This Silent Sunday coincides with a New Moon. Typically, this monthly event ushers in a ripe moment for new approaches and ideas: a fresh start. This August’s New Moon adds a not-so-hidden punch: As Susan Miller writes on her astrology website (astrologyzone.com), “The new moon [in this ‘high-contrast’ month] is a shocker; [however], while the new moon can cause some jitters, the full moon [will be ‘enchanting’].”
So often, one may feel or notice vibrations or signs that forecast disruption, yet be uncomfortably uncertain of their origin or meaning. With a cosmological alert—such as the one above—one can choose to prepare for and marvel at yet another example of Life’s inherent surprises. With regard to this month’s lunar extremes (today’s New Moon, and the Full version on August 22), one can be assured that the latter will provide a sense of divine relief.
The following practice will aid the calming of the New Moon’s provocative “jitters,” and remind each of us that “when chaos erupts, it is for a reason” (Miller, astrologyhzone.com). I have created several previous practices to cope with Full Moon energies; today’s routine focuses on the atypical aspects of an unsettling New Moon.
Because this New Moon’s usual vibration of positivity and possibility is conflated with jangled energy stemming from its interaction with other planets, today’s practice provides a centering counterpoint of Trust and Hope. As noted above, we have the soothing reassurance that all will be well by the end of the month: The ride until then will be much easier when seated in a rock-steady Will, buoyed by Faith.
Begin standing. Let the arms hang loosely by the sides: As you move through this first round of spinal flexes, allow the shoulders to roll open and close (or not) as your body dictates. With the knees comfortably bent for support, inhale to extend (arch) the spine and tip the pelvis forward; exhale to flex (round) the spine, as the pelvis rocks back. As you arch and round, silently chant, “Sat Nam,” respectively, 4 times. This mantra imbues the mind and energy centers with the idea that “Truth is my name”: self-empowerment rooted in eternal divine wisdom.
Continue the spinal flexes at a steady pace, now whispering the mantra 4 times in correspondence with the movement: Sat to arch; Nam to round. Without pausing, chant 4 more times with movement in full voice. When you have completed this, straighten through the legs as you inhale the arms overhead; exhale to sweep them down.
Begin the spinal flexes with chant again, this time first rounding, then arching: chant Sat aloud as you curve the spine backward; Nam aloud as the spine arches and presses forward. After 4 repetitions of the mantra with movement, repeat in a whisper 4 times; then finish in a silent chant 4 more times. Again, inhale to straighten through the legs and stretch the arms overhead; exhale to bring the arms back down.
Now, still standing, repeat the chanting sequence—silent; whisper; aloud—with a new movement. As you chant Sat, shift the ribcage to the left; slide the ribcage to the right as you chant Nam. Repeat 3 more times, then without stopping the movement, chant in a whisper 4 times, then aloud 4 times.
To fully awaken and empower your energies through each chakra, you now will add an oppositional head movement to the ribcage isolation and mantra. Starting out loud, chant Sat as you shift the ribs to the right, and turn the head to look left; chant Nam aloud as the ribs move left and the head looks right. Repeat 3 more times.
Special note: This move is admittedly tricky, and will force the brain to focus and harmonize. If you need to practice a few times before committing to the fluid combination of movement with mantra, feel free to do that.
After the out-loud version of Sat Nam with oppositional movements, repeat (again starting by shifting the ribs to the right, as head turns left) 4 rounds of the mantra in a whisper; finish the movement with mantra in the silent variation, 4 times. Then, take a few moments, standing with eyes closed, to breath deeply and sense any physical or mental changes.
For the final standing movement, begin to circle the ribcage. The move is akin to seated Sufi Grinds, and not as large as a full torso circle: The emphasis is on the rib cage, which highly stimulates and frees the flow of Third Chakra (Will Power) energy. Let the arms hang or naturally respond to the first clockwise circling of the ribcage 12 times; then reverse directions to circle counter-clockwise 12 more times. Typically, the breath will find its way into an inhale as you circle through the front space, and exhale as you circle into the back space.
Now, help yourself to sit on the ground. In your preferred posture for meditation, interlace the fingers, and place the palms on the Third Chakra, at the juncture of the low ribs below the breasts. With eyes closed and gazing to the Third Eye, inhale deeply through the nose; exhale through the mouth. As you breathe, focus on the interconnection of the fingers; the feeling of the palms against the body; and the side-to-side expansion and regression of the ribs with each inhale and exhale. Continue for 2 minutes of this alignment between your Will and the current of the Universe.
Then, bring the backs of the hands together, pinky finger edges resting against the sternum (Heart Center), and curl the index fingers into their respective thumbs. Thus, the backs of the middle, ring, and pinky fingers of each hand touch, with the index finger of each hand held down by its thumb. This positioning of an enhanced Gyan Mudra turned outward, connected to the Heart Center, with the closed-eye focus on the Third Eye is a profound, multifaceted way to reaffirm your earthbound, human self’s connection to the Divine and the Universe. Breathe deeply in this “package of protection” for 3-5 minutes.
If you like, release into Svasana for rest, or simply sit quietly for as long as seems right to you.