In this fourth lesson of the e-course, it’s time to look at the core perceptions that cloud our understanding of and our receptivity to kundalini energy.
You may already be feeling a growing sense of your kundalini energy, an experience that might feel like a deepening or an outward expansion. Through the power of your breath and the beauty of your awareness, you’re opening up to the energy and light that merges within. . .a gathering and weaving of forces that is the fire within YOU.
Kundalini is the divine feminine energy that is a profound part of your human blueprint. When you allow and encourage it to have freedom of movement, it will awaken your subtle body and clear the path to self-actualisation.
The Concept of Maya
Put simply, maya is best understood as the apparent reality of our material world, the world as we perceive it through our five senses. It is not an illusion because these things don’t physically exist, but rather that they are not what they appear or are perceived to be.
Our human minds project names and forms onto everything; from tangible objects to abstract feelings, roles and relationships. Whilst this process enables us to order the material aspects of our lives and communicate effectively with one another, problems stem from our inability to recognize that these names and forms are not real. We are more than jumbled minds and physical bodies walking around on the earth, yet the veiling power of Maya leads us to believe that all there is to life is what’s directly in front of us. In another sense, Maya represents the culmination of beliefs and roles that an individual holds to be true about themselves, whether political, religious, economic or social. These ideas are not real, rather merely objects of perception that create a false sense of reality.
Everything we experience and consider to exist is, thus, only real in a limited sense, from a limited perspective. We rely on our senses to interpret the world around us, and yet they have a restricted ability to discern truth. We end up with a distorted, surface glimpse of something far greater than we can possibly interpret using just our eyes, ears, nose, mouth and skin. The sky has no colour, and yet our eyes declare it blue. Your chair is made up of particles in constant motion, yet to you it feels solid. The greatest scientific discoveries occurred only by probing beyond appearances to discover what lies beyond, and even science is continually re-writing that which it thought to be true.
We encounter such illusions every single day, but they go largely unacknowledged or ignored. Maya is found all around us, especially in the “reality-checks” of our daily lives. Have you ever got to know a person to find out later that they are not who you thought they were? Ever wondered at someone’s natural beauty only to realise they were painted in makeup? What about that snack labelled nutritious or fat-free — did you check the ingredients? We frequently discover that things are not what we thought or expected them to be, and yet most of us continue to unequivocally accept everything in our material world as a reality.
Although Maya may sound like a negative and destructive force, the issue is not with Maya itself; rather, it is our identification with the illusions around us that cause pain and suffering. When we identify ourselves with the body, mind and ego, we superficially misperceive reality. We suffer anger, misery and unfulfilled desires; we fear disease, old age and death. Yet none of this affects our true, innate nature hidden beneath.
With enough practice, it is possible to shut out external illusions , and when the mind and senses are withdrawn, the ego eventually dissolves. This causes a paradigm shift in worldview and awareness. Lifting the veil on reality in this way serves as a reminder that what we believed to be sources of happiness and fulfilment are often, in fact, causes of suffering and imbalance.
When you release the ideas of what you should be doing, how life should look or feel, and simply become ordinary, something amazing happens. You become extraordinary! And so does life. Life is always much more than we can imagine – if we’re willing to open to it. You are Creation creating itself. Existing before, during, and after our ego-based i-dentification, you are an integral part of a fundamental truth that cannot be reduced to a concept (try as we may). You are a part of the unified whole, “the golden womb” out of which all arises (Brahman). By nature, you are infinite and unbounded.
Question the Nature of Your Reality
Why does it matter what is real or not? Isn’t reality subjective anyway? I urge you to question the nature of your own reality. Just as it is ignorant to be satisfied by a shallow judgment of another person, it is a crying shame to be content with a surface view of life. The result of blindly accepting appearances as real is that we take things for granted, we stop seeing the divine, interconnected nature of everything around us. The universe is vast, messy and tangled, and there are a great many mysteries we may never uncover. But beneath it all, we are interlinked by a pure and simple reality. By moving through Maya, we can recognise that there is life beyond material illusions of name and form, life beyond ego and suffering.
