Friday, June 29, 2007
Here is another "love poem to God," by a poet/mystic of the nineteenth century. The experience of union, often achieved through the effects of kundalini is frequently expressed in terms of erotic love. In the Song of Solomon, the divine is also described in terms suggesting a human lover. Those who do not understand the metaphorical nature of such poems/songs sometimes mistakenly take the words in their literal meaning and are puzzled thereby.
The Night of Power
Is it the night of power
Or only your hair?
Is it dawn
Or your face?
In the songbook of beauty
Is it a deathless first line
Or only a fragment
copied from your inky eyebrow?
Is it boxwood of the orchard
Or cypress of the rose garden?
The tuba tree of paradise, abundant with dates,
Or your standing beautifully straight?
Is it musk of a Chinese deer
Or scent of delicate rosewater?
The rose breathing in the wind
Or your perfume?
Is it scorching lightning
Or light from fire on Sana'i Mountain?
My hot sigh
Or your inner radiance?
Is it Mongolian musk
Or pure ambergris?
Is it your hyacinth curls
Or your braids?
Is it a glass of red wine at dawn
Or white magic?
Your drunken narcissus eye
Or your spell?
Is it the Garden of Eden
Or heaven on earth?
A mosque of the masters of the heart
Or a back alley?
Everyone faces a mosque of adobe and mud
When they pray.
The mosque of Hayati's soul
Turns to your face.
-- Bibi Hayati (d. 1853)
"The Shambhala Anthology of Women's Spiritual Poetry," edited by Aliki Barnstone
(found on poetry chaikhana site)
Thursday, June 28, 2007
This is how it happened: I was looking through my books earlier this week and I realized that I had two copies of Rilke's book titled "Book of Hours." My friend Stephanie was due to come by later that afternoon, and I wondered if she would want one. I didn't know whether or not she even liked Rilke (my favorite poet), or whether she would want this particular volume of small poems.
When she arrived, I asked her whether or not she would like this little book. She looked extremely surprised. Then she explained that she had been reading a library copy of the book (which she loved), had stopped to return it on the way to my house, and had been quite sad to let to go out of her hands. She longed for her own copy, and, voila!, there it was.
As Stephanie observed, sometimes it doesn't take long for requests to be answered!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The following site has an amazing video based on Alex Grey's artwork--and the site "dailymotion" also has others relating to kundalini, chakras, and the like.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
(1200 - 1253)
English version by Steven Heine
To what shall
I liken the world?
Shaken from a crane’s bill.
-- from "The Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace," by Steven Heine
(Found this poem on Ivan Granger's Poetry Chaikhana site--see link on sidebar).
Monday, June 25, 2007
When we read of the great saints and gurus, many appear to have what others call "special gifts." Yet I hear of people with unexpected talents often. I met a woman recently who "hears poetry in her head." She has had this gift since childhood, and for many years assumed that everyone else did the same. (She reminds me of the character in Doris Lessing's great novel "The Four-Gated City" who could "hear what others were saying in their heads". She also had assumed that this was a universal talent, until she discovered otherwise, and was promptly sent to see a psychiatrist and subsequently hospitalized. Lessing's view was that such people were simply ahead of their time.)
I also heard, just the other day, of a woman who can tell just by looking at someone what their astrological sign is. In fact, she can tell what the signs are for an entire room full of people. She, also, doesn't consider this talent to be unusual or of special significance.
And then there is the young woman I met once who has x-ray vision. Instead of seeing just the outside features (or clothing) of a person, she sees them as if she were looking into their bodies, as though they were skeletons carrying organs. She said it could be quite disturbing at times. (But recently this peculiar talent has subsided and she has more "normal" vision.")
Often extreme talent manifests in ways we call genius--consider the young Mozart who was composing amazing music when he was extremely young, and who stated that (as an adult) whole symphonies came into his head all at once.
If you happened to see the movie "Billy Eliot" you will remember that this was an extremely moving story about a young boy who longed to be a ballet dancer, but who lived in poverty in a small English village, where he had little chance of developing his gift. He ultimately makes it into the Royal Ballet, and in the final scene, he is getting ready to enter on stage as the lead role in Swan Lake.
A similar story unfolds in the little presentation on the Internet as listed below. I warn you, it may bring tears to your eyes, but it will also reaffirm your faith that all of us have gifts of a special kind, and that it is our responsibility (and fulfillment) to let them be uncovered for others to look on and share.
