Being One as Form and Formless is the title of the satsang i am privileged to give in Berkeley at 7 p.m. on Nov. 29, Thanksgiving Weekend, for Open Circle Center. The location is a synagogue, Chochmat Halev, 2215 Prince St. in Berkeley. I hope to see some of my readers there, which is my first public satsang in the bay area, but if you cannot attend and know people in the bay area, please pass the information along. For more information about Open Circle programs with non-dual teachers go to http://www.opencirclecenter.org. Satsang is an invitation to sit in Truth in your own stillness, opening to being touched by one another.
I once had a vision in which my consciousness was in a breezeway, with vast unbounded space in one direction, and all the creation of the world on the other. I feel I have stood in this intersection between unbound consciousness and the limited expression of separation for most of my life now, and the focus of my work with spiritual awakening or spiritual emergence has been the same. In my first book (Energies of Transformation) I called the initial challenges of these two apparent positions the struggle between self and SELF, but in the awakened moments of being completely with what is there is no struggle, only relaxation into holding the miracle that as appearance in form we are both. The challenge is in having no resistance to either, so if there is a moment of spacious emptiness, being with it fully brings a radiance into our lives. In the moment of returning to the experience of life in its ordinary form there is a gratitude for the dance, a willingness to BE, since it is clearly the expression meant to exist out of the Oneness of the All. I wrote my recent books The Kundalini Guide and The Awakening Guide, to address some of the challenges awakening brings in my hope that as a reader’s understanding rises, and resistance falls away, the natural beauty and peace of spiritual emergence will unfold.
When following the ups and downs of many people who are awakening I have come to see that even a glimpse of the radiant formless, when trusted, will help them to feel the nature and wonder of the transformation they are in. Then the challenges of the body, the rising of unconscious material, shifts in the energy field and psychic openings seem like curious manifestations rather than fearful invasions. One can rest in a stillness that simply witnesses and faces events beyond fear and eventually with equanimity.
Change can be hard, as it demands the release of all that no longer serves the new emergence. Our minds want control and our bodies resist when we feel we have none. You might notice that when you feel afraid or angry it is almost always at the core an issue of control — the gut clenches when we feel helpless and vulnerable, the victim of a circumstance, or the butt of someone’s derision, attack, manipulation or rejection. When phenomena arise that is unfamiliar, and we have no knowledge of what will happen next, or what the experience means, the mind is trapped in unknowing. The emotions can overwhelm us at the sense of helplessness produced by fearful or confused thoughts. Yet a significant condition for Self-realization is the willingness to live in the unknown.
Spiritual awakening by its very nature changes perspectives, bodies and lives. It is evolutionary. It is revolutionary. Whether invited through deep and sincere spiritual seeking and practice, or exploded upon us unknowingly, it will bring surprises. No one is ever adequately prepared or has a good sense of what will arise uniquely for them. But it is a movement that happens to many people, and it can be met with openness, curiosity and gratitude for the revelations it brings.
We are, to our great amazement, an expression of the infinite, an appearance in a form that emerged from what the mind sees as vast uncharted territory of space, and thiscan be felt and realized but never adequately explained in the language of thought.