Kundalini Splendor

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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

A Constant Presence 

This sweet
around my heart--
It is my way
of saying thank you
for your constant coming,
for my being able
to open to your presence,
your willingness
to enter by this gate.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Some Days

Some days
I am not sure
whether to feel
the breath--
that dear sweet
or write about it
in these special words.

Either way,
it is you coming round
telling me once more
you are always near.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

What the Chakras Really Are 

You want the chakras
to be symbols
each one,
with colors, numbers,
all its own

You assign them a position
in the hierarchy
of things that are
lower and higher,
debased to exalted,
inferior to supreme.

I say each is a door,
an entrance for joy,
an opening where love
can smite you
again and again
until you faint
with delight,
until you amaze yourself
with what you are feeling,
like a plucked string,
within the instrument
you have become.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Monday, June 28, 2004

Boulder Poems 

I have just returned from a visit to Boulder (Colorado) and will be posting some of the poems I wrote there in the next few entries.

I noticed that during my trip the Kundalini spoke occasionally (as a very soft "brightening" in the root or head.) The first time was on the plane going from San Francisco to Denver. A couple with a very small child sat next to me. As the mother and child sat down, I noticed a very pleasant sensation in my head--not ecstatic, but a gentle sense of rightness or quiet release. I sensed that her energies (or else her child's) were very well balanced, and indeed, she was a delightful travel companion.

Then, in Boulder, I noticed a sweet opening in the root when I opened an older translation of Hafiz in a bookstore. Of course, with that signal, I purchased the book. A similarly pleasurable (but subtle) opening occurred when I perused a journal published by a local ashram (and I bought that too.) And, once again, the same thing happened when I stopped to listen to a street musician from Chile or Peru playing the "high energy" music of the Andes, with the pan flute and small stringed instrument. He was quite wonderful.

I am always surprised and pleased when the energetic presence makes itself known in such subtle ways, as if to say, I am here too, with you and guiding you, part of your own inner consciousness and connection, even when you are mostly unaware.

The Truth About Chakras

Do not say,
This part is
this spiritual,
this one is higher,
this lower--
Quit trying to find
new ways
to cut yourself in two.

When god made you
he blessed every part,
head, soles and everything
in between.

Then he kissed you again
all over
as you were being born.

Now something lives within,
shy serpent self
who stirs and awakens only
from his constant need
to pierce,
to claim,
and let his hidden sweetness

copyright, Dorothy Walters

More on the Chakras

Who is to say
which is the higher,
which the lower?

Everywhere is
a receptacle
brimming with joy,
like basins of different
shapes and colors
set out to gether rain.

When god
that insistent suitor
drops in
he doesn't care
which door
he enters by,
which vessels
collect his love.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Friday, June 18, 2004

Only the Silence  

I had to go in so deep
that almost no one
could follow me.

What I dealt with
was not things or substances,
or even dream images,
uncertain reflections.

There was nothing to mirror,
no object to depict,
stripped clean,
bare to the bone,
only the silence was real.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Thursday, June 17, 2004

More Morning Poems 

The Novice's Prayer

Let me
put my foot
only in your footsteps
and feel with you as we go.

May I raise my arm
through the very air currents
which flow unceasing
around your body
and enter me as love.

Let my breath
become pure,
a fit vehicle
for your inspiration,
infusion of primal joy,
and exhalation,
by which the worlds are made.

Someday I will
see your face,
discover your name.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

The Wildflower

You are not Jesus.
You are not Brahma.
Even great Buddha
with his mystic smile
cannot contain you.

You are the delicate scent
of a wildflower
which escapes the desert,
overflows the world,
perfuming everything
in its path
with secret love.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

A Feathery Token 

Let the heart
speak its own desire.

When it is sad,
do not force it
to sing hosannas and hymns of joy.

And when it is leaping upward
in its rapture of
a newly discovered passion,
do not enroll it
in a choir practicing
lamentations for a world
which is falling apart.

The heart knows what it wants:


This advice is free,
dropped lightly into your palm
like a feathery token
from a beautiful unseen bird.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Monday, June 14, 2004

Waking Thoughts from the Inner Voice 

A new language

coming in silhouettes

carved on the heart.


Such beauty is attainable

only in the richness

of life itself.


O, Shiva,

you have torn my veils

and laid me here,

frozen, quivering,

wondering, What next?

What next?

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Are the Chakras Real? 

Some writers insist that the chakras are not in fact "real" as actual centers of subtle feeling, but are merely abstractions or intellectual conventions. I think these are analysts who have not themselves experienced the wondrous power of the chakras as they awaken in blissful pulsation. If they had even once felt such profound rapture, they would no longer question.

