From the Darkness to the Light
Lead me from falsehood to Truth
Lead me from darkness to Light
Lead me from death to That Which is Eternal
~ from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, I.3.28
It’s a presidential election here in the US, and things may seem a little dark (not to mention the nights are getting longer!), and a little crazy. I love this mantra (which I chant in Sanskrit – you can listen to a nice modern version in Sanskrit or a more traditional version by Ravi Shankar) to keep my sights on what matters. Not to mention that this month Diwali, the festival of light, is celebrated in India, and mantras that remind us of the inner light during the darkest time of the year are always appropriate.
No matter how crazy it gets, or how many falsehoods may be thrown our way, focus on your Inner Truth, the Divine within you. Use this mantra if you find it helpful, and envision Light, which is Consciousness, dissolving our ignorance and fear.
If you’d like some inspiration to bring forth more light, listen to my many archived Awakening Self radio shows. The Awakening Self Radio Show is currently on a break until the end of the year. It returns in January with Evening Mediation and Inspiration on Monday, January 7th from 9-9:30pm, and the Awakening Self Radio Show on Friday, January 25th from 1:30-2pm, with special guest Edward Espe Brown.
Next month, we’ll be focusing on Living in the Light at Spiritual Family.
Sometimes, we must enter the darkness of our unconscious in order to gain the light of new awareness. This month’s article, “The Time of the Inner Mystery” reminds us that fall takes us into the inner mysteries, which contain treasures for us to discover about ourselves, the world, and the Divine.
Like looking for buried treasure, we may have to dig through some dark, dank, unpleasant things. But in the end, if we persist, dawn’s light of awakening prevails.
May you and your loved ones, and all beings everywhere, experience the peace, joy, and inner renewal of this holiday season.
– Event Calendar
– Awakening Self Radio Show Schedule
– Featured Article: “The Time of the Inner Mystery” by Rev. Connie L. Habash
– Spiritual Quotes
– SPIRITUAL FAMILY continues on December 9th!
Theme: Living in the Light
Sunday, December 9th, 9:15-11am.
330 Melville, Palo Alto, CA
Join me for an all-ages celebration of the Divine through yoga (kids and adult classes!), meditation, singing, spiritual discussion and community. For details see Spiritual Family
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– SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE sessions available for the holidays!
Seeking to deepen your connection to something Greater? Longing for a mentor or someone to inspire you? Wanting to find your answers within, but don’t know how? For the month of December, I have available 2 spaces per week for 45 minute Spiritual Guidance sessions via Skype (from anywhere in the world), offered by donation. [Note: these are different than psychotherapy/counseling sessions.] If you are interested, email me or call 650-996-2649.
– SACRED JOURNEY Women’s Psychotherapy Group
with Connie Habash, MA, LMFT, meets every other Monday from 3:15-4:45.
WAIT-LISTED FOR OPENINGS IN EARLY 2013
– NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH IN JANUARY!
Get ready – AwakeningSelf.com is getting a whole new, inspiring look with new features, including a weekly blog. I can’t wait to reveal it to you! Look for the announcement after the new year.
– Farewell to YogiChocolate
For a few years, I have offered my yoga classes for download on YogiChocolate. Unfortunately, they had to shut down their business on October 31st. We wish them well. Look for my yoga and meditation class downloads to be available again sometime next year.
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Awakening Self Radio Show Schedule
On break until the end of the year.
Upcoming in January:
Evening Meditation and Inspiration
Monday, January 7th, 9-9:30pm PST
“Let Your Higher Self Lead the Way”
Awakening Self Radio Show
Guest Edward Espe Brown
Friday, TBA – 1:30-2pm PST
Soto Zen Priest Edward Espe Brown, author of several books including The Tassajara Bread Book and Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings, joins us for an exploration of meditation, cooking, and living our practice.
Check out the Awakening Self Radio Show archives to listen to over 25 inspiring shows!
The Time of the Inner Mystery
by Rev. Connie L. Habash
Autumn’s longer nights turn us to inner mysteries. The dark represents the inner self, the unconscious, and the soul. Fall takes us into the subtle realms, where we interact with our spirit and our unconscious through dreams, visions, intuition, and imagination. Throughout the
autumn season, we endeavor to make conscious what is unconscious, unknown, and unimagined. We dive into the mystery of darkness and
nighttime in order to bring insight into the light at the Winter Solstice.
Pay attention to your dreams right now. It helps to keep a journal next to your bed so that at the moment you wake up, you can write down
what you recall. Now that outer activity has downshifted to the slower Autumn pace, things that have been repressed or ignored are ripe to
bubble up to the surface. The dreamscape is a perfect place for repressed feelings, issues, or ideas to arise.
