Kundalini Splendor

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jan Elvee--"In the infinitesmally small space" (poem) 


In the Infinitesimally small space

In the infinitesimally small space
between drama and detachment,
between unworthiness and pride,
between cynicism and wonder
something new is coming into being,
naive, fresh, alive, awkward.

My lifelong companion,
that weary jaded observer,
exasperated, incredulous,
oppressive and boring,
critiques, judges, condemns.

Not possible!  Not you!
How ridiculous to imagine
we could walk side by side
through a different door,
down a different path.

Be not afraid, dear anguished one,
my protective and defensive self.
We'll sit here together.
We'll wait; we'll pray.
Someone will come.

Jan Elvee, January 22, 2015


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Andrew Harvey and Terry Patton in Dialogue 







Please join us for:
Andrew Harvey
“The Ways of Passion and Illumination”
Sunday, January 25th
at 10 a.m. Pacific

These dialogues between such master teachers as these are immensely informative.  They give us food for thought on major issues today.  They do not simply repeat what we already know.  Listen by all means.

Dear Dorothy,

This Sunday, January 25th at 10am Pacific please join me for another conversation with the renowned mystic, scholar, poet, and activist Andrew Harvey entitled “The Ways of Passion and Illumination.”

Over the last year Andrew and I have been engaged in a series of sacred conversations, ecstatically “riding the wave” of what is organically emerging in the moment, allowing it to guide us. We decided to start recording these conversations and even to teach together March 4-8 in Berkeley California.

This latest recording is in part an exploration of the true nature of Love. In it, I share with Andrew my belief that the task of our lifetime is to grow in our capacity to love. Love is the sternest master and asks everything of us.

You’ll also hear us discuss the (mostly) not talked about spiritual controversy between the ecstatic mystery teachings of intense spiritual feeling vs. the “cooler” nondual and mindfulness approaches. We both agreed that the reconciliation of these two schools could be the key to addressing our world in crisis—compassion and agency united in sacred activism.

We speak about our own practices and our latest insights, and what is becoming available in our own teaching. It’s no longer about the traditional exchange of wisdom or knowledge between teacher and student. A whole new model is emerging. Profoundly liberating transformation is not merely subjective; it is enacted in relationship, and ceremonially “made real” in community.

I’ve written a blog which further details what you’ll hear on the recording here. I hope you’ll listen in. You can follow along with Andrew’s gorgeous recitation of a Rumi poem which he says exemplifies the prime power of love as the way of illumination and knowing.

To our evolution,

Terry
  How to Participate:
Andrew Harvey

"The Ways of Passion and Illumination"

Sunday, January 25 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific*

*Find your local time

Listen live by phone or online, or download the recording anytime.

Access Instructions

To listen live by phone, dial: (425) 440-5100
alternate number: (501) 707-0312

Then, enter Access Code: 272072#

To listen live online go here.

To download the audio after the teleseminar is complete go to the Beyond Awakening Audio Page

Join the Dialogue: About one hour into the dialogue, we'll open up the lines and you'll have the opportunity to interact with us directly over the phone or via Instant Message. Here's what to do:

1.  To interact live by voice, dial into the conference line and wait until we ask for questions

2.  Send us your question via Instant Message in the teleseminar window in the webcast interface on your computer


Connect with us! You can always join the dialogue, before and after all the Beyond Awakening dialogues by posting your questions and comments on our Beyond Awakening blog .

You can also engage with Beyond Awakening's many fans, on our Facebook page.



About Andrew Harvey:

Andrew Harvey is an author, speaker and founder/director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, an international organization focused on inviting concerned people to take up the challenge of our contemporary global crises by becoming inspired, effective and practical agents of institutional and systemic change, in order to create peace and sustainability.

He was born in south India in 1952 where he lived until he was nine years old. At the age of 21, at Oxford University he became the youngest person ever to be awarded a fellowship to All Soul's College, England's highest academic honor. He became disillusioned with life there and returned to his native India, where a series of mystical experiences initiated his spiritual journey.

Over the next thirty years he plunged into different mystical traditions to learn their secrets and practices, including deep extended study and practice of Hinduism, and Tibetan Buddhist practice. He collaborated with Sogyal Rinpoche in writing the classic Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. He did deep study of Rumi and Sufi mysticism, and produced some of the most magnificent and luminous translations of Rumi's poetry.

To listen to all the Beyond Awakening dialogues, please visit our audio archive page, where you can browse, preview and download our complete collection of dialogues.

About Our Host:

Terry Patten co-developed Integral Life Practice with Ken Wilber and a core team at Integral Institute. He hosts the acclaimed online teleseminar series Beyond Awakening: The Future of Spiritual Practice. He speaks and consults internationally-inspiring, challenging, and connecting leaders and institutions worldwide.

