So what is the Aahara Spiritual Community of Venus Rising?
Of Venus Rising means that we are part of a national association of congregations headquartered in Isis Cove near Whittier, North Carolina. The Venus Rising Association for Transformation offers a variety of programs for people who want to break an addiction, heal from past trauma, or simply learn more about themselves so they can grow into their full potential.
Aahara is part of the expansion of this vision, making the services offered by Venus Rising available in Springfield through a rigorous training and certification process that Carley Mattimore and John Malan have been participating in since 2005. These services include Shamanic Breathwork, the 30 Questions process for transformation and recovery, training as a Shamanic Breathwork facilitator, ordainment as a Shamanic Minister and more.
Spiritual Community refers to the fact that we are all spiritual beings having a human experience. At the most basic level, psychological health and spiritual growth are on the same continuum. This form of spirituality is not specific to any religion or doctrine but is a part of what it means to be human.
Aahara is nondenominational and welcomes people from all faith traditions as well as atheists, humanists and those who just don’t know. Participation in an Aahara event does not require adoption of any belief or creed, only an openness to the idea that each of us contains within us the ability to heal and the possibility of transforming our lives and realizing our full potential.
What Aahara means and why we choose this name for our congregation
Aahara is a Sanskrit term with the following definition:
bringing, fetching; taking, seizing; accomplishing, offering (a sacrifice); drawing in breath, inhaling; inhaled air; breath inspired, inspiration
So we bring ourselves to the awareness that our lives are not what we want them to be. Something is missing and everything we’ve done up to this point has failed to address that emptiness. Maybe we weren’t ready to bring ourselves to face this, and the circumstances of life fetched us so that we paid attention. Or maybe we put up a fight and life took us anyway, seizing us in a manner that overwhelmed our resistance and brought us to where we had no choice but to admit it was time to change.
This is a huge accomplishment in itself, and it is also a sacrifice, an offering of the part of the ego that has kept us going on the basis of denial, avoidance, self-medication, self-deception, etc. It worked for a while and when it worked it felt like security and comfort, so that the loss of it truly is a sacrifice as we recognize that it just doesn’t work any more and release it.
So we breathe. The Shamanic Breathwork process is described in more detail here, so we won’t go into that now, except to say that this process can literally change your life. It does this by breaking through the barriers between our conscious and unconscious minds, not in a harmful or destructive way but in a way that enables us to see our lives and our past traumas holistically. This holistic view is inherently healing, it is what we mean when we refer to the Inner Shaman.
As we experience this healing, a release of energy occurs. Trauma that overwhelms us when it occurs becomes locked in our psyches and our bodies–it is hidden away from our conscious mind so that we can function. Keeping it locked away requires energy, and the longer we keep it locked up the more energy it requires. Breaking through the wall of denial and encountering the trauma through breath work enables us to heal and release it and when we do, the energy that was keeping it locked up is given back to us.
This is what is meant by transformation: freeing up the energy, releasing the trauma, waking up to our lives as they truly are is an experience that transforms us as at every level, like going into the chrysalis transforms a caterpillar into a butterfly.
Finally, it is when we are in this transformed state that we are open to inspiration. Look around at what is happening in the world today. At a global level, we humans are trying to solve our problems with the same kind of thinking that created them, something that common sense (and Einstein) tells us doesn’t work. If ever there was a time in history when we need inspiration, it is now.