RETURN TO SPIRIT
Designed by Hiranya
© Barbara Stone, 2005
"Awakening, healing and empowering the soul are all undertaken in the
first part of the spiritual journey; the second part involves the dissolution
of soul in Spirit."
-- Frances Vaughan
In the usual Yogic tradition, you are requested to take full responsibility
for your life. That means the recognition that whatever may emerge
from working with these lessons is part of your life and, therefore,
is your responsibility. We all receive the lessons we need from
one source or another, and our only choice is whether we attend to them
or not. So, if you find yourself with this guidebook in hand with
the intention to make your way through it, it is because you are meant to
do this kind of self-investigation.
This material is not intended to be, nor to take the place of,
psychotherapy. It is designed to assist psychologically healthy
adults to more fully understand themselves and their spiritual journeys.
These guidebooks do not diagnose or treat psychological disorders.
If you are engaged in psychotherapy already and have doubts about whether
you should work with them, please consult your psychologist and follow his
or her advice.
The author, Hiranya Barbara Stone, EdD, is a transpersonal psychologist
with specialized training in Yoga psychology, Buddhism, Sufism and Spiritual
Guidance. She taught Developmental, Educational, and Social psychology
as well as the Psychology of women at Drew University for 18 years
and is presently a mentor for the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
Hiranya has had training and experience in human relations development
and group dynamics at the National Training Labs Institute and in the development
of high trust community with the late Jack Gibb. She spent a year
at The Naropa Institute, a Buddhist graduate school, teaching and studying
in their Contemplative Psychotherapy program. Hiranya is a Yoga teacher
certified by Yasodhara Ashram in Kootenay Bay, B.C. to teach Raja, Jnana,
Bhakti, Karma, Kundalini, Hatha and Japa Yogas. She recently completed
a training program in The Art of Spiritual Guidance at the Silver
Dove Institute in Burlington, VT under the leadership of Atum O’Kane.
She was the founder and director of House of Spirit Yoga and Retreat
Center in Cedaredge, CO and is now residing in Lee, Massachusettes.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Unit I. Ajna Chakra Themes
Unit II. Polarities
Unit III. Balance
Unit IV. Pure Mind
Unit V. Consciousness
Unit VI. Light
Unit VII. Presence
Unit VIII. Healing the Soul
Unit IX. Bindu
Unit X. Healing Ideas
Table 6-1. Power and Life
Table 6-2. Tattva Relationships
Table 6-3. Differences Between Psychosis
Table 6-4. Stages of Sabija Samadhi
Table 6-5. Bhutas and Indriyas
Table 6-6. Stages of Manifestation of Bhutas
Table 6-7. Triads of Presence
Table 6-8. The Law of Three
Table 6-9. Gap (Separation) vs Unity Consciousness
Table 6-10. Healing Therapies
Fig. 6-1. Ajna chakra
Fig. 6-2. Chakra form
Fig. 6-3. Mandala
Fig. 6-4. Double Triads
Book VI. Balance
It is with a great deal of humility and gratitude for Guidance
that I begin this new guidebook. The higher up the scale we go,
the more subtle and elusive the experiences are and they also become more
resistant to verbal description. So the intellect I’ve been so proud
of all my life is now beginning to be an obstacle to further progress on
the path. It is no accident that, at the sixth chakra level, one
must give up attachment to ideas, thoughts, and intellect as well as
the other renunciations we will be discussing later on. The mind
is in the heart, after all.
I have a particular identification with the developmental stage
that will be relevant in this chakra as I am aging and must confront some
of the challenges and choices that are peculiar to this age group.
Not the least of these is the call to elderhood.
