right now to find that basket, dust it off, and fill it with an ornate assortment of gourds. I usually throw some multi-colored leaves into the mix, all haphazard, like a crisp fall breeze just blew through the house.
It's going to look so seasonal when I bring the fall energy into my environment.
Closer to Halloween, my partner will get to work on carving pumpkins while I'm creating an outdoor display of corn stalks, hay, and carved Jack o' lanterns along with a few different sized pumpkins.
When my guests come over they won't have to guess that it's fall.
Finally, I'll throw on my favorite flannel shirt, change the summer sheets to flannel ones, add an extra blanket, pull up the quilt that's been neatly stored at the end of the bed and start wearing my flannel nightgown (I'm sensing a L L Bean theme). The house will be filled with the aroma of soups and stews, pumpkin muffins, and mulled cider.
What fall rituals and routines are you looking forward to?
As the season unfolds its rich tapestry, we're reminded of the harmony in the consistent patterns of life: change, balance, release, and harvest. By aligning ourselves with these patterns, we might uncover a deeper understanding of our existence and the role we play in this grand cosmos.
Harmony begins with each person and inspires others as it spreads, uniting all the world’s people to live and thrive in peace and cooperation.
We're meant to live in harmony. I hold that vision and offer service as a way to make world harmony a reality for all of us.
This Co-Creative Mandala, "Harmony", from photographs of phlox (symbolizes harmony), daisy (symbolizes new beginnings), delphinium (symbolizes transitions), and Queen Anne's lace (symbolizes refuge) is associated with the heart, throat, third eye, and crown chakras. It reminds you when you remember you are already whole and complete--you can acknowledge, honor, and accept the ebb and flow of life. When you're aligned with your true nature, you're free.
Every action I take can contribute to harmony.