Monday, January 24, 2011

Finding Your Core

by Anodea Judith
Blog 1.4.11

Everything in life has a core. Every blade of grass, every tree, every animal, every cell, every finger and toe, and of course, our very selves. The planet has a core, and even non-living things like rocks have a core. The core is what is common to all existence. Everything expands and grows out from its core and contracts back into it. You could say that the core is the Divine at the center of the mystery.

The chakras
are the Sacred Centers that align with the Divine in the deepest part of ourselves. This vertical core connects Heaven and Earth and links spirit and matter through the architecture of the soul. In many traditions the core is called the Axis Mundi, or axis of the world. In Sanskrit it is called the Sushumna, and I like to call it the Rainbow Bridge.
In the last blog I wrote about the Hindu myth of churning the ocean of milk, which is from the Mahabharata. Many of you wrote asking for more details. How does the ocean get churned?

In times of stress when something new needs to be born, at Vishnu’s suggestion, the Devas (gods) and the Asuras (demons) line up on either side of a mountain. The serpent king Vasuki, agrees to be the churning string, and wraps around the mountain with its head in one direction and its tail in the other.
But when they start pulling, the island begins sinking into the ocean. Taking the form of a turtle, Vishnu bears the weight of the mountain in his back. The churning continues and creates a deadly poison whose fumes threaten to destroy everything (think of our polluted world and airwaves from these dueling dualities). Lord Shiva gathers the poison and drinks it. His consort, Parvati, clasps his throat so it remains there (which is why he is sometimes called the “Blue-throated One”). Interesting that the name of the throat chakra (Vissudha) means purification!

Along with the poison, the churning produces the nectar of immortality. Of course, there are quarrels over the nectar, but Vishnu again appears as a beautiful maiden who finally tricks the Asuras into releasing it to the Devas, and all is restored again.

The axis upon which the mountain spins is the axis mundi. The cosmic serpent (think Kundalini) is wrapped around that axis, and it is here that we find the path to immortality, or God Realization.

Finding our core allows us to hold our center while the struggles of life go on around us. The chakras, as stepping stones up and down the core, are the gateways into and out of the core. They are the chambers in the Inner Temple, home of the Divine Beloved at the Sacred Center of the Self.

Anodea Judith
January 24, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Churning the Ocean of Milk

by Anodea Judith
Blog 1.3.11
Life is full of contradictions. Like a good photograph, contrast brings out the drama of an experience. Light and dark, emptiness and form, joy and sorrow, success and failure – dance partners in progress on the path-- three steps forward, two steps back. Just like the planets, sometimes we need to go retrograde for a while before we can get things right.

There is nothing like loss to make you appreciate what you have. This past week, I had the delight of teaching with Anusara instructor BJ Galvan in Thailand (at a retreat whose Thai name literally means Paradise) and dancing blissfully up the spine with an exciting group of international students from 10 countries. As the workshop started however, I got the message that a dear friend was in critical condition and might not be around by the time I got home. Two days later he passed to the other side, leaving friends and family bereft. And there I was, my heart strung between the poles of grief and joy, hung out to dry 10,000 miles away in the tropical Thailand sun. Only my practice kept me at my core, and allowed me to embrace both sides.

Our world today is full of contrasts that are getting ever more extreme, including the weather. Storyteller Michael Meade says that the times between endings and beginnings are always marked by extremes. Floods and Droughts, Conservatives and Progressives, Rich and Poor, the Pollyanas and the Doomers, magnifying every value that’s important. The recent tragedy in Arizona is one of many examples of how this not-so-civil war is playing out in America.
The state of life on our planet is both better and worse than it ever has been. The average person lives better than many kings and queens of old. We have the privilege of connecting to anyone anywhere, to fly across the globe or access the entire database of human knowledge at our fingertips. We can order anything we want at the click of a mouse and have it delivered two days later (whether or not we can pay for it).

Yet we don’t seem to be able to do much about the fact that our ice caps are melting, aquifers are drying up, forests are dying, oil production is peaking, and the bees who fertilize 90% of our food are disappearing at alarming rates.

We are on the verge of the most profound and complete evolutionary shift that has ever happened, networking all of humanity in a planetary group mind for the first time in four billion years of evolution. Yet most of us don’t even know the first names of our neighbors next door.

Contradictions fixate consciousness – mainly because we don’t like them. They draw our attention and hold it there until we find resolution. Media knows this and heightens conflict wherever it can. As our world becomes more and more extreme, it is drawing more consciousness into the issues.

In Hindu mythology the Devas (gods) and the Asuras (demons) line up on either side of the Ocean of Milk and churn it into a froth, out of which comes amrita, the nectar of immortality.

Carl Jung said that maturity requires the psyche’s ability to hold the tension of opposites. Insisting that things are all good or all bad – or even worse expecting them to be so –is bound to leave us confused and disillusioned. The polarities of the second chakra generate power in the third chakra when they are harnessed in balance.