(Actually, there is a second presentation which follows this initial one--be sure to watch it as well.)
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I think often of enlightenment, and wonder what it is and whether or not it is a state which is even possible. Is enlightenment real or just a myth passed on from generation to generation? Is it a permanent condition of being or merely a passing episode in our otherwise mundane lives? Are those who claim to be enlightened really what they say they are, or are they fooling themselves and others?
Enlightenment has been held out as a desired end goal of the long spiritual struggle for many centuries. Yet, often, those who claim enlightenment are lacking, if we look at their total life record. Some renowned gurus were known to be quite difficult to deal with in their daily relationships with others. Some have abused their powers to take advantage of trusting disciples in various ways. Some are just plain not very nice people.
My feeling is that if one were in a truly enlightened state every moment, one could not function in the day to day world. Enlightenment by definition involves surrender of all self awareness and entrance into the state of union in which all sense of a personal identity is surrendered into the vastness of that Mystery which is the ultimate. For all but a very, very few (Buddha? Christ? St. Teresa of Avila? Gopi Krishna?) such constant "dual awareness" is simply not a possibility--we are inevitably caught by one state of consciousness or another--we are either in the world or out of it, or at best we are perhaps partially in both worlds simultaneously.
I do think it is possible to have "glimpses of enlightenment," moments in which the surrender does occur, but therafter is retained as memory rather than immediate experience.
I think the archetype of the old man sitting alone on the mountainside, lost in total samadhi, contains much truth. Once he wakes up or comes down from the mountain, he is almost inevitably pulled into the lesser state of the mundane universe.
If he (or she) exists with some spiritual connection to the "outer world," (receives disciples, teaches others perhaps) then generally his/her basic needs will be attended to by devotees. When Ramana Maharshi attempted to explain what ecstasy was, he immediately fell into deep rapture and had to be assisted across the room. Ramakrishna (and other such saintlike beings) lived in ashrams, where they could be surrounded by loving attention and generous care.
I myself do not think the world at this time needs those who have transcended ordinary reality to the point that they no longer can function in the familiar world. We do need more Bodhisattvas, those who have foregone personal enlightenment for the privilege of helping others move ahead on the spiritual path. The Bodhisattva gives up his/her chance for nirvana (total absorption into the divine essence, release from the wheel of earthly birth and rebirth) in order to help the rest of the world move closer to awakening.
I like the related notion of the "Order of Melchizedek." Although the term in used rather casually by certain groups today, it originates in the Bible. "Melchizedek" refers not to a person but is rather a title--the "Order" is comprised of those "secret priests" who serve behind the scenes--the hidden saints among us who do not proclaim their identity to the world at large, but who quietly, with total devotion, offer their lives up in service to their fellow human beings in whatever way they can. They, I think, are the truly enlightened. To be enlightened is to serve with those gifts which are given you. It is not a state to be claimed for public applause or inner gratification. In fact, those who say they are enlightened aren't. The truly enlightened would make no such claim.
The fact that Kundalini has risen upward and opened the crown chakra is not in itself proof of enlightenment. The proof is in the behavior which follows, judged by every minute of every day. Many experience this exalted state momentarily, and then fall back into old and imperfect ways of being. It is like visiting a high mountaintop with a breathtaking view. Thereafter we know it is there, but we do not inhabit the site permanently. Someone once asked me if I was enlightened. I answered, "If I am enlightened, then we are all in big trouble."
This is not to denigrate or disparage the "high moment," even if it is temporary. It is a precious gift, to be treasured and loved for the rest of your life. It is the ongoing reminder that there is indeed "something more."
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Today as I was looking through a Mary Oliver book, I ran across a sheet of paper with this poem which I had written and forgotten about several years ago. I made a few changes on it, and so here it is in its revised form. (The beginning quote is, of course, from Mary Oliver in her poem "The Lark.")
“An ornament of the eternal,”
and her words caused me to think
of how certain things
can open and take us
to some place we have longed for
but didn't quite know how to find.
Once there was a pianist rehearsing
in a big tent sent atop
the screaming cliffs
near this tiny ocean town,
practicing with nothing
but her instrument (a great black box
with blacker keys laid out
across its top and strings inside its belly)
and the orchestra swelling
just as the waves were booming
(It was a concerto, frenzied and wild.)