In his cutting-edge writings, talks and teaching, he not only inspires transcendental awakening, love and freedom, but calls us to accept and incarnate our full humanity. He was the senior writer and co-author, with Ken Wilber, of Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening. His 8-session course, Integral Spiritual Practice guides students step-by-step in establishing a heart-centered do-able daily integral practice. His personal web site is http://www.terrypatten.com/

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Amma––The Life Force 




 "The life force that pulsates in the trees, plants, and animals is the same life force that pulsates within us. The same life energy that gives us the power to speak and to sing, is the power behind the song of the bird and the roar of the lion. The same consciousness that flows in and through every human being, lends its power to the movement of the wind, to the flow of the river, and to the light of the sun. How can there be any sense of difference once this subtle principle is understood?" -Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi)

(via Sparrow Mattes)


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Amy Edelstein webinar on Evolutionary Mysticism and the New Ecology--Please listen! 


I look forward to this  presentation since I am interested in both topics.  I consider Kundalini itself a major mystical process and the driving force behind human evolution.  If you are unable to access it from this site, you could try looking it up on the Emergence Education website or else wait until she sends out the audio and I will put that up on the blog
Try the following address: http://bit.ly/12Mystics  That should tell you how to register.  


You are invited!
Evolutionary Mysticism and the New Ecology
a free 60-minute teleseminar
Sunday, January 25 noon US Eastern Time

Dear Dorothy

I want to extend a warm invitation to you to a free 60-minute teleseminar I am running this Sunday, January 25 from 12:00 to 1:00 US Eastern Time. It’s called Evolutionary Mysticism and the New Ecology.

Since ordaining as an interfaith minister and becoming the wisdom keeper of evolutionary spirituality for OUnI, I’ve been inspired afresh to explore some of the beautiful theologians, philosophers, and mystics of this wondrous path.

It’s been a moving and illuminating journey as I’ve contemplated views on evolution and God, creative union and the science of process. In this seminar, I’ll share with you the most transformative insights that I’ve had, the ones that have deepened the way I think about oneness, evolution, and living a deeply engaged spiritual life.

I am really looking forward to sharing all this with you!

In this seminar, you’ll learn:

Why Teilhard de Chardin saw all creation within a “divine milieu.”
How Alfred North Whitehead got the word “creativity” into the dictionary.
What these two evolutionary scientists saw about God in animate and inorganic matter.
Who created the first “Evolutionary Liturgy” and how ritual can be part of the path of evolutionary spirituality.
Where the distinctions between nature as spirit (pantheism) and spirit as pervading nature (panentheism) can provide an uplifting shift in our view of the environment and our “stewardship” of it.
These questions are inspiring and meaningful. They can open up how we relate to our path and the world around us. If you’re intrigued, please register for this complimentary 60-minute teleseminar on Sunday, January 25 at noon US Eastern Time.

If you are unable to attend live, don’t worry, I’ll be sending out the audio shortly afterwards.

I’m looking forward to it, join me by registering here.

In Spirit and with warm regards,

Amy Edelstein

Click here for info to register!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kundalini and the Awakening of Dormant Aspects of Human Consciousness 



Note: This site offers some very intriguing ideas for contemplation.  Kundalini is presented as a near final stage of the transformation of consciousness and awakening the light body.

from thetemplate.org

(Note: The main thrust of this site is that we as a species are evolving through the activation of currently unused segments of our DNA.  These activations occur through various "ceremonies," one of the most important of which is Kundalini awakening.  This site is fascinating, though it is difficult to follow.)

When I experienced the light body activation at Coopers Creek I did not register Kundalini energy rising or descending in my body. I experienced it as imbuing my being in synthesis with my breath, from every point within my field. The field that is established by experiencing the 7th Ceremony is approximately one foot from the 6th Ceremony field. These two fields are aspects of the greater field that surrounds us; a field that is the energetic form of differentiated consciousness (Tantra) that defines us as autonomous fractals of Source Awareness; a self-referencing vortex, a torsion field that translates light into a medium with which to assemble and construct the coded co-ordinance that manifests the full masterpiece of the Human design prior to our genetic modification.

During our transcendent experience on Green Mountain in Hawaii (Worldbridger chapter 7), Jiva and I were able to see this field of light around us.  It was approximately 12 feet in diameter. The fields resurrected and activated by the 6th and 7th code, although substantial, are aspects of this holographic incandescent orb.

Many who attended the 7th Ceremony experienced the intensity of a Kundalini awakening during and after the event, some even before. The two activation codes of the 1st and 2nd Worldbridger Ceremonies are not initiating temporary Kundalini awakenings that eventually dissipate without being repeated or sustained. They are re-establishing a stable self-referencing field offering an endless source of energy; a field that is a multidimensional labyrinth of photonic codes originating from the Tantric cohesion that coordinates the cognizance of Source Consciousness into a temporal zone, a field that is a fractal aspect of the Divine Immortal Continuum.

