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When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.”
Acts 2: 1-11
The Holy Spirit and Kundalini
In the Pentecost narrative, the Holy Spirit is depicted as something outside of us, coming down upon the disciples, as if from the heavens. The purpose of the Holy Spirit, as described in this narrative, is to empower the disciples to live fully out of their unique spiritual gifts (here described as speaking in tongues) in service to God and for the betterment of the world. The Holy Spirit empowers them to act in ways beyond what they might have previously thought possible.
In the Hindu and Yogic traditions, there is a similar kind of empowering energy and experience known as Kundalini. Kundalini is thought to be the seed of our potential, carrying within it our unique giftedness and call to service. As we grow and mature spiritually, the Kundalini is awakened and empowers us to live our potential to its fullest. The difference between Kundalini and the Holy Spirit, as it is depicted in the Pentecost narrative, is that Kundalini resides within us and eventually explodes out of the top of our head as opposed to coming into the top of our head from outside of us. I often wonder if Kundalini and the Holy Spirit are not in fact one and the same.
How have you become aware of a spiritual awakening happening in you?
How have you supported this spiritual awakening?
Spiritual Practices – Welcoming the Holy Spirit
Set aside 20-30 minutes to enter into this meditation practice. You will need your computer or personal music device to access the music that will be used in this practice.
- Sit in silence. Begin your practice with a personal prayer/request/statement of intention that your desire is to welcome the Holy Spirit – to be open to awakening the Holy Spirit’s within (or outside) of you. In stating this intention, you are agreeing to accepting the gifts the Spirit wishes to awaken and empower in you.
- Listen to the following song, Veni Sancte Spiritus, from the Taize community: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eaet60_DuFY
- As you are listening, imagine that the Holy Spirit is either coming down upon you, or awakening from the center of your belly and arising within you.
- Listen to the song a second time and repeat the visualization if you feel so called.
- Be attentive to any physical, emotional or mental sensations you may experience during the meditation.
- Record your thoughts and reflections in a journal or notebook.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
(1 Cor 3: 17)
In the Epilogue to Authentic Freedom, we speak of the process of discernment. Discernment is the process we use to distinguish the voice of Truth (God) from the voice of our ego. The primary distinction between God and ego is concisely articulated by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. Truth leads us to freedom. Freedom, however, is not something that is measured outside of us, but is known in an inner experience of expansiveness. Freedom leads us to love, peace, joy, contentment and fulfillment. Freedom is known in a life where there is meaning and purpose through which we are freely and generously sharing our own unique giftedness in service to God for the betterment of the world. This is Authentic Freedom.
How are you experiencing the freedom that is your Divine heritage?
Where are you experiencing this freedom as being constricted?
What are the fears that are causing you to live a life that is anything less than free?
Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and through it all the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”
“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
MK 4: 26-34
When it’s Appropriate to Cease from Striving
Each and every one of us are on this plain for the sake of fulfilling our Soul’s purpose. Our Soul’s purpose is that which gives our life meaning and a sense of purpose and through which we are empowered, through our unique giftedness to be a vessel through which the Divine is made real in our world. We are the vessel of God’s love and it is through our Soul’s purpose that we are able to be and do this.
The fulfillment of our Soul’s purpose requires effort on our part. We take steps to discover who we are and what our unique gifts are. We do the work of identifying, healing and releasing that within us that might otherwise hinder the fulfillment of our Soul’s purpose (fears, unhealed wounds from our past, compulsive behaviors, etc.). We connect with the Divine within for guidance on how we are called to live out our Soul’s purpose and we take steps toward that end. These are the appropriate and necessary steps in striving toward our Soul’s purpose. But, at some time, we have to cease from striving.
Like the farmer who has cultivated her field and planted his seed, at some point the hard work must end. Now it is time for nature to take its course. The sun shines. The rains fall. And the seed grows. Not because the farmer is standing over the seed yelling at it to hurry up and grow, hurry up and produce fruit. The seed grows because that is what a seed does. It grows in its own time, in its own way and the growth depends upon the whims of nature. None of this is within the farmer’s control. At this point, all the farmer can do is wait and hope….and in some cases, pray.
The same is true for us. When we have done everything we can do to support the fulfillment of our Soul’s purpose and when any additional effort toward that end simply feels “like work,” it is time to stop. We have cultivated the soil. We have planted and tended the seeds. Now there is nothing left to do but wait, hope, and pray.
Where have you witnessed these cycles of planting and waiting in your own journey?
Spiritual Practice – Waiting
When we are at the stage of our spiritual development and the Soul’s unfolding where our work is done, all we can do is wait. Waiting is probably the most difficult part of the journey because in it, there is nothing we can do to hasten things along and our “doing” only ends up being counterproductive. So we wait. But in the waiting is where all our “demons” show themselves – doubt, fear, unbelief. It is also in the waiting where we find ourselves seeking, grasping, trying to find something “to do.” It is also during the waiting where we might be tempted to give up on our Soul’s unfolding all together. It is in the waiting that our spiritual practice is ever-more critical. In the waiting we double up on our spiritual practice and we employ every practice we have to DO NOTHING.
Sitting in silence is one of the most challenging of all spiritual practices. But during these times of waiting, it is ever more important to seek after the silence.
For your spiritual practice this week, I invite you to SIT IN THE SILENCE. Just be. Just sit. Do not do. Do not think, ponder, reflect. Just be.
Observe the depth of transformation that takes place by allowing yourself to simply be.
Authentic Freedom –
Last week we spoke of the sacral chakra and its relationship with shame. This week, we address the sacral chakra as the center of our creativity and where the seed of our Soul’s purpose resides. Who we are and who we are meant to be in this life dwells within the center of our lower abdomen. It starts there as a seed – the seed of God that is planted within us. Within this seed is the knowledge of who we are and who we came to be in this life. Our life journey is about nurturing and cultivating that seed so that we can be the people God made us to be. This is our unique contribution to the world and the way in which we are called to be God’s love in the world. The fear related to this energy center is the fear that “I will not be able to bring forth life that will persist.” When we heal this fear, we come to understand that we have been uniquely gifted to be a vessel of Divine love in the world and we work toward being this. Fortitude is the virtue that arises out of us when we understand our giftedness and our call and fortitude supports us in working toward the fulfillment of that call.