In the enlightenment tradition of Hinduism, the notion of transmission or shakti pat often plays a prominent role. Within that tradition, a teacher or guru is often seen as possessing access to awakening energy that can be transmitted directly from them to their students. A light touch, a deep gaze, a hug, even the tap of a peacock feather can be used as the vehicle for transmission.
I experienced profound energetic transmissions that seemed to come from my own teacher on many occasions. Over time however, I've become reluctant to use the word transmission. There are two reasons why I think there may be a better word for this phenomenon and a better way to think about it.
The word transmission doesn’t completely match my experience because it didn't only feel like the teacher was shooting energy into me. I've experienced transmission from several different teachers, and I'm aware that not everyone who met with that teacher experienced what I did. I've also been with teachers and seen people around me experiencing a powerful exchange of energy that I was not feeling myself. It seems that there is an opening on the part of the recipient of the energy that plays a crucial role in what happens.
Related to this, is the fact that the word transmission as it is often understood, can be disempowering, especially in a western cultural context. The image of a student passively receiving divine energy from their teacher can promote a position of weakness or dependency that may not ultimately serve their awakening process.
I believe that what happens in these energetic exchanges is better thought of in terms of the student opening to the universal energy of life itself. The role the teacher plays is to invite the student to open to these higher energies of awakening. The conviction that the teacher has in the existence and benevolence of those energies, plays an essential role in providing the student with enough trust to open to them. It may be better to think of the exchange as occurring between the source of life and the student, rather than coming from the teacher him or herself. Thinking in this way implies that the student is opening to the same energetic source as the teacher.
In my own history as a teacher I first replaced the word transmission with activation. I prefer the word activation because it implies that the teacher is assisting in the activation of an energy that exists beyond them. More recently, I've been using the word attunement, over activation, and the results have been tremendously beneficial and powerful. Some of my virtual programs are centered around daily hour-long attunement sessions in which everyone present collectively tunes in to the energy of awakening. As the facilitator of the retreat, I use instructions and metaphors to guide people’s attention toward the energy that is always available between us.
As we all tune in to that energy together, it becomes more available to all of us and the inherent liberation of our spirit is ignited and can be palpably felt moving through us.
My experience is that using the word attunement rather than transmission is more empowering to everyone. It allows all the participants to recognize themselves as actively contributing to the awakening that is occurring. It also seems that collective participation in the experience dramatically increase the power of the experience.
The phenomenon of attunement is subtle and mysterious. As the facilitator of a retreat, I play a unique role as a fulcrum point and north star. But there are many people on my retreats who bring a wealth of spiritual experience and awakening with them. When everyone is invited to contribute their energy to the process of attunement, we all benefit from the power that is present in the whole the group.
We all have more power to activate the energy of awakening than we realize. In a supportive atmosphere that is permeated with good will and trust, we can literally wake each other up. We can increase the spiritual buoyancy of the psychic space that we share between us like raising the level of the water we're floating in.
This co-created awakening is what I've always been most excited about.
This is what I see as the most important spiritual potential of our time. There are literally thousands of people who are deeply awake in the world today. When we gather and tune in to the energy of awakening together, we generate a spiritual updraft that lifts everyone up. This is what I mean by collective awakening. We can wake up together, we can inspire the trust and good will that allows all of us to open to divine cosmic energies, and as we open together our individual openings merge and grow. Our open hearts and minds become one open heart and mind, and that collective opening unleashes greater access to the cosmic energy of awakening.
This is why I teach; this is why I lead retreats; and this is why I’ve devoted my life to collective awakening.
I hope you will join me on an attunement retreat soon.