These are contentious, polarized times. We know how it feels to be in a stand-off. We know how it feels to shake our heads in disbelief at the views and speech of the other side. What would it feel like to remember our essential unity? What would it feel like to add the energy of love to the fight? There is no better month to try this than when the Sun is in Libra (September 22 to October 23). This Balancing Meditation can get you started.
Find a quiet place where you can protect yourself from intrusion. Then, as the Sufi teacher Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan recommends, take steps to “surround yourself with a zone of silence.” Light candles and incense, or play a piece of contemplative music to help shift attention from the periphery, to the quiet center within. You may wish to recite a prayer or sacred phrase, draw a sacred mandala, or simply surrender into the rhythm of your breath.
You may begin to feel something arising within, a feeling of sacred expectancy. You are ready to enter this moment more deeply. As though a curtain were parting in front of you, imagine next that you are now walking down a pathway through a forest. Eventually you approach a clearing where you see a beautiful temple. Its spacious interior and graceful columns are open to the sky and surrounding nature. Within this temple sits a circle of figures under the Full Moon, immersed in meditation. Stepping up to the circle, you join in, finding your place among them.
Raising the Energy
As you join in, you feel something new. It’s as though you are linked by the love encircling the group. Within the center of the moon circle sits a wise teacher—Aphrodite herself. Notice how the very air is listening to her. It’s infused with the qualities of beauty and harmony that the goddess embodies. Today’s Full Moon meditation is on the practice of coming into balance with another—the Aphrodite way. Aphrodite smiles and takes a graceful turn through the circle, saying “Keeping your balance while dancing requires an awareness in the inner ear.” Then she stops and looks deeply into your eyes. “Keeping your balance with another,” she says, ” requires an awareness in the heart.”
She asks everyone in the circle to bring to mind the image of someone that they very much love. As you do this, you notice a corresponding warmth building in your heart. Over the next few minutes, strengthen this feeling by breathing into that space.
The Heart of the Ritual
Aphrodite asks everyone to turn to someone else in the circle. Allow the image of someone to appear to you. You feel that your heart has been alchemically transformed: feelings of empathy stream between you and your partner. Aphrodite appears to be holding each of your hearts on either end of a scale. Ever so gently, she tips the scales now one way, now another, as if pouring and measuring love between two cups. After a few minutes of this concentration, the scales come to a point of stillness. You notice that the entire moon circle is filled with love—the love that comes from true understanding of another individual.
You feel a new peace inside you. You feel centered into the harmony of the universe. Aphrodite stands before you and sends an imaginary pearl into your heart, saying “You need only to remember this pearl to return to this feeling.” Breathe into the pearl in your heart. Continue this concentration for several minutes.
Aphrodite raises her hands, signaling that the circle should rise. Everyone bows to the center of the circle, then turns and bows to the person on either side. Turning completely around, the circle bows to the world beyond the circle, vowing to offer this empathy to humanity. Aphrodite sings a closing prayer. Rising, give thanks for your participation in this ritual, then walk back down the path through the woods, come back to yourself in contemplation, and, finally, come back to your home and life.