Kundalini Splendor

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Monday, November 30, 2009

White Heron Becoming Sky (poem) 

White Heron Becoming Sky

it appeared,
white magnificence
at the edge
of the shallow pool,
going about its
single task,
seeking sustenance
from the muddy floor,
yet utterly dignified,
to all of us gathered there
to watch in silence,
the way I suppose
a god might be,
gathered in his composed majesty,
allowing us
to observe his
stark beauty
close at hand,
as if we did not matter,
as if he did not deign
to notice
our quiet awe,
until she left,
stretching her great wings
like an archangel taking flight,
then rose until
we could no longer
which was bird,
which was sky.

Dorothy Walters

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Goddess (poem) 

The Goddess

They found me
early, declared me
someone descended
from the gods,
now a goddess in their midst.

True, as a child,
I had special gifts—
could predict
the coming of
the monsoons,
when to beware of drought,
how to ward off plague.

People from other villages
heard of me,
began to come
for healings.
I touched their brows
and they were cured,
gave them words to say.

As I grew,
the festivals took note,
carried me aloft
in my palanquin,
clothed me in jewels
and silk.

Now the throngs pressed close,
eager to touch
my feet,
my dress,
seeking the blessing
of the god.

Years passed,
and still I
did not speak
before the many,
but sat silent,
eyes half closed,
allowing the dream
to unfold
around me
as the crowds pleaded
and surged.

Then I grew old,
each day awakened
by loving handmaids,
gently dressed,
fed special foods
by faithful followers.

All of this felt proper,
by my station,
who I was.

Yet alone
I sometimes wondered,
what if I had not found
the magic stone
that day
by the brook,
what if I had instead
married a village boy,
had his young,
gossiped at the stream
with the other wives
as we thrashed
our husbands' shirts
upon the rocks.

Dorothy Walters
November 29, 2009

(Image from http://www.exoticindiaart.com)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hobbits from Outer Space 


I have just watched a fascinating presentation (site above) from Nova (2008) on a recent find on the Indonesian Island called Flores, which has been separated from the mainland for countless eras of time. The find consists of the skeleton and some random bones of a pre-human creature who stood less than 3 feet tall and had a brain size less than that of a chimpanzee. Although the paleontologists of the the world are divided on the interpretation of the find, one thing is clear. Such creatures bearing a human skeleton and adapted to making rather sophisticated tools did exist on this island betwen 10,000 and 90,000 years ago.

The debate raises such questions as: Was this simply a pigmy humanoid, or someone suffering a pathology that limited the growth of the brain? Is this a separate species, one unknown until now? If such creatures did exist at that early time in Southeast Asia, how did they get there? Accepted theory is that human ancestry began in Africa, and migrated from this starting place into Europe and then parts of Asia. Did this "species" develop independently in this distant part of the world, thus challenging the "African beginnings" theory?

Whatever the conclusions of the anthropologists may be, for others of us the find raises some interesting speculations of a different kind. These remains are nicknamed "Hobbits" for their small size and seeming resemblance to the diminutive creatures of "The Lord of the Rings." Now, Ireland (as well as other parts of northern Europe) has a long history of accounts of the "little people," fairies and elves who lived underground and had magical powers. Were there in fact such tiny creatures surviving in this remote island off Western Europe? Di they "go underground" when Ireland was invaded from the West?

But perhaps even more intriguing is this: we all know of the rumors of the space ship which crashed in New Mexico, outfitted with chairs and instruments for a very small crew, estimated to be no more than three feet tall. We know the myths of "little Green Men" circulated to discredit the stories of the crash in the desert. But--what if such a species does in fact exist on another planet? If such small creatures could have evolved on earth so long ago, why is it inconceivable that similar species (but obviously much more highly developed in other ways) might have evolved elsewhere in our solar system over the millenia? And if so, since we ourselves are voyaging to other planets, why couldn't they do the same?

Why not? Whole books have been written to explain how on isolated islands creatures may grow to extremely large or extremely small sizes. Surely a similar development might be possible elsewhere in our universe.

To date, we know very little about the actual evolution of the human species. Perhaps we too came (in some form) from outer space. Or perhaps alien travelers modified the genes of existing humanoid creatures on earth to give them a "boost" on the evolutionary scale.

Personally, I incline toward the latter theory. These unusual genes seem to be more activated in some than in others. Some people seem to be ready to "open" to broader visions of spiritual awareness than others, who seem to slumber quietly undisturbed by greater possibilities. Perhaps those who undergo Kundalini awakening in order to progress to higher levels of awareness have such possibilities programed into their genes. Sometimes my truly "far out" friends appear to be in fact another species, whose expanded consciousness goes well beyond the perspectives of the "mainstream" man or woman. Perhaps we are two species, apparently the same, yet one advancing more rapidly than the other, but all having the innate capacity to "open" and evolve at the proper time.

(Image taken from above Nova site)

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Thanksgiving Prayer from the Iroquois Nation 


We have gathered and come from many different places. We have arrived safely at this place to share with each other our gifts from the Creator. So we bring our minds together as one in Thanksgiving and Greetings to one another.