Some of us had crept inside
to draw near to whatever it was
this electric exhilaration
building there in front,
when suddenly it happened,
all our pores opening together,
our eyes, our fibers,
even our hands filling with a dense pleasure,
joy sensuous and immeasurable
surging with the waves of sound
which roared through our bodies now,
here, in this small kingdom,
which was, for the moment, ours.
July 30, 2002—June 23, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Although I believe that poetry has a right to express all the human moods, from sadness to elation,it seems at times that it is almost a requirement of our age that the poet be world weary, disillusioned, and even a bit cynical. Many poets seem unwilling or afraid to deal with the larger issues such as the possibility of belief in the transcendent realms as well as the great social challenges confronting our times. This poem is my "protest poem" against such prevailing attitudes.
Don’t Look, They Said
I realize I am violating the rules.
That to be correct is to
be full of hopelessness,
like a fountain brimming over
References to happiness, to joy
are forbidden here.
Everything around us is, I agree,
falling into ruin.
The buildings blasted,
the babies screaming.
Blood running down the street.
But don't look there either, they said,
Don't talk about what is happening.
Keep to the smaller, ephemeral displeasures,
the quiet personal discontents.
Go deeper and deeper into yourself
where nothing matters too much,
where everything is covered in dust,
air has a slightly acrid tone.
As for the rest of it,
the moment in the garden
or perhaps it was the mountain peak,
that didn't happen,
erase it quickly before
it becomes indelible on your mind.
That way you will be safe,
not get carried away
by too much sentiment,
too much sun.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Today I faced a seeming crisis as I was doing my laundry (coin set up, downstairs in the building). All went well (we even have new washers and dryers) until I put in my last load of laundry to dry. But then things went to pieces.
I put in my four quarters and pressed the right button, but nothing happened. I pressed all the buttons I could find, but still nothing happened. I tried inserting more coins, but they came right back out. I pulled the cords in and out of the wall sockets, but that didn't help. I sort of lightly tapped the dryer itself, but it just sat there.
So I came back upstairs and wrote a warning note to others, and went back to tape it to the machine, meantime wondering how in the world I could dry a load of heavy towels and washcloths in my small apartment.
When I went back down, I met a young woman who lives here and warned her about the dryers. She came over, took her fist, and gave a hard knock to the coin receptor. Something clicked into place. The dryers now worked.
Moral: When everything else fails, hit it hard and hold your breath. And pray for an angel to come along and show you how.
This is a bit of humor, but the truth is that even in our spiritual lives, we sometimes need to be a bit more aggressive--there is a line from Rumi which says, "Ask for what you need." And we should not forget to do this, asking for help when it is needed, for ourselves or others. Who knows what may come of this? Miracles, great and small, do happen--the unexpected can occur. There is help all around if we just remember to look for it.
In one of Graham Greene's novels, there is a scene in which a man joins a seance circle, knowing that he is being set up to be electrocuted when they hold hands. However, he is too shy to protest or opt out. He goes ahead with the ceremony, not expecting to live through it, but nothing untoward happens. I think some of us go through life this way--literally afraid to speak up for ourselves or to seek help when it is needed.
It is said that self-rejection is as much an obstacle to enlightenment as self-inflation. Something to think about.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
The following poem is by Ivan Granger, founder and operator of
www.poetry-chaikhana.com , the site which has done so much for the cause of sacred poetry. Ivan's encyclopedic knowledge and his gift for presenting information together create a remarkable site for which we should all be grateful.
Twelve Ways to Lose Your Head on Maui
By Ivan M. Granger
(1969 - )
Piercing the clouds, fingers
of sunlight caress the valley floor.
The Iao Needle stands, its immense
Staring blindly out the window,
no work getting done –
a stolen moment when silence
has stolen me.
Reading, I shiver in the Upcountry chill.
Already old in the new year, the island
and I shiver
and grow still.
Baldwin Avenue meandering to Paia
beneath an empty sky,
surge in the sun.
At the altar: Breath
aglow in my throat.
Golden treacle pools
upon my heart.
The path to Twin Falls, dusty
between my toes. Ginger points
to the upper pool. Fallen guavas
Hana Highway, pausing
at each bridge to let traffic pass.
Around the bend –
Fasting on Saturday –
empty stomach, empty head.
Cinnamon-red and blue, a pheasant stares
through the window. Michele
calls me, whisper. I see them
see each other.
In the cave among the eucalyptus
up Alae Road – a fine seat
for a city boy
In bursts of wingbeats
a cardinal darts by. The red
bird finds himself lost
among the red proteas.