Within the confines of various spiritual traditions of seeking a Kundalini experience for its ability to awaken dormant aspects of Human consciousness it is perceived as an isolated system that begins at a point from which it travels to another. In the light of the understanding of the holonomy that fractally assembles all of manifestation it follows that the projection of this Tantric energy is not linear, nor is it a separate and specific energy; it is life itself. All is Tantra.

Within the full manifestation of the Human bio-computational unit of circuitry it neither rises, nor descends- it infuses. It is a force which naturally and spontaneously animates the Human hologram, an energy whose full power requires a comprehensive infrastructure of pathways in order to manifest the full spectrum of its potential.


Monday, January 19, 2015

On Reading Mystical Poetry 



A common mistake that many people make when they read mystical poetry is that the "lover" refers to an actual human lover.  Mystics frequently employ the language of love to describe their experiences.  The lover is simply the invisible "Beloved Within," for these encounters often have a definite erotic tone, even though sexual activity as such is not involved.  The sweet energies are indeed not sexual, but rather the natural bodily energies sublimated (transformed) into spiritual energy and the result can be somewhat erotic in tone, but they are not essentially sexual.

The picture above is Bernini's famous statue of St. Teresa in ecstasy, as the angel plunges his lance into her heart.  Indeed, for some, the opening of the heart chakra is the greatest rapture of all.

I once had a friend who made a collage for me on ecstasy which included many depictions of couples making love in erotic poses.  She had misinterpreted the kind of ecstasy my poems were describing, though she meant well.

The early Indian poet Mirabai (1498-1565?) wrote many poems on the theme of the unseen beloved:


Here is My Dress

Here is my dress. With him

my sari is forgiveness.

Rama’s name is its gold hem.

The vermillion dot on my forehead is Rama.

His holy word is my nose diamond.

I wake to him in my braceleted arms.

He is also wrapped around my wrists

as glassy red bangles.

I put my clothes on after we leave the bed.

-Mirabai (1498-1573 ce) South Asia

(The Shambhala Anthology of Women’s Spiritual Poetry, edited by Aliki Barnstone).


Another error of interpretation is a misunderstanding of the meaning of the "annihilation into the beloved," the traditional end of the mystic journey.  Some think this means that one gives up one's power and thus implies that women, in particular, are in fact being urged to surrender their true identity and instead being reduced to a subordinate role in a human relationship.

Quite the opposite is true.  The "mystic marriage" is one in which the human partner relinquishes the "small self" in order to discover and unite with the "larger self," and thus arrives at a higher state of awareness, as the blissful currents of the cosmos flow in. One thus in effect discovers and experiences an aspect of being which was previously hidden from consciousness.  I cannot imagine a more empowering encounter than this.  We then know the meaning of "unconditional love," the ultimate unfolding of the true self.

Kundalini itself is a prime example of this stage of the mystical journey, one that opens us to bodily bliss and a profound sense of union with the divine.  After such awakening, one surrenders self doubt and becomes free to become whole and integrated at a new level of consciousness, as lover and beloved become one.  We are now embraced by       " one who has no name/ in a place that does not exist."

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Kabir––To be a Slave of Intensity––poem 


To Be a Slave of Intensity

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think. . .and think. . .while you are alive.
What you call “salvation” belongs to the time before death.
If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
do you think
ghosts will do it after?
The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because  the body is rotten–
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of
Death.
If you make love with the divine now, in the next life you
will have the face of satisfied desire.
So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
Believe in the Great Sound!
Kabir says this:  When the Guest is being searched for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that
does all the work.
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.
— Kabir
version by Robert Bly

Friday, January 16, 2015

Krishnamurti--poem 




I have no name (from The Song of Life)

By Jiddu Krishnamurti
(1895 - 1986)



I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.
I have no shelter;
I am as the wandering waters.
I have no sanctuary, like the dark gods;
Nor am I in the shadow of deep temples.
I have no sacred books;
Nor am I well-seasoned in tradition.
I am not in the incense
Mounting on the high altars,
Nor in the pomp of ceremonies.
I am neither in the graven image,
Nor in the rich chant of a melodious voice.
I am not bound by theories,
Nor corrupted by beliefs.
I am not held in the bondage of religions,
Nor in the pious agony of their priests.
I am not entrapped by philosophies,
Nor held in the power of their sects.
I am neither low nor high,
I am the worshipper and the worshipped.
I am free.
My song is the song of the river
Calling for the open seas,
Wandering, wandering,
I am Life.
I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Going––poem by Dorothy 






Going

Now we are going
always into the
darkness which
is light,
into the sound
that is constantly
fading
into silence,
becoming
a fountain of
grief
that is springing
into joy.

Always it is journeying
into a moving
landscape,
the place we have
never been,
the flame
that burns
and shifts
and flares once more,
and we
the silent watchers
who wait their turn.

