spiritual awakening

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Radiance

How do we find our own light? We stop. It isn’t until we really stop everything—let go of the busy-ness that buffers us from pain, stop trying, stop working so hard, stop running . . . The more we dare to enter that emptiness and stay, the more our shadow is revealed—the holy telling of the hard truth about ourselves. About reality. Rilke shows us how to live that larger life:

Take your practiced powers and stretch them out
until they span the chasm between two
contradictions . . . For the god
wants to know himself in you.

If we accept his invitation to live the paradox and not just think it, we can no longer take refuge in a single point of view; we’re meant to open our hearts to all the contradictions—the good and the bad—in ourselves, in everyone. The great gift of this shadow walk lies in the very emptiness we’ve sought, and also hoped to avoid: a quality of compassion that brings together the many opposites—the loneliness, the grief, the shame and the beauty—and holds them. Compassion then becomes a companion to the mind of thought. It’s like a marriage: We marry our human selves— for better or worse—until death do us part; we companion ourselves, keep our youngest selves in our hearts, held and comforted. Only then, can we truly marry another . . . marry all that life is . . . all that it brings . . . This is the kind of love we’re called to embody: to be with ourselves so that we can offer genuine compassion to others; so the light within the dark is made manifest; so the Radiance deep in the heart of life continues to spread throughout the world.*

 

*See more in “Taking Root: An Unbroken Intimacy with Life” in the Fall Kosmos Journal

2013 Three Upcoming Retreats:

Toronto area, April 19-21 An Unbroken Intimacy with Life, A Weekend Retreat
 
Madison WI, 3 or 5-day options: April 23-25 Taking Root ~ A Depth of Intimacy with Life or with additional days, April 25-27, Depth Perception ~ The Sensation of Light
 

Artist, Marci Graham,“Radiance” from The Cosmological Powers of the Universe Series

Filed under Alignment, attention, awareness, compassion, Consciousness, Creativity by Anne Hillman #

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There is so much more to a human life, possibilities we are normally unaware of, innate gifts we might bring to the world. To learn what they are, some of us have to be broken: confronted by something that compels us to surrender. Until then, we may have been reasonably satisfied with our lives, content with our own point of view. But when we’ve been humbled by storm or earthquake, illness or shame; by loss or just the ordinary process of aging, grace comes, and with it, opportunity after opportunity to deepen our way of perceiving, so we can ‘hear’ with more of ourselves.

 

Then, we learn to give the larger life our whole-bodied attention. We ask in the moment, What now? and listen with all our faculties. We dare to follow what allures us. This is the relationship that matters now: to move with the deeper movement ‘of the earth, of spirit, of the unknown’ in an unbroken intimacy with life. In this communion, we live in time and eternity intertwined, one day, one moment at a time.

Coyote cub allured (AH)

 

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I have been reading your book Awakening the Energies of Love at one of the hardest/richest times of my life.  I actually thought I was going crazy, losing my mind (I know this would have it’s upsides), maybe even bi-polar with these wild ups and downs that I have never before experienced. I believe I am slowly experiencing an awakening.  I immersed in yoga and meditation this summer and began to experiencing this new sensation- somewhat disturbing!  This energy I have been experiencing in my body- voltage- currents- tingling and pulsating in my feet, legs, hands at the third eye center, crown of my head, left frontal cortex- these energy currents my intellect tried to analyze, pathologize. Then- I read pages 240 and 241 and I just began to laugh!!!  . . . It is my body- reminding me everyday, with greater and greater intensity that something has changed!!  I believe I mistakenly interpreted these sensations as fear, anxiety, panic . . .  I also believe that I interpreted this as fear and insecurity out of a self-defeating pattern of “I don’t deserve this kind of joy” messaging. . .  Is my story somewhat common?  With Gratitude!!! Lori

Dear Lori, . . . I’m happy that you have been helped by reading Awakening the Energies of Love. It sounds like you are listening hard to your body’s messages and interpreting what you ‘hear’ in ways that are useful to you. I wish I could answer your questions, but I’m afraid don’t feel qualified to do so. . . . During the periods I described in the book, I was working with a qualified professional I could trust to guide me.

