I read an awesome book recently called Yogini, unfolding the Goddess within by Shambhavi Chopra. In the book Shambhavi talks in detail about her personal sadhanas. With the book still fresh in my mind I was excited about the prospect of doing a special sadhana during the lunar eclipse.
I thought about it all day yesterday. I chose the asanas and the mantras that I'd use, I set my alarm clock for 1:30am. I caught myself more than once having expectations of the experience. I gently reminded myself that expectations only set me up for disappointment. By 1:15am I couldn't resist any longer. Was it the pull of the full moon calling me to the yoga mat or was it my anticipation? Whatever it was, it was strong enough to get my kapha ass out of bed at 1:15am.
I think about Shambhavi's elaborate preparations for sadhana as I wash my face and hands (my preparations aren't quite as involved) Now it's 1:25am and I'm ready. I set out my mat, light a candle and offer a prayer. I do a few moon salutations. I love that sequence but after a few I'm ready for meditation.
The only thought I was aware of during meditation was the thought that I should be outside looking at the moon. I continue repeating the mantras. Om Namaha Shivaya, Om Hrim Shrim Dum Durgaya Namaha, Om Som Somaya Namaha...... An hour passes. I didn't have visions of the Divine, no fireworks, just meditation.
As I come out of meditation I notice that my body feels like it's vibrating. I sit for a moment and then go outside. I've never actually seen an eclipse before. I look for the moon where I last saw it last night but it wasn't there. I felt a moment of disappointment before I found the moon right over my house. It's about 2:30am at this point and the eclipse is almost complete. The moon is a reddish color that I had read about and the stars were so bright and plentiful. It was lovely! I continue to chant Om Som Somaya Namaha as I watch the eclipse.
I went back to my alter for a few more minutes repeating the mantra to the moon. I go back to bed with the mantras still repeating in my mind. My dreams were so vivid and strange. I didn't experience anything unusual. I didn't travel out of my body, the Divine didn't appear before me. What I experienced was a deep meditation. I witnessed the lunar eclipse for the first time. I strengthened my will by setting the intention to get up for sadhana and actually doing it.
Whether your sadhana is an elaborate production like Shambhavi's or simply repeating a few mantras the important thing is that you practice. Set an intention, practice, and experience what you experience without expectation. Each time you practice, the will is strengthened. We show up on the mat, do our part and leave the rest up to the will of the Divine!
Om Som Somaya Namaha!