We now turn our thoughts to Earth Mother. She continues to care for us and has not forgotten her instructions from the beginning of time. Now we bring our minds together in Thanksgiving for the Earth.

Now as one mind we turn our thoughts to the Waters of the Earth for they too have not forgotten their instructions from the Creator of Life. The Waters continue to flow beneath the ground, in little streams and in rivers, in lakes and in wetlands, and in the great seas. They quench our thirst and help keep us clean so we can fulfill our duty to Creation. We now bring our minds together in Thanksgiving to all the Waters of the Earth.

We now address all the Beings both seen and unseen that dwell in the Water for they too have not forgotten their original instructions from the Creator of Life to provide for us in many ways. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to all the Nations who dwell in the Waters.

Now we direct our thoughts to the many kinds of plants that live upon the Earth- for they too have not forgotten their original instructions. Many members of this Nation sustain those who walk upon this Earth, and many others who continue to fulfill their duties to take away the sickness of the human family and elevate human consciousness. With one mind we send our thoughts and Thanksgiving to the Plant Nations.

With one mind we now think of our relations in the many Insect Nations. Like the other members of the natural world, they too have not forgotten their original instructions to fulfill their obligation to Continued Creation. With one mind we send our thoughts and Thanksgiving to all the members of the Insect Nations.

We now gather our minds together and send Greetings and Thanksgiving to all the Animal Life in the world, for they continue to instruct and teach us even today. It is said that the Creator knew that Humans would take too much for granted if they were given all the wisdom, so instead the Creator gave a little piece of wisdom of how to live on the Earth to the different animals. We are happy that many still walk with us on our continuing journey. With one mind we send Thanksgiving to all the Animal Life in the world.

With one mind we now think of the Trees. According to their original instructions the Trees still give us shelter, warmth, food, and make the environment a suitable place to dwell. The trees remind us of the beauty and power in the natural world. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to all the members of the Tree Nation.

We now bring our minds together and send our Greetings of Thanksgiving to the Birds. At the beginning of time the Birds were given a special duty to perform. The Creator gave the Birds instructions to each find a special place to live in the world and they should learn the song of that place. During the day, our minds are lifted by the songs of the Bird Nations. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to the Birds of the world.

We are thankful to the Four Winds who continue to blow and cleanse the air according to their original instructions. As we listen to the Winds it is as if we are hearing the Creator's breath, clearing our minds as it blows through the trees. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to the Four Winds.

We now turn our attention to the Thunderbeings. For they too have not forgotten their original instructions and welcome the Spring with their loud voice. Along with the lightning, they carry the waters of the spring on their backs. It is also said that the Thunderbeings were given the job to hold down the beings beneath the Earth which would prevent life from continuing. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to the Thunderbeings.

Our minds are as one as we send our thoughts to our oldest brother the Sun. Each day the Sun continues his instructions from the Creator of Life, bringing the light of day, the energy source of all life on Earth. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to our oldest brother the Sun.

We now gather our minds together and give thanks to our oldest Grandmother the Moon. She holds hands with all the women of the world and binds all of the female cycles and rhythms of the Waters so we may continue to carry out our obligation to Creation. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to Grandmother Moon.

With one mind we send our thoughts to the Star Nation who continue to light our way during times of darkness to guide us home, and hold the secrets of many forgotten stories. Even though many of the stories are no longer in our minds, it is said it is enough to be thankful to the Stars and perhaps one day we would learn these stories again.
With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to the Star Nation.

With our minds as one we think of the Four Spirit Beings who live in the Four Directions. At the beginning of time when the Creator first made the Human Family, it was seen that they very quickly got themselves into trouble. The Creator knew that they needed extra help and so created the Four Spirit Beings to remove the obstacles from our paths and guide us with our feelings. And now we gather our minds together as one and send our special Thanksgiving to the Four Spirit Beings.

Now we have arrived in a very special place where dwells the Great Spirit, the Creator of the Universe. As one mind we turn our thoughts to the Creator, for without the Creator we would not be able to walk on the Earth fulfilling our original instructions.

Everything we need is provided for us and all we have to remember is to give thanks. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to the Creator.

We have now become like one being. We send our Prayers and special Thanksgiving Greetings to all the unborn children of the future generations. We send our thoughts to the Elders and the Children for they give us guidance and purpose to live in a good way. We are thankful to all the Enlightened Teachers who have come to help us throughout the ages. We send our thoughts to the many different beings we may have missed during our Thanksgiving. With one mind we send Thanksgiving and Greetings to all of the Nations of the World.

Now Our Minds Are One.

The above prayer carries the same message as the previous entries: the oneness of all beings and all nations of the world.

(Image found on site for McCord Museum of Canadian History in Montreal.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Anam Cara Newsletter 

Note from Dorothy: I just spent the last hour naming all the friends I know who have given their lives to making the world a better place for us all--I think of them as the true "light givers" of our world. Then, before I could close, the entire entry diappeared off the screen. So I guess I will think of my expression of gratitude for this day like the blessings we write out and then burn in the fire--sending them on the way to heaven, rather than keeping them as relics below.
Thank you, everyone, for being my friends. You are the most precious gift one could hope to receive.

