Kundalini Splendor

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Monday, March 31, 2008

When the World Turns to Light 

(image from source)

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain
would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive
As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one,
speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every
This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us
the world and to one another.

(from introduction)

My commentary:
Even more important, perhaps, is her realization that everything is in fact light--essence, reality, the ultimate stuff of creation.

Mystics frequently describe their own experiences in this way. I have in fact known people who have undergone similar experiences under unusual circumstances. One woman, after kundalini awakening, said that she was afraid to put her foot down, because the the ground appeared to have no material substance, being composed of pure light. Others (not mystics beforehand) have reported similar transcendent moments during acupuncture--I knew one such person, who said that she simply saw her surroundings in this way and realized that light was all that was. She accepted her insight matter of factly and never repeated the experience. Mark Doty, the eminent poet/writer, also opened to light during acupuncture (but did not care to pursue the life of a mystic.)

The appearance of light in near death experiences is well known. Dante in Il Paradiso describe his great opening to the mystery of heaven in terms of light so strong he fell backward in astonishment.

In Genesis the creator commands, "Let there be light."

And often people who have had kundalini awakening report having a constant sense of light in their head.

In any event, this is a fascinating account by a scientist turned mystic, although I am not certain she realizes the connection.

View her talk on video:


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Too Many Words (poem) 

(image from source)

Too Many Words

Too much theory,
and the luster
is lost.

Too many words,
and the light within
fails to shine.

Nothing can describe
the final feeling.
Its nature is without saying,
its truth a oneness
to cleave the heart.


Discussions and debates.
Activities to keep the waiting
until reality breaks through.


Who can say
what the final container
Only those who opened
and peered in,
been blinded by the light.

Dorothy Walters
March 29, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Tibetan Monks 

(image from source)

The Monks

The monks are crying.

In the vajra of their bodies
a stream of light runs
to heaven.

Someone has come
to block the flow,
to shut the inner source.

The monks are wounded,
their hearts are bleeding.
They cry for what they have lost,
their gift to the world.

Dorothy Walters
March 28, 2008

(On the news last night were pictures of Tibetan monks crying for their lost freedom to practice their true religion. One alert news photographer captured pictures of the scene before the Chinese militia dragged him away.

A vajra is an sacred instrument in Tibetan Buddhism. Handed down from ancient times, it is shaped like a wand with bulbs on each end. Although there are various interpretations of its symbolic meaning, it can be seen as representing the axis of the body, the path of the subtle energies as they rise from base to crown.)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

San Francisco Walk--continued 

I still get a sense of the spark of the Divine in every eye - human or otherwise, in every plant and stone.
(from a friend)

As I continued my walk through my neighborhood, I passed still more interesting folk and shops. Diversity? I had had a virtual U.N. tour, encountering the representatives and expressions of the cultures of Hungary, Russia, Egypt, U. S., Vietnam, Japan, Ireland, Israel, Korea and China, all within two or three blocks of home. And--as Lazlo had commented earlier, we all seem to get along together well, for indeed San Francisco is a city of tolerance for not only diverse ethnic cultures but various lifestyles. I often reflect that no matter how "far out" you may imagine yourself to be, in this city it will not be noticed for there are always others much much stranger than you. As one person noted, San Francisco attracts all those who didn't fit in back home. In San Francisco I live happily as a lesbian/poet/mystic and no one seems to mind. Were I to go "back home," I simply could not explain myself in any of these categories--indeed, where would I begin? (Not, of course, even to mention kundalini, an experience which--if revealed--would likely make me, at least for some, a candidate for lock up.)

I passed the storefront of the Russian tailor, where the owner looks like a twin of Vladimir Putin (I get my slacks shortened here, and he does excellent work.) Next came the "Hat Shop" which offers hats for men suited for all occasions, including top hats should one be needed. I paused once more to gaze at the antiques on display at "Troika," the Russian shop on the corner of the block where I live. Many of the articles looked like treasures brought out during the revolution--vases and bowls and other elegant objects of art. I walked by the Korean barbecue restaurant. My final stop was at another antique store, this one next to my own entrance. This shop (with the slogan "Gary on Geary") is filled with a great store of goods, from Buddhas to bunnies, as if they had somehow been assembled for a giant rummage sale. Something about the sign suggests an English connection ("Antique Shoppe"). Many of these items have been in the window for years and indeed, only seldom have I seen anyone enter. I think the elderly owner is more interested in having a place to "hang out" than in making a great profit. And, as I took my final shot, an Asian couple with a small child also paused to admire the rabbit in the window, and they gave me permission to photograph their utterly delighted (and delightful) little boy.

Then I reentered what is in effect my "sanctuary," a place well away from the noise and bustle of the street, where I can listen to my Tibetan chants and kirtan and discover new poets and interesting and spiritual internet sites and commune through e-mail with my many friends on topics of mutual interest.

