It is mid-month, October 12, and the full moon is dancing across the sky. Within the past 12 hours, I’ve twice found myself sitting between the ethereal movements of the moon and sun. Dusk and dawn have beckoned me to Mediation Hill, the new space on the eastern hillside of my Santa Barbara home. A space which when I moved here in July was nothing but rocks and brush. Over the past 3 months, it has transformed into a little meditation space…a magical fortress of driftwood pillars surrounded by succulent gardens and ancient rocks.
Last night at dusk after teaching a sweet full moon Vinyasa class on Isla Vista, I sat on the hill. Looking to the West, the sun departed with a pinkish orange sigh over the Santa Ynez Mountains. In the East, the full moon quietly rose into the sky. Jupiter, Lord over the October night skies, kept a watchful eye on the whole scene, his golden smile shining down on me. There amidst the changing of the celestial guards of day and night, I settled into the quiet embrace of the twilight which offered me shelter from my thoughts.
Thoughts of finances, upcoming yoga and Ayurveda workshops, and relationship issues whirled around my mind as the sun neared the horizon. I watched the brilliant and mighty orb drop, drop and drop some more. The sun moved westward with no regrets or trepidation. I mused if the sun can surrender his reign over this beautiful coastal sky, surely I can let go of my mental grasp on all the unknown stuff fogging up my head. So I breathed the cool air and set an intention to release the fears and projections. I felt the pranic Pacific breeze touch my body and encourage me. I closed my eyes and breathed. On an exhalation, I chose to release myself from the clutches of thought.
Opening my eyes, I found myself in the middle of the sunset and sunrise…perfectly balanced in twilight’s pause. My heart opened and I found mySelf sitting peacefully in the middle ground, recognizing being in the middle is a natural state in all life transformations and any creative process. Being in the middle is not a delay or place of indecision. It’s simply a place of waiting. The middle ground is actually a great vantage point for observing life’s landscapes. It’s a highly strategical position for planning the next move. When we wait with worry and anxiety, there is a tendency to only see the unknowns. When we wait with breath and awareness, there is the promise to see potential.
The mind, focused by awareness and under the influence of prana, understands the waiting periods are part of the process of moving into the next phase, manifestation or cycle. Meaning, during life changes the unknown often looks like a foreign place of intangibles and incomprehensibles (yes, I just made up that word) to the simple mind. But the mind nourished by prana, becomes the Divine mind and realizes the unknowns and waiting periods are natural necessary steps in all creative processes.
Amidst and betwixt the sunset and moonrise, the stillness of twilight reflected the newborn stillness in my mind and heart. Life no longer felt uncertain. I felt the waiting was less a place of being stuck, and more a natural state of being in the midst of a creative transformation. I was being in the midst of change and a Being in the midst of change.
This morning atop the hill, I again found myself betwixt these two lovely heavenly bodies of light. Only this time, the sun was in the East and moon in the West…opposite positions in merely 12 hours time. “Twelve hours” the moon whispered as she neared the same spot the sun passed the evening before. Twelve, it’s a number sacred in many faiths. The number 12 is associated with strength and conviction. Waiting from a place of conviction and authority is trusting in the perfect timing of the setting and rising cycles in my own life. Twelve is also the midpoint between night and day, hence the terms midday and midnight. The middle is a natural state. I am now fully convinced that waiting in the middle allows me and the Divine to create without limitations of time and space.
Watching the moon near the mountains, I imagined her as she travelled the celestial path over the night sky, guided by the stars. I imagined her face, an expression of full contentment as she made her way across the westward trail. The moon’s pace across the night sky, in perfect tempo with Nature. Dear sweet Mother Nature who is always reflecting the divine timing of God. In the whispers of the first morning light, I heard my heart remind me that when I am in the midst of change, the best space for me to be is in Nature. She makes a splendid “waiting room” during times of change, be it changes in hometowns, jobs, or relationships.
Sitting on the hill, I was in the middle of the transition of Mother Nature releasing the moon and welcoming the sun. I felt balance in my body and mind. I felt ready to begin the day and embrace the unknowns with the grace, strength, and conviction of the celestial tides of night and day. When I walked down the hill, I left my meditation spot, but I did not leave the ethereal spot of amidst and betwixt…the Divine place where the sun’s welcoming caress and the moon’s departing kiss reminded me of the balance in the middle. Amidst and betwixt is the perfect place to be.
Come, heart, where hill is heaped upon hill:
For there the mystical brotherhood
Of sun and moon and hollow and wood
And river and stream work out their will.
From “Into the Twilight”
by William Butler Yeats