Posted in Empowerment, Holy Spirit, Jesus

Was Jesus a Shaktipat Guru?

In 2010, I posted a blog drawing parallels between Jesus and his work and the process of Shaktipat from the Siddha Yoga tradition.  Dr. Sonya Jones read my blog and shared that she was writing a book on this very topic.  Below is an excerpt from her now published work.  Congratulations Sonya (Sw. Shraddhananda)!

From Jesus Was a Shaktipat Guru, Chapter 8, “Shaktipat by Touch” by Sw. Shraddhananda aka Rev. Dr. Sonya Jones–the text also includes an Introduction by Rev. Chris Vasumti Deefholts in which Rev. Deefholts, now Sw. Prakashananda, explores her Shaktipat experience with Jesus.

JesusShaktipatbookcover

Buy it HERE.

As a Shaktipat Guru, how did Jesus bestow the precious gift?

Down to washing the feet of his first apostles, touch appears to have been the Master’s primary way of bestowing Shaktipat while still on earth. However, he also gave Shaktipat by sankalpa (will) across the distance and by infusing his sacred energy into food and wine. The ways in which Jesus gave Shaktipat are consistent with the modus operandi of Shaktipat Gurus in other traditions.

If internal conditions are ripe, seekers can receive Shaktipat simply by being in the presence  of a Jagadguru. Crowds sought out Jesus just as they did Bhagawan Nityananda and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Frequently, people say they want to be in the presence of Jagadgurus for their erudite messages and sermons when, more often than not, they want to experience the energy, or Shakti, these precious beings radiate.

“Awake thou that sleepest,” Jesus is quoted as saying in Ephesians 5:14. “Arise from the dead and Christ shall give you light.”

Christ will light the fire, Jesus said. In other words, the fire will blaze from a larger source than just one man living in a human body. The fire (or Holy Spirit) was spread from the cosmic Christ through the living apostles who acted as conduits for purified consciousness. In Indian terms, the Maha Shakti (or Holy Spirit) ignites the fire moving through the Guru, or teacher who has accepted the responsibility to act on behalf of his or her lineage.

The command from Ephesians could only have been spoken by a Shaktipat Guru who was capable of dispensing the sacred fire–whether by look, touch, or sankalpa–which leads unfailingly to freedom.

swshrandhanda-250x250-1Sw. Shraddhananda aka Rev. Dr. Sonya Jones serves as Spiritual Director of Slate Branch Ashram, located in the beautiful Lake Cumberland Valley of Kentucky, also home to Sacred Feet Yoga and the Sannyasa program of The Community of The Mystic Heart. Prior to taking retirement from academic teaching, she taught at Allegheny College and later for the Honors Program at the University of Kentucky. A member of the Saraswati Order of Monastics and Meditation Masters, she holds a Ph.D. from Emory University. She has lectured on six continents.

 

Posted in Gifts of Contemplation, Spiritual Practices

The Hard Work of Enlightenment

Two days ago I wrote about Shaktipat – the moment that we are awakened out of our ordinary existence and called upon the path of spiritual exploration, growth, healing and transformation.  What happens after Shaktipat?  GOOD HARD WORK – that’s what!!!


I want to thank my friend, Heidi for sharing the following quote from her spiritual teacher that she posted in response to Sunday’s blog on Shaktipat (spiritual awakening) and the path to enlightenment:

“Both my masters so thoroughly enbodied Sri (the most resplendent aspect of the Divine) that is would be easy to write off their accomplishments to a blessed birth or to the teachers that guided them.  Don’t kid yourself.  The heights they scaled reflect the sheer force they generated day after day through practice.  Yes, you reap what you sow.  Remember: practice is how the teachings breathe their sublime light into you.”

Amen.  Amen.  Amen.  Spiritual transformation does not end with Shaktipat.  In fact, Shaktipat, while frequently dramatic in its experience is perhaps the smallest and most insignificant portion of the spiritual journey.  We might have a moment of sublime awakening, but then what?  The image that springs to my mind is the perception that somehow the moment of Christian baptism or the moment we profess “Jesus to be our personal Lord and Savior”  the slate is wiped clean and we are now and forever saved.  Enlightenment does not end with a profession of faith, a sacred ritual or shaktipat.  These personally fulfilling moments are only the beginning.  Sound spiritual growth, healing and transformation only come about because of hard work and diligent practice.

The foundation of Spiritual growth, as we are reminded by Heidi’s teacher, is PRACTICE. Practice is the diligent attention to whatever vehicle we use to remember our intimate connection with the Divine/God.  In the Christian tradition practice is experienced as prayer, worship, mindful service, meditation and contemplation.  In the Eastern traditions practice includes these with the addition of movement (yoga, tai chi, chi qong, etc.).  The thread and crucial element that ties all of these forms of practice together and makes them effective  is ATTENTION.

