Full Moon Meditation
Saturday, July 12, 2014 is the next full moon. According to religious-spiritual traditions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, the full moon represents a time for important religious festivals and observances. Take Buddhism for example—important events associated with Lord Buddha’s life took place on full moon days: his birth, renunciation, enlightenment, and passing away all occurred on full moon days.
This highlights the importance and potential of the full moon as sacred time and, as such, offers an important opportunity and time to meditate, a time in which we can amplify the outcome of routine and ritual meditation and our prayer-intentions. If you have practical insight or experience with this, please share via a comment—we would love to hear from you!
Consider meditation’s outcome in terms of bringing your mind into the mindfulness of calm abiding, where your mind is concentrated on and aware of the object of meditation, the breath, and you are fully aware of the Now (the higher self), with few arising, ego-driven thoughts. For highly experienced meditators, there is also the possibility of transcending the ego mind (and body-space-time) to enter transcendental states of consciousness, as Lord Buddha did. The impact of the full moon is to enhance these potential meditation outcomes, if we time it right.
How does the full moon impact the meditation process? The fact ancient religions revered these times and their impact on meditation and ritual processes are key in supporting this argument.
At this stage, a science-based answer is not credibly possible because science has not investigated this in a controlled manner. That said, we know that three days before the full moon, the moon passes through the Earth’s magnetosphere’s tail, taking about six days to cross it [i]. In so doing, the moon impacts numerous parameters associated with the Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere, just as the sun does. This impacts their collective electromagnetic and magnetic properties [ii, iii], and the Earth’s magnetic field strength (geomagnetic activity) [iv, v]. The field of astrobiology shows very clearly how changes to the Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere, and geomagnetic activity can impact the brain’s biology and function. Such impacts are discussed in comprehensible detail in my book Discovering Ritual Meditation, or you can access a series of scientific articles on the library resources page of my website. In my view, any impacts beyond these are speculation.
The Full Moon Influence and Meditation: The full moon is said to provide an opportunity for spiritual growth and transformation if approached correctly. It offers a time for purification and renunciation of the things that no longer serve our lives. The full moon provides us a moment of enhanced understanding, clarity, insight, guidance, and an opportunity to give and share positive intentions, wishes, and prayers for the benefit of both our own and others’ lives. We must be mindful that meditating around the time of the full moon can increase our positive energy and conversely amplify negative emotions, so we need to ensure we direct it with positive intention and do our best to quell any negative emotions in the days beforehand.
While not imperative, a full moon meditation should be conducted outside in nature (weather, location, and safety permitting). Consider sitting on and connecting with Mother Earth, facing the full moon’s zenith (highest point in the night sky), unless it’s directly overhead. The zenith should be somewhere between geographical and magnetic south or north, which is the direction you should be facing (hemisphere dependent). This best permits both the Earth’s and the full moon’s “energies” to connect with your being. Start contemplating this and get yourself into a good mind-space a few days beforehand.
When is the best time to meditate? In my view, the best time to be at peak meditation is halfway between moonrise and moonset, when the full moon is at its zenith and peak powers. This naturally places the meditator’s brain in an environment of maximum brain-mind impact. I have selected Panajachel (Guatemala) and Lima (Peru) as my Northern and Southern Hemisphere locations to exemplify the meditation calendar outputs (see below). In both cases, the time of peak effect would be circa 12:30 am +/– 2 hours. In conducting ritual meditation using entheogens, I ingest these three hours before the full moon’s peak effect, giving the entheogens time to access the brain and transform the mind.
To determine your timing, go to the Meditation Calendar and select your city or place of meditation, either by clicking the map to place a marker or by clicking on the major city icon and selecting your location. Ensure your time zone is correct (bottom right screen which reflects daylight saving). Timings automatically appear in the top right as shown in the screenshot below.
That’s all there is to it! Remember not every month will be the same, so keep an eye open for my new blog posts every fortnight to help guide your new and full moon meditations. Sign up for my blog here.
Have a great full moon meditation! Thank you and all my best wishes to you.
[ii] Samsonov, S. N., V. F. Smirnov, D. G. Baishev, A. A. Toropov, and N. G. Skryabin. “Effect of Moon Phases in Riometer Absorption and in the Ionospheric and Geomagnetic Parameters.” Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, 2007, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 62–66.
[iii] Muto,F., Y. Kasahara, Y. Hobara, M. Hayakawa, A. Rozhnoi, M. Solovieva, and O. A. Molchanov. “Further Study on the Role of Atmospheric Gravity Waves on the Seismo-Ionospheric Perturbations as Detected by Subionospheric VLF/LF Propagation.” Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1111–1118, 2009, www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/9/1111/2009/.
[iv] Fraser-Smith, A. C. (1969). “A Possible Full-Moon Enhancement of Hydromagnetic Emission Activity.” J. Geophys. Res., 74(11), 2987–2995, doi:10.1029/JA074i011p02987.
[v] Otto Schneider. “Interaction of the Moon with the Earth’s Magnetosphere.” Space Science Reviews, March 1967, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 655–704, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00168794.