Kundalini Splendor

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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Art and Spirituality 

First, thank you Patricia for posting my explanation for a rather prolonged absence. My computer started doing weird things just as I was about to finish a poetry book manuscript, and well, that was a bit frustrating. But everything seems to be back on track now, and so entries will become much more regular.

Here is a quote about the relationship of art and spirituality which I found quite interesting. As most of us know, almost all art (music, dance, poetry, visual art) began as an expression of the sacred, outpourings dedicated to the gods. Through the years, art of various kinds has wandered far from its sacred source, but sill, there is an undeniable connection, a kind of continuing reverberation of the original impulse.

"The creative act is a courageous, ancient gesture, a dynamic prayerful exploration of the dark mystery that is human existence. When I finally identified this face of creativity as sacred practice, I built a small altar in my studio and my work took on a depth of meaning it never had. Prayer and art suddenly meshed and became refined. It wasn't done in pursuit of holiness as I'd been taught in the child's corner of my life. Prayer became synonymous with art as an authentic expression of my entire complex Self."

Adriana Diaz in "The Soul of Creativity," ed. by T. P. Myers
quoted in Nana Merrill, "Friends of Silence"

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Time out for computer problems 

Dorothy has asked that I let her readers know that her computer is undergoing major problems. She will be unable to post new entries until those problems are resolved. Please send good technical energy her way...

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Late Ripeness, Czeslaw Milosz 

This poem by the Czech poet Czeslaw Milosz, is posted by Ivan Granger on his site, www.poetry-chaikhana.com Ivan sent it recently to all who are signed up for his (free) daily poem:

Late Ripeness

By Czeslaw Milosz
(1911 - 2004)

Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year,
I felt a door opening in me and I entered
the clarity of early morning.

One after another my former lives were departing,
like ships, together with their sorrow.

And the countries, cities, gardens, the bays of seas
assigned to my brush came closer,
ready now to be described better than they were before.

I was not separated from people,
grief and pity joined us.
We forget - I kept saying - that we are all children of the King.

For where we come from there is no division
into Yes and No, into is, was, and will be.

We were miserable, we used no more than a hundredth part
of the gift we received for our long journey.

Moments from yesterday and from centuries ago -
a sword blow, the painting of eyelashes before a mirror
of polished metal, a lethal musket shot, a caravel
staving its hull against a reef - they dwell in us,
waiting for a fulfillment.

I knew, always, that I would be a worker in the vineyard,
as are all men and women living at the same time,
whether they are aware of it or not.

-- from New and Collected Poems 1931 - 2001, Czeslaw Milosz

This poem struck me for its beauty and wisdom.

"we used no more than a hundredth part
of the gift we received for our long journey."

This line suggested to me the untapped and unsuspected spiritual gifts we all carry within, expecially those not yet aroused by the joy of kundalini flowing.

"I knew, always, that I would be a worker in the vineyard,
as are all men and women living at the same time,
whether they are aware of it or not."

This, too, spoke to me in particular. All of us are involved in the common project of awakening humanity to its true destiny, of bringing the "evolution of consciusness" into actuality.

Note: I have been beset with computer problems and other interruptions lately, and hence have not been able to post for some days. I hope that all is remedied for now, and plan to resume regular entries.



Friday, April 15, 2005

Return to the Home Planet, Part 3 

Return to the Home Planet, Part 3

Linda Greischel, the current President of the Board of KRN, did a tremendous amount of planning and preparation for the recent conference. She merits a special vote of thanks for all of her labors which produced such splendid results.

Linda has written two books relating to kundalini. "Divine Eros, The Alchemy of Soul and Spirit," incorporates personal experience with a more formal discussion of yoga, meditation, mysticism and the kundalini process. Linda herself experienced a spontaneous kundalini awakening in 1969, which she describes in her book as follows:

(She is lying by the ocean when her awakening occurs.)

"During one of these many days, I lay down upon a flat surface of basalt rock. My body was outstretched upon the natural altar. My skin drank in the heat of the fiery, summer sun, the cool, playful spray of the water, the solid support of massive rock, and the touch and fragrance of the salt-scented wind. I slipped into a languid meditation on the four elements embracing my body.

Suddenly, an enormous force surged through the front of my solar plexus, rising up like a flash flood through my body, and then gushing out through the top of my head like a geyser. I dissolved into this luminous, liquid force. This divine force exuded the most extreme power I ever felt and was seething with ecstatic love! Its immensity pierced and shattered me, causing uncontrollable tears of rapture to stream down my face. In (that same) instant, I lost total sense of my separate self, fusing into thie Body of Being. I have no idea how long this lasted, but when it ceased, I knew that God, at long last, had answered my yearning questions. At that moment I vowed aloud, with all of my heart, to devote my entire life to a spiritual path."

copyright, Linda Greischel

(I will say more about Linda in future entries.)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Return to the Home Planet, Part 2 

The Kundalini Research Network conference, continued

One of the outstanding speakers at this conference was Barbara Harris Whitfield. Barbara was one of the Near Death Experiencers interviewed by Kenneth Ring in his ground breaking study called "Heading Toward Omega." Here is her story:

She had broken her back when someone unexpectedly pushed her into a swimming pool (she was fully clothed at the time.) While she was in the operating room of the hospital, she suddenly found herself near the ceiling, gazing at a ventilation vent. Then she looked down and saw her body on a table, and observed with interest what was going on there. Next she found herself in a "dark space" (the tunnel of the NDE experience), and at the end of the "tunnel" was her beloved grandmother. Barbara was "now" about 6 years old, and re-experienced being in the kitchen with her grandmother, who was showing her how to drop small balls of food into a pot of water (gefilte fish). Now Barbara quickly relived all her life contacts with her grandmother (and perhaps others as well), until she suddenly was "back in her body." She hated to return, and wanted to be back in "that other place."

