August 24, 2012

Summer Is A Hot House

Happy Friday to all!

Today is my birthday! Although I’m not much of birthday type of guy, today is beautiful!

My good friend Sean Greeley is here to spend the day with me. We are going to drink some special tea that I make, go get a massage and do some toning together in the steam room. To me, this is an ideal way to spend my day!

Yesterday afternoon, my good buddies Ryan Hughes, motocross champion and coach, and Robbie Maddison, freestyle motocross champion came to spend time with me in the rock garden.

We built this amazing conical tower and then, the last stone collapsed the whole thing. We laughed and had a great time. These experiences remind me of how important it is to not be attached to outcome, but to be committed instead to the process, which for us was really fun!

When we gift to ourselves time for unbound play, the spirit is loosened from the have-to, should-do constraints of our busy lives.

Summer is a Hot House

The earth drinks the sun,
Which feeds the sun inside her.

The inner sun shines through the mantle of her body,
Expressing the ideas of the two,
Just as your soul does within your body.

The sun above, the sun below,
And the sun or soul in you
Create three, conscious of the two

For which seasons draw the line.
Summer Is A Hot House,
Always in the sun.

The tree of life is made of stars,
Its body, light and heat.

Mother Yin slows light down,
Putting earth beneath your feet.

Summer is the time of year
When their love is seen and felt as growth.

TAO-TE-zen is practicing awareness
That we live within the stars.

Seasons show the tree of life
So we can come to know who we are.

Spring is the rooting phase,
Through which the summer grows.

Zen is a love of earth and sun,
The product of which is fruit.

Zen is balancing light and dark,
So love can be seen true.

Too much work and not enough rest
Can burn a hole in you . . .

Summer Is A Hot House.

Summer as you know is the time of year when the sun reaches its peak expression of warmth with regard to our relationship to the sun and the seasonal cycles. Summer is where growth is well rooted and established.

The earth and the sun are working diligently to create new life; to create new life both out of that which is authentically new spirit and that which was life itself.

The accumulation of winter, the energy accumulation in the resting phase is expressed in spring through sprouting and rooting. Summer is the equivalent of the time of life in which the young adult gains awareness of what it’s offering, its legacy, will be.

Summer is the time in which we finish our schooling and begin practicing; mastering our craft, our gift to self, society and the world. It’s a time when we acquire bills and often times find a partner and start a family, and things move quickly.

It’s an exciting time. But as many of you know, summer is elusive.

You can fall asleep in the sun and become overly absorbed. You can easily begin to identify yourself, not as a human being, but as your doings.

To the degree that we lose perspective, this summer season becomes a hot house. If we do not honor summer as a cycle within cycles that all depend upon each other, we get burned. We burn ourselves out.

Having worked with more professional athletes and elite amateur athletes than I can even count, I can assure you that many of them who moved to California from places with a significant winter, find out through their own experience what this sutra “Summer Is A Hot House” means.

If one becomes ignorant, does not pay attention to the need for seasons within their life on a daily basis as well as those that are built into an annual cycle, then the athlete, the worker, even the student becomes overworked, over trained, and burned out.

Look at your life and see the seasons of your day; morning, spring; midday, summer, high productivity time. Afternoon, fall, gathering and completing and concluding with celebration in preparation for the winter phase of the day, sleeping and accumulating.

The life cycle begins the same way. Spring is youth. Summer is early adulthood. Getting yourself organized and productive. Fall is the time of celebration. It’s the time that many people go into a midlife crisis if they have spent their summer doing what other people want them to do, not what their heart and soul truly want to do.

So this TAO-TE-zen sutra is a call for awareness. It’s a reminder to balance your flow of energy and to give yourself the seasons that are natural to the human organism and to life itself.

Let’s share the warmth of summer. After all, the hot house is a great place to sweat, to move the toxins out of your body. But as you know, what works for awhile, 20 minutes in a steam room or a sauna, if over exposed becomes a source of pain and separation.

Wishing you a fantastic weekend celebrating the cycle of life in all her glory!

I will be.

Love and chi,

Paul Chek