Winter Solstice 2014 – Dakshinayana

Solstice in our hemisphere marks the shortest day, the longest night, and the beginning of Winter. In the Vedic Calendar the period from Summer to Winter Solstice is called Dakshinayana , the dark half of the year.  The energy of waning light is similar to the dark half of the month, but more pronounced.

In mythology this part of the year is when the demons prevail and the gods are subdued.  The correlation to human affairs has been to traditionally use the dark half of the year for planning and purification as the tide of consciousness is more negative.

The exact point of Solstice in Tucson will occur at 4:03 pm on December 21st 2014, followed by the New Moon at 6:35 pm. An interesting coincidence this year is that the moon is also very dark, meaning close to the Sun.  They are in the constellation called Mula which means root and aligns with the center of or our galaxy.  In Vedic Astrology this constellation has deep significance.  It is place of healing and reconciliation if one knows how to be fierce and work with darkness.

It is a powerful day to pause and reflect on events and experiences of the last six months, or deeper back into your past.  Our lives move fast.  We have much that is undigested and unassimilated that yearns for the light of our consciousness to return to it.  We are easily distracted from what really matters.  Now is the ideal time.

Ask yourself: What has occurred? What has impacted me?  What needs light?  What is the essential message for my healing?  What will help me more forward anew?  Be brave. Be kind.  Be Fierce.  As Krishna says to Arjuna on the eve of his battle, “On this path no effort is wasted, no gain is ever reversed; even a little of this practice will shelter you from great sorrows.”

As we approach the Winter Solstice I am reflecting on the last six months since Summer Solstice.  This is the waning phase of the year, the days growing shorter.  Traditionally, this is an auspicious time for planning and preparation.  What have you been up to? What is the theme of your past 6 months?

The Vedic understanding of time is vast and incorporates eons. Our individual lives are part of an enormous whole.  We come from the invisible womb of being and return there, again and again until the soul’s journey is complete.  We are made of stars and possess the innate intelligence of the universe.  This is a theory of course, an ancient way of framing the unknown, a poetic contemplation.  It is true that we are literally made of stars, the same substance of the universe.

Time is personified as Kala Purusha. The word Kala contains sounds related to the beginning, middle, and end of all manifested things.  Purusha is the essence of consciousness, beyond manifestation.  The implication is that we each have a time limited opportunity to express our essence.  We are all bound by time and go through cycles of time; natural, collective, and personal.

Classically, yoga practices are designed to work with natural cycles, to help us be in harmony with the deeper pulse of the planet and cosmos.  For instance, dawn and dusk are the considering the most powerful times to meditate and pray.

Collective cycles relate to our family, our peers, our place on the earth.  Consider your family’s cycles,   your generation’s expectations of life (boomers, x’s, millennials), the cycles of your neighborhood, your city, state, country?   Can you sense how this contemplation of time turns us towards the complicated subject of karma?  Why me?  Why not me?

There is a great Hindu story regarding how personal time cycles affect even the mighty Shiva.   It is believed that we all go through regular periods where the harsh gaze of Saturn tests us and transforms us.  It is called Sade Sati, the 7 ½ years of Saturn, and occurs every 23 years or so in a person’s life. When you are in Saturn’s gaze specifically, depends on personal birth factors.

The story goes that Saturn was the student of Shiva, yet still had to do his duty and cast his terrible gaze upon his guru.  Shiva tried to outwit him by submerging himself in the River Ganges for the entire 7 ½ years.
When he emerged he was delighted with his feat and cried,
“Oh Saturn! What could you do to Me?”
Saturn replied,
“You call that doing nothing to You?”

Where ever you are in regards to Saturn, in regards to your personal cycle, may the new phase of the year bring you deeper peace, greater wisdom, and fruition of your current hopes and dreams.

Happy Solstice, Happy Holidays.

Natasha

 

 

There are 2 Free Mindful Meditation classes in December

December 8th we will honor the mindfulness methods of Thich Nhat Hanh.
Present Moment, Wonderful Moment: Experiencing Mindfulness

December 15th a mindful practice related to the change of seasons.
The Fruitful Darkness: An Evening of Mindfulness Practice

All are invited to attend either or both classes:
Simply register 
No experience is necessary.

 

Ongoing Class

Meditative Yoga Sundays (Class continues uninterrupted thru the Holidays)
10 – 11:30 am at The Movement Shala 435 E. Ninth Street

Class happens every week without fail.  You never have to wonder.  On the rare occasions I am away, one of our regular students, who is also a trained teacher, subs and you get to experience someone else who appreciates meditative yoga.  Downtown is flourishing too, with great places for Sunday brunch- come to class, stay and play!  First time students are always free.
$10 class or $32 for a 4 class pass

 

Upcoming

Winter 2015 MBSR Schedule

MBSR Free Information & Introduction Session For Winter 2015 – Monday January 5th

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program MBSR Winter 2015 – Monday January 12th

Please see the full Schedule and Complete details here

Greetings,

We have two free Mindful Meditation practice offerings in December.

December 8th we will honor the mindfulness methods of Thich Nhat Hanh.
Present Moment, Wonderful Moment: Experiencing Mindfulness

December 15th a mindful practice related to the change of seasons.
The Fruitful Darkness: An Evening of Mindfulness Practice

All are invited to attend either or both classes:
Simply register
No experience is necessary.

January 5th we will have the free Introduction session for the MBSR Program . If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness or registering for the Winter 2015 MBSR program please register and join us.

As a holiday treat for those that have been to our classroom in the Library of the Ada Peirce McCormick Building, we all know what a great influence Moses is on our mindfulness practice.  For those that have not had the pleasure to meet him yet, he has a new video out.

Mindful Cat

Our message is first and foremost a nonverbal one; our message is our own action. thich nhat hanh.

 

Thank you for your support.

Natasha

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