I think it can be exceedingly helpful to be guided through the process you are describing by a reliable teacher or a PhD level therapist who is fully trained and they can better answer your questions. There are a lot of junk-helpers out there; It’s important to be selective. I don’t know where you live. . . Given your financial circumstances . . . I’d be inclined to recommend that you be in touch with SEN, the Spiritual Emergence Network http://www.spiritualemergence.info/. It is a highly respected organization founded maybe 20-30 years ago specifically for people like you who may be awakening and are wondering about the kind of symptoms you describe (and other symptoms too). Best of all it is free. They are centered at ITP, the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA but have professional affiliates in the field of Transpersonal Psychology all over the world. You can trust this organization and its affiliates. Lori. it is a temptation to Google the subject and try to read about it and buy more books but I urge you to consider not trying to make this a “do it yourself” project. If you’ve reached the admonishments I wrote about on pages 249-250, there are very good reasons for caution as well as for celebration!

With blessing, Lori,

Warmly,

~ Anne ~

Filed under Awakening, awareness, Uncategorized by Anne Hillman #

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Jay Matternes, whose painting of “Homo Habilis Woman” is the frontispiece for Awakening the Energies of Love: Discovering Fire for the Second Time, wrote this week to say that his scientific reconstruction of the 4.4 million year old fossil, ‘Ardi’, could be seen on “Discovering Ardi” a documentary on the Discovery Channel. Last night we watched this extraordinary story of the painstaking excavation of our human progenitor—a million years older that ‘Lucy.’ It is now available on DVD. The animation based on Jay’s exacting anatomical drawings brought an ancient grandmother to life, and I was vividly reminded that several thousand years of religious development had gradually anesthetized the deep human, bodily experience of the Mystery and replaced it with abstractions like ‘consciousness’ or a disembodied, transcendent God. 

When you awaken, you re-experience the profound connection to life that Ardi knew in her cells—and which still remains in our own. This is no aerie-faerie consciousness. It is a physical, whole-bodied awareness: dynamic, earthy, and grounded in Life. All of us are a continuum, a living family past and present. In this unbroken lineage, we are modern/primeval human beings. And like Ardi, Lucy, and every single newborn baby, we stream with the powers of the universe. In the startling moment of a spiritual awakening, we become conscious of the dynamic unity of Life. It is visceral, palpable, primal. We need to integrate this more-than-mental understanding. That conscious integration restores us to the fullness of our humanity and provides the necessary fuel for transforming our relationships within our extended family around the world.
 
The Dancing Animal Woman: A Celebration of Life demonstrates how our own quest for greater meaning and purpose can contribute to the evolution of humanity’s intimacy with all of life.Last weekend, my publisher informed me that it is almost out of print after a print run of almost 10,000 copies. It is described here. Please write me directly if you’d like an autographed copy for yourself or for a gift. I have only 33 left.

 

Filed under Awakening, Love, Transformation by Anne Hillman #

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As the excitement about the presidential debates builds, I think it is important to realize that any “change” promised by either candidate depends on much more than a leader. It is a matter of setting a new direction: The hope for any real change in our lives lies in the awakening of the human heart and mind. Such an awakening transforms the quality of all our relationships, and as we develop the skills that lead us in that direction, we may come to embody a different kind of Love—one that has long been misunderstood. This kind of Love is not a feeling; it is a great power—an intelligence which has long been present inside us. Accessing it, however, depends on our willingness to proceed. If we have made up our minds—if we believe what we know, and know what we believe—we will not have even begun to address the biased thinking that keeps us all so thoroughly programmed for conflict. If there is any real hope for us—man and woman, Arab and Jew, East and West—it doesn’t lie in the rising up of a great leader. The Time of the hero is past. No rescuer will come to solve our conflicts for us, or fill the deep crevices of earth with oil again, or season poisoned land with sweetness. But if we are willing to step forward and begin to change our minds—to let go of our own certitude, be it religious or philosophical orscientific—we will have joined the legions who are contributing to a new kind of consciousness, one that sees differently. This is not the same as thinking differently. It is the conscious emergence of a radical kind of Love that holds both sides of a conflict in its embrace. According to Teilhard de Chardin, the transforming power of Love can alone create a true human community. In his words, “The fire of love may be the only energy capable of extinguishing the threat of another fire, namely that of universal conflagration and destruction.” This kind of Love unifies. Its evolution is already happening in all of us and is described in Awakening the Energies of Love: Fire for the Second Time.  

Filed under Change by Anne Hillman #