Kundalini Splendor

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sasanna and Puram Bair in Boulder 

This particular workshop looked especially interesting, especially in light of its basic premise: what is needed is for all of us to "occupy our heart" and thus find the way out of the great issues now facing our globe.  Two videos are available also which offer the primary flavor of this duos approach.

Join Susanna in Boulder this JUNE!   * * * A portion of the proceeds will be donated
to ISSSEEM for each person who registers and mentions ISSSEEM!!   * * *  THANKS
Puran and Susanna Bair
were awarded the ISSSEEM  Alyce and Elmer Green Award for pioneering advances in
the science of subtle  energies, manifesting spirit in matter, and investigating
states of the  heart in its many dimensions.

June 9, 2012: Day 1
The Integral Center, 2805 Broadway, Boulder, CO  Map [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?
9 for one person, $49 for two
(Day 1 can be taken without Day 2)
The world is going through a catharsis,  which affects us all. This is a great opportunity
for each one of us to  transform ourselves, thereby affecting the whole. How do
we do that? By  occupying our heart. Through four particular spiritual practices
we  will move into our hearts, exploring relationships, meaning and purpose,  and
joy and love. By renewing ourselves and occupying our heart fully  and completely,
we create the spiritual reconstruction of this world.

All the problems we're experiencing in the world are due to a lack of spiritual
realization. Religious  wars, greed and corruption, government stalemate, financial
collapse,  unsustainable agriculture, ecological disasters, are all symptoms of
the  need for a spiritual reconstruction: a paradigm shift in the  relationship
between the individual and the universe.

By  occupying your Heart, you become stronger and clearer, moving into that  inner
place that holds your resources and your source of renewal.

What  will you take away from this seminar? A four-way spiritual practice  that
can be done daily in 20 minutes that will affect your whole heart,  focusing on:

1. your identity and how you understand your individuality
2. your relationships with others
3. your work, career, accomplishments, and the very purpose of your life
4. bringing spiritual renewal through reconnecting your heart to the Source
Our aim is to heal and integrate all aspects of the self so that we can assist in
the spiritual reconstruction of the world.

This  workshop will be led by Susanna Bair, co-founder of IAM Heart and  co-author
of Follow Your Heart, Living from the Heart, and Energize Your  Heart. Susanna is
a European mystic, a master teacher of the Culture of  the Heart, and is recognized
as a spiritual leader in Universal Sufism.
Click here to register for Occupy Your Heart Boulder
  Day 1 in Boulder, Colorado

June 10, 2012: Day 2
2128 E. 101st Way, Thornton, CO 80229
$199 for one person (Day 1 is required)
Day  2 takes you deeper into your heart with individualized attention from  Susanna.
You will experience four additional practices using sound which  will help you occupy
your heart with a new kind of power.
Day 2 is a limited space event -- as of now, there are 11 spaces left. Register
now for your opportunity to study closely with this wonderful Sufi master.

Click here to register for Occupy Your Heart Boulder
   Day 2 in Thornton, Colorado

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Teilhard de Chardin
 Toward The Future, 1936, XI, 86-87

The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Even when

Even when I am absent,
truant distracted by
other things
(my health, my social
calendar, my constant dreaming
day and night)
finally I return
and there you are,
waiting still
in the same place
all this time
for the lost lover
like a candle
saved and ready to become flame
once more.

Dorothy Walters
May 28, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

The minute I heard my first love story
By Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi
(1207 - 1273)
English version by Coleman Barks

The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


The Mystery

Some come at it
with weights and measures,
some waving a sieve.

Some sing to it,
ballads and carols,
hoping to coax forth
its hidden center,
unwind the sheath
of who it is.

Some tap on it,
or deal heavy blows
with hammers,
trying to smash
its thick shield
force it to bow down.

Some seek ways to clamber in,
explore its hidden vaults
and chambers.

Some lie down beside it,
breathe its cool scent,
become its own self.

