The world needs us. Right now, more than ever, we are being called to serve our brothers and sisters and this planet on which we live. A divide is opening up before us, a chasm between the patriarchal materialistic worldview of the past and the united holistic view coming into focus. The world is crumbling. Power structures are shifting, people are moving, and new shoots of life are breaking the hardened surface of what was thought possible.

As we collectively find ourselves in more and more pain, depression, and despair, a new resonance is coming through which calls us to live our lives in a more balanced and connected way. People worldwide are waking up to the knowledge that we are co-creating our experiences here on this planet, and it is our responsibility to be in control of how it all proceeds. Whether it’s meditation classes in public schools, solar power in Silicon Valley, or indigenous elders leading ceremony at music festivals… the spiritual and the sacred are roaring back into mainstream culture and shifting our paradigms in a much needed way.

The summer solstice has long been renowned by our ancestors as the holiest day of the year. Temples and megaliths across the world attest to this fact, as on this day the light and shadows line up perfectly to reveal the true architectural purposes and astronomical visions that were devotedly imprinted at their construction. These great feats and strenuous efforts were more than just a way of recording time, but rather a means by which to measure cycles. Simply said, the summer solstice is the day of light.

Throughout the year, the sun has been building and shifting to eventually arrive at the climax it has found this week. It is a time when day prevails over night, light over dark, and seeing over blindness. It is a time to set intentions, to look around, and chart a course forward. This is especially important to do now, for in the cyclic world we all know that nothing lasts forever. The sun will be slowly waning its arcs and the shadows will eventually creep back in. We need to take the time now to decide on our futures and to create a vision on which to hold as we plunge back into the murkiness of winter and night.

Take time out sometime this week to meditate outdoors with the sun. Sit in a quiet and comfortable spot, ideally in direct sunlight and surrounded by nature. After you take a few moments to relax your body and feel your breathing, pose the inner question: How do I wish to serve the light? Feeling into your qualities, your wishes and intentions, your hopes and dreams, and really ask yourself how you want to be a servant of light on this planet. How do you want to devote yourself and how can you bring your inner aspirations together with your spiritual gifts to serve the awakening of the world? This process is the doorway to receiving our purpose. Take time to feel into it, let thoughts roll and see what comes up. See what feels right for you. Whether it’s small shifts like playing more piano or larger shifts like changing a relationship or profession, really honestly feel into what you want to do. Allow limiting thoughts and fears to take a backseat as you dream this new phase of your life into existence. Allow yourself to stay connected to the sunlight during this process, trust that the light will help guide you as an old friend. When the process is complete, find a way to ground it in your life. Whether you write it down, draw a picture, or go to your local crystal shop to buy a stone that carries your intention… find a way to make a physical reminder of the process. You will need this as the shadows of doubt, fear, and limitation creep back in.  Also make sure you share your reflections with a good and supportive friend. Find at least one person to tell about your experience, and trust that this communication will also help ground your wishes into the world.

Only you can make the necessary changes for your own life, and only we can be the chosen ones to help and heal our planet and those around us. It has always been a choice to make, so let us make it. When we begin living our lives in this deep connection into our inner purpose, we will rise together like the breaching morning sun, bringing light and warmth and vision to all. Remember that you are not alone, and that it is already happening. Let’s keep our inner commitments and live our roles.

Learn more about the author and his teachings through his website.

Seth Monk was born and raised in Andover, Massachusetts. At the age of 18, he became a disciple of a Vietnamese Zen Master and began practicing meditation formally. After graduating from University, Seth travelled to Germany where, in 2005, he ordained as a Buddhist monk and lived for 8 years in a monastery.
During his ordained years, he worked in a Chinese Medicine clinic and began guiding students in their spiritual practice. Over the years, Seth started teaching prolifically, he founded various meditation groups, led retreats around the world, and was able to practice with some of the famous Buddhist masters of our time, including His Holiness XIV Dalai Lama, Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, Tenzin Palmo, and Ajahn Brahm.
After leaving the monastery in 2014, Seth travelled to India where he continued his training in various monasteries, mountains, caves, and holy sites, before retreating to a Forest monastery in Perth, Australia.
Upon returning to America, Seth began responding to the social and emotional needs of students, treating stress and behavioral problems directly through dialogue and leading guided meditation in the classroom. He began teaching in various schools, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and in the Andover Public School system, sharing his knowledge and the practices he spent the last decade of his last cultivating. This path led to Seth founding Returning Peace, an initiative that trains students and faculty to integrate meditative practices into their daily lives.