Kundalini Splendor

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fuchsia (poem by Larry Robinson) 


by Larry Robinson

Even in late November, if you watch closely,
You can see a fuchsia begin to unfold in the morning sun.
Creamy outer lips open to reveal, at first shyly,
Then with great dignity, the stamen and pistil.

Inner lips of deeper reds are licked by a golden tongue.
Are they tasting the air? Are they beckoning the beloved?
Are they praying?
Surely it is too late in the year for bees .

Then, miracle of miracles! An Anna's hummingbird
Thrumming from behind the redwood
With its ruby throat and day-glo green cloak
Casually and delicately - but oh so precisely-
Dips in that remarkable tongue to the very core
of that sweet, small
Fire, blessing and being blessed.

Jesus spoke of the lilies of the field.
But until this morning, I didn't really understand.
When you fully open your heart to the World,
No matter how late it is,
The World, like a lover, unlocks for you
All the doors of its treasure house.

Larry Robinson
(picture by N. M. Rai. By an unusual synchronicity, this morning I received both Larry's poem and N.M. Rai's beautiful photograph. The two are perfect complements, are they not?)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Melting Back (poem) 

Melted Back

If we are indeed “clay
shaped by the unseen
potter’s hand,”
that one is never
but casts and molds,
kneads and thrusts
until at last
we reach a final form,
but even then
we are flung back
into the furnace,
melted back to substance
for yet another try.

Dorothy Walters
November 18, 2008

(Note: In Ancient Egyptian mythology, the god Chnum was said to have formed the first humans on a potter's wheel.--Wikipedia)
(Image from "Ceramics Today" on Wikipedia)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Buddhists (poem) 


They like order.
to discipline the soul.
They like words
such as suchness, emptiness,
dependent origination.
Sometimes they will sit
in silence
until you think they are
a stone Buddha,
waiting through eternity
for something
to happen.
They have many vows,
ways of speaking,
to make them happy.

I am the sort
who would
not fit in.
I would step into the zendo
on the wrong foot,
need to go to the bathroom
at an inopportune time,
forget to tie my robe.
My back would hurt.
My feet would get restless.
start to move about.
I might burst into song
right in the middle of things
just to break the monotony.

I hear they have a stick
for people like me.

Dorothy Walters
November 19, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving (poem by Lynn Ungar) 


by Lynn Ungar

I have been trying to read
the script cut in these hills--
a language carved in the shimmer of stubble
and the solid lines of soil, spoken
in the thud of apples falling
and the rasp of corn stalks finally bare.

The pheasants shout it with a rusty creak
as they gather in the fallen grain,
the blackbirds sing it
over their shoulders in parting,
and gold leaf illuminates the manuscript
where it is written in the trees.

Transcribed onto my human tongue
I believe it might sound like a lullaby,
or the simplest grace at table.
Across the gathering stillness
simply this: "For all that we have received,
dear God, make us truly grateful."

(from Blessing the Bread)
(Image from Panhala)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Too Sweet (poem) 

Too Sweet

I am not going
to scream about it.
Or sob and feel wounded again
for all those years.

I carry memories, yes,
as do we all—
but these things happen.
We get scratched
and bruised a bit
as we trudge along.
Always, something
like that famous fly
getting in the lotion,
the bit of debris
drifting near the
birthday cake
at the party.

In fact,
I must be honest.
What happened was not only
not all bad,
some of it was too good
to be reckoned with,
too sweet to savor,
a gift so precious
it could only be
looked at
now and again,
kept locked as a treasure,
no one knows
what became of the key.

Dorothy Walters
November 18, 2008
(Image from Wikipedia)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Om Namah Shivaya

What can we do
but cry to Shiva?

Crescent moon in hair,
trident in hand.

One day I went out
and he slipped
into my earth body,
became my blood.
As I turned to see,
I saw him looking back
from everywhere.

Now he is the face
of everyone,
each thing I behold.
He is who I am.

He is the dancer,
I the dance.

Dorothy Walters
November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

What Kind of Wisdom? (Poem) 

What Kind of Wisdom

Even now,
they don't believe.
Say you can thrust
a nail through your cheek
or fly through the air,
leap like a frog,
only because you have faith,
think it can happen.

What kind of wisdom is that?
Can fish fly
if they wish hard enough?
Alligators shrink
into gnats?
Can I sail off the cliff
all the way to the moon
just because I had
a dream of going there
last night?

Who are these people?
Why are they so
intent on ruling on
what can or cannot happen?
Their boundary skins
are fastened tight,
proof against any unfamiliar touch
or sensation.

I think they will never
feel the bliss currents flowing,
sense the light around the body,
hear music in their bones.
Know how it is
to open up,
allow the Other
to come in.
Dorothy Walters
November 17, 2008
(Image from the Transcendental Meditation Website:
http://www.tm.org/enjoy/advance/accelerate.html _

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Deepak Chopra 

Deepak Chopra

Recently I heard Deepak Chopra speak at a book signing, and again tonight on the local PBS station.