Gifts of Generosity

Anam Cara Foundation
Perennial Wisdom For The Soul's Journey


Greetings and Namaste!

On the eve of our Thanksgiving holiday it is an especially powerful time for everyone joining together in the contemplation of Giving Thanks. Every land, every tradition has their ways of bringing this to mind and celebrating the gifts we've received.

In practicing mindfulness, colored and flavored by gratitude, the spotlight of our attention goes to both the immediate comforts and pleasures for which we are grateful, and then continues going deeper and deeper to feelings of gratitude for what lies in those quiet, hidden places - of vulnerability, of interdependence, of the mysterious web of life and events that has brought us to this moment, with the blessings of a human birth, and the capacity to give beyond measure.

Giving thanks has been a part of human culture for thousands of years and this time in our northern hemisphere marks the harvest season, with its long tradition of celebrating the bounty that Mother Earth and Father Sun have provided us with. It's also a time of preparation for going into the dark cycle of the year. A reminder that not only does the body need its stores of food for times when these are scarce, but that the fullness of spirit also requires its stores of wisdom and love to deal with times of challenge, lack and dissolution.

We are so totally interdependent and fortunate to live in an era when we can fully see that interdependence concretely in our global environment, economics, agriculture, and health care. No longer is there any excuse for not knowing that for any of us to truly prosper we must all prosper.

May this be a blessed time for generously giving and giving thanks to all.

Wisdom's Gifts

The Runaway

The Place you are right now
God circled on a map for you. - Hafiz

The poet tells you
god has put a circle around you on a map
to locate you in sacred space.
Then why do you keep tunneling
carving labyrinths for your escape?

Dorothy Walters
Marrow of Flame, Hohm Press 2000; p. 9

Tears can feed
a pool of bitterness
or water the tree of love.
Cultivate the garden
that has been entrusted to you.

Martin Lowenthal
Writing in the Dark, Dedicated Life Publications 2009, p. 93

The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus is it like the Tao.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

When you are content to be simply yourself
and don't compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.

Tao Te Ching, 8 by Lao-tzu
Stephen Mitchell, Trans.
Harper Collins 1988

Upcoming Programs
Anam Cara Foundation, Bedford, NY

Sunday Dec. 13, 9am- 3:30pm
Abiding in Stillness - Gateway to the Sacred
This one day program will include meditation instruction, contemplations, chanting and a delicious vegetarian lunch. In this Holy season, give yourself time to step back from all the activities and come to rest in the Divine Presence, the source of lasting peace and good will toward all. Pre-registration required. Fee: $60, including lunch.

Tues. Jan. 12, 2010; 7:30-8:45
The Science & Art of Meditation
Start the New Year right with this informative and great introduction to the practice of meditation. Dr. Edwards will review some of the amazing brain research on meditation and how it supports optimal health and wellbeing. This is a wonderful program for people new to meditation and those who are interested in the scientific research on meditation. Suggested donation: $20.

Wed. Jan. 13, 20, 27, Feb. 3, 2010; 7-15- 8:45pm
Buddhist Wisdom Treasures II
Many people have been asking for a continuation of the Buddhst Wisdom Treasures for Non-Buddhists initial course and here it is! Start the New Year off with your highest good at heart. You don't have to have taken the first course, though it will be helpful, and of course you don't have to become a Buddhist to enjoy and benefit from the insights and wisdom of this great tradition. Pre-registration required. Fee: $125

Sat. Dec. 19th 7:00pm
Monthly Kirtan Night!
With Satya, Ma and Kalidas. Join us in this ancient and ecstatic practice of chanting the names of the Divine. Everyone is welcome!

Meditation Group Every Tuesday Evening:
Starts promptly at 7:30pm at our center at the Anam Cara Foundation 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.

For more information please visit our Events page (click here)

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 serve to help another to find love and compassion within 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, every moment, every breath.

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.

The Anam Cara Foundation is a 501 (C) 3, non-profit educational organization dedicated to teaching meditative practices. Our non- denominational programs are open to all. There are free meditation instructions and downloadable audio files of guided meditations on our website.

Thank you for the many ways you have shown support for The Anam Cara Foundation. Because of your gifts we can offer free programs and instruction to thousands of people. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation please send it to address listed below.

I look forward to welcoming you in person to our programs.

With all my appreciation and love,
I thank you all.

May all beings realize complete freedom from suffering and may all our actions reflect only wisdom, compassion, patience and loving kindness.
Lawrence signature
Lawrence Edwards, Ph.D.
Founder and Director
The Anam Cara Foundation

All newsletter contents copyrighted 2009

email: le@anamcara-ny.org
phone: 914-234-4800
web: http://www.anamcara-ny.org

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The Anam Cara Foundation | P.O. Box 215 | Bedford Hills | NY | 10507

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Poem 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."

