Book Review: When Spirit Leaps ~ Navigating the Process of Spiritual Awakening by Bonnie L. Greenwell PhD
Many books and articles about the awakening journey make assumptions about their audience. Either they elevate their knowledge base and throw theories and terms around without proper explanation or they appeal to the lowest common denominator and dumb down the content. When Spirit Leaps is so appealing because the author treats the reader with care and respect. This book is both comprehensive in scope, without sacrificing the personal element. I think this is one of the reasons why I highly recommend When Spirit Leaps.
Dr. Greenwell, a transpersonal psychotherapist, non-dual spiritual teacher and former student of Adyashanti, draws from her extensive experience to create a book that will engage and support anyone who is looking for clarity about embodied consciousness. She has a great reputation as a longtime Kundalini expert and her emphasis on Kundalini activation makes this publication especially valuable. The book is divided into three sections: How We Awaken, Navigating the Challenges of Awakening, and The Continual Unfolding of Liberation. The reader can choose to read this book using intuition or approach it from cover to cover. I assure you there is something of interest for anyone eager to learn more about the awakening process.
I was especially fond of the How We Awaken material. Chapter 2 Energy Moves Us Along the Way, was so informative and rich in details about the “mechanics” of Kundalini. Many people are aware of the concept of Kundalini and have heard accounts of how people are transformed after a Kundalini activation. However, many are still left wondering “Have I experienced this energy myself? “or “What does this process look like? “I am one of those people and was hungry for some sound explanations. Learning about the various nadis (lines of energy) was new information for me and Greenwell’s explanations were very helpful. I also appreciated her take on the chakras through the tantric yoga tradition. Section 1 also includes insightful material on the various portals to awakening consciousness that is both practical and heartfelt. The content on the Dark Night of the Soul and moving into the void is also well executed.
Section 2 explores the challenges of living fully embodied while undergoing gradual or sudden waves of heightened awareness. The author does a great job helping one discern the differences between dysfunction (psychosis) and enhanced function (increased consciousness). This topic is controversial and difficult to get a handle on, but Greenwell covers it with respect and care. The exercises included are also a wonderful resource as well.
In the final section, the book addresses where to go from “here”. The losses inherent on the spiritual path are addressed, inviting the reader to acknowledge and accept that gains are a byproduct of letting go of what no longer serves a more evolved way of being. Chapter 9 covers the complexities of living in unity consciousness in a 3D world that appears dual in nature. The following quote resonates strongly for me: “In the stillness between extremes, we’ll discover who we are. Possibilities will arise from the heart and the deeper intuition of the gut, so a new birthing can happen. Our natural impulse towards life as an expression of love, wisdom, and creativity can emerge without barriers.” When Spirit Leaps takes the reader on an adventure with heart, wisdom, and integrity, allowing the space for integration, peace, and further exploration.