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ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥

A meditation to welcome a
new year.

Sunrise to sunrise
around the world.

Live on ZOOM.

Welcoming the promise of
the Light.

Honouring the Great Mother,
Gaia, our home.

Wishing peace, healing, and
abundance for the year ahead.


1648 (31 December 2020) – 23:06 (1 January 2021) UTC

Light meeting with and blessing the Earth is the focus for a New Year meditation, spanning the period between the first and last land sunrise on Earth on 1 January 2021, during which we open up not only to a new year, but also to a new decade – the new "twenties." Please join me at any time for as long as you wish to reflect, pray, meditate or simply bathe in the beautiful ministry of the Gayatri Mantra, welcoming and wishing light into the world.

The mantra will play on the online live-streaming service ZOOM between 1648 UTC (Universal or Greenwich/London time) on 31 December 2020 and 2306 UTC 1 January 2021, that is, 30 hours 18 minutes. I, and at any time, potentially others, plan to be meditating, receiving, and holding space during this time. Hence, excepting possibly very short breaks, you’ll know that you’re not alone when you join the meditation.

How to tune in to the meditation

At the time you want to join, simply open your Zoom app, and enter the following meeting ID:

ID: 849 4893 8653 pass: light between 1648 UTC 31 Dec 2020 and 0959 UTC 1 Jan 2021.

ID: 825 3358 0708 pass: light between 1000 and 2306 UTC 1 Jan 2021.

If you don't have it, you can download the Zoom app on a computer, smart phone or tablet via the the Zoom Download Center. Once downloaded, simply click on the blue 'Join' button on the app's home page at the time you want to join the meditation.

You will be muted throughout the meditation, but able to share your camera and use the Chat if you wish. Please note that I won't be able to continually monitor any unwanted interruptions, although hopefully, these will not occur. I will also attempt to mention on my Facebook page sunrise times and other significant events around the world as they occur, although don't expect to monitor comments there otherwise. The Zoom meditation will not be relayed on my Facebook page.

If you don't have an Internet connection, dial-in to the meditation from a phone is also possible. Click here to find the local number to dial in to from your country.

Click here to find the equivalent times in your own time zone: https://www.timeanddate.com/.

You can join via a computer, tablet or smart phone–all you need is an Internet connection. However, Zoom usually works best when used via its own app (on a computer or other device). If you don’t already have this and plan to join the meditation, you may like to download the app ahead of the call: https://zoom.us/download.

Note that there are two links, since live streaming on Zoom is restricted to 24 hours for any single call. Simply click on the second link shortly after the first period ends to enjoy the continued meditation.

Find out more about joining a Zoom call: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193.

Why these times for the meditation?

The meditation considers "the light coming into the world," as represented by the coming and promise of the sun at the start of a new year.

The times reflect the time of the first sunrise anywhere on earth on 1 January, and the latest sunrise on the same day. Actually, these times aren’t strictly precise, but refer to where the sun’s rising and falling over identifiable land masses can be determined, as the world calendar changes. The locations where the earliest and latest appearances of the sun will be are over the southern Pacific / Antarctica and Chukchi Sea (between Siberia and Alaska), however, since in a place where the sun never quite sets, the boundaries of what is an actual sunrise or sunset are hard to pinpoint. Published sunrise/sunset times are also hard to find for oceanic and uninhabited locations.

The location of the first sunrise is East Cape, north of Gisborne on North Island, New Zealand at 0548 New Zealand Daylight Time (UTC +13 hours), and the latest is Wevok, Alaska at 1406 Alaska Standard Time (UTC -9 hours).

These lie either side of the International Date Line–a line that is anything but straight, and which deviates quite significantly around the 180 degree E/W line of longitude. Indeed, some territories have moved across the line–Samoa in 2011, to align its time with Australasia. However, the International Date Line remains the way that the world co-ordinates what is a new day–and so in the western calendar, when a new year begins.

Samoa is now 14 hours ahead of UTC, and will be the first place to ring in the New Year at midnight, but won’t see the first sunrise. This is due to the tilting of the Earth toward the sun being greatest in December/January further south.

Find the times of sunrise and sunset where you are: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/.

Follow the sun in real time: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/sunearth.html

See a view of the Earth from space in real time, with the onboard cameras of the International Space Station: https://youtu.be/EEIk7gwjgIM

What is the Gaytra Mantra?

The Gayatri Mantra is one of the best known and most sacred of mantras found in the Hindu Vedas. It is an adoration and prayer to The Divine, The Source from which everything is birthed and returns. Gayatri is the Mother of all, present in our every breath.

The Mantra, transliterated from the Sanskrit Scripture reads:

       Om Bhur Bhuvaḥ Swaḥ
Tat-savitur Vareñyaṃ
Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi
Dhiyo Yonaḥ Prachodayāt

One approximate English translation, offered by Sathya Sai International Organization (https://www.sathyasai.org/gayatri), is:

       We meditate on that most adored Supreme Lord,
the creator,
whose effulgence (divine light) illumines all realms (physical, mental and spiritual).
May this divine light illumine our intellect.

I believe that the mantra transcends all faith traditions and none. It is said to have been much admired by The Buddha. Its personification of God, "All That Is," or The Divine as light coming into the world, resonates in Christianity and many other faiths. Its geomantic associations with the energy or essence of life remind us that our planet, Gaia, is an intelligent, living, self-regulating manifestation of beauty and power. The desire for enlightenment and a fulfilled, purposeful and actualized life is surely the ultimate wish of anyone, whether they subscribe to a particular faith tradition or not?

Who or what is Gaia?

For the Greeks, Gaia was the first Mother of all life, a primordial deity, the personification of Earth. Today, we think of Gaia, our Earth, as being a single living, intelligent organism that regulates the conditions for all life.

