Summer is fun and filled with energy as the sun shines its rays long into the day. This type of energy can lend itself to a “go-go-go” attitude of staying out long hours to enjoy the extra daylight. Definitely nothing wrong with that and in fact it’s recommended in sticking with our theme of living with the rhythm of the seasons. Summer is the time to go with that energy and momentum that the longer daylight hours can bring. However, it’s also important to still make sure we are staying present and grounding ourselves and not getting burnt out. That’s where meditation comes in. One of my favorite meditations is especially perfect for the summer months since it’s all about noticing and meditating with the sounds around us. Of course, this can be done inside but the warm summer days and nights invite us to perhaps sit outside and allow their sounds to be part of our practice.
To begin, simply take a moment to adjust your position comfortably wherever you’re sitting, whether it’s on the floor or in a chair or anywhere else. Put down any objects that you might be holding or have in your lap. Gently close your eyes if you wish and settle into your body. If it’s more comfortable for you not to close your eyes, just keep a soft focus a few feet in front of you. Allow your back to have a straight yet comfortable posture. See if you can feel your hips and your spine supporting you. Perhaps now take a deeper breath or two. Breathe in slowly and deeply and then let the breath out slowly. And as you breathe out, notice that natural feeling of releasing a little more with each out breath. Simply let go … breathe in … breathe out.
Now, when you are ready, bring your awareness to the sounds that are present in this moment.
- Without searching for sounds, let them come to you and fill your ears while simply hearing sounds near and far away. This is pure listening.
- These may be sounds inside the space you are in, outside the space, or even inside your own body.
- Notice any judgments or thoughts about the sounds and let them pass away.
- Notice if you find yourself trying to identify or label the sounds and instead focus on hearing the bare sounds themselves.
- Notice if the mind has moved to judgments like “I like this sound” or “I don’t like that sound” and see if you can allow yourself to continue hearing regardless of any present likes or dislikes.
- Let the sounds come and go.
Now, for a few moments, listen to the gentle sound of your own breathing … allowing your breath to take up whatever rhythm feels natural for you at the moment … quite effortlessly.
And in the last few moments of this meditation, see if you can allow yourself to rest and nourish yourself, to be present to whatever is unfolding. Accept yourself exactly as you are and accept everyone around you exactly as they are … extending thoughts of kindness and compassion.
When you are ready, very slowly and gently, while still maintaining an awareness of your body, maybe move your body a little, wiggling fingers and toes, or gently stretch before allowing your eyes to open once more. Try it and see what you think. The beauty of this meditation practice is that it can be as short or as long as you like. Just a few minutes as a quick mindful break during those busy summer months or a 20 or 30-minute or longer practice.