Lynn Ungar

(Blessing the Bread)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reflection by Michael Black 

This refection was written to me in the form of an e-mail by my long time friend Michael Black. I received it before I had posted the description of "The Living Matrix" on this blogsite, but the theme of his message--the underlying unity and interconnectedness of all things--mirrors the essential thrust of the movie itself. "Oneness" itself is not a new topic, for it has been described and experienced by mystics from the beginnings. What is new, I believe, is the emergence of this notion into widespread consciousness, as we all move into higher levels of awareness.

Michael mentions a group that has arisen for the purpose of meditating and doing healing work together. His small circle contains representatives from many parts of the world and from many backgrounds. As a collective, they will be strengthened to offer more to the world than any one of them might do alone.

When I had my early awakening experience, I wrote in my journal of a vision of the future, what I called "collective consciousness." I defined this as small groups of kindred spirits or souls working together in a way to benefit earth. I was thinking more of those who had left the planet and were working from a higher realm, but here is an example of the same thing happening right on earth itself.

Here is Michael's letter/essay:

A process of planetary mytosis is unfolding, in which consciousness is subdividing the old matrix from the new, the former, once atomized parts from the utterly interdependent whole. It is the moment of entering into Divine communion with one another, while simultaneously shining each of our respective brilliance. It's time for discrete facets of Divine consciousess to be informed through the vehicle of collective visioning, union.

The process that is unfolding at San Francisco's Hanuman Center is that of a group of souls choosing to sit together, daily, quietly, in deep meditation, while serving as a common portal for redreaming the present. May our Divine light shine through the collective fields that we construct, from which consciousness chooses to reveal itself anew.

And may each of us, individually, be inspired to write, paint, draw and dance our way into the Light that we are, being Divinely held as all remain, by a Holy Earth, within a Holy Milky Way, within a Holy Universe, enveloped by infinitely extending Holy Universes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Living Matrix Movie 

The Living Matrix

It is called "The Living Matrix." It is a film about the new approach to medicine and healing that is emerging on many fronts. Its thesis is quite simple: things in our universe are not divided one from another as Newtonian physics would have it, but rather each item, each object, each being is part of a vast energy field which contains and in fact is reality itself.

Think of that for a moment. You and I and every living (and non-living) thing) are part of a huge, swirling, immeasurable, indefinable, unutterable "field" of energy, a reality that many simply call "god."

The proponents of this view are not fringe mystics. Rather they are coming from the various areas of leading edge science, where healing is occurring in unexpected circumstances and in previously unsuspected ways.

A child with severe symptoms of cerebral palsy is taken to a renowned energy healer. After only four minutes he can walk with assurance once again, hold a cup in his hands. climb and descend stairs unaided, rather than seated and scooting or crawling up and down.

A woman with brain cancer tries various traditional techniques and then decides simply to accept her condition--o live with her ailment rather than trying to “cure” it. Soon her tumor shrinks and disappears.

Edgar Mitchell, of Astronaut fame, contacts an energy healer in another state for help with a kidney malfunction. Soon the malady vanishes.

Mainstream medicine has no way to account for any of these "miracle healings." Such events lie well outside the purview of traditional science.

The brain is not the primary organ of perception. Intelligence is located throughout the body, with the heart being especially sensitive. The heart reacts before the brain when the subject is shown positive or negative images: sometimes the heart reacts even before the images are presented, as if it intuits or has foreknowledge of what is going to happen. A wife who has been trained to send loving thought to her ill husband sits in a room apart from him and sends such thoughts at various intervals according to the test protocol. His heart rate responds each time at the very moment she sends such love.

In the field, each part communicates with all the other parts. For that reason, energy healers do not need to be in the physical presence of the client to perform their work. Every single cell in the body is in constant communication with every other cell. How do they do that? Mainstream science cannot tell us, any more that it can explain how the body heals a wound, how the genes of the embryo know what part of the physical system to become as the baby grows inside the womb, or what actually directs the operation of the various organs in the body, such as heart, liver, and lungs. We do not perform such oversight consciously. Who is the "subconscious conductor” of such complex functions?

Genes and hormones are not the answer. Other processes play an essential part, one in which mind and intention are closely involved. Biologists, chemists, healers, philosophers—all are bringing their various perspectives to bear on this new vision. It is no longer relegated to the underground of contemporary thought. Much of it arises from the discoveries of quantum physics, which teaches us that the world operates in a very different fashion than "common sense" rationality has thought.

This exciting documentary is not being shown in many mainstream theaters at present, but it is available for purchase as a DVD on http://www.thelivingmatrixmovie.com/

It is also being shown in various cities through the sponsorship of local organizations and institutes. A calendar on the website above tells you when a showing may be scheduled for your area.

My suggestion: go the website, take time to look up each contributor to the film. They offer exciting information for us all, for they are the leading edge of the new thought, the fresh paradigm.

Finally, I would add that those of us involved in Kundalini processes will be especially interested in this new perspective, for we experience "the field" often in our daily practice and everyday lives. In one sense, the new knowledge is perhaps a return to ancient wisdom.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Whatever You Offer 

Whatever You Offer

Whatever you offer me,
I will take it.

I don't need bribes
to swallow
the bread and honey
of your love.

This wine needs no water
to wash it down.