We can think of the 11 of 2011 as the two pillars of polarity that we must integrate to find our power. Like the High Priestess card shows us in the Tarot, walking between these pillars takes us into the mystery of initiation.

The pillar between Heaven and Earth unites above and below and goes right up the sacred center within each of us, balancing, yet embracing polarities. This is the middle way that will steady us on the journey and take us through to the other side. The chakras are the stepping stones along the core that provide the formula for wholeness.

Anodea Judith 1/15/11

Friday, January 7, 2011

Light as Nourishment

by Anodea Judith
One of the basic principles of life is that gravity moves us downward and light draws us upward. This sets up a basic polarity in consciousness that orients our core along the axis mundi that connects heaven and earth, through the sacred center of the self.

Winter is a time for grounding. As the days get shorter in the fall, we begin to let go, to drop down, into the earth, to root. As we pass the pivot point of winter Solstice, we slowly push back from that deep earthiness, our roots energized, and move toward the light once again.
In the first days and weeks of the New Year, while we are still underground, we may not even see the light. How do we know what to do, which way to move? We must feel our way. Through grounding we find our orientation to gravity. We reach the light through our imagination.

Right now, close your eyes and imagine a golden sun shining down on you, urging you upward. Imagine those rays piercing your crown chakra and illuminating your third eye of the sixth chakra. Imagine you are a prism that breaks that light down to its seven vibratory frequencies, nourishing every part of your body. Imagine that the light shines out through you, through your chakras, your skin, your smile, your eyes. Practice running light through your system on a daily basis and you will find an incredible “lightness of being.”
I long to see our fractured civilization break through the false ceiling we’ve put over our heads and burst into the light. We spend so much of our time indoors, under artificial lights. Our view is limited by walls, cluttered with objects that demand our attention. We then spend hours looking at the light of a computer screen (as I am now!) and mistake that for reality. Especially in the winter, when it is dark and cold outside, we may go far too long without a “light bath” for our eyes and face.

If you are lost and can’t find your way, call in the light. Go outside when the sun is shining and turn your face upwards and drink in the light, as necessary as oxygen. Close your eyes and bring that light into your inner world. Repeat until your temple within is flooded with light.
Now your roots know which way to grow.

With love and light,
Anodea Judith

For a sense of how the light is coming back in the world, check out these stories from Good News Network. Very inspiring!
My intention this year is to write these inspirational blogs weekly. Feel free to pass them on. If you have a topic you’d like me to address, please let us know at

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1-1-11: A Beginning in Oneness

1-1-11: A Beginning in Oneness
Happy New Year every One!

January 1, 2011 is 1-1-11 – In numerology, ones indicate a new beginning, and elevens signify mastery – a new beginning on a higher level. This new year’s day we have the reminder that we are indeed all connected, ONE planetary civilization evolving to its next organizing principle: the shift from power to love, or from third chakra to fourth.

This is a time of acceleration in everything we are doing. The issues are getting more extreme, the environmental situation more urgent, the politics more absurd, yet more truth coming out all the time. As creation and destruction are always happening simultaneously, it is also a time of breakthroughs: in science, technology, healing, consciousness, and a weaving together of the world’s greatest spiritual teachings.

Each of us will find in the coming year that spirit is relentlessly knocking off what we don’t need, blocking pathways that are not in our best interest, and challenging us to rise to our highest selves. In a time of acceleration, everything we do is magnified. We need to be wise and caring in our relationships, our business dealings, and all our actions. What counts is what we can give, not what we can get.

When facing your challenges, remember that evolution is at your back, trying to push things into the best alignment for your life purpose. Let go and let guidance take you to the most efficient configuration. The key to freedom is non-attachment. If something is taken away, know there is a reason for it, even if you don’t understand it in the moment.

What spirit is telling me lately is that we can create a miracle on this planet. Why? Simply because we must. It will take a miracle to solve the challenges that face us, but problems are the perfect evolutionary drivers to take us to the next level of social coordination.

A miracle is an act of Divine Grace. Yet our lives are filled with miracles everyday – that spring comes out of winter, that children are born from the womb, that social networks like Facebook have connected 500 million users, that the internet is bringing you these words right now, while billions of galaxies birth stars every moment.

When enough people align with the Divine in the deep communion of the sacred, with a strong enough common intent combined with the practice of spiritual wisdom, we can collectively create a miracle.

Finding our core, aligning our chakras, and integrating Heaven and Earth within our hearts is the act that each of us can take. It is not something that happens tomorrow, or in your next yoga class or meeting, but right now, every moment that we choose to be awake to the possibilities that are right in front of us. To truly see what is here is to witness a miracle. To co-create with Divine force is to create a miracle. Many people focusing intention together creates a planetary miracle.

Meditate on what miracle you want to create in 2011. Join with others and inspire them to turn their minds and imagination toward the miraculous. Know that you were born with a part to play in this amazing Great Awakening, a time unlike any other in history. Know that you are a miracle being born each moment.
Toward a Miraculous New Year!
Your co-heart,
Anodea Judith