Black moon

dark, fertile ground for intentions

It’s amazing how much seems to come up in the mind’s eye (and mind’s ear...if that’s a term. It should be!) when I close my eyes to meditate: there’s usually a soundtrack, a to-do list, or a scene from the recent past playing and re-playing in my imagination even when I don’t want it to. It’s hardly ever the case that I get total silence when I sit down to a silent meditation.

Lately I’ve been doing 6-minute meditations, twice a day (for 2 months before that, it was 5 minutes, twice daily). The idea was that if I set a goal for a short meditation, I wouldn’t have the excuse that I didn’t have enough time. No matter how tired I am, 5-6 minutes is pretty doable. It’s even short enough for my toddler to sit with me or play with her toys while she waits for me to finish.

Today is a black moon, which just means it’s the second new moon of the month. New moons are considered a time for setting intentions so here’s mine: to incorporate a short pranayama practice just before the meditation to help me focus my mind. I’ve never really found it useful to think of meditation as clearing my mind; instead, it’s so much more realistic to think of it as focusing my mind. Busy minds are like toddlers: they don’t do so well with being told what NOT to do, so it’s better to at least give them something simple and engaging to do.

In light of that, here’s my intention for going forward from this black moon: I’ll continue my 3-5 rounds of nadi suddhi (also known as nadi shodhana or alternate nostril breathing) that I’ve been including just before my meditation. It helps with the transition from the busy, active mode of my day to the stillness of meditation. Then, to anchor my senses in my meditation, I’ll include a tactile element: a rock held in my hand. I find the weight of a stone so grounding and comforting. Try it! Or find another simple focus, like an image, a lit candle, or a sound (music, white noise, or background noise).

What are your intentions on this July Black Moon? What needs to be addressed in your life?