Practice is focused attention on the Divine/Highest Self.  Practice transcends the activity of the mind and the restless actions of the ego and draws us into communion with the center of peaceful contentment that lies within.  It is in connection with this peaceful contentment that we remember our Oneness with God.  Sounds easy, right?  WRONG!  Spiritual practice, while simple, is NOT EASY!  In fact, diligent attention to our spiritual practice might be the most challenging thing we will ever do in our life.   The good news is that as challenging as maintaining a diligent spiritual practice may be, the rewards are well worth the effort!

Here are some of the  fruits of maintaining a diligent spiritual practice:

Healing – of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical wounds and disease

Release from spiritual fears

Recovery from compulsive behaviors and actions

Increased peace, contentment, joy, compassion

Deep and profound knowledge of love (Divine love)

Discovery of our unique giftedness and call to share these gifts in the world

Empowerment

Inner Strength

Balance

Trust

The ability to surrender

Inner fulfillment

Do these qualities sound appealing to you?  Then what are you waiting for?  Get to work!  Enlightenment only begins with our spiritual awakening.  The rest is up to you!

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com



 

Posted in Jesus, teachers, Uncategorized

Jesus and Shaktipat

Shaktipat is a word in the Hindu tradition to represent spiritual awakening – in particular, spiritual awakening that is facilitated or initiated by a guru/teacher and conferred upon his or her students.  Did Jesus confer Shaktipat and can we still be recipients of this Divine energy today?

I am currently reading Where Are You Going? – A Guide to the Spiritual Journey by Swami Muktananda, now deceased guru of the Siddha Yoga tradition.  http://www.siddhayoga.org/  In this book, Swami Muktananda describes the highways and byways of the spiritual journey from the perspective of the Siddha Yoga tradition.  As I am reading this book, I’m seeing unfold before me all the parallels between the Hindu/Siddha Yoga tradition and the Jesus story.  Kundalini/Holy Spirit;  Meditation/Prayer; Mantra/Rosary and now today, Shaktipat and Jesus.

The Siddha Yoga tradition (which has its roots in Hinduism) defines Shaktipat as follows:

Spiritual awakening, or shaktipat, lies at the heart of the mystical journey. This infusion of energy from the spiritual master to the seeker brings about the awakening of the seeker’s own inherent spiritual power, called kundalini. Shaktipat is described by the yogic texts as an initiation that activates an inner unfolding of awareness that leads to progressively higher states of consciousness.   http://www.siddhayoga.org/

 

As I read about and seek to understand more fully the experience of Shaktipat, I cannot help but image that this is what it must have been like for Jesus’ own disciples.  Something in Jesus’ touch and/or presence startled them out of their normal everyday existence and awakened them to a higher path – the path to Oneness with God.  Many felt called to leave behind their former existence to follow Jesus and learned from him the path of spiritual awakening and enlightenment and many were healed of their spiritual fears and false perceptions – some through Jesus’ physical touch and some simply through being in the presence of this remarkable man.  The Jesus story certainly rings of Shaktipat to me.  

In the Siddha tradition, Shaktipat is conferred by a living guru within the lineage of the Siddha tradition.  Shaktipat is said to be conferred upon a seeker who is willing to receive it and can be received through touch or simply by being in the presence of the guru.  It is also said that Shaktipat can be received in the absence of the physical presence of the guru through desire and intention.  This is how Shaktipat is available to those who claim Jesus as their teacher and guru.  We no longer have the gift of the physical presence of Jesus among us, and yet this does not prevent those who follow Jesus from becoming spiritually awakened – all we need to do is desire to be awakened and be open to the spiritual lessons that will then unfold.  The gift in this spiritual awakening/Shaktipat, for those who claim Jesus as their guru is the same for those among the Siddha Yoga and Hindu traditions: 

Over time, through grace and our efforts in spiritual practice, the sense of separation from divinity drops away. We come to recognize the presence of God in ourselves and in the world around us. We experience the world as a play of God’s energy.   http://www.siddhayoga.org/

If this is true, why would we not all be open to receiving Shaktipat/Spiritual Awakening and celebrating our respective teachers through whom this has been made possible?  I for one, offer a profound prayer of gratitude for the experiences that startled me out of my normal everyday existence and set me upon the path of spiritual learning, growth and transformation…and I give the credit to Jesus, the Christ,  my personal guru (while thoroughly enjoying the teachings of all the great spiritual masters!) And I thank Swami Muktananda and Gurumayi Chidvilasananda of the Siddha Yoga traditions for giving me words  through which I have been able to more fully understand the experience.

Are you open to receiving Shaktipat/Spiritual Awakening?

Through what teacher do you desire to receive this awakening?

How can you be open to the unfolding spiritual path once this awakening has been facilitate?

 

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth

http://www.yourspiritualtruth.com