Even if we must
the many labors,
or huddle in the
darkened corners
of the caves
for eons
as the silence
and the glaciers
come and go.

This is what we have
hungered for
for so many days
of so many lives.

I am ready to be fed.

Dorothy Walters
November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Forest Yoga 

Forest Yoga

Ananda-Upaya: Realization of Siva-nature without any yogic discipline. Also known as Ananda Yoga or Anupaya.

from the Glossary of the Siva Sutras
(Jaideva Singh)

To do this yoga, you must offer your body as a sacrifice. That is, you must open to the energies around you, let the god/goddess enter your being, where and how she desires. You must know that this is a sacred act, a gesture completed only when you and the divine are one.

This yoga is not taught in ashrams or yoga centers. It does not involve difficult postures nor swift gymnastic movements. Its aim is not to produce a sleek and supple body. It is not done under the scrutiny of a teacher or a guru. It is not described in books. It has no set techniques. It is a private transaction between you and that which is. It occurs in the forest of your mind but it is felt as sensuous joy in your flesh-body. It does not involve any kind of touching, and very little movement. It can come as intense ecstatic bliss or a gentle sweet flowing sensation. Whatever form it takes, the inner feeling tells you it is real, not mere imagination.

Thus, you can pursue this yoga in your living room or your bedroom, or any sacred space where no one else enters to disturb your ritual. It is best done standing and with few clothes on, certainly no leotards which cut the flow of the energies.

Once you enter this level of consciousness, you must let the energies flow as they will. Almost no movement is required. Sometimes flexing your fingers slightly or moving your eyes back and forth will be enough. Someone observing you might see no motion at all. You are now a conduit, a channel for energies beyond your conscious control. You and your subtle body are fused in single, holy awareness, for the subtle body is the place where the god enters and dwells.

Sometimes you may want to listen to sacred music as part of your practice. Then you and the music and your subtle body and your slight movement and the flowing energies are all one.

The word “yoga” means “union.” This is how the union feels. It issues from the goddess Kundalini, who resides in all of us, and waits for the right moment to awaken.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Poem by Li Po 

Alone Looking at the Mountain

All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other -
Only the mountain and I.

Li Po

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Great Cranes--N. M. Rai 

Both the beautiful photograph and the poem are by N. M. Rai, who is gifted in many areas--photography, painting, and poetry (that I know of.) I also understand she is a gourmet cook!
You can see more of her work at

Photography: SuchinRai.zenfolio.com
Paintings: http://sites.google.com/site/raipaintings/

She is also a very generous soul, encouraging others in their creative work, helping them with technical problems on their websites and book publishing, and in all being a very good friend. We need more of her kind to keep this world in balance, and to counteract all that is not positive in our society. Thank you, Naggie, for all you contribute to our lives.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

God's Face (poem) 

God's Face

So much is unfolding
that must complete its gesture.

Denise Levertov

Still, something is missing.
Even though I have God
in my living room,
I want to feel God's face
against mine,
the brush of oak leaves
against my skin
as I pass by,
the dawn
flooding red
across the morning sky,
the mountain stream
speaking in tongues.

I want God
to enter me
like cloud or breath,
redeem my cells,
to tell me
my secret name.

The great peaks
are hidden in snow,
yet they remain,
luminous, still,
waiting in their frozen beauty
until they blossom once more
in summer's transfiguration.

Dorothy Walters
November 16, 2008

Monday, November 16, 2009

Patricia Lay-Dorsey and her N.Y.Times profile 

(the above is a self-portrait taken by Patricia)


Go to the link above and you will find an exciting profile/essay that was posted on November 9 on The New York Times photography blog called "Lens." It features the life and artistic achievements of Patricia Lay-Dorsey, as well as many examples of her recent photographic work drawn from her series of self portraits, “Falling into Place.” As most of you know, Patricia is my long time friend and inspiration, someone with whom I have shared the creative journey for many years. She is the person who set up this blog for me and gave it to me as a birthday present several years ago.

Patricia has been an artist for virtually her entire life. Then, for several years, she chronicled her daily adventures in digital photographs, and posted them on her blog. And then, some three years ago, she got truly serious about photography. She bought a more sophisticated camera and began to study the technique of photography as an advanced art form. Now, she has “suddenly” been “spotted” by some of the most renowned photographers in the country, all of whom love her work and have given her profound encouragement and advice.

But Patricia is more than a gifted artist/photographer. She is a loving spirit who illumines the landscape wherever she goes. In her early years, she was a social worker. Even today, she never fails to stop to speak with and give an offering to a homeless one huddled on the street. When she lived (seasonally) in San Francisco, she regularly volunteered at a church which served free meals to the homeless. I once saw her stop to give cheer to some of the lowliest workers in the basement of the underground municipal transportation system, who were performing the odious task of scrubbing the (disconnected) steps of the escalator. They were thrilled when she told them she would put their pictures on her blog.

When we are with Patricia, we tend to forget that she is “other abled.” She out performs, outdoes, and “out succeeds” most of us in her creative achievements and in her life. She is our inspiration and our love.

Thank you Patricia, for being my friend and for being who you are.