At what point do we surface and acknowledge that we might be wise
by virtue of our years and experience if not by anything else? Do
we dare to try to guide others who are younger or less experienced than
we are? Certainly deep humility and a sense of responsibility are
called for. Yet, as I have matured, more and more it has become clear
that advice and “help” are not always helpful. Rather, what is useful
is to be able to ask the right questions, so that others can find their
own way. Advice and “help” imply that others are not capable of dealing
with their own lives and problems. Furthermore, it sets one up as
a rather self-righteous judge and/or parent figure. That automatically
triggers resistance in most folks. I know I still squirm when someone
is telling me what I should do. So I am approaching you with an invitation
to walk beside me through this chakra on this part of the journey if it
calls to you.
Sometimes spiritual literature seems obscure, or it may appear
to be overly simplistic or ordinary, maybe even uninteresting to the
curious mind. This is no accident. Often the most provocative
truths are buried in an article or story, so that we have to mull it over
and give it a chance to manifest itself. Sometimes, if we are not
ready, the truth may evade us completely. That is a protective measure
since preparation is necessary in order to make full use of esoteric information.
This explains, in large measure, why much spiritual teaching is still handed
down by word of mouth or in mind-to-mind transmission. Because much
of what is learned has to do with energy, often at high frequencies, the
bodymind must be purified and grounded in order to sustain the volts, so
to speak. For lack of this preparation, many people have suffered
a spiritual emergency or a kundalini psychosis. Both of these are
often mis-diagnosed, and, as a result, the client does not receive the support
and encouragement needed to weather the storm. This is not meant
to scare you but to explain why the material in this guidebook may not
meet your expectations.
Can you remember that delicious space just before falling asleep
or just before waking up completely when the mind is not yet in gear
and the soul seems to float in a kind of ecstasy in which there is no
irritation, interruption or challenge to do or be something other than
what you really are? The body is relaxed and lazy as if it were
burrowed deep into a quilt in winter. Maybe a favorite animal or
partner snoozes nearby. It is dark and quiet. No one else is
abroad and you are alone with your Self. And conscious. With
practice, if you wake from sleep and need a bathroom run, you may even be
able to take care of this without jarring out of this space. However,
you may have noticed that if you allow yourself to think about anything,
you lose the grace of that moment and return to your ego self who just may
not be able to go back to sleep.
A similar state can be reached in meditation when the mind and
senses are quieted. A mood of peace and equanimity steals over
you enabling you to relax and recharge your batteries. Nothing
outside of yourself seems to matter. You have retreated into your
soul system where a whole different set of rules apply. All of your
personality aspects are asleep. So is the ego and the mind.
My teacher used to say she told her mind to “go sit in the corner, that
it was not needed now.” Isn’t it interesting that mindlessness leads
to wholeness and balance? That is one of the topics for examination
in this set of lessons.
We will begin with an examination of the sixth chakra and its symbols,
then move into each of those in more depth. Symbols are the language
of intuition. So the farther we explore away from what can be described
in verbal terminology (a tool of the mind) the more relevant symbols
become. You may find that you have to introspect to find your own
personal associations with these symbols in order to make them meaningful
to you. I will be offering you their conventional meanings, but
symbols are infinitely faceted. Furthermore, they may interact
to produce even more complex variations on a theme. So, if you find
yourself unmoved by the Yogic system, then attempt to translate the symbols
into something more meaningful to you. In all spiritual traditions,
symbols are used to communicate directly with the soul. And, if
you dig deep enough, you will find they all teach the same things regardless
of external orientations.
The topic of this guidebook is Balance. At the sixth chakra
between the eyebrows, the three major nadiis, ida, pingala and susumna
come together and end. So, with our consciousness established in
the sixth chakra and the mind and senses quieted, we have the end of polarities
or opposites in worldly experience. It’s feels a little like taking
the phone off the hook. That does not mean that polarities cease
to exist in the world. It means that we do not perceive them anymore.
Or, if we perceive them, they are no longer particularly relevant and we
have no emotional responses to them.