The sun setting beyond
Ma’alaea Harbor. The golden ocean,
I see, drinks the tired eye in.
I am gone.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Recently, I wrote about a workshop I attended which included drumming and shamanic journeying. We were told that this experience would make us "smarter and more creative." But after my deep experience in the workshop, I felt "woozy" and quite "fogged in" for several days thereafter, as if my brain waves were no longer functioning in harmony.
So I asked my friend Lawrence Edwards (who is an expert in the area of meditation and brain response) for advice. What he told me made great sense:
Light trance and meditative work with sound and drums often brings up more theta brain waves which are associated with creativity, imagery, dreams, visions, etc., but if one already has enough of them , then more will just create fogging, irritability, loss of focus. So your sense of your brainwaves being unbalanced was probably correct.
I was grateful for this clarification, from someone who is quite knowledgeable in the area.
Most people do not realize how extremely sensitized the brain and senses can become after k. awakening. Doctors routinely overprescibe, assuming that their patient is within the usual "norms." When I started taking herbs, the initial dosage had to be cut down to less than 15% of the normal, until my system could adjust. Some are so sensitive that they simply hold medication or even aroma therapy preparations in their laps to get the benefit of the vibrations.
For the awakened one, restaurants turn the volume up to unbearable levels. Crowds become impossible to tolerate. Any loud noise is experienced as physical pain.
Those classed as "sensitives" also often have similar responses to external stimuli.
However, the new awareness brings many rewards--even looking at the subtle movements of a dancer can awaken thrills of joy within. Music can stimulate amazing flows of bliss, sometimes inside the brain itself. Walking into a bookstore can arouse feelings of sensuous delight, as if one were being greeted by old friends.
And, of course, there is the extreme bliss, which can turn into ecstasy or rapture, during private meditation or group ceremony.
Friday, June 08, 2007
The Divine Name
and pour down the nectar of Your name upon me,
until my heart bursts forth,
until my tongue reverberates with joy:
Let my heart like a blown bud
rest upon the flowers of Your holy feet...
With eyes brimming with love, sing His name.
All mysteries will be disclosed.
Every bird and plant
will reveal itself to you as Brahman.
The knowledge of Vedanta will manifest everywhere.
O dear one, keep chanting God's name
while sitting, or standing,
or involved in the world.
Never forget Him.
Unite your mind with the Self.
Whoever wishes to know the secret of attaching one's soul above and cleaving one's thought to Almighty God, so that God will always be with him, in this world and the next, do as follows:
Let him place before his eyes and his thought the letters of the Ineffable Name...let the thought of your heart be on the Infinite, the Ein Sof... And so long as the soul of man cleaves to the Name, may he be blessed, no evil shall befall you, an you shall come to no error in any matter...
Rabbi Isaac of Acre
14th Century Kabbalist
Anam Cara, Bedford, NY
July 13-15 CIL Summer Learning Retreat, Danbury, CT Practicing Peace: Perspectives From Neuroscience, Psychotherapy and Spirituality. Put on by the Center For Intentional Living. This exceptional weekend features many accomplished teachers. Lawrence Edwards, Ph.D. will lead an experiential session Saturday evening on the use of sound and mantra for entering the meditative state of the Divine Feminine. For more info. please click here.
July 17th, Tues. 7:30pm
SPECIAL KIRTAN NIGHT WITH SWAMI CHETAN JYOTI MA!
Mataji is coming from her ashram in Rishikesh, India to share the ecstasy of chanting the Divine Name. Join us in welcoming her to Anam Cara and experience the power and joy of chanting! This will be an ecstatic prelude to the weekend retreat that follows!
July 20-22, Friday Evening-Sunday Afternoon
THE DIVINE POWER OF MANTRA RETREAT
Swami Chetan Jyoti Ma and Kalidas
Mantra is one of the primordial forms of the Divine, a bridge to the Infinite expanse of pure Consciousness and a throb of the Divine that totally transforms your mind and body. Delve into the mysterious powers of mantra through kirtan, meditative chants and practices; become immersed in the direct experience of the sublime states of Consciousness of which you are capable.
Meditation Group every Tuesday evening starting promptly at 7:30pm at our center at SunRaven in Bedford, NY. All are welcome! Directions are on the Anam Cara website. If you ever question whether the group is being held on a particular Tuesday evening there will always be a message stating if it is cancelled on that night on 914-234-4800.
