Kundalini Splendor

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Sally Kempton––Awakened Heart News 

Sally Kempton's Awakened Heart News

May 2017

Join Sally for the new teleclass, Living the Awakened Life:
The Bhagavad Gita and the Path of Action, Part 2
Six Consecutive Wednesday Evenings
June 7-July 12, 2017, 5-7pm PDT/8-10pm EDT
Register here.

Sally is one of the experts being interviewed about working with emotions on the Mending the Self Summit—Cultivating Joy and Resilience through the Gifts Within Grief and Loss. Register here.
The interview will be up for 72 hours, starting May 11.

Dear Ones,

SallySpiritual practice is always an experiment. All the great spiritual technologies—direct self-inquiry, mantra, every form of breath meditation, asana, deity visualization, subtle body processes and others—came out of the experiments of sages. People sat, perhaps starting out feeling into body and breath, and followed the inner suggestions that begin to arise when you truly turn inside with intention. For some, these experiments created deep shifts in awareness. Then, they passed on their methods—and found that when applied with serious intention and even in play, these practices opened people to their own essence.

Anyone who practices meditation for a few years will naturally find themselves experimenting with different methods. Even when we begin with clear instructions from a teacher, the inner experience of mediation will often unfold in its own way. My Guru used to say that meditation itself teaches us meditation. I’ve found this to be true…and then we need the discernment to recognize which approach to practice is right for you at a particular time.

As my own practice has deepened, I’ve discovered that my most natural approach combines two factors. One is the direct tuning into Awareness itself, the knowing presence that witnesses and holds experience. The second is devotional—maybe a mantra practice, or chanting invocations, or contemplating the felt sense of a deity form, or simply breathing in love. The Awareness practice align my consciousness with its own essence. The devotional practice opens up the energy of the heart. For me, a truly satisfying meditation aligns and integrates these two aspects of the self: awareness with love, spacious presence with a melting heart.

It’s that integration that ultimately cooks and awakens us to the truth of the Self. An awakened heart knows that its real self is unlimited, pure consciousness. Yet it meets the world with open, softness—even vulnerability—willing to meet both the beauty and the pain of life.

Summer Retreats

Awakening the heart is the theme of all our retreats this summer. So, please scroll down and see which of our offerings call to you over the next few months!

We begin with a teleclass series, June 7th-July 12th. It's Part II of the Bhagavad Gita teleclass, Living the Awakened Life, and you can register for that here. (Scroll down to see the full description of the course.)

Then, in July and August, we travel from the new 1440 Retreat Center in the Santa Cruz mountains to One Yoga in Vancouver to Kripalu in Massachusetts, to London and our retreat in Italy.

In-person Events

Friday-Sunday, July 14th-16th
Love, Spirit and You: Transforming Difficult Emotions

1440 Multiversity
800 Bethany Drive
Scott’s Valley, CA

This workshop dives into the transformative emotional methodology of both tantric and bhakti yoga traditions. Along with teachings, we’ll work with cutting edge energy practices for entering emotional states, finding their energetic core, and using it both for self-healing (including healing your emotional wounds) and as a path to deeper levels of spirit and soul. The workship is designed to help each of us ride even emotional upheaval into freedom. For me and so many people, this approach has been central in the on-going work of awakening and transformation that we are all engaged in!

1440 is one of the most exciting venues in the country now—a brand new conference center in the redwoods of central California—elegant, sustainably built, and sparkling with intention. You can check out Sally's workshop and get details about 1440 here.

Friday-Sunday, July 28th-30th
God as Yogi, God as Love, God as Guru: A Weekend of Practice with the Sacred Masculine

One Yoga
201-150 W Hastings St
Vancoucer, BC V6B1G8 Canada

We expect this weekend will be an amazing explosion of sacred energy, as we invoke and internalize the forms of the great masculine deities Shiva, Krishna, Rama, and Ganesha. Using the myths as our ground, we’ll enter into our own experience of what the masculine essence feels like in the inner world. Stepping beyond the fundamentalist conceptions about deity, we’ll explore how tuning into a sacred archetype can transform our own sense of inner structure, love, and relationship both with our own psyche and the masculine divinity in others.

Suzanne Faith Slocum-Gori will be teaching gentle asana in each class, and we hope to have some chanting as well!

Register online here.

Sunday-Friday, August 6th-11th
Freedom, Ecstasy and Awakening: A Five-Day Immersion in the Heart of the Spiritual Journey

Kripalu Center
57 Interlaken Road
Stockbridge, MA 01262

A full, five-day immersion in tantric meditation practice, including deep inward focus, and the methods for turning the sensory experience of life into paths to awakening. The class is based on the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, and makes use of Sally’s transformative insights into meditation practice, consciousness, and the connection between these ancient practices, neuro-science, and your unfolding inner journey. Any one of these practices can lead to profound breakthrough, especially when we practice with the deep wisdom of the tradition behind us. Together, they enter us like depth charges, and open doorways into our own Being that can transform everything about our practice.

Elizabeth Rossa will be here to work with us in asana. You’ll be able to enjoy Kripalu’s campus, walks, spa offerings, and delicious food.

The class fulfills the pre-requisite for Sally’s upcoming teacher training.

It will be followed by a weekend workshop, also at Kripalu...