Note: When you go to the site above, be sure to look at the 17 photographs on display, and read the enthusiastic responses of the many viewers. You can also look at the entire edit of 54 images from "Falling Into Place" on Patricia's website at http://www.patricialaydorsey.com/

She also keeps a blog at http://patricialaydorsey.blogspot.com/

Here is the article that appeared on the NY Times blog called "Lens." James Estrin was the interviewer.

Lens - Photography, Video, and Visual Journalism
November 9, 2009, 8:00 pm
Showcase: Falling Into Place

Patricia Lay-Dorsey, 67, wasn’t fond of the way she looked. Her wrinkles — the “dry creek bed” on her face — made her feel uncomfortable. So she made a series of close up portraits of her face. Ms. Lay-Dorsey wasn’t fond of her belly or her sagging breasts. So she photographed herself nude. Ms. Lay-Dorsey felt some shame over falling down because of multiple sclerosis. So she documented her daily routine. And, while exposing herself, Ms. Lay-Dorsey noticed something unexpected. “Somehow,” she said, “I began to feel more beautiful.”

Confronting her insecurities and her shame, Ms. Lay-Dorsey has made intimate pictures that reveal a truly beautiful woman striving to live her life without artifice. Though she has been photographing seriously for only three years, the images are masterful. They are direct and open. Unlike most self-portraits, there is no posturing.

“I don’t know why I don’t mind, why I allow myself to expose myself so much, but it doesn’t make sense to me to do this if it isn’t completely honest,” she said. “One of my main life tasks was to learn to be authentic. I was not in earlier years. I was a chameleon. I could be whatever you wanted. I’m not any more. I’m a very distinct individual.”

She was born and raised in the Washington area. While studying for a master’s degree in social work at Smith College, she went to Detroit for field study. She met Ed Dorsey, a pychiatrist, married him and stayed in Detroit.

At 33, Ms. Lay-Dorsey discovered that she had artistic ability. She started taking classes and exhibited her paintings and installations in Detroit galleries. Over time, she also found out that she loved taking photographs. She purchased her first single-lens reflex camera in 2006.

Within two years, her work came to the attention of the photographer David Alan Harvey, who has mentored her and featured her work on Burn, his site for the up-and-coming. Ms. Lay-Dorsey said that makes her “the world’s oldest emerging photographer.”
DESCRIPTIONPatricia Lay-Dorsey

She learned in 1988 that she had chronic progressive multiple sclerosis. Once a marathon runner, she can no longer walk. Instead, she uses a scooter to get around. Difficulty with fine motor skills often causes her to miss the shutter release on the camera. Though her sight and speech are unaffected, she said her balance is “crummy.” Sometimes, she falls. “My identity is not being disabled, but it is very much how I live day to day,” Ms. Lay-Dorsey said.

Though she was shy about her physical awkwardness, she quickly realized that her self-portraits could “open a window so people who were not disabled could see from the inside.”

What do we see? Someone brushing her teeth, getting dressed and living her daily life. We see the disability, but more than that, we see the person: a passionate artist living a considered life.

“People will see us as either terribly inspiring or terribly pathetic,” Ms. Lay Dorsey said. “We’re either super gimps or just tragic. The fact is we’re not either one. We’re human beings and we’re just living life. Doing the best we can. Everyone has challenges of one kind or another. It just so happens that mine are more visible than others’.”

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Walking with Wisdom by Nan Merrill 

Meditation Sixteen from "Walking with Wisdom"

Beams of Light pierce
through the wilderness of
ego-desires that seem
to separate and divide--
illusions that mean nothing.
Only One Love and One Mind
are real.Wisdom ever awaits
our response, our yes, to
Her invitation to guide us Home
to the Realm of Love,
which is ever available in
this life or in
Life beyond the Veil.
Our souls will sing and
rejoice as the lure
of shadow-pleasures fades,
giving way to simplicity and silence,
stillness and solitude,
where Wisdom makes Her home.
Gladly,She leads us to Service,
to a Work of Love that reflects
our unique gifts, which we
can, now, joyfully choose
to express in the Plan for Earth,
a life that riches cannot buy,
vitality freed from fear.
Holy are cleansed hearts,
open and ready to reach
the power of love and understanding
in acts of selfless service.
Purified by Love and free from all
that is spawned by misleading ways,
no longer able to exert power,
the inner Heart Chapel
can radiate dazzling Light
into the darkness
blessing all who see true.