Yes, at times one must descend from the sublime into the mundane, gaze about in wonder and reconnect with the "real" world, as some call it. The one and the many, the source and its myriad manifestations, the light and its rays--all revealed here together as we wander through our amazing world.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Walk in San Francisco 


True, much of the time I live more or less "with my head in the clouds." I am fascinated by the exotic, the mysterious--the Kundalini in all her inscrutable aspects, the poetry of the transcendent. I live in a very quiet apartment in San Francisco and indeed sometimes feel I am a bit of a hermit. But I fully enjoy both the privacy and the silence of my surroundings. (But of course, the city is replete with exciting things to do when one wishes to sally forth and friends here are of a special breed.)

Most often on my walks, I photograph flowers and trees, to me a direct connection with the higher realms. But today, I did something different. I decided to focus on my "actual" physical surroundings, the stores and people I pass on the busy street outside when I go out to do my neighborhood errands. The above images are the results of that effort. What I realized as I began to look around more carefully was that I live in a remarkably diverse neighborhood. (Of course, all cities are characterized by diversity. For me, this variety is still a bit of a novelty, certainly a contrast to the places in the Midwest where I spent most of my earlier life.) Mostly, my neighborhood contains Asian and Russian residents, with a few other groups sprinkled in.

The first picture (at the bottom of the group) is of an interesting gentleman I observed at an outdoor vegetable stand as I passed by. First, I tried to photograph him unnoticed, but finally I asked his permission and he readily agreed. As it turned out, we talked a bit and I discovered Lazlo had a very interesting past. Born in Hungary, he suffered in his early years from the oppression of the Soviet occupation. He tried to escape several times--once almost drowning in the Danube. For this failed attempt, he was sentenced to three years in prison. He finally got out of the country "during the chaos" of the revolt of the sixties. Now eighty, he has lived here in San Francisco for thirty years and loves the diversity of the city.

I then stopped at the Russian owned drug store to buy a "fast pass." (For seniors the cost is ten dollars, and the pass enables you to ride anywhere in the city). As I left I noticed a rack of Chinese newspapers for sale, and outside, in the display window, were metal Egyptian gods and goddesses. I wondered where they came from and how they got there.

Next door (no picture) was the Irish Bakery, with soda bread an scones for sale, and next to that the Irish pub, where you could get your Guiness or smoke on the back patio (the Irish love their smokes.) And after that, the Jewish bakery, with pictures of "pinup girls" on magazines displayed in the window.

Then I spied a woman at another produce stand, and snapped her photo as she examined the offerings. (I love the elderly one encounters on the streets, and I feel that each one contains a fascinating narrative within.)

Next was a Japanese sushi cafe, and various Chinese restaurants.

Then I passed the "Purple Skunk Boardshop," where the skateboarders and young folk hang out. Such a shop, catering to the younger generation, is almost an anomaly in our neighborhood.

Then I stopped at La Vie, a marvelous Vietnamese restaurant not far from where I live. As I waited for my take out order to arrive, I snapped a picture of this lovely stringed instrument hanging on the wall. I asked the waitress if she knew what it was, but she did not. There was only one seated customer in the restaurant and again I asked permission and again he agreed. I wondered where he was from (he did not appear to have any particular accent) and didn't want to ask directly, so instead I asked if he was a native San Franciscan (a rare breed, indeed). He smiled and said no, he was from New Jersey.

All of the above encounters occurred within two or three blocks as I made my way home. I saved the rest to post tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Green Silk (poem) 

Green Silk

It is only
the unanswerable questions
that matter—
the sky hovering over you,
sometimes coming close.
others fleeing away,
the frosted tides of heaven
rushing outward
from the shore.

And heaven brings always
a questioning
of the eternals,
the verities you grew up with
never took you far enough.
Who are you? Why did you come?
What is your secret name?

Someday, you think,
it will happen.
The clouds will part,
there will be a clap of thunder,
a message or a messenger will
descend highlighted in storm. . .
This one will bring an answer,
the pieces of the puzzle
will fly together
and you will say,
oh, yes, now I see it all,
the pattern come clear.

In the meantime,
the blossoming quince
has come back again,
the inscrutable redwoods still
guard the gates,
green silk soothes
earth's swollen breasts.

Dorothy Walters
March 18, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

Poem by Milarepa 

(image from source)

The Song of Perfect Assurance (to the Demons)

By Milarepa
(1052 - 1135)

(Milarepa was one of the greatest of the yogi saints of ancient Tibet. He is known to us today primarily for his poems, known as the "Songs of Milarepa.")

English version by Garma C. C. Chang

Obeisance to the perfect Marpa.

I am the Yogi who perceives the Ultimate Truth.
In the Origin of the Unborn, I first gain assurance;
On the Path of Non-extinction, slowly
I perfect my power;
With meaningful symbols and words
Flowing from my great compassion,
I now sing this song
From the absolute realm of Dharma Essence.

Because your sinful Karma has created
Dense blindness and impenetrable obstruction,
You cannot understand the meaning
Of Ultimate Truth.
Listen, therefore, to the Expedient Truth.

In their spotless, ancient Sutras,
All the Buddhas in the past, repeatedly
Admonished with the eternal Truth of Karma --
That every sentient being is one's kinsman.
This is eternal Truth which never fails.
Listen closely to the teaching of Compassion.

I, the Yogi who developed by his practices,
Know that outer hindrances are but a shadow-show,
And the phantasmal world
A magic play of mind unborn.

