Exploring Inner Marriage
at The Mountain Retreat & Learning Center
April 22-24, 2016
Two Nights Lodging & Meals: $237.15
Several folks have asked ‘How am I going to benefit from exploring inner marriage?”
It’s a good question.
Different traditions and philosophies approach this question through different lenses, but they all come to the same conclusion: this exploration is a vital step on our journeys to becoming whole.
Another way to say that: these explorations can help us move from ego-centered consciousness to a soul-centered consciousness.
Or in the context of the hippies and flower children and “make love not war” you might think of inner marriage as the path to deepening your internal love of self which allows your external expression of love to be more authentic.
How are we going to do this come April 22-24?
We’ll start on Saturday morning by listening to the stories of three folks whose approaches and experiences with inner marriage are very unique and different.
Andy (Ann Dee) Foskey is longtime friend of co-convener Romer Taylor and newcomer to GSV. His explorations on this path began organically when he was quite young. Ann Dee is a Librarian who lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “I love the feel of the wind in my beard, but I don’t mind friendly fingers either…”
We’ll introduce the other story tellers in our next update.
After we’ve heard these stories, Andrew Lawler will use a guided meditation to help us go inside, explore our own unique masculine and feminine energies, and encourage them to begin a dialog with each other. Andrew is a writer who lives in Asheville, NC and is on the faculty of the Body Electric School. He has been in Inner Marriage Counseling for more than a decade and has a deep knowledge of this exploration. His wisdom provided an essential piece in co-convener Gary Kaupman’s understanding of his inner marriage.
The remainder of the weekend will provide a number of opportunities to continue these explorations through movement, meditation, touch, writing, dreams, play, and song.
The Marriage of Shakti and Shiva
(made very simple)
In the tantric understanding, the god Shiva is the symbol for consciousness, the primary masculine energy. The goddess Shakti is the symbol for activating power and energy, which is the primary feminine energy. Kundalini/Shakti is the feminine energy that resides at the bottom of the spine of every individual.
Consciousness/Shiva is the top most chakra, the head. In order for Shakti and Shiva to live in harmony, Shakti rises up to meet the Shiva with the goal of inner marriage and a life filled with pleasure.
When Shiva’s wife Sati (who was an incarnation of Shakti) died, Shiva was so overcome with grief that he isolated himself from the whole world. He retired into a dark cave buried amongst the snow covered peaks of the Himalayas and became inclined towards asceticism, rejecting the outside world.
Shiva’s meditation practice was so focused and so deep that he acquired great knowledge that filled his body with heat and energy. Problem was, all this knowledge was within Shiva and of no use to anyone else.
The other gods got worried and started invoking the mother goddess, Shakti, who appeared before them as ‘Kundalini’ a coiled serpent. In answer to their prayers, Shakti said that she would coil herself around Shiva and would wean out his knowledge and energy for the good of the world. Shakti then took birth as Parvati and united with Shiva again.
Together, completing each other, they become the divine parents and constitute the whole of the universe. They are inseparable; neither exists without the other.
If you would like to know more about a practical understanding and use of the Shiva/Shakti legend, we recommend the book “Kali Rising: Foundational Principles of Tantra for a Transforming Planet” by Dr. Rudy Ballentine, a past Keynoter at GSV.
We are pleased that Jason Buchannan will be joining our team as Faerie Wrangler for the Spring Retreat. His initial job will providing support to the presenters to be sure they have the support they need to make their contributions rich and meaningful. And to wrangle Gary and Romer if they stray from the pasture. Jason makes his home in Raleigh, North Carolina where, when not working in consumerism with plants, he can be found organizing young adult resistance movements that work to reclaim self and divinity.
Merry Meet! Merry Part! And Merry Meet Again!
Gary, Romer and Jason
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