(from The Ley Lines of the Soul, Poems of Ecstasy and Ascension)

(The above image was found on the internet some time ago--I no longer recall the source.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Some Musings about the Rapture

As everyone knows. certain groups assert that before too long there will be a global annihilation, but that those who are properly prepared will escape being obliterated, but instead will be "raptured" bodily into heaven.  It is further postulated that those who are "left behind" will be astonished and dismayed, where persons close to them simply vanish before their eyes.

I wish to offer a counter thesis.  First of all, it posits that the "ascension" is not of a physical nature, but rather pertains to the vibratory field of the persons involved (not an original idea).  Once this person's vibrations are lifted to a certain level, he/she (as a vibrating entity) is virtually invisible to those around him/her.

Think of the following scenario:  Someone experiences massive Kundalini awakening, either spontaneously or gradually over time.  He/she then discovers that "they" are now virtually members of a new species, a different race with a sensory/nervous system much altered from the past.  When they try to explain to others this difference of perception, they are met with disbelief or--even worse--suspicion or accusations of "having lost it."    For all intents and purposes, this "new self" has vanished to the perception of those still caught in the old consciousness.  Often the new state involves episodes of deep rapture.  That is to say, this person has in fact been "raptured up," lifted to a new level of awareness  as a result of the  raising of their vibrational field.

Now, I should add, that most do not exist perpetually in heightened state of consciousness.  We are perhaps already involved in a new stage in the evolution of consciousness, and the "first models" will likely have problems that will gradually fade as the new consciousness spreads.

I do not mean to present the above as solid fact.  Rather they are interesting speculations to be reflected on and considered as possible but not provable.  What do you think?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kundalini and Responsibility

Sometimes, after we have experienced our Kundalini awakening, we feel a great sense of responsibility, as if a huge gift has been given to us and we must find a way to compensate for it.  We wonder if we are now someone "greater" than before, someone expected to perform in the world at a higher level.

Yes, Kundalini is a great gift and, ultimately, it is possible that we can function at a higher level.  But our initial task is to let things settle, to allow the new energies and unfamiliar perspectives to "settle in," to assimilate into our pre-existing psychological/neurological/emotional/physical systems.   Our concern is not to let these new sensations to overwhelm us--to do this we must, so to speak, relax into our new"selves," to allow integration to take place.  Instead of rushing about, we should spend time alone and in quiet communing with our newfound capacities.  We should seek to be whole, not scattered.  This is a good time to be in nature, to speak quietly with a few trusted friends, to listen to music and engage in simple tasks, so as not to overburden the system.   It is also good to keep a journal during this first (and later) phase, to release feelings and emotions and have a historical record of our progress.

But it is true that we also have a responsibility to "return the gift," in whatever way is best suited for us.  We may forsake our old occupations and interests and build on something totally new.  We may simply use our familiar talents to create at a different level.  We may pursue our artistic or literary talents in a new way.  We may engage in new charitable pursuits.  Some will study to become healers or teachers of sacred practice.  Some will pour their efforts into performances associated with divine connection.  Some will create new and exciting websites, utilizing the internet to sacred purposes.

But, again, do not hurry the process.  Do not rush out and start "healing" people just because you have felt a few energy rushes in your body.  Do not begin to hold "satsang" with yourself at the center because you have grasped a few elementary insights.  Wisdom and healing capacities need, like good wine, time to ferment and blend.  Then when the grapes are ready, the harvest will come.

You will know which is best for you. It will feel "right" and give you pleasure, for you will know at a deep level that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing at this stage in your life.

This new path may not be apparent at the very beginning, but it will unfold with time.  Let it proceed at its own pace and honor it as another sacred gift when it comes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kundalini and a Feeling of Isolation

After we experience our awakening, after we have come to realize that we are different from whatever we were before, we may feel a deep need to share our most extraordinary experience with others.  But often we discover that others--our families, our most trusted friends, even our partners--may not  comprehend what we are telling them--and they may look at us in bewilderment, as if we had announce we had just flown up to heaven on the back of an angel or else suddenly had the power to raise the dead.  So--many of us shut down at this point, and keep our thoughts and descriptions to ourselves.

