Tuesday, June 27, 2017
El Collie––Branded by the Spirit––Part 3
I was in and out of the hospital for more tests as new symptoms developed. An uncontrollable neck muscle tremor made my head shake back and forth in a palsied rhythm, even when I was lying down. Painless little muscle twitches developed over my entire body. I was advised that I might have an incurable and/or fatal condition. Myasthenia gravis (or perhaps some other rare autoimmune disease), brain tumor, lupus, lyme disease and ALS were speculated. With mounting fear, I began to suffer from muscle cramps and an awful systemic burning sensation. The spasms were affecting every part of my body, including my tongue, causing me to slur my words or bite my tongue when talking. The onslaught of symptoms grew outright weird, ranging from a prickling and tingling that roved around beneath my skin, to a horrifying sensation like toothpicks stabbing into my eyeballs.
All the medical tests came up negative. A dozen doctors, four of them neurologists, had seen me, all told. I was repeatedly informed that I was "an interesting case" -- from the mouths of physicians, an ominous euphemism meaning, "We've never seen a disease quite like this."
During this span of ever increasing disability and bizarre symptoms, I was doing some metaphysical counseling by phone. I use the word "metaphysical" loosely, as I was not adhering to any particular creed. Basically, I helped people bring a larger, more spiritual perspective to their problems. I never charged money for this work. I considered it an ongoing learning experience to be invited into the details and depths of other people's lives. It surprised me when I was sought out for my natural ability to do this. Strangers would somehow sense this faculty in me and approach me at parties or other unexpected places and pour out their troubles to me.
At the time, I was counseling a man who was calling me daily. Although I had reached a point where I could barely hold the phone, and had to lay down with it cradled to my ear, helping him deal with his suicidal depression was also salvation for me. His desperation took my mind away from my own condition at a time when nothing less gripping could have held my attention. What was interesting about this, in retrospect, was that at one point I suggested to this man that he might be experiencing spiritual emergence, though it had not dawned on me that this might apply to my situation as well.
One afternoon, thinking he might be able to heal me, my brother-in-law dropped by. He is an acupressurist with innate psychic sensitivity. As soon as he walked in, he became very agitated. He told us that the entire house was reverberating with the most unusual energy he'd ever encountered. Stranger yet, he said all this energy seemed to be emanating from me!
Charles and I didn't know what to make of this. We briefly considered I might be possessed by some kind of malevolent entity. But in my previous experience with astral beings, I knew that animals, plants and children were most immediately affected by negative influences. Our pets and houseplants seemed to be in fine shape. My brother-in-law's kids had come by with him, and while he was trying to do some energy balancing work on me, we'd given them paper and crayons to keep them happily occupied. After they left, I scrutinized the pictures they had drawn to see if there was anything-sinister coming through. Both had drawn jubilant nature scenes, resplendent with child-scrawled greenery, birds and shining suns. At the time, I wondered if the charged atmosphere Charles' brother detected had something to do with the many people who were praying for my recovery. What else could account for the immense energy he had felt radiating from me?
The pain and fear of fast sinking into the quicksand of physical decline is beyond description. Without a clue to the real cause of my illness, I was simply terrified. Like Gopi Krishna wrote of his own experience: "I did not know at the time that I was witnessing in my own body the immensely accelerated activity of an energy not yet known to science, which is carrying all mankind towards the heights of superconsciousness..."
For several months, I remained in a state of near-paralysis. The physical pain came to a crescendo in the middle of one night. I awoke in agony. Every muscle in my body, from the soles of my feet to the top of my scalp, was writhing and wrenching as if trying to rip loose from my skeleton. It felt as if each muscle and tendon had taken on a surreal life of it's own: a hideous internal mutiny of thrashing, serpentine creatures. If this wasn't bad enough, I was burning up inside. The very cells in my body felt drenched in battery acid. Charles was awakened to my near-delirious cry: "It feels like burning snakes!" We had no idea how apt a metaphor this would prove to be.
