This blog was written as a collaborative effort of Michael and the women of Mount Soma.
Vedic knowledge is easily lost. The question is, “Why?” If the knowledge is so valuable, why would it ever go away? Wouldn’t it be held, cherished, and protected no matter what?
There are many reasons why, however an issue has come up that illustrates one way the knowledge is lost that actually touches our own lives in a very personal way.
I understand that the following is a delicate topic and may, at first glance, be difficult for some to receive. I ask that those individuals take time to ponder the matter.
What if you were to learn that women should not attend pujas, homams, or yagyas, during menstruation? Certainly, there would be an understandable disappointment. But would it go further than disappointment?
Would you be inclined to disregard, reject, or rebel against the notion? Would you take offense? Would you choose to believe this is an invalid, sexist, cultural distortion? Would you cast it aside or rationalize it away?
How many examples of knowledge are lost in this way?
This knowledge is not an arbitrary or cultural matter. There is a physiological basis to it. Like gravity, it is simply a law of nature. It just is…
Women, during menstruation, are open channels to energy. They become more susceptible to the energies of the environment. Negative energies can enter and positive energies are easily dissipated through them at this time. They are particularly sensitive to all energies, but especially spiritual energies. They receive, hold, and radiate spiritual energy in a very powerful manner.
This time naturally affords women the opportunity to go inward and rest deeply. It is a window to advance spiritually if your relationship with it is healthy and wise.
Women’s energies are so fine during this time that those energies need to be nurtured and allowed to radiate out to the environment. They are sacred temples in and of themselves. The physical energy of groups is simply too crude for them to be immersed in. Similarly, they best support the group by remaining inward and restful.
During this time, women may find it difficult to be active. Their body’s inclination is to rest and relax. At Mount Soma we intend to accommodate and support that natural inclination during classes and retreats.
The physiology is so fine that it is best to not even listen to mantras. They are simply too imposing on the physiology. During classes and retreats when we meditate as a group, these women are encouraged to leave the room while Sama Veda and Rig Veda are being played to let their physiology rest in a manner that is best suited for them at this time. Women are encouraged to take full advantage of this opportunity.
We bring this aspect of the Knowledge forth at this time because the group consciousness has come to the level where it can hold it with the respect and dignity it deserves.
I have witnessed communities where this is honored. Women have a most profound aura about them during this time. Their energetic quality is similar to that of a reclusive saint. It is a time for them to honor themselves and to be honored by the group.
We encourage women to attune with their individual needs during menstruation by trying these suggested alterations to their daily routine:
- During the first 3 days of a woman’s cycle rest and pampering are advisable. Activities that allow women to enjoy time alone are the most life supporting.
- During the first 4 days of a woman’s cycle she should not go to a temple, puja, yagya, homa, or near sacred objects.
- Traditionally, women may choose not to cook or serve food during the first 3 days. In married homes, husbands take care of their spouses during this time to support the wife’s inclination to rest.
- The use of mantras should be discontinued during first 3 days because they are too imposing on the physiology.
- Group meditation is beneficial, just not while a puja is taking place on the property. As with the mantras, certain Vedic chants (like Rig Veda and Sama Veda) are too imposing. When meditating with the group, women may leave after the 5 minutes rest and give themselves space to remain in silence for 10 minutes.
- Women are encouraged to attend classes as usual.
This is fascinating! I’m glad we’re going deeper and deeper with the knowledge.
This news initially made me feel angry. Then I realized that it was my cultural conditioning that put me in the awful position of being ashamed of my physiology while simultaneously trying to reclaim “power” by denying the natural desire to be alone and rest during the first days of my cycle. I am so grateful for the opportunity to honor my needs…an opportunity that society has never given me before.
To be at Mount Soma, meditating alone during a retreat or the consecration at that time, is a great and fortunate opportunity. It is an excellent time to evolve. They physiology is naturally in a sublime state.
This is very interesting.
So…just to make sure….
Is it ok to be at Mount Soma during the consecration if we happen to be menstruating at that time? Just not attend the ceremonies?
We can meditate alone during the consecration, but not in a group if there is a puja going on?
The reason why is beautiful and profound.
When you have time, I would be interested in knowing more information about women who no longer menstruate and how this influences their spirituality.
I am curious to know how to deal with my own situation. I don’t have periods but very infrequent, short bouts of spotting. Should I treat those as periods?
Being at Mount Soma during the consecration would be excellent. and yes, you would meditate alone not meditate with the group during ceremony. I know this is something new for people. However, once you get a feel for it, things will become clear and you will probably wonder why you did not honored in this manner before. You will discover a wonderful way of being during that time. Once given the opportunity, the serenity that it affords will come quite naturally. It is something quite beautiful.
If you are not sure what to do during short bouts, just try it during those times and see how it feels.
Every stage of life offers new opportunity for evolution. Spirituality and life go hand in hand. To live one in harmony is to live the other in harmony. Feel for yourself the gradeur of your life. This of course includes your current stage of life.
I deeply appreciate that the women of the Mountain were part of sharing this. Thank you.
I am very glad to see this come up for reflection. Years ago before I met Michael I adopted some Native American practices regarding the moon cycle and isolating from community and ceremony. Then when I came to my first class before it was even called Surya Ram, I bled every time by the end of class, regardless of where I was in my cycle. A deep emptying.
I too am now interested in the nature of how I can hold or allow the energies to move through me now that I have passed into a primarily Vata phase of life.