Sunrise Sunset

pensacola1.jpgAloha, I wasreminded bythis photo taken on Pensacola Beach some ten years ago of how nice the beach is there and how much fun it was to teach the kids to bodyboard.I was on the beach for sunrises and they were breathtaking as all sunrises are.

When I revisited yesterday for the fourth or fifth time since then, the sky was cloudless, the sea was quiet and the temperature warm and cool simultaneously and I sat there on that same beach as the pitch black night brightened and shades of black gave way to morning purples that quickly became variations of orange.

Then the sun popped up over the horizon and the glow was overwhelming. Four people and I looked at each other, strangers but forever connected now as we all smiled at a new day in Gulf Breeze over the bridge from Pensacola. The coffee tasted better than ever.

It seemed like the first time I had ever experienced it. Even if you watch the sunrise for your morning meditation every day, you will not obtain a great deal from this or in fact any other exercise if you do not prepare yourself; possibly the night before, but certainly from the moment you set off before dawn you must hold firmly in your head and in your heart the belief that you will participate personally in this incredible happening taking place in the universe. When I walk barefoot across a white sandy beach that is my preparation and for me there is absolutely nothing more beautiful or important in the world than daybreak and sunset. They are the parentheses for all that occurs in between, the lessons of each ordered day.
I have heard the hackneyed comment, The sun will always rise, whether you are there to watch it or not. True, those who say such things are right about one thing, the sun certainly does not need them to rise in the morning.

I do not wish to impose my beliefs on others, but it seems to me that it is important, however, because there has been a connection between the events that occur in nature and those of my inner life. It is like when people say that God doesn’t talk to them. I say look around and truly see. All is very personal and once you have learned how to watch such things as the sun rising, you will have witnessed all the exact pure and resplendent powers that were triggered the moment the first ray of sunlight appeared.You will realize that daylight also breaks in your life. Instead of simply watching the sunrise, I imagine that light and warmth spreads through all the cells of my body and soul, refreshing them. It is like God’s touch.

My Teacher said and I reflect upon His words endlessly, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. What do your teachers say to you?

God, to me, as you have gleaned from my writings must always be sought above and beyond forms. And the sun is but one of many important imageries of God, but in spite of its beauty and power, it is still only a form, and you must go further to seek out God beyond form.

So, when I gawk at the sunrise, I try to sense that I am looking at one of God’s most perfect representations on earth. I just know that as I view it, I am released for a few minutes into the farthest expanses of space, and even the concept of time is abolished.

I got a free hot breakfast at the Hilton and I had worked up an ‘ell of an appetite. I smelled the bacon as I entered the restaurant and ate with gusto as I smeared the strawberry jam thickly on the warm croissant.

It was John Muir who said sadly that most people are on the world, not in it – having no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them – undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate?
I am a man not a stone.

God reminds me of that daily and did so in a special way when I wasperforming in Fiddler on the Roof a couple of years ago. I remember the joyof singing that wonderful refrain:

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Learning to Gaze

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