Soon afterward, I began to experience more classical, full-blown Kundalini manifestations. Heaven's gate did not swing softly open to admit me; it blew off its hinges in a silent blast, demolishing my circumscribed life. I was in a continuous, radically altered state for months, suspended in an etheric, oceanic energy. In Kundalini, I was immolated. My entire being became a transparency, a gossamer presence no longer identified as flesh and bones, existing as a galvanized consciousness in the midst of primordial, sacred forces. Nothing could have prepared me for the awesomeness of this experience, not even my past LSD adventures. Yet it would be equally true to say that everything in my life had been leading up to this. I understood with unprecedented depth and clarity why everything I had ever done or experienced had been necessary. I was transported to a place of lucidity that transcended forgiveness; no shard of regret, past or present, could lodge in my heart. With nigh supernatural acceptance, I saw that everything made perfect sense; everything had been scripted by a breathtakingly benevolent, incomprehensible Intelligence whose work -- my life -- I could only behold with joy.
My sensitivity -- physical, emotional and psychic -- was magnified to the point of the fabled princess who could feel the pea under a mountain of mattresses. Colors were extraordinarily brilliant and my hearing grew so acute than if Charles so much as coughed from another room, I jumped as if it had been a gunshot.
I had outright convulsions, with energy roaring up from the base of my spine and out the top of my head. My world was rife with holy madness. I became a sort of human tuning fork -- mechanical vibrations set me off in a wild way. Once Charles decided to clean some crumbs off the table with the Dustbuster. As soon as he switched it on, I went into a seizure. Energy blasted through my spinal cord and out the top of my head like a geyser. It was both terrible and hilarious. Charles had no idea that my sudden "attack" had anything to do with the vibration of the vacuum cleaner, and my teeth rattled so hard I could only beg in an incoherent stutter: "St...st...st...STOP!" He finally understood, and as soon as the machine was off, my convulsion ended.
Monday, June 26, 2017
El Collie––Branded by the Spirit––Part 2
The symptoms of my as-yet-undiagnosed illness continued. Worse, my swallowing reflex had somehow short-circuited. When I tried to eat, the muscles that contract in swallowing simply refused to cooperate. I found myself gagging and having to spit out the food. I could only get down liquids, which depended more on the pull of gravity than the cooperation of my throat muscles. A month without cigarettes, and instead of the typical weight gain, I was steadily losing pounds. Concerned about my lack of nourishment, Charles crushed vitamins for me with a mortar and pestle; I daily dissolved this potion in a tablespoon of honey, which I was able to wash down with lots of water. This and watered-down baby food was my sole fare for weeks.
In addition to the swallowing problem, I felt a constriction like a noose around my neck. Stranger yet, I would go through frequent episodes of convulsive, repetitive swallowing when I wasn't eating. These would go on for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, and were most pronounced at night, jarring me from sleep with a horror that I was on the verge of asphyxiation.
I returned post haste to the doctor. Now my symptoms were attributed to severe nicotine withdrawal, which I could not believe. I felt absolutely terrible. A great heaviness descended upon me, as if hundred pound weights were strapped to all my limbs. My head felt huge and filled with crushed glass and I was in a peculiar altered state; my whole body felt drugged or poisoned.
My two-decade study of healing had taught me some techniques for investigating the mind/body connection. With little other recourse, I tried to work psychologically with my symptoms. I told Charles that I had gotten an image of a squadron of "demons" clutching and swaying from my limbs in a Hieronymus Boschian frenzy. These devilish entities seemed to personify a lifetime's accumulation of negative experience: fear, anger, resentment, trauma, etc. (Much later, I realized how apropos this image had been. The rising Kundalini indeed dislodges this psychological dead weight from the system.)
I began to tailspin into terrible anxiety and near-suicidal depression, though, oddly, these feelings didn't seem to be in reaction to my physical condition. I relapsed back to smoking. Though I felt guilty about it, it helped to emotionally stabilize me. After a week, I sought help from a professional hypnotist who specialized in breaking cigarette addictions. I told him of my previous "withdrawal symptoms." He thought this sounded extreme, but felt he could help me by tailoring my hypnosis session to include messages of well being and vitality. I was instructed to listen to the hour-long tape of my hypnosis session twice daily. I did this religiously for about two weeks.
All the same, my condition continued to deteriorate. I began to have trouble lifting my legs. I called the hypnotist for advice. He had never heard of this debilitating withdrawal symptom in his twenty years of practice, but suggested I continue to exercise vigorously to work the toxins out of my system.
