No matter how busy your day is, there is power in setting aside even a short time for your spiritual practice. This can be a brief practice of meditation, reciting a mantra, or simply tuning into the energy throughout the day. While there is great benefit to following the entire practice, you are invited to consider what aspects of the following traditional practice may be suitable for you and your lifestyle.
A lunar eclipse is a powerful energetic time when the moon, sun, and earth are in alignment. According to Vedic wisdom, the moon represents the mind, the sun represents the soul, and earth represents the physical body. Therefore, when these three aspects of being are in total alignment, there is a great power being transmitted that is available for spiritual evolution.
In addition, in the Indian philosophies/knowledge of tantra* and kundalini,** the moon represents the Ida nadi and the sun represents the Pingala nadi. When both are in balance, energy can then flow up the Sushumna nadi, awakening kundalini. Therefore, the celestial bodies are aligned in a way that helps us manifest kundalini energy moving within us.
*In Tantra, life force circulates through nadis (streams). Ida is the left channel and Pingala is the right channel. Sushumna is the central channel.
**Kundalini is latent divine feminine energy (also referred to as chi) believed to lie coiled at the base of the spine, and considered sacred in many cultures.
Here is the traditional practice provided by the pundits in India.
- Look up the exact lunar eclipse start and end time in your area by entering your city using this link.
- Nine hours before the start of the lunar eclipse, begin a fast. No food is suggested, although milk and fruit are acceptable during the nine hours before the eclipse; abstaining from water is optional. Follow what works best for you. (Note: Please consult your physician if you have any questions about fasting for more than 9 hours.)
- If possible, bathe in a large body of water (river, lake, ocean) at the exact start time of the lunar eclipse. Bathe in clothing that covers both top and bottom of the body. Bathing may be done quickly; 3 dips in the water and out. You may also bathe in a bathtub or shower. If you have access to a natural water source to gather water in a bottle, you may include that in your bath or shower.
- Next, change into dry clothing.
- Perform japa by reciting rounds of a mantra (such as Gayatri) or given by the Guru (if you have been given one) or use “Om Namah Shivaya” continuously during the time of the eclipse.
- No work (job, meetings, labor, etc.) should be performed. It is a time to focus on sadhana (spiritual practice).
- Bathe again at the exact ending time of the lunar eclipse.
- Afterward, you may end your fast at any time.