Inspiration & Guidance for Spiritual Awakening

Archive for July, 2015

LIVING WITH KUNDALINI WORKSHOP COMING IN AUGUST

 

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You are invited to attend a small group workshop

with Bonnie Greenwell on

Living and Thriving  With Kundalini

August 28, 29, and 30 in Ashland Oregon.

LOCATION: SHANTI RIVER CENTER

300 E, Hersey, Suite 2 Ashland Or.

Aug 28, 7 P.M. TO 9 P.M. & 9 A.M. TO 6 P.M. AUG 29 & 30

$200 fee, plus you may arrange your own housing

This valuable weekend workshop will help you understand and gain positive tools for living with the activation of kundalini energy. Bonnie is a transpersonal psychologist and  non-dual teacher in the lineage of Adyashanti who has specialized in working with spiritual emergence and kundalini activation issues for over 30 years. This is a rare opportunity to work in a small group setting with her to address all your questions and concerns.

The opportunities in this small group include

  • Discussing your concerns and questions with others who understand because they have had this experience.
  • Hearing both yogic science perspectives and modern interpretations of the inner revolution triggered by the kundalini process
  • Finding clarity about the function and purpose of this awakened energy
  • Learning tools for helping your mind, body and spirit live more comfortably and harmoniously with spiritual awakening.
  • Discovering the grace of fulfillment in the kundalini process.

You will be responsible for finding your own housing for this program, which is held in a charming tourist town with numerous hotels and B and B’s. To fly you would come to the Medford, OR airport, 14 miles from Ashland. Information on housing and travel will be sent with registration confirmation.

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The Crucible of Relationship in Spiritual Emergence

ATT00111 birdsSo perhaps you have had a shift of energies and perspective, and you are wondering how it will impact your significant relationships. You seem to no longer be caught in old familiar patterns and you are facing non-ordinary energetic rushes, emotional clearings, internal vibrations and a sense that nothing really matters in the way it used to. And now your partner is wondering what has happened to you and why you are changing.

There are several levels of spiritual awakenings but the two shifts that have the most challenging impact on relationship are the awakening of kundalini energy, which plunges your energetic system into many new phenomena, and the realization of consciousness in its vast and unbounded state of being the All, which transforms your understanding of who and what you are.

The shifting in energies, called kundalini awakening, changes how you feel, as it revs up and redirects subtle energies, shaking out the body, raising heat, and sending out rivulets of bliss or spasms of pain. The subtle body is restructuring itself, releasing old contractions, moving you from one emotion to another, even triggering moments of unfathomable sadness or irrepressible joy. Whatever you were like before this arising of kundalini you are not the way you were, and this is very disconcerting for the family and friends. In addition they may sense your energies and be uncomfortable around them, and be upset that you have lost interest in sex and socializing. You will very likely feel that no one understands what you are going through. (This in itself is an important concept to release — that you need to be understood.)

If you have had a spiritual realization, a sense that you are not your small identity but instead are an indescribable awareness (at least when you are living in the moment) the chances are you no longer feel needy, no longer want to carry on as if little things mattered, and no longer enjoy bonding by discussing mutual problems and practical issues around the house. You may be drawn into nature, or meditation, prefer silence to the television or the social events, hate going into crowds and big box stores, and generally appear to be a different style of character than you were before the awakening. Partners get alarmed when this happens. Work may also suffer as you can’t concentrate the way you used to, and care little about doing anything that seems superficial.

Although I could (and may) write a book on the many changes that might influence your relationships, for this moment I offer just a few suggestions for reorienting your life.

