Dharma Topic: Celebrating Solstice

Dharma Topic: Celebrating Solstice

Discussion date: Thu, Dec 22, 2005 at our weekly Thursday evening practice

Dear Still Water Friends,

Dear friends,

This Thursday we’ll begin by practicing the ThreeTouchings of the Earth. The touchings bring us back to recognize ourconnections with (1) our ancestors and descendants–the vertical; (2) our fellowbeings, earth, and universe–the horizontal; and (3) life and death–thecircular. The touchings invite us to open our hearts to these elements of ourexperience and of ourselves. For those of you who were able to attend last week,the third touching very much connects with the lovely and moving discussion wehad about loving in the face of impermanence. (Thank you Annie!)

For our discussion, we’ll observe the winter solstice, as wewobble merrily along on our little orb circling the sun. Julia will invite us todiscuss and consider some of the questions contained in the excerpt below.

We look forward to seeing you Thursday evening. If youcannot come, we wish you a joyful, peaceful holiday filled with warmth and love.

Julia and Scott


some excerpts taken or adapted from Celtic Devotionalby Caitlin Matthew

Once again, the Winter Solstice of the year is upon us. Theseason when we honor the closing of circles, the Northern Quadrant of theMedicine Wheel, the White Buffalo, the White Owl, the Ancient Spirits and Wisdomamong us and within us. The season when we learn, from nature, how to honor thedarkness of Life’s Mysteries without losing faith…how to recognize the seedsof growth and nurture them in our own inner warmth until the Light returns…howto dignify the elder who lives always within us, and to face our own old agewith serenity and faith and power. Once again we learn, that even in the darkestmoments, health, serenity, and healing energy are available when we focus onthem with positive intent.


I tune the hearthsong of my soul, loving words upon mylips…

light-giving songs upon my heart…

life-bringing praises upon my eyes…

The music of comfort resound in the souls of all beings,

Preserving them in peace,

As the sun and moon renew themselves this night.

I give thanks to the Wise Powers of the Universe that haveprotected me this day, this season, this year; may their blessings attend mewherever I go, and a special blessings to those who have touched my life, whoare now in need.

I look to the unfulfilled places in my life, may my AncientWisdom Teachers show me how best to prepare these as fields where I may sowseeds of hope, especially. … I ask, both for myself and others, may selfblame, disappointment, disappear, self-doubt be transformed by self-confidence,hopefulness, an awareness of my potential, and Love.


What am I endeavoring to manifest now in my life?

How can I change my thought patterns, to empower my goals?

What old connections could I release now, for my highestgood?

Where can I turn for the best sources of Inspiration andSolutions?

What wisdom is seeking to reveal itself to me at this time?

What are the best ways that I can refresh myself, physicallyand spiritually?

How can I show my appreciation to others more effectively?

How can I show my appreciation to my Self more effectively?

What new idea has seeded itself this winter, and how can Ibest nurture it to fruition, as the earth nurtures her seeds??

What are the imprisoning fears that I feel ready to release?

What are the serenity landmarks or symbols of my SpiritHome? Of my Earthy Home?

What parts of me will awaken as the rebirth of Springarrives?

How can I best focus on the my blessings this season?

How can I turn negatives into positives?

How can I make the best use of this lifetime??



Remember happy childhood winter memories

Honor an elder who has passed on and re-establish yourspirit bond with him/her.

Walk outdoors, and honor the Green Standing People’s visible"bones" of the winter season.

Honor the living creatures that survive the winter seasonbecause of their own efforts and ingenuity.

Honor the stones whose patience carries them through thecold and dark, without flinching.

Welcome the returning sun, every morning or evening, as thedays lengthen.

Look for the first signs of spring growth, and rejoice.

Bring into your home, as decoration in food ingredients,edible plants that have stayed green and alive all winter. They have absorbedthe energy of the earth and rain and wind and sun. Now you can absorb thatenergy as well, with gratitude.

Know that you are Blessed.

– Elchai

Discussion Date: Thu, Dec 22, 2005