Poems and Reflections on the Spiritual Journey by Dorothy Walters
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Tonka by Jeanne Lupton
Tonka (Jeanne Lupton)
in a still wood scattering Father's ashes at Easter rising up out of the brush a wild turkey flies away
eucalyptus in the wind all the time in the world
winter woods are still but for the crunch underfoot and that moaning that creaking high in the trees stop - hear how they love their life
following the lakeside trail into quiet this step, and this all there is
how green the green i the gray light after the storm how lake the lake and thistle, thistle in these hills, how me i am
60th September honeybees wild in yellow blossoms I was born for middle age
When I asked Jeanne to describe form of the tonka, she answered as follows:
Tanka is a five-line Japanese poetic form. It is 1300 years old, and the 3-line haiku came out of it 400 years ago. Tanka traditionally are 5-7-5-7-7 syllables, but some who write tanka in English use a short-long-short- long-long pattern or two-three-two-three-three beats pattern instead. Japanese onji or sound units are all one length, whereas English syllables vary in length, so tanka of fewer syllables than 31 is thought by some to more closely approximate the tanka spirit. Tanka were originally love poems.
Beloved and radiant Lord of the space before birth,
Revealer of essence,
Slayer of the ignorance that binds us,
You, who in play have created this universe
and permeated all forms in it with never-ending truth.
I have been wondering . . .
I have been listening to the songs of creation,
I have heard the sacred sutras being sung,
and yet still I am curious.
What is this delight-filled universe
into which we find ourselves born?
What is this mysterious awareness
shimmering everywhere within it?
What are these instinctive energies
that undulate through our bodies,
moving us into action?
And this "matter" out of which our forms are made -
What are these dancing particles of condensed radiance,
Are they an illusionists' projection?
What is this power we call Life,
appearing as the play of flesh and breath?
How may I know this mystery
and enter it more deeply?
Beloved, my attention is ensnared
by a myriad of forms,
the innumerable individual entities everywhere.
Lead me into the wholeness
beyond all these parts.
You, who hold the mysteries in your hand -
of will, knowledge and action,
Reveal to me the path of illumined knowing.
Lead me into joyous union
with the life of the universe.
Teach me that I may know it fully,
realize it deeply,
and breathe in the truth of it.
The above is the first verse in the new translation of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantraby Lorin Roche. As he explains on his web site, this sutra (teaching) "is a description of the vibratory intelligence that is guiding us at every moment of our lives. This text is loving –-a rare thing in the universe of yoga texts. The teaching emerges from the lovemaking of the Goddess and the God within our hearts."
Another interpretation might be that it presents the love between our deepest selves and the Supreme Being who is the source and continuing reality of the universe and all within it. In other words, Kundalini itself --as the ultimate vibratory consciousness. This then is the "Beloved Within," that which we encounter when the Kundalini energies enliven our bodies.
He also states: "This little book is the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, one of the early teachings on yoga and meditation. The name, loosely translated, means 'The terror and joy of realizing oneness with the Soul.' It is said to date back to the second millennium B.C. For most of that time, it was purely in the oral tradition, meaning that it was chanted and memorized. I say it is little because it is only about three thousand words in the original Sanskrit, perhaps half an hour of chanting. It is astonishing that in so few words it describes the essence of many of the world's meditation techniques. I call it The Radiance Sutras because it is so luminous."
See his site for more information on this and related topics:
(The "Radiance Sutras" are Lorin Roche's translations of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, which is an ancient text of Kashmiri Shaivism, so called because this tradition originated in Kashmir and the original devotees were followers of Shiva, in the most comprehensive sense of the term. This text and others of the same era happen to be my own sacred scriptures. I read in them frequently. What follows is one of the sections from this text.)
The life essence carries on its play through the pulsing rhythm of outward and inward movement. This is the ceaseless throb, the rhythm of life - terrifying in its eternity, exquisite in its constancy.
The inhalation, the return movement of breath, sustains life. The outgoing breath purifies life. We breathe out the old air, the old thoughts, the old feelings.
These are the two poles between which respiration goes on unceasingly. Between them is every quality you could ever desire.
As the breath turns from in to out, and again as the breath curves from out to in - through both these turns, absorb intensity.
from Lorin Roche--see his wonderful website at http://lorinroche.com
It is filled with loving advice on meditation, early texts, and other intriguing subjects. He "learned" to meditate on his own, and urges others to follow their own interior wisdom guides, rather than relying on external authorities.
For some time I have watched with interest as the New Physics circles around and now back to the beginning point, where ancient wisdom resides. Consider, for example, the view of the nature of matter held by science and the ancient teachers (as well as some more modern ones.)