It was becoming increasingly difficult to do any kind of exercise, much less anything vigorous. I was doing the best I could, but my ankles turned to rubber and my feet dragged and flopped sideways when I walked. My arms were becoming increasingly useless, and it was hard to move my fingers. I couldn't pick up small items, and I had no gripping strength. Just trying to hold a spoon was a formidable feat. By this time, both Charles and I were getting frantic. Off to another doctor. Once more I was told that I was simply having nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
I became a bedridden invalid, barely able to use my hands even to dress or feed myself. This time, I was given an emergency appointment with a neurologist. He immediately dismissed the nicotine-withdrawal diagnosis, and scheduled me for a complete diagnostic work-up.
Upon returning home from an enervating day at the hospital, a package was awaiting me in the mail. A month earlier, I had sent my first completed book manuscript to my first publisher. I'd been flabbergasted when they contacted me to say they liked it, it was well written, let's go with this. I was hooked up with one of their editors, who discussed with me ideas for layout and minor revisions.
The package contained my manuscript with a cover letter of apology. When it came down to the wire, it had been a toss-up whether to publish my book or another one on baby massage. The market looked ripe for baby-topics that year, so my book got the ax. I was too sick to care. I stashed the package on a shelf and didn't look at it again for three years.
I now regard the return of the manuscript as a curtain closing on the pre-Kundalini period of my life. Thankfully the book was never published! It was a metaphysical gust of hot air with a few gems of insight plastered in. By the time I looked it over again, my views on everything had changed so radically I disagreed with most of what I'd written.
The one good thing that came out of this was my editor's suggestion that I tone down the exclamation marks. I'd been running several exclamation marks to a paragraph. I think I was being symbolically warned to calm down, take some deep breaths, rest up while I had a chance. Something was bearing down on me that would turn the rest of my life into one long string of exclamation marks.
Under the circumstances, rest did not come easy, and if I had known how much worse things were going to get before they got better, I would have thrown myself off a bridge. Prayer was becoming the order of the day.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Note:The following excerpt is taken from El Collli's website called "Shared Transformation." This site contains some of the best writing on the Kundalini phenomenon that exists.
Branded by the Spirit (Part One)
"The incidence of disturbances having a spiritual origin is rapidly increasing nowadays, in step with the growing number of people who, consciously or unconsciously, are groping their way towards a fuller life."-- Roberto Assagioli, 1965
Kundalini is most likely to rise spontaneously in people who are spiritually inclined, creative, sensitive, open-minded, and open hearted -- all risk factors I knew nothing about until after the fact.
After I settled in with my present husband, Charles, although my life was better than it had been in quite awhile, I was vaguely dissatisfied with myself, and sometimes remarked to him that I wanted "a brain and body transplant." (This private joke has come back to haunt me many times over. I've learned to be a lot more careful what I ask for, even in jest.)
When my Kundalini first erupted, I didn't know what hit me. I was not completely unfamiliar with the concept of a Kundalini awakening, having read about it many years earlier. I knew that Kundalini was the Hindu word for the mysterious agent, which unfurled the tight bud of human consciousness. I'd explored innumerable spiritual/metaphysical avenues, but never with the desire or intent of activating Kundalini. Yet some part of me seemed to have known this was coming. For instance, while my tastes run to the unusual, I surprised even myself when, just prior to our wedding, I'd bought a prophetic gift for us at a street fair -- a bronze casting of a cobra raised to strike!
I didn't connect my symptoms to the rising of the "Serpent Power" until five months into my illness. Prior to this, I had spent grueling months in limbo. Neither I nor my doctors, knew what was constellating my strange illness. (I later discovered this is a common dilemma for those in whom the Kundalini symptoms are primarily physical). I'd initially dismissed the increasing weakness in my arms as unwelcome signs of aging. But now something seemed seriously wrong. An enormous weight was bearing down on my chest, making me labor to breathe. I couldn't seem to get enough oxygen; I felt dizzy and light-headed. Having smoked for twenty-five years, I figured the dues collector had arrived.
