Light is returning. The natural world is waking, and spring green is bursting forth everywhere.

Light is precious and life giving, and for that reason, the Sun and its light are often associated with the transcendent and seen as evidence of the divine around us.

The big question, though, is What are you going to do with this Light? How will you honor its gift?

An ancient description of meditation provides a clue when trying to answer these questions. When we meditate, we turn the light inward to better understand the self. Socrates certainly agreed with this idea when he remarked that to know oneself is the governing principle of living.

To turn inward is central to the practices of T’ai Chi and Qigong too, where the goal is to “feel” the self, which means not only to be able to feel the internal workings of the physical body but also the workings of the mind and heart—or yi and xin. From that understanding of self, we are in a better position to have a more refined understanding of the world around us too. That understanding allows us to better respond to our world in an appropriate, natural way, which is known in Taoism as “wu wei.”

 As Liu I-Ming, the famous Taoist monk observed, “If people are incapable of illuminating the inner, they will be incapable of illuminating the outward: first illuminate the inner, then illuminate the outer.”

With the warming days and abundant sunshine, dedicate time to turn your light inward to deepen the understanding of yourself, which will spark growth on your own path. Then shine that light outward to help illuminate the paths of others.