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Wednesday
Oct312012

Rooms 133-135: Become an Astronomer

Rooms 133-135: Become an Astronomer
A Starry-Eyed Contemplation

“If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The closest star to the earth is Proxima Centauri, which is 4.2 light years away. That means it would take light itself more than 4 years to complete the journey from earth. You could put yourself in the fastest spacecraft ever launched from earth and it would take you more than 70,000 years to get there from your front lawn. And that’s just one star. There are somewhere between 200 to 400 billion stars in our Milky Way Galaxy alone and with 500 billion other galaxies in the universe, that comes out to roughly over 200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars there are in the known universe. 

If ever you needed to remind yourself that there is more than the one room we’re living in, tilt up your head once in awhile. Feel infinity. It’s there twinkling in the sky.  

Like a true paradox, stars are full of mystery and science, they makes us feel small but powerful, alone yet connected. From the beginning of time, mankind has stood beneath the same sky, filled with the same dreams and questions we have today. 

It is not history that binds the ages, but the stars. 

In the words of Vincent Van Gogh, “I know nothing with any certainty, but the site of the stars make me dream.” I’d like to also add that they make us question, search, wonder and ultimately believe. 

The stars have a lot to teach us. We just need to pay attention. 

And that starts tonight.   

Rooms 133-135: Become an Astronomer
A Starry-Eyed Contemplation

This week’s room is to go to the desert, the ocean, the top of a mountain, a nearby planetarium, or simply step out onto your porch. Even in the brightest city you can find stars somewhere.  

Look up and get lost in the night sky. Contemplate infinity. Feel stillness. Live the moment. Treat it as a mindful meditation, no different than if you were closing your eyes in the quiet of your own home.

Do it for a week. Ten minutes a night. Just you and the stars. 

And, yes, I know there’s a lot to keep us inside. Dishes to do, phone calls to make, homework to be done, a comfortable couch.  

But, look at this way. What if the universe sent you a personal invitation to join it on a journey to unravel its mysteries. How would you RSVP?  Can’t do it, got a cake in the oven. 

Well, I believe that’s exactly what the universe is doing. And it’s up to us to make time and choose priorities. That is what any meditation is about. It’s about looking upward and inward. It’s about meeting the universe half-way. 

This is our chance to say yes. I’m in. All in.

And it only takes a few minutes a day.  

Look long enough and the stars will help us to remember that we are more than the country we live in, the political party we follow, the careers we have chosen. We are more than the family and friends we share our life with. We are more than the illnesses we have, the troubles we face. We are part of a cosmic journey that is unimaginable. 

And, whether we know it or not, it is our mission to consciously connect with this journey. 

This isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be downright lonely. Most of the planet has decided to stay indoors. And it can feel unsettling when we think we’re the only ones outside in the cold, looking for answers in the stars. 

Of course, this is an illusion. It only seems that way. We’re all searching in our own ways, only some are doing it with their eyes up and some with their eyes down. Sooner or later, we’re all looking in the same direction.

So, stay with it, keep looking, keep searching, keep staring up at the stars. And don’t be afraid of the loneliness. As Marianne Williamson says in her beautiful quote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most.”

Let the stars light up our path. Let the stars show us how powerful we really are.  

Let the stars help us dream—to be like the child who makes a wish on the first twinkling star. After all, how can you not look up at the sky and believe that anything is possible? 

 

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