While I draw the line at do-it-yourself appendectomies, short of emergency, I turn to doctors only as a last resort, after I've exhausted my self-healing attempts. Fortunately, I have been fairly healthy for most of my life. But this time I knew I was in over my head. Scared and contrite, I made the first of what was to become, for me, an unprecedented number of trips to various medical specialists. My dreaded chest X-ray came up clean. I was given an EKG for good measure, and my heart passed with flying colors as well. All the same, I stopped smoking immediately. The elephant sitting on my chest didn't budge. My symptoms multiplied and worsened, which at first I accepted as inevitable. I had no expectations that whatever damage I'd incurred would be healed overnight. I had tried to quit many times before and withdrawal had been a nightmare. But in the past, aside from the craving to smoke, the worst of the physical symptoms began to fade after a week. Much of my distress came from being so alone in my predicament. Had I been able to find another soul who shared some of these uncanny gifts, I may have been able to handle them with more aplomb. As it was, I learned quickly that trying to talk to anyone about these things provoked skepticism, fear or frustrating misunderstandings. True to form, establishing consonant relationships was of far more importance to me than being a species unto myself with weird powers. For the record, the criteria for spiritual progress are quite different than generally imagined. One does not have to be a paragon of virtue or perfection. I have heard from people who were alcoholics when their Kundalini rose, and from many whose real or imagined shortcomings pressed them to ask, "How can I be worthy of this? Why me?" When the same question rose up from my depths, a voice of quiet conviction answered simply: Because you were ready.
If you realize that all things change,
there is nothing you will try to hold on to.
If you aren't afraid of dying,
there is nothing you can't achieve.
Trying to control the future
is like trying to take the master carpenter's place.
When you handle the master carpenter's tools,
chances are that you'll cut yourself.
(Tao Te Ching by Lao-tzu trans. by Stephen Mitchell)
Friday, June 23, 2017
More on the Mind and Awakening
Earlier I posted on the need for the mind to "drop" before awakening. However, this notion need some clarification.
I think it is in fact very important to employ the mind before the awakening, indeed perhaps for all the years leading up to and ––eventually after––the event itself. You likely will prepare through reading, listening to accounts, exploring many avenues to the awakening process.
But at some moment, the mental approach will not take you there. At this point, the mind simply reaches its limits and you must allow a process to happen to you, rather than the other way around. You may then be temporarily somewhat foggy, no longer able to focus with your usual focus, or even to articulate your feelings and ideas in the way you are accustomed to. You will be caught up in a strange and wonderful process, one foreign and familiar at the same time. If your system is open and ready, you may fall into extreme bliss, and this may last for days. If, on the other hand, you have serious unresolved issues (mental, psychological, physical, and spiritual) you may undergo the opposite––painful experiences involving all of these features as suffering.
Kundalini was a closely held secret for centuries, in part because of the dangers it presented. It is two edged sword. It can take you to heaven or else the reverse. It must be approached with caution and care.
It is best to do all you can to prepare in case it visits you. This means a healthy life style,
exercise, working through your issues and doing your best to resolve them. It is helpful to practice energy exercises (chi gong, tai chi and such) to awaken the inner energies as chi, a softer and easier way to come into contact with your inner subtle body. Try to remove as much stress in your life as possible.
Do not try for major awakening before you are ready. Let it happen to you, not the reverse.
Good luck on your journey. Know that you are part of a worldwide process that is sweeping across the earth, the shift that is spoken of, the evolution to a new state of being. It is orchestrated elsewhere. Your part is to show up.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith––Mary Oliver
I listen and look
under the sun's brass and even
into the moonlight, but I can't hear
anything, I can't see anything --
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,
nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker --
green gowns lofting up in the night,
showered with silk.
And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing --
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,
the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet --
all of it
beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.
And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt
swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn's beautiful body
is sure to be there.
~ Mary Oliver ~
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
The Mind and Infinite Joy
"One of the greatest obstacles in meditation
is our understanding.
When the mind gives up
trying to grasp meditation with the intellect,
that is when meditation can happen.
That is when we perceive this moment as awareness.
The mind has its doubts and its beliefs
that says “conform to me, conform to my understanding”
and this limits us.
Infinite Joy is a realm
When you have given up
all knowledge, all desire to understand,
all mental activity, then attention is subtle enough
to realize Infinite Joy.
It is not stopping your thoughts
because you are still there, doing the stopping.
It is much more subtle than that.
You never realize Infinite Joy as a person,
as a mind, as a doer.
Through spiritual practice, getting Shakti and surrender,
you, yourself become subtle.
