Although most of us seek the sun, at least unconsciously, as we book our holidays, and complain about grey, cloudy days, we are generally unaware of how vitally important the sun is to our lives, to our psychic as well as physical health, our relationships with others and even our spiritual evolution.
Apart from being essential to our physical health, the sun we see radiating in the sky is also our doorway to the spiritual sun, the spirit of Christ in which the spirit of all creatures dwells. This inner sun is also known in the Cabbalistic tradition as the Sephiroth Tiphereth, the region of radiant beauty and splendour, of divine love, wisdom and truth.
Uniting the human and divine Self
Disciples practice ‘Surya Yoga’ as often as they can during the spring and summer months, by rising early to watch the sunrise. As they contemplate the sun in an attitude of reverence and gratitude they are able to restore the connections between their human personality and their divine Self:
‘At sunrise, in the morning, all our work with the sun, our meditations and prayers, are aimed at restoring communications, at building bridges between our lower self down here and our higher self in the sun. When the bridge is built and communications restored, we shall once again be united with that higher self that dwells with God in constant happiness, bliss and boundless freedom. Yes, part of us already dwells with God in a state of indescribable bliss’.
Health benefits of sunrise meditation
Some people ask why it’s important to meditate outside, why can’t they simply meditate in the comfort of their own room? There are many good reasons and the most basic is that the ‘Prana’ present at sunrise is able to restore and maintain our physical health:
‘Prana is a living force, the outpouring of vitality from the sun that we breathe in with the air and absorb into every cell of our body. Prana is like a pure stream, cascading down from the mountain heights, its water charged with every kind of nourishment for the beings swimming in it and also for the humans and animals living on its banks. Prana is a torrent flowing from the sun and, by respiration and meditation, we can obtain from it all the benefits we need’.
But the benefits of practising meditation at sunrise are far from being merely physical. By focusing our attention on the sun’s first rays while breathing deeply, we are nourishing our subtle, psychic and spiritual bodies; we are able to ‘eat fire and drink light’. And in this way, we not only rejuvenate our physical bodies, we also become inwardly richer, freer and happier. Our relationships with others improve as we become more loving and generous:
‘Learn to work with the light of the sun, for this light contains all riches. When you begin to take possession of these riches, you will feel your relationships with other human beings gradually improve. Why? Because when you feel rich, you become generous. But please understand me: I am speaking of true riches, that of the masters and initiates. They live in such abundance, such plenitude, how could they not wish to help others and love them? When you see someone who doesn’t love others, who shows no inner nobility or generosity it is because he or she is poor and miserable. And if you don’t want to fall into the same faults, work with the rays of the sun’.
The sun, image of perfection
The sun shines on all creatures equally, whether they be saints or criminals, all receive its light, warmth and vitality whether they are grateful for these blessings or not. In this sense, the sun can be said to be a physical representation of God, an expression of the trinity of love, wisdom and truth. It offers us a glorious image of perfection, inspiration for all those who strive towards a spiritual ideal.
For a comprehensive account of the methods of ‘Surya Yoga’ and many inspiring starting points for sunrise meditations please read the following books by Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov: