Kundalini Splendor

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Exciting new online resources 

(Photo by N. M. Rai)

Teri Degler, a writer and spiritual consultant in Canada, has just launched an exciting new internet newsletter called "The Feminine Fire." The publication will highlight various women who have been especially inspirational to other women in their lives and work. It is an exciting venture, and I recommend it (the newsletter) strongly. Teri has written on kundalini ("Toward a Farther Shore"--along with Yvonne Kasen), and is especially interested in the relation of kundalini to the creative process. To receive this publication online, write to her at:


Another wonderful site has been set up by yet another friend, Donna Eaglesmith. Donna is a painter living in Santa Fe. Her site features her recent paintings, all of which speak to us on a deep level. Donna is also familiar with the kundalini process and its relation to creativity. See her work at: www.donnaeagles.com

And there is also a third site I have recently discovered. It is www.persimmontree.org This free internet newsletter is dedicated to the writings of women over sixty. Its audience is growing rapidly as more and more readers discover this truly valuable new resource.

All of these reflect the capacity of the internet to link like minded souls, and to push us ahead in the development of what Peter Russell called "The Global Brain." The " global brain connections" are indeed being established in many ways, and it is quite gratifying to witness this long awaited process occur at this crucial point in our development as a race. May we all move forward together in this exciting time of personal and planetary evolution.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Rothko (poem) 

(image from source)

(Mark Rothko was one of the most famous and (to many) most puzzling painters of the last century. His work consisted mainly of bands of color, which, strangely, seem to cohere into a mystical presentation of light and ineffable transcendence. Indeed, Rothko himself is often called a mystic, though I am not sure he would have accepted that description.

Rothko was (like many great artists) totally obsessed with his work. He applied himself relentlessly to the production of his special creations. As always, when I reflect on such prolific and thoroughly original creators, I wonder about the connection between artistic spirit and kundalini energy. Several observers have suggested such a connection, for these creators seem to possess a more than human energy and vision.

For me, there is also a parallel between his capturing of the "essence" and the action of kundalini, which takes away (often) external considerations and brings us into the very heart of our being.)


Something about the way
the paint moves
across the surface.

How the light strikes
the layers, the unfolding
path of the formless form.

How he poured
his soul (unproved)
into his work
like glaze.

Abandonment of the extraneous,
compression to source.

The invisible
to be seen,
before the voice was heard,
the land and the waters

What energy possessed
this swimmer in the wine dark sea?
How did the brain ignite,
unveil this hidden knowing?

Dorothy Walters
January 23, 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008

On Meeting a Stranger (poem) 

On Meeting a Stranger

I am tired of having
to prove myself to strangers.
To say to this blank eye
who I am
what roads I have traveled
the books I read
my curious dreams
what music strikes
most deep.

I wish simply
to leap forth
from my cloud of splendor
radiant and naked
let her feel what I feel
in her own body
internal luminescence
revealing the outlines of the soul
in its full glory
lovers drowning
in a sea of light
a touch of the hand
will do.

Dorothy Walters
January 23, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Fingerprint of a Pharaoh 

The Fingerprint of a Pharaoh

True, we are dust,
but dust piled
on dust.
The fingerprint of a pharaoh
wing of a fly,
spark from falling comet,
a bit of camel dung.

Some say that everything
is holy,
each particle a remnant
of the unseen divine.
Fragments of the god,
the all seeing sculptress
of all that is,
begetter of earth and all its elements,
perceived and sensed.

For a fleeting moment
we inhabit form.
And then I think,
what rises
escapes once more
into another place
where shape
no longer matters,
where everything is singed
with beauty,
seared by delight,
a sudden breath,
and we again become
the flame.

Dorothy Walters
January 22, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

By the River (poem) 

By the River

You think
you are the one.
You think that because
she is your luminous shadow,
you have been chosen,
star in a fairy tale,
conspiracy of shameless joy.

You walk by the river.
Of course.
You stare into one another's eye
as if into a magic mirror,
expecting to find there
a replica of a lost sun,
a duplicate of a jewel
you wore
in some other lifetime.

Now you are walking
in a garden alone.
Nothing is yet
in bloom,
only the rustle
of still stiff leaves.
Just the promise of flowers
to hold you close,
a stirring underground.
The soft breeze
to tell you
a whispered reality,
some arriving truth.