Dorothy Walters
January 12, 2015





Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Andrew Harvey and Terry Patton offer a Retreat on Death and Rebirth 

From Andrew Harvey:

Join me for a special retreat
View this email in your browser

4 Day Retreat with Terry Patten

Friends,

Please make a great effort to come.  I am very excited to be teaching for the first time with Terry, and we have created, we hope a very exciting adventure. - Andrew

Andrew Harvey and Terry Patten will share their inter-linked visions of the radical evolutionary transformation that is possible and necessary in our remarkable historical moment, through talks, dialogue, and experiential processes.

They will open up one of the most profound narratives of transformation — that of death-and-rebirth, a fractal pattern so profound it is knit into the very fabric of all spiritual paths and narratives of awakening. Transformation can also be expressed as a hero’s journey, as an initiation into true human adulthood, and as a profound love affair with the Divine. But in death-and-rebirth we uniquely encounter the bardo, the gap, the unknown we most fear.

After Death and before Rebirth the soul must navigate the underworld between. Here there is radical purification, the only way to a hope that is stronger than despair — the “Dark Night” process described by Christian mystics. Radical purification, or death, is the prelude to the Phoenix of divine consciousness and radiant embodiment rising from the ashes of the collective and personal “false self”. This is the bitter pill we fear to taste, but it is the elixir, the medicine for what truly ails us in this time.

Andrew Harvey will present his inner journey to Sacred Activism and his vision of Sacred Activism as the birthing-force of a new embodied divine humanity. Terry Patten will present his inner journey into Integral Activism, and his vision of Evolutionary Mutuality. If the next Buddha will be a Sangha, what does this mean for our relationships with one another now?

When:   March 5, 2015 - 6:00pm - March 8, 2015 - 2:00pm
Location
Rudramandir Center
830 Bancroft Way
Berkeley,  CA
United States
See map: Google Maps
Retreat Registration




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Buddha's Advice 






I think that this advice (as reprinted below) is extremely important.  If more people would heed it, they would not fall into the trap of mindlessly following false prophets, charlatan "spiritual teachers," or inauthentic authority figures.  Just because the speaker/teacher is famous and has numerous followers does not guarantee that his/her views are correct, nor does it mean that because a lineage or practice is ancient, it is valid.  Even if the "guru" is sincere, he/she may not be right.

Here is what Buddha said:

Believe nothing,

No matter where you read it,

Or who has said it,

Not even if I have said it,

Unless it agrees with your own reason

And your own common sense.

Buddha

And to the above, we may add the following, including the last words of Buddha ("Be a light unto yourselves.")


"Therefore, Ananda, be a lamp unto yourself, be a refuge to yourself. Take yourself to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the Truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourself. And those, Ananda, who either now or after I am dead shall be a lamp unto themselves, who take themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, shall not look for refuge to anyone beside themselves, it is they who shall reach the highest goal." ~Mahaparinibbana Sutta

I should add that some question the authenticity of this excerpt.  As far as I am concerned, this is invaluable advice and should be heeded by all.




Monday, January 12, 2015

Interesting Thoughts on Kundalini 




https://www.emergingsciences.org/‎

The Emerging Science Foundation website is a most interesting effort to get at some of the basic issues and questions surrounding the Kundalini phenomenon.  It offers, among other things, a complex questionnaire for those who have experienced Kundalini in their lives. It also offers some very interesting discussions on topics surrounding Kundalini, often as summaries of past webinars and various responses.  If you are interested in contemplating these issues with like minded others, you will enjoy this site, which involves a highly cerebral approach to the subject, yet honors the subjective element.  Here is an announcement of an upcoming webinar on the topic of Enlightenment.


Live Webinar: January 31 at 10:00am PST

Webinar: What is Enlightenment?

Dorothy,

Enlightenment, Samadhi, or Christ Consciousness are terms that are often used in religious circles, but could there be an objective, scientifically verifiable reality behind them? In his first webinar, veteran Kundalini activist, researcher, and vedic astrologer Michael Bradford will dispel the most common misconceptions about what it is to be Enlightened, and will show that true Enlightenment is much more than what most people believe it to be.

When it comes to religion and the New Age movement, there is no topic more confused than the subject of Enlightenment. Many well-known pundits today claim Enlightenment is simply a shift of perspective or attitude. Michael Bradford will show that this type of thinking is totally incorrect, and that Enlightenment has a profound biological basis. Michael will show the characteristics of Enlightenment, what seekers of today need to know about the mechanism that produced the enlightened sages and seers of the past, and will provide some basic criteria for assessing whether someone is Enlightened or not.

