Easter - Again
Happy Easter everyone! It's the day when - according to some complex calculation - the Western Christian Church commemorates the death and resurrection of Christ. It is also, not coincidentally, at roughly the same time of the year as other older celebrations such as the Spring Equinox, May Day, Passover and Ēostre.
What these have in common is that they are all about rebirth, the return to fertility after the winter season. For agricultural communities this was (and is) hugely important as it marks the time when the land can once again be worked. Eggs and bunnies are not-so-subtle allusions to this return to fertility.
For me I like to treat this time of the year as an opportunity to reset and re-start. I have written about this before, in 2015, 2016, 2020 and 2021 - and now in 2022 I am going to do something completely different!
I joke. I'm actually going to do exactly the same thing once again. For me the cyclical, repetitive nature of the return of the seasons is a powerful reminder that we can begin again. And every year I return to the same teaching from Sharon Salzberg:
The critical element in meditation practice is beginning again. Everyone loses focus at times, everyone loses interest at times, and everyone gets distracted over and over again. What is essential, and also incredibly transforming, is realizing that we have the ability to begin again, without blaming or judging ourselves, without thinking we have failed, without losing heart, we can, and need to, constantly be beginning again.
The reason I return to this same passage year after year is that it is so inspiring - and so compassionate. We all struggle with practice sometimes, we all need to re-boot and re-start. Of course that is something we can do at any time, but having the yearly reminder from the turn of the season helps keep it in our minds.
So whether or not you celebrate or recognize Easter - or any of the other celebrations of this season - we can all use the turning of the season as inspiration to reevaluate our practice - and begin again.
I have linked below a fully guided meditation on beginning
again. Feel free to use it in whatever way you feel helps.