The full moon is a time of expanded awareness, the moon a sacred instigation to move more deeply into our unconscious, into our dreams, and into our inner spaces for insight and embodied wisdom. Yesterday evening, we gathered in the Sanctuary to harness some of Soma’s power, opening to the moon’s energy, elixir of both humans and the gods, to help us find and then begin translating that inner wisdom into conscious intention.
Our work in circle was focused on pratyahara practices, meaning those spiritual exercises that help us detach from external phenomenal awareness and enter more fully into the internal landscape of consciousness, doing so for exploration, deepening, and potential revelation. Beginning with pranayama, sometimes called breath work, we started to activate shakti, the primal life-force energy.
Prana means vital energy, and it is carried throughout the body on and with the breath. In this practice, energy is called prana-shakti to acknowledge the force that on one level is associated with our soul and on another level is connected to the larger expanse of universal power and potential. Prana was the foundation of our engagement with Soma through the immortality of our human yearning as activated by the amrita of divine inspiration.
From pranayama, an awakening into the subtle language of sound, we engaged the ancient practice of trataka, or fixed gaze, and entered the inner spaces where light and shadow, form and meaning, begin to take on new resonances. Three cycles of trataka complete, we ventured into the territory of spontaneous arisings, allowing the full moon to guide our explorations. My own work revealed new understandings of the power of the moon’s blessings and gave this energy a beautiful face. Looking much like an opalescent Kwan Yin, my divinity emerged from a cloudy haze of instability, quickly taking shape and transforming into, yes, a vision; but moreover an experience.
After an hour, our focusings and meditations were complete and we enjoyed sharing in the satsang about our individual experiences. Our closing gratitudes culminated in the Pavamana Mantra:
Tamasoma Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityorma Amritam Gamaya
This mantra may be found here, where you may listen, learn the Sanskrit in the original, work with a transliteration to help facilitate pronunciation, and get an English translation.