For centuries, science held that matter was indeed "hard stuff," hard to penetrate, palpable and real. Then, as time passed, science discovered that matter was made of atoms, which were held to be indestructible bits of matter, the foundation materials of the material universe. Then--voila!--science learned that atoms were "cuttable" after all. (The word "atom" is derived from the Greek "a" (not) plus the verb for for cut.) Indeed, it was proclaimed that atoms were mostly empty space, like an orange in a football field.
Most recently, physicists have put forward the notion of "String Theory," which is very hard to understand. But string theory does not refer to long strings of whatever, as we might suppose. It posits that atoms themselves, those infinitesimal bits which compose everything we label "matter," are composed of tiny "strings" which vibrate like the strings of a violin. The infinite atoms of the universe all vibrate at various ratios, creating the symphony of the universe. The bottom line here is (to my view) that everything is vibration, not hard "stuff."
What we think of as the "real world" is thus an illusion, something our brains create given the stimuli which impinge on our senses.
In ancient yogic and Buddhist lore, we learn that the world is not as it seems, that it is in fact an illusion which we mistake for the reality. This illusion is called "Maya," the veil which covers all of creation, so that we do not perceive the reality resting behind. The "illusion" includes not only things but the processes of the social world. Our grasping for wealth, material success, social position, fame and such--all are produced from "maya," the mistaken notions which delude our spirits. Truth is not to be found in externals (samsara), but in the interior world where our souls can link with the higher reality (nirvana).
Furthermore, certain ancient schools posited vibration itself as the basis of the universe. Here is an excerpt from an article on Wikipedia on Kashmiri Shaivism:
The Spanda system, introduced by Vasugupta (c. 800 AD), is usually described as "vibration/movement of consciousness". Abhinavagupta uses the expression "some sort of movement" to imply the distinction from physical movement; it is rather a vibration or sound inside the Divine, a throb. The essence of this vibration is the ecstatic self-recurrent consciousness.
The central tenet of this system is "everything is Spanda", both the objective exterior reality and the subjective world. Nothing exists without movement, yet the ultimate movement takes place not in space or time, but inside the Supreme Consciousness(cit). So, it is a cycle of internalization and externalization of consciousness itself, relating to the most elevated plane in creation (Śiva-Śakti Tattva).
In order to describe the connotations of the Spanda concept, a series of equivalent concepts are enumerated, such as: self recurrent consciousness - vimarśa, unimpeded will of the Supreme Consciousness (cit) - svātantrya, supreme creative energy - visarga, heart of the divine - hṛdaya and ocean of light-consciousness - cidānanda.
The most important texts of the system are Śiva Sutras, Spanda Karika and Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra.
A similar notion is found in Plato's myth of the cave, where people sit and stare at shadows on the wall, not realizing that the source of the shadows lies outside and they are confusing the appearance for reality.
Another example is the thought from Christian Science, which proclaims: "There is no life, truth, intelligence or substance in matter, for all is Infinite Mind and its Infinite Manifestation, for God is all in all." (Paraphrase)
More and more, contemporary thinkers in science are considering mind itself as the Source, for other theories are simply falling apart. Once Divine Consciousness is accepted as premise, all else comes into place.
My favorite reading in this area (of ancient wisdom) comes from the writings of Jai Deva Singh (translator and commentator) and one of my favorite books is The Yoga of Delight, Wonder, and Astonishment: A Translation of the Vijnana-Bhairava (Suny Series in Tantric Studies) (Paperback) by Jaideva Singh (Translator)
This book--and others by Jai Deva Singh--is--sadly-- out of print, and now is listed on Amazon (used) for the enormous price of about one hundred dollars. I bought mine many years ago for a fraction of that amount, and my guess is that these books are still around in second hand stores or e-bay or libraries. You can also find copies of "The Shiva Sutras" in second hand stores. They are not easy reading, but they contain amazing information, all received by the ancient rishis from other worldly sources (I accept this interpretation, because no other makes sense.)
You've traveled up ten thousand steps
in search of the Dharma.
So many long days in the archives, copying, copying.
The gravity of the Tang and the profundity of the Sung
make heavy baggage.
Here! I've picked you a bunch of wildflowers.
Their meaning is the same
but they're much easier to carry.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Hsu Yun:
When he was fourteen years old, he announced that he wished to renounce the material world in favour of monastic life. His father did not approve of Buddhism and had him instructed in Taoism instead. He found two girls to be his wives. Hsu Yun lived with them, but did not consummate either marriage. From the start, Hsu Yun was dissatisfied with Taoism, which he felt could not reach the deeper truths of existence. He secretly studied the sutras and taught Dharma to his wives.
When he was nineteen, Hsu Yun fled with his cousin F.U. Kuo to Kushan monastery. It was here that his head was shaved and he received ordination as a monk. When his father sent agents to find him, Hsu Yun concealed himself in a grotto behind the monastery, where he lived in austere solitude for three years.