Register today for this webinar and you will receive:
Reminder emails for the webinar.
Links and access to important resources on the webinar.
Notification when the recorded webinar becomes available online.
Updates on upcoming events.
Register Now


And here is a very interesting idea about allegorical meanings of some common myths:


Much of the iconography in world mythos is used to embody functions within the human body. The theory of biological evolution controlled by Kundalini would help to explain the globally recognized “Virgin Birth” symbolism, as the word “Virgin” symbolizes the inward circulation of sexual energy and its sublimation. The “tree” which so many Gods and saviors are killed or crucified upon is a reference to the cerebrospinal system and denotes the major physiological transformation which occurs after Kundalini ascends upward from the base of the spine to the brain. Kundalini itself is symbolized by the serpent or snake and is the most widespread of all images encountered in mythology, as it denotes  both creation and destruction utilizing the spiral path of prana.
Joseph Alexander, from the webinar, "Reincarnation, Brain Evolution, and Kundalini in Myth"). 

I might add that the snake often occurs in ancient goddess worship as a symbol of rebirth or a source of wisdom.  In the Bible, it is seen as the bringer of evil, and Eve, who is seduced by the snake, becomes the source of all evil in the world.  Hence arises the denigration of females and female systems and the takeover of the patriarchy.  In this view, female equals evil and male equals good.  It also suggests that early patriarchal systems rejected such subjective processes as Kundalini (the mystical) approach because this experience was not controlled by the male hierarchy.

I also am reminded as I read these interesting comments, of what Yeats, the poet, said long ago: "Man can embody truth but never know it." Also of what Tolstoy wrote even earlier: "The kingdom of God is within you."

I think that when we reduce our rationalistic, often highly complex approaches to such mysteries as Kundalini, to their essence, we find that ultimately they are intricate presentations of very simple truths.  "The map is not the territory." The discussion is not the experience.  But it is fun to speculate and such discussions give our minds fodder for thought.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Krishna to Arjuna 




Krishna to Arjuna

Those who desire me
follow in my footsteps
even as these disappear
into the snow.

Those who give me
their love
will be cherished,
as a rare fruit
is sweet
in the mouth.

Those who know me
will be silent
even in the midst
of wisdom sayers
who have little to say.

Dorothy Walters
January 8, 2015

This poem "came through" suddenly this morning as I happened to be reading an excerpt from the Bhagavad Gita in the beautiful translation by Stephen Mitchell:

"Bhagavad Gita"  means the Song of the Blessed One. No one knows when it was written; some scholars date it as early as the fifth century B. C. E., others as late as the first century C. E."

The setting is ancient India. The god called Krishna is offering advice to the young prince/warrior Arjuna, who is about to enter the battle of good vs. evil.

Ultimately, we realize that Krishna is simply the Supreme Lord, even though he might be called by many names.  The Gita is now regarded as one of the most sacred works in human history.

The  poem that appears above is not a translation or version of the Gita, but rather something that was inspired from reading a brief excerpt from this ancient text.  I strongly recommend that you read Mitchell's translation for it is replete with timeless wisdom.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Barbara Marx Hubbard and Human Evolution into a New Species 



For many years, forward thinkers have speculated on the process of human evolution.  These visionaries have included such spiritual leaders as Teilhard de Chardin, Sri Aurobindo, and Gopi Krishna.  All agree that a new type of human is in the making, as we transition into a new level of consciousness and move toward what some call "the divine human."

This evolution is not a mere biological transformation, in the Darwinian sense.  It involves the transformation of spirit and capacities through the operation of Kundalini itself, the governing element which brings the incorporation of higher frequencies into the body, and spiritual transformation into the "more than human" level.

One who subscribes to the theory of a new species coming into being is Barbara Marx Hubbard, who has long been recognized as a leading spokesperson in this field.  In a recent internet talk on this subject, she offered an overview of the many writers and thinkers who have contributed in one way or another to the major shift that is occurring.  Many of these theorists have been around for decades, and each has explored a facet of the change that appears to be happening across the globe, as more and more people are being reshaped into a new configuration. Here are some of the names and topics she mentioned:

Maslow on self-actualization

Prigogine  on moving to a higher level of organization after chaos

Power with rather than power over

Co-creation (humanity and divine purpose)

The feminine principle as a guiding force in human affairs

A quantum field consciousness which allows us to connect with others

The possibility of "pods" of humans vibrating together at higher frequencies

Raising our own frequencies as part of the evolutionary process

Discovering and expressing our creative life purpose

She asserts that many are already undergoing transformation, as numbers swell across the globe.

Often people are doing it in private without the aid of authorities or group endeavors

She sees this phenomenon as part of a universal process of transfiguration and speaks of the participants as Sacred Journeyers.

Actually, many of these insights entered our thought stream decades ago.  Marilyn Ferguson ("The Aquarian Conspiracy") was writing about them as long ago as the seventies.  And, in fact, I was including many of these notions in my courses at that time.

The one least familiar idea (for me) was the concept of "human pods" working together to accelerate the change.  I long ago foresaw that such pods or collectives might form in the spirit world, so as to serve humanity in a more effective way, but I had not considered such groups operating in contemporary society.