By looking inward into the mind is seen
Mind-nature -- without substance, intrinsically void.
Through meditation in solitude, the grace
Of the Succession Gurus and the teaching
Of the great Naropa are attained.
The inner truth of the Buddha
Should be the object of meditation.

By the gracious instruction of my Guru,
Is the abstruse inner meaning of Tantra understood.
Through the practice of Arising and
Perfecting Yoga,
Is the Vital Power engendered
And the inner reason for the microcosm realized.
Thus in the outer world I do not fear
The illusory obstacles.

To the Great Divine Lineage I belong,
With innumerable yogis great as all Space.

When in one's own mind one ponders
On the original state of Mind,
Illusory thoughts of themselves dissolve
Into the Realm of Dharmadhatu.
Neither afflicter nor afflicted can be seen.
Exhaustive study of the Sutras
Teaches us no more than this.

"Neither afflicter nor afficted can be seen."

In this line we encounter a great puzzle. Many traditions (particularly those of the East) posit such oneness of perpetrator and victim, yet they also present us with a clear moral code as a basis for individual and group action. I personally believe that it is essential to make distinctions as to right and wrong action (though realizing that truth is never simple, and that light and shadow are always intermingled), though accepting that--ultimately--we are all one being. It is almost as though we are asked to hold two contrary views at once--the ultimate and the provisional, one a final perspective, the other a code for daily conduct.

{poem from the Poetry Chaikhana)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Calla Lilies and Cherry Blossoms 

I woke this morning with a certain sense of sadness. Yes, it was a day of celebration, of renewal, and rebirth. But I kept remembering the other face of this holy day--crucifixion and suffering, and how these are being played out in our world. There is, of course, the deplorable situation in Tibet. But we also are guilty of crucifying the one known as the "Prince of Peace" with our continued action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As I thought of the many affluent Americans on their way to church (in my mind, they were dressed in expensive clothes and driving fancy cars), I wondered if they were aware of the shadow lurking in the trunk--the shadow of this country's shameful action which has (again, in my mind) disgraced us before the world and robbed us of our own sense of honor and moral purpose.

My reflection may have been inspired by seeing a brief bit on television last night about the new food rations now being served to the military. Included was something wrapped in paper (a candy bar, I believe) which was labeled "First Strike Candy" on the front. What kind of country, I wondered, would flaunt its role as an aggressor nation in such a shameless way? What nation could be in such denial about its own deplorable conduct?

Later I went to the park and discovered that spring was well under way there. Being among the flowering Calla lilies, the gorgeous cherry blossoms, and the many happy visitors did much to restore my spirits. It seemed as though everyone was out today. I saw babies of all ethnicities and sizes, young people with slim legs puffing along with heart measuring gadgets on their arms, old couples slowly making their way up the steps from one level to the next.

At one point I stopped to watch children and their parents playing and picnicking on the grass meadow below. Now, of course, my eyesight is not the best, but as I looked at these happy families, I felt as though I were a visitor from elsewhere--the scene looked like an impressionist painting, an event which I as onlooker could never be part of. Is this the way angels feel, I wondered? Disembodied spirits who can view the world but never participate in it?

But there were sun and flowers and folks enjoying themselves all around. The latter spoke various languages, but all were having a good time.

The small island in the middle of the lake seemed to be covered with Calla lilies. And--once you begin to photograph Calla lilies, there is no stopping. One after another they opened to the joy of the sunlit day. Some were big, some small, all blazing in affirmation. And then there were the cherry blossoms, which reminded me of the picture I gave to my mother once when I was a child. To me, they were the most beautiful thing I could imagine, and now here they were before me, offering themselves to be adored.

So--it was a lovely day after all. The human spirit--the fundamental goodness of the human heart, the ability to find joy in the most basic things of all--these will surely get us through, if we can just hang on a few more months.

We acknowledge the shadow, but we embrace the light.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

About Synchronicity 

My life seems to be filled with more and more synchronicities these days (curious "coincidences" that seem to have no apparent explanation.) More and more, I know who is on the line when the telephone rings, and sometimes even know why they are calling. Recently someone I am corresponding with in another state told me that she had contemplated writing a poem to be dedicated to me, when a certain phrase came into her head from nowhere. Next day, I posted a poem I has just written, and it contained that phrase (one I had never used before.)

Just now I received two e-mails, both from friends I was planning to write to. I had not heard from one of these in several years, but when I ran across her card in my desk yesterday, I decided I would get in touch. Then--voila!--her message to me arrived this morning.

I think that many of us are having such experiences. It is as if we are all growing closer and closer, more in touch, more able to communicate thought outside the usual channels. We are indeed "all one," a single being, a common consciousness, as we move ever closer to the next plane of being.

Recently I attended a talk by one of the founders of the Human Potential Movement. He cited various examples of persons who have had experiences "outside the normal limits." He mentioned long distance seeing, references in ancient literature to existence on pre-birth planes, writers who had explored life after the death of the body. He referred to Saint Teresa, who (in his terms) "had intercourse with an angel."