(Hsu Yun went on to become one of the most significant teachers of Clhinese Chan as well as one of the most celebrated Buddhists of his time.)
(above is an 18th century Chinese depiction of Adi Buddha, the original primordial Buddha. Found on Wikipedia)
Here are some quotes from the "Song of Mahamuda":
Whoever clings to mind sees not the truth of what's beyond the mind.
Whoever strives to practice dharma finds not the truth of what's beyond-practice.
One should cut clearly through the root of the mind and stare naked. One should thus break away from all distinctions and remain at ease.
The path of no-practice is the way of the Buddha. One who treads that path reaches Buddhahood.
The practice of mantras and instructions, Instructions in the sutras and precepts, And teachings from the schools and scriptures will not bring realization of the innate truth
All taken from "The Song of Mahamudra" attributed to Tilopa (988-1069) as sung to his pupil Naropa.
Mahamudra, literally "the Great Gesture," is looked upon within the tantric traditions of Tibet and Northern India as the highest manifestation of consciousness known. In "Yoga of the Mahamudra" Will Johnson explains that the body is the vehicle that brings the ecstatic energies of God to earth. To arrive at the entrance to higher consciousness, one must first establish a great gesture of the body--physical balance--which is best expressed through spontaneous movement and dance. By utilizing the mystical yoga of balance, once can create. . . .an embodiment of free flowing and unfettered life force--thereby opening the door to higher consciousness.
above from the back cover of "Yoga of the Mahamudra" by Will Johnson.
I am especially drawn to this philosophy, since it accords with my own approach. I do not "meditate" as a discipline, although for many years I did what he advocates--free movement and dance. Through the years, my movements have grown more subtle, just as the energies themselves have become progressively higher and more refined. On some days, I do not "practice" at all, but often I am "overtaken" by the inflow of bliss, frequently when I least expect it (as in the entry a few days ago, when I felt the sweet energies flow into my hands and chest simply by reading sacred writing on the computer. Similar energetic infusions can also awaken from reading e-mails from others who are themselves filled with sacred energy.)
I do not discourage others from seeking set practices or meditations in order to move ahead spiritually. But for me, such routines are apparently not needed. My awakening was sudden and unexpected, with little or no preliminary preparation, and my subsequent experience has been derived from following the inner guide, wherever it may lead.
I also might add, that I do not think that Tilopa is advocating becoming totally "mindless" in all circumstances, but rather to follow feeling during those times when the divine energies are dancing in the cells. This is a felt experience, not an intellectual pursuit. Often, these experiences will last only as long as one does not think about what is happening.
And I believe that when he speaks of "balance," he does not refer to standing "in balance" in the usual sense, but rather to allow one's inner self to relax in order for the energies to flow freely.
And--"dharma" refers simply to the ancient religious teachings.
Some people, then and now, think there are prescribed rules and practices which will, over time, bring one to realization. Not so, says this form of tantra--everything will occur naturally and easily, once the mind is released and one has arrived at the proper stage of development. However, I personally believe one should follow one's own path, do what you love to do--whether mantra, ritual, formal practice, whatever. But some of us are too independent to follow such prescriptions. We follow the inner voice.
But--I may add--that once one has experienced Kundalini awakening, the rest follows much more easily. Otherwise, these states may not occur, no matter how much one longs for them. Kundalini offers no guarantee as a path to ecstasy (and pain). No one knows precisely why some receive this gift, others not.
And one final note: Many people today think that tantra refers merely to sexual practice. Not so. Tantra may include sex, but in its fullest sense it is simply the experience of the inner energies as (usually) bliss or ecstasy. No sex in any usual sense is involved.
When I wrote "Unmasking the Rose," I based the text on the journal entries I had kept through the years. I was trying to capture the essence of each experiene as it occurred, so that others could in some part grasp the nature of the experience itself (of course this is an impossible task, but I did the best I could.)
The entries of "Unmasking" began in l980 and ended in about 2000. My process has continued, and as I move to ever higher stages of consciousness, I describe these from time to time. I talked recently about "stroking the aura" and the deep delight it can bring. I have also described the experiences of moving the energies through the body merely by slight movements of hand or eye.
Today, I had an experience which went still another step beyond. This is how it happened.
Recently, I noticed I was picking up energies from messages coming in through my e-mail. In particular, two letters from readers seemed to radiate sacred energy which entered my spirit body as I read. Hmmm...
I thought. This is different.
Today I slept late, did some deep breathing practices in bed, and even a little vocalization and overtone chanting as I prepared breakfast. Then I went to my computer to check out new mail.