Our minds and senses are programmed to perceive the world in terms
of dualities, as in positive and negative electricity or the on and off
of neural firing. Many brain cells are set up in columns that enable
categorization . And the neurons are threaded through a field of
cells that provide a context and modify their conductance (Pribram, 1971).
Likewise, in the physical body, there is a subtle body that contains the
energy fields and channels (nadiis) that conduct pranic energy. Acupuncturists
make use of these channels to treat their clients. The chakras are
points in the system at which the nadiis cross each other thus creating
a vortex that can be open or closed to passage of the charges. So,
activity in the subtle body is maintained by valence. This enforces
separations in every aspect of life from ego vs the world to neural transmissions.
Now, at this point in the journey, we are offered the chance
to achieve equilibrium of these forces, sometimes called equanimity.
It is possible to rise above the stresses of duality into a space of psychological
and spiritual peace and harmony. This is sometimes called bliss
probably because it is so different from our everyday lives. The experience
is one of wholeness, unity and balance. Because there is no longer
any opposition, there is no stress. We will see how this can be achieved
in the following units.
1. Experience the release of polarity
2. Study and master the concepts of differentiation
3. Study the Holy Ideas and apply them
to your own life.
4. Learn how to make a mandala and to
apply its principles to your own life.
5. Explore the meaning of the unitive
6. Balance intellect and intuition.
7. Discriminate between knowledge/wisdom
8. Develop a mind-training practice.
9. Develop a tonglen practice.
10. Develop a maitri practice.
11. Confront the Bodhisattva choice.
12. Integrate bodymindspirit.
13. Become familiar with the stages of development
14. Study the stages of samadhi.
15. Become familiar with the modes of transformation.
16. Examine the Rudra Granthi.
17. Accept divine identity.
18. Figure out what needs to happen in order to live a sanctified
life. Plan remediation.
19. Discriminate differences between absolute and relative
reality and note the implications for daily
20. Work toward singlepointedness of mind.
21. Discriminate the different forms of light and learn
how to apply them.
22. Develop presence.
23. Extend awareness.
24. Investigate more ways to surrender.
25. Learn how to live in the present.
26. Achieve a deeper understanding of the meaning of death
27. Subdue mind, ego, and personality into service
to a Higher Power (mastery).
28. Practice selflessness.
29. Examine karmic debts in this and (if necessary)
other lives. Plan how to satisfy them.
30. Nourish development of the Light-Body.
31. Do a self-assessment (purpose and ideals), revise
it and come to closure.
32. Develop more clarity.
33. Think about what the Return means for yourself.
34. Discover new ways to heal your soul.
BOOK VI. BALANCE
The following list of books is arranged by Unit and is cumulative
(book is listed only in the first unit in which you will use it), so you
can see which ones to secure first. They are listed in the order
you will need them rather than alphabetically. You may want to leaf
through the exercises or outline if you are in doubt about how much each
book will be used. At this writing, most were under $10-15 at amazon.com. If you prefer not to buy all of them,
it is fine to borrow them through library loan at your local library.
However, if you do this, be sure to give the librarian some lead time
to find and get them there. Several of them you will already have
if you have been working right through these guidebooks. They are marked
with an asterisk (*). Some of my books are old, so you may find newer
editions of them. This is fine.
Unit I. Ajna Chakra Themes
Johari, H. (1987). Chakras: Energy centers of transformation.
Rochester, VT: Destiny Books.*
Unit II. Polarities
Vaughan, F. (1995). Shadows of the Sacred: Seeing through spiritual
illusions. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books.
Cunningham, B. (2002). Mandala: Journey to the center.
New York: Dorling Kindersley.
Bopp, J & M., Brown, L. & Lane, R. (2004). The sacred
tree. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus
Roberts, B. (1985). The path to no-self: Life at the center.
Unit IV. Pure Mind
Chodron, P. (2001). Start where you are: A guide to compassionate
living. Boston: Shambhala.