I also feel that Ms. Hubbard failed to address what to me is an essential part of inner transformation, and that is the actual feeling level of the process.  She does not include this highly subjective inner response to the personal transition, notably the bliss that accompanies the embodiment of higher energies through merger with the Beloved Within. She also overlooks the actual changes that occur in the nervous system, which now becomes ever more sensitive and aware.  Nor does she credit the role of Kundalini, which I feel, along with Gopi Krishna, is the vital instrument of transformation.  She also fails to address the challenges of the journey, as the person struggles to incorporate the new frequencies into their nervous and biological systems.

Evolution does not occur as a sudden leap from one level of functioning to the next.  It is a long and sometimes difficult process as humanity strives to move ahead, person by person, toward the goal of becoming a new species.

Shift Network will present a repeat of the talk I heard on this coming Saturday.  Here are the details for listening:

Here are all the details for Saturday's encore:
The Conscious Evolutionary 2.0: How to Ride the Edge of Evolution into Your Full Potential

With Barbara Marx Hubbard, Bestselling Author & Evolutionary Consciousness Pioneer
Saturday, January 10, 2015
10:00am Pacific | 1pm Eastern

Call in details:

Dial (425) 440-5100 and enter the PIN 498523#
Or connect to the webcast at http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventid=63346404

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Flashback into the Past 



We often hear about memories of past life experiences.  Some of us (including me) have clear recollections of who and where we were in one or another of our past lives.  For me, it included a memory of being an orphan in eastern Tibet who escaped a cruel master and fled to a monastery two days away, where he was accepted and given a job of collecting yak dung for fuel, an assignment he was thrilled with, for he now "had a job."

 Another was a memory of traveling with my family to be present at the famous water festival celebration for King George I.

Here is wikipedia's description of this event: "The first performance of the Water Music suites is recorded in the Daily Courant, a London newspaper. At about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 17 July 1717, King George I and several aristocrats boarded a royal barge at Whitehall Palace for an excursion up the Thames toward Chelsea. The rising tide propelled the barge upstream without rowing. Another barge provided by the City of London contained about fifty musicians who performed Handel's music. Many other Londoners also took to the river to hear the concert. According to the Courant, 'the whole River in a manner was covered' with boats and barges."

As I listened this morning to Handel's famous piece, something told me that I had been there to witness this spectacular event. I was a girl about 14, daughter of a poor farmer.  We loaded our flat bed wagon early (say, about 2:30 a. m.) and arrived in time to get a prime viewing position for the passage of the king and his retinue.  For me, this was the key event of my life, surpassing the excitement of getting married, having children and grandchildren.

But this morning, something a bit different happened.  I was listening to Handel's Royal Fireworks music (for George II, 1749) when, I realized how totally thrilled the musicians (especially the brass section) were to be included in this––or perhaps it was the Water Music–– performance.  They had practiced alone and with the full orchestra for countless hours, in order to offer a perfect tribute.  They wore splendid uniforms, freshly made, for this august occasion.  This presentation was the highlight of their careers, the pinnacle of their musical experience.

As I felt their exaltation, I noticed my own energies beginning to come through, sweet but lovely, and, as I often do, I moved my hands near and around my throat and head, allowing the subtle bliss to follow as I went.  As happens so often, it felt as though I was "stroking my aura," producing soft tender delight everywhere my hands went.

These states are difficult to describe, but they are lovely to experience.  I do not think I was actually a member of this orchestra, but I "felt" the inner thrill of the performers.  It was like a "glimpse" into the state of consciousness of someone from an earlier era.


Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Spiritual vs. Religious 


(from the N. Y.Times, reprinted on Contemplative Journal)
Examining the Growth of the ‘Spiritual but Not Religious’

By MARK OPPENHEIMER


“Spiritual but not religious.” So many Americans describe their belief system this way that pollsters now give the phrase its own category on questionnaires. In the 2012 survey by the Pew Religion and Public Life Project, nearly a fifth of those polled said that they were not religiously affiliated — and nearly 37 percent of that group said they were “spiritual” but not “religious.” It was 7 percent of all Americans, a bigger group than atheists, and way bigger than Jews, Muslims or Episcopalians. . . .

Linda A. Mercadante, who teaches at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio contests that description (book referenced earlier) of the spiritual but not religious. In “Beliefs Without Borders: Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but Not Religious” (Oxford), published in March, she makes the case that spiritual people can be quite deep theologically.

An ordained Presbyterian minister whose father was Catholic and whose mother was Jewish, Dr. Mercadante went through a spiritual but not religious period of her own — although she now attends a Mennonite church. For her project, she interviewed 85 S.B.N.R.s, then used computer programs to help analyze transcripts of those interviews. She found that these spiritual people also thought about death, the afterlife and other profound subjects.