All the layers of who you perceive yourself to be
are stripped away and you come to the essence of what you are.
And that is not a finding,
that is a complete giving up.
And then, what is left is pure attention.
Then you feel this light shine through attention itself
and you are so attracted to that light,
attention becomes fully absorbed in it.
There is deep devotion in this; deep love.
I am not talking about being consciousness,
I want to take you much deeper than that.
Just in talking about it, you might taste it.
From the intellect, we define enlightenment,
we accept certain concepts about it.
We accept the teachings of consciousness, kundalini etc.
But what is actually here, beyond all understanding
is the most Divine Mystery, the most exquisite profound
joy where the mind lovingly becomes absorbed
into the realm where there is only light.
I very much agree with this. The mind wishes to conceptualize, define, word the experience. Yet it is in itself wordless. Osho, the rascal guru, said, "The mind must drop before Awakening can begin." I call the attempt of the mind to think its way to Truth (God, Source, Oneness) as being "trapped in the labyrinth of mind." Oddly, we must use mind to understand the fallacy of mind (mental approaches). Kip is a composer and music is one way in. Poetry is another, for it takes us into regions beyond the intellect. And, of course, transcendent experiences are not concept based, but surrender to pure feeling. I always love Eve Ensler's observation: "I feel, therefore I am."
I am not an anti-intellectual by any means. But the core experience, the ultimate revelation, is not mind based, but pure, raw feeling that we surrender to. Our name for this state is unconditional love.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
The free online journal called "Esoteric Quarterly" has now published its summer edition. This is a very interesting periodical that contains many articles on esoteric subjects of all kinds. "The Esoteric Quarterly is a peer-reviewed, online journal serving the worldwide community of esoteric students. It is dedicated to esoteric philosophy and its applications to individual and group service and the expansion of human consciousness."
This issue also carries two poems by yours truly as well as a very nice ad for "Some Kiss We Want" at the very end of the issue. I felt very honored to be included in this way.
(image by Bill Brousard)
Monday, June 19, 2017
to speak through me.
It has no name
It is merely a presence,
whether a saint
or a shadow,
I do not know.
and I answer.
It is silent,
and I wonder why.
Together we weave
a truth that is waiting
to be found,
a hidden jewel
glinting in the shrubbery,
a distant light
in the landscape,
June 7, 2017
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Beloved Friends and Family,
I would like to invite you to a very special gathering: the second Ram Dass Legacy Immersion retreat in Ojai, California, this August. Our first retreat was so beautiful we couldn’t wait to meet up again.
We created this pop-up ashram at the amazing Hanuman Gardens and spent 4 glorious days living and practicing together. Maybe you were there and know how transformative it was. Maybe you wanted to be there but couldn’t make it and would like to come to this one. Maybe the thought hasn’t crossed your mind till this minute but is lighting something in your heart even now.
We will begin each day with Hatha Yoga with Saraswati Markus. Then, following the first of 3 truly spectacular meals made from local organic ingredients and superb artistry, we will sit in meditation with Rameshwar Das and dive into the dharma, with short recorded teachings by Ram Dass and dharma reflections by me. Small group dialog will deepen the personal relevance of each topic. Afternoons are open, with a variety of delicious offerings: live webcasts with Ram Dass and workshops on Pranayama, mantra, the Hanuman Chalisa, and the Ramayana, with Raghu Markus, Saraswati, and Rameshwar Das. And we close each day after dinner singing ecstatic Kirtan with Govind Das.
There is plenty of time to explore the magnificent gardens, swim in the pool, connect with old beloveds and new ones, schedule a one-on-one with me, and breathe into your experience to integrate it all.
Does this sound like what your soul is yearning for? Spiritual family, clear practices, healthy food, beauty all around you? A deeper connection with Maharaji? We want to make this accessible, especially to young people. Let us know if you’re interested. Space is limited and it’s only a couple of months away. I hope to see you there!
To learn more and to register please click HERE.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
From Plank to Plank
I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my Feet the Sea.
I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch—
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.
Yes, that's how it is.
Each plank a narrow security,
nothing certain, nothing permanent,
no warranty or guarantee.
And always the space in between.
We wonder, will a foothold await?
Will we arrive safely
at the next station of comfort?
Or will we slip, go hurtling down
into the roiling tumult below,
water heaving and tumbling,
so many lost there before.
