Kundalini Splendor

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Practicing the Austerities 

Practicing the Austerities

They have their
nadis and their citrinis.

I have my living room bliss,

They arrange their bodies
in circles,
turn their legs into bent pins.

I stand quietly
letting the music streams
flow through.

They perform strange ablutions,
carefully control what they eat.

Each day I brush my teeth
and shower, that's it.

Sometimes I even drink wine,
eat a bite of fish.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Our Greatest Fear 

I discovered the following quotation on an interesting blog site from Thomas Bryner:


Thomas was kind enough to write to say he read my blog as well, and I appreciated knowing that he was part of the audience of this site.

The following was written by Marianne Williamson in her 1992 book "Return to Love" (it is sometimes mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela):

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Mirabai and Sacred Poetry 

I just spent well over an hour composing a post having to do with Mirabai, who often wrote of sacred union, and also of the pain of separation when the beloved seemed to disappear. Just as I was about to finish, the entire post somehow vanished before my eyes, and left me with a blank page. So I am left with the puzzlement and pain of "loss and separation", a small "dark night of the soul," in fact.

I also had mentioned the inspiration I received on Sunday from participating in a small group reading of sacred poetry. The experience reminded me that poetry itself was in its origins a sacred performance, not a product for critical analysis. Poetry has great "shakti power" if we will let it.

So--today--I suggest you take down your favorite poet and read some selections aloud to yourself a few times, and see how they resonates within.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Krishnamurti on "Truth is a Pathless Land" 

Krishnamurti, one of the famed spiritual teachers of the last century, was originally hailed as the "World Teacher" which many had been awaiting. He served as the head of the international organization called the Order of the Star. What follows is his speech to his followers, when he decided to abdicate his position as head and as an infallible authority governing other people's lives. His message corresponds in many ways with what Andrew Harvey calls "The Direct Path" and what others of us think of as the voice of the "guru within." Somehow, I also connect such thoughts with the independent thinkers of previous times, such as Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman, who also called for reecognition of internal as opposed to external guides. Ultimately what he speaks of is the path of the true mystic, who listens to the voice within rather than follow the strictures of institutional authority.

We are going to discuss this morning the dissolution of the Order of the Star. Many will be delighted, and others will be rather sad. It
is a question neither for rejoicing nor for sadness, because it is
inevitable, as I am going to explain. . . .

I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it
by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my
point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally.
Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path
whatsoever, cannot be organised; nor should any organisation be
formed to lead or coerce people along any particular path. If you
first understand that, then you will see how impossible it is to
organise a belief. A belief is purely an individual matter, and you
cannot and must not organise it. If you do, it becomes dead,
crystallised; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed
o others.

This is what everyone throughout the world is attempting to do. Truth
is narrowed down and made a plaything for those who are weak, for
those who are only momentarily discontented. Truth cannot be brought
down, rather the individual must make the effort to ascend to it. You
cannot bring the mountain-top to the valley....

So that is the first reason, from my point of view, why the Order of
the Star should be dissolved. In spite of this, you will probably
form other Orders, you will continue to belong to other organisations
searching for Truth. I do not want to belong to any organisation of a
spiritual kind; please understand this. . . .

If an organisation be created for this purpose, it becomes a crutch,
a weakness, a bondage, and must cripple the individual, and prevent
him from growing, from establishing his uniqueness, which lies in the
discovery for himself of that absolute, unconditioned Truth. So that
is another reason why I have decided, as I happen to be the Head of
the Order, to dissolve it.

This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I
mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. I
am not concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I
want to do a certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with
unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one
essential thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all
cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to
establish new theories and new philosophies. Then you will naturally
ask me why I go the world over, continually speaking. I will tell you
for what reason I do this; not because I desire a following, not
because I desire a special group of special disciples. (How men love
to be different from their fellow-men, however ridiculous, absurd and
trivial their distinctions, may be! I do not want to encourage that
absurdity.) I have no disciples, no apostles, either on earth or in
the realm of spirituality.

Nor is it the lure of money, nor the desire to live a comfortable
life, which attracts me. If I wanted to lead a comfortable life I
would not come to a Camp or live in a damp country! I am speaking
frankly because I want this settled once and for all. I do not want
these childish discussions year after year.