At the first presentation, he was introducing his latest volume in a series on Jesus. But the truth is, his talk did not really have much to say about Jesus. But what he did talk about was quite fascinating.

First, he explained that the universe itself consists of nothing but space. The solidity of matter is an illusion, for between the electrons which make up the atoms is nothing at all but pure emptiness. Of course, this is not new information, but it was good to hear it affirmed again, especially since some may not be familiar with it.

This emptiness is, I think, what underlies the "maya" (world of appearance) the Eastern religions speak of. It is the essential reality behind all manifestations, the truth beyond all seeming.

Then he turned to the question of the relationship between the brain and the mind. Now, for some decades the "reductionists" in the field of psychology have insisted that there is in fact no such thing as "consciousness," but only a brain, where certain electrical and chemical events occur. Deepak pointed out that even when you peer inside the brain (with various types of scans) you never can see what the subject is seeing. If she is thinking of a flower, you do not see a flower. If she is thinking of a lit candle, you do not see a candle. Rather you see a series of electrical impulses imprinted on the photo or film. You cannot determine from that what the subject was thinking about.

His point is that consciousness simply exists beyond the realm of scientific investigation. It is not, as the researchers insist, an “epiphenomenon” (by product) of the brain, but is rather a reality in itself, not amenable to any sort of "proof" or scientific verification, although each one of us knows full well that we are conscious at every moment of our waking lives--and we trust when we are sleeping or dreaming as well. Indeed, if we were not conscious we would not be reading this now, since we would not be aware of anything at all.

Thus Deepak, himself from the realm of science (he was long a respected doctor), demonstrated that there is in fact one vast consciousness, which is in fact the seer and the seen, the knower and the known. We ourselves are extensions and expressions of that reality, allowing it to see and know itself through our own senses and awareness.
He also pointed out that religion should not be confused with spirituality. Religion is the rigid formulation of original insights into dogma. Spirituality is the actual experiencing of these truths in personal experience.

For Deepak, enlightenment is the perception and experience of these fundamentals in the fullest sense, and Jesus was an enlightened being. He knew that "the kingdom of God is within you," not confined to a church or a creed or a hierarchy.

When we undergo radical kundalini awakening, we are sometimes permitted glimpses of this enlightened state. We know, as the vast unknown sweeps through our bodies, that something beyond ourselves is producing this moment. It commands awe and respect. It is nothing we can make happen or control. It is both beyond us and yet most profoundly ourselves. It is the ultimate consciousness, of which we are a part.
(Image taken from the Chopra Center website)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

In a Strange Tongue (poem) 

In a Strange Tongue

Say you went on a journey
to a place
that was not on the map,
saw many strange sights there,
temples made of jade,
elephants with tusks of gold,
made love every night
with a different stranger.

Say you woke up one day,
found gold dust
in your pocket,
a bracelet of jade
wrapped around you wrist,
all else gone.

Who would listen
to your story?
Who would believe
your traveler’s fairy tale?
Now you are
the outcast other,
the changeling
come home,
the revenant tapping
at the window,
speaking in a strange
which no one understands.

Dorothy Walters
November 17, 2008

After we undergo what is literally a "mind-blowing" experience, we often find ourselves feeling extremely alienated and even isolated from our former "community" of friends, family, and other associates. We have undergone an event so tremendous that it is truly indescribable, beyond the power of words to express. Indeed, what happened was not a "word" experience. It was the real thing, something that took place in our very guts and souls.

And--though we are indeed grateful for this whirlwind of the spirit, we realize that we are no longer like the "others," those who have gone along undisturbed in their lives, secure from revelation that might threaten their personal safety zone. We can no longer communicate on the same level. We are now a stranger in our own home, our own life. Our identity is changed forever.

This is why it is so essential to find kindred souls who have undergone similar transformation, whether of kundalini or spiritual awakening or other sorts of sudden transition to another level of consciousness. And, it is consoling to know that the numbers of such are increasing exponentially, for this is essential energy that is thrusting us all up into a new stage in our common evolutionary journey.
(Image from Wikipedia)

It isn't easy to be a pioneer, but it certainly keeps life interesting.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Jacob's Ladder 

The Jacob’s Ladder

First, the silence.

The trees motionless,
the birds no longer crying
or swerving
in air.

Even the waves drew back,
as if holding their breath.

What was approaching?

Was it a god
or an emperor
coming near?

A hush
of expectation,
veil lifted.

Then there it was,
blazing forth,
immaculate, radiant,
spilling across the water
like a carpet of light,

gold ribbed ladder
leading to Source,
the sun in its evening passion,
dying once again.

Dorothy Walters
November 18, 2008
(image from travelblog.viator.com

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stones Piled One Above the Other
on the Shore

I don’t know who did this,
but see,
how they are balanced
so perfectly,
each climbing
on the shoulders
of the other,
following the line
toward heaven.