Dorothy Walters
January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Storm (Theodore Roethke) 

Recently, I posted a poem by Denise Levertov, in which a tree is dramatically enlivened by the music of Orpheus, the Greek god of music and poetry. The poem captured the sense of ecstasy and excitement which often accompanies the kundalini process. But as we all know, kundalini can bring pain and inner tumult as well as bliss. This poem by Roethke is about the sea during storm, but in many ways it captures the feelings of some in the throes of awakening kundalini, when all seems confused and chaotic.

The Storm


Against the stone breakwater,
Only an ominous lapping,
While the wind whines overhead,
Coming down from the mountain,
Whistling between the arbors, the winding terraces;
A thin whine of wires, a rattling and flapping of leaves,
And the small street-lamp swinging and slamming against
the lamp pole.

Where have the people gone?
There is one light on the mountain.


Along the sea-wall, a steady sloshing of the swell,
The waves not yet high, but even,
Coming closer and closer upon each other;
A fine fume of rain driving in from the sea,
Riddling the sand, like a wide spray of buckshot,
The wind from the sea and the wind from the mountain contending,
Flicking the foam from the whitecaps straight upward into the darkness.

A time to go home!--
And a child's dirty shift billows upward out of an alley,
A cat runs from the wind as we do,
Between the whitening trees, up Santa Lucia,
Where the heavy door unlocks,
And our breath comes more easy--
Then a crack of thunder, and the black rain runs over us, over
The flat-roofed houses, coming down in gusts, beating
The walls, the slatted windows, driving
The last watcher indoors, moving the cardplayers closer
To their cards, their anisette.


We creep to our bed, and its straw mattress.
We wait; we listen.
The storm lulls off, then redoubles,
Bending the trees half-way down to the ground,
Shaking loose the last wizened oranges in the orchard,
Flattening the limber carnations.

A spider eases himself down from a swaying light-bulb,
Running over the coverlet, down under the iron bedstead.
Water roars into the cistern.

We lie closer on the gritty pillow,
Breathing heavily, hoping--
For the great last leap of the wave over the breakwater,
The flat boom on the beach of the towering sea-swell,
The sudden shudder as the jutting sea-cliff collapses,
And the hurricane drives the dead straw into the living pine-tree.

Theodore Roethke

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Can Trees Have Kundalini? 

Some writers feel that kundalini is the driving creative force within all phenomena, both living and non-living. When I read this poem by Denise Levertov, it occurred to me that--if trees did have kundalini--this is how it would feel.

Orpheus was the Greek god of song and poetry. It is said that with his lyre he could charm even the wild beasts and make the stones and trees move.

A Tree Telling of Orpheus

White dawn. Stillness.When the rippling began
I took it for sea-wind, coming to our valley with rumors
of salt, of treeless horizons. But the white fog
didn't stir; the leaves of my brothers remained outstretched,
Yet the rippling drew nearer – and then
my own outermost branches began to tingle, almost as if
fire had been lit below them, too close, and their twig-tips
were drying and curling.
Yet I was not afraid, only
deeply alert.
I was the first to see him, for I grew
out on the pasture slope, beyond the forest.
He was a man, it seemed: the two
moving stems, the short trunk, the two
arm-branches, flexible, each with five leafless
twigs at their ends,
and the head that's crowned by brown or golden grass,
bearing a face not like the beaked face of a bird,
more like a flower's.
He carried a burden made of
some cut branch bent while it was green,
strands of a vine tight-stretched across it. From this,
when he touched it, and from his voice
which unlike the wind's voice had no need of our
leaves and branches to complete its sound,
came the ripple.
But it was now no longer a ripple (he had come near and
stopped in my first shadow) it was a wave that bathed me
as if rain
rose from below and around me
instead of falling.
And what I felt was no longer a dry tingling:
I seemed to be singing as he sang, I seemed to know
what the lark knows; all my sap
was mounting towards the sun that by now
had risen, the mist was rising, the grass
was drying, yet my roots felt music moisten them
deep under earth.

He came still closer, leaned on my trunk:
the bark thrilled like a leaf still-folded.
Music! There was no twig of me not
trembling with joy and fear.

Then as he sang
it was no longer sounds only that made the music:
he spoke, and as no tree listens I listened, and language
came into my roots
out of the earth,
into my bark
out of the air,
into the pores of my greenest shoots
gently as dew
and there was no word he sang but I knew its meaning.
He told me of journeys,
of where sun and moon go while we stand in dark,
of an earth-journey he dreamed he would take some day
deeper than roots ...
He told of the dreams of man, wars, passions, griefs,
and I, a tree, understood words – ah, it seemed
my thick bark would split like a sapling's that
grew too fast in the spring
when a late frost wounds it.

