Balance & The Search for Peace

By Darren Main • March 2001

This really is a magical time of the year. When I lived in New England it was much more dramatic as, the seasons were much more defined, but even here in San Francisco one can feel the change. It is the season of balance when the day and night are equal in length and all sorts of life begins to push its way through the frozen earth.

In many ways, the spring equinox and its counterpart in September should be the most holy days of the year, because they are what the spiritual journey are all about. That perfect balance between energies is symbolized in many ways ú the sun and moon, male and female, the earth and sky, Yin and Yang.

In the Yogic tradition, the whole practice is about uniting Shiva and Shakti.  In Tantra Shiva is the God of transformation, and Shakti is his consort or lover. They are really one and the same, but in our physical world they seem to be separate from each other. They are like two lovers who keep flirting with each other but never really get around to asking each other out. Shiva represents the formless potential in all things, and Shakti represents Spirit, which has taken form in this world.

Shakti is always seeking to reunite with her lover and so she rises up over and over again. She can be seen in the giant red wood tree and in the weed that finds its way through the sidewalk crack. In our bodies, she manifests as our life force (prana and kundalini) and she is always reaching and seeking to expand in order to touch her formless partner. This dance between Shiva and Shakti can not really be described, but it can be felt.

When I was in Costa Rica last year, I was walking along the beach early one morning. Half way through my walk I stopped and did my morning practice of breathing, yoga postures and meditation. To conclude my practice, I began chanting the sound of Om. There was no one else on the beach for miles, so I felt very comfortable belting it out.

All at once I felt a vibration that came from deep within me. It was present in the chant, but it was also present in all things. It was in the ocean and in the sand. It was present in the sound of the birds and in the wind. It was as if I were part of a cosmic chorus and everything was directed and perfectly balanced. In that moment I felt Shiva and Shakti merge and become one within me. There was no separation between form and formlessness or between all beings and myself.

For me, the Spring Equinox is a time to remember that cosmic dance. It is a time to remind myself that I am a part of a great universe that is filled with order and reason. It is a time to return to that natural state of balance that is always present when I get my ego out of the way. But most importantly, it is a time to remember that all life, my own included, can only be at peace in a state of balance.