At first,
I thought it was
a symbol
of the chakras,
each mounting in turn
as they ascended
toward the one

And then I discovered no,
the count was not right,
there was one—
or was it two?—
left over,
extended beyond the bounds,
making their own way upward.

But then I thought of Buddha,
how the spirit sits
above the crown,
yet another resting
over him,
in infinite
until at last
all Buddhas
vanish into
the nothingness
which is.

Dorothy Walters
November 19, 2008
(Image found on Panhala)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Sisters (poem) 

The Sisters

For some reason,
I don’t want
to talk about it.
The names,
The settings.
Precisely what happened.

It is as if
I got disconnected from myself,
separated into two parts
like a severed rope,
each perfectly functional
in itself,
but never quite meeting,
or twins who ignore each other.

One was (at times)
the sobbing sister inside,
crying for her lost
looking for another savior.
She was the one
left out at the party,
cast ashore
when the others went sailing
off to celebrate
and enjoy the holiday feast.
But she never shared her story.
Its disgrace.
The little cuts
and bruises.

The other was the happy one,
the one who found treasure
everywhere she looked,
giddy with delight,
talk of mating with angels.
And she did.

She met them
and she opened her arms
and what happened next
she told
again and again
in many different

Dorothy Walters
November 18, 2008
(Image from Gustave Dore's illustration for Dante's Divine Comedy) (Paradiso)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Belgian Lace 

Belgian Lace

Trees like to stay in one place,
go down deep
drink the milk
of the mother.

Flowers are show offs,
uncovering their delicate parts
in air,
waiting for the sun
to give them a kiss.

Waves shatter against the rocks,
then make themselves again
as Belgian lace,
fringes of beginnings.

Clouds can’t make up their minds,
shift constantly into new patterns,
now a camel,
now the magi or a king.

People in cities
are constantly bumping into one another,
exchanging energy
in secret transactions.

On the cliffs there is silence,
space plunging down,
distance stretching up,
only the sound of the wind calling,
ghosts of fog drifting in
from some other shore
bearing the secret.

Dorothy Walters
November 17, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Miracles (poem) 

The Miracles

It is enough, I think,
that these things happen.
That the flowers find their way
upward and burst into
before your eyes.

That the sun came out
this morning
and lit your path
everywhere you went,
like a private lantern
going before you.

That you met someone
by the fountain
last night
while the stars
rolled overhead,
tracing their familiar
once more
in the sky.

Dorothy Walters
November 17, 2008
(photo by mrhayata on Flickr)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It is Time

I think it is time to remember
our wildness.
To take off our clothes
and run through the forest
and let the trees brush
over our skin,
feel its rough scars,
its tender bruises,
and look the animals
in the eye,
naked to naked,
return growl for growl,
to claim the stars
as our own
as if we had made them
and placed them there
in their wheels,
and recite songs in trance
and find someone to love.

Dorothy Walters
November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More on proposition 8 


I still cannot get propostion 8 out of my mind.

Just a few minutes ago I was watching CNN with J. L. Hugely as the host. He is one of the wittiest, funniest comedians on t. v., somebody I just discovered a few weeks ago, and have enjoyed a great deal. A funny comic is hard to find. And I was glad to see a black man in the host position of this national news medium.

But tonight I had a shock. He was interviewing a gay man and they discussed the whole gay marriage issue. It turned out that this hip, very mod, very clever black comic cannot bring himself to support gay marriage. I was so upset, I did something I have never done before in my life--I wrote a letter to CNN to complain. But, of course, when I tried to send it, it didn't go through, and I lost the whole letter.

But here are some of my thoughts:

1. J.L. Hugely, like many others including Obama, excused his views by explaining that they were part of the religious teachings he had received as a child. I wondered if he did not realize that most of the social progress we had made in this country came because we went beyond the indoctrination (from churches, schools, and society as a whole) we received when we were young. Otherwise, many of us would still be convinced that blacks were inferior to whites because the Bible said so, and that it was not only a crime, but a sin for blacks and whites to marry (miscenation). These views were quite prevalent in the last century.

2. He said he didn't approve of the "gay lifestyle." What is the "gay lifestyle"? Is there also a "black lifestyle", a"white lifestyle", a "Hispanic lifestyle", etc.? Does he not know that there are only individual members of a group, and all may act differently. If he objects to the behavior of certain members, then he should speak to the behavior, not confuse it with the entire collective. Does Ellen DeGeneres offend him? Or the many same sex couples who have lived together for decades, waiting? I doubt it. Do those people desiring to be married in order to cement their union offend him by this act--are they likely to be guilty of whatever it is that is bothering him? I don't think so.

3. He objects to the comparison of the struggle for gay rights with the civil rights movement of the past, stating that the latter involved many more people and that they endured more persecution. Of course, both of these are true. But is civil equality a matter of numbers? Doesn't the right of equal protection apply to all? Doesn't each person deserve equal rights under the law, even one (or in this case, two)? And indeed, many more blacks have been victims than gays (who were hidden by virtue of their skin color), but if you are the one strung up on a fence, should society look the other way simply because you are merely one person?

