The Art of Being: June 2021

The Art of Being
Deborah Chandler, Ph.D.


What is a spiritual awakening?

Our lives go on two paths: on outer path and an inner path. The outer path is determined by biology and environment. The inner path is determined by grace. Grace is the nameless way in which fortune shines upon us.

On the outer path, we live through our mind-body experiences. As our brain matures, we develop the capacity to know our name, our personality, our preferences, our action choices. Our mind-body self tunes into the world through the sense organs. The senses feed us the information we use to construct our lives. If we do not encounter a form of awakening, this is all we know of life.

Awaking can come in various forms. We may have an artistic awaking, feeling the pulsation of creativity move through us which we form into an artifact of our personality. We may be opened to the miracles of creation in our own gardens as we dig into the dirt. Most profoundly, we may have an awaking of our own energetic potential. This inner potential is sometimes called kundalini.

Kundalini lies asleep within us. She lies coiled like a serpent at the lower energy levels of our subtle body. The subtle body aspect of us is not entirely physical or energetic. Our subtle body is the luminosity that infuses us with energy and light. When we awake to our subtle body, we begin our inner journey.

Sometimes I find myself captured by the outer path, absorbed by the glitter and enticements of the outer world. However, with glitter comes dullness. In this outer realm the pairs of opposites rule. Handsome and ugly. Smart and dumb. Loved and rejected. On the outer path I ricochet between these pairs of opposite, never finding rest. In the mind-body world, there is no lasting peace.

In the mind-body world, I become aware of how I am cloaked in fear as a defense against old hurts and rejections. From this outer space, I try to offer my hurt self to the inner realm of meditation. Sometimes to enter the inner world I soak in my tub or dance with abandon. In this inner realm I find a core of light and ease.

Recently, I have intensified my focus on the inner realm by being more regular in my meditation practice. I am learning to trust that the inner world will lovingly hold me and protect me, giving me the fortitude and clarity to face what’s before me.

My spiritual awakening has taken me to this inner path. I am grateful for the strength and light that I find. Hey! There’s magic in there.

Dr. Chandler is a psychologist in private practice in South Fallsburg. Read more of her “The Art of Being” at