October is an amazing month. Right now, in the northern hemisphere autumn is in full swing and you can feel the urgency of change almost as a vibration in the air.
Change is all around us.
You wake up in the morning and it’s cold and almost a bit frosty; but by late afternoon it’s sunny and hot and people are walking around in their shirtsleeves.
Many of the trees are now adorned with leaves that are aflame with color. It won’t be long before those leaves begin to fall and by the end of the month many branches will be bare.
And although it’s still a bit early, you can already see skeins of geese winging across the sky as they begin their long journey to warmer climes.
When we’re young, every season is a revelation of new sights and smells. New clothes and new ways to spend the day. And each season seems to last forever. But as we get older, and have seen the cycle of the seasons many times over, everything seems to speed up. We have a bigger, more inclusive picture of the year. We know that no season lasts forever but must inevitably give way to the next, again and again and again.
And while we might prefer one season to another, after we’ve experienced the full cycle enough times, we come to see that no season is good or bad. They all have their place in the great turning of the wheel of time. We realize the only thing that makes a season what it is for us is the quality of the awareness we bring to each moment, and not what any season brings to us.
Here is a quote from the 12th century by Wu-men Hui-kai, a Chinese Chan (equivalent of Japanese Zen) master, that expresses this idea from across the centuries. Its delicate wording is reminiscent of a haiku:
Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life. — Wu-men Hui-kai (1183 – 1260)
Don’t you love that?: “This is the best season of your life.” Every season is the best season of your life — if you meet it from the right place within yourself, with a mind that “isn’t clouded by unnecessary things” — like regrets of the past or fears for the future.
And the same truth holds at every level of time. Every moment is the best moment of our life — if we meet it from the right place within ourselves. Whether that moment brings autumn-like splendor in the midst of change and loss; a wintry blast of loneliness or doubt; a stirring of new hope as though one were touched by the very spirit of spring; or the sense of fruition in the summer of our life — every bit of it is a necessary part of the whole and brings its own celestial fulfillment if we open our hearts to what the moment has come to show us.
Human awareness can hold all the seasons because it is above them all. It has the capacity to gain more wisdom and grow closer to the Divine with each passing day. That’s why this moment, right now, is always the best.
Discover More Timeless Lessons in the Passing of the Seasons
Here’s a quote from OneJourney founder Guy Finley that also expresses the principle that higher understanding puts us in a new relationship with the “seasons” of our life:
To everything there is a season, and life’s great cycles of expansion and contraction — of yes and no — serve no individual save the one who has uncovered the secret of being in the world, but not of it. — Guy Finley (1949)
For those who are willing to devote attention to life’s higher lessons, then every change of life serves even greater development into more understanding and greater fulfillment.
If you’re interested in how the seasons impact our lives, do look into Guy’s book, 365 Days to Let Go: Daily Insights to Change Your Life. This book is a perpetual calendar with specially selected, inspiring quotes by Guy for each day of the year. Plus, Guy’s introductions to the book and to each of the four seasons develop the idea of how our own lives reflect cycles of “seasons” akin to the yearly cycle of the seasons of earth.
Here is a link to part of the introduction to the book that delves further into the themes we’re looking at today…
Enjoy the rest of the fall, and all the seasons in life’s great cycle.
Dr. Ellen Dickstein
The OneJourney Project
PS: You are invited to join Guy Finley’s FREE talks on these beautiful ideas. He speaks every Wednesday evening and Sunday morning, and all his talks are livestreamed! For details visit guyfinley.org/freeclass