Walsh, R. (1999). Essential spirituality: The 7 central
practices to awaken heart and mind. New York: John Wiley &
Unit V. Consciousness
Taimni, I. (1975) The science of Yoga: The Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali
in Sanskrit with transliteration in Roman, translation
in English and commentary. Wheaton, IL: The Theosophical Publishing
House. [Note: There is a newer addition than mine and may come
from another publisher. Amazon.com has it.]
Tyborg, J. (1970). The language of the gods: Sanskrit
keys to India’s wisdom. Los
Angeles: East-West Centre.
Unit VI. Light
Khan, Pir V.(1998). Light and ecstasy: The grand illumination.
New Lebanon, NY: Sufi Order International. [You may have to order
this directly from the Sufi Order as it is not in book form.]
Radha, Sw. S. (1987). The divine light invocation: A spiritual
practice for realizing the Light within. Kootenay Bay, BC: Timeless
Unit VII. Presence
Tolle, E. (1999). The power of now: A guide to spiritual
enlightenment. Novato, CA: New World Library.
Unit VIII. Healing Soul
Almaas, A. (2002). Facets of unity: The Enneagram of Holy
Ideas. Boston: Shambhala.
Villoldo, A. (2005). Mending the past and healing the future
with soul retrieval. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House.
Plotkin, B. (2003). Soulcraft: Crossing into the mysteries
of nature and psyche. Novato, CA: New World Library. [optional]
Unit IX. Bindu
Blofeld, J. (1978). Bodhisattva of compassion: The mystical
tradition of Kuan Yin. Boulder: Shambhala.
Palmer, M. & Ramsey, J. with Kwok, M. (1995). Kuan
Yin: Myths and revelations of the Chinese goddess of compassion.
San Francisco: HarperCollins.
Braden, G. (2000). The Isaiah effect: Decoding the lost
science of prayer and prophecy. New York: Three Rivers Press.
Unit I. Ajna Chakra Themes
1. General characteristics
3. Psychological development
Materials needed: Journal, crayons or colored pens
Books needed: Chakras: energy centers of transformation*
Exercise: Diagram of Sixth Chakra
*If you have been working with these guidebooks before, you may
have this book
The word Ajna means to command. There are
several senses in which this definition is relevant to this chakra.
One way to interpret the word “command” is as a control center.
This is the point at which the three major nadiis come together to provide
a launching pad for higher consciousness. It is a place of unity
of manifest and unmanifest energies the output of which lights up the entire
subtle body and all the chakras. The higher mind incorporates all
the lower branches of mind. And the guru can command the disciple
through mind-to-mind communication.
At this chakra, the dualities are neutralized and come together
into wholeness and balance. The mind becomes capable of direct knowledge
or perception sometimes called wisdom or prajna. We will also see
how the mind is the sixth sense. The element here is consciousness.
And the makara point is here which is the choice point for liberation.
This is the Ajna chakra. It consists of a circle with
two petals. Inside the circle or pericarp is a triangle with a lingam
inside it and the sanskrit letter Om superimposed on it. Above these
is a crescent moon, a dot and a flag. To see a rendering of the
deities in this chakra, see your Johari (1987)book.
The circle is a universal symbol for wholeness and unity.
It is perfection at its highest level. It is often manifested as
a mandala which is a circular picture that draws the viewer into the center
for an experience of unity. Another way of thinking about the
circle is the uroboros, a serpent that is eating its own tail. Since
serpents shed their skins as they grow, this can be taken as representative
of transformation or transcendence. In a circle which is not divided
in some way, we find non-duality and balance all of which are relevant
to the sixth chakra work. Finally, the circle can be seen as the
Candra-mandala or full moon which is part of the gateway to liberation.
Petals represent powers that work together and they often refer
to speech, self-expression or vibration. Fewer petals means less
need for speech because telepathic communication or ESP is possible.