Others want to arrange the chakras in an ordered hierarchy, from base to crown, sometimes even deprecating the lower chakras as aspects of "the animal nature" which we must strive to transcend. For me, each chakra is a locale which god (the goddess/the divine energetic) loves to visit. This energy seems to flow impartially in lower and higher, though it is true we become aware of the "lower" centers earlier in our development. But none is more or less worthy than another. I think of the chakras like notes on a flute, some higher, some lower, all capable of expanding into effulgent beauty.

The primary difference, I believe, is that the energy of the higher chakras draws us closer to pure consciousness, where the distinction between observer and thing observed dissolves. When rapture is awakened in the root, we are well aware that something is happening to some part of "us." At the crown, we and what we are experiencing are one.

Women, in particular, have struggled to recapture their needful connection with the creative earth energies associatead with the lower chakras. The right to survive, the right to experience the full joy of the body, the right to assert one's needs before the world--these have been brought into sharp focus in recent years through feminism. (Many yogic systems associate these capacities with the first three chakras.) Likewise the heart which opens to compassion, the throat which pours forth its own artistic expressions, the "third eye" which begets the capacity for intuitive perception--all of these are important segments of the whole.

But the chakra is more than a symbolic expression of a human trait. Each is a place which feels, and such feeling brings awareness of our lost birthright, "bliss consciousness."

At the crown, one discovers that one does not exist, after all. The only reality is overwhelming love. In that embrace, the seeker knows at last who she is, the truth of her own being, which is itself a manifestation of divine love.


Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Radiant Breath 

A few days ago, I attended a one day workshop with a martial arts master who taught the class how to breathe. For me, it was quite instructive. He took us through the practice of deep abdominal breathing, where the breath is lifted in succession to the middle and then the top of the lungs. We felt our bodies expand as we followed his instruction. We then practiced breathing in time with a tape he had produced, so that the inflow and outflow were easy and symmetrical.

Now, it is not unusual to learn abdominal breathing. The part that struck me was that as I deeply inhaled and then released, I felt very lovely energies flow through my body, especially the torso and neck. I felt that these were the healthy, life giving energies of the vital chi, and that by continuing the practice, I would be both energized and strengthened.

When I did the exerices at home, I felt even more. Indeed, the resul was something approaching bliss. I felt very lucky to have received such a gift, something tangible to take home and perhaps experience daily.

But today, I began with a sinus headache (the weather is changing, and the atmospheric pressure is shifting). Try as I might, the pressure and pain did not lessen. I was disappointed, for I knew from past experience that deep breathing, of whatever kind, often helps with some of the more mysterious symptoms of kundalini. It was only after I stopped (after some 30 or 40 minutes of practice), that the presuure cleared. Now I don't know whether relief came from the breathing or some of the "remedies" I took (herbs, aspirin, the waterless vaporizer I recently purchased.)

What I do know is this : kundalini itself does not produce a perfect body. One continues to have the usual ups and downs, the aches and pains just like any of the others engaged on this common human journey. One's nervous system is, however, refined and sensitized so that both pleasure and pain are sometimes magnified, often in astonishing ways. The pleasure can be immense. The pain, likewise, can be impressive. However, there is no denying that it is a fascinating journey, that one moves always forward with a great sense of privilege and purpose, even though the ultimate goal is never totally clear. One notices and wonders, enters stage after stage of development, always with constantly renewed respect for the Mystery, which directs the overall scheme.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

There is no Ecstasy in Robert Frost 

No matter where you look,
she tells us (that poet
we love so well),
regardless of how many lines or levels
you explore,
there is no ecstasy in Robert Frost.

Beauty, yes,
darkness, in abundance.
And emptiness--
the nothingness
of endless space unfilled
and unfulfilling.

Only the ache and pull
of something
that allures,
yet remains unknown.
The woods
with their siren call
pulling us inward toward
some silent unseen thing,
some fearful
unnamed god in waiting..

Part of us longs to enter,
explore this veiled epiphany.
The voice of caution
holds us back,
leaves us gazing
from the edge of safety,
then turns us toward the place of
friends, reassuring fires,
comfort of familiar smiles and voices.

Once more,the lure of safety
carries the day:
Too much daring,
excess of passion,
can split the soul,
make us blind,
climber trapped in gathering ice,
moth caught stranded
in sputtering flame.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Nice Is Not Enough 

Last night I went to hear a famous spiritual teacher speak at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Grace Cathedral is vast. It holds many hundreds of people and was filled to capacity. I felt honored to be in the company of so many "serious" seekers, persons sufficiently dedicated to the search for spiritual connection that they had come to enjoy this evening of communion together.

The speaker, a major leader in her (Buddhist) tradition, was a very nice person. She spoke calmly and coherently about her topic, which was, essentially, how to avoid feeling aggressive when others confront or insult you. Yet, as her talk unfolded, I began to feel more and more as if I were back in my little midwestern home town, hearing a lesson in Sunday School. The emphasis seemed to be on personal psychology. In fact, the presentation was more like a self-help session (how can I deal with my own anger, frustration, lack of self-esteem, resentment, etc.) than an exploration of serious spiritual issues.

