Kundalini Splendor

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Two Poems 

Ivan Granger posted this poem on his poetry-chaikhana site today:

We awaken in Christ's body

By Symeon the New Theologian
(949 - 1032)

English version by Stephen Mitchell

We awaken in Christ's body
as Christ awakens our bodies,
and my poor hand is Christ, He enters
my foot, and is infinitely me.

I move my hand, and wonderfully
my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly
whole, seamless in His Godhood).

I move my foot, and at once
He appears like a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous? -- Then
open your heart to Him

and let yourself receive the one
who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
we wake up inside Christ's body

where all our body, all over,
every most hidden part of it,
is realized in joy as Him,
and He makes us, utterly, real,

and everything that is hurt, everything
that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
maimed, ugly, irreparably
damaged, is in Him transformed

and recognized as whole, as lovely,
and radiant in His light
he awakens as the Beloved
in every last part of our body.

-- from The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry, by Stephen Mitchell

It reminded me somewhat of a poem I wrote several years ago, which was later included in "Marrow of Flame":

The Prankster

Let the breath come in,
and if a god, too,
make this her subtle path,
do not deny her
He wishes to build transparent monuments
in your heart,
chambers whose quiet bells will resonate
into your farthest reaches,
your soles, your lids,
your elbows, even.

For the god does not disdain
even the humblest part,
the clumsiest joining.
This is his sly jest,
his coy affirmation
of you as oneness.

Do not fear the god.
As the wind wafts through light,
she wafts through you--
Ruach, Prana, Chi --
lifting bone, cell, and tissue
into that other world.

Even in this one,
trees bend to her
in their slow spirals.
Dolphins breathe her.
Herons glide to her fluid rhythms.
Do not fear the god.
She is yourself, returning.

Dorothy Walters, "Marrow of Flame"

These poems have the same essential theme:

where all our body, all over,
every most hidden part of it,
is realized in joy as Him,
and He makes us, utterly, real,

Both express the joy and wonder of transcendent bliss which arises as a sense of delight within the physical body. Symeon refers to this "bliss source" as Christ. My poem simply uses the less specific term "the god." Both acknowledge a sense of divine connection through the coursing of the "heavenly currents" through the self.

Symeon asks (as many of us do when we encounter this experience

"Do my words seem blasphemous? -- Then
open your heart to Him"

Kundalini traditionally is considered something mysterious, totally esoteric. Indeed, the mystic is often condemned by orthodox religious institutions. Even today, many who experience kundalini do not talk about it or reveal it to others for years. Often they keep silent for fear of being labeled unbalanced or dangerous or somehow aligned with dark forces. This state of being is outside the norms, and hence is a threat to conventional "ego consciousness."

Yet Kundalini as a manifestation of the divine energies finds ways of coming into consciousness in many eras and under many guises, despite all social conditioning against it.

(I wonder what Symeon would think of this blog site, if it would seem "blasphemous", at least in its terminology, or a welcome avenue of connection with others who share (or have shared) similar experiences.)

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