Understand you do not need to leave a relationship that holds value, love or meaning for you just because of these changes. But if it is toxic, draws you into substance abuse, or feels abusive you may need to leave in order to sustain your sense of presence. It is a false perception that someone who is enlightened ought to put up with anything. Awakening can be a call to action as well as a call to acceptance. In other words, you need to support your awakening by doing what feels right to you. You need to take time to consider whether this is where you want to be — for many reasons you may feel drawn to stay, and for others you may be drawn to go. Just be sure if you want this relationship that you consider the following questions:

  1. How can I help my partner live more comfortably with the changes in me?

Even if you do not feel needy anymore (and many relationships are built on mutual need) you can want to be there — because you feel respect, love, stability, partnership, mutual values related to your kids, or an opportunity to face the parts of you that are not yet awake! Living with another brings up many hidden patterns within us that may not have shifted in the initial moment of awakening, and still need to be seen through as part of the old identifications. If your partner senses you are no longer needy, let him or her know you want to be with them.

No matter how you feel, your partner may still need something from you. What are you willing to give? Let him or her know. Be sensitive and supportive. If you are in the energetic phase you may still need something from others — what are you able to ask for and show appreciation for if it is given?

  1. How can I speak of what is happening without using exotic and incomprehensible terms?

You can speak of the physical impact of your meditation practice being felt as energy, you can speak of mood shifts that feel a little disorienting and try to find a sense of humor about it, you can lean more toward curiosity than fear in speaking of the process, and you can be very clear that you do not need to be understood. Do not expect someone who has never experienced this to understand it. If they are fearful it is because they care about you and want to fix it, but as you know they cannot. This is very uncomfortable for people who believe they should fix things. You may have to find new ways to approach asking for what you need from the relationship, and become very alert to how you can support them in adjusting to it. Find someone to talk with that understands the experience, such as a spiritually oriented counselor or a friend on a similar journey.

  1. Why is everything I used to care about falling away?

It is inevitable that old identifications and patterns collapse. You may not have expected this when you began spiritual seeking, so now you are shocked. But the old you was built on conditioning, defenses, distractions and memories that are no longer so relevant. The needs of your body may be different — for example, you may need to give up alcohol, mind-altering substances, red meat, over-stressing yourself physically or mentally, and other patterns because you notice you feel lousy when you do them. Your subtle and psychic energy is focused now in one direction, rising or descending through the chakras to promote healing and clearing of old beliefs, patterns, traumas and emotional wounds. Your energy field is more sensitive and picks up the fields of others more readily. Eventually in a full awakening there is a rising of internal energies (think of it as the life force) until there is a realization of your true essence, and consciousness awakens itself. This is followed by a gradual coming alive of the body in a new way through which the transformed consciousness can be expressed. In the process the sense of an “I” fades or becomes irrelevant and all it has been attached to gradually drops away. The uniqueness of what you were, your preferences, and your skills are not lost but these are held more lightly. Many relationships thrive with these changes but some cannot. You will have to stay conscious in your relationship to help it endure, if that is what you wish.

  1. Can I use relationship to keep evolving?

Relationships with partners and families are primarily what will offer you opportunities to grow further, let go of more attachments, and develop compassion and sensitivity to the human condition. No matter how awake you are or how distracted by the ups and downs of your spiritual emergence you are still located in a human body and human world. Take time to lean into this as if it mattered, because to only be awake when you have escaped out of life is to only be half-free.

The heart opens when it breaks, the mind opens when it truly is present with another, and enlightenment stabilizes when you can be available to what is, free of compulsion but willing to meet the dance of creation however it is flowing for you.

When your anger or sorrow, irritability or demands, and other inconvenient emotions are triggered (after you thought they were gone forever) here is an opportunity to see what may lie still in the dregs of your unconscious waiting to be liberated.

Relationship can be a significant part of the spiritual journey to wholeness and peace. It offers grounding. It provides allies in the world of form and offers multiple ways of seeing into the delusions of thought. The role of celibacy in the Indian tradition may be necessary for young men entering monastic orders, especially if they practice complex breathing and pranic energy exercises to activate energies. However marriages are an important aspect of life for many Buddhist masters, Sufi mystics and Cabbalists in the Jewish tradition as well as the scores or ordinary people who are awakening today. What is important is recognizing what is right for you, and even this changes from time to time. If you are in an awakening process it is time to recognize and honor your own autonomy by listening to your deepest Truth. Being at peace in relationship may be your final crucible.