For me, all of these particulars fall easily under the kundalini umbrella. Those who awaken frequently experience "supranormal" capacities. The sense that one has rediscoved (and reawakened) one's own energetic system (the part that survives from incarnation to incarnation) is frequent. And--as for making love with an angel, kundalini folk very often have the sense that such is happening. The sacred poetry of the Middle East and also in Europe often speaks as if a lover were in fact present, the "Beloved Within." When the divine comes to call, some call it an angel, some a god or goddess, some simply the "Beloved."

Others may be puzzled by such references to "God," but those who are blessed with such experience treasure it beyond telling.

Easter is a time of joy, of resurrection. Indeed, for me what is also being resurrected is our own sense of our true selves, fully connected to both our own higher nature but also to the source of all that is. And this connection comes not merely through words, but through feelings, overwhelming love.

Happy Easter, All

Friday, March 21, 2008

More on Tibet 

Like many others, I am greatly disturbed by the events now going on in Tibet. The Tibetan heritage is all important to us. Many of us associate our own spiritual awakening with the ancient traditions passed down through the generations, or, in some cases, simply reawakened within.

The Dalai Lama is recognized as one of the world's greatest spiritual leaders. This morning I spent my practice time listening to the moving "Healing Prayers and Chant,"
a CD which was presented to the world a few years ago with the instruction that it could not be sold, only given by one person to another.

This CD is remarkable. As I listened to these sacred words, I seemed to feel the sweet energies of the Dalai Lama flow within, and I knew that he was indeed the vessel of a sacred mission.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others representing both parties in Congress went to India yesterday, to meet with the beloved leader of the Tibetans in exile, and to express their support.

What follows is information about the crisis, which was forwarded to me:

Pacific Northwest Community Rally and March in Support of the Tibetan Uprising inside Tibet

On Saturday March 22 in Vancouver, BC

Tibetans from across British Columbia, Washington State, and Oregon will gather to make their voices heard. At least 300 Tibetans and supporters are expected to attend.

As China's clampdown on protesters inside Tibet intensifies, Tibetans and their supporters outside Tibet grow even more determined to speak out and demand that China cease its oppression of Tibetans, and that the International community hold China accountable for its actions.

Since March 10 Tibetans and their supporters worldwide have been holding vigils and demonstrations in solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet who are risking their lives by demanding human rights and freedom.

Tibetans and their Supporters Worldwide Demand:

1) China must halt its crackdown, withdraw military and security forces, release detainees and allow peaceful protest. China must halt house-to-house searches and authorities must refrain from any further arrests of Tibetan protesters. We call on our Governments to support these demands.

2) Governments must support the Dalai Lama's call for a UN team of investigators to go to Tibet as soon as possible.

3) China must immediately allow foreign journalists back into all Tibetan areas (TAR and Tibetan areas of Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan)

4) The IOC must withdraw all Tibetan areas from the planned Olympic torch relay route (TAR and Tibetan areas of Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan). This includes the planned torch ascent of Mount Everest.

5) All political leaders and other prominent persons who have accepted an invitation to attend the Olympic Games should withdraw their acceptance.



The Chinese government has threatened an increased crackdown after midnight Monday March 17 (China standard time) and according to Chinese state-run media, "Those who cover up or shelter the lawbreakers [will] be punished in accordance with the law." Reports of protests in cities across Tibet, including the Tibetan provinces of Amdo and Kham now annexed into China's Qinghai, Sichuan, and Gansu provinces, counter the Chinese government claims that the unrest is the result of a handful of "troublemakers" and demonstrate the widespread Tibetan opposition to China's occupation.

The Dalai Lama has expressed anxiety about the Chinese government's threats of an impending crackdown and repeated his urgent appeal today for an international investigation into China's actions against Tibetan protestors. The Chinese government continues to maintain a media blackout and journalists have been denied access to all Tibetan areas, making it virtually impossible to verify the reports of atrocities emerging from Tibet.

Contact: Mati Bernabei 778-999-4578 mbernabe@sfu.ca

For the most up to date information on the developments in Tibet:

Canada Tibet Committee: www.tibet.ca
Students For a Free Tibet: www.studentsforafreetibet.org
Phayul (Tibetan on-line news): www.phayul.com
Tibetan Centre fro Human Rights and Democracy: www.tchrd.org
Tibetan Government in Exile: www.tibet.net

China Terrorizes Tibet
New York Times, Editorial
March 18, 2008

It was impossible not to notice that the United States removed China from its list of top 10 human rights violators just as the biggest anti-China protests in 20 years erupted in Tibet. Even when handed that undeserved dispensation, the Beijing government cannot control its authoritarian nature.

A week of protests in Tibet turned violent last Friday as Chinese security forces clashed with hundreds of Buddhist monks and other ethnic Tibetans. Information was hard to verify ­ nearly all foreigners are barred from entering and Tibetans have no freedom ­ but news reports said a market in the capital was burned; at least 16, and perhaps many more, people were killed; and paramilitary police and troops were deployed. Over the weekend, rioting spread to neighboring provinces, and demonstrations even reached Beijing.

