This paper is a brief summary of the Vedic Way of Self-Illumination, from the Self-Illumination Therapy Training Intensive taught by Joan Harrigan.
This article discusses the issues around awakening through trauma and discusses ways that our culture can support people as they go through the process.
Post-Traumatic Growth and Spiritual Awakening: How We Sometimes Gain by Losing Our Most Precious Attachments
The material from this article comes in large part from the book Out of the Darkness: From Turmoil to Transformation by Steve Taylor. This article is meant to clarify my own experience and add some bits to the ongoing discussion of the process and many paths of spiritual transformation.
The process of spiritual transformation is happening in all of us. Some have a stronger focus than others depending on their interest and past efforts.
What is true about the Kundalini or the awakening process is that it is dangerous. It will lead one into the deepest, most unresolved places inside us—and to terror and rage. Without proper guidance, one can get in severe trouble. It is why I have great respect for those who aren't ready to face their own demons. One can spend years coming to the edge and backing away.
"Expecting the worst, you look, and instead, here's the joyful face you've been wanting to see. Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding. The two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birdwings." -Rumi (1207-1273) "Birdwings" "For many wounded individuals, their body has become the enemy. The experience of almost any sensation is interpreted as an unbidden harbinger of renewed terror and helplessness." -Peter Levine from In an Unspoken Voice As Rumi suggests, there is [...]
"When a man has learned within his heart what fear and trembling mean, he is safeguarded against any terror produced by outside influences." -I Ching, Hexagram 51 "For in my flesh I shall see God." -Book of Job Perhaps the best work done on the connection between trauma and spirituality comes from the chapter in Peter Levine's book In an Unspoken Voice called "Trauma and Spirituality". I've seen a few other people make this connection, including El Collie in her book Branded by the Spirit especially the chapter called "Cracking Up", but mostly in passing and not nearly as direct [...]
"The culture expects one to be manic: hyperactive, spend and consume and waste, be very verbal, flow of ideas, don't stay long with anything—the fear of being boring—and we lose the sense of sadness…It's so ego identified that we don't even see it as a syndrome! What we see as a syndrome is slowness, sadness, dryness, waiting. That we call depression, and we have a giant pharmaceutical industry to deal with it." -James Hillman "Of all the demeaning forms of prejudice, aspersion that categorically denies the validity of one's experiences is most undermining. Even blatant hatred is not so [...]
Attachment Mastery and the Confusion Caused by Detachment as a Spiritual Practice "Be very kind to yourself as you explore early attachment. You're going into very tender territory." -Diane Poole Heller "It is all about love!" -Diane's Heller's father's last few words before he died Introduction How we attach to others in the early months of our lives has a huge impact on the way we see and relate to the world. And it can set the course of our relationship behavior for the rest of our lives. Our attachment patterns have an enormous consequence for how we give and take in love. We [...]
The following is my own translation of the Messiah oratorio in which I turn the story inward, showing that the story of Jesus as the Messiah is also the inner story of one's own spiritual transformation and awakening, available to us all. Jesus not only shared his awakening with us but also encouraged us to turn within and awaken to one's own Christ nature. Messiah is a Hebrew word, usually translated in the New Testament as Christ. It means "the Anointed" of God. The Oratorio aims to present an outline of the life and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ [...]