The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Solstice & A Lunar Eclipse!

Tomorrow, Tuesday December 21, 2010, the shortest day of the year, the sun will rise at 7:28 and set at 4:46 here in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Tomorrow we have 7 hours and 18 minutes of daylight; What will you do with your day?
For some, this might be a day for contemplative stillness and consideration for the mysteries of our universe, for the awesome mystery of our living and dying, of coming into this world and knowing we will someday have to leave it.
Some may drum the sun up and dance it down, and spend the night tracing star tails as they shoot across the sky.
Some may sleep a heavy, heavy sleep, under quilts and down, marking the longest night with snuggling and love making before turning to long dreams.
Others will speed from the darkness of morning, to the darkness of evening, never really noticing the passage of the Winter Solstice, but they may rise around 4 a.m., because something has awakened them. The cat has jumped from the bed, the child in the next room laughs in his sleep. The toilet seat is cold at this hour! And if one keeps her eyes closed, she may be able to fall back to sleep quickly....
But something is different, and she opens her eyes slightly, to view a coppery and burnt full moon, in total eclipse, hanging like a disc of brocade fabric in the trees.
What a sight! she thinks, How can that be the moon?
But sleep is impossibly convincing, and she allows her eyes to close again as she goes back to the bedroom and slides into sheets that have cooled in her absence, what a moon, she thinks, and curls into the body of the one she loves.
This too, she thinks, is like a full moon, our two bodies together.

We are so lucky to be the human beings who intuit the tug of Earth and Moon in our bloodstream, in our dream's unconscious sequence of creation and re-creation, and still be able to scientifically announce, "Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and this is 1638 DEC 21...."* (Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory, for NASA).

And for an added bonus, the Ursids Meteor Shower will also be taking place in the night sky--while the meteor shower is an annual event, it's usually invisible in the brightly lit sky of the full moon--but not so tomorrow night, as the eclipse darkens the sky and provides a backdrop for falling and shooting stars!
What a night!

Rise around 3:30 a.m. to view this fantastic occurrence, don't stay in bed, but find a way to do it, find a way to make this part of your life's experience. It won't happen again until around 2094 and where will you be in 2094?

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