Fortunately in today's world topic that were once viewed with total suspicion are now more or loess in common currency.  There is a yoga studio on every other corner, spiritual teachers abound on youtube or websites, and even the work "Kundalini" brings up thousands of references on googld

Still, it is a lonely journey, especially for those who have no "spiritual buddies," persons to confide in and perhaps share experiences with.  You have made a "paradigm leap" to a new level of experience, and many can only watch and wonder at what new experiences you may be having.  Some of your experiences may seem quite esoteric to others--such as feeling electric currents shock your body, or the ability to smell wondrous odors or see and hear at great distances.

You are now undergoing deep transformation, physical, mental, and spiritual.  You are becoming a "new person" in every sense.  Since you are (likely) not in an ashram, you may have no trusted guide to lead you and kindred souls to interact with you.  And you may be---wisely, I think-- wary of trusting your process to some unknown "authority figure," who may or may not be authentic.

What can you do in your solitary state?  First, remember that God (the divine guru within, the infinite, the Beloved) is always with you and you can ask for help if you need it.  You can even talk with your Kundalini, and ask it to slow down if it is unfolding too fast.

And you can actively search for like minded buddies.  Go to various spiritual gatherings where these are likely to be found, and try to make friends with like minded souls.

Check out the many resources now available on youtube--check out the teachers and gurus, and listen closely to those who resonate with you.  A good place for this is "Buddha at the Gas Pump," a site you can access free of charge, with many worthy teachers represented.  Also, I have been told that the home web site for Batgap contains much back and forth discussion, with contributions from persons coming from many perspectives.

And remember, that as your journey progresses, you will doubtless be more at ease with your new state and you will discover how to "live in the world and out of it."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Love of Morning

It is hard sometimes to drag ourselves
back to the love of morning
after we've lain in the dark crying out
O God, save us from the horror . . . .

God has saved the world one more day
even with its leaden burden of human evil;
we wake to birdsong.
And if sunlight's gossamer lifts in its net
the weight of all that is solid,
our hearts, too, are lifted,
swung like laughing infants;

 but on gray mornings,
all incident - our own hunger,
the dear tasks of continuance,
the footsteps before us in the earth's
beloved dust, leading the way - all,
is hard to love again
for we resent a summons
that disregards our sloth, and this
calls us, calls us.

~ Denise Levertov ~

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Feast

Water is crying out
for a thirsty man
and the Invisible is food
longing for a hungry guest.

The seeker thinks
she is the one
pursuing the divine banquet,
following the secret aromas
to the scented

But the Beloved is
already there,
invisible host,
biding her time
until the seeker
is ready,
spreading the table
when the famished pilgrim
for a moment
turns attention away.

Then the host will offer
the irresistible morsel
and two will become one,
each nourishment
for the other
in a feast
that never ends.

Dorothy Walters
May  11, 2012

(The first lines of this poem are from Rumi. The  photo was sent to me by a friend without any indication of the source.  It is titled "The Peacock in Flight," or "The Phoenix in Flight.")

Friday, May 11, 2012

A beautiful poem by Rumi

This beautiful poem by Rumi is especially meaningful in this time of personal and universal crisis.  In it, he reminds us that we are, all of us, always, beggars before God, and that this state is appropriate, for if all of our needs were already fulfilled, we would have no need for God or any further favors in our lives.  (A "bezel" is the rim that holds a jewel in place.  I do not know what a "Burak" is--perhaps some  mode of transportation?)

I particularly like the line, "Thank God you hadn't the means or you may have been a Pharaoh."  To be a Pharaoh would mean that one became like any great public figure, relinquishing almost all of one's private life to the duties of the office.  In many ways, anonymity is a gift, for it allows one to explore the full range of one's own inner being rather than to be shattered into a million parts trying to please the crowd.  As one of my friends commented, "If you are famous, you have to spend all your time being famous and have little left over for yourself."

Further, Pharaohs have all their needs provided for, and thus have no need to be a "beggar before God".

What Is Bounty Without A Beggar?
                   by Rumi

What is bounty without a beggar? Generosity without a guest?
Be beggar and guest; for beauty is seeking a mirror, water is crying for a thirsty man.
Hopelessness and need are tasteful bezel for that ruby.

Your poverty is a Burak;* don't be a coffin riding on other men's shoulders.
Thank God you hadn't the means or you may have been a Pharaoh.

The prayer of Moses was, "Lord, I am in need of Thee!"
The Way of Moses is all hopelessness and need and it is the only way to God.
From when you were an infant, when has hopelessness ever failed you?

Joseph's path leads into the pit; don't flee across the chessboard of this world, for it is His game and we are checkmate! checkmate!

Hunger makes stale bread more delicious than halvah.
Your spiritual discomfort is spiritual indigestion; seek hunger and passion and need!

A mouse is a nibbler. God gave him mind in proportion to his needs.
Without need God gives nothing.

How will you impress God? You are a hundred thousand dinars in His debt!
A beggar shows his blindness and palsy,
he does not say, "Give me bread, O, people! I am a rich man with granaries and palaces!"

Bring a hundred sacks of gold and God will say, "Bring the heart."
And if you bring a dead heart carried like a coffin on your shoulder,
God will say, "O, cheat! Is this a graveyard? Bring the live heart! Bring the live heart!"

If you haven't any knowledge and opinions,
have good opinions about God. This is the way.
If you can only crawl, crawl to Him.
If you can not pray sincerely, offer your dry, hypocritical, agnostic prayer; for God in His mercy accepts bad coin.
If you have a hundred doubts of God,
make them into ninety doubts. This is the way.

O, Seeker! Though you have broken your vows a hundred times,
come again! Come again!
For God has said, "Though you are on high or in the pit consider me, for I am the Way."

- Jelaluddin Rumi
(Translated By Daniel Liebert)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Aromatherapy--a different experience

This morning I tried a new aromatherapy essence, this time a blend of frankincense and amber.  I had picked it out at Whole Foods, when I was sampling the different "testers."  Most of them had no attraction for me, but this one stood out.

As I held it in front of my nose (at home), and also as I moved it in circles a over my body a few inches away, I felt the same stirrings in my energetic field as with the previous "Meditation Oil" out of Australia.  This one carried even more delicate odors and feelings, all with a totally delicate aroma.

I had concluded earlier that frankincense was the likely stimulant in the original mixture, and so it seemed like a confirmation of my theory when this combination worked in much the same way, only somewhat more subtle in its effects.

If anyone wants to test it, it might be in your Whole Foods store or some other aromatherapy outlet.   It is called simply Frankincense/Amber and is distributed by Inesscents (aromatic botanicals ) in Cave Junction, Oregon, 541-597-2799   www.inesscents.com

My feeling is that the effect has as much to do with the state of your own energy body as the scent itself.
(P. S. And, lest anyone think I go around in a cloud of perpetual bliss, I need to add that I have chronic upper back pain from an "eroded" vertebra.  I think I have concentrated so much on the subtle body that I have neglected the physical body, to my regret.  So let me be an example to others--both bodies are important, and do not favor one over the other, but nourish both.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

My Significant Other is the Kosmos: Adventure in the Limen

by Jeff Richards


Note: This is Jeff Richards' "final" segment of his account of his Kundalini awakening.  He does an impressive job of "describing the indescribable," but we must all remember that each experience is unique to the person. and not everyone will have the overwhelmingly transcendent and extremely orgasmic experience he underwent.  Jeff was young and full of "juice" when he awakened.  He also had suffered the "death" of self (thoughts of suicide) before undergoing the "rebirth" into a new way of knowing.  It is generally true in initiatory experience something in the self must die before the new self can be born.

The Latin term limen means a threshold.  A liminal state is a borderline state where something is about to transition into something else.  That something else is just beyond or below the borderline: the subliminal, or equally so, the sublime.

From suicide as a warm and fuzzy concept to the body as a portal for unimagined and unforeseen infusions of grace - this had been quite the journey I had taken through a liminal state after my existential collapse, a state I was only vaguely aware of during its duration.  Yet it proceeded, and the sublime finally broke through the borderline,, and as I transcended that state of liminal transition I found myself in a new territory, a new limen, one that I was now hyper-aware of.

The Latin term limen means a threshold.  A liminal state is a borderline state where something is about to transition into something else.  That something else is just beyond or below the borderline: the subliminal, or equally so, the sublime.

