Kundalini Splendor

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Sally Kempton plus interview with Andrew Harvey 

(Andrew Harvey speaks today on BATGAP (Buddha at the Gas Pump): 4:30 Pacific Time.    


And here is an excerpt from Sally Kempton's newsletter:)

Sally Kempton is one of my all time favorite spiritual teachers.  Here are some thoughts she is offering for the New Year:

And I'm finding that my main practice right now—and I'm offer it to you as a perfect practice for this or any time—is to stop every half hour or so to attend to the felt sense of the present moment. In  Leonard Cohen's song "Anthem", he sings that haunting line, "There is a crack in everything/That's how the light gets in." I like to think that the crack he's talking about is just this: the natural opening into presence and light that can emerge from moments of pausing. In the Freedom, Ecstasy, and Awakening class we just completed, we spoke a lot about the Gap, the openness that arises when we focus on the "place" where one movement or breath or thought ends, and before the next one begins. One of the simplest acts of true meditation is to return again and again to that pause, that gap. Attending to the space between things, we invite Shakti to give us a glimpse of her face as the heart of reality.

To invite that space to arise is what the "Stop" practice is all about.  In this busy season, this time of recapitulation and karmic wrap-up and celebration, you can use "Stop" as a kind of mantric command to the mind, an inner dharma bell that can be rung at any moment.

A moment is enough. In the middle of a computer task, during a conversation, wrapping presents, eating, dancing, washing the dishes, buckling your seat belt, offering prayers for the beings touched by the painful and tragic events in the world, coloring a picture with a child—in the middle of whatever you're doing, you can remind yourself, "Stop" and notice the space that arises.

The sages of Kashmir Shaivism called it the madhya—a Sanskrit word that just means "middle" or "center"—the doorway into Reality that they remind us to look for by focusing inside the natural pauses in the flow of life—between one breath or another, between one thought or another, or between one moment and another. In Thich Nhat Han's ashram, they ring a bell every hour to remind people to just stop. And even though we normally don't pay a lot of attention to those moments, they really can irradiate our days.

The present moment, as so many great teachers tell us, is the only moment we can actually practice. The present moment—the place we enter when we pay attention to the pause—is also the only state from which we can make meaningful change. I know you've heard this before. But if you're anything like me, you might need to remind yourself again and again that the time to do your inner work is right now, in this moment—no matter how inconvenient it seems and no matter how much else you have going on!

People often ask me whether one technique is better than another. Is mantra better than focusing on breath? Is self-inquiry better than mantra? Which mantra is the best one? Truly, the best technique for each of us is the one that we can follow into the space between past and future, into the Awareness/Presence/Love that soaks us when we fall into the present moment. It's true that some techniques are more direct, more cut-to-the-chase than others. But what matters is that you let whatever practice you do dissolve your distractions long enough to taste the spacious grace that is always lurking in the gap between past and future, where what you always truly are is waiting to be felt, and realized, and lived.

May the New Year bring you awakenings, love, and innumerable gifts and blessings!

Here's what's happening in the next few months:

January 13-February 24, 2016
Teleclass: Kundalini, The Inner Goddess; The Transformation of Your Consciousness

Our next teleclass, will be a 7 week immersion in Kundalini Shakti, the inner force that is the true power behind both awakening and spiritual progress. Kundalini is the so-called 'coiled power', the form of life energy that when activated, transforms our karmic pattern and impels our practice, our creativity, and our ability to break through obstacles. Some people believe that an awakened or partially awakened Kundalini is the secret behind the work of great artists and thinkers. Its certainly the secret of yogic awakenings. In my experience, the shifts that change our life are nearly always impelled by this inner power.

Kundalini changed my life, literally "rebirthed" me. And Kundalini is widely misunderstood in todays yoga world. That's why I give this course, which I believe cannot only give you important information about how this power works, but can also kindle and deepen your experience of the inner power.

Each of the seven classes includes deep, experienceable transmissions, meditations, knowledge from the tantric sages about the relationship of each chakra to your awakening, myth-busting teachings, and life-transforming understandings and opportunities to explore for yourself how the awakened Shakti unfolds in your personal an individual.

Click here to register and for more information.

April 3-8, 2016
Spring Retreat at Mt Madonna
Meditation and the Eye of Shiva/Shakti: Living as Your Divine Human Self

This year's Mt Madonna Retreat is a full immersion in deep meditation in the tradition of the tantric sages. We'll explore key practices from the Shiva Sutras and the Vijnana Bhairava as they apply to contemporary practitioners. We'll delve deeply into self-inquiry. We'll find out what it means to each one of us, personally, to surrender to the divine. We'll explore the tastes of the Self both in stillness and in action. We'll look at what it means to free ourselves from karma. We'll explore consciousness as a focal point of meditation, and deepen our immersion into mantra as it unfolds in the inner body. The retreat will culminate with a celebration of the first two days of Navaratri, sacred to Kali, the Goddess of Transformation.

You'll learn:

meditations for self-recognition, for healing, and for empowerment
the true secret of deepening your practice
how to integrate direct self-inquiry with devotional mantra practice
exploring the inner body as a sacred abode
using a sacred text as a doorway into meditation
meditations that connect your awareness to the great Awareness
finding the inner breath
the true meaning of honoring yourself and others
overcoming misunderstandings and blocks to true self-love
Elizabeth Rossa will guide us in our sessions of yoga, offering her signature practices for both meditative and active asana. We'll have nightly chanting. The retreat, held among the redwoods overlooking the Pacific, is supported and enhanced by the atmosphere of this powerful retreat center, with it's beautiful temples to Hanuman and Ganesha. We'll enjoy delicious vegetarian food, japa walks through the redwood forest, deep satsang, temple ceremonies, and the opportunity to spend time with a community of people on a transformative path!

Sally Kempton teaches at the cutting edge of ancient and contemporary wisdom, unfolding the energetic practices of the tantrikas in an atmosphere that creates space for real inner change. A former swami in a Vedic tradition, she has been teaching for nearly 40 years and is known for her powerful transmissions of meditative states. Sally is the author of the recently released Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga and the best-selling book Meditation for the Love of It. Her audio program of meditations on the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, Doorways to the Infinite, was recently released by Sounds True. She offers regular retreats and workshops as well as teleconferences.

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