Fire he sang,
that trees fear, and I, a tree, rejoiced in its flames.
New buds broke forth from me though it was full summer.
As though his lyre (now I knew its name)
were both frost and fire, its chords flamed
up to the crown of me.
I was seed again.
I was fern in the swamp.
I was coal.

- Denise Levertov

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Princess (poem) 

(image from source)

The Princess

I think it was the isolation
which tore our hearts

The knowing
that you could not tell,
not speak of this
to anyone,
must make yourself very small
like Alice,
or paint yourself
with invisible ink.

There were no support groups.
There was no support.
Your family did not
want to hear.
Your boss
would get you fired.
The psychiatrist
(and you knew better than
to go)--
that friendly fellow
would send you to
a mental institution,
or even jail.

You could, of course,
find yourself in a book.
You were right there,
along with the many perverts
and criminally insane
and all the other outcasts
society didn't want anything
to do with.

You were a threat
to yourself and

You were the princess
in the fairy tale,
the one locked in a tower,
waiting for the right
prince to come along,
a prince with a cleavage,
somebody who in fact looked
a lot like you.

It was a lonely path
but it was your own.
It was full of honey,
of exaltation,
joy beyond all telling.

Dorothy Walters
January 11, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Life of the Poet, the Poetry of Life 

(image from source)

The Life of the Poet, the Poetry of Life

Everything we do in life, like every poem we write, is an essay, in its original sense of an attempt or effort. We set ourselves high standards: in the case of poetry, we try to emulate our ideals, the Mary Olivers or Li-Young Lees who speak with enchanted tongues, who track poetry into the hidden lair of its creation and bring out rare and dazzling specimens.

We know that we will never attain their transcendent levels. We know that each attempt to trap the ineffable will end in only partial success, if not downright failure.

This is of no importance to us who are dedicated to the art. Our effort is to touch the innermost parts of the soul, the tissues and membranes of our true being, to translate that brief inseeing into words as bright and truthful as we can, to combine what beauty we can capture with whatever wisdom we may possess.

And so with kundalini itself, the Goddess who speaks in unfathomable tones. We read of perfect experience, we study the models of “how things are supposed to be.” But none of us (that I know of) ever reaches that goal of absolute perfection. Instead we sway and waver, exult and mourn, move forward with assurance and then falter—we are imperfect beings striving for perfection in an uncertain process. Nonetheless, we proceed with our labors and are grateful for our task.

And this is enough for the true poet, the devoted practitioner, or the true artist of life.

Dorothy Walters
December 29, 2009

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Peacock Eyes (poem) 

(Photo by N. M. Rai)

Peacock Eyes

The eyes of a peacock
looking out from a tree.

As if god,
the all seeing,
the one with a thousand
ways of viewing
at his command,
had become the flesh
of bark,
had become the tangible
organ, pupil, iris, all, everything arranged
in neat speckled rows
like fish laid out at market,
waiting for something,
us, the daylight, the evening sky,
the world,
to appear.

Dorothy Walters
January 8, 2008

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

In Honor of John O'Donohue (another poem) 

In Honor of John O’Donohue


He wrung beauty
from small moments.

Even the stones
spoke to him
in languages
we barely remember.

The streams,
the shifting clouds—
all were his
to claim through
to own by the declaration
of his sculpted syllables.

The flowers
spoke benedictions
as he passed by:
he turned their voices
into song.

The trees gave
silent homage
even as he bowed
before them,
a man of leaf and oak.

He was intimate
with all the elements,
what moved
below the earth
and what
scurried above.

Ireland ran
in his blood,
he was Ireland,
her son,
her famous pride,
her wild gesture
of giving
to the world.

Dorothy Walters
January 6, 2007

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Inner Music (poem for John O'Donohue) 

The Inner Music

Bless you, John O’Donohue.
You went places
we never got to go,
learned those rocks
face by face,
stone by stone,
until each one was your
friend, a solid companion.

You walked by the sea,
imbibed its wash and tide
until your were the very swish
of the waves, the
boom and bluster against the shore.

You were not afraid
to plunge in naked
at the spring’s turning,
not shy, even when the waters
were roiled and threatening.

I wish I had gone there with you,
climbed that rugged landscape,
thrust into those chilled waters,
had your gift for turning all
into final sound,
the inner music
which never abandons you.

(John O’Donohue, beloved Irish poet/writer, died January, 2008, at age 53. He lived in the area known as "The Burren," which is covered in a great rock sheath, sometimes to the exclusion of all vegetation. He loved to climb over these rocks, and said he recognized the individual qualities of each one. He was also known to swim in the cold, cold waters of the sea off the northwest coast of Ireland.)

