There is bliss to be found in meditation at sunrise
How magnificent it is to live by the cycles of the moon and pray by the cycles of the sun. Muhammad (PBUH) wanted us to return to the lunar calendar as a way to return to nature because only then could we develop and maintain the health of our physical and spiritual bodies, building a bridge towards Allah. In Vedic culture, the moon was believed to control the soma, or the elixir of life for all sentient beings. Could the soma for human beings have something to do with the hormones generated by the endocrine system?
According to the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism: “The moon has long been thought to have major effects on the behaviour and physiology of humans as well as animals. It has been suggested that melatonin and endogenous steroids may mediate cyclic alterations seen in synchronicity with the lunar cycle. Melatonin is a peptide hormone secreted by the pineal gland. This gland is part of a photo-neuro-endocrine system which follows both a circadian and a seasonal cycle and exhibits multiple effects.”
The pineal gland is also known as the third eye by mystics, located between two brows, the opening of which leads one to achieve greater clarity, balance, and joy.
The following meditation instructions are by Tariq Hamid, the mystic who first taught me to meditate. I tried many other techniques before, but this is the one that best helped me connect with myself and the wider world.
Inner Sunrise meditation
It is a style of meditation based on connecting with natural planetary rhythms. Since time immemorial, yogis, fakirs, shamans, monks, and the like have awaken before sunrise to conduct their spiritual practice.
All of life on planet Earth begins to awaken as the Sun’s early rays begin to fall upon the planet. The atmosphere is highly charged and provides the essential food to all living organisms in nature. Being still and quieting the mind at this auspicious time of day is transformational on cellular, glandular (endocrine), energetic, and spiritual levels.
This practice is simple and can be experienced by anyone. Arise before dawn, have some tea, empty the bowels, sit in a comfortable upright position with a straight spine. Close your eyes, gently drop the chin a bit, softly place the tongue at the roof of the mouth where the front teeth meet the gums. Begin to turn your attention inward. Make a conscious effort to reduce the activity of the mind by listening to the sound of your breath. As the mind, body, and breath become still, bring your inner gaze to the middle of the head where the right and left hemispheres of the brain meet. It is helpful for a practitioner to visualize a small point of light.
If one is familiar with the chakra system, one can spend three to seven breaths (or more) at each chakra. Begin at the base of the spine centre, Muladhara chakra. (See the chakra, gland chart). Move upwards one center at a time, working with discipline (tapas) and concentration (dharana). Work your way up the spinal axis to the crown center, Sahasrara chakra.
Eventually bring your awareness and attention to Ajna chakra at the center of the forehead/eyebrow.
The breath is the carrier of our subtle vital energy. Energy follows intention or energy flows where our attention goes. Working with the practice of the Internal Sunrise meditation, one is able to harmonically distribute and direct energy in the body on a daily basis from the lower centers (root, sexual, and navel) towards the heart and higher centers in the brain.
Living at the rapid pace of the modern technological world, humankind has become disconnected from the natural rhythm within.
Working with this meditation practice at sunrise will allow the practitioner to re-establish their own inner clock to the natural rhythm of planet Earth’s diurnal cycle of light and dark.
Individuals in due course of time will recognize through their own experience how their mood and mental perspective throughout the day can be positively enhanced. Latent and dormant parts of the brain will begin to awaken. Specifically the pineal gland is stimulated and the practitioner is able to establish a clear, illuminated way of being.
The state of harmony with nature is attainable when the effort is sincere, consistent, and the practitioner is not attached to the results.
Shireen Pasha is a contributor.