For example, “they reject heaven and hell, but they do believe in an afterlife,” Dr. Mercadante said recently. “In some ways, they would fit O.K. in a progressive Christian context.” Because they dislike institutions, the spiritual but not religious also recoil from the deities such institutions are built around. “They may like Jesus, he might be their guru, he might be one of their many bodhisattvas, but Jesus as God is not on their radar screen,” Dr. Mercadante said.

When Courtney Bender, now teaching at Columbia, went looking for spiritual but not religious people in Cambridge, Mass., where she was then living, she found them not on solitary nature walks but in all sorts of groups — which complicates the stereotype of them as anti-institutional loners. She described her findings in “The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination” (Chicago, 2010).

They “participated in everything from mystical discussion groups to drumming circles to yoga classes,” Dr. Bender said in an interview. And her finding that spirituality “is not sui generis,” but rather learned in communities that persist over time, actually runs contrary to spiritual people’s conceptions of themselves, she said. “There is something in the theology of spiritual groups that actually refocuses their practitioners from thinking about how they fit into a long continuous spirituality.”

In other words, their self-image “makes them think, ‘I don’t need history, I don’t need the past,’ ” Dr. Bender said, adding that they think, “I am not religious, which is about the past — I am spiritual, about the present.”

Yet people who call themselves spiritual are actually embedded in communal practices, albeit not churches or religious denominations. Dr. Bender found them in “alternative and complementary medicine,” for example. “So people would encounter this stuff in the shiatsu massage clinic, or going to an acupuncturist,” she said.

“Another one that is very important is the arts,” she added. “People involved in everything from painting and dance” would also end up discussing their conception of the divine.

So is spirituality solitary or communal? Is it theologically engaged or just focused on “nature” and “gratitude,” as Ms. Daniel worries? To judge from “A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World” (Gotham, 2014), by Thomas Moore, whose “Care of the Soul” is one of the best-selling self-help books ever, spirituality can be whatever one makes it. In his guide to developing a custom spirituality, he encourages people to draw on religion, antireligion — whatever works for them.

“Every day I add another piece to the religion that is my own,” Dr. Moore writes. “It’s built on years of meditation, chanting, theological study and the practice of therapy — to me a sacred activity.”

At the very least, we might conclude that “spiritual but not religious” isn’t necessarily vague or wishy-washy. It’s not nothing, although it may risk being everything.

mark.e.oppenheimer@gmail.com




Monday, January 05, 2015

Mirabai Starr on Buddha at the Gas Pump (November 5, 2013) 




This hour long interview is perhaps the best summing up of the interspiritual/mystical approach that one might find.  Mirabai Starr is that rarest of all beings, a truly wise women.  She explains in easily understandable language the difference between religion and spirituality, the meaning of "interspiritual" as opposed to "interfaith."  The former refers to the uncovering and experiencing of the essence of various traditions, whereas in interfaith presentations, representatives of various religions meet and explain the perspective of their own faith beliefs to others so that these may have a better understanding.

She firmly believes that experience is indeed primary over thought constructs.  Thus the practices of many diverse lineages can bring the practitioner closer to the goal of divine union than can discussion about or attempts at definition of such notions as " duality vs. nondual."  She feels that nondualism is itself a dualistic concept.  For the mystic, union with the beloved is the goal, a state to be experienced, not intellectualized.

She asserts that deep meditative states (of many kinds) lead naturally to a dedication to service to better the state of the world.  Thus outer action is an outgrowth of inner transformation in a natural process.

Mirabai comes to her present interspiritual perspective as a product of her family background and her exposure as a child to many, many faiths.  Her mother and father were (secular) New York Jews (hippies) who transplanted the family to Taos, New Mexico, where many faiths intermingled and existed in harmony.  Nearby was Ram Dass' Lama foundation where diverse faiths and beliefs systems were represented.  Mirabai was thus exposed to many systems of thought and religious traditions. When Mirabai was in school in Taos, her teachers included many well known spiritual leaders such as Pema Chodron and others of that rank.  Her English teacher was Natalie Goldberg ("Writing Down the Bones").

Mirabai has done many translations of great spiritual beings who were themselves profound mystics.  She herself learned much from these teachers.  She said that when she translated St. Teresa of Avila, she felt a deep connection with Teresa's spirit and inner being.

I rate Mirabai Starr as one of the major spiritual teachers of our time.  The opportunity to listen to her as she reveals her inmost beliefs in this way is a rare chance to learn from a truly wise woman.  I cannot recommend this presentation highly enough.  Make it a top priority on your list!  And listen more than once if you can.  It is packed with jewels to be had for the taking.