Barbara sees (as others do) a direct connection between the NDE and the Kunalini process. These two radical experiences transform the self in similar ways Both are related to out of body experiences, which in turn tend to occur with those who have suffered childhood abuse.

Her subsequent life (like that of many others at the conference--I'll describe them later) has been one of service and giving. She has worked extensively with abuse victims and others in need. She and her husband, Charles Whitfield, are now a "Transition Team" to help those in the process of dying or being born.

Barbara is a delightful, exuberant, loving being. She is filled with vibrant joy, which is deeply contagious. She is well known nationally, having appeared on such venues as Larry King Live, and Oprah, among others. One feels empowered by her presence.

To read more about her and her remarkable work, see her website:


On this site, you can listen to a recording of the lecture she gave at the conference.

She also answered one very important question for me. She said that when she went for her first experience of sitting with someone in the dying process, she herself had a migraine headache, but she went anyway. This elderly patient, who had no one else to be with her, was extremely grateful. as Barbars simply held her hand quietly. So--one can indeed offer healing energies and a healing presence, even though one is herself a bit "off" or unwell. This question has puzzled me for years, and I was glad finally to have it answered.

Thank you, Barbara. You are a real gift to us all.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A Return to the Home Planet 

The Kundalini Research Network Conference--Part One

I have just come back from the Kundalini Research Network Conference in San Diego. It was a peak experience, to say the least. This group was founded several years ago to study the kundalini phenomenon from a "scientific," statistical viewpoint, but for many of us, our "research" is the stories of one another. It was an amazing group.

On Thursday evening, before the official opening, I had dinner with three other members. Over a dinner of (mostly) fish and chips, I heard some incredible stories. One was from Barbara Harris Whitfield, who was one of the people interviewed early on by Ken Ring for his pioneer study of near death experience written up in his book, "Heading Toward Omega." Barbara said that for some time before she went for her interview, she would have inner images of Isaac Benthov (author of "Stalking the Wild Pendulum," which includes a "map" for the kundalini process) when she meditated. Now, this man had been dead for two or more years, and although she had read his book, she had never seen a picture of him. When she finally saw his picture, she realized that he was the one who had been appearing to her.

Barbara was uncertain whether or not to tell Ken Ring about her unusual experience with Benthov. But finally she did, and Ken replied, "Oh, Barbara, Benthov has been showing up all over Boston." (I'll say more about her later--a very remarkable woman.)

Another person then described her own awakening experience, which included telescopic vision. Now, I have read of this phenomenon in ancient accounts, but I had never met anyone who had experience it. She said during this period of initital opening, she could look far off, at a distant mountain, and see with clarity everything on it.

And a third member, who has not had a kundalini awakening herself, did have a story to tell. When she was teaching in a local community college, one of the students was a former naval captain. He said that once at sea the ship was surrounded with UFO's which buzzed overhead constantly for several minutes. I was quite glad to hear of this, for it seemed to validate the many reported sightings which many in authority are quick to deny.

And so it began. (More tomorrow.)

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Kundalini Research Network Conference 

The Kundalini Research Network will hold a conference in San Diego this coming weekend, from Friday morning through Sunday. For further information, see


This meeting will provide a real opportunity to meet others on the path, to form lasting friendships and other connections, and to be in the company of those whose lives have been deeply affected by the kundalini process.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sacred Experience vs. Aesthetic Response 

In a recent newspaper review of an exhibit of Buddhist art, the reviewer closed with the following observation:

"Like every exhibition of its kind, (this one) confronts most visitors with a peculiar feature of our own cultural situation. In place of these artifacts' intended use for restitution of belief, we have mere aesthetic reception and perhaps academic study.

An exhibition such as this encourages reflection on how limited a mode of engagement even the most informed aesthetic response is likely to be."

I was especially pleased to read this observation, since I have often entertained a similar reflection. Items which were once powerful receptacles of spiritual energy somehow become mere objects of observation in the museum setting. Too often the emphasis is on style and historical significance in the developing art forms of the culture, rather on the vivid, intense role these items played in the lives of their creators and those who honored them as holy objects. A Buddha who all but speaks a blessing is not the same as a displayed "artifact" of a vanished culture. And much of contemporary reaction offers just such a restricted perception of original intent.

Part of the problem, I believe, is that in our effort to remain "unbiased" (uninvolved), we lose active engagement. We trade the response of the heart for a more distanced reaction of the mind. We no longer trust feeling, but rely instead on thought alone. Thus the academicians and the critics lose touch with the inner reality and inherent sacred substance of that which they behold.

We have in our city a new museum dedicated to Asian art, much of it spiritual in origin. I for one admire the impressive displays and orderly arrangement, but find it difficult to "connect" with the objects themselves. It is as though, removed from their original context, these have lost much of their intended sacred flavor, and the visit becomes one of objective observation rather than subjective participation.

Likewise, when literature is dissected as if it were a corpse laid out to illustrate the significant features of human anatomy, something important is lost. I think many contemporary lovers of Rumi and Kabir and Hafiz, though innocent of theory, are better suited to enter into the true spirit of these creators and their creations than those who draw a blank when asked about something other than technique or historical data.

Aesthetic response is important, but when it is void of feeling, it becomes sterile and incomplete.(Likewise, feeling without some modicum of thought can dwindle into sentimentality and chiche.

Kundalini allows (under the right conditions) a "whole body response" to music and art and poetry. Subjective reaction is carried to a new level. It is then that one literally "hears with new ears, sees with new eyes." It is then that one connects with that mysterious realm called "the sacred."

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