(The following if from Lawrence Edwards):
I first met Swami Chetan Jyoti Ma in the summer of 2002 at Ananda Ashram in Monroe, NY when she came back to the west for the first time in 30 years. Krishna Das was instrumental in getting her over here to share her great love of the Divine through chanting kirtans - the practice of chanting names of the Divine that transport you into the very heart of God. She came to our center back then and we chanted our hearts out with her! This left several dozen people in ecstasy and some literally in tears and wanting more! Finally she's coming back to the US, sponsored by Anam Cara, and we look forward to supremely joyous kirtans with her! Be sure to register early for the retreat as space is limited.
You can learn more about Swami Chetan Jyoti Ma and where she'll be offering programs by checking her blog site connected to the Quick Link above. She is originally from Canada and will be in Toronto as well as offering kirtans in Massachusetts.
Anam Cara is able to bring Mataji here through the generous contributions of our supporters. Because of your gifts we are able to continue our mission of making meditative practices from many traditions available to all.
People have been asking about when the next Mysteries of the Divine Feminine and Kundalini Empowerment retreat will be held. It will be offered on the last weekend in October.
Thank you all for your notes of appreciation for our newsletter. You've helped to expand the Anam Cara community to nearly 1500 people around the world! Everyone has the heart to be a true soul friend.
If you have any suggestions, comments or sharings, please don't hesitate to e-mail me and I'll do my best to respond.
Anam Cara, Inc. is a 501 (C) 3, non-profit educational organization dedicated to teaching meditative practices. Our non-denominational programs are open to all. There are free meditation instructions and downloadable audio files of guided meditations on our website.
Thank you for the many ways you have shown support for Anam Cara, Inc. Your tax deductible donations enable Anam Cara to put on free programs and expand its work in sharing the practices of meditation. Please send your donations to Anam Cara, P.O. Box 215, Bedford Hills, NY 10507.
I look forward to welcoming you in person to our programs.
With great respect and love,
I thank you all.
May all beings realize complete freedom from suffering and rest in the steady wisdom from which compassion, patience and loving kindness perpetually flower!
Lawrence Edwards, Ph.D.
Founder and Director
Anam Cara, Inc.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
(This morning when I was in a somewhat somber mood, I wrote this poem. Then shortly afterwards I did my "practice," and once again felt the exquisite energies flow--mostly in the head, hands, arms, and torso. These sensations felt like liquid light stroking the body. And--when I tried different hand mudras--I felt the energies pulse in different places. Another truly rapturous experience. And another time when I wish I had a wise teacher to explain all this, or at least someone who is also familiar with this particular kind of experience. But then I remind myself that my best teacher is the one I already follow--the teacher within.
I think my friend Jeannine expresses this notion (that joy and pain often intermingle or come quickly one after the other) quite well. She thinks of the shifting moods as a chord with many notes, all resonating with the others, and none cancelling the others.
And I think it is this knowledge, this memory of possibility based on those experiences of radiance which have come to us in the past, which takes us through the "down times," when the spirit flags and questions the worth of the self and the journey.
I Shall Abase Myself
I shall starve myself,
become a shadow
a dark figure flitting
among the branches.
I shall abase myself,
a thousand times over
under the moon,
beneath the ancient tree.
I shall call out in the night,
cry until my voice is heard.
I shall be alone
as I circle the mountain
and know that aloneness
is who I am.
(But then...the radiance.)
June 5, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
Sometimes I Held a Ghost in my Arms
When we huddled together by the first fire,
we were told each to seek our fate.
I raked a pebble from the coals
and read my future:
“The One Who Seeks.”
And so it is
that I have moved
from sea to forest,
to lonely hermit’s hut,
ever searching for the
thing I needed,
a ragged shadow always
moving just ahead..
Sometimes at night
I held a sighing ghost in my arms,
sometimes at daybreak
I was kissed by
a thousand angels.
I brushed the snow
from my sleeve,
began my quest anew.
Some said that I had it already,
carried it with me
wherever I went,
a gem which gave of its secret strength
to those I met
along the way
who peered and
by its rays.
Others vowed I was a lunatic
crazed by too many nights
under the unsteady moon,
too many evenings
muttering into the wavering fire,
alone, in the forest of darkness.
Cain the outcast
wore a sign
on his brow.
Mine too has been
singed by god.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
(In the Sufi system, one of the stages of the spiritual journey is that of yearning, which sometimes occurs at the beginning of the process, sometimes after the Beloved has manifested and then seemingly disappeared once more.)
