Dancing with Kali: Holy Darkness through the Great Wisdom Traditions

Dancing with Kali: Holy Darkness through the Great Wisdom Traditions

With Vera de Chalambert  •  May 19–Jun 9, 2017

4-part Webinar Series

“Whom should I turn to,
if not the one whose darkness
is darker than night, the only one
who keeps vigil with no candle,
and is not afraid—
the deep one, whose being I trust.”

― Raine Maria Rilke

Alan Watts tells the story of the astronaut who comes back from space and is asked what he now thinks of God. “She is Black,” he responds, referring to the supreme transcendent darkness and silence of space in which our planet is enveloped like a womb. As it turns out the mystical traditions agree with his revelation and have venerated both secretly and openly forms of the Dark Feminine for millenia. In this 4 week webinar we will explore the theological implications of Holy Darkness and work primarily with four emanations of the Dark Feminine from the world’s great wisdom traditions: the fierce Hindu goddess Kali, the single-breasted Tibetan protectress Ekajati, the mysterious Christian Mother of God, the Black Madonna and the exiled feminine aspect of the Divine, the Kabbalistic Shekhina.

The Dark Mother is the Great Mystery in its dark, deep, unknowable totality. It is said that any contact with her transfigures the soul. She might make us uneasy because she is so full, so primal. She is everything that our culture does not allow- rage, terror, wildness, sorrow. Yet, she is also the tenderhearted mother, offering unconditional refuge and miraculous healing, and holding relentless vigil for all her children. Jung says the secret is that “only that which can destroy itself is truly alive,” and walking into Kali’s fires is the initiation ~ she is the womb, the tomb and the resurrection. The awakening process asks us to accept the fullness of reality, and the dark goddesses invite our fearless heart to dance with the beauty and the terror of life as it is. Contrary to spiritual myths that insist on positive thinking, studies tell us that embracing our dark emotions- anger, fear, despair- is vital for psychological wellbeing. Similarly, dark mothers model radical acceptance of all our experience from the most painful to the most blissful and teach us to use it all as coal for the fires of awakening. Making contact with the Dark Feminine aspect of our being, whether we are men or women, can be a revelatory experience and birth new wisdom, courage and compassion in our life. Lay it all down at Her feet and come dance.

Read some of Vera’s articles:

Kali Takes America: I’m with Her

https://www.healingawakening.com/copy-of-healing-the-heart

https://www.healingawakening.com/healing-the-heart

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Module 1: Hinduism: Kali ~ Dancing in the Flames

May 20, 2017

Introduction: Holy Darkness and spiritual maturation. Cutting through illusion. Other forms of Kali in the Hindu tradition. Veneration in Tantric Shivaism. Aghora. Working with negative emotions. Facing annihilation and radical acceptance.

Duration: 1 hours, 30 minutes

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Module 2: Buddhism: Ekajati and the Blue Tara

May 27, 2017

The Single Breasted Protector. Other Tibetan forms of Dark Feminine: Palden Lhamo and Troma Nagmo. Chod practice. Working with wrathful forms and psychological wellbeing. The gifts of impermanence.
 

Duration: 1 hours, 30 minutes

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Module 3: Christianity: Black Madonna

Jun 3, 2017

The Sorrowful Mother; Dark Night of the Soul, Cloud of Unknowing, Kenosis, Apophasis, Via Negativa, working with the Holy Spirit and the gifts of brokenness.

Duration: 1 hours, 30 minutes

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Module 4: Judaism: Shekhina

Jun 10, 2017

The Indwelling Presence of God. Biblical exegesis. Exploring the Kabbalistic tradition: Tsimtsum, Tikkun Olam. The gifts of radical receptivity.
Conclusion.

Duration: 1 hours, 30 minutes

Vera de Chalambert

Vera de Chalambert, MTS, is a spiritual storyteller and scholar of comparative religion. Vera speaks and writes about spiritual culture, mindfulness and the emergence of the Feminine. Vera holds a Master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School and has mined for her soul at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing and Jason Shulman’s Institute for Nondual Healing and Awakening. Her work explores the meeting place of creativity, psychology and spirituality. She is deeply influenced by Buddhist and Kabbalistic lineages and is a lover of the world’s great wisdom traditions. She offers spiritual direction and works with people in times of dissolution, transition and transformation when the old certainties shatter and we are called into the fires of the Real. This is also what she sees happening in our culture at large. Learn more about Vera's work at www.healingawakening.com