Furthermore, the need for self-expression is gone since one’s most important
experiences cannot be expressed in words. In terms of vibration,
more petals generally means higher frequencies of vibration. In
this chakra, fewer petals may mean the vibrations have been dissolved
into only two entities: Shiva and Shakti.
Here we have the mind functioning in two worlds: manifest and unmanifest;
intellect and intuition, subjective and objective, memory and concepts/reason,
right and left hemispheres of the brain. The pineal gland is held
to be symbolic of the subjective mind and memory while the pituitary
gland refers to the objective mind, concepts and reason. This is
interesting because there is some evidence that, on a physical level,
the pineal gland receives light into the body. And the pituitary
is often called the master gland because it programs all the others.
The two petals flanking a circle also suggests the unification
of the polarities. All things work together for the good of the
The conventional yogic interpretation also says the full moon with
two petals represents the nectar and ambrosia that are divine, spiritual
food. They come down from the sixth chakra when Shiva and Shakti
are united there. Nectar and ambrosia are intuitive insights.
To receive them we need to avoid judging, focus attention on spiritual
matters, accept and let go.
Letters on the petals
The letters on the petals are Ham (or Ha) and Ksha
(or Sa). Ham is masculine and means “I am That.” Ksha
is feminine and means “That I am.” Taken together we have an androgynous
Hamsa or Soham either of which can be used as a mantra to
promote both unity and purity. Hamsa is the sanskrit word for swan,
a symbol for purity. These two letters are related to breathing as
the inhalation sounds like Sa and the exhalation like Ham or Ha.
Taking this a step further, Sa represents Shakti or Kundalini and Ha represents
Shiva. So, the two taken together give us the union of Shiva and
Shakti or wholeness which is called Visarga. Shiva is power
unmanifest and/or consciousness in the form of Purusha. Shakti
is power manifest and/or creation in the form of Prakrti. Unity
of these two is the Ultimate Reality or all that is. For a reminder of
how all this goes together, see Figure 3. Notice
the pyramidal form of the diagram. When we bring the dualities, opposites
or lower level elements together, we go up to the next level of generality
to a container that includes all of the elements. This is transcendence,
folks. And it could happen to you.
The golden triangle is a yoni which represents a womb, so
it means life as well as Shakti who is the mother of creation, sometimes
called Divine Mother. Here is all the manifested creation of the
universe. An offspring of this idea is one which links women to containers.
They hold us in their wombs before birth and in their arms after birth
to feed and nurture us. And they often hold us in death.
The phallic symbol inside the triangle is called a lingam
and represents the male sex organ. This stands for Shiva who has
infinite powers and who is pure, unmanifest energy often represented
by light or lightning. This is the spark that ignites the creative
energy of Shakti. So we find it inside the yoni in a position that
augers for creativity. However, at this level, the creativity is purely
The union of Shiva and Shakti lights up the Chitrini nadi
and thus all the chakras from one to six. This releases the siddhis
or psychic powers. The central nadiis are (from inside out): Brahma
nadi, Chitrini nadi, Vajra nadi and Susumna nadi.
There is a diagram of these nadiis on page 25 in the Johari (1987) book.
A more detailed and somewhat clearer explanation of the nadiis can be found
in Joan Harrigan’s (2002) book, Kundalini Vidya. Kundalini
energy can be channeled upward through any of these nadiis, but the usual
one is susumna. Outside of the central channel are ida and
pingala nadiis. Ida is the left channel and pingala the right
one. Ida is yin and feminine carrying lunar currents. Pingala
is yang and masculine carrying solar currents. You can see the relationship
to Shiva and Shakti. Keep in mind that Kundalini is the energy of Shakti.
You can read more details in the Johari book.
Om is the universal sound which includes all the others.