4. Like many, he seems confused as to the difference between a civil ceremony and a church sanctioned wedding. Nothing in the present law forces any church to violate their own beliefs or teaching. Their marriages are not threatened. We are talking about civil equality under the law here, a totally different issue.

I think this young fellow needs to study history, to go home and read some books and think.

I told CNN (in my lost protest letter) that I was signing off on J. L. Hugely until he got his head straight on these issues.

I signed my letter "Elderdyke, 80 and still waiting for civic equality"

As I said, I lost the letter on my computer before it could be sent, but I felt better after writing it.

Some may be tired of the discussion around this issue, but many of us are tired of the struggle, and wonder how long we have to wait to be "free at last." We (gays and others of open mind) have watched and supported the struggles of many groups who have won acceptance in the last few decades, including various minorities (blacks, Hispanics, and Jews) as well as women as a category. But we (gays) are still waiting to be seen as more than second class citizens with full civil rights. We have witnessed as group after group has passed through the door of equality. We are still waiting, wondering when our own time will come.own

I don't mean to make this a political blog, but this is a sensitive issue for me (though I don't plan to marry anyone of either sex anytime soon or ever), and I think we all need to think about its implications.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Is Something Happening? 

Something seems to be going on. The energies are stirred up on many levels. The election (with its joys and also its disappointments), the economic crisis bringing great losses to many, the prevalent fear about the future--all of this plus a full moon seems to have put us in a strange phase where surprises occur all around and we don't know what to expect next.

Many are losing not only their homes but their savings and their livelihood. Others are devastated by the continuing oppression of gays and lesbians (see the Christian Science Monitor article today--which asserts that the passage of "proposition 8" in California is in fact a national problem). Some of my friends are experiencing serious physical ailments. Others are having difficulty in their relationships.

For me, last week was one of the strangest ever. Even before that, I had noticed an odd discomfort and itching at the base of the spine, similar to what I had felt years ago immediately before kundalini awakening. I wondered if something was stirring again--a new energetic opening? Then, a few days later, I had food poisoning and was extremely ill, but fortunately the symptoms only lasted for a day or so. Then I had an attack of something like arthritis (weather related?) in my shoulder and elsewhere. I was scheduled to go with a friend to Starhawk's spiral dance on Saturday, but woke feeling too ill to go, yet not wanting to disappoint my friend. She called that morning from out of town, said she had waked up during the night worrying about me, wondered if I was o.k. She suggested we not try to make the ceremony (much to my relief.) Then I got better, but again felt ill a couple of days later (heavy barometric pressure triggers something like migraine for me--and does me in for several hours.) While I was sitting there wondering if I had enough strength to go across the street to the grocery store, I found an e-mail from a friend in another state, saying he wondered if I was having low energy that day. Right on target.

And--I had some wonderful energetic experiences as well. I seemed to pick up rather glorious energies from another friend who came by--felt great bliss just by her presence. I was surprised by this--I get energetic "hits" from art work, vases, music and sometimes people or places, but somehow this felt different.
I soon recovered from my "under the weather" experience, and feel fine now--we are having glorious sunny weather to boot!

Today I sense that my energetic body is quite active. It feels like good chi , electric and vital. As I sat down to the computer, I began an almost involuntary movement of my hands and arms--and felt the soft flow. I was even able to "feel" my wrist and lower arm just by moving my other hand above it. Sometimes I had to look to make sure I wasn't actually touching my arm.

A friend tells me this is the sort of thing that used to happen on Star Trek (for some reason, I never watched this show). Maybe it is an indication of the future. Maybe we are in a time of major transition to the new consciousness. Certainly, we seem to be more and more connected, more in touch with "the field."

Some people think this "weirdness" is related to the full moon (happening now). Some studies report that crime increases at the time of the full moon, beginning three days before, peaking on the night of the full moon itself, then subsiding over the next three days. Others of us seem to enter an "altered state," where things are experienced in a different way. They are more in touch with their bodies, or more attuned to astrology or Tarot or become more psychic or feel things at a deeper level. They may become more emotional or intuitive or experience more extra sensory perception. They may channel more freely, have dreams of connection or precognition, suddenly know what the future holds. The right brain takes over and the left recedes, no longer the master of the mental house. We return to something more like dream state, a different reality. We may fall easily into trance, or resonate with the mental states of others.

Some think that every once in a while surges of cosmic energy hit earth from outer space, producing an amping up of earth (our own) energies, which we then experience as pleasure or pain. Some think all this is a preparation for major planetary transition in 2012.

I don't know the cause, but I feel that something of special significance is going on at this time. What do you think?

(Image is from the site called "does-the-full-moon-really-make-people-crazy ")

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Proposition 8 (poem) 

Proposition 8

(In November, 2008, the majority of voters in California voted for an amendment of the constitution which would take away the right of same sex couples to be married. The Catholic church as well as the Mormon church poured millions of dollars into the state to support the passage of this proposed amendment, known as Proposition 8.)