From suicide as a warm and fuzzy concept to the body as a portal for unimagined and unforeseen infusions of grace - this had been quite the journey I had taken through a liminal state after my existential collapse, a state I was only vaguely aware of during its duration.  Yet it proceeded, and the sublime finally broke through the borderline,, and as I transcended that state of liminal transition I found myself in a new territory, a new limen, one that I was now hyper-aware of.

 For the next few months the electrical impulses stayed close and I let them flow as needed,   I had no idea what the direction or purpose was, if indeed there was a direction or purpose, but I had a sense that I was being worked over, body and mind.  At times the pleasure was astonishing - imagine your best ever ever orgasm, then multiply it by ten in intensity, then have it run up and down your body in waves from head to toes and back again for 15 minutes - and at times the energy seemed blocked, the sensation an excruciatingly painful electrical burn.

I felt an urgency to figure out what this process was and what I was to do with it.  Reading back through the text of Redmond's book I found a passage I only vaguely remembered and which at the time of first reading I barely noted.  It was a warning that one should be in good health if pursuing the release of chakra energies.  I remembered thinking of "releasing energy" as something akin to having a bit more spring in your step - hardly the case, as it turned out!  Associated with this energy release was the term kundalini awakening, and here I found a key to research into this strange and mystifying process.

Most traditional writings about kundalini awakening are clothed in opaque esoteric language, often translations from ancient texts that in themselves seem bent on masking the reality underlying the process.  These were of absolutely no use to me, but two books I stumbled upon stood out as beneficial guides because they were contemporary accounts and presented in the form of autobiography:  Gopi Krishna's Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man and Dorothy Walters' Unmasking the Rose: A Record of a Kundalini Initiation.   Both of these books are compelling accounts of spontaneous kundalini awakenings far more intense than my own (indeed, Gopi Krishna claimed it almost killed him), yet their accounts reinforced the intuition that I had experienced some kind of kundalini awakening.  Of course, there is no certification board for this kind of experience, though I suppose some Indian gurus may qualify as a community of the adequate for peer revue.  Nonetheless, this seems to be not only what happened to me, but is continuing to happen - kind of like the Big Bang, which didn't just bang but is still bangggginggggggggggggg...

This still begs the question, what exactly is happening, what is the process doing to the mind and body, and where is it going?  It has been almost 4 years since that fateful day in August and I still cannot give a clear enough accounting to clarify these questions.   Both Walters and Krishna describe a period of at least 10 years in which they gradually stabilized and assimilated the energies.  Their testimony, coupled with my experience over these years, suggests being thrust into a heightened liminal state, especially unusual since it begins with the body.  The energies, their source mysterious and elusive, seem to have a will of their own, an entelechy that is only revealed in increments as it works through body and mind, slowly yet tangibly transforming psyche and spirit.  Like the art making process, like kosmic evolution itself, always and constantly in a state of unfolding, the direction only obvious in hindsight, the goal unseeable, and with a quality that is - to borrow a phrase - ecstatically urgent.  Just as importantly, it holds itself within the field of possibility, an open field that seems to hover in the very air we breath, whispering insistently "There is always, always more possible than you ever realize."

To be continued--

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

What's In The Temple?

In the quiet spaces of my mind a thought lies still, but ready to spring.
It begs me to open the door so it can walk about.
The poets speak in obscure terms pointing madly at the unsayable.
The sages say nothing, but walk ahead patting their thigh calling for us to follow.
The monk sits pen in hand poised to explain the cloud of unknowing.
The seeker seeks, just around the corner from the truth.
If she stands still it will catch up with her.
Pause with us here a while.
Put your ear to the wall of your heart.
Listen for the whisper of knowing there.
Love will touch you if you are very still.

If I say the word God, people run away.
They've been frightened--sat on 'till the spirit cried "uncle."
Now they play hide and seek with somebody they can't name.
They know he's out there looking for them, and they want to be found,
But there is all this stuff in the way.

I can't talk about God and make any sense,
And I can't not talk about God and make any sense.
So we talk about the weather, and we are talking about God.