Among others, I found a newsletter from the Sound Healing Network (Zacciah Blackburn), something I signed up for some time ago but which I had never followed too carefully. I began checking out their workshops, and found several that looked interesting. Ultimately, I landed at the site focusing on the ancient esoteric practices of Egypt ("Daughters of Sekhmet") which carried the following message from Zacciah:
Daughters of Sekhmet: Suns of Ra
The Sacred Cords of Past and Future Lives
They walk among us. We are they. The High Initiates and Ancient Luminaries of Sacred Orders. It is time we trust, in who we are, ourselves, and each other. It is time we open and reveal ourselves to the Ancient Mysteries, and the common threads of our existence.This program is a call to those ready, willing, or sensing the ancient nature of their existence, and work we have come to know, and do, here, upon this planet, at this time.We are the Ancient Luminaries. We have been called. The Time is Now.
Many of us know, or sense, the fine fragments of realization. Of Who We Are. And, Why We Are Here.We are being asked to come forward. To renew, revitalize, and retemper ourselves, to prepare for this coming ordeal**. The Awakening. (**Origin of meaning: to distribute, to share; among the tribes.) It is upon us. It is up to us to Create, Hold, and Sustain the New Vision, the New Dream, the New Reality.We are being Called to this Purpose at this time.We cannot wait til 2012, we must create the New Reality, the New Dream, the New Vision we wish to hold for the Earth.
It is up to us to this, Now, Oruselves.We must do it daily in our lives, that it emerges as the New Reality.We are the Co-Creators of this Reality.And the Fabric of this Reality shall change only as We Change.This is the call to those who know, or feel, the sense of the Greater Self, the Call to Integrity, to Wholeness of the Self.Those Ready to Come Forward, whom may not fully know, but sense, feel, a need to make the shift.Come Forward. Touch Who you truly are. Reveal to the Ancient Ones your true nature. Let them, also, touch your deeper self, preparing for this new venture, of which you are part. The Allies are many, among us, and, those of the other worlds, ready to assist those who prepare, and ask. All we need do is prepare, and Ask.We are vast beings tracing multiple layers and levels of consciousness simultaneously.We are Great and Powerful Beings. But the power is not something that places others beneath us.
It is the Common Understanding of Who We Are, of our inherent nature, being, and ability, One with the All That Is.The Power comes only with True Integrity, Authenticity, Knowing, Humility, and Being.We are One with the Stars.We will explore the nature of our past, present, and future lives with the Powers of the Ancient Ones, the Akul, The Awakened Ones. Yet, We are the Akul. It is time to take our place upon the Throne of our own Divinity, to hold the Chalice filled from the Well of our own Being, to claim our Spiritual Birthright, and Inheritance. To step into our Spiritual Dignity, and Authority. To awaken to the Role of who we truly are. The Awakened Ones Call. And, as we awaken, we realize: We are They.It may seem a paradox. We call upon those of the Ancient Lineages to come and assist us. Yet, we are among them. They are among us. So many of us are from those ancient times. Those times that call to you. Atlantis and LeMuria. Eire, Albion, Cymru. Those of Kemet, of the Abarim, & Kenaani, of Ifriqiya, Tubbat, Bhārata. Those of Tianxia, Nuku-roa, Hawaiki, Otomi and the many others not named here. We carry the Ancient Knowing. It is a time of Remembering and Reclaiming our Knowledge and BirthRight. We are the Sons and the Daughters of the Ancient Ones. We walk among them. We came to do this work, for the Awakening, the Illumination of the Earth, at this time. We can only complete our task through the process of fully awakening ourselves. To do so, it is beneficial to remember who we are, why we are here, and where we are going. We shall engage in practices meant to awaken this Deep Knowing, and to carry the Vision forward of the New Dream for this world.We are the Ancient Keepers. We have the power and right to do so. It requires our highest Integrity. Our collaboration, and actions in balance and Harmony with the All That Is.
All of this work, all of these practices, are Tantric in nature. They bring us to Wholeness, to Union with the Divine, the marriage of Self.
Only by awakening the Sacred Union within us, may we master the realities of life.We are the sons and daughters of the Divine. We utilize the principals of Sekhmet and Ra, as they call us. Many of us are from their ancient temples. Many of us come here from the StarWorlds where they were born. There is a direct alignment with the energies and integrity of Sekhmet and Ra. But this call is for all, of All Lineages, to Awaken and Gather. The principals of Awakening and Life Force remain the same, whichever temples, whichever orders, whichever Tribes, we originate in, or were initiated into.We speak specifically to the Daughters of Sekhmet, as they have come as teachers and allies. There is a body of these ancient priestesses and initiates specifically trained in the high arts of sexual tantra. These secrets can only be revealed to those who come in their own authenticity and integrity.Both male and female are trained in these ancient arts. And will present to assist us further.We shall, by the third day of this practice, move directly into the tantric arts as taught through the Schools of Sekhmet.There is No Physical Touch, NO sexual contact made during these practices. It is about understanding the unified art of being. Within the self, and with other, in intimate relation. We shall learn specific practices related to our sexual nature, and how to utilize practices in relation with other, to build and sustain intimacy and heightened life force. These practices may be done alone or with other, but we shall not engage in any actual sexual contact during the trainings. We shall simply use the imaginal realms, the subtle or imagined aspects of our awareness, to engage in the practices, to the extent that we can carry them into our personal relations at other times.subscribe to our newsletter, in order to receive notice of updates, and other program materials. (Simply Send a blank message to Zacciah_Blackburnemail@example.com .) You may also see additional information below, as well as in our prior Tantric Practices described in the Golden Body.