Energies of Awakening and Evolution

Shiva Nataraja

If you are having experiences of energy twisting or rolling up your spine, creating involuntary spasms, and rippling in strange ways through your body, you are possibly one of thousands each year experiencing what is known as a kundalini rising or awakening. You may feel frightened or disoriented by this non-ordinary shift, but if you can relax with it and understand it as simply a dynamic of your own evolution it can become a treasured ally on your spiritual path.
When we understand that all of creation is formed as molecular structures, mostly space and energy manifest in a multitude of forms, it becomes easier to meet the empty/spaciousness and the enhanced vibrational energies that appear in our bodies, and face all the changes they invite.
There are many reasons people suddenly have these shifts and awakenings. Often an intense spiritual or energy practice will open the body to the heightened energy known as kundalini by the ancient founders of the yogic system. Sometimes an intense concentrated period may activate this sleeping power, even such innocent practices as biofeedback, meditation, prayer, love-making, or the charge projected by the touch of another person who has this awakened energy. In the thousand reports I have collected over the last 30 years many people write of spontaneous awakenings, sometimes in moments of great interior stress, or while using plant medicines or psychedelics, or while sitting in silence at retreats. So if you are feeling as if your energy field has jumped from 110 to 220 or even 2200 you are not alone, although unfortunately you live in a culture that is totally unprepared to understand the power and potential of this experience.

If your experience plunges you into fear and anxiety, if it explodes you into ecstasy, or if it hits the brain centers that produce imagery you will likely be afraid you are losing your mind, and if you meet up with the wrong therapeutic model others will support this interpretation. But some part of you will know this is real and it is meaningful, even while the mind freaks out about it. If you can just be curious and open instead of afraid and contracted this will help it calm down considerably. You need to nourish the witness within you, that which is simply aware.

Kundalini energy is an aspect of your own life force. It is what happens when the normal pranic energy field or bioenergy of the body is infused with a powerful rush of energy from the base of the spine, the feet, or occasionally pours down into the body through the top of the head. Naturally you are startled. Even people in spiritual communities who have longed for awakening for years can be both astonished and terrified by this new dimension of interior activity. It was a naive assumption that spiritual awakening would be a sweet, simple release into peace and harmony and improved character and life would be forever blessed. It is true that awakening leads ultimately to peace and harmony, but it does so by stripping away every identification we hold dear, and releasing every old bit of suffering and confusion, all of which was held in our minds, bodies and subtle energy fields. It tries to release all stressors and heal all wounds, in the process freeing us from our assumed self image and personal history.

I have come to see kundalini as essentially a clearing out process, and then an opportunity to live from clear seeing and presence, which doesn’t change the content of life itself, but profoundly impacts our relationship to it.

Whether kundalini activation is sudden and traumatic, or slow and gentle, it is almost always a factor in a full spiritualrealization process. It may initiate the process of consciousness awakening, or it may fall into place after an initial shift of consciousness into the recognition of It’s true relationship with what we might call Source or Universal Consciousness, (that which cannot truly be named, but we try!) This might be called the non-dual experience, and to the mind it might feel empty and unbounded while to the spirit it is felt as unlimited spaciousness and dissolution into the whole (or some such image). Utimately awakening is the stable recognition of what is awake in all of us in every moment here and now, and not the dramatic experiences, visions, insights, dramas and traumas that may accompany realization for awhile. All experiences will pass. More will appear. Life is awakeness moving through experiences. Awakening helps us to take it more lightly, to feel peaceful even when we’re not, and to find beauty in the every day forms we encounter.

If you are in an energy awakening process and would like to be part of a small-group weekend workshop in Ashland, Oregon, planned Aug. 28, 29 and 30 please let me know. I offer this program once every year or two and will be happy to send you more details. My email is kundinfo@mindspring.com. You may also find helpful my new books “The Kundalini Guide” and “The Awakening Guide”, available on Amazon and Kindle.