Everyday Meditation: Winter and Mindfulness

Seasonal Depression is something that leaves very few spared in the months when we lack sunlight and warm air to run around in. It can be challenging for myself and many others to keep the winter blues at bay, and many of the ways in which we can alleviate them require being motivated to get outside and move to begin with. Winter is, traditionally, a time when we go inward. It is a meditative time that calls for us to deepen our relationship with ourselves and analyze how and where we want to grow, what we have learned so far, and how we can best share that with the world. However, rather than recognizing this, I sometimes get caught in feeling like winter is happening ‘to’ me. When it’s freezing, and I have a long to do list, and daylight is limited, I can struggle to stay centered. It can be tempting to hibernate like the rest of the animal kingdom.

Rather than looking at this change of atmosphere and climate as a call for complaint, it is a celebration to understand that I am being gifted a season for which my only true obligation, outside of my worldly responsibilities, is to focus intently on being with myself. When everything else is stripped away, it is time to look at what is left. This is essentially parallel to what we experience in our meditation practice, when we learn not to identify with or as our thoughts, it is quite revolutionary, because we may have done so for our entire lives. In my own experience, this has been very true. It’s quite freeing to recognize that there is a great distance between what I think and what I am. In the season of winter, then, I can recognize the gift that is being able to fully immerse myself in this understanding in a way that I may be less apt to do when it is warm enough for me to run around in the world and perhaps become less focused.

Image Source: Petteri Sulonen

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Latest update: April 2, 2015