In a Sacred Way, we make these offerings.And Invite, and Welcome you, into these sacred practices.
(The following is from me, but I can't seem to get rid of the italics.)
As I read through the above, I noticed that sweet energies were flowing up and down my spine. The excerpt from Zacchiah appeared on the site dedicated to Sekhmet (powerful lion-headed goddess of ancient Egypt) but frankly I was not attracted to this particular depiction--so an image of Isis came in and of course she is one of the most powerful of all goddesses. (Actually later I discovered that some depictions of Sekhmet are similar to those of Isis.) As I focused on the Isis image within, the energies became higher, moving into my hands and sometimes my upper torso. Finally they became so fine, so exquisitely delicate and sweet, that I was literally moaning a bit with pleasure--located, as I said mostly in my hands, which seemed to be coming totally alive, ready to do healing or send intense healing vibrations into the universe. I wasn't thinking much (all rational centers turned off) but I realized that this was an even newer sensation, an even higher vibraton than those that had come before. I instinctively began to perform certain mudras, not some I had learned from a teacher or book, but those which came naturally, my hands guided to their own positions, each of which conveyed equisite feeling.
The experience was extremely powerful, and I realized only afterward that it had constituted an initiation into the Egyptian mysteries, themselves among the most profound ever to exist.
I recommend reading the above words by Zacciah Blackburn, for he is truly one of the most significant spiritual teachers among us today. His words are a reminder to all of us that we are--whoever we may be, at whatever stage of the journey--all participants in one of the most critical stages of history, that we have been called at this time to serve in whatever capacity we can for this moment which has been preparing for eons of time, and that it is important to remind ourselves of why we are here and to discover our fellow spirits as we all move forward together.
(I might also add that although I consider my practice tantric in nature, I am not involved in the sexual aspects of tantra, leaving that to others. I feel that tantric practice includes connecting with the inner energies arising from the marriage of male/female aspects of the self within--the sacred marriage of self and divine.)
Link TV (available on Direct TV at 375) will offer the following series of interviews of major spiritual teachers by Phil Cosineau:
April 12 The Spiritual Quest April 19 In Search of Ecstasy April 26 Earth Wisdom: For A World in Crisis May 3 Forgiveness and Healing May 10 Breaking Bows and Arrows May 17 Music, Sound and the Sacred May 24 At the Heart of the World: Elder Brother's Warning May 31 Art and the Creative Spirit June 6 Rumi, Poet of the Heart June 14 The Journey Towards Oneness
The series includes interviews with Robert Thurman, Sobonfu Some, Ed Tick and Kate Dahstedt, Azim Khamisa, Alan Jones, Joanne Shenandoah. Andrew Harvey and others. If I find out more, I will let you know.
This promises to be a valuable series, though it is still quite "mainstream" for many of us. No mention is made of Kundalini, which is still considered a "far out" topic by the majority and which is, in my view, the underlying impetus for many of the various spiritual and artistic movements occurring now (of course, I am prejudiced in this respect.) Though Kundalini is still not widely known, those of us involved in its process are, in my view, in the vanguard of global spiritual awakening and hence very fortunate.
However, news of Kundalini is spreading. SoundsTrue, a major source for spiritual CD's and books for many years, is bringing out an anthology on Kundalini sometime this year. I was privileged to write a chapter for the book and I will let you know when it is published. I was thrilled that this topic is now finding a wider audience.
Many of us (most in fact) are not well known. We may not know why this transformation is occurring in our bodies and spirits, nor what exactly its ultimate goal is. But we have a deep sense of involvement in something of vast significance. And as to what we are supposed to "do" with it--I like what one friend said: "I think we are supposed to carry this vibration." And of course we do this each in her/his own way, giving back according to our own particular talents and abilities.