The first thing they did
was to take away
our identity.
They told us we
did not, could not,
would not exist.
Not in their world.
Not negotiable.

So we went underground,
made ourselves invisible,
never told anyone
or said the wrong thing.

It was fairly easy.
We became old maid schoolteachers
or the career woman who
had no time for love.
Somehow we found one another,
kept the blinds closed,
planted tall hedges
in the yard
so as not to disturb.

Again and again they asked,
“Why is it a nice girl like you
never married?”
and we replied,
“Oh, I’m just waiting for Mr. Right
to come along.”
Sometimes we gave up
and married him,
only to discover that he was,
in fact, Mr. Wrong.
We got out as best we could,
often ended up with a low paying job
and two kids to support,
no alimony or help.

As the years went by,
things got a bit better.
Theoretically, they could no longer
fire us from our jobs
just because they didn’t like
they let us come into
the room
when our partners were dying.
We could even buy
houses together.
They didn’t stone us
in the street,
though they still whispered
a lot
behind our backs.

We were, in fact,
“that way,”
meaning we based our alliances
on love
rather than on anatomy,
which is what they insisted on.

Finally, we made it
all the way to the altar,
to sanctify
what was already sacred
in our view.
But “they “ rose up
once more to oppose us,
insisting we did not have
the right to choose
the ones to spend
our lives with as a blessing
rather than a contract.

The most vocal ones
came from an institution
that for centuries
had allowed its representatives
the privilege of taking
whatever boys they chose
and using them
for their own purposes, while
the hierarchy turned
a blind eye.
They did not seem to notice
the contradiction,
and perhaps thought
that by pointing the finger
at us they would distract
attention from their own
They seemed to forget
that not many years before
their group had been called
the “Great Beast”
by the tent preachers,
and even the Klan
had marched against it.
Their ally was a church
which itself had been
persecuted in its beginnings,
driven across the land,
and seen as reprehensible
for its practices.
Their definition of marriage
had not been
one man
and one woman,
but one man
and as many women
as he could muster
around him,
much like a rooster
and his hens.
Neither institution, of course,
allowed women
to become part
of the hierarchy,
since that too
would violate God’s plan.
Women could instead
bear many children
and make cloths for the services
or serve food at the social
The once oppressed thus
became the oppressors,
insisting, like the Taliban,
that their definitions
were the only right ones
and that everyone else
must follow,
ignoring the fact
that love doesn’t
obey their laws
but has its own unpredictable ways.

And so they won another time,
but we did not stop.
We had tasted freedom,
and we demanded our right
to be acknowledged
and seen
as equal, since ours
is a society
based on civil law
and not the premises
of a theocratic state.
Once a people
raises it head
and says, “Look,
here I am,
I am real,
I exist,”
you can’t stuff them
back in their cages again.

We will not stop midway.
We will continue
to struggle ahead.
We will take back
the dark night
in which you have
so long placed us.
We too will, at last,
be free.

Dorothy Walters
November 13, 2008
(The photo is one I took at the Gay Pride march in San Francisco last June. There was much jubiliation at the time, for gays and lesbians had been given the right to get married at city hall and many were doing so, some after long years of waiting. Proposition 8 would deny such rights to same sex couples, even those who had spent decades of their lives together.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ghost Horses (poem) 

Ghost Horses

That night the hotel grounds
were sheathed in silver,
flakes floating down
as if the moon itself
were celebrating,
ivory streamers
shivering to earth.

At midnight
we saw them,
ghost horses
gathered not far away,
was this once pasture
that was theirs
now nothing but
dream snow
to graze on,
lingering spirit forms.

How still they were.
How careless
of who might watch.

Both of us saw,
we gazed down in silence
from our warm sanctuary
at last went to bed
never spoke of it

Dorothy Walters
November 12, 2008
(Photo by Steve Garufi )
The above poem is based on a true experience. It was one of the strangest sights of my life. I never found our how or why the horses came there, or where they went afterward. Apparently, they were spirit beings, moving briefly into out world.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Poem 

The Poem

It isn't how much.
It's what went in.

Say, the night
when the snow fell
and she turned to you,
the phantom horses
grazing in the distance,
mute creatures
of dream.

Or the long climb
up the mountain,
how pure the air
that summer afternoon,
the labial rocks,
the meadows glazed
with sun,
cascading purples and blues,
and then the clap
of thunder,
the sudden deluge,
scent of pines

Call it a mosaic,
or a tapestry.
Every piece in place.
Each moment
a distillation.

Dorothy Walters
November 11, 2008
Patricia and I have often talked of how every single experience, every encounter, every mental discovery of your existence goes into your creation--whether a poem or a photograph or your life itself which is also a work of art. For this reason, our mature productions often carry more weight than those of our earlier years. Likewise, our experiences in our later years are seen in the context of all that has come before. From a distance, we can see how it all fits together--and that is true of our kundalini awakening as well. Even though it did not seem to make sense at the beginning, eventually we realize that everything in our lives led up to this moment, and everything thereafter moved away from it (and on to new unfoldings.)

