Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga (Anglais) Broché – 1 février 2013
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There's no "woo-woo" factor here: Kempton doesn't insist we believe in goddesses as beings in the sky. This could just as easily be a positive alternative to the Myers-Briggs or the Enneagram, particularly for women. Of course, she doesn't dissuade us from conceiving of them as actual goddesses, either; giving us the gentle reassurance that inviting them into our lives will indeed make a difference.
I'd particularly recommend this book to women in transition, whether that's college graduation, about to embark on motherhood, menopause, the empty nest, or moving toward the end of life. It's comforting and freeing at once. Bless you, Sally Kempton, for putting so much love, life energy and responsible reporting into this project. You are truly changing lives.
So for example, Durga represents the female warrior, and thus represents the energy we need to move through obstacles in our lives. The journal and practices outlined in this chapter are designed to help a reader awaken her own innate warrior instincts, and uncover ways she might have repressed this side of herself due to social conditioning or personal history. One of the 'shadow' aspects of Durga is becoming overly combative or angry, and so there are also suggested journalling activities and meditations for facing and working with these tendencies, so that this 'Durga' energy can be better directed and experienced. Lakshmi, goddess of abundance and good fortune is next explored, with the practices in this chapter devoted to helping the reader discover her innate beauty and radiance, and exercises for helping to release blocks to abundance, or to both giving and receiving good fortune. The chapter on Kali helps the reader connect with her deep desire for truth and freedom, and willingness to overturn convention - whether in one's personal life or on a social level - to achieve that. The Parvati chapter focuses on helping us discover our nurturing and devotional side, etc.
I think the strength of this book lies in the fact that you can relate to it on many different levels. You can relate to these goddesses as actual deities, and use the more devotional meditations outlined here as forms of worship added to your spiritual practice. Or you can relate to these goddesses as feminine archetypes, and use the journalling exercises and meditations as methods for recognizing those that are already strong in you, and strengthening those that are not. On still another level, it is a serious spiritual guide, offering many truths of the spiritual journey and particularly of Tantra, one of least understood (or most misunderstood) Eastern pathways. The author has walked the walk, both in her own spiritual journey, and in her teaching, and this shows in the many stories that she shares from her life. In that way, this book offers more than information - it offers a powerful transmission for those open to it.
So whether you are interested in yoga or Hinduism or not, I think you will find much of value in this book. And no, it is not just for women, anyone could work with the goddesses in this way, although most of the stories shared are geared for women readers. A wonderful and unique contribution, making knowledge and practices that might have only been available to a few in the past available to all!
It is a lucid, well written work. I am probably a quarter of the way through it so far and keep sipping at it like a fine wine. One reason I don't want to rush through from cover to cover is because this is a book to really follow along with closely. I have made powerful insights and discoveries along the way. An important point I wish to make about this book is that it is not gender-biased. My being a man reading this has given me greater appreciation for both sexes, but more importantly, a deeper and expanded felt sense of the intimate divine, as I like to think of it.
I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to have a light beacon in dark times. You will derive much from this book. It will become your friend while you wade through mysterious and challenging life situations.