The consciousness of  light in all its  manifestations brings to our human world a multifaceted awareness that can be observed. The culture of the East  with distinction brings  awareness of the ways that giving  is characterized as the protection of consciousness. This is known as the feminine power of devotion called Shakti, and the loving consciousness of light called Shiva. In our Canadian culture this knowledge would be known as a way of devotion.

The word Shri describes the way of God's light. Vidya is the totality of life and all its manifestations.   The work of  Shri Vidya looks towards devotion and the wonder of compassion in all processes of awakening. 

Strong winds 

sweeping  change


eyes witness beyond

The awe puts

a touch of bigness


a solid name

To wonder and feel

was considered

with reverence 

enough to bow 

Today the lightning

struck  and all knew

the place of pure heart

The work of opening to consciousness is no different in this culture than in the culture of the east. The way is distinguished by sharing the value of how the act of participating in practice is known. The practice of Shi Vidya is distinguished by devoting time in the practice of prayer and devotional song. The performance of this is known to create a light that is strong, for the unique quality of the text is based on the light of Sanskrit.

The work of developing a practice with light is personal and looks to be in right relationship always knowing that the path is distinguished by need and not by way of programming. The practice of Shri Vidya performs a unique opening to the light of the feminine with the awareness that the mother is the one who gives life. In this way Shakti is revered as power and Shiva is known as protector of the way. Shri Vidya offers the essence and awareness of feminine with distinction of other. With extreme understanding of the root power of cleansing in reconnection the true nature is revealed. The manifestation of this knowledge is of the Maha Vidya or Great Mother. The totality of this is known as the manifestation of a symbol or Yantra of light known as the Shri Yantra. The practice is known as devotional and therefore can only work through the manifestation of heart.  

Shakti in love

In the Hindu Tradition energetic power is naturally viewed as Shakti. This view is seen as the potential of our physical world that manifests and changes continually. As this power moves the consciousness of our world we often know that those who are endowed with good physical attributes can more easily hold power and wellness.  

The light of consciousness is known as the awakening motion that brings us to see the nature of self. When in action we can see the motivation for our actions and therefore learn through experience. This power is known as the power of Shiva.

When the power of Shiva touches the physical world we have the knowing of a union of consciousness that will take us into a momentum. This power can activate the clearing or destruction of our physical world. What we learn in Kashmiri Shaivism is that when we are able to move with lightness and positivity we find ourselves in gentle movement with creation. Otherwise we learn of a personal need to hold and impede movement causing stagnation.

In daily life we sustain ourselves and meet our needs through the habitual act of taking, we actually live an experience of ourselves as consumers. With daily consumerism we can forget how the body, mind and soul are uniquely endowed with the ability to flow, reclaim harmony and rebalance with giving. The most powerful of actions is to give with heart in this way we support and sustain not only ourselves but also a field of kindness and consciousness.

If we look to our needs with an attitude of taking and using for personal and political gain we end up holding ourselves away from the act of observing. The way of Shiva is to observe and share a light that opens the door to possibility. With awareness we can rectify any imbalance for with observation we may look to see a greater light. If we consider consumerism as a therapy and as a viable way of meeting a personal need for conscious connection we will deny the light of heart.  In clean relating we learn of the power of Shakti through connection and energy management. In a field of respect this means that we engage with mindfulness and move with sensitivity and gentleness.

The engagement of Shiva in the field of Shakti brings understanding as the field of awareness embraces the corporal world. In the tradition of Kasmiri Shaivism it is taught that the feminine is the source for love and power. She holds the key for consciousness through maintaining receptivity in lightness and respect. In this field she empowers the masculine to act for the greater good, in protection and security. As the flow of energy between the heart and body is seen as a most pleasurable of human experiences, the misuse of this consciousness disengages the heart of the feminine in both men and women. The way of relating with consciousness of heart is a sensitive matter that when understood fulfills a power that engages and reflects a love that holds both.

When it comes to stepping forward and illuminating our way, daily habits play a key role in maintaining right relationship. The play of working with a spiritual practice that involves the senses in a devotional and heartfelt way will support to sustain the field of relating. When self-care and the care of others are prioritized in this way we reduce the possibility of pain, suffering and possible impediments in relationships of all levels. When one is properly held and consciously supported in a field of respect relationship unfolds in flow. With this philosophy the Kashmiri Shaivist tradition knows that when the light of consciousness is held in community all will know health and healing.

Devotional practice

Thousands of years of spiritual life have brought us to know that the service of our hearts leads to the actual placement in the light of consciousness.

In many traditions we learn that the offering of will to that which is greater and of total understanding brings a knowing of that. In experience we come to see this as the ultimate gift to giving. Giving of heart, will and mind is sometimes called surrender. This is the common thread we find in all spiritual people.

When we encounter a process where pain and suffering engage our sensitivity to the conflicts we have between the working physical world and the loving spiritual world we are sitting at the edge of our spiritual understanding. The ability to know how to let go and allow the greater light to secure and protect is of the utmost value. The teaching is active as the process of our consciousness is of choice.  To devote and hold reverence and respect for that which is good will be the one way to know.  

Devotion is the active process of total surrender that places us in a mutual experience of respect. Therefore in this place the boundaries that unify and ask us to know the play of spirituality are sensitively guided through the one who has been designated. Those who look to the teacher as the one who has dominion will lose the understanding of the devotional field of goodness.

Therefore when we hold devotion of a high nature we come to know others of a loving way also sensitive of heart. We come to recognize that the world we know is good when those that surround us can claim a personal field that is of great health and bountifully held in acceptance.


The Tandava is the oldest form of movement practice. It holds thousands of years of tantric power. The form is simple, stable and personal. It expresses the transformation of life force into a graceful dance like work. The first steps are meditative, everything becomes movement. The student becomes aware of the greater good or totality, this consciousness is the dance that creates the process. Through movement and practice of observation you become aware of the “atomic movement of the cosmos” also called primordial flow. This is the expansion and contraction of the universe. The more you feel it, the more you experience the subtle vibration and become attuned to the mystical experience.

​Copyright Denise Richard