Why Gayatri-Gaia?

The naming of this meditation is simply intended to remind us that the Earth’s Source of power is divine. The light meeting the Earth might be equated with our total dependence on the Sun’s energy for sustaining life. Yet more deeply, it refers to the divine breath that creates and enables all life. Gaia is the home, or Great Mother, that births all life possibilities on Earth.

Light represents hope, promise, guidance, insight. It shines in dark places, overcoming adversity, inspiring wonder. Its brilliance consumes and transforms. It shows the way, makes clear the pathway ahead. It gives us perfect, "20/20" (or perhaps "20/21!") vision.

What will happen during the meditation?

When you join the meditation, you will see a series of images playing on the screen, along with a beautiful chanting of the Gayatri Mantra. Depending on the settings that you may have set in Zoom, you may also see a small image of me and small images of any others who are online at the time, and who wish to share their cameras (these won’t be shown by default). I and others will not be speaking (note: I may occasionally disappear for essential breaks, but typically, these should be short).

This isn’t a guided meditation, but rather a space where people who want to welcome light for the new year can be together at a heart level. You will have the option to share or hide your webcam, as you wish, however this isn’t a livecast about talking and watching, but rather listening, connecting with the positive intention of the meditation, and receiving comfort and inspiration.

Please join at any time, for as many times, and for as long as you like during the 30 hours. In the unlikely event that you find you cannot come online, just try again later.

If you wish, you will be able to share anything that comes to you in Zoom’s chat, but to avoid the risk of unwanted interruptions, sound will be muted throughout the meditation. The chat will not be recorded, and will delete after the meditation ends. I do not expect to monitor the chat.

There will be a short break between the two Zoom sessions, but the second will start very soon after the first, and the mantra will continue offline throughout. There may be longer breaks between the Facebook livestreams, with each being restricted to up to 8 hours in length.

At the end of the meditation, the mantra will simply come to a gentle close, and the call will end.

The mantra used during the call is sampled from a wonderful YouTube video, ‘Deva Premal Gayatri Mantra 2 hours’, hosted by the Ganesha channel (https://youtu.be/UlnHON3tAXo).

What to do during the meditation

There are no "right ways" for taking part. I suggest, if you can, joining for at least 15 minutes, which is usually a good time for breaking from the stresses of the day and allowing yourself to be still for a time. When you leave, you may want to come away slowly, becoming aware of where you are, and not immediately rushing into another activity.

You may wish to close your eyes during the meditation, and try to avoid too much time staring at the screen. You may want to restrict eating and drinking to taking only water. Sit, stand or lie comfortably, or as you feel led. Walk a finger labyrinth toward its heart centre, or keep focused on the mantra using a rosary if you wish. Have a blanket to hand if you feel cold. Otherwise, just be still and simply breathe.

I suggest that you might like to devote at least some time for yourself during the meditation, if not all–to be "bathed" or ministered to, touched if you will, by the mantra, and feel held by others who may be on the call. Where do you most want light to shine in the days and months ahead? Where might you need healing? What gifts from The Divine do you seek? What illumination might help or guide you? You may wish to hold open such questions, or simply try as best to just "be", enjoying the moment, without busy thoughts, or feeling a need to do, think, or say anything. Receiving blessings for yourself is important, since unless you are well rooted yourself, it's difficult to be a blessing to others. So, don't be shy about asking to receive blessings for yourself!

You may also be inspired to pray or wish good intent for others–for loved ones and others known to you, and those who you don’t know. Perhaps you may be led to consider healing on Earth, for blessings, protection and edification of wildlife, the seas, land, rocks, sky, and all creation. Perhaps you will focus on where healing is most needed, in specific countries, communities, where there is tribal or toxic political or humanitarian dis-ease, or among warring groups of people. What do you wish for in the coming year? In the coming decade?

If you feel able to, you may also at times like to remember others who are on the call, either in actual or virtual time. Pray that they will be blessed, hold them as they enjoy receiving whatever their meditation may bring them.

Generally, though, just allow the mantra to take you within. Chant with it, if you wish, or just allow the voices of others to vibrate within you. When your mind distracts and you become aware of the distraction, simply come back to the mantra.

Longer meditation

If you plan to join me in meditating over a longer period of several hours or more, be careful to take rests between periods of "going deep", especially if like me, you're more familiar with shorter meditations. Take special care to come out of the meditation gently, to avoid being disturbed by the busyness of normality. Much can come up during a deep meditation, and you can find yourself going very deep. Yet this is also where we can most learn, be transformed, and renewed.

If you want to share anything that arises for you with another person after your meditation, I will be available to listen and share on a one-to-one basis in spiritual holding a little later in the week (I expect to need sleep immediately after the meditation, except if your need to talk is an emergency). Simply email or message me after the meditation if you'd like to talk.

What if there are technology problems?

Excepting a failure of the Internet/break in the mantra playing at my end, I won’t be able to monitor the sessions or offer technical support, as I’ll be joining in the meditation myself. If you have difficulty connecting, you may wish to check your Internet or try again.

If you don't hear the mantra, check that the volume on your device is switched up and the 'Audio' settings in Zoom are set to enable you to 'call via device audio' (on a smart phone, audio settings are found by clicking on the small loud speaker symbol at the bottom left of the screen. You may not see this option displaying until you touch the screen, or move your mouse if you are using a computer).

Zoom offers a very comprehensive online help service here, which should help with any problems you may have relating to Zoom.

I will endeavour to resolve any technical problems at my end as soon as possible. If these occur, simply check back later (the Zoom links will remain valid, excepting very unlikely problems with Zoom’s servers).