Spring (Chaitra) Navaratri: April 9 – April 16 (Astami: April 15)
Fall (Sharada) Navaratri:October 15 – October 22 (Astami havan: October 21)
It is an Act of Grace when we can step out of our mundane existence to honor the presence of the Divine in our lives. Navaratri is time a time set aside each year and provides the perfect opportunity to go deeper in our spiritual practice. As the seasons merge, there is a special energy that is available to assist us with any goal or aspiration. During this sacred time, Divine Grace and guidance is constantly being showered upon us – all we have to do is be available to receive it and hear it by keeping our heart and mind clean and steady.
Simply carving out a little time each day to acknowledge the sacredness of these days is enough, but if you want to do a little more, here are some simple ways to observe Navaratri:
On the first night light a candle and set your intention for austerity and to turn inward each evening.
Carve out time to practice meditation or mindful breathing. If you can, set 3 times for sitting each day. At least one time should be at night.
Minimize your engagement with the world. Put your senses on a diet! Eat simpler foods or fast, speak less, and spend less time on the internet and social media and watching television.
Make a conscious commitment to give up something that you have wanted to try to live without during Navaratri.
Stay focused on sweetness during your meditations and in your interactions in the world. Maintain the prayer in your mind “May I not speak harsh words.”
Find some moments for contemplation. The theme of this year’s Fall Navaratri is “Remembering Sacredness”. May you never lose sight of the sacred in all of your actions. No matter what you are doing, may it be a sacred engagement.
Remain centered and cultivate peace in your heart. No matter what is happening around you, remember that nothing is worth losing your peace.
End with a ritual & celebrate! On the last day, take a cup of water, add a pinch of rice and a flower. Pour this slowly at the base of a tree or bush as an ending offering to the Divine Energy, with the sentiment: “May you be pleased with my efforts.” Then have a festive meal, connect with your loved ones, and reflect on all of the blessings in your life.