is a wonderful time when the natural world seems fully alive and full of energy, and we humans go outside to play, to relax, and to soak up the rays of the sun.
Science has confirmed that sun is very important for our health
. We cannot synthesize vitamin D without it, and many diseases, such as immune disorders, osteoporosis, asthma, and cancer, have been linked to vitamin D deficiency. Furthermore, the sun is the powerhouse of all life on earth. Without the sun, all life on earth would die, and not just from the icy cold that would result. All the food we eat is like a concentrated form of sunlight that our cells convert back into energy for our muscles and organs. Stated very simply, the food chain that we rely on works something like this: plants gather the energy of sunlight through the process of photosynthesis, animals eat the plants, and we eat both the plants and the animals to power our bodies.
In some sense, our bodies are mini-suns. They have vital energy, known as qi, ki, or chi, that runs through them on a network of pathways called meridians
and gather in energy centers called chakras
. Altogether, these form a complete structure, an energy body that most of us cannot see but can feel.
As earth beings, the sun is our most important source of vital energy, so I prefer to call our energy bodies a “Solar Body
.” By focusing on the solar source, you can visualize and direct the energy of the sun to come directly to you for healing and rejuvenation. When your body’s natural healing ability is at its full potential, your body becomes a Solar Body. Like the sun, a Solar Body is warm and overflowing with energy. It sustains itself with its own natural processes, creating its own health and happiness. When you have a Solar Body, you shine brightly with health, vitality, a sunny attitude, sparkling eyes, radiant skin, and a glowing spirit.
Balancing and building the energy body is key for regaining health and mental clarity. Of course, studying and developing one’s Solar Body
could take a lifetime of practice, but there are a few simple things you can start doing right now to help you get back into balance.
1) Manage your stress and breathe.
Stress is the number one way that modern people cause blockage and imbalance to their energy systems. Due to the prolonged stress that so many people feel today, they are often in an upside-down energy condition, with heat energy pooling in the head instead of in the abdomen. This leads to poor circulation of energy through the body, resulting in cold hands and feet; a busy, unfocused mind; and a general feeling of fatigue and malaise. There are many great stress reduction techniques, such as yoga, tai chi, and massage, but the most effective one you first learned on the day you were born—breathing. In my book The Solar Body: The Secret to Natural Healing
, I wrote a lot about the importance of breathing, because this is the activator of solar energy in the body. By learning to breathe deeply and naturally to the abdomen, you are bringing it back to a relaxed, youthful state. As you breathe, close your eyes and visualize the energy of the sun flowing into your body with every breath.
2) Get moving (preferably outside).
Actually, any movement is very helpful. When we sit too much, like so many people do today, it is like we have turned off the engine of our energy body. The longer we let it sit, the harder it will be to get the engine going again, like an old car that has been sitting for months in a garage. I developed something called the One Minute Exercise as a way of helping people keep their energy moving instead of letting it stagnate, even if they must sit behind a desk all day. Even better is a walk in nature, which will allow you to connect with nature and to receive the direct energy of the sun as you move. Moving your body as much as possible during the day is an essential component to turn your body into a vibrant, radiant solar body.
3) Spend time in the sun.
Many people today prefer to avoid the sun, fearing skin cancer or hoping to avoid wrinkles. It is true that too much sun can cause problems, but too little sun exposure is an even bigger problem. The body needs sun exposure to synthesize vitamin D, and deficiency of this vitamin has been linked to many different diseases, including immune problems, cancer, and mental health issues. Energetically, the benefits of sun exposure are even greater. If you have spent a day out in the sunshine, you know that it makes you feel like a kid again—relaxed and full of life. In a way, our skin is like a solar energy panel, soaking up energy in the most natural way possible.
Sunrise and sunset, when the sunlight is weaker, offer soothing times to refill the energy of our Solar Body with the energy of the sun
. I recommend making a habit of greeting the rising and setting sun with gratitude to reset and renew your energy and mindset.
If possible, get up a little early and spend some time contemplating your intentions for the new day. If you don’t have time for that, you can do so while commuting to work or even at your desk before you begin work each day.
The best practice is to use meditation along with your greeting. You can do this occasionally, such as on an early morning hike, or as part of your daily routine, perhaps in your backyard or in a nearby park. As you meditate, feel the power of the sun’s energy flowing into you, restoring you and bringing you energy for your day. Here is a step-by-step guide to a complete early morning, outdoor sunrise meditation:
Steps of a Sunrise Meditation
- 1. Begin preparing yourself as you approach your location. Preferably, this should be somewhere a bit secluded and away from the noise and activity of other people, someplace that feels serene and sacred to you. You should head toward your spot before the sun begins to rise, so bring a flashlight if you need it and be careful on your way. As you go toward that place, keep a quiet mind, and avoid chit chat if you are with other people. Focus on these questions: How will I use this day? What am I meant to accomplish, and how can I grow today?
2. Once you have found your spot, make yourself comfortable and continue to quiet your mind. Sit down facing the direction of the rising sun. You can take the traditional meditation posture, perhaps sitting on a mat of some kind. If that is not comfortable, you can use a bench or a folding chair.
3. Sit and focus on your breath, feeling the cool morning air entering and refreshing your body. The drowsiness of sleep is swept away with each breath. Remind yourself once again of your intentions for the day, feeling deeply into the sincerity of them. If the sun is not yet above the horizon, keep your eyes open and focused gently on the horizon.
4. Continue to quiet your mind and to relax your body more deeply. As the sun begins to peek above the horizon, feel the awe that the beautiful light and colors brings to your being. As the light intensifies, close your eyes, being careful not to stare directly into the sun. Continue to observe the increasing light through your shut eyelids.
5. As the sun rises completely above the horizon, imagine that the light of the sun is pouring into the top of your head into the energy point there, known as the baekhwe or crown chakra. Visualize that golden light energy flowing through your entire body, traveling to every cell of your body. Visualize that energy powering you through your day to accomplish every intention you've set. Feel the waves of gratitude flow throughout your body and mind.
6. To conclude your meditation, once again return your attention to your breath. Slowly open your eyes as you exhale. Gently move your body and awaken to your brand-new day of action and goal accomplishment.
If you are housebound or the weather is poor, you can adapt this meditation to your circumstance. Instead of going outside to greet the sun, just do so in your mind’s eye. While closing your eyes, imagine all the steps above happening in your mind. Brain science has shown us that simply imagining something can have the same positive effect as when you actually experience something—stress hormones, such as cortisol, decrease, and “happy hormones,” like serotonin, increase.
You can use this video of the Sedona, Arizona sky to help you visualize the sun even when you're indoors
Happy Sunsets Are the Real Goal
Really, while starting your day is important, ending your day well is even more important. There is no better feeling at the end of the day when you know you have lived well that day—when you have done your best to work hard and to smell the roses, too. So, don’t forget at the end of the day to give your gratitude, too. You can even use the sequence above to do a sunset meditation, if you like. Each day’s end can reflect how you will be when you die. Will you have regrets about goals left undone or love left unexpressed? Living well is the key to dying well, so start living well now, starting every morning with each new sunrise.