As I noted earlier (see March 15) certain leading edge scientists posit that everything that exists has a twin elsewhere and thus someone exactly like you may exist in another universe, or indeed many exact duplicates of you may exist in many universe. The theory also speculates that everything that has ever happened is also repeated elsewhere exactly or with surprise variations. Each event begets new events, as well as new versions of events. All history is simultaneous. Hence there may be dinosaurs in other universes, where our own "earlier eons" are still ongoing. And, since other universes occupy the same space as our own, there may be dinosaurs in our own living rooms, but since these exist in different “dimensions” we are unaware of them.(The above summary is what I gained from the presentation of Mikio Kuka, based on the notes I took. My account may not be entirely accurate.)
As I reflected on this notion, I came up with some further thoughts on the matter. If the theory of parallel universes is correct, it would explain many of the seemingly unexplainable "paranormal" events in our lives as well as similar accounts from history. Here are a few which come readily to mind:
1. Angels and Ghosts If dinosaurs from other "universes" can exist in our living rooms (though we are not aware of them), why not angels—or friendly spirits—or ancestors—or “ghosts” of the departed. Or all things which seem to come from “another realm”—another plane—another reality. We experience occasional breakthroughs or bleedthroughs—we get glimpses of the other side. Psychics can seemingly pick up these vibrations—feel or see or hear these “phantom realities” from other dimensions.
2. UFO's It has often been suggested that UFO's also may come from other dimensions and that they occasionally visit this planet. Usually we are unaware of them, but once in a while we encounter them in some form—their "other dimensional" origin explains their strange behavior, their ability to “vanish” or speed away or act in peculiar fashion (with sudden turns, incredible speeds).There are many unanswered questions about these unknown visitors: Why do they sometimes leave radiation scars on landscape and humans? Who mutilate the cows? Do they com here with purposeful intention and if so, what is it?
3. Bilocation. If protons can exists in more than one place at once, so can humans (according to this theory). Thus the stories of such ancient gurus as Padmasambhava, the renowned sage who brought Buddhism to Tibet and who taught many converts in different locations at the same time—as well as other such "wizards" of the yogic and magical traditions. Even Krishna (early Indian god) was able to make love with many milkmaids at once (to make love with the god was seen as engaging in devotional practice--likely related to the sense of the "Beloved Within" of many traditions).
And there are many accounts of less known persons who perform astral travel. In the Biology of Transcendence, Joseph Chilton Pearce (who also wrote The Crack in the Cosmic Egg years ago) describes visiting his sweetheart in out of body form. He saw her and she was aware of his presence at the exact time of his visit. Many other such stories exist and there are even workshops and centers where one can (presumably) learn to travel out of body.
4. Long Distance Seeing. Perhaps in the other universes, one can see objects much more remotely. Thus even today some subjects can tap into other states of consciousness to see extremely distant objects. There have been many experiments of remote viewing as well as other individual accounts of personal experience. At one of the earlier conferences of the Kundalini Research Network, I met a woman who could see extremely remote objects during the time of her Kundalini awakening. (Later, the ability vanished.) Similar accounts also occur in descriptions of ancient yogis, magicians, wizards, and Kundalini initiates.
I personally suspect that all of these capacities have to do with the arousal of the Kundalini energies, for these take us into realities which we were unaware of before. I am not at all sure how this is done, but this is my intuitive assessment. We use terms such as psychic, paranormal, extrasensory and such to describe these phenomena, which we do not fully understand. When we experience Kundalini, we step into a higher vibrational state. This allows us (sometimes) to tap into the "other dimensions" of the "parallel universes." And, in these states of vibrational intensity, we also may experience ecstasy (as well as pain, when the energy flow is blocked).
Perhaps "reality" has more to do with states of consciousness than states of matter. When science deals with material reality and calls it "the universe," it is ignoring many other levels of perception, from spiritual to aesthetic to emotional to subjective responses of all kinds. But science is gradually opening to a new vision, for the old theories simply do not hold up under today's discoveries.
(More to follow on parallel universes at a later date.)
This is St. Patrick's day, which also happens to be my birthday. I had a great day, first lunching with one of my oldest and dearest friends, then experiencing unexpected delights. We had planned to visit the new Academy of Science Building in San Francisco, but as we drew near, we saw crowds of people pouring out of the building. It seems that somehow the fire alarm had been triggered, and the building was being evacuated. So we decided to go across the mall to the DeYoung Museum to see what was new. Half way over, we heard cello music coming from a young student/ artist seated midway over. The music was truly ethereal, and I for one went immediately into a semi-trance state. Later I asked what he had been playing: Vivaldi's Cello Concerto in A-. The I asked where he had obtained such an exquisite instrument--he explained that he had received it from an anonymous donor. Indeed, the experience was an unplanned and delightful birthday gift.
Then we continued to the DeYoung Museum, where the annual flower show was taking place. This is no ordinary show. Flower artists arrange compositions inspired by the paintings or installations nearest them. Some arrangements follow the actual shapes or forms in the painting, others the colors or tone of the whole. This was like another gift--a dazzling exhibit for sure.