The overall effect was that of "bland." No one could take offense, no one could seriously disagree with the premises. But I kept wondering, whatever happened to the passion of the ancient founders of her lineage? Where was the mystery and intensity of the shamanic tradition from which it derived? Where was the sense of mystical connection as the primary token of authentic spiritual experiences? These were recipes for social interaction, not revelations of the divine. Whatever became of ecstasy? Where was transcendence?

Now, instead of bland, what I yearn for is the "passionate intensity" of the awakened mystic. By this, I am not calling for people who become fanatics or zealots, who act out or contrive to insert drama into everyday experience. But I am longing for what the poets, at least, have often sought, a real, deeply felt, totally alive connection with something of great significance beyond the level of the mundane. I am convinced that transcendence is possible, at least in our most splendid moments. Life is not a pleasant game of chess, but a dance full of unexpected turns and events,
all calling us to discover unexplored regions of our own spirit, sometimes involving the extremities of both beatitude and pain.

We face overwhelming problems in our world. We need daring leadership, persons of integrity and fierce vision for whom "nice" is not enough. We need to open ourselves to what T. S. Eliot called, "the awful daring of a moment's surrender." For many of us, kundalini offers such a moment, such an opportunity of surrender.

When You Move

When you move
through my body
it is then I know.

All the arguments
and persuasions
which try to prove
whether it is
or is not,
whether you are
or are not
part of the
fade away to nothingness,
dust particles dissolved
in a light summer rain.

Then I forget everything,
even the name
for what is happening,
my breath,
your kisses everywhere.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Stages of Belief 

I am trying to construct a paradigm to help understand the various stages and varieties (or at least some) of religious/spiritual belief. What I have come up with is tentative, at best, and is not intended to be a final classification or description.

1. The beginning stage is that of unquestioning belief. This level embraces various groups, from the naive primitive accepting the worship practices of the tribe, to the believer in modern society, who accepts the authority of his received tradition, without challenging or confronting its premises. The obedient followers of the "church," (of whatever stripe) as well as the "born agains" of certain traditions fall here. These represent those who long for authority to bequeathe them a final truth, which requires no effort of mental scrutiny on their part.

Truth here is very simple. All is divided into black vs. white, good vs. evil, and us vs. them. They often consider themselves the chosen ones, and some in contemporary times insist that the end of the world will soon occur, themselves being the sole remnant which to be "saved." Often these are very good people individually--they will help you in your need, succor you when you are ill, etc. But their credo brooks no violation of belief or prescribed code of behavior.

2. Here are those who have outgrown or renounced their early heritage, and have found nothing to replace it. Some rank high on the intellectual scale. Often they become the "scoffers and skeptics," who belittle and deride anyone who takes the spiritual search as well as the actuality of the divine seriously. They are in fact very hurt by their loss of an earlier idealism, which lurks in their consciousness as a kind of betrayal. They defend themselves by their scorn.

Another category of the "disillusioned idealist" includes many of the great contributors to overall social good. These have lost their early naieve faith, and now commit themselves to the betterment of human kind, actually enacting the precepts of most religious systems without embracing the philocophy. They are the "secular humanists" who so disturb the committed believers.

Yet another group consists of those who still grieve consciously for the loss of their original faith, now lost forever. They yearn for some sort of renewed commitment, but have found none.

And still another segment turns from "relidion" in the traditional sense to "spirituality" as pictured by many of the "New Age" adherents. Often these categorically reject all systems which emphasize the negatives--suffering, pain, the possibility of personal disaster--and insist that reality has no shadow. All is love and light at every moment, and to verify this, just think it so.

3. A final category embraces those who, by some miracle of grace, transcend these earlier mind states and find a basis for belief, though the premise of this conviction is never spelled out in full. This is the high mystic path, founded on a stable mental foundation, which neither rejects nor insists on its own claims for authenticity, but follows the dictates of the heart. These possess, in Thoreau's words, an "innocence purified by experience." They are neither naive nor among the totally disillusioned. They are firm in their faith that "something is there," and serve as both observer and receptor of the gifts it brings.

To arrive at this state may take a lifetime of yearning and preparation. No one can bestow it on another. A major life transforming experience may be evoke such transfiguration. Yet more and more are reporting such awakenings, which some tie to the ongoing evolution of consciousness.

Is kundalini its engine? To doubt after such transcendent awareness becomes near impossible. Certainly, the kundalini experience carries one to a new level of perception, of conviction, and of gratitude. But no one can yet fully explain the mechanism or meaning of the kundalini transformation. As Yests observed, "Man can enbody truth but never know it." This, I think, is the true definition of the mystical experience--which offers proof on the level of feeling which no assault of intellect can diminish or destroy.

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