In the meantime, love.
Arms ready to catch us,
take us home.
June 16, 2017
Art credit: "Hussaini Hanging Bridge, Pakistan," across the Hunza River in the village of Hussaini in northern Pakistan, photograph by Jonathan Blair/Corbis.
Art credit: "Hussaini Hanging Bridge, Pakistan," across the Hunza River in the village of Hussaini in northern Pakistan, photograph by Jonathan Blair/Corbis.
Friday, June 16, 2017
It was pure, unadulterated bliss. After a minute or so, which seemed like an eternity, it passed. The only thing I can liken it to is how people who return from near-death experiences describe how they were engulfed in a love beyond understanding.
The message I took from the experience was, "Here's a taste so you know it's real. Now you have to earn it."
Andrew is currently offering a webinar course on "The Radiant Light of Divine Love" through Shift Network. Go to http://shiftnetworkcourses.com/course/DivineLove for more information. The class has already begun, but I feel certain you can enter now and pick up the recordings for the earlier presentations.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
We think we are wiser
than they were
for we possess
the knowledge they gave us
plus what we have gained on our own.
No ear whispered messages,
no revelations on paper
or carved on stone
reveal the answer,
the truth that can't be told.
We ourselves are the mystery,
the riddle that can't be
We wonder and probe,
contemplate and muse,
but we are never quite sure.
Somewhere is a place where
we all hold hands
and keep moving forward
toward the light
that is darkness,
the darkness that is light.
June 15, 2017
Oatmeal and Transformation
It is astonishing. It just keeps happening. And, even though it has occurred literally hundred of times before, one is convinced that the newest experience is beyond all the others, taking us to yet another level.
I am speaking, of course, of the experience of ecstasy, a state I first encountered over thirty years ago and which continues to visit from time to time even now.
This is what happened this last time (a few days ago). As so often is the case nowadays, it arrived unannounced and in surprising circumstances. I was in fact standing at the kitchen counter fixing some oatmeal for breakfast when I felt energies stirring here and there within. So I paid heed to them, perhaps moved my hands a bit, and then felt my lower chakras awakening. The sensation grew sweeter and sweeter, as I gently moved my hands here and there over the chakras, never touching my body. Indeed, I felt as though I were being infused with light, with rapture, with a frequency higher than any I had known before. I seemed to enter a new level of transcendence, as if I were experiencing yet another initiation, this into a realm previously unsuspected. I longed to stay forever, feeling the boundless love of the universe flow throughout my body.
I stopped just in time to save my oatmeal from burning, and spent the next few hours wondering what all of this meant, where it had come from, what its intention was.
Perhaps it was another step in becoming the divine human that many writers have talked about. Perhaps it is what the alchemists of ancient times were seeking through their various esoteric practices. Maybe it is movement toward Teilhard's omega point. Is this what is meant by "Enlightenment?" Is this the light body? I think that none of us have reached this high state as yet, but I feel that we are sometimes granted tastes or glimpses of what that condition might be.
I wonder if this is how we all existed before we incarnated and if this is how we will be once we return to our origin. All of us are involved in this process in our own ways and according to our own rhythms. Together we move toward species evolution, in a manner that seems to be orchestrated elsewhere.
In the meantime, we live in mystery.
How blessed we are to be participants at this time!
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
A Transcendent Experience at Chartres Cathedral––Paula D'Arcy
I have returned to Chartres Cathedral so many times. I know you're aware that it's a great energy vortex. I am always drawn there, like being drawn home.
This year our little group was able to enter the Cathedral in the morning 30 minutes before the doors opened to the public. No lights, no candles. Just being with her (the Cathedral) as she awakened. I found a different place to sit each time...usually sitting right on the ancient stones of the floor, but always in sight of one of the original stained glass windows. As the morning light comes through that famous Chartres blue, an alchemical mix of colors, it is very affecting.
