The Shakti Centre
For Integrated Spiritual and Social Transformation
The Shakti Centre is a vision for a living community and learning centre for co-creative consciousness, with the aim of effecting global transformation from a fulcrum of deep spiritual realization of our interconnection and unity with each other and all of creation. Realizing our Oneness with the unified field of Consciousness that gives rise to all that is, our work is both to deepen our connection with its eternal Essence and actively co-create with it in its evolving expressions, helping to shape the future of humanity and the planet at this critical time of quantum evolutionary transformation.
It has become undeniably clear that a quantum shift is needed today, from a society based on separation, competition and conflict to one based on interdependence, cooperation and unity. Such a shift needs to come from a deep understanding, and experience, of the essential truths of our existence; it cannot be a superficial change at the outer levels alone, a technological, political or legislative fix. We need to go beyond old authorities and dogmas – beyond divisions of culture, religion, race and gender – and join together to draw upon the deepest truths of our unity – with each other, nature, and the whole field of existence, visible and invisible, manifest and still-unfolding -- to create a new paradigm and to create a new world, beyond our present imagining.
We are not alone in this. Under the pressure of growing global crises, a larger movement is unfolding in the public awareness today, rapidly gaining momentum towards a critical mass. The Shakti Centre would serve as a point of convergence for several powerful trends that are now emerging. As stated in the website of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, with whom we work in close conjunction, these trends, “towards interspirituality (world spirituality), engaged spirituality (sacred activism) and evolutionary spirituality, are growing exponentially today. All have similar aims – bringing a unified, integral spiritual vision to bear on social transformation. There is a natural progression and synergy in these three trends, which follow from and build upon each other, based on three seminal ideas ripening now in the collective consciousness:
1) Interspirituality: That all of the world’s wisdom traditions meet in a common ground of certain universal core truths, particularly that of the interconnection and unity of all life;
2) Engaged Spirituality: That this core spiritual truth needs to be applied in sacred action for social transformation, especially in the face of today’s global crises and
3) Evolutionary Spirituality: That both this integration of spirituality and social transformation, done consciously, are evolutionary – i.e., conscious evolution or co-creation. We no longer see ourselves separate from the Divine force that is shaping us but, knowing ourselves as part of it, actively co-create with it the next stage of our own and humanity’s evolution.”
At the basis of these realizations is the pivotal recognition that spirituality entails both eternal and evolving aspects. The spiritual dimension of our evolution (which re-contextualizes the purely materialistic aspects of evolution put forth in Darwinian theory) has important ramifications at the individual level; the level of spiritual traditions; and the collective evolution of society as a whole. The Shakti Centre vision addresses all of these levels, both in understanding and practice.
At the individual level, the Shakti Centre offers an integrated approach, using integral psychological, energetic and spiritual healing processes to help people bring the deepest spiritual realization of interconnection and unity into reflection at all levels of their own being. Opening up the channels of communication and congruence between the levels of our own being in turn opens channels of flow, receptivity and interconnection with the greater unified field, both of energy and consciousness. Integral psychology and integral spirituality have much to offer in this direction, and the Shakti Centre draws upon these approaches.
At the level of spiritual traditions, the Shakti Centre sees the growing movement towards interspirituality (or world spirituality) as an intrinsic part of their evolution today. As noted in the report of the GPIW Delhi Sufi-Yogi Dialogue, 2010: “Evolving a tradition, in the larger world picture today, emerges with a new meaning: it means delving deep for the core essence, joining together with other groups likewise committed to finding their common unity; and then applying it in the world in action.” Serving as a catalyst to bring together the perspectives of the different traditions in a deepening exploration and interchange, in order to distill the universal truths at their core as a basis for world peace and transformation, is a crucial part of the work of the Shakti Centre, and in this we join hands with the interspiritual and world spirituality movements.
At the level of the collective evolution of society, and the desire to bring it forward from the deepest spiritual basis, the Shakti Centre shares its primary visions and aims with the movements of engaged spirituality (or sacred activism), and evolutionary spirituality (or conscious co-creation.) What is distinct in the evolutionary approaches, building upon the integral, interspiritual and engaged approaches yet taking them a step further, is the conscious, co-creative movement into the unknown. The perspective of conscious co-creation recognizes that none of the spiritual traditions has the last word, that there is no ultimate authority outside us, but rather in our own deepening and at the same time unfolding connection with the eternal Essence of all creation, the Unified Source, the Divine.