Dorothy Walters
January 7, 2007

Monday, January 07, 2008

Tribute to John O'Donohue by David Whyte 

John O'Donohue, one of our most gifted writers and poets, a man deeply attuned to the spiritual world (in especial the realm of nature) has died at the age of 53. A native of Ireland, he traveled often in the U. S. to give readings and workshops, one of which I attended and still remember with great pleasure after so many years. He had a "silver tongue," as the Irish say--an ability to take words of everyday language and turn them into haunting verses, as well as highly poetic prose.

As David Whyte explains in the following poem and reflection, he was a close friend of John O'Donohue. Their lives and careers were in many ways parallel, for David is also one of our most beloved and talented poets.

One of John O'Donohue's books is called "Anam Cara," which means "soul friend" in Gaelic. He was indeed a "soul friend" to vast numbers, and will be terribly missed by all who knew him.

Looking Out From Clare

For John Donohue

There's a great spring in you
all bud and blossom
and March laughter
I've always loved.

Your face framed
against the bay
and the whisper
of some arriving joke
playing at the mouth,
your lightening raid
on the eternal
melting the serious line
to absurdity.

I look around and see
the last days of winter
broken away
for all those
listening or watching,
all come to life now
with the first pale sun on their face
for many a month,
remembering how to laugh.

But most of all I love
the heft and weight
and swing of that sea
behind it all, some other tide
racing toward the shore,
or receding to the calmness
where no light or laughter
lives for long.

The way you surface
from those atmospheres
again and again,
your emergence seems to make
you a lover of horizons
but your visitation
of darkness shows.

Then away from you
I can see you only alone
on the strand
walking to the sea
on the north coast of Clare
toward the end
of an unendurable winter
taking your first swim
of the year.

The March scald
of cold ocean
even in may about to tighten
and bud you into spring.

You look across
to the mountains in Connemara
framing, only for now,
your horizon.

You look and look, and look,
beyond all looking.

- David Whyte

In Memoriam
John O'Donohue

David Whyte

A drive into the setting sun of a summer evening, west of Ballyvaughan would take you along the limestone coast of North Clare, with the salt ocean on the right and a rising, almost over bearing, mountain of white stone on your left. The road grips the cliff edge for a good while and then opens into dunes. From there you would see a long curve of beach and a far, inviting prospect of the Aran Islands silhouetted in the low sunlight. As you drive, your gaze is so naturally pulled forward into this horizon of fire and shadow that you would most likely, and thankfully, miss the narrow lane to the left that disappears very quickly into the recesses of the mountain. You would have passed the entrance to the valley without knowing, much to the relief of the people who live beyond its entrance and who have enjoyed its solitude for centuries.

That quiet lane disappears into a sanctuary, one of the most hidden and silent enclosures in the whole north Burren. The geological architecture of the valley speaks of shelter, the human history of fortitude and the view out to sea from the surrounding hills, of all the possible and imminent futures about to blow in from the west.

Out of that private, beautiful enclosed valley there came into the world a very private but very unenclosed man, one who knew the need in every human heart for that sense of sanctuary, and for that silence but equally for the high and necessary walk which brings the horizon and the future alive again and again in the home-bound human imagination. John O'Donohue grew up in that valley and eventually entered our world through that narrow pass down to the sea. He took us with him as he journeyed to those beckoning horizons and generously brought us, as we listened to him or read him, to marvel, to wonder, and to return home transformed. He was a rare form of human possibility, a razor sharp intellect married to a far-travelling, Irish articulation and a bird-of-paradise vocabulary that made the listener realize that until then they had never listened at all. Like the valley from which he emerged, all the geological and imaginative layers of human experience were present in his speech at once; he could bring recesses and contours in the listener alive that quickened their senses, broke their enclosed imprisoning notions of self and lead them on, up high into that clear western air, listening to the lark calls, letting the wind blow them clean of worry, and returning them to their shadowed, home valley with a strange sense of intention, of courage, and a brave, laughing almost flamboyant, sense of celebration.

I was privileged to have a close friendship with John, to witness him work and play, to eat and drink with him and to participate in that moveable, laughing, bull-fighting, swish-of-the-cloak drama that accompanied and enlivened everything and everyone around him. I also knew, behind the mesmerizing cloak, the serious philosopher, the critical take-no-prisoners thinker, the responsible head of a close, extended family, and the courageous, almost sacrificial activist, who with a group of North Burren allies, took on the might of the Irish establishment and won a victory that changed Irish law at a foundational level. This is a man who could hold the broad spectrum of human experience together in a fierce, intimate and compassionate way, leavened with a humour that defies easy description and that enlivened everyone around him.