Maya can be compared to clouds which cover the sun: the sun remains in the sky but a dense cloud cover prevents us from seeing it. When the clouds disperse, we become aware that the sun has been there all the time. Our clouds — Maya appearing as egotism, selfishness, hatred, greed, lust, anger, ambition — are pushed away when we meditate upon our real nature, when we engage in unselfish action, and when we consistently act and think in ways that manifest our true nature: that is, through truthfulness, purity, contentment, self-restraint, and forbearance. This mental purification drives away the clouds of Maya and allows our divine nature to shine forth.
In a very real way, kundalini is the flow of energy within you that is designed to open you to life and return you to the truth of your limitless being.
Breaking the Illusion and Finding Your Truth
Like kundalini energy, Truth is always alive in you. Whether you’re aware of it or not, truth moves with your consciousness, acting as your guide in a continuous process of discovery. For example, even in this moment, you are reading, assessing, and deciding if this is true or not.
How do we know “truth”? We start within our hearts, cultivating an awareness of our heart-centred values. As we align with what is most meaningful to us, internal integrity is created that leads to external ethical behaviour. An indicator that you’re living your truth is when your values, morals, actions, and expression are all in alignment with your inner and outer realities.
Truth is a big topic but it can be felt and known in any moment. One of the ways we access the truth is when our minds settle down and get quiet.
Try this 5 minute guided mediation which should leave you feeling calm & relaxed as you clear your mind.
Practice – Revealing Your Core Beliefs
What are core beliefs, and why do they matter?
Core beliefs are our most deeply held assumptions about ourselves, the world, and others.
They are firmly embedded in our thinking and significantly shape our reality and behaviours.
In fact, nothing matters more than our core beliefs. They are the root causes of many of our problems, including our automatic negative thoughts.
Yet, core beliefs are precisely that: beliefs. Based on childhood assessments, they are often untrue. They are also self-perpetuating. Like magnets, they attract evidence that makes them stronger, and they repel anything that might challenge them. But it is possible to change them.
Now you are ready to get to the heart of you – the following exercises are powerful next steps on your journey of awakening.
In preparation for this exercise, think about the BIG questions that you want to explore and write them down on a piece of paper. For example:
What stops me from living my purpose (or truth)?
What if my greatest fear came true?
Who am I?
What do I really want to experience in my life?
What brings me great joy?
When you feel like you have the questions that really stir and move you, sit down and begin to ask yourself the questions, like this: What stops you from living your purpose?
Answer the question for as long as you can, with as many answers as you can. Whatever arises is perfect. Let it flow naturally.
Here is an example of how this could unfold:
Question: What stops you from living your purpose?
Answer: I have a lot of fear, disappointment, isolation, there’s nothing, busy-ness, other peoples business, fear of risk, nothing stop me but ME!
Question: What is the worst that could happen if…?
You can continue with this practice for the amount of time that feels right to you–5 minutes, 15 minutes, an hour. It’s up to you.
Think of three to six people you most admire or love. Consider why they are so important to you.
Values can be personified in people that you love and admire. You can use this simple two-step process to uncover the values that you associate with your significant others and role models:
Step 1: Identify and write down six people who are important role models or valued connections for you.
Step 2: Think of the values they embody. For example, your list might include: “my grandfather for his acceptance and love,” “my wife for her honesty,” “my colleague for his listening skills,” and “my friend for his loyalty,” to name a few.
An easy way to start to you uncover your values by naming your heroes. For example, why do you admire, say, Martin Luther King, Jr.? Is it because he fought for social justice? Is it his commitment to non-violence? His kindness to others? Identifying the specific values embodied by your heroes can inspire you to adopt those values for yourself.
Observe yourself and learn.
As you live your life, be mindful of the choices you make. For several days, consciously put a label on the values behind your key decisions at work and at home. Pay particular attention to whether the values you chose above are reflected in your daily life. If not, what values are you expressing or living by as you go through your day? Are there patterns? What can you learn about what you want, what you are willing to give up, and what is non-negotiable in your life? If you experience a lot of dissatisfaction with your choices, you may not be living up to your values or you may need to re-evaluate what is most important to you.
At a certain point, you get to the core of the belief underneath the layers, dipping below the surface. You get to the heart of what is holding you back. Once you have discovered the core belief, something in you awakens and wants to move. A new unfolding begins to take place and new possibilities open up.
When something is brought out into the light, it cannot be hidden and tucked away again. It is ready for release.
Use these practices anytime you are ready and willing to look for the truth. This is the perfect practice of learning how to get answers within. The truth wants to be heard and seen. And so do you! 🙏