Kundalini Splendor

Kundalini Splendor <$BlogRSDURL$>

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sacred Vases and Holy Pools (poem by Kabir) 

(I will be leaving for Colorado (Boulder, my "spiritual home") tomorrow for two weeks and so will not be posting the blog until I return in early October. Blessings to all--stay well and enjoy the fall weather.)

Often, people will ask you to describe your kundalini experience. As you know, this is difficult if not impossible. Each experience is unique to the individual being--each has its own taste, its special signature. For one, it might be infinite bliss--for another, pain as he/she struggles to overcome persistent issues. For most of us, it is the roller coaster of life--ups and downs, forwards and back. To describe it would be like trying to tell someone how chocolate ice cream tastes, or the feeling aroused by a piece of favorite music. Subjective experience cannot be fully captured in words. We can talk around the subject, but we can never convey it exactly.

Yet, we try. One thing we can agree on--kundalini constantly changes in tone, texture, and intensity. For some of us (I am one) it becomes ever more refined, always more filled with subtle surprises. Here is a recent one:

I went to see an exhibit of the artwork of the Ming period with my friend, not really expecting to be especially moved, since Chinese art is not necessarily a favorite of mine. When I walked in, I turned to the right, and there, behind a glass case, were two large vases with dragons on them. Oh, yes, I thought, the usual dragons on the usual vases. And then something happened. I realized that energy was pouring out from these pieces--as I stood there, it become more and more powerful, though also pleasing, but more strong than sweet. I bowed my head and the energies flowed in, in a most intense way. What is this, I wondered? Almost in a daze, I wandered away.

A few minutes later, I realized I had not even taken the time to find out the history of these objects, so I returned and read the description. It seems that these were two special vases, created in the emperor's own special kiln, and the vases themselves were used in an important ceremony to mark the installation of a new emperor and the beginnings of a new era. Obviously, much energy had gone into their preparation. And--it was still there, pouring forth, strong, masculine, awing.

For me, it was yet another new experience, another unfolding, yet another demonstration of how kundalini constantly expands our awareness in unexpected ways. Whatever else we may say about our experience, it certainly is never dull.

I reflected on where I had felt such energies before when looking at art objects. I remembered the powerful waves which emanated from the Rothko painting I saw in Detroit, the lovely vibrations coming off one of the paintings in the Female Impressionists exhibit a few months ago here in San Francisco, the overall sense of beautiful and palpable field of sacred energy from an exhibit of the Arts and Crafts (William Morris period) exhibit two or three years back. Some of these items, which had been made so carefully and lovingly, still seemed to carry some of that original energy conveyed from artist to object. Otherwise, I recalled only the power (but it too was real and intense) of depictions of sacred beings--my Buddhist tongka, a depiction of a guru in an ashram, images such as these. Of course, if we extend the field to persons and sacred places, and indeed to poetry and the vibrations of music, there are many more examples. Yes, everything is energy, and when our own inner rhythms are in tune, we can feel what comes forth all around us, if we pause and pay attention.

The following poem by Kabir sums up my thoughts on the subject of spiritual growth and discovery. It is not in the texts or designated places that truth is validated, but in what some call the "self-validating experience," the wonder that constantly awaits in the unexpected encounter.

Holy Pools

There is nothing but water in the holy pools.
I know, I have been swimming in them.

All the gods sculpted of wood and ivory
can't say a word.
I know, I have been crying out to them.

The Sacred Books of the East are nothing but words.
I looked through their covers one day sideways.

What Kabir talks about is only what he has lived through.

If you have not lived through something,
It is not true.


(Image from Wikipedia of vase now in Louvre)

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?