It is intoned as A-U-M which begins in the chest and rises to the top
of the head. That makes an interesting connection between the heart
and head. Consistent and determined practice of this mantra is said
to bring one to liberation. Om is represented by the symbol in the
center of the chakra that looks like a “3” with a tail on it. It represents
many things. The most important is probably the Atma or pure
mind/intelligence or buddhi. It refers to the infinite Divine
One within us or the Higher Self. The universal mind or Mahat
dissolves all the lower forms of mind which yields prajna or direct
knowledge and intuitive perception. Dissolution is a process which
occurs reliably in evolution. Think of involution as the divine One
descending into form; evolution is a return to the Source. This return
requires dissolution of all that is name and form (nama-rupa).
So does death. Note that what we are referring to here includes so-called
The little flag-like thing at the top of the chakra is called nada.
Basically this means the power of sound to create as in “In the beginning
was the Word. . .” (John 1:1). This means the first manifest output
of the Creator, Its first thought of the universe. So we are talking
here about superconsciousness, awareness without an object . . .yet.
Swami Radha (1978) pointed out that “The Power that has created the
eye can see” and “The Power that created the mind is beyond mind” (p.
316). So we can conclude from this that the Absolute Reality
has all the powers potentially within It.
Superconsciousness brings with it new psychic powers: Trikaladarish
or going beyond time and space, increased awareness, bodiless consciousness
- one can leave the body at will, an unmanifested condition beyond form.
Sometimes superconsciousness is called Paramasiva. Parama
means Supreme. To reach this state, one must break through the Rudra-Granthi.
This is a knot or entanglement of subtle nerves that blocks the free
flow of spiritual forces. In the sixth chakra, it is found in the
cap of the lingam. It is formed by our attachments and can only
be loosened by various spiritual disciplines.
This is cool, white light as opposed to hot, solar light or lightning.
Here it signifies presence and essence, beingness, aloneness, purity
and detachment. It is a colorless and formless supreme light which
is all-seeing. It illuminates the mind and provides a medium of communication
between minds. It is receptivity to pure consciousness. There
are no more obstacles to the Divine. This is the all-pervading
Light that Pir Vilayat refers to. It sees rather than being seen.
This is a point. Called sunyata in Buddhism, it signifies
the formlessness and emptiness of the Great Void. It is the decaylessness
of supreme light which is formless. It is the causal essence of
consciousness. Absolute detachment. As such it is the threshold
of liberation and gateway to the seventh chakra. Here is the boundary
of the subtle body and entry to the causal body or sheath of bliss (anandamayakosa).
Here is the makara point from which the kundalini can ascend into
the seventh chakra where she can complete her work of purification and
restoration (Harrigan, 2002).
Exercise: Diagram of Sixth Chakra
In the Johari book, find and read the materials on Ajna Chakra
(p. 76-80). Consulting the colored diagrams or the figure in this
document, color the chakra. You may use the diagram in your book
or trace it onto another sheet of paper in order to do so. Consider
the differences between the two diagrams and colors, and see if you think
they are significant. If so, why? Why do you think the chakra
colors are not graduated according to the rainbow as depicted in some
of the popular books about the chakras? Make some notes in your
journal about what you have learned from that process and from studying
All of these symbols will be developed more fully in succeeding
units. This is just by way of introduction and to give you a feel
for what is coming. But first, we need to make a connection with
The last stage of life before death is aging. Here the body
is beginning to decline, aches and pain surface and there is an awareness
that our time on earth is limited to the near and foreseeable future.
This means, if we haven’t already, we must confront our mortality and
the certainty of death. This may or may not cause consternation depending
upon what kind of life we have led, what our philosophy of life is and
what our religious or spiritual beliefs have become. Erikson (1968)
says that the crisis in this period is between integrity and despair.
If we have weathered the developmental stage successfully, we may feel
whole and individuated - identified with the Higher Self. We know
ourselves to be an important contributor to life itself regardless of whether
we have become famous or not. We have developed a strong but subservient
ego that negotiates our interactions with the outside world without becoming
an obstacle to our spiritual journey. We know how to give service
and we do it wholeheartedly without expecting acknowledgement or recompense.
