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“Fitness” needs a makeover. It’s not about the size of your muscles, how fast you can run, or how much you weigh. There are plenty of physically fit people who are unhappy, eternally pessimistic, and drained of spirit. True fitness starts with emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer: Inner Balance & Harmony

by Brant Secunda

Here we are, in the season of the light. It feels to be racing by at the speed of light and indeed the summer offers bundles of joy and happiness, which help make time fly. Today, I am at the foot of Mt. Shasta, celebrating this summer season in our 28th annual retreat here at this healing place. The light is glistening through the trees, as the wondrous mountain reflects the rays from the sun.

Though we have already passed the midpoint of summer, the days remain long and the dawn’s light is early. This time of light provides each of us with an opportunity to leave behind the darkness, shed negativity and embrace the light and all that is positive. Too often we focus on the negative, allowing the smallest disturbance to continually pester our body and soul. This unconscious physiological cycle can drain our physical bodies. It is imperative that we consciously focus on the light and use it to create beneficial transformation from the inside out. Although this practice is important during any season, the summer presents us with a special chance to use our outer environment to create positive change in the deepest realm of ourselves.

During the seminar, here at Mt. Shasta, I will offer an exercise to each participant, which assists in connecting with the light of the sun and the love of our mother earth to create inner balance and harmony.

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Exercise Explanation: Go outside and find a place to walk on the earth. Walk slowly. With each step try to imagine the energy of the earth (love) flowing up through your body and into your heart.

Next, imagine the light streaming down from the sun and sky. Imagine this light coming down through your head and into your heart. Feel the love and light mixing in your heart and allow yourself to feel a sense of balance between earth and sky. YOU are in the center, connecting the love and light through your conscious awareness of the two.

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This practice can help everyone. I offer it at almost every seminar I teach. My grandfather, Don José Matsuwa, continually reminded me during my apprenticeship to, “always feel at home on the ‘altar‘ of mother earth. The earth is your mother.” Other times he would tell me, “The sun is your father. Learn to speak his language.” The exercise above allows for a simple, yet profound way for each of us to connect with with two of the four elements. Don José also used to tell me, “never be fooled by simplicity.”

Though this exercise, as well as many others that I was taught, may at first appear too simplistic to create any truly tangible change, through diligent practice, comprehensive and extensive transformation can arise.

With this in mind, take the time to to connect with the light of summer. Little by little, this positive change will occur. No one should expect to be in perfect physical shape from a 5-minute jog. Lots of little steps add up to cumulative corporeal health. The soul reflects the body in this way. It takes repetitive “training” to bring about true spiritual change.

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