BEGIN A LUNAR SADHANA PRACTICE
lunar sadhana: a personal daily practice supported and guided by the moon
You may already have a daily practice, or perhaps you are looking to begin a new habit or break an old one. Sadhana is a commitment to repeat something over and over again.
What you repeat, you become.
WHAT DOES SADHANA MEAN?
Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best. It is a Sanskrit word that applies to dedicating oneself to a spiritual practice. The term is used in Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh traditions among others, to refer to distinct practices that can take many forms.
As the visionary yogi Sadguru says:
"Everything can be sadhana. The way you eat, the way you sit, the way you stand, the way you breathe, the way you conduct your body, mind and your energies and emotions – this is sadhana. Sadhana does not mean any specific kind of activity, sadhana means you are using everything as a tool for your wellbeing." - Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev
Sadhana is a commitment to self-enrichment and service. It is not something which is done to please someone or to gain something.
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO THE MOON?
One quality of the moon is fluctuation. Similar to moods and the mind, the moon is always on the move.
The constantly changing lunar energy can be both liberating and destabilizing.
This waxing and waning body of light fluctuates dramatically in size, shape, light, shadow, rising and setting time, astrological sign, and distance from the earth on its orbit. The moon can help you see the “orbits” that you go through each month.
How can you bring steadiness to your life in the face of these waves of irregularity, instability, and impermanence?
How can you acknowledge and embody the rhythms in nature and not expect or force yourself to be the same every day?
Charting your process and practice along with the moon phases can help illuminate your cycles of commitment and fluctuation to your wellbeing. It is a gentle way to bring more devotion to discipline.
When you start a new practice it is helpful to work with the guidance of the moon on a circular calendar. The moon will always give you a second chance. There is a sweet and loving quality to the moon that encourages radiance and reflection. No judgement, just keep going.
A PERSONAL JOURNEY
As a new mom I felt like I was always five steps behind, running late and feeling totally overwhelmed. I never had time to myself so I would stay up past midnight and that would start the cycle of exhaustion all over again. I knew something had to shift.
The first intention I ever wrote in the New Moon Calendar Journal was: I will sit in silence every day for 5 minutes at 6:45.
I wrote this even though it seemed impossible. Where would I sit? How would I ever wake up that early? What would I do? Just breathe, or chant, or what?
About six months later I repurposed a bedside table and put a candle on it. About three months later I joined an online course called Fierce Grace Collective lead by Carrie-Anne Moss. My morning practice began with a three minute Kundalini Yoga meditation every couple of days.
A year later I strengthened the inner muscle of steadiness and began to practice more regularly. During teacher training for Kundalini Yoga I completed my first 40-day meditation and have continued on from there.
As you can see it is an ongoing work in progress.
Lunar Sadhana brings steadiness to be present with all the changes in my life. I am constantly noticing old patterns that arise to try to break that steadiness. One of the results has been the ability to rely on myself more and trust that others could rely on me too. I started to show up ready and on time. The shifts are happening - now it feels like night and day.
This quote is a simple reminder of the benefit of a morning practice:
"There are a lot of things we need: One of these needs is that for the mind to work for you for the whole day, it must be fresh and clear; it must be made livable. That is why it is a requirement to rise early in the morning when nobody can disturb you, when you can be yourself." - Yogi Bhajan
FOR HOW LONG SHOULD YOU PRACTICE A SADHANA?
One answer: Any amount of time
Another answer: 40 days, 90 days, 120 days, or 1,000 days
Another answer: A lifetime
I invite you to choose one practice to do every day for an entire lunar cycle and chart it on the New Moon Calendar Journal. It could be a seated meditation, a set of movements, a self-care routine, a creative practice, or even just taking one conscious breath a day.
Saying a prayer of gratitude before you eat. Giving yourself an oil massage in the morning or evening. Saying no more often. Saying yes more often.
Perhaps the inquiry question will help give you an idea of what to choose:
Inquiry: Who am I becoming, and what is one practice that will support me on this path?
Begin and then notice what happens. This develops awareness and mindfulness. You don’t need to get it “right” the first time. In fact, the need for perfection stops many people before they begin event attempt to begin something new.
Current Lunar Sadhana is closed.
May the longtime sun shine upon you!