All of us are in some stage of “spiritual emergence” – the deeper, truer self is somewhere in the process of waking up or attempting to push its way through into our consciousness and then our life.
When this process is on track, Stanislav Grof calls it “spiritual emergence”. However, this process is so poorly supported in our culture and our personal lives that this wonderful, beautiful Life-affirming experience can run into trouble and start to not look so great. We develop physical and emotional symptoms. All this just kind of comes with the territory when you live in a culture that does not know how to support – or even deal with or even recognize the reality of “spiritual emergence” or (hey, guess what?) “waking up”.
The Center for Spiritual Emergence is an Asheville-based group devoted to supporting this process. They offer a free support group every Monday night from 6-7 p.m., followed by an optional yoga class. Margaret Kirschner is a lovely person and very skilled facilitator who leads the meetings.
I have so far gone to the three first meetings, intend to go every week that I can – and am bringing more friends each week. Please come! Partly because of the nature of who is drawn to this kind of meeting – and partly because of the content (sharing with other about out process of “waking up”) – these meetings tend to be very lovely and I always have left in a very good mood.
If you come, you will probably get to meet my uber-sweet doggie, Panchita, who comes with me every week and is becoming the kind of mascot of the group.
Here’s what Margaret has to say about these meetings:
Some people develop dependency on alcohol, drugs or other addictive substances or behaviors during a spiritual emergence. A spiritual emergence can sometimes lead to a spiritual emergency, especially if it is not well-understood and the substance use becomes a person’s way to self medicate during an intense period.
Although suppression of pain, pressure and inner chaos is sometimes necessary, the frequent and continual suppression of symptoms is contrary to the full expression required to emerge toward wholeness during a spiritual emergency.
If you or someone you care about is going through an inner transformation and the symptoms are jarring, dynamic and difficult to integrate into daily life, this support group may offer compassion, insights and practical suggestions.
The support group is followed by an optional yoga class.