A rare celestial phenomenon that hasn’t occurred since 1982 came across the sky over the monastery, all while the monks were on their retreat a few days ago. The spectacle was particularly captivating because it was the convergence of three rare events: a supermoon, blue moon, and total lunar eclipse — which turns the moon orangish-red, hence the “blood” description. There won’t be another so-called “super blue blood moon” until 2037.
NAPIER, NEW ZEALAND – JANUARY 31: Crowds gather on the Marine Parade Beach to watch the moon rise on January 31, 2018 in Napier, New Zealand. A Super Blue Blood Moon is the result of three lunar phenomena happening all at once: not only it it the second full moon in January, but the moon will also be close to its nearest point to Earth on its orbit, and be totally eclipsed by the Earth’s shadow. The last time these events coincided was in 1866, 152 years ago. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 31: People take photos of the Super moon on January 31, 2018 in Lancelin, Australia. Last seen from Australia in December 1983 (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA – JANUARY 31, 2018: A red supermoon rises over hills in the city of Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East. Yuri Smityuk/TASS (Photo by Yuri SmityukTASS via Getty Images)
A plane flies passing the moon over Los Angeles, California, on January 31, 2018. Many parts of the globe may catch a glimpse on January 31 of a giant crimson moon, thanks to a rare lunar trifecta that combines a blue moon, a super moon and a total eclipse. The spectacle, which NASA has coined a “super blue blood moon.” The celestial show is the result of the sun, Earth, and Moon lining up perfectly for a lunar eclipse just as the Moon is near its closest orbit point to Earth, making it appear “super” large. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
The moon sets behind the city of Jerusalem early on January 31, 2018. A cosmic event not seen in 36 years — a rare “super blood blue moon” — may be glimpsed today in parts of western North America, Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Australia. / AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Treat the guest as God; the guest's heart is more sensitive than the most sensitive flower. If we generously give to others, we will attract more wealth in this and future lives. Siva's followers serve holy men, honor elders, help each others families and grow together in Godliness. Giving to a temple builds punyam; you are helping the temple help humanity. "Charities merit cannot be measured by gifts given, it is measured by measuring the receiver's merit."
We need to perfect Ishvarapujana, personal worship, before we can expect to do really well in meditation. "The idea of Ishvarapujana, worship, is to always be living with God, living in Siva in God's house..." Learn the spirit of the puja, learn the spirit of devotion, get deeply into worship in the home. During puja, we're giving prana and devotional energy to the Deity; we receive blessings in return. God isn't living in your house, it's God's house and you are living in it.
The three stripes of vibhuti across the forehead signify trying to purify ourselves from the influence of anava, karma and maya. There are two ways we're attached to the world, that which gives us pleasure and pain. We're slowly changing our karma over a period of many lifetimes through wise action in the present. With humble action we work on lessening the ego-sense rather than enhancing it.