The interview is available as video and audio at Buddha at the Gas Pump through ITunes.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Kundalini and Wonder 




Recently, as I was browsing the internet, I came upon this comment and it seemed to me that these words might apply to Kundalini as well as wonder.  Indeed, we cannot plan our Kundalini experiences any more than we can "plan a surprise for ourselves."  Each visitation is a joy that seems to be orchestrated elsewhere.  We can receive the "gift" with gratitude, but we cannot "make it happen."  Each encounter "jolts us out of the world of common sense."  Kundalini introduces us to "some new dimension of meaning," and, although each episode is accompanied by wonder, the experience reaches beyond the familiar world (of wonder) into a reality that is, finally, ineffable.

It is difficult to explain these states to others who have not shared similar experiences: it is like trying to explain color to someone who is blind, or sound to one who is deaf.  It exists in a separate category of knowing, like a sixth sense, or a capacity to see angels, things invisible to ordinary perception.

Keen (l969/l973) in his “Apology for Wonder” sums up wonder like this:

Wonder breaks into consciousness with a dramatic suddenness that produces amazement or astonishment.  We can no more create a state of wonderment than we can plan a surprise for ourselves. . . ..wonder reduces us momentarily to silence.  We associate gaping, breathlessness, bewilderment, an even stupor with wonder, because it jolts us out of the world of common sense in which our language is at home. . . . .We are silent before some new dimension of meaning which is being revealed


Thursday, January 01, 2015

Jan Phillips––Preparing for the Sacrament of Holy Unity (poem) 

Jan Phillips is one of the most significant spiritual teachers/voices of our time.  I highly recommend that you check out her website at www.janphillips.com/‎  It is filled with wise and delightful writings.  She "gets it" and describes it in beautiful language.  Especially note her "Interview with Jesus" as if by Jon Stewart on her Museletter, September, 2010.
She is filled with life and creativity, and inspires us to be the same.

 Preparing for the Sacrament of Holy Unity


I will need a birch tree, a maple, a redwood, a white pine, a sequoia, a
cedar, a palm tree.


I want soil from Nigeria, Palestine, the Himalayas, Mississippi,
Auschwitz, Newtown, Alcatraz.


I want water from the Ganges River, Glacier Bay, the Sea of Galilee, the
Tigris and Euphrates, the Pacific and the Atlantic, the River Jordan,
the Dead Sea, Lake Bonaparte.


I want air from Kathmandu, Calcutta, Cairo, Nazareth, Athens, the Arctic
Circle,
Mexico City, Port-au-Prince, Baghdad, Kabul.


I want near me a bison, a wolf, an eagle, a silverback gorilla, a
giraffe, a kitten, a
fawn, a black bear, a polar bear, a golden retriever.


From the waters, I want a humpback whale, a porpoise, a sea turtle, a
manta ray, a
flounder, a harp seal.


From the heavens I want a comet, a rainbow, a lightning bolt, a blue
moon, a summer
storm, a snowy night, a mauve and golden sunrise.


I want fire from my morning candle, the farthest star in the Milky Way,
a campfire
in the Adirondacks, the altar at St. Joseph's Provincial House, the
funeral pyres in
Varanasi, the Buddhist temples in Kyoto.


I want a vestment made of materials from Gujarat, India; Lhasa, Tibet;
Cape Town,
South Africa; St. John's, Newfoundland; Oslo, Norway; northern Ireland;
central
Australia; East Germany; and South Central Los Angeles.


I want co-celebrants from an Ethiopian village, a Harlem tenement, a
nursing home in Selma, a prisoner in Guantanamo, a Harvard Law class,
the Smokey Mountain garbage dump in Manila, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


I want bread kneaded and pressed by the hands of millionaires,
chambermaids,
sherpas, Bolivian tin workers, emigrants and immigrants from a hundred
countries,
three Fortune 500 CEOs, nine Exxon board members, 14 Chicago gang
members,
and seven out of work shrimpers from the Gulf of Mexico.


I want a choir of Chinese peasants, Israeli kindergartners, Japanese
Bonsai masters,
Navajo weavers, Zuni potters, Tlingit totem pole makers, and African
diamond miners.


Once assembled, we will celebrate the sacrament that contains them all.
We will sing till the earth wobbles in her orbit, give praise and thanks
till wine runs from the sugar maple. We will bow to the holiness we see
in each other forgiving the past, blessing the present, committing to a
future that is good for everyone.
And this will be the sacrament of Holy Unity
a welcome to the dawning of an Uncommon Era.


- Jan Phillips


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

May Sarton––Christmas Light––poem 




Christmas Light

When everyone had gone
I sat in the library
With the small silent tree,
She and I alone.
How softly she shone!

And for the first time then
For the first time this year,
I felt reborn again,
I knew love's presence near.

Love distant, love detached
And strangely without weight,
Was with me in the night
When everyone had gone
And the garland of pure light
Stayed on, stayed on.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

John O'Donohue––Beannacht (Blessing) 


Beannacht
("Blessing")

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

- John O'Donohue

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