John leaves behind an enormous circle of bereft readers and listeners, a great crowd of mourning friends, and most especially, a shocked and grieving family in his loving mother Josie, his loyal brothers PJ and Pat, his good sister Mary; his extended family, Dympna, Eilish, Shane, Kate, Triona and Peter and more recently, but equally poignant, the woman to whom he had just committed his future and who had brought him a happiness he had sought all his life: Kristine Fleck.

John was a love-letter to humanity from some address in the firmament we have yet to find and locate, though we may wander many a year looking or listening for it. He has gone home to that original address and cannot be spoken with except in the quiet cradle of the imagination that he dared to visit so often himself. As a way of sending a love letter in return, I wrote this poem for him a good few years ago. I hope it can still reach him now, wherever he is to be found and that he finds it as good a representation as he did when he lived and breathed. I remember the bright, surprised and amused intelligence in his eyes when I first read it to him, sitting by his fire in Connemara. It brings him back to me even as I read it now, as I hope it does for you.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Anatomy of the Inner World (poem) 

The Anatomy of the Inner World

This is a place you enter
without key or combination.
It is where your spirit lives
when you are out
doing errands
or at the theater with friends.

It is always waiting,
like a constant lover,
a devoted friend.

It keeps changing
how it looks,
becomes a shape shifter,
a floating image
in the trees.

But when you find it again,
its face is always familiar,
like the one you looked
at so carefully
after you were born.

Sometimes it is a rose garden,
sometimes a temple,
sometimes the rose itself

Dorothy Walters
January 6, 2008

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Poem by Larry Robinson 

Could this be the year?

Could this be the year the troops come home
from every battle every land everywhere -
home to love healing peace?

Could this be the year we build more homes than bombs
make more cookies than bullets
write more poems than balance sheets?

Could this be the year that no child goes hungry
no woman abused no man homeless
nobody unloved?

Could this be the year that the salmon swim
the songbirds sing the coyotes dance
in greater numbers than we have ever known?

Could this be the year we stop serving the machine
the machine begin serving us
we begin serving life?

Could this be the year the ancient promise comes true
you know the one I mean of peace on earth
good will to all?

- Larry Robinson

Larry's poem expresses what all of us feel in our hearts. If you want to receive his daily poem (free) write to him at

The poems he chooses (from a variety of sources, mostly modern) are quite wonderful. If you want to become more acquainted with some of the best poets writing today (plus an occasional bit of verse from Rumi), write to him.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Those Who Sit in Cafes 

(image from source)

Those Who Sit in the Cafes

What has happened
is that I fell into the well
of secrets
and almost drowned.

Now I am drenched
in hidden lore,
know the unmasked truths
of the veils
behind the veils.

I can tell none of this
to those who walk about
on the sidewalks
or sit in the cafes
at evening.
What words could
I use?

Dorothy Walters
January 1, 2007

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sometimes (poem) 

(picture from source)


Sometimes we take down the veil
and dance naked before the ark.

Others, we clothe ourselves in fiber
of silk or wool,
enough cotton to keep away
the stunning rays
of the god,
the presence waiting to consume,
to bless.

Dorothy Walters
December 29, 2007

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Sudden Turns (poem) 

(photo by Patricia Lay-Dorsey)

Heartfelt blessings to all and may each have the New Year that you most desire!

Sudden Turns

I want to live my life all over again, to begin again,
to be utterly wild.
(Mary Oliver, “A Meeting”)

Do you want to live your life again,
to let that wild thing inside you
have its way this time,
to not hold back when the invitation
came on the silver platter,
the one which would have changed
your life forever?

Do you wish you had stood up
and said your truth
in a louder voice
even when the others didn't want to hear
what you were saying?
Do you wish you had told them
how wrong they were,
how they didn’t understand?

Do you wish you had picked up
and moved to the mountains,
even if the snow blocked the door
in winter and the streams froze over,
and gone swimming naked in the pond
that summer with the stranger
who stopped by,
or hitchhiked through Greece with
a backpack and a smile?

Would you give up all the things
you did in exchange for what you refused,
surrender all those treasures in your
memory box,
the times when you were,
in fact,
quietly, suddenly wild,
took the unexpected turns in the path
which brought you here,
the place you are now,
this life you love
and would not trade?

Dorothy Walters
December 31, 2007

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