Since it was my birthday, I thought the following poem (printed earlier) would be appropriate:
As your body goes through its stages, remember your inner beauty.
Your inner beauty is who you truly are.
The wave's crest before it rises,
a star which hides in morning light, burning, luminous, fugitive. Unseen but always there.
Some are air, flitting and sailing from place to place, never settled, felt only after they have passed by.
Others are like water, constantly flowing taking on new forms, parting sometimes to embrace small islands in their path, or else taking the shape of containers which define them, vase, bank, or shore.
Earth holds fast, never stirs unless it is touched by things outside— hurricanes, machines, floods, falling trees. Its devotion keeps the world steady.
Fire devours all, orange tongues flaring, brilliance of creator/destroyer,
begetting beauty, turning everything back to origins, earth, air, water of the beginning.
Dorothy Walters March 16, 2008
Note: In early centuries, it was thought that everything was composed of the four elements: air, water, earth, and fire. In the Renaissance, the notion of four was applied to the “Four Temperaments,” said to account for all the human types. This poem is a mix of the two concepts.
I have been exploring the notion of "parallel universes," a concept which has come to the fore in recent physics (as well as science fiction). One night recently I watched a fascinating PBS presentation by Michio Kaku, who is a kind of Carl Sagan of our time. He has written Parallel Universes and The Physics of the Impossible, both of which sound very interesting. Some physicists now conclude there is evidence for the existence of several "parallel universes." These are worlds or realms which exist in the same space as our own, but we cannot see them because they occupy different dimensions. The theory is a based primarily on the fact the the proton can be in more than one place at once. (I assume this is derived from the familiar wave/particle experiment—where a proton is sent toward a barrier with two holes—and then passes through the two parallel exit holes at once, rejoining on the other side, this revealing that it is both a wave and a particle.)These leading edge scientists posit that therefore everything that exists has a twin elsewhere and thus someone exactly like you may exist in another universe, or indeed many exact duplicates of you may exist in many universes. The theory also speculates that everything that has ever happened is also repeated elsewhere exactly or with surprise variations. Each event begets new events, as well as new versions of events. All history is simultaneous. Hence there may be dinosaurs in other universes, where our own "earlier eons" are still ongoing.And, since other universes occupy the same space as our own, there may be dinosaurs in our own living rooms, but since these exist in different “dimensions” we are unaware of them.(The above summary is what I gained from the presentation. It may not be entirely accurate.)
As I reflected on this notion, I came up with some further thoughts on the matter. If the theory of parallel universes is correct, it would explain many of the seemingly unexplainable "paranormal" events in our lives as well as similar accounts from history. The following poem explores this theory as well as other ideas about theories in general, and goes on to list a few of the "paranormal" phenomena which would be explained if there were indeed alternate universes to our own. (Does Kundalini come from one of these alternative realities where, perhaps, it is the norm?)
And now there are, it seems, theories of everything-- of love, of death, of sleep, of winning or losing, of the origin of stars, or where we might have come from so many years ago.
Dostoevsky abhorred those systems in which the so-called rational governs human affairs, philosophies which ignore spirit and human feeling, those inner lights which deliver us from false assumptions, and thus save us from betraying others and ourselves.
Now science posits entire universes beside and within our own, parallels where time, space, the arc of enlightenment, the dark night of the soul's eclipse are all happening constantly, contiguously, perhaps even in our own living space, all undetected by our shrunken senses. But if we cannot see it, how can we believe?
Something shadows us, insists on asking
what about all that nightly going hither and thither, ghost forms streaming out of the body, toward the light and back again, skating between time present and the lost ages of tribal memory. And of course, accounts of angels, strange encounters with curious forms, from dwarfs to demons, stories of those who travel timelessly from one spot to another, see long distance, or appear in many places all at the same moment,
That most celebrated man of recent years with his famous halo of glinting hair gave us theories of the stars, the planets hung in their twirling spaces, their dizzying rounds, but nothing on this, our constant dilemma, who, in fact, we truly are, into what other universe our journey takes us now.
Mirabai was a saint/poet who lived in India many centuries ago. She rejected the society's prescribed roles of wife and mother, left her husband (a prince), and went dancing along the roads, chanting her poetry. From an early age, she was a devotee of the god Krishna, whom she considered to be her friend, lover, teacher, and husband. Her poems are still cherished and spoken aloud by the people of India. This is a poem I wrote dedicated to her. Her situation as social outcast, one who "gives all for love," reinds me of the plight of many of us who find ourselves outside conventional norms when we are smitten with love for the goddess (Kundalini) within.
Today, in the park, I was looking for something colorful and brilliant-- new flowers flaming, grass blazing across the landscape.
