By Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa
Several months ago a friend asked me, “Where’s the goddess in our Dharma?” It seemed an odd question to me since our entire dharma begins with the Adi Shakti, the primal feminine power, but then when I began to feel around the edges of her question and explore the roots of it within myself, I realized she had a point.
Where’s the fecund, moist, dark creative feminine in our path? Where are the crimson bloody bits? Where’s the juice? We seem to be surrounded by white, pristine, pearly perfection, which feels a bit sterile after a while. The interesting thing is that I chose Kundalini Yoga as a path simply because it was so juicy. So where’d it go? Where is the Goddess?
Immediately the words “through the skin” came to me in response to her query. We experience the goddess through our senses. And as women we experience it through our Self, our identity, our creativity. We experience it when we’re in pain; we experience it when we’re in ecstasy; we experience it each month as our body sheds itself inside out and we sit and we bleed; we experience it each day when we rise and meditate; when we sit at table to eat, when we go to bed and make love to our partner, when we sing, when we play, when we dance, when we pray. We experience the goddess in every breath; we experience the goddess through the skin.
In any spiritual path there is always the danger of falling into one particular pole or another: ascetic versus bacchus; laissez faire versus fanatic; the Virgin Mary versus Mary Magdalene. Yet these are all false dichotomies—at least in our path as Kundalini Yogis. Yes, we experience the ecstatic but we also go home and do the dishes. Yes, we understand the reach of our own identity in Infinity, but we also express it through the very real dimensions of touch and taste. Yes, we are the Noble Woman but we are also the Lover and the Beloved. We are both queen and consort. We are both Shakti and Bhakti.
This path demands that we be facile and fluent in both expressions of the divine, within and without. So we chant both the Shakti Mantra: Ek Ong Kaar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru and the Bhakti Mantra: Adi Shakti Adi Shakti Adi Shakti Namo Namo. We both embody the goddess and bow to her at the same time.
If we don’t find that balance, then the brightness, the radiance of our projection, can make us believe there is no shadow, when the truth is that the brighter you shine, the further the shadow’s reach becomes. We need that touch of grace—the guru’s grace found in the guru’s bani. We need to eliminate our inner conflict and understand that the Goddess is not somewhere “out there”; but here, within. It resides within the skin, through the skin, through the senses.
A Sacred Weekend—Encounter the Goddess Within
Join me as we Encounter the Goddess Within this spring: April 17-20, 2014, at Hacienda de Guru Ram Das in New Mexico. We will gather every evening to sing the Bhand Jamee-ai and remove our inner conflict; we will chant the Shakti mantra as we explore our creative nature in Divinity and we will chant the Bhakti mantra as we surrender to the identity of the Goddess in pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Sanctuario de Chimayo. Finally we’ll soak in the healing waters together and experience a rebirthing, a renewal of our inner goodness and our inner Goddess. There is a healing waiting for you here. . . and you will find it within your Self. Visit www.truebeingbeingtrue.com for more information or to register for this sacred weekend, Woman: the Adi Shakti. (IKYTA discounts available.)
Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa is the author of Everyday Grace: The Art of Being a Woman and the artist of four sacred music albums: Nectar of the Name, Beautiful Day, Queen Be and Love & Other Miracles. She has a forthcoming album, One, which will be available in spring 2014 and her story of recovery will be available in the forthcoming title, Stepping Into Meditation: Kundalini Yoga and the Art of Recovering Your Life. http://satpurkh.blogspot.com/