Whether this is explained in spiritual or scientific terms, the essence is the same. Interestingly, both spiritual and scientific visions converge here. Evolution is understood as an on-going process, and at the same time one which unfolds from an eternal essence, a unified implicate order, which, as we align with it, we begin to express in our own vision and actions, merging in synergy with others tapping into the same invisible order. Thus, as we deepen into our own connection with the universal essence, we simultaneously ride out the unfolding edge of our collective evolution as humanity. This is very exciting, opening up vast new possibilities, and also critically needed today. Because the other recognition intrinsic to the evolutionary perspective is that, while we are moving into the unknown, there are also certain evolutionary patterns we can become aware of, which can shift our evolutionary trajectory from one, as Barbara Marx Hubbard says, of “evolution by chance to evolution by choice.”
Scientists have realized that evolution proceeds not in a straight, continuous line but what they call “punctuated equilibrium” – meaning phases of growing complexity in a system or species which must be met by an equal growth in connectivity and cooperation in order to jump to the next level – or else go extinct. As many have realized today, we are at a crisis point; we need to leverage this as a shift point. As Barbara Marx Hubbard puts it, we need to make an evolutionary leap from Homo Sapiens to Homo Universalis. We need to recognize our unity with the very Source of Creation, and from our deepest connection with it, effect in ourselves and others a quantum leap to a higher order of consciousness that embraces all of our gifts in a whole-systems transformation to a world of new possibilities. The more closely we align ourselves with the Source of our own being, the Source of Creation itself, the more expansive our consciousness and our reach; we become active co-creators in the shaping of the future of humanity and the planet, active agents in the Eternal unfolding.
Each of these three vital phases in our evolution – inward, outward and onward (inner/integral, outer/engaged and evolutionary/co-creative) -- would be supported and nurtured through the Shakti Centre facilities and collaborative network.
Interconnectivity is central to the vision and aims of the Shakti Centre, to reveal connections not otherwise seen, and facilitate connections between the dimensions of our own being, with others, nature and the planet, generating a global network for conscious co-creation and transformation. As the inner work proceeds, we would offer participants creative channels for the expression of new inspiration and insights, as well as connecting them with outer sacred activist projects and collaborative networks through which they can act in the world, bringing to fruit new vision at every level – including the social, economic, political and ecological.
We also seek to integrate, as an intrinsic part of this work, feminine perspectives and wisdom, which play such an essential role in this evolutionary shift to greater balance and unity in the collective consciousness and structures of society today. To this end, we’ve gathered a core group of women spiritual teachers and leaders, along with men who honor the crucial need for the feminine at this point in history. An important part of our work is to create new visions, structures and processes which actively integrate feminine voice, values and perspectives, at both the spiritual and social levels, both at the Shakti Centre itself and as a model for the larger society.
Forms of meditation leading to non-dual realization, often expanded to embrace more feminine styles and approaches, along with supportive and integrative energy and bodywork, will be the focus of the spiritual practice, and the fulcrum for both personal healing and engaged social action.
In addition to being a sanctuary for people to come and work on their own inner psychological and spiritual process, through meditation, healing, dialogue and circles, the Shakti Centre would also serve as a crucible for greater social change, bringing the level of inner, individual development to bear on the outer collective. There are at least three ways in which the Shakti Centre would help effect change in the world:
-- Serving as a social model for a way of living – including economic and ecological approaches – based on universal spiritual values, springing from a direct realization of interconnection and unity. In this way we would act as a microcosm, or nucleus, for changes that could then radiate out to the larger society.
-- Facilitating a program for creative expression, not only for inner development, but also as an outreach to the wider public; publicizing and broadcasting new visions through writing, music, films, etc.
-- Sacred activist outreach: generating a global network of associated centres, communities and sacred activist projects, both virtual and on the ground, with which we would work in active collaboration.
In this way, our major areas of activity include: meditation; healing; creative expression; research, dialogue and sharing circles; and sacred activism, in connection with local and global collaborative networks. A central meditation hall, healing centre, library for research and writing, and rooms for dialogue, circles, workshops and gatherings would reflect the range of our activities. Residential dormitories and a central dining room would also be on the premises. For some the Shakti Centre would be home; for others a place to visit, heal, meditate, share and co-create with others.
Combining personal and global healing, through inner communion and outer community, the Shakti Centre would gather those who seek to forge the connection, for their own sake and that of the world, between deep, inner universal non-dual spiritual realization and social transformation. Our aim is to realize true unity-in-diversity, in understanding as well as manifestation: bringing together spiritual practice and social action, diverse traditions and fields of knowledge, and feminine with masculine perspectives, in an integrated approach for evolutionary transformation at this pivotal time in history.
If you are interested in supporting or participating in this vision in any way, please contact Kavita Byrd at firstname.lastname@example.org.