SOM~ March 2018 Shakti- Moving in Beauty and Rhythm

“Beauty is the force of consciousness that moves all things toward harmony.”  ~ Parvathi Nanda Nath

“From now on, let everything be harmonious. Let all be in beauty. O you, creator of universes, you are my only companion, It is only according to your will that I walk, And by your sacred path I am restored and renewed.” (Morning prayer of Diné’h – Navajo)

Shakti is the feminine aspect and power of absolute consciousness that is in all form and all movement. The dance between Shakti and Shiva provides the possibility for every cycle of creation, sustenance and dissolution in the universe. In the human realm,  Shakti energy provides the play in life that allows us to fully experience samsara, both the happiness and the suffering, so we can confront our fears and make choices toward liberation.  When we choose movements that align with our dharma (actions that maintain harmony), we have the possibility of living in beauty and loosening karma that otherwise would keep us bound in samsara. Don’t confuse this fierce and absolute beauty with the vapid, objectified and co-opted version that is pushed in our society; the beauty of Shakti does not depend on an externalized field of relative value or rest unconcerned while there is injustice, suffering and abuse of power in the world.

Our work is to distinguish between the wisdom actions of dharma and ignorant or self-serving actions of adharma. No problem, right 😊 ? As we have discovered, what sounds like an easy distinction becomes complicated as soon as our emotions and reactions get involved. Unless we become vigilant at watching our mind (which loves nothing more than to distort our perceptions in a way that aligns our thoughts and actions with our ego being served, protected, or elevated), we can spend a lot of time controlling, blaming, and defending with no progress toward recognizing where we get hooked. Shakti always reflects Shiva, the source of our luminous wisdom mind, our eternal and beautiful Self. When this light is obscured by jealousy, hatred, arrogance, uncontrolled desire or overwhelm, we are not able to access wisdom. Our movements become disharmonious. We get stuck in a limited groove, out of step with the flow of dharma, feeling far from beauty. Luckily, Shakti is present even here to ask us back to the dance floor.

A harmonious dance in samsara can seem impossible until we remember that we already know the rhythm, from there we can learn the steps. Shakti is the rhythm in every breath and heartbeat that longs to move us toward what we are underneath the veils. She sparks the desire to learn the steps so we see that differentiations in form are not inherently problematic, rather they make life interesting, textured, vibrant and fresh.  Differences without comparison or stratification provide the dance floor of liberation, as we get to work out our “moves” and learn what adds to harmony and what detracts. With practice, dedication, and grace, we feel the rhythm more clearly, and we become able to effortlessly make the more complex steps of choosing our actions skillfully and holding our experiences responsibly. We begin to intuitively analyze without judging, listen without deconstructing, speak without manipulating, and act with strength through service. Shakti, the power in consciousness, becomes the illuminating power in us. Here, the dance of life is filled with beauty and rhythm.

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