The protests began March 10, the anniversary of a failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. The Chinese took Tibet by force in 1951, and the region has been a source of tension ever since. Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama ­ who, much to Beijing’s fury, met President Bush at the White House last October ­ has urged greater religious and cultural freedom for Tibet. But talks with Beijing have gone nowhere.

To earn the right to play host to this summer’s Olympics, Beijing promised to improve its human rights record. As its behavior in Tibet ­ and the recent arrest of the human rights advocate Hu Jia and others ­ demonstrates, China does not take that commitment seriously.

In its annual human rights report on 190 countries, the State Department conceded that Beijing’s overall performance remained poor. But in what looked like a political payoff to a government whose help America desperately needs on difficult problems, the department dropped China from its list of 10 worst violators.

Whatever gain China may have gotten from being elevated above the likes of North Korea, Myanmar, Iran and Sudan was lost by the crackdown on Tibet.

China had a chance to shine for its Olympic coming-out party and is blowing it. Its leaders will continue to have to battle protests and unrest ­ and endure international reproach ­ until they ensure more freedom for all their citizens, including greater religious tolerance and freedom for Tibet.

Crackdown in Tibet: 15 monks detained and at risk of torture and ill-treatment
Amnesty International/Canada, March 19, 2008

Young Tibetan Buddhist monks leave a ceremony at the historic Labrang Monastery, March 14, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON

According to information published by the Tibetan Centre on Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), 15 Tibetan monks were detained on 10 March for staging a peaceful demonstration in Barkhor, Lhasa, the capital of Tibetan Autonomous Region. There is no information of their current whereabouts or of any charges brought against them. They are at high risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

On Monday 10 March hundreds of monks began a march from Drepung Monastery towards Barkhor. Another group, which included the 15 monks now in detention, began their march from Sera Monastery, but were soon detained. The monks had been demanding that the government ease a “patriotic re-education” campaign which forces them to denounce the Dalai Lama and subjects them to government propaganda.

Protests began in other monasteries in support of those detained. Demonstrations also involving lay people then followed across Lhasa, in other parts of Tibet and in areas of the neighbouring provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan with large populations of Tibetans. On Friday the protests became violent, with some protesters specifically targeting and setting fire to Chinese-owned businesses and attacking people from other ethnic groups.

The Chinese authorities urged the protesters to give themselves in by Monday 17 March at midnight, Beijing Time, and promised that those who did would be treated leniently. As of today, the streets of Lhasa were reported to be largely quiet and empty.

Police and soldiers are reported to be conducting house to house sweeps in Lhasa. Some eyewitnesses have reported individuals being dragged from their homes. There continue to be reports of unrest in neighbouring Sichuan and Gansu provinces. There are also reports that some Chinese police and soldiers have used excessive force, including lethal force, against Tibetan demonstrators in Lhasa and elsewhere. With large numbers of troops now deployed in the region further human rights violations may be committed.

The Chinese authorities have imposed a near-total block on information leaving Tibet and surrounding areas. Permits for journalists to enter Tibet were stopped from 12 March. Foreign journalists have been barred or removed from districts in Gansu, Sichuan and Qinghai provinces, where the unrest has spread.

The Chinese government has the right and duty to defend all individuals and property from violence. At the same time international law requires that the authorities handle such crises in ways that uphold fundamental human rights and the principles of necessity and proportionality in the use of force. For example, firearms should only be discharged as a last resort and when lives are at risk.

TCHRD has obtained pictures of fourteen of the detained monks. The portraits are on their website.

Please send personally-worded appeals to arrive as quickly as possible in English, Chinese or your own language:
urge the authorities to release the 15 monks listed below, as well as all others detained for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly;
urge the authorities to fully account for all those detained during the demonstrations, ensuring they are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated, have access to lawyers and medical care, are brought promptly before an independent court and are able to challenge their detention;
ensure that those prosecuted are charged with internationally recognizable offences and tried in proceedings which meet international fair trial standards;
allow full and unimpeded access to Tibet and other Tibetan areas to journalists and other independent observers;
allow independent UN investigation into the events of the last week, including full access to scenes of confrontation, eye-witnesses, and detainees, and allow similar access to independent observers, including journalists and human rights NGOs.
15 Tibetan Monks Detained
Samten (m), aged 17, Lungkar Monastery, Qinghai Province
Trulku Tenpa Rigsang (m), aged 26, Lungkar Monastery, Qinghai Province
Gelek Pel (m) aged 32 Lungkar Monastery, Qinghai Province
Lobsang (m) aged 15, Onpo Monastery, Sichuan Province
Lobsang Thukjey (m), aged 19 Onpo Monastery, Sichuan Province
Tsultrim Palden (m), aged 20 Onpo Monastery, Sichuan Province
Lobsher (m), aged 20 Onpo Monastery, Sichuan Province
Phurden (m), aged 22 Onpo Monastery, Sichuan Province
Thupdon (m), aged 24 Onpo Monastery, Sichuan Province
Lobsang Ngodup (m), aged 29 Onpo Monastery, Sichuan Province
Lodoe (m), aged 30 Onpo Monastery, Sichuan Province
Thupwang (m), aged 30, Darthang Monastery
Pema Garwang (m), aged 30, Darthang Monastery
Tsegyam (m), aged 22, Kashi Monastery
Soepa (m), aged 30, Mangye Monastery

