Chinese Medicine correlates Summer with the Heart, joyousness, abundant light, the color red, and the bitter flavor. So, shall we align our hearts and intentions with the ease and openness that Summer so readily supports? I say, yes! As the long hours of light infuse the days and evenings with vitality, we can invite that light to saturate our beings, encouraging our hearts to feel open and expansive.
With all the extra light and increased temperatures, we also experience more heat. Summer is the most Yang time of year, as demonstrated by the extended daylight. We are naturally encouraged and supported to do more and be more active. As Yin and Yang perpetually balance one another, we also must make a bit of an effort to bring in some cooling Yin energy, essentially clearing some Heat. Through diet, we can bring in the cool, bitter energetics with WATERMELON!!! It’s pretty great when the medicinal foods taste AMAZING! Watermelon clears heat and toxins, hydrates us, and the red color aligns with the Heart…..clearing heat, so that the Heart and therefore the mind can feel happy and calm.
To cultivate some stillness (Yin) among all the activity (Yang), I have a meditation technique to share. It is from Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and poet. This meditation involves a flower, which is particularly relevant to the heart opening energy of Summer. From Thich Nhat Hanh:
A flower represents our freshness. We all have the ability to look at things with fresh eyes and see them as if seeing them for the first time. If we have lost our freshness, all we have to do is practice breathing in and out to restore it. You too are a flower. You have your flowerness. We become light and joyous every time we restore our flowerness.
Breathing in, I see myself as a flower.
Breathing out, I feel fresh.
We hope you are beginning a wonderful Summer, honoring your very own Heart of Summer.