Instead, they (those mysterious powers in charge of such things) had marked "off limits" much of where I was expecting
to see the spring fire erupting and no one was allowed to enter.
I continued my walk along the meandering paths, through a world seemingly drained, lacking the expected splendor.
But then it happened. There, where nothing bloomed, were great reed-like stems, their pale arms
catching heaven's final light,
their quiet beauty
reflecting not passion, but rather a serene wisdom, presence which didn't have anything to prove or celebrate, not trying to be noticed, but simply there in its soft mellow sustaining hues, its sensuous neutral tones
Finally, I am back on line. Because of a misunderstanding, I got disconnected from my server, and have spent the last week struggling to get back on. At last, the task is done!
In the meantime, I have been having some wonderful experiences which again remind me of how much is available to us these days. After several weeks of not doing my practice, I returned, wondering if I could still move energies. They responded immediately, and I had a happy session doing such things as stroking my aura (a simple but utterly delightful practice). As I have said before, my energies are now quite soft, but still delicate and delicious. I started by playing my favorite CD--The Chord of Love with Ram Das and Jai Uttal (or is it Krishna Das?) This CD is hard to find, but it is well worth the effort.
Then last Saturday, I attended an introductory workshop for "The Painting Experience." This is a free form workshop, where you are given paper, easel, and paints to do with as you please--no direction, no judgment--only the instructions to "play." Now, for me, this was a significent experience, since I have never explored the visual arts as a creator--in face, I have only held a paint brush in my hand once before in my life. But I had a great time, and splashed happily on the canvas. I even invented a "secret code" to slip in some words now and again, disguising their appearance so that no one could read them, including me. So they were indeed like sand paintings--here for a moment, then gone forever.
But last night was the best of all. A new shop for crystals and other sacred items has opened nearby in Fairfax (north and west of the GG Bridge).The shop itself holds truly magical vibrations--everything from the beautiful crystals to the giant singing bowls radiating bliss into the room.
The guest of the evening was an elder (female) from the Big Island in Hawaii. A native speaker (a special designation) and healer, she held us truly spellbound with her tales of the ancient days of the very early inhabitants of the islands (before the invasion of the missionaries and then the great droves of tourists from the West.) I learned that the very early islanders used only a few spoken words to communicate. Instead, they relied on mental telepathy. When they were first traveling to the islands, they did not use sophisticated maps or equipment to guide them. Instead, each morning, before they got into their canoes, they envisioned their destination (still not known) and "brought the islands to them." Even today, some practice this technique of "bringing to them" something they desire (much like our practice of "manifesting" through meditation.
In addition, they practiced what we call gratitude and affirmations, so they would constantly be in a state of loving grace. In this way, they could all "be in the canoe" together.
Our presenter was Aunty Mahealani, who charmed and entertained us with her stories and her wisdom.
It was a "special" crowd which had gathered at the Crystal Chalice. Their faces were radiant with love, joy and gratitude. Aunty told us that this was the time in history we had long awaited--that in spite of the seeming bad news, we were now in an age long prophesied, and that we--and countless other such groups--were coming together all over the world to receive the new age of light. My neighbor on my right had told me about a recent experience with a healer during which she seemed to levitate. My neighbor on my left described a new potion she has discovered to slow or reverse the aging process. I had felt the incredible vibrations of the giant crystal bowls in the shop, and even experienced sweet energies and even some visualizations (rare for me) when I held my hand over a giant crystal ball in the front.
As I gazed around at this beautiful collection of people, I remembered something I had written in my journal so long ago, when my kundalini energies had first opened. At the time of my awakening (l981) I did not know anyone who had experienced kundalini, or even knew what the word meant. I met very few who had undergone "awakening" (and then only briefly) for years thereafter. I was a "solitary practitioner" in the middle of the country with no one to share my experiences with or to give me advice.
However, in the early eighties, I had a series of premonitions about the future. One was that kundalini was a process of universal awakening, a process which would start slow but which would gain momentum as time passed. At first, there would be only as few of us experiencing the new light. Later, we would begin to find one another, and reinforce each other's growth through exchange of energies. Then, the movement would spread exponentially, until vast numbers were involved.
As I gazed about the room in the shop, and saw the glowing faces of so many advanced beings (most much , much younger than I), I realized that this was the time I had foreseen--this was the era of major transition. These were the very people who had been predicted. We were together the people we had been waiting for. And I had, I felt, been allowed to be one of the first of the new dispensation, to go alone into the unknown territory of the (then) future, which was now our present. And now we were moving forward together.
This site is dedicated to Patricia Lay-Dorsey, beloved friend, mentor, artist, and activist, who has given her life to making this world a better place. Click here to see Patricia's photographs. It was Patricia's photos that illustrated my blog from its beginnings through December 2006. From January 2007 through the present, the photos are my own unless otherwise noted.