March 28, 2014

The F-Word. ~ Shivani Howe


Ah…. The F word. As we step into Navratri (the 9 nights of Durga) on Monday 31 March, its a great time to contemplate our relationship with the Divine Mother as Durga, especially though our relationship to the experience of fear.

Many people think that fear is to be avoided. It’s not. It’s a human, real, necessary experience to help us navigate this experience of life.

It is a gift from Ma Durga to be able to experience the root of life, which is Mooladhara Chakra. And we must root to rise. The energy through this chakra on the emotional level can be experienced as fear—known as anxiety, which moves up the body and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight). Or faith which moves down the body, which is rooted in trusting the Divine for the perfection of this moment—this reality, but not identifying with it.

You see, fear, symbolized by the lion that Durga is seen riding, is not riding her. She is riding it. It is present in her world, but it does not dominate her, she is using this fear to transport her into action, to right action.

To slay the demons of ignorance and illusion. Fear to Durga is not something that is to be avoided, cowered or discarded. It is a sacred energy that must be harnessed. In the face of fear, often we seek distraction, suppression or avoidance when what is actually being asked of us is to actively seek to end the suffering of illusion and ignorance, bringing us into truth, into faith.

Trusting we are all held by the Divine Mother in this lila (play) of the soul’s evolution though the human experience. That all we experience, no matter how painful (actual pain, not the fear of pain perceived or projected) is for our ultimate healing, to spur us forward into the experience of the One. Atma. Consciousness.

Fear, is rooted into the identification of the souls human experience having a beginning and an end. To not be in control of when/how we die. Who we leave behind. As a mother, this is something I am very intimate with. To fear death is to finally find the joy in living, now we must find the joy in living the unknown, even death.

When we experience fear the first thing to do is shift our awareness into trust.

Then from this trust, shift it into action. There must be action for there to be the full cycle of transmutation. Remembering that sometimes right action is to do nothing. Action from fear creates chaos, confusion. Action from trust creates inner calm, contentment, clarity.

Mooladhara (trust/fear) is the foundation of our third dimensional experience, and Manipura is the peak of this experience. To get from one to the other we must move through the emotional waters of Swadhisthana chakra. The purification of the waters, through bringing forth our unconscious samskaras (memories) that seem so real, but are really just an illusion.

Then we can open ourselves to the next step, this is where the opening to love comes in.

Just as to praise the dead is to truly grieve, to grieve the living is to truly praise. This is the human expression of love. Which, the same frequency as faith/fear but mirrored in the higher chakra of Anahata (the heart) just like ice and water are the same make up but different expressions. Mooladhara the root, and Anahata the heart, are the foundations of two different realities—3D and 5D.

So when you want to love more, work on your faith. When you want to transmute fear, root into the the unconditional love and protection of the Divine Mother.

Though awareness of our actions, our sadhana (practice) to Durga in this auspicious time of Navratri, we have a real opportunity to consciously step from the foundational four of Fear, to the liberated five of Faith.

Om Dum Durgayei Namaha!


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Editorial Assistant: Holly Horne/Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: elephant archives

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Shivani Howe