Shakti-Yoga’s Acid Goddess.

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Madonna posing as the Shakti Acid Goddess

Recently I happened onto a Huffington Post blog about The Harvard Psychedelic Club. As part of a 1950’s Harvard experiment, check out this self-acclaimed normal housewife who’s amazed to observe molecules of air moving around her after drinking water spiked with LSD. When the interviewer asks her to describe the particles, she exclaims it’s impossible to put into words what she is seeing. And she is surprised the interviewer can’t see. She reports being completely free and connected to everything as one living organism. Watch her facial expressions for their genuine innocence & wonder.

During a 6-year stretch starting in 1989 while residing at Kripalu Center I experienced hundreds of hours immersed in the exalted bliss of Goddess Shakti. To my fellow ashramites I described Shakti as the Cosmic Party Girl. When she’d show up in my meditations, the walls of my mind would blow out into vast seemingly infinite dimensions. All of this creation was me. And this creation was all Shakti. So it became impossible to determine where I stopped and She started. These mind-blowing meditations forever altered my personal identity as well as my capacity to surrender to the big-picture of life.

Watching this woman’s LSD trip tickled memories of my ashram days as she flashed from one epiphany of self-discovery to another. The incredible openings elicited from this experimental acid trip must have presented her with a quandary. Once she came down to her normal life, how would she return to this place of oneness? Did she seek out dealers to score hits of LSD & eventually become a drug addict? Or did she seek another pathway through a spiritual practice? Most likely she omitted the experience altogether from her memory so she could continue with her normal life? Facing this quandary in my life required letting go of expanding out further and further into the universe. Moving forward with the day-to-day affairs of living required dialing down the Shakti Acid Goddess. I learned to discover wonder & contentment in a more energetically mundane sadhana (yoga practice). Each day I attempt to bridge the exalted bliss of Shakti which still resides in my nervous system with the opportunity to serve people in my yoga classes.

What’s fascinating to me is when I showed this video to two yoga studio members, both saw something completely different. They latched onto the creepy feeling that this interviewer was manipulating this innocent woman. How curious? Where I was seeing this acid trip as one of the greatest treasures in a woman’s life, these studio members saw a crime. Is this because I’ve been repeatedly on receiving side of a positive mind-expanding experience as a gateway to higher consciousness? And these two relative newcomers to yoga were firmly attached to their own set of past life events? So many human beings are terrified of expanding their consciousness. Or they get addicted to foreign substances in an attempt to get back to the bliss of expansion. Why not court the favor of Yoga’s Acid Goddess? Why not learn how to invite Shakti into your mind/heart/body? While she is the ultimate Cosmic Party Girl, Shakti doesn’t blow out the walls of the mind to injure anyone. She does it to invite each of us to come & play! One key is to remember surrendering every emotion & thought to Shakti? Especially the fears

So where do you stand? Invite the Cosmic Party Girl Shakti into your meditations & yoga practice? Or is yoga best served sans Yoga’s Acid Goddess?

Peace, Love & Buckets of Sweat      Peter Sklivas  Director – Yoga Passion: Source of HotCore Yoga

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16 Responses to “Shakti-Yoga’s Acid Goddess.”

  1. Yogini5 says:

    No thinking about this required.
    Way I feel after practice is, in her words,"I wish I could speak to you in Technicolor …" (I'd also add, "stop-action" …)
    Because that's what everything looks like … lights brighter, colors more intense, and … the encroaching stillness …
    I can tell Shakti wants to party
    I never tried acid, though … had been a sheltered 9th grader in 1968 …

    • PeterSklivas says:

      At my Northwestern U Frat I had ample chances to trip on chemistry. But I opted for meditation. Just seemed easier to take off without all the crash landings. It’s key to remember the LSD is NOT Shakti. When conditions are ideal, the LSD opens a momentary gateway best found w/o chem dependency.

      • Yogini5 says:

        It seems like much more work involved, this path of Raja Yoga–than using anything chemical (including alcohol)–don't get me wrong … on me the gates to Shakti keep closing, and I need to work continually to pry them open again ..

  2. I love your description of Shakti as the Cosmic Party Girl! So apt.

    I don’t have to invite Shakti in… she’s already taken up residence 😉

    Life is always in technicolour so to speak. Shakti-led yoga practice is the norm.

    Party on!

    • PeterSklivas says:

      Hope folks get how Kara's words underscore a fundamental gateway in yoga. It's not a frill. It's not an escape. Embracing blissful euphoria is a way into Shakti's sacred temple. And yoga without Shakti is like walking on the lunar landscape without a spacesuit. Everything gets stale real fast.

  3. Just posted in "Featured Today" on new Elephant Yoga homepage.

  4. GypsyWarrior says:

    Only someone who has seen/been through the veil can truly appreciate being with the "One", otherwise it just sounds like crazy talk. Some yoga practitioners will never truly experience the divine within themselves, everyone is at a different place on that path. As you raise your consciousness and develop your divinity/spirituality you appreciate these experiences of seeing into the divine as a blessing, not something to be scoffed at. Until you hold it in your heart, you cannot understand it or see it for what it is…

  5. The different journeys taken by the various people described in the Harvard Psychedelic Club after that period is a fascinating topic worthy of a great historian. Think of the divergent paths of Leary and Ram Dass! I knew an L.A. psychiatrist who conducted LSD studies at USC in the 50s, and who later knew all the Harvard guys. Based on my conversations with him and others, and the (admittedly limited) research I did when writing American Veda, it seems clear that psychedelics could have a legitimate role in spiritual development, if handled responsibly and used in the right context, but that they can also be exceedingly dangerous and self-defeating. Huston Smith's writings on this are very insightful, e.g., his 2000 book, Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals.

  6. aliagrace says:

    At 16 my doorways of perception were opened through chemistry with similar amazing results. Even more amazing is how throughout the years: yoga asanas, mind-altering Pranayama & Toltec Dreaming continue to expand my consciousness & sensitivity to light & molecular structures without the addition of chemicals. While I can’t say with certainly whether or not I could’ve achieved where I am without my 1st LCD initiation, today I’m so grateful not having any addition to pills/weeds or the side effects of chemical residues in my body. Power-On to my inner-goddess Shakti! We are One & the same in technicolor!

  7. Lindsey says:

    great post, Peter! Really interesting, open-minded view of understanding the world around you and accepting all life has to offer and show us.

  8. Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the new Elephant Yoga homepage.

  9. […] Shakti it up in the kitchen Gotta be one of my favourite ways to practice – throw on some uplifting, […]

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