Namaste Dear Community,
I just wrapped up a wonderful weekend in the 300 Hour Advanced program studying the philosophy of Kundalini and the Chakras. This month we come into the Hindu celebration of Maha Shivratri honoring Lord Shiva and his union with Parvatri and St. Valentines Day. In honor of these holidays that represent union and love. I would like to share a beautiful myth of Shiva and Shakti with you from the Kundalini Tantra tradition.
Shiva is the masculine force, the contemplative, still, all knowing divine current. Shakti is the always changing, creative feminine force. Together they are the ultimate experience of bliss, of union, of the coming together of all opposites in a non-dual state of oneness. Shiva without Shakti is dormant energy, sleeping without purpose. Shakti without Shiva is chaotic and disorganized. Shakti needs Shiva to give her creative energy direction and content. Shiva needs Shakti to give his all knowing consciousness movement and energy to manifest. When Shiva and Shakti are united all separation ends and unlimited bliss is experienced by all.At the point of creation, Shiva and Shakti separate. As they separate both chitta (consciousness) and prana (life force) are released. The finite plane as we know it is birthed. Without the unity of Shiva and Shakti to guide us the earthly plane seeks guidance and finds it in the form of Maya or illusion. In order to provide organization to our existence Maya creates the concept of duality. She offers darkness so we may know light, cold so we may know heat, pain so we may know comfort and sadness so we may know happiness.
As each human form reincarnates to work out our past karmas a drop of Shiva remains at the crown and a drop Shakti energy separates and is released. Shakti also known as kundalini Shakti sits dormant at the base of the spine. She is yearning for Shiva and through this yearning awakens the desire for spiritual practice within us. Shakti is held in place by both avidya (spiritual ignorance) and karma. Through the practices of Yoga Shakti is freed and travels up the spine to re-unite with Shiva. At this union, we return to the non-dual state of oneness, we no longer struggle with the pull of the opposites and we no longer suffer. We return to the non-dual state and are filled with unlimited bliss, love and compassion.
I hope that you too can find a way to experience the union of Shiva/Shakti in your practice and in your life. One of the simple ways that I have worked towards this is by practicing not getting too attached to one state or another. Allowing ourselves to experience the movement between opposites. Accepting that we will flow from dark to light, hot to cold, pain to comfort, and sadness to happiness. When we surrender resistance and attachment and practice acceptance of what is, we may find peace and ease in our days.
Another interesting practice is surrendering the idea of being right. When we seek to be right we often find ourselves coming into a dual state of separation from those we love, our family, friends, community and even our nation. And we suffer. If we seek peace and love over winning, we will experience the non-dual state of union that is inspired by the love of Shiva Shakti.
Another beautiful way to practice non-dualism is outlined here in a few sample verses from the Radiance Sutras a translation of the Vijnana Bhariava Tantra by Lorin Roche. I love these practices because they do not have the strictness of the more austere teachings of the classical texts. They encourage us to be in exploration and in play and to think out of the lines, just as many of our Sonic teachers do.
In any quiet moment when you are breathing, The breath may flow out and pause of itself –
Or flow in and pause of itself.
Here experience opens into exquisite vastness with no beginning and no end.
Embrace this infinity without reservation.
Dive into it, drink deeply, and emerged renewed.
Whenever you dissolve into helpless laughter –
Transported by a magic show,
Antics or jokes,
Having your armpits tickled,
Drenched by a sudden shower,
Or any of nature’s tricks –
Dive into the source of that laughter.
Surrender to the surge of joy
Illuminating the essence of reality.
In the great joy of seeing
A loved one after a long absence,
A flash of recognition ignites you.
Space becomes charged,
The bond between you shimmers,
And a surge of delight arises in your being.
Find within you the source of this surge.
Melt into that place of upwelling,
A wave of rolling in a vast ocean of delight.
Tasting dark chocolate,
A ripe apricot,
A luscious elixir –
Savor the expanding joy in your body.
Nature is offering herself to you.
To realize this world can taste so good.
When sipping some ambrosia,
Raise your glass,
Close your eyes,
Toast the universe –
The Sun and Moon and Earth
To bring you this delight.
Receive the nectar on your tongue
As a kiss of the divine.
Extend your awareness
Into the bodies of other living beings,
Feel what those others are feeling.
Leave aside your body and its needs,
Abandon a being so local.
Day by day, constrictions will loosen,
As you become attuned
To the current of life
Flowing through us all.
Wander and wander to the point of exhaustion,
Whirl until you lose control,
Dance until you are ready to drop.
Fall to the earth.
Surrender to the swirl of sensations
Surfing through your form.
Dissolve in awe as arising energies
Continue the dance in your inner world.
Beyond motion and commotion,
Become the body of ecstasy.
I hope you all find bliss and love as you move through your days.
Happy Valentines Day and Maha Shivratri to you and your loved ones.
With ease and peace, Lauren