Then on one of those mornings I felt as if the energy of the Cathedral had entered me and as She awakened to the morning, She was awakening inside of me. The boundaries of my person ceased to exist. The vastness I experienced was boundless, and the surge of energies were in remarkable waves that opened, seemingly, to the infinite Universe. I didn't speak of it to anyone because I didn't know what to say. I just stayed with it, trying to be calm and just allow it, and spent the remaining days, whether outside or inside and when I could, sitting still and breathing more slowly...not really needing to eat much... I flew home with these energies still moving...and even though they were not really contained, it was not frightening. Not troubling. When I got home I saw a woman Craig introduced me to years ago - she is very attuned to the body and energies. She immediately seemed to know what I was experiencing - she said a few things that described the largeness of the energy. I had said nothing about it, but she felt it, and sat with me in silence for over an hour, sometimes putting a hand on me. I left feeling as if some of the energy had integrated (not sure if that's the word)...Only that I was a little more grounded or better able to adjust to the force.
Now, as I write to you, I am in NC...and as I arrived, the same wide opening and strong flow of energies repeats itself.
Paula D'Arcy, Writer and Speaker, Gift of the Red Bird and Stars at Night
Monday, June 12, 2017
Oh, Emily, Emily,
with your flaming hair,
your hand sewn rhymes.
How long you held
your secret to your bosom,
how seldom you shared
with anyone at all.
And you held out
against God himself,
the master, the Father
with an inflexible iron hand.
You set your own terms,
did not bow down,
kept the Sabbath
staying at home.
And those slanted marks at the end,
signals for elocution,
indications of intonation
up, down, or steady,
the critics never guessed,
thought you did not know
how to punctuate.
You outlived them all,
ended up acclaimed and
revered by throngs,
noticed at last,
even as your carriage
drove ever forward into eternity.
June 10, 2017
Only seven of Emily Dickinson's poems were published during her lifetime, though she is now recognized as one of the most important poets America has ever produced. She lived all of her life with her family in Amherst, Massachusetts, and quietly bound her poems into small packets with spines of yarn. She refused to recognize the patriarchal God with his public ceremonies and enforced doctrine and preferred to acknowledge the divine through her own private connection. The lines of her poetry ended with puzzling dashes, which the critics assumed were evidence that she was ignorant of correct punctuation. These were in fact simply instructions of how the poems were to be read (aloud) with markings derived from the elocution books common at the time. These manuals inserted dashes slanted up or down or steady to indicate rising or falling inflection, or steady voice.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
we are swallowed
At last the traffic
now arrived at where
they were going
or else forgotten
Dreams descend bearing
and the dreamers
toss in their beds.
It is then
that we wonder
about our decisions,
our turnings and discoveries,
how long this performance will last.
Now we discover
about the mirror image,
the longings that come.
A vistor will arrive
but there will be
no latch turning.
The guest will be familiar,
though you may not remember
when last you met,
even Her face or features,
her unsaid words.
None of this will matter
as you turn down
into your bed.
June 7, 2017
Saturday, June 10, 2017
The pray to their god,
unseen, located somewhere else;
they say prayers in temples with crosses,
have a list of rules,
circle their mountain,
hoping to find Him.
Our god is also unseen,
lives within us,
or even makes love
like an unexpected suitor
come back again.
I will not say
which is right.
But I do like it
when She and I
make love together.
Then I know
She is there,
ready to embrace
as we become each other.
June 10, 2017
Friday, June 09, 2017
The Saint in Holy Longing
I want to say something
that has never been said before.
To feel that
which no one can describe.
To go to that place
that is on no map.
To endure what is not bearable,
until I vanish.
June 7, 2017
Thursday, June 08, 2017
Who Am I?
Someone called me a sant.
Others thought I was bizarre.
Very young I fancied
I was the oracle at Delphi,
or some ancient Dalai Lama,
returned to earth.
Finally, the images faded,
and I gave up seeking my
"I am from some other place
and when I die I plan to
go there again."
I am with Rumi,
hope to return.
June 8, 2017
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
What Kind of Life?
What kind of life
Moments of infinite
episodes of panic
Always a pendulum swinging,
like a yearly earth cycle of
death and renewal,
despair and joy.
The spirit must be
shaped and remolded
again and again,
like a flower that withers
rises and descends
in a constant round,
always pushing upward,
striving for sun.
June 6, 2017
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
The Ancient One Reflects
What do these mean to me?
I have gone beyond the categories,
arrived at a place
no longer matter.
Silence is the key.
Yet I attend,
still long for the touch
of the Beloved Within,
and the Lord of the Meeting
still calls me and
June 6, 2017
(The Lord of the Meeting Rivers is Krishna.)