Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Delayed Daily Musing - March 17th, 2013 - Solstice - 冬至 - Dōngzhì

Solstice - 冬至 - Dōngzhì

The longest day
does not appear distinct;
light, taken from granted,
reveals no inner truth.
A proper vantage point
reveals orientation-
turn with the planet
to face the Sun.

~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao


The summer solstice is glorious, the purest concentration of sunlight we will receive at any time of the year. The day holds immense power in our minds. The planet itself is turned towards the brilliance of the Sun.

This peak is not permanent, just as time is not static. The solstice is a remarkably brief period of time, and yet, the day seems like it will continue forever. The sun itself does not appear to move. Yesterday, it was still moving towards this momentous moment. Tomorrow, a new phase will begin and we must bid farewell to the perfect day.

A follower of Tao may celebrate this day, but they do so as a reminder of the cycles of existence. By definition, a cycle must have distinct periods, right or left, up or down, zenith or nadir. The moon waxes and wanes. Day surpasses night at one point, but day will give way eventually and night will reclaim its position. Death will always assert itself, as life itself is cycles. Balance must be preserved.

Celebrate, but do not be overly proud. When the pinnacle of achievement is realized, a fall is inevitable. Thus, if misfortune rears its head, be not sad. Mourn, but do not despair or give yourself over to grief. Know how to reach the peak in any cycle, but also be prepared to weather the dark valleys between snow-capped mountains.