Friday-Sunday, August 11th-13th
Awakening Shakti: Meditation, Kundalini, and the Energy of the Heart

This is a practical workshop on engaging your own inner energy through mantra, visualization and deity practice. Sally will lead you through cutting edge practices for discovering and understanding your own inner spiritual energy, kundalini Shakti, and its connection with the sacred feminine. We’ll work with methods for becoming intimate with our own inner energies at different levels. We’ll deepen our meditation together, and work with the philosophical wisdom that helps nurture the expansion of your conscious energy field. And we’ll explore the three core deity energies that come into play as our meditative energy expands. This is a workshop for people who want to explore the sacred feminine in themselves through meditation, mantra, visualizations and chakra work.

To register for either event, click here.

Friday-Sunday, September 1st-3rd and Tuesday-Saturday, September 5th-9th
Coming Home to the Self

Tri Yoga London
57 Jamestown Road
London, NW1 7db

Friday, September 1st, 7-9pm: Who Are You? Discovering your Enlightened Self
Saturday, September 2nd, 2-5pm: Freedom, Ecstasy and Awakening through Tantric Meditation
Sunday, September 3rd, 2-5pm: Intimacy with the Divine: A Contemporary Approach to the Yoga of Love

Tuesday, Saturday, September 5th-9th
Five-Day European Meditation Teachers’ Training—For Yogis and Others
The Art and Practice of Teaching Meditation: A Training for Yoga Teachers and Others

Teaching meditation is much more than giving instruction. It's a profound dialogue between your own natural meditative awareness, and the hearts of your students. A skilled meditation teacher offers a genuine transmission of her own state, and actually helps a student open to her own meditative current. Along with that, a true teacher can guide the student as to which type of meditation practice is appropriate at different times and for different individuals.

Some topics will include:

Why meditation is an essential practice and what meditation does and does not do for you
Styles of meditation and the strengths and weakness of each
How to transmit meditative awareness
Three approaches to Posture
The role of pranayama and the natural breath
The truth about mantra meditation
Mindfulness practice: The art of focus
What is true tantric meditation, and what makes your teaching tantric
Beyond Mindfulness and Mantra: How to Relax into pure awareness
Meditation and Self-Inquiry
Your brain on meditation: the latest findings of neuro-science
Working with fear, blockages, dryness, and other obstructions
Balanced practice
How to help your students harvest the effects of meditation
Commonly asked questions and how to work with them
How your own meditation practice teaches you how to teach meditation
Pre-requisite: At least one year of regular meditation practice

Register here for either event.

Thursday-Tuesday, September 14th-19th
European Retreat in Sicily
Il Picciolo Etna Golf Resort and Spa
Castiglione di Sicilia, Italy

Surfing Reality: The Transformative Journey and the Yoga of Divine Energy: A Living Exploration

Andrea Boni will be joining Sally to offer yoga, translation, and other practices in this retreat.

The Spanda Karikas, (Stanzas on Vibration) is a powerful tantric text that offer a blue print for living with the highest wisdom. Its pithy verses encode both a vision and a practice for recognizing how the reality works, then moving with skill and grace through the challenges of our lives. As Sally shows us how to apply these teachings to our lives, you learn to recognize how energy moves in your inner and outer life, and how transforming the energy in your body-mind can help you find the sacred in every moment and encounter of your life—especially in challenging times.

You discover the natural doorways into the infinite within your own body, mind, and feelings, and how to find the sacred in every moment and encounter of our lives.

Sally unfolds key teachings from the Spanda Karikas, along with powerful practices and contemplative exercises designed to transform your consciousness from the ground up. Working with the body, the mind and the heart, we’ll establish deeply personal pathways into the power of divine creativity. The course includes  meditations and contemplation practices that you can take into the situations of your life, and that will shift your awareness of everything you do.

You’ll learn:

How to discover and work with the subtle energies in your own body
The key understanding that helps us move through reality successfully--even in hard times
Discovering the pulsation of power that creates thoughts and feelings
How to find the still point at the heart of movement
Transforming emotions through the energy of emotions
Certain teachings are innately transformative. The energy teachings of the Spanda Karikas are like a living depth-charge of awakening energy. When you take them in, they change not only the way you live your life, but also the way life lives you. Download flyer for further details.

Wednesday Evenings, June 7th-July 12th
5:00 PM PDT, 8 PM EDT
Part II: Living the Awakened Life: The Bhagavad Gita and the Path of Action

"Yoga is the separation from union with pain."
Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita

Why has the Bhagavad Gita been a wisdom-guide for so many people, for so many centuries? Because it really does tell us how to live a spiritual life in the world.  In Krishna’s teaching to Arjuna there is a powerful transmission that meets you where we are, and takes you to the next stage. That’s why we can study it again and again and find that its always relevant to our lives at this moment in time. The more you practice its teachings, the more you realize their power and truth, and the more they refine and open you.

Many of you who took Part One of this class shared your deep experience of the transmission that came through the text and the course itself. This second 6-week class takes us deeper, not only completing the teachings on enlightened action, devotion, dharma, and surrender, but offering granular guidelines for examining the quality of your inner life, your motivations, and your relationship with spirit. Using the powerful commentaries of three enlightened teachers—Abhinavagupta, Aurobindo, and Jnaneshwar—we will examine the often koan-like words of Krishna to Arjuna in depth. We’ll meditate, discuss, contemplate. Above all, we’ll discover how to apply this transformative wisdom to ordinary situations.

Topics include:

The real secret of navigating dark times
Choosing skillful action: Krishna’s infallible guide to doing the right thing at the right time.
Surrender: the myths and the reality
Combining the four great paths to Self-realization
What is devotion, why does it matter, and how to awaken it in yourself
Using the three gunas to understand your own actions and the state of your mind
The inner guru, guidance, and the discovery of discernment
You can find more details and register here.

So much love,

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