Telluride Yoga Fest: Awakening Shakti with Sally Kempton

Telluride Yoga Fest: Awakening Shakti with Sally Kempton

The 11th annual Telluride Yoga Festival, Thursday, July 19 – Sunday, July 22, features internationally renowned yoga instructors and leaders in the fields of health & wellness, among them, first-time presenter and internationally renowned spiritual teacher Sally Kempton. New this year: four 1/2 day Thursday immersions, 9 a.m. – noon; 1 – 4 p.m. To purchase tickets or to learn more about the weekend, the lineup and the schedule, visit here.

And please scroll down to listen to a podcast featuring Sally Kempton.

In the world of former journalist-turned-spiritual teacher Sally Kempton, concepts like shakti, Hindu goddesses, darsana, mantra, ritual, story and embodied practice share connective tissue with quantum physics, Jungian archetypes, deep psychology, and neuroscience.

And those subjects are not just portals to lofty ideas tricked out with rituals, but key data points, ways to communicate well-baked thoughts about how to live a life of spiritual awakening, outer abundance, inner freedom and fierce intimacy.

Trained in in the texts of Vedanta, yoga and the north Indian tantric tradition of Kashmir Shaivism, Kempton is a woman with 40 years of practice and teaching, who fully understands the power of words, the pen mightier than the sword thing in a world where pens and swords (read tweets, rallies and guns) are causing existential angst.

In 2006, Kempton explained in an article in Yoga Journal:

“The bottom line of the Tantric teaching on words is this: Since everything in existence, including rocks and planets, is made out of different densities of vibration – that is, out of coagulated sound – words are not merely signifiers, but actual powers…ordinary mundane words also hold their own vibratory force. All speech, especially speech imbued with strong feeling or emotion, creates waves of energy that radiate through our bodies and into the world, vibrating with complementary word streams and helping to create the atmosphere we live in…”

Including the atmosphere at the 11th annual Telluride Yoga Festival, where Sally Kempton is making her local debut as a featured presenter.

Where her words will resonate and good vibrations are guaranteed in her classes about “goddess power.”

Which is not just, according to Kempton, a girl thing:

“Invoking the goddess shakti isn’t only a girl thing—it’s a way for everyone to tap into the deepest source of empowerment, creativity, and happiness,” Kempton explains.

The sages of Tantra have known for centuries that when you follow the path of Shakti — the sacred feminine principle personified by the goddesses of yoga — the many gifts of a woke life can and will often manifest spontaneously, allowing us to move through the world with far greater skill and deeper delight.

Enter quantum physics, the branch of science that deals with explaining the behavior of matter and light on atomic and subatomic scales  – which often conflicts with common-sense notions derived from direct observation of the everyday world.

“The yogic sages—especially in the branch called Tantra—anticipated quantum physics by pointing out that a subtle vibratory energy is the substratum of everything we know,” says Kempton. “Unlike physicists, however, yogic seers experienced this energy not simply as an abstract vibration, but as the expression of the divine feminine power, called Shakti. Reality, the tradition says, is Shakti’s dance, which takes form as our body, our thoughts, our perceptions, and also as the physical world.”

She continues:

“The Hindu traditions are famously comfortable with the idea that the Absolute Reality, while formless, is perfectly capable of manifesting in divine forms. So Shakti, the formless source of everything, is understood to take forms—as goddesses, personifications of the different energies that make up the world and our own consciousness.

“Whether we actually ‘believe’ in goddesses, contemplating them allows us to become intimate with the vast impersonal forces of the universe.”

Yet most of us have yet to experience the full potential of our inner feminine energies – and, again, that includes men as well as women.

Sally Kempton’s four classes at the Telluride Yoga Fest open that experiential door.

Through meditations, visualizations, mantras and teachings, those goddesses – Durga/Kali, bringer of strength, fierce love, and untamed freedom; Lakshmi, who confers prosperity and beauty; Saraswati, who offers clarity of communication and intuition; Lalita, whose gifts include both mastery of life and master of the heart; Radha, who carries the divine energy of spiritual longing; Bhuvaneshwari, who creates the space for sacred transformation; and Parvati, who awakens creativity and the capacity to love – will become familiars and help activate the flow of the divine feminine to inform and enrich many aspects of our lives.

Jung and his followers looked at the Greek gods as archetypes of universal psychological energies. In Kempton’s mind, Hindu deities are just as much a part of our psychic structure.

“As with any powerful symbolic form, the Hindu deities represent, and in my experience actually can uncover, helpful psychological forces. They personify energies that we feel, but may never have thought to name or invoke…”

“The Wisdom Goddess Empowerment I: Unlocking Sacred Power through the Warrior Goddess of Transformation, Friday, July 20, 1 p.m., reinforces Kempton’s teaching that goddess are not just myth. They represent powers that live within us – for better or for worse?

In emotional turmoil”? “In Befriending the Mind-Dragons: The Tantric Path for Working with Emotions.” Friday, 3:30 p.m., Kempton’s students will discover that our intense emotions carry the seeds of creative power. By learning a series of Tantric principles and practices, even anger, grief and fear can become yogic gifts that lead to wisdom.

Meditation is just not your thing? Your monkey mind won’t quit. Can’t sit still for even a second? Kempton’s “Meditation for the Love of It,” Saturday, July 21, 3:30 p.m., could be a game-changer. Working with profound principles and practices, in this class Kempton will teach attendees how to create a dynamic and transformative meditation practice – and fall in love with it.

Kempton’s final class, Sunday, July 22, 10 a.m., continues the goddess exploration begun on Friday. Through meditation, mantra, ritual, myth and insights into the psychological aspects of goddesses like Lalita, Saraswati, and Bhuvaneshwari and how they show up in our lives, “The Wisdom Goddess Empowerment II: How to Experience the Bliss Goddesses,” Kempton will teach students how to connect to the sacred feminine as an inner force and how to receive energy, guidance and love from the archetypal sacred feminine.

To learn more, please click the “play” button and listen to this podcast featuring Sally Kempton.

More about Sally Kempton:

One evening in the early 1970s, while sitting in her Manhattan living room, Sally Kempton was overcome by a feeling of all-encompassing, unconditional love that seemed to come out of nowhere. She had never known that love like this was possible. The experience lasted 24 hours and turned her life around. At the time, Kempton had a flourishing career as a New York journalist, writing on popular culture, the arts, and feminist issues for Esquire, the New York Times, New York Magazine, and The Village Voice. An early voice in the second- wave feminist movement, spirituality was the last thing on her agenda. But her experience that night affected her so powerfully that within a year she had given up her career to immerse herself fully as a student and teacher of spiritual awareness.Two years later, she encountered her Guru, the enlightened Siddha master, Swami Muktananda, and became his full time student…

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