President of the People’s Republic of China:
HU Jintao Guojia Zhuxi
The State Council General Office
2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu
Beijingshi 100017, People's Republic of China
Salutation: Your Excellency

Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional People's Government:
Qiangba PUNCOG Zhuren
Xizang Zizhiqu Renmin Zhengfu
1 Kang'angdonglu
Lasashi 850000
Xizang Zizhiqu, People's Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Chairman

Minister of Public Security of the People's Republic of China:
MENG Jianzhu Buzhang
14 Dongchang’anjie
Beijingshi 100741, People's Republic of China
Salutation: Your Excellency

Ambassador for the People's Republic of China
His Excellency LU Shumin
515 St. Patrick Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 5H3
Fax: (613) 789-1911
Salutation: Your Excellency

Mayor of Lasa Municipal People’s Government Tibet Autonomous Region
LOBSANG Gyaincain Shizhang
Lasashi Zizhiqu Renmin Zhengfu
16 Jinjulu, Lasashi 850000
Xizang Zizhiqu, People's Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Mayor

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Apparition (poem) 

The Apparition

This heron was white.
Standing there, suddenly,
like an apparition of the departed,
only more beautiful.

Oblivious to me, to the lesser birds nearby,
it probed the shallows of the small lake
which had formed
after the latest rain.
(This was not a place where waters
flowed. It was a park, its occasional
turned into a pond.)

What could I call it but majestic?
Its height regal,
its composure complete,
a lesser god
drifted into our sphere.

It stood there,
fully occupied,
doing what it was constructed
to do,
bobbing and swallowing
in its one-pointed task,
as I was held, lost,
consumed in
its spreading flame.

Dorothy Walters
March 19, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Midnight in the Garden

And so, thinking,
you question,
what is it you would have now,
that you did not have before,
what being, embrace,
moment on the mountain top.
Sun like a lover on the horizon,
moon slipping in close,
saying hold and be held.

Vows exchanged.
Night whispers asleep.

And you know that
what you have had
is what was yours
to be given,
the final drop of nectar
from the cup,
midnight in the rose garden,
the forgotten kiss.

Dorothy Walters
March 17, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Party and a Poem 

(picture by Patricia Lay-Dorsey)

Yesterday was my 80th birthday, a number which seems most improbable. We do not, of course, think of ourselves as among the "old." The elders, maybe, the "getting on," perhaps. But eighty? No way. That is an age for bent crones and bearded ancients mumbling to themselves.

Unexpected things happen when we enter this stage. We become less vulnerable to upset, less judgmental, less involved in the day to day happenings of ourselves and the world. We learn to step back, to observe from a distance, to compare current happenings with past events. Often we reflect that we have indeed "been there, done that" before.

But we do not become complacent or disinterested. Our sense of adventure remains high, and our passion intense, but we shift focus. We know our own inner strengths and weaknesses, but we have come to terms with them. Our power is more focused, our intentions more clear. We have weeded out the extraneous and retained the essential. Our friends become ever more important. We realize that this is the time to give our creativity full attention, for now we know, finally, that our time will be limited. It is now we must say whatever it is we need to say, connect with whatever or whomever we need to touch, explore what remains yet unknown.

Our inner spiritual process continues to unfold in new and exciting ways. We discover more avenues of inner growth and expression, means of "bringing the gift back home." This is the harvest time, when the pattern of our lives emerges as it nears completion.

We do not lie down and roll over, but we may yawn in the face of circumstance. We continue to dance our dance, though the rhythm has changed.

Fortunately I have many amazing friends, who helped me to celebrate and make this day an occasion to remember. As I looked around the room at this gathering (about 10 in all), I was struck by how evolved these people were. Each was precious in her (and one his) own way, each shone with inner illumination, so that their faces took on a truly angelic radiance, as if each one came forth in the perfection of herself. Others remarked later that a special atmosphere was created by these most remarkable people.

Among them were artists, poets, spiritual teachers, the intellectually advanced and those who gave freely of themselves to the welfare of others, including animals as well as people. Members of this group have traveled to virtually all parts of the world, engaged in a diversity of activities. They are the kind of people who are at home in the world, and--though they were not acquainted beforehand--they immediately bonded with one another and sensed each other's inner qualities.

As I gazed around this circle I realized,again,that friends are our most important possession (outside of family for some), and that these connections are what sustain us, get us through, and allow us to be who we are in their presence. With friends we become our true selves, and they do the same. This is the authentic moment, the reality of our lives.

And--last night--I wrote this poem:

On My Eightieth Birthday

I will, yes,
know everything,
seed to tree,
bole to blossoming,
what begins in joy
and ends in pain ,
the moment lost in
time's hurricane,
the interlude engraved on the heart,
the one who was faithful,
the one who failed,
all of it
eaten like a dark blessing,
a sweet wafer soothing
the tongue.