A newspaper reporter, who interviewed me, considered it a magnificent
act to dissolve an organisation in which there were thousands and
thousands of members. To him it was a great act because he
said: "What will you do afterwards, how will you live? You will have
no following, people will no longer listen to you." If there are only
five people who will listen, who will live, who have their faces
turned towards eternity, it will be sufficient. Of what use is it to
have thousands who do not understand, who are fully embalmed in
prejudice, who do not want the new, but would rather translate the
new to suit their own sterile, stagnant selves? . . .

Because I am free, unconditioned, whole, not the part, not the
relative, but the whole Truth that is eternal, I desire those, who
seek to understand me, to be free, not to follow me, not to make out
of me a cage which will become a religion, a sect. Rather should they
be free from all fears - from the fear of religion, from the fear of
salvation, from the fear of spirituality, from the fear of love, from
the fear of death, from the fear of life itself. As an artist paints
a picture because he takes delight in that painting, because it is
his self-expression, his glory, his well-being, so I do this and not
because I want any thing from anyone. You are accustomed to
authority, or to the atmosphere of authority which you think will
lead you to spirituality. You think and hope that another can, by his
extraordinary powers - a miracle - transport you to this realm of
eternal freedom which is Happiness. Your whole outlook on life is
based on that authority.

You have listened to me for three years now, without any change
taking place except in the few. Now analyse what I am saying, be
critical, so that you may understand thoroughly, fundamentally. . . .

For eighteen years you have been preparing for this event, for the
Coming of the World Teacher. For eighteen years you have organised,
you have looked for someone who would give a new delight to your
hearts and minds, who would transform your whole life, who would give
you a new understanding; for someone who would raise you to a new
plane of life, who would give you new encouragement, who would set
you free - and now look what is happening! Consider, reason with
yourselves, and discover in what way that belief has made you
different - not with the superficial difference of the wearing of a
badge, which is trivial, absurd. In what manner has such a belief
swept away all unessential things of life? That is the only way to
judge: in what way are you freer, greater, more dangerous to every
society which is based on the false and the unessential? In what way
have the members of this organisation of the Star become
different? . . . .

You are all depending for your spirituality on someone else, for your
happiness on someone else, for your enlightenment on someone else... .
when I say look within yourselves for the enlightenment, for the
glory, for the purification, and for the incorruptibility of the
self, not one of you is willing to do it. There may be a few, but
very, very few. So why have an organisation?. . .

No man from outside can make you free; nor can organised worship, nor
the immolation of yourselves for a cause, make you free; nor can
forming yourselves into an organisation, nor throwing yourselves into
work, make you free. You use a typewriter to write letters, but you
do not put it on an alter and worship it. But that is what you are
doing when organisations become your chief concern. "How many members
are there in it?" That is the first question I am asked by all
newspaper reporters. "How many followers have you? By their number we
shall judge whether what you say is true or false." I do not know how
many there are. I am not concerned with that. If there were even one
man who had been set free, that were enough. . . .

Again, you have the idea that only certain people hold the key to the
Kingdom of Happiness. No one holds it. No one has the authority to
hold that key. That key is your own self, and in the development and
the purification and in the incorruptibility of that self alone is
the Kingdom of Eternity. . . .

You have been accustomed to being told how far you have advanced,
what is your spiritual status. How childish! Who but yourself can
tell you if you are incorruptible?. . .

But those who really desire to understand, who are looking to find
that which is eternal, without a beginning and without an end, will
walk together with greater intensity, will be a danger to everything
that is unessential, to unrealities, to shadows. And they will
concentrate, they will become the flame, because they understand.
Such a body we must create, and that is my purpose. Because of that
true friendship - which you do not seem to know - there will be real
co-operation on the part of each one. And this not because of
authority, not because of salvation, but because you really
understand, and hence are capable of living in the eternal. This is a
greater thing than all pleasure, than all sacrifice.

So those are some of the reasons why, after careful consideration for
two years, I have made this decision. It is not from a momentary
impulse. I have not been persuaded to it by anyone - I am not
persuaded in such things. For two years I have been thinking about
this, slowly, carefully, patiently, and I have now decided to disband
the Order, as I happen to be its Head. You can form other
organisations and expect someone else. With that I am not concerned,
nor with creating new cages, new decorations for those cages. My only
concern is to set men absolutely, unconditionally free.