We are able to view our infirmities with humor and grace and without
imposing them upon others. We have learned the uses of solitude
and the value of love. Things of the world no longer attract us
and we are capable of detachment from physical, emotional, mental and
spiritual “goods.” We can stand alone in our Higher Self and witness
the passing parade. We can enter it or not. We feel like we
have made a contribution to society whether in work or in family life.
We are able to love.
The opposite of the above is characteristic of those in despair.
The feeling is one of depression because life is nearly over and our
goals were not reached, we have nothing to show for our lives.
We were self-centered and narcissistic. We may have been co-dependent,
not able to stand alone or take care of ourselves adequately. We
may judge ourselves excessively and feel guilty and shameful. We have
not learned our karmic lessons. We fear death and are not ready to
die. There is no spiritual support because we have not extended ourselves
to others during our lives. Our ego is immature and fastened on self-serving
activities. Our mood is dour without humor or perspective.
Please do not equate disabilities with despair. Some people
may react to disability with depression or despair, but there is no essential
connection and many of those with disabilities have managed to rise
above them to find a place of spiritual communion with the Higher Self
and with others. Probably the most reliable indicator of integrity
or despair is the quality of our interactions with others. To define
successful aging, one would look for love, compassion, kindness, joy, empathy,
hope, peace and all the other manifestations of wholeness and balance.
Of the possible social roles we might elect to play in old age,
the following are most characteristic of well-adjusted elderly people:
teacher, leader, sage, mentor, guide, shaman, model, service, volunteer,
philanthropist, grandparent, or one who takes responsible for society,
the planet and the young. This list is not comprehensive, of course,
but just a suggestion of how a mature person would engage in the world
On the more personal front, an elder might become more introspective
considering how to make the transition at death or how to become more
useful to society. Some may retire to a hermitage to withdraw from
the world, and these are not shirking any duty because their meditations
bring blessing and joy to all of us. There may be a more internal
focus of attention and self-assessment. A life review is relevant
at this stage because there is still time to remedy mistakes or to chart
a new course if one seems called for. The form and quality of interactions
with others may change as a result of self-examination and/or spiritual
journey. As we ascend the ladder of spiritual development, there
are fewer people around who can really understand us and we may feel unseen
and unsupported. Loneliness may be a problem if we live alone
and are introverted by nature.
Our society seems to fear the older person, or perhaps it is the
aging process that is simply denied. We tend to warehouse older
people as they become frail or sick rather than cherishing them in a
home with their family. This can be a source of real grief if not
self-pity for the elder. It also can be a generator of almost instant
karma. Our children tend to treat us as they observed us treating
our parents which creates a self-perpetuating cycle.
Finally, in old age, we have to come to terms with death.
This can be handled in many ways. Denial tends to be unfruitful
since the end is inevitable. Some take comfort in a religious community
and its teachings. Others may become overactive in order to avoid
the issues. Still others make their peace with the divine One and
plan their funerals. It is possible to learn how to leave one’s body
at will and to know the time of death. When that is the case, the
transition can be planned and carried out in peace and with thanksgiving.
The certainty from experience and training that we are immortal helps a
lot. Furthermore, this certainty is available to anyone who is willing
to take the trouble to pursue it.
In this unit, we have explained the meanings of the chakra symbols
and looked at the developmental tasks of aging.
Harrigan, J. (2002). Kundalini vidya: The Science of spiritual
transformation. Knoxville, TN: Patanjali Kundalini Yoga Care.
Johari, H. (1987). Chakras: Energy centers of transformation.
Rochester, VT: Destiny Books.
Radha, Sw. S. (1978). Kundalini: Yoga for the west.
Kootenay Bay, BC, Timeless Books.
This ends Unit I. Sixth Chakra Themes. In Unit II. Polarities, we will examine dualities
in more depth and look at their relationship to archetypes and holy ideas.
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