Dorothy Walters
March 17, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pray for Tibet 

(Image from source)

I received this message from Lawrence Edwards this morning:

"Please read this and use the links below to contact US government representatives and to support Save Tibet, www.savetibet.org

Please forgive me for sending you information you didn't ask for. This is just so very important. It even was on the front page of the NY Times on Saturday"


As you may know,there is renewed violence in Tibet. What began as peaceful protest has escalated, and there are numerous confrontations throughout the country. The Dalai Lama is calling for restraint on all sides. Those of us who love Tibet (and that includes us all) will want to offer any support we can, including our prayers for peace to be restored and for diplomatic channels to serve to ameliorate the conditions there.

Like many of you, I claim Tibet as my ancestral home, even though such assertions have become so prevalent that they are almost cliches. Nonetheless, I feel that I did indeed once live there and participated as a monk in its spiritual life.

I have pondered why so many of us share similar feelings, and have concluded that I agree with the notion that when great beings return to earth, they do so in fragmented form. This shrunken self (a particle of the original source) then must deal with the limitations of human existence; yet they retain some memory of their primal beginnings. For the spirit(higher) self (which continues to exist in the upper realms), this descent is a valuable reminder of what it means to live in a contracted, human form, with the constant challenges and struggles of the earthly plane.

So what stirs in us when we identify so strongly with Tibet (or other lost homes) is a memory of a prior existence which arises through our connection with that distant being.

From one source, many descendants, who are like sparks in the divine fire at the heart of all that is.

Dorothy Walters
March 17, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Another video of the Council of Grandmothers 

Here is a second video of the Council of the Grandmothers. It contains new information, especially about the history of the group.

Last night I went to a Women Against War performance. This Council was mentioned as an important element in the movement for peace. And a book has been published about the group--available from Lulu.com

Friday, March 14, 2008

Kundalini Video--Part 3 

This is the final segment of the Kundalini video. Again, thanks to JeanJeans1, who posted it on youtube.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kundalini Video, part 2 

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kundalini Video--Part One 

Here is another of the youtube Kundalini videos I posted a link to recently, but with my new found technology I am now able to present it here on this site. Just click to view. Parts Two and Three will follow later this week. May this series contribute to the "endless web of life which is seeking to become conscious." (from the video.)

The video was posted by Jeanjeansl at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gpjJUbPfzY

Truly, it is a magnificent video of the classical representation of the rising of Kundalini through the subtle system. (And, as I have mentioned, Kundalini does not necessarily behave in such a predictable way, but this depiction offers a compelling picture of the traditional notion.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Video of Shamans, including Psychic Healing 

I gave the link to this video in the last post, but now I am offering the actual video here (I hope).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Grandmothers and Shamans: More youtube videos 

The youtube named below is a fascinating presentation of the visit of the Council of the Grandmothers to India for a meeting with the Dalai Lama. This council was formed several years ago and includes women from various tribal cultures around the world. The Council brings these women together, along with their translators, so that they may get to know one another and give their important message to the world at large. Jyoti (Jeannine Prevatt) organized the group and has overseen its councils ever since. She has been active in spiritual activities for many years. Among other things, she has long taken a leading role in the Kundalini Research Network.

Ancient tradition says that it is just such a group--female tribal elders--who will, finally, save our planet. Certainly their message is one to attend to. And the project itself is quite unusual--I have a friend who went with this group to India, and who plans to go to the next one in Africa.


And here is another video, this of shamanic healers across the world. It includes (among others) footage of those who actually perform the famous "psychic surgery," in which the healer appears to insert his/her hand into the patient. Apparently this technique works for many. The last healer, Hea Pak, presented a workshop in San Francisco several years ago which I attended. It was indeed a workshop, not a major healing session, but it was quite powerful. The energy was electric.

> http://video. google.com/ videoplay? docid=-217364252 5917926602

Sunday, March 09, 2008

My Life (poem by Christine Arpita) 

My Life

my life is not as tidy
as i

ripped apart
a comfortable reality
and all of my favourite ideas
are gone

i am
the debris
of the storm
on the wind of the Lord

Saturday, March 08, 2008

What is Poetry 

(Spring comes to San Franciso)

What is Poetry

Poetry is the ongoing effort of the soul to capture in syllables the relation of the self to the larger reality which we call the divine. It seeks to outline in graspable ways the connection of the mortal to the immortal, the confined to the boundless. It is the arriving spirit’s lament for the lost paradise, and its celebration of recurrent joy at its earthly home.

Poetry issues from the realm of the mysterious, that region which resides within us all but which we can explore only through indirect and imprecise means. This realm is not available for direct scrutiny. Occasionally we catch strains of its distant song, or stumble upon fragments of its secret messages. When this happens, we call it a poem.

Dorothy Walters
March 8, 2008

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Real and the Ideal 

I have been looking again at Patricia's site, this time of an unclothed woman of advanced years (seventies) doing yoga. It made me realize how so often yoga instructions offer portraits of austere Asian males with athletic bodies, or perhaps young women with lithe figures and beautiful faces, doing poses the rest of us can only dream about.

For many of us, contemplating these advanced masters of the art is like looking at films of the Olympics. Yes, perhaps we too can swim or run, but not in quite the same way. Patricia's subject reveals to us that we--as human aspirants--will look and act far different from the perfected champions of the illustrations.

