I am a sun lover. A sun worshipper if you will. I love everything about it. I adore how each day I am greeted with both a sunrise full of promise and a sunset full of peace, a spectacular show put on by beams of light bouncing off of and through clouds in the sky. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of the sun warming your face on a cold winter’s day. It’s the sunlight and warmth of summer that we crave in the colder months. I love the sting of the hot summer sunlight cascading through my windows and the way the light dances off the ocean – shimmering and sparkling like diamonds.
There is a prayer known as the Gayatri which when offered up, addresses opening ourselves up, letting light into parts of your life that have been held in secret and bringing wholeness and energy to our lives. It goes like this:
You who are the source of all power,
Whole rays illuminate the world,
Illuminate also my heart
So that it too can do Your work.
Reciting this and visualizing the sun’s rays streaming forth into the world, entering your heart, then streaming back out from your heart’s center into the world is powerful and healing. If you let yourself open up and even visualize the cells of your body regenerating, you may experience more energy, compassion and love. Jesus Christ reminds us in John 5:30, “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” Jesus’ critics are persecuting Him, even attempting to kill Him, for breaking Sabbath traditions and claiming to be equal to God (John 5:18). Verse 30 summarizes the point Jesus made in the prior passage: He is in perfect unity with God the Father. This verse provides a bridge from Jesus’ claims about His unity with God into the evidence which supports these claims. Jesus is justifying His teaching, and His ministry, by connecting it to the will of God.
As followers, by our own power we can do nothing. We are vessels and as a Spiritual Warrior we open ourselves up to love flowing through us and out into the world. It is Love with a CAPITAL L!
The sun is the life force of the earth. Without the devine combination of a number of factors — including the sun’s size, paired with our planet’s ideal distance from it, and the 24 hours the earth takes to spin on its axis allowing us to receive sunlight regularly — it can be said that life as we know it simply would not exist.
Without the sun, plants wouldn’t photosynthesize and produce oxygen for us to breathe. Without the sun we wouldn’t be able to see. Without the sun, the earth would simply float away out of orbit in the solar system. It’s no wonder that the adoration of the sun was one of the earliest and most natural forms of religious expression. In many cultures, light has long been a symbol of consciousness and illumination, and the opposition between light and darkness has informed the spiritual world of all peoples across almost every belief system no matter what you prescribe to.
The connection between the sun and the divine (or whatever your personal spiritual interpretation or higher being may be) also appears throughout yoga traditions, and any yogi, ancient or modern, will be familiar with sun salutations, a sacred prayer to the sun expressing reverence for the life-giving solar energy. Through asanas, one is said to be offering salutation to the divine, represented here by the sun, as a source of light, removing the darkness of a clouded mind.
Yin and yang. Light and dark. The sun and the moon.
The sun’s ultraviolet rays hitting our skin literally encourages hormonal changes in our bodies. Like all animals on earth, our biological processes are profoundly affected and even controlled by cycles of sunlight and darkness. When the sun comes up, the sunlight hits the optic nerve (through closed eyes). The light is then sent into the part of the brain which is in control of melatonin, the sleepy hormone. In response, our melatonin levels decrease and serotonin levels (the happy hormone) increase.
Sunshine boosts levels of serotonin which is why we tend to feel happier and more energetic when the sun shines. And the more sunlight the human body is exposed to, the more serotonin the brain produces. Regular sun can even stave off moderate depression, particularly if combined with exercise, which naturally releases endorphins, such as a morning walk along the beach.
We’re even capable of producing our own vitamins from the sun, specifically vitamin D which is essential for bone health. Though before you run outside and spend the entire day in the sun to do some healing, always remember to never over-expose yourself to the sun, and if you’re like me and are out in it almost every day, then you have to accept that sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. I won’t bring up my childhood memories of sitting covered with baby oil and a record album covered with aluminum foil frying my face or a day at Jones beach that caused my evening to be spent lying naked on a bed while my boyfriends mother covered me in Nivea cream! (that was beyond embarrassing), but I will say use SPF and wear cover-ups. Think pretty caftans, loose white cotton shirts over bathing suits, wide-brim hats and sunglasses.