I miss the old temples where you could hang out with God.
Still, we have pet pounds where you can feel love draped in warm fur,
And sense the whole tragedy of life and death.
You see there the consequences of carelessness,
And you feel there the yapping urgency of life that wants to be lived.
The only things lacking are the frankincense and myrrh.

We don't build many temples anymore.
Maybe we learned that the sacred can't be contained.
Or maybe it can't be sustained inside a building.
Buildings crumble.
It's the spirit that lives on.

If you had a temple in the secret spaces of your heart,
What would you worship there?
What would you bring to sacrifice?
What would be behind the curtain in the holy of holies?

Go there now.

~ Tom Barrett ~

(Keeping in Touch)

Monday, May 07, 2012

Heart of Darkness; Heart of Light

The following piece was written (received) by MIchael Black, a wizard/mystic/healer who lives in northern California.

The Heart of Darkness is a misnomer, a cipher.  No, what enshrines and envelops your magnificent beings is an utterly brilliant Heart of Light.  That’s who and what you each really are.  Now, picture journeying to a Medieval tower which houses a magnificent laboratory.  Imagine yourself lying on a table and awaiting receipt of your true heart.  You’ve gone without it for Oh so long, and during this Ascension time, it’s the moment to receive your true heart back!

You’ve entered the wizard Merlyn’s alchemical laboratory.  Invite him to replace within your prone physical body what he’s been safekeeping for millennia?  Watch as he walks toward you, hands and arms outstretched, carrying something precious.  Looking up and over, what you see are two hands alright, but fingers which cradle something that’s giving off enormous shafts of light.  It’s as though you’re walking at daybreak through a magnificent forest, watching, entrained, as immense shafts of light begin visibly streaming through nearby towering trees.  Only this time, these very same shafts are emanating from and penetrating between his arched fingers, bathing everything around you with illumined brilliance.

Looking down at you, broadly beaming, he says: “Here, I’ve been holding this for you for a very long time!  It’s time you had it back!”  You watch and feel as your etheric Heart of Light is returned to your “Tin Man” chest.  Tears well up as your joyful reunion ensues.  For millennia you’d agreed to walk without it; but now, all that’s been rescinded and been utterly overridden by new instructions. Upon being reunited with your “Lion heart,” those attending you place your right hand upon your heart.  You suddenly feel the
brilliance within in contrast to the darkness which just preceded it.  Awash in light, living and breathing only light, you’ve been returned home again to All-That-Is, from the inside out.

You look upon your compassionate attendants and companions with love and the deepest gratitude.  It is done!  You carry your home within, once again, after having traversed—as all empaths must—the Heart of Darkness.  You’ve entered a new country, that’s all, one now characterized by enormous internal light.  From here on out, you’ll walk through this world casting immensely long, loving shafts of light so that others, too, might be capable of reclaiming their birthrights?

The Time of Ascension emanates from your hearts.  If the old one has gone cold due to separation and fear, why not overwrite that story with one that now serves you, together with an Ascending Earth?   You’ve walked alone for long enough in this and myriad other lifetimes.  It’s no matter.  Reclaim the star that is at the core of your physical and subtle body being.  Reclaim your soul star that you may begin sharing your light over your overwritten darkness.  Walk on in deepest gratitude, joy and wonder that you’ve agreed to journey from a Heart of Darkness to one of Light, and feel blessed!  This is your time to rise and shine, that’s all!  Shine on, Heart of Light, shine on!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Kundalini Research Network Conference (click here for more information)

Friday, May 04, 2012

Variation On A Theme By Rilke
By Denise Levertov
(1923 - 1997)

(The Book of Hours, Book I, Poem 1, Stanza 1)

A certain day became a presence to me;
there it was, confronting me -- a sky, air, light:
a being. And before it started to descend
from the height of noon, it leaned over
and struck my shoulder as if with
the flat of a sword, granting me
honor and a task. The day's blow
rang out, metallic -- or it was I, a bell awakened,
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew: I can.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

From the dark I wish to attain the delightful. Having shaken off sin like a horse shaking its hair, I shall attain the uncreated world of Brahman after leaving this body and become successful.
I shall attain.

Chandogya Upanishad  VIII.