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Embodied Enlightenment

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

Carl Jung

True enlightenment requires grounding and stability. Without these, we lose touch with our bodies, the material world, and the elements that make us successful humans.

The spiritual seeker often tries to detach from problems and people. He or she may resent the need to attend to practicalities and prefer to retire from the chaos of an ever-changing, ever-challenging world.

When obsession for enlightenment controls the personality, imbalance occurs.

The ego goes autonomous. The seeker loses touch with reality, which threatens their ability to survive, let alone create a good life.

What follows is a crisis – the sharp descent back to material existence, the thing the seeker most hoped to escape.

Now they must face the realities of life and the gorges of their abandoned darkness. The seeker needs to recognize that he or she cannot just live in the light all the time. They need to manage their darkness in order to find the light again. It is a hard road, but not an impossible one.

Eventually, there is the realization that authentic enlightenment comes from excavating the darkness.

Equally, the person obsessed with material existence needs to make room for the development of their spirit. It’s a good idea to begin before the inevitable crises of life occur: identity, midlife, relationship, health, life purpose, global health pandemics.

These are the times we need spiritual fortitude to see us through. Those who have neglected this part of their lives have a challenging time.

Seek enlightenment with your feet firmly on the ground.

By working on enlightenment, grounding, and stability simultaneously, you discover the sweet spot, the horizon line between the material and spiritual living.

This is the place of deep rest. You are neither stuck in the depression and anxiety of purely material existence nor are you dizzied by ungrounded spiritual heights.

Dr. Swami Shankardev and I will teach this balance in our Essence of Enlightenment Classes in October.

Mindfulness and Inner Silence Classes


Big Shakti’s study programs provide a path to enlightenment and a practical yet highly spiritual means of attaining a more aware state, wherever you are in your own development. Both Swami Shankardev and Jayne support your growth and learning in a safe, loving environment where questions are seen as part of the learning. The structure of the theory has given me the basis on which to build. It has helped me to understand so much about my life and the lives of those around me. I feel supported and held.

– Dr. Elaine Himadi – M .D. Psychiatrist, Iowa City, USA

Big Shakti classes help me gain a deeper understanding and insight into myself enable me to show up in my life and in the world more grounded, more focused, and more confident. The combination of eastern philosophy and practices with western psychology is perfect for people who have a spiritual inclination with a strong intellect. Thank you for providing such wonderful classes. I always look forward to them!

– Laura Carter – Yoga Teacher & Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant FL, USA

Jayne and Swami Shankardev have a lot of knowledge and experience that are not commonly available and they are able to share and teach this complex and in-depth knowledge in very clear, practical, and accessible ways. They provide clear graphics that are very helpful and teach practices that can be easily used and incorporated in everyday life. I am keen to learn more with them.

– Rose Donaghy – Canterbury, New Zealand

I gained new insights into age-old practices and found their teaching accessible and interesting. Beautifully presented images complimented the content along with powerful meditation practices. I feel inspired to continue practicing and learning more. I booked into the next course immediately and have recommended it to yoga teacher friends. Thank you to you both for a great series.

– Anandajyoti Ray – Yoga Teacher ACT, Australia

Big Shakti’s study programs are delivered with the highest standards. Both Dr. Swami Shankardev and Jayne Stevenson are experienced in authentically presenting Eastern and Western theoretical and practical applications, and therefore, guiding students in knowledge and experiential learning.

– Leigh Ridden – NSW, Australia

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