Native American Dreaming
Native Americans have always valued and honored the potency of dreams. For them, the images and experiences received during our sleep are messages from Great Spirit, or perhaps our ancestors. Dreams potentially contained the keys to healing an illness, resolving a problem in the tribe, or personal guidance of any sort. They felt it critical, once they determined the message, to act on it. Not to do so could mean losing a special opportunity, or even going against the will of the Divine.
Not every dream necessarily has this kind of power. But there are dreams that shake us and wake us in the middle of the night. Some hold a
tremendous emotional power that we can’t deny, even if we don’t remember all the details. Some evoke fear, and others lift us to heights of
inspiration. These are the dreams we cannot ignore, and need to take the time to sit with and ponder. Yet, even the “ordinary” dreams have
treasures to offer us, if we delve past their surface. The meaning isn’t usually literal or obvious at first: it takes some patience, imagination, and
a little detective work to let the meaning of a dream percolate to the surface of your awareness.
Dreams allow the unconscious to express itself, creativity to arise, intuition to come forth, and the Divine to touch our minds. Often, these
multiple levels of meaning happen concurrently within one dream. Meditate on these messages and metaphors, scribble them on a page, draw an image from them, do a dance to the tune of the theme of your dream, and above all write down whatever arises. Find ways to let this rich dream world express itself and reveal its mysteries and messages.
The Vision Quest
Many Native American nations also had a waking-dream practice—the Vision Quest. Often embarked upon at pivotal points in one’s lifetime (like adolescence), the Vision Quest is a practice of initiation as well as a portal through which one is shown the vision for one’s life. Traditionally practiced as three solitary days and nights out in the wilderness, the quester fasts and prays to the Great Spirit to bring him or
her a vision: a revelation of his or her purpose or direction to take in life.
You may not have the time or ability to venture into the wild for a Vision Quest (nor would it be recommended without proper preparation
and support!), but autumn is perfect for a personal retreat to reflect and seek inner guidance. A weekend away in solitude, holding an all-night
vigil, or a sacred fast may bring realizations and shift your perspective in a profound way.
Daydreams are part of the inner self unfolding, too. Notice what daydreams float through your awareness. Sift out ordinary imaginings (like eating at your favorite restaurant or going to an amusement park) from visions. Visions shift you from ordinary consciousness to new insight and perspective. You may picture yourself in a fulfilling new career, helping someone in need, or meditating under the foot of a great
tree. These are daydreams that guide your life direction and offer inspiration. Give them credence and, like your night-dreams, let their intuitive messages open you to manifesting new possibilities.
Intuition, like dreams and visions, speaks most strongly during the fall. It’s hard for that still, small voice within us to be heard when
we’re focused on a lot of activity and busy-ness. Yet the slower, quiet space of fall makes it easier to hear the voice of intuition if we take the
time to tune in. As our bodies turn towards more rest and relaxation, the gut speaks out. Listen carefully.
Yoga practice benefits from an intuitive approach, too. While it’s still warm, the playful and daring energy of summer predominates. But as you pass the marker of the Equinox, delve into that intuition and let it guide you in the poses. Although the ego wants to do more, your inner self may be suggesting fewer poses, more observation and reflection within them. Questions to explore as you practice:
* What am I feeling, experiencing?
* How is this pose affecting me?
* How is my attitude affecting my experience of the pose?
* What movement seems intuitively right next?
* Is my mind in the present, reflecting on the past, or projecting to the future? How does that relate to the pose I’m in?
* What wants to be expressed through my movement?
* What does my quiet inner voice tell me as I breathe into this moment?
Practicing with your eyes closed is a powerful and revealing experience, allowing you to let go of the external world and focus on your intuitive self. As you step from the outer world to the inner world, let go of the tendency to look outside yourself at your body, and immerse into the feeling under the skin, in the muscles, joints, and bones. Find the organs in your belly and notice their sensations as you twist, fold, and bend. Sense the blood flowing and pulsing, and the movement of the breath in and out. The mind becomes serene, and intuition steps in as a
Whether you immerse in the realm of dreams or are following your intuition, fall’s energy calls us to look within. Listen to the call and allow it to carry you into the inner mystery, until it reveals your inner knowing.
Copyright © 2012 by Rev. Connie L. Habash
“Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is. And the faith to trust our own admission. The admitting is often very difficult.”
– Julia Cameron
“Intuition is perception via the unconscious.”
– Carl Jung
“Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.”
– Florence Scovel Shinn