My father started a gathering 28 to 30 years ago, that he named the “Solstice Gathering”. Part of his vision was to bring people together from all walks of life to fast from food, phones, TVs, radios, and the daily distractions of life and participate in our Native American Indian ceremonies so that a spiritual space that was safe could be created and remind us of/rekindled our connection to our creator and all of life.
Our Solstice gatherings started at Sundown on June 17th and ended the morning of June 21st, with a feast on the last morning. Our solstice gatherings have always been 4 nights and 3 days.
Solstice gatherings are meant to be difficult and an ordeal as my father like to say. That is what pushes us outside our comfort zone to look at ourselves and our lives and hopefully to start to glimpse our own essence, and the essence of all life. By glimpsing the essence of life brings us back to that place of feeling connected with all of life and not separate from it and feeling alone.
I have journals for various purposes and one of my journals I use to write down spiritual things that I don’t want to lose and to help remind me of my way back to my own path, when I have drifted from it.
Here is something I found in this journal that speaks about the essence of life and connectedness (I don’t remember where this comes from, but I wrote it in my journal around the time I was attending some talks that a Tibetan monk was doing in our area and that I found these talks and sharing of information, deeply profound):
Look at the source of your thoughts.
Where they come from – the essence of your being.
Which is the same essence in all living things.
The place of Connectedness!
By experiencing the essence of your being, then you start to see that all things arise from the same essence and there is no duality.
Then you can start to not hold so tightly to a joyful or sorrowful experience, because you realize they come from the same essence and there for you can return to this place of essence, where it is calm and be content that life is ever changing.
Joys and sorrows will come and go, but the place of your essence, your being, the oneness of all living things never changes or ends. It exists in all of life and all of time.
You can only understand this by directly tasting the experience of life in all of its many faucets and remember to be grateful for being a live and enjoy every moment!
We did not have our Solstice gathering this year, so I wanted to post something to honor this sacred time and those who I have shared many, many, many solstice gatherings with over the years.
The Summer Solstice marks the longest day of sunlight for us here and each day after the Summer Solstice the days start to get a little shorter, until we find ourselves waking to the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of sunlight. But hold the dream of the returning sunlight deep in your hearts and never lose your hope and faith that the Sunlight will return and the light and dark come from the same essence of life!
May you all have a blessed year!