Still, I am Shameless in my Need
Who am I
to say things about Love?
Even on days like today
when memory alone
must suffice. . .
Sometimes it is enough
just to think
of all that has happened
in broad daylight,
from invisible hands.
I no longer grieve
for the lost embrace,
but wait for the
the knock at the window
sure to come.
Still, I am shameless
in my need,
like an aging mistress
who fingers old ribbons
has moments of longing.
June 2, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
(For the earlier segments of this essay, see the entries for May 4 and May 25.)
What is the most effective way to meet your soul?
I wrote ENTERING THE CASTLE for precisely this reason, as a guide to
meet your soul. The soul is a
force that cannot be described; it must be experienced. Imagine that a
newly married woman asked a
mother, "But describe what childbirth is like and then tell me what
it's like to love your
children, because I have to know exactly what that's like before I
have a child so I know for sure
if I really want to have a child." Could a mother really find the
right words? When I ask that
question in a lecture, mothers laugh out loud because they know that
unless a woman experiences
being a mother, she can never know what it is like to love a child. She
has to meet that child
directly. The same is true for the soul. You have to enter your Castle,
beginning with crossing
your drawbridge and taking up the exploration of each of the seven
mansions. The journey, I will
admit, is not easy. In fact, it is extremely rigorous. Each mansion has
many rooms, as I describe
in my book. And that's where you begin.
How do Teresa of Avila's Seven Mansions of prayer relate to the human
energy system and the seven
chakras that you have described in ANATOMY OF THE SPIRIT?
The soul is built on a template of seven levels of power, and that is
what St. Teresa's vision of
the soul also embraced. Her division of the lower and upper mansions is
similar to the seven
chakras, in that the lower three mansions are the "worker-bee"
mansions and the upper mansions are
devoted to more mystical awakenings. Aside from that, there are no more
As we enter our personal Castles, what will some of our most profound
challenges be? And what will
be some of our greatest rewards?
How typical to ask for the rewards before you even begin the journey.
As for the challenges, the
greatest challenge will be to defeat the power of your need to have God
be a force of logic and
reason in your life. The greatest challenge you will ever face is to
confront your fear of being
humiliated and come to understand the power of being humble, and to
allow that power to lead you
finally to surrender your life to God's direction for you. It's so
ironic to me that most people
assume that in surrendering to God, their lives will become miserable
and not wonderful. That's
just incredible. They have no idea that their lives will, in fact,
become extraordinary. They
cannot see that they have been living in a prison, held captive by a
fear of being humiliated and
the need for others' approval most of the days of their lives. The
most profound challenge will be
to get over the grip the earth has on you. In the language of the
Buddha, free yourself from these
endless illusions. St. Teresa calls them your reptiles. That freedom is
St. Teresa’s instructions in the Seventh Mansion are to serve the
divine through serving others.
How can we use prayer and channeling grace to be of service in the
People have no idea how powerful prayer really is. After people have
tried everything else in
terms of medical interventions, for example, they often say, "Well,
all we can do now is pray." If
they really understood prayer, they would begin medical procedures with
a prayer and then do
whatever they can medically. St. Teresa wrote The Interior Castle as a
guide of illumination to
God through prayer, through learning how to rely on the ever-increasing
depth of inner dialogue
with your soul and God as the means to discover your profound capacity
to become a channel for
grace in this world. Grace comes in many forms: illuminated thought, a
moment of authority,
abundant compassion and courage, the capacity to heal and comfort
another, visionary creativity.
Grace has many, many forms and grace is meant to be shared, to be
distributed to others constantly
and under the radar, in silence, invisibly. That's the role of a
mystic out of a monastery - to
become a channel for grace in this world invisibly, to form circles of
grace that gather for the
sake of sharing their capacity to nurture each other in their spiritual
lives, to share their
gifts of illumination, to channel grace at a distance in order to heal
others and this earth, and
to bring forth new creative thought. This is a great calling and I know
many, many people are
emerging as mystics out of monasteries. Many are coming to study with
me at CMED, because people
need support as they venture into their souls/Castles. Even St. Teresa
said that one should not go
into the soul alone. You need soul companions. And the groups that bond
as a result are profoundly
bonded to each other because they come to know each other through
prayer and a devotion to bring
the best of themselves to each other and to the world. I feel very
blessed to be doing this work
and I am so grateful to all of these students, so very grateful. And
most of all, I am grateful to
(from Carolyn Myss' Newsletter)