Walking with Wisdom is a new collection of meditations by Nan Merrill, one of the most enlightened spirits of our time. Each meditation offers profound and nourishing thought to guide us in our daily lives, and indeed, we are eager for such sustenance at this time in especial.
Nan has dedicated her life to spiritual exploration and discovery, and she speaks with an authentic voice. Earlier she published "Psalms for Praying," in which she revised the Psalms to give them a more peaceful voice, a more "feminine" perspective.
Her books are available on Amazon, where it is best to type in the titles themselves to discover them. Hers is a lifelong gift to humanity, for she shares the wisdom of many years with her grateful audience. I recommend them most highly to all who care about the true path.
She also publishes a free print newsletter titled "Friends of Silence," which you may obtain by sending your request to 11 Cardiff Lane, Hannibal MO 63401

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wild Geese Passing 

Wild Geese Passing

Something about them,
the way they arc across the sky
in silhouetted ranks
as if for
a painting,
I think it is
their freedom,
palpable as the wind,
how they are unlinked from earth,
how they sail so easily
as if in another dimension
from one continent to the next,
not minding the distances,
the shifting currents of air,
not stopping
when one of their number
drops with fatigue,
or to graze in a different venue,
but moving ahead
with determined grace,
announcing their journey
with their own
unmistakable voices,
urging us also
to loosen our robes
and ascend,
join them
in their flight
to the lost paradise,
where they and we
once lived.

Dorothy Walters
November 12, 2009

(image found on Panhala site)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Only in Emptiness 

Only in Emptiness

I am the wise man.
I have transcended all
the stages--
lover, seeker, even saint.
All these I have gone
What nourishes me
is not the wine
of the frenzied ones
who unite with the Mother
as they twirl,
nor is it the nectar
that flows
down the throats
of the illumined beings
caught in bliss.

I hold the vision
of the world
in all its complexities,
its oppositions
and struggles,
and I know
that these too
are the mirages of
the mind,
the illusions
of unclear seeing.

Only in emptiness
does reality
only by surrender
to silence
will truth speak.

Dorothy Walters
November 13, 2009

(photo by Findsiddiqui)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Small Nets (poem) 

Our Small Nets

I don't know why
we keep
talking about God,
trying to catch him
in our small nets
of words,
as if he were a butterfly
or a fish, something palpable
we could hold in our hands,
or measure,
when in our hearts
a whisper keeps telling
God is a fountain,
or a flower opening,
love pouring out invisibly,
showering us
at every turn.

Dorothy Walters
November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Poem by Kalidas 

Sri Kundalini Shakti Mahadevi!
You delight in appearing clothed in many dresses.
Your lovers perceive your presence behind all your disguises.
You are the Amitabha, Prajnaparamitahrdayam, Avalokiteshwara and Her boundless compassion for the Buddhists,
The Holy Spirit, Sophia and Mary for the followers of Christ,
And the wine of ecstasy drunk by the Sufis.
You are the power in the yogi's diverse practices,
The devotion of bhaktas,
The sword of discrimination and the pure knowledge of Vedantins.
Your are the Shekhinah and her Source for the Kabbalists,
And the Tao of the Taoists.
Whatever our path to God, the power that carries us forward and the Illumination attained
Are alluring forms taken by you to draw us to the realization of the One.

Seeker, choose a path that most suits your temperament and give it your full attention.
Enjoy all the ways the Mother
Will reveal Herself and Her Spouse
To you
the way.


(Kalidas is Lawrence Edwards, Ph. D. The above poem is copyrighted with all rights reserved.)

This poem by Kalidas reminds us that Kundalini is not confined to any particular religion or spiritual path, but lies at the heart of each, by whatever name she is called.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Edward Tick's comments 

Dr. Ed Tick sends this message from Viet Nam, where he is currently leading a veteran healing journey.

Edward Tick, Ph.D.

I have had the great honor of working with our fine and dedicated troops at Ft. Hood. I have spent time with the clergy, behavioral staff, officers and troops. I was deeply impressed and moved by their degree of commitment, sincerity, love of country and service, and willingness to sacrifice.

I am also heartbroken to admit that I saw massive numbers and degrees of visible and invisible wounds at Ft. Hood. Countless troops with every wound from missing body parts to extreme Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Countless recycling of these wounded for further deployments where troops are needed. Untold frustration and despair among our dedicated clergy and behavioral staff in trying to treat more legions of wounded than anyone can possibly adequately help.

I do not know the psychiatrist who committed these killings. But I do know that we are asking our troops to perform incredibly difficult and demanding missions -- both abroad and at home -- that exceed our human ability to digest, integrate and respond to. Ft. Hood is a massive sanctuary of the wounded. Many behavioral staff confided to me, sometimes numbed out and sometimes with secret tears, that they are in despair over the degree of wounding and numbers of wounded and are strained beyond human capacity to try to effectively treat them.

Our hearts should go out to every one of the victims of this tragedy, including the killer. A person must be under unbearable strain to snap as he did. He must have already been in an inner hell created by all the stories he heard and horror he witnessed. One does not have to be a combat veteran to be a combat victim. Now his private hell has spread its fires to our nation.

We must hear this tragedy as a wake up call to our nation. There is a stress point beyond which all people break, from which they cannot return. As a nation we must stop pushing our troops and their caregivers so far and expect performance beyond what is humanly possible. Every one, including the psychiatrist, is a tragic victim here. We must not do more violence by demonizing one person or his religion. Rather, let our broken hearts open and realize that all our troops and their caregivers are carrying more pain than is tolerable, more demand than can be answered.

Please -- let your broken hearts open to every victim. Judge not. Realize we are asking too much from too few and giving them too little help, too little support, too little to work with. This tragedy is all of our making. It is up to all of us to respond and help our nation and its overwrought troops everywhere to heal.