(Thanks to Elizabeth Reninger, who supplied this article.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

More on Angels 

On Noting the Presence of Angels

A lot of it has to do with brightness,
fixed attention,
a moment of grace.

As, say, when the seagulls
start circling against the sun
and you suddenly see through their bodies,
translucent, clear,
luminous descent,
feathered light.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Monday, February 14, 2005

A Brief Moment of Grace 

This is Valentine's day. Here is how mine arrived this morning.

Today, because it was a bit cold, I decided to do my chi gong stretching in the kitchen, rather than in my usual place. As I did my movements, I glanced down on Nora's (Nora is my dog) water disch--and voila!--there was a perfectly shaped yin-yang symbol seeming to "float" on the bottom of the metal dish, complete with the dot to indicate the beginning of change in the midst of the full unfoldment of the contrary sign.

I took this as a very good omen--that here, in the midst of chaos and confusion and the disarray revealed each day in the monrning's headlines, a new impulse is forming. As I watched the symbol in the water, I saw this center dot grow larger--just as the current spiritual renewal is growing in intensity each day. And--as it grew even loarger, it seemed to lose its dark center. I felt that this could be taken as a warning--that too much public display of an intrinsically esoteric mode, too much commercialization and trivialization of the essence, would diminish its spiritual power, and it, too, would become a hollow movement, devoid of any real postency for effectual change.

I then experimented to see if I could see this symbol from other angles (oddly, I wrote angels in the original text)--the answer was no. As with the pigeons in the park, I had to be in the right moment at the right time, a moment which will likely never again repeat.

But what a blessing it was to see such a sacred image displayed in my kitchen, there in the bottom of Nora's bowl. There is no end to divine ingenuity in communicating with us if we are but willing to attend.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Time of Yearning 

No Longer Shiva

Part of me knows
there is no longer Shiva.

Part of me acknowledges
this being went away,
ascended long ago
like a phantom
made of sunlight and soft rain.

Nevertheless, I am waiting.
Still each night I cry out
to the unseen One,
lord, where are you?

Lord, lord,
when will you come?

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Are We Becoming Crystals of Light? 

As our nervous systems become ever more refined,and we experience things at an ever more subtle level, we ask ourselves what is going on with our physical and subtle selves? Are we moving closer toward the "omega point" of union with the divine, as Teilhard suggested? Are we participating in some grand program for human evolution? Are we indeed becoming beings of light, as many have averred?

Here is a poem which reflects this feelling:


The jeweled cloud sways overhead,
Meanwhile our cells are turning to air,
finer and finer arrangements of light.

(from "Marrow of Flame, Poems of the Spiritual Journey")

Elizabeth Reninger wrote the following captivating description of how it feels to undergo such a sense of transformation:

"I was able today to sit with one of my most cherished gurus: a 440
lb. crystal on display in the lobby of the Department Of Commerce.. . It's there as part of a display on crystalline technology, and carries an energy that is,
quite simply, sublime. So periodically I go there and, feigning
interest in the display, bask in the shakti of this most amazing
Being ... I've considered asking if I could pull up a chair, so I
could sit for a longer period, but so far haven't done this ... The
setting is decidedly military, and . . . I'm afraid
that such behavior might arouse suspicion. (Someone "just sitting,"
very clearly enjoying themselves, perhaps slipping into and out of
states of rapture, as "suspicious behavior" ... hmmmm ...) So I just
stand there for as long as feels comfortable. Today, the energy of
it was bringing to mind an experience I had in meditation several
weeks ago: having the clear image that the matrix of my bones was
being re-formed into a crytalline pattern: that my entire skeleton
was being made into a crystal. I was reflecting also on how there
was, for me, really no perceivable difference (at the level of
energy/bliss-joy/expansion) between "sitting with" this member of the
mineral kingdom, and sitting with human beings whose shakti is
alive ... both so delightful ..."

copyright, Elizabeth Reninger

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Feathered Light 

Here is something which happened recently as I walked in Golden Gate Park. It was totally unexpected, one of those "epiphanies" which cannot be arranged or foreseen:

I just happened to come along as someone was feeding pigeons
and sea gulls near the lake's edge. The sun just happened to be behind
them as they wheeled and circled in excitement to get at the food he was
flinging skyward. And--as I stood there, the light seemed literally to penetrate
their bodies, which became virtually translucent, as in paintings I
have seen, but something I have never witnessed in actuality. Ah, I thought, here it
is--feathered light, a moment which indeed reveals the holy spirit
descending. And it occurred to me that this was how the idea of angels having wings originated, as well as the image of their descending in streams of light from heaven. And I was so struck with awe that I didn't even try to make a poem about it--I just stood in humble silence before this wondrous phenomenon.

I have seen this "effect" before (the "Van Gogh principle?")--as when the
sun radiates the aspen or other leaves from behind, and when it does the
same for the leaves of the ice plants (the spears of green) or the grass
springing up- in their midst. At those times, the thing seen appears to be lit from within with divine radiance. But I had never seen this, the illuination of the sacred creature in motion. I felt deeply honored by this special and sudden revelation, which was for me a new experience, truly a "moment of enlightenment."

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Art and Kundalini 

Many have observed that there is a connection between erotic energy and artistic inspiration. Energy seems to be energy, and takes on various forms according to its uses. Kundalini energy also has a somatic, often sensual, tone, yet it is distinct from sexual feeling as such, although the boundaries are not exact. One person said that kundalini was "like sex, only different," and that is an apt description.

In San Francisco there is an amazing workshop for process painting in which participants are invited to pour out their feelings on paper and then gather to discuss and share their responses. One woman was surprised when she felt something she identified as erotic arousal during her painting session. Like many, she was shy about revealing to others the intimate nature of her reaction.

My hunch is that what she felt, and what many other creative people feel in the state of heightened aesthetic awareness, is in fact Kundalini, the goddess of creation herself, allowing them to know consciously some of the vast energies which eternally pour through the universe. When the mind chatter (left brain) is still, the right brain (the realm of feelings) awakens, and we are able to open to a different consciousness, often in the form of bliss. We and "it" (the energies which fuel the universe) are one, but the discovery of that fact as literal truth is often a big surprise. And because our society still often frowns on feelings as such, especially anything which is related to the erotic, we tend to repress such sensations when they arise, and experience a certain guilt about revealing them to others.

Here is how the workshop participant described her experience. (Note the reference to snakes near the end. She identified them with the feeling of hate, but snakes as symbol are often associated with kundalini awakening. Further, increased sexual feeling often accompanies the beginning stages of kundalini arousal.)

(Profound thanks to the writer of this description, who preferred to remain anonymous.)

Tolerating Aliveness

I paint my "fast one" (which takes the majority of the night). As soon as I
take down my lady and start this painting I am in bliss. There is so much
pleasure in putting color on paper. So much freedom, ease. Each time my brush
touches the paper it is like a mini orgasm. My whole body is alive, turned on,
ecstatic. (The facilitator) comes by to check in. I tell her I'm fine. Still not
able to say what's really happening: "I'm bursting with orgasmic ecstasy!" But
that's okay. I think back to the first time I had a sexual response while
painting. I FLIPPED OUT. It totally overwhelmed me. I thought I had to stop. I
felt so vulnerable, so exposed. I had a melt down. Painting tonight feels
like my task is to tolerate the pleasure, which I'm able to do surprisingly well.
Building muscles to tolerate this aliveness that pours through, that is SO
threatening to some part of me and so painful when it's not there! (I spent a
week . . .at a workshop on the divine feminine: exploring our essential
nature of pleasure, celebration, abundance-I think that helped with the
sense of being able to have these feelings of pleasure without attaching meaning to
them or feeling I have to do something with them-enact them or reject them.
Sound like painting?)

When it's time to go back to my Lady the flow stops on a dime. I am back,
caught in a story of hate. (The facilitator) encourages me to enter gently, but even
that seems impossible. She asks what would hate look like? Black. Black snakes.
I am back to that. And the moment I start painting them the flow, the
pleasure rushes in. So curious. What about those black snakes? Another

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