Likewise, there is for kundalini both an ideal and the reality of the experience. In the descriptions (or perhaps from our teacher) we learn that kundalini rests at the base of the spine until it is awakened, and that then it rises chakra by chakra until it reaches its goal at the top of the head, the sign of enlightenment.

But kundalini has its own program for us. It is totally unpredictable. It may leap and jump, or ascend slowly, bypassing certain places, awakening others. Those of us who experience "spontaneous awakening" are caught "in medias res" (in the middle of the action), that is, in the middle of our lives. We have not practiced in caves for many years, eaten a careful diet, meditated for hours and days on end, nor renounced the activities of this world. We must struggle ahead from wherever we find ourselves. We must try to make up for all the unresolved issues remaining in our lives. In one sense, we must do kundalini backwards, arriving at a certain level and then returning again and again to clear up the remaining clutter in our lives.

Thus there is a great discrepancy between the ideal kundalini process and the actuality. For most of us, it is a struggle intermixed with bliss, joy intermingled with pain. It is a journey we make on faith, as we sense we are participants in a larger phenomenon, and we do our part simply by allowing it to happen in our own bodies.

(To see the full series of photos of this remarkable yogini, go to:


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Exciting new youtube and blog sites 

Here is one of the most stunning depictions of kundalini I have encountered:

http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=7gpjJUbPfzY (part 1)
http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=DMxKffswZ1Q (part 2)
http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=_1UEXBXNyyQ (part 3)

It is well worth your time. As use of the internet expands, so does our ability to communicate with one another, and to feel that we are indeed all truly connected.

And, in addition, Ivan Granger (of the poetry chaikhana) has now opened new sites at


and also a Video Channel at youtube which he explains as follows:

I periodically receive emails from the Poetry Chaikhana community with links to YouTube videos of uplifting talks, poetry readings, and video art. I thought it was about time to gather the best of those video clips together and share them with a wider audience, so I created

Chaikhana Channel


He continues:

I just set up a new “channel” on YouTube to play all of these wonderful, short videos. The channel is still in its early phases, but I’ve already selected several excellent videos, ranging from the profound and meditative, to laugh-out-loud funny.

So, please, explore and send me your feedback. If you like this initial sampling, subscribe to the playlists on my YouTube page and be notified when new videos are added, or just check in on the video players below.

And I welcome your suggestions for videos to add to the lineup.

I’ve organized the videos loosely into two playlists:

Poetry Chaikhana
Sacred Poetry Sacred poetry in readings, song, performance, and video art.


Chaikhana Channel
Sacred World Inspired music, satsangs, interviews, performance, animation, and video clips.

Bravo, Ivan. Once more, you have utilized your vast computer skills plus you devotion to sacred art of all kinds to give us a spiritual gift of immeasurable value.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Ruined House 

(image from www.friedmanarchives.com)

A Ruined House

I too live
in a ruined house.

Mice running about
in the rafters,
rain leaking in through
the cracked panes.

In winter,
frost on the sills,
the windows won’t even

But what can I do about
such things?

I came here long ago,
watched the slow decline
of years.

Sometimes when the moon
creeps in through
the broken roof,
I take down my pages,
the journals written in my youth,
reflect again on these,
and smile.

Dorothy Walters
February 21, 2008

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Labyrinth 

(image from source)

The Labyrinth

I have danced to the center
and back
so many times
I cannot count them.

Drunk water from
the sacred well,
fed on the juice of the secret
honey comb.

Sometimes the thorn
of the rose
pressed deep
into my flesh,

the cry of a bird
at night
echoed warning.

Always there was movement,
there was turning,
sudden moon,
the lightning flash
at the source.

Dorothy Walters
February 3, 2008

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Honeycomb 

(picture by N. M. Rai. See more of her work at
and http://pbase.com/nmrai)

The Honeycomb

This is a picture
of a honeycomb
with its many cells.

Tell me,
could it not as well
be a woman’s secret nest,
her golden eggs ready
to stream forth,
to become whatever
it is that is waiting
in the world beyond.

Dorothy Walters
March 2, 2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008



Some plow their ruts
deeper and deeper,
heads down,
never looking
to right or left,
ever seeking
original truth.

Devoted ones journey long,
one pointed,
always uncovering
greater knowledge.

Others skip happily
from path to path,
gathering joy like wildflowers
sprouting all around.

Wisdom clings to their soles,
their hands,
dusting their shoulders
like bits of pollen
drifted from trees.
Scent hovers near,
floating incense
from sweet pine.

Their altars are
fountains of colors,
blossoms and stems
serenely rioting

Dorothy Walters
February 12, 2008

Saturday, March 01, 2008

When the Sun 

(picture by N. M. Rai)

When the Sun

Sometimes it happens, yes,
your are walking along
and the sun suddenly
breaks open the clouds
and there it is,
radiant and beautiful,
a gold pendant
turning the trees to fire,
the lakes to mirrors of spirit.

Or, it can be the other way.
A bird falls straight from the sky,
lands at your feet,
you wonder how this can be.
The clouds gather
and scowl,
the silence swells.

Both part of the Mystery.

Dorothy Walters
February 25, 2008

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