[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”null”]Dr Swami Shankardev Saraswati discusses how to use the shadow for enlightenment…[/inlinetweet]
Facing the Shadow Online Seminars combine Western and Eastern Psychology and Yoga Meditation techniques to engage and enlighten your shadow.
The shadow is where you repress the parts of you that you dislike and disown. Almost every problem you have stems from your shadow. Facing and enlightening your shadow is one of the most important things you can do.
There are two parts to your personality. The first is your persona, the parts of you that you like and accept, the parts you project into the world and want others to see. The second is the shadow, the parts of you that you dislike and reject. These are the parts that you try to hide from the world and never want others to see.
Enlightenment is not imagining figures of light but making the darkness conscious. Carl Jung
The shadow contains many negative and shameful feelings, behaviours, memories and thoughts. It also contains many positive aspects of the personality; strengths and abilities that you feel you do not deserve and that you dare not express.
When you disown any negative or positive aspect of yourself you push that part into your unconscious. In so doing you diminish your physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing. The disowned parts become highly energized psychic forces that continue to drive your thoughts, emotions and behaviours. You don’t understand why you feel the way you do, or know how to stop the bad feelings, and this is the scary thing.
As soon as you engage with the repressed parts of yourself you can see why you feel the way you do and begin to act to remedy the problems or issues, conflicts or complexes.
Safe ways to face the shadow
The path to wholeness, mental health and illuminated consciousness requires that you face both the light and the dark sides of your nature.
The process requires knowledge and skill and is best undertaken with the guidance of a teacher or mentor who can support you to develop a stable and resilient center from which you can objectively work with your shadow.
Through specific yoga-meditation practices, you can unify the light and dark parts of your psyche and make the unconscious conscious. You can then dive into this rich part of yourself where you find true fulfilment, meaning and wisdom.
You also need to develop the confidence and skills to remain in relationship with your shadow over the course of your life.
This develops psycho-spiritual maturity and builds inner strength so that you don’t become swamped by the dark forces of the shadow. Rather, you reclaim the strengths and talents that you may have denied in yourself and projected onto others.
Integrating the lost parts of yourself back into your awareness is inherently blissful, and leads to a grounded sense of self-confidence and optimism.