Soldier's Heart
500 Federal St.
Suite 303
Troy, New York 12180

Ed Tick is a well known therapist who dedicates his life to helping veterans recover from their psychological wounds received in war.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A Prayer for the Victims 

A Prayer for the Victims

First, pray for those who were killed or wounded, their loved ones who must endure this loss, those who were present and were traumatized by this scene of mayhem. They served a cause in which they believed.

Next, pray for the man whose madness drove him to this extreme, whose madness was produced by a system of madness which would force him to slay those whom he loved, that insisted that violence is the way to deal with violence, and that the innocents of all sides must suffer the cost. His act is not justified, but its causes must be looked at.

Pray for the many Muslims of this world, peaceful folk who will now suffer much hostility and anger as a result of this event.

Pray for those of other faiths, those who follow the "Man of Peace" and those whose first commandment is "Thou shalt not kill" who are also affected by what is going on in our time.

Pray for those who follow no particular faith, but who are lovers of peace, and see that possibility in danger because of the mistaken actions of many.

Pray for all who have been killed or wounded in body and spirit in this conflict and are wondering what goals they served.

Pray for those who live in the invaded countries, who are casualties of the slaughter around them. What was the purpose of their deaths?

Pray for the leaders, whose eyes need to be opened.

Pray for us all and for the world, which must learn to live in peace in order to survive.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Poem by Ivan Granger 

Thief of hearts

By Ivan M. Granger
(1969 - )

Thief of hearts,
you have ransacked
this beggar's hut,
left me

All I see
is the print
of your pilfering hand

Ivan Granter's Poetry-Chaikhana is now read by many thousands of readers worldwide. It is now recognized as a major source for sacred poetry from many countries and traditions.


(Photo taken from poetry chaikhana site)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Poem by Hafiz 

We Have Not Come To Take Prisoners

We have not come here to take prisoners,
But to surrender ever more deeply
To freedom and joy.

We have not come into this exquisite world
To hold ourselves hostage from love.

Run my dear,
From anything
That may not strengthen
Your precious budding wings.

Run like hell my dear,
From anyone likely
To put a sharp knife
Into the sacred, tender vision
Of your beautiful heart.

We have a duty to befriend
Those aspects of obedience
That stand outside of our house
And shout to our reason
"O please, O please,
Come out and play."

For we have not come here to take prisoners
Or to confine our wondrous spirits,

But to experience ever and ever more deeply
Our divine courage, freedom and


(Hafiz was a Sufi poet who lived in Persia from 1320-1389. No image of him is available, but the above is a shrine dedicated to him (source unknown). Much beloved today throughout the world, early Western admirers included Emerson and Goethe.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The End of Time (poem) 

The End of Time

Think about it.
The very end of time.
None of this scurrying about
trying to keep appointments
for things that truly
don't matter.
No more worrying
about what is past,
what may be to come.

We ourselves pellets
of energy
with all the other
of feeling
to form a new creation,
a being not bound
by limits and the necessity
of one thing
following another,
everything happening at once,
everything fused
in love.

Dorothy Walters
November 3, 2009

Monday, November 02, 2009

Lute Music (poem) 

Lute Music

Temperatures falling.
Everything still except
for the lute music
filling the room.
(Who was it owned that romantic
carried it with her everywhere,
like the woman in Hawthorne’s novel?)

All week you went looking
for who you once were.
Everything gone now
except the ghost forms
of your own memories,
soft traceries etched
on clouded glass.

Wine bottles swaying in
the cold streams.
Fires so hot
the very rocks that held them
showering sparks
like traveling comets
splayed across the sky.
Mountain energy
spilling into love.

All the actors
now disappeared,
in the descending mist
of the high peaks.

What does it mean
to wander through
a house where you once lived?
That you can never
go into again?
What does it say
that you are the one
left at the end
of the party,
the one
who remembers it all?

Dorothy Walters
November 2, 2009

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Imposter (poem) 

The Impostor

When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.

Mary Oliver

I was the chaste spinster
married to my secret love--

what the world saw
was not what I was.

I kept my mask
carefully in place.
Spoke no disturbing word.
Made no unsettling gesture.

I went about,
humbly playing
the roles assigned,
the comfortable persona
that made them happy.

How could they know
what I knew,
feel what I had felt?
The midnight visitations,
the daylight trysts.
Even the trees
flaming skyward
in autumn,
the stars moving in
their crystal shells
against the dark cloak
of winter.
Music that pulsed in
the blood
keeping time with the heart.

None of these
was sayable.
What words could I
have used?

Dorothy Walters
November 1, 2009

(This poem is dedicated to all those who have had experiences which they felt at a deep level, but which they could not communicate to others, for one reason or another. Kundalini often becomes such a secret. Many of us feel quite lonely and isolated when Kundalini stirs within, for we dare not reveal to those about us what is going on with us, lest they turn away or fail to understand. Yet we know through intuition that this is a most important life experience, too precious to be refused, too intense to be ignored.)

(This beautiful picture is by Judy Ashford, a gifted photographer who lives in Ohio.)

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