(Image from http://www.travelblog.org/-- found on Wikipedia)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Poem by William Blake 

Piping Down the Valleys Wild

Piping down the valleys wild,

Piping songs of pleasant glee,

On a cloud I saw a child,

And he laughing said to me:

"Pipe a song about a lamb!"

So I piped with merry cheer.

"Piper, pipe that song again."

So I piped: he wept to hear.

"Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;

Sing thy songs of happy cheer."

So I sung the same again,

While he wept with joy to hear.

"Piper, sit thee down and write

In a book, that all may read."

So he vanished from my sight,

And I plucked a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,

And I stained the water clear,

And I wrote my happy songs

Every child may joy to hear.

William Blake

This is one of Blake's most beloved poems, from his "Songs of Innocence and Experience." In that collection, he deliberately used the childlike, almost nursery rhyme form to suggest the innocent nature of the speaker. Blake himself was, as most of you know, one of the great mystics. He had many visions, including several of angels and another of his brother's spirit clapping his hands and ascending to heaven when he died. He even drew a picture of his own spirit guide (who was not a human, more like an extra-terrestrial.)

Many of his later works, by contrast, are extremely complex and difficult to comprehend. To unravel them is virtually a life's work.

Blake was very much in touch with the "other realms" and so he is, I feel, very much "one of us," those of us who today also feel the presence of a reality beyond the manifest world. In other words, his kundalini was extremely active, at least in my view, though he never spoke in those terms.

He also was very poor, and his wife sometimes had to place an empty plate before him at dinner to remind him that there was no money in the house. Ah, well, mystics and poets always have a hard time, don't they?
(Image is of William Blake in an 1807 portrait by Thomas Phillips. Photo of painting from Wikipedia.)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Grace unfolding truly describes the profound awakening and transformation

that begins with a real encounter with Holy Wisdom,

the Holy Mother, Prajnaparamita,

or one of Her sons and daughters, sage or saint.

It continues until the fabric of one's being

is drenched, indelibly dyed,

by the unfathomable ocean

of Her Love, Joy and Compassion.

Seekers intuitively know

that this is what they seek,

and the restlessness of divine discontent

brings them to Her feet eventually and finally.

Oh what a sweet refuge is to be found there,

my dear companions!

Know what you really seek a

nd never be satisfied with ephemeral distractions.

Give up being a consumer

and be consumed!

The Infinite awaits you!

Lawrence Edwards

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thinking Back 

After our historic election, many of us elders are thinking about all the changes we have witnessed in our lifetimes, particularly in the areas of race relations and the position of minorities (including gay and lesbian) in our society.

I was born 80 years ago in a small town in Oklahoma which was an all white town with a "sundown law." This law stated that no one with a single drop of non-white blood could spend the night inside the city limits. This meant that blacks could come in during the day to work as maids or household help, but they had to live elsewhere. Many lived in a small town nearby, most in extreme poverty.

The result was that I saw only a few African-Americans during my childhood, and the ones I saw were the poorest of the poor. The culture was hopelessly racist, and racism was accepted as part of daily life. Everything, including schools, was totally segregated.

When I went away to the University of Oklahoma at age 18 (1946), no black students were allowed to enroll in that institution of "higher" learning. Then, after a lawsuit, one woman (her name was Ada Lois Sipuel) was admitted to the law school. She was allowed to attend classes, but she was not allowed to sit with the other students. Rather, she was placed in a kind of "pen" in the corner of the room, where she sat alone. This courageous woman completed her degree and became a highly successful lawyer.

Then, finally, around l950, the segregation laws were overturned and blacks were admitted to the entire university, but signs sprang up over the water fountains and on some of the restroom doors: "Whites Only." The black students were not allowed to live in the dorms with the others--rather, they were assigned quarters in the "prefabs" south of the campus. (Remember, this was the era when Marian Anderson was prevented from singing in Washington, D. C., by the Daughters of the Revolution, and Leontyne Price could not stay in the same hotels with the rest of her colleagues when they traveled in the American South.)

Then, in the early fifties, the "sit-ins" began. Sympathetic whites began to take places next to blacks in places like the food counters in Woolworth's and other places. Many onlookers were shocked, and thought things had gone too far.

Then, in the sixties, the famous marches and protests took place in Selma and elsewhere. Blacks finally won the vote, but it was still against the law in many places for blacks and whites to marry.

Ultimately, the blacks won their right to vote, to marry whomever they pleased, and to exercise their civil rights in all areas.

But--like many who witnessed and applauded these changes over the years, I did not expect to see an African American elected to the highest office. I was, like many others, thrilled at this turn of events, and felt, again like others, that "if this can happen, anything can happen."

Now, of course, for many of us, the great issue still remaining is that of gay marriage. It is, to say the least, discouraging that many of those who voted to overturn the right of gays to marry (in California) or who contributed money to oppose this right are from those groups who have been themselves so oppressed historically(racial minorities as well as Mormans--the latter reportedly sent millions into California to oppose gay marriage.) However, one of my friends attended a gay marriage ceremony last week where two Morman friends of the couple were there to celebrate with them.

Progress is indeed slow. I can only hope that this right will also be extended to all groups before many more years pass.

But--indeed, thinking again about this election--if this can happen, anything can happen. Unexpected changes are occurring. Who knows what the future holds?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Anything is Possible 

Recently I happened upon a T. V. documentary about an elephant on an animal preserve who faced a major problem. Somehow, his foot was caught in the opening of a tire that was hanging from a pole. (Presumably, his keepers had put the tire there to amuse him.) The elephant was quite frantic, and was trying all he could think of to free himself. Nothing was helping. The keepers were afraid to go in near him for he was now nearly hysterical. And, if he fell, he could do himself untold damage.

Now, elephants, I learned, have a way of communicating with each other with sounds well below the human threshold of hearing, and this elephant had likely been doing this, for soon a group of fellow elephants turned up and began to circle around him. Obviously, they wanted to rescue him but no one knew what to do. They kept on trumpeting and circling until, suddenly, the elephant was free.

Moral: Anything is possible.

Today, I read an article by Michael Moore, which carried the same theme:


Who among us is not at a loss for words? Tears pour out. Tears of joy. Tears of relief. A stunning, whopping landslide of hope in a time of deep despair.In a nation that was founded on genocide and then built on the backs of slaves, it was an unexpected moment, shocking in its simplicity: Barack Obama, a good man, a black man, said he would bring change to Washington, and the majority of the country liked that idea. The racists were present throughout the campaign and in the voting booth. But they are no longer the majority, and we will see their flame of hate fizzle out in our lifetime.

There was another important "first" last night. Never before in our history has an avowed anti-war candidate been elected president during a time of war. I hope President-elect Obama remembers that as he considers expanding the war in Afghanistan. The faith we now have will be lost if he forgets the main issue on which he beat his fellow Dems in the primaries and then a great war hero in the general election: The people of America are tired of war. Sick and tired. And their voice was loud and clear yesterday.It's been an inexcusable 44 years since a Democrat running for president has received even just 51% of the vote. That's because most Americans haven't really liked the Democrats. They see them as rarely having the guts to get the job done or stand up for the working people they say they support. Well, here-s their chance. It has been handed to them, via the voting public, in the form of a man who is not a party hack, not a set-for-life Beltway bureaucrat. Will he now become one of them, or will he force them to be more like him? We pray for the latter.

But today we celebrate this triumph of decency over personal attack, of peace over war, of intelligence over a belief that Adam and Eve rode around on dinosaurs just 6,000 years ago. What will it be like to have a smart president? Science, banished for eight years, will return. Imagine supporting our country-s greatest minds as they seek to cure illness, discover new forms of energy, and work to save the planet. I know, pinch me.

We may, just possibly, also see a time of refreshing openness, enlightenment and creativity. The arts and the artists will not be seen as the enemy. Perhaps art will be explored in order to discover the greater truths. When FDR was ushered in with his landslide in 1932, what followed was Frank Capra and Preston Sturgis, Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck, Dorothea Lange and Orson Welles. All week long I have been inundated with media asking me, "gee, Mike, what will you do now that Bush is gone?" Are they kidding? What will it be like to work and create in an environment that nurtures and supports film and the arts, science and invention, and the freedom to be whatever you want to be? Watch a thousand flowers bloom! We've entered a new era, and if I could sum up our collective first thought of this new era, it is this: Anything Is Possible.

An African American has been elected President of the United States! Anything is possible! We can wrestle our economy out of the hands of the reckless rich and return it to the people. Anything is possible! Every citizen can be guaranteed health care. Anything is possible! We can stop melting the polar ice caps. Anything is possible! Those who have committed war crimes will be brought to justice. Anything is possible.

We really don't have much time. There is big work to do. But this is the week for all of us to revel in this great moment. Be humble about it. Do not treat the Republicans in your life the way they have treated you the past eight years. Show them the grace and goodness that Barack Obama exuded throughout the campaign. Though called every name in the book, he refused to lower himself to the gutter and sling the mud back. Can we follow his example? I know, it will be hard.

I want to thank everyone who gave of their time and resources to make this victory happen. It's been a long road, and huge damage has been done to this great country, not to mention to many of you who have lost your jobs, gone bankrupt from medical bills, or suffered through a loved one being shipped off to Iraq. We will now work to repair this damage, and it won't be easy.But what a way to start! Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States. Wow. Seriously, wow.


Michael Moore

(Image by Craig R. Sholley)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Coming of Light (Mark Strand) 

The Coming of Light

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow's dust flares into breath.

- Mark Strand

Photo by N. M. Rai

Monday, November 03, 2008

Poem by Thich Nhat Hanh 


By Thich Nhat Hanh

Flowers in the sky.

Flowers on Earth.

Lotuses bloom as Buddha's eyelids.

Lotuses bloom in man's heart.

Holding gracefully a lotus in his hand,

the bodhisattva brings forth a universe of art.

In the meadows of the sky,

stars have sprung up.

The smiling, fresh moon is already up.

The jade-colored trunk of a coconut tree

reaches across the late-night sky.

My mind, traveling in utmost emptiness,

catches suchness on its way home.
("Padmapani or "Lotus-Bearer" is one of the more common epithets of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion. A Bodhisattva is one who devotes his or her life to helping others, rather than focusing merely on his/her personal enlightenment. In my view, Thich Nhat Hanh is himself a bodsattva as are all those who dedicate themselves to making this a better world, rather than on personal advancement or ambition. All of us have something to contribute. Vote right!)
(Image is from source.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Here is a link to a truly good site on wisdom, and I THINK I had enough of it to make this link work. In any event, we all need more of it in our world!


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Anam Cara Newsletter
Perennial Wisdom For The Soul's Journey
Sophia's Gifts Events


Fall Programs

Lawrence Edwards, Ph. D.

Greetings and Namaste!

Kundalini Shakti is the Sanskrit term for the power of Divine Consciousness that creates the universe from Her own Being. She delights in revealing this highest truth, the unbroken union of Creator and creation, to Herself as She takes the form of a dedicated seeker perservering for life times, yearning for true Awakening. Her means for bestowing the grace of awakening to unbounded wisdom, compassion and love, are spread throughout Her creation like hidden jewels. Follow the mystics if you want to know where to find one for yourself! Sages, saints, buddhas, yogis, and mystics may call Her by different names, but Her gift of ultimate Freedom goes to all who are genuine and resolute in their loving pursuit of Her. To possess this is to be rich beyond measure and free to live in the world with unbounded love, compassion and patience.

Mukteshwari Swami Muktananda

Kundalini Shakti is the prana of the universe.
By the power of this great Goddess
the universe exists.
Muktananda, know Her.
When Kundalini awakes
all doors are thrown open.
Rama reveals himself in the heart.
Muktananda, love Kundalini.
When Kundalini awakes,
the eyes are filled with light,
fragrances arise,
nectar bathes the tongue,
ecstasy plays in the heart....
Muktananda, worship Kundalini.

Fall Programs
Anam Cara, Bedford, NY

Sunday October 19th and Saturday Nov. 22ndKirtan Night!
7 PM on Sunday and 7:30pm on Saturday
With the Ma Kirtan Singers, Satya and Kalidas. Join us in this ancient and ecstatic practice of chanting the names of the Divine. Everyone is welcome!
November 14-16, Friday Evening-Sunday Afternoon
Mysteries of the Divine Feminine and Kundalini Empowerment Retreat
Led by Lawrence Edwards, Ph.D.
The extraordinary power of Consciousness that allows us to directly know the Infinite is called Kundalini in the yogic tradition. In this retreat you will be guided through ancient practices that awaken and unfold the inner power of meditation and yoga, Kundalini.
Through this innate power of Consciousness we will explore the archetypal realms of transcendence, wisdom and grace. Through the power of mantra, chanting, breath work, and the profound tales of mystical traditions, including the Black Madonna, Inanna, Kali and Kundalini, we will further access the inner source of true knowledge and ultimate freedom. That source is the Divine within. Through this process you will be empowered to deepen and sustain your meditation practice at home.
Many people take this retreat repeatedly in order to delve more and more deeply into the mysteries of true meditation and further unfold the power of Kundalini. Sharings from others who have taken the retreat can be found through the program link below.
Meditation Group Every Tuesday Evening-- starts promptly at 7:30pm at our center at SunRaven in Bedford, NY. All are welcome!
Directions are on the Anam Cara website. If you wonder 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.

Click here (see website) to find out more about the programs. . . .

Thank you all for your notes of appreciation for our newsletter. Everyone has the heart to be a true friend of the soul, an Anam Cara. By embodying that ideal ourselves we may help another to find it in themselves. Our highest nature is always manifest in relationship - to all other beings, to the environment, in relation to our own body and mind. Becoming mindful of the quality of our relationships allows us to learn where the light shines and where it needs to shine more. The ideal of Anam Cara is to continuously endeaver to expand the depth and the inclusiveness of the loving kindness we bring into every relationship. If you have any suggestions, comments or sharings, for our newsletter please don't hesitate to e-mail me and I'll do my best to respond.
May all beings realize complete freedom from suffering and may all our actions reflect only wisdom, compassion, patience and loving kindness.

Lawrence Edwards, Ph.D. Founder and Director
Anam Cara, Inc.

All newsletter contents copyrighted 2007
email: le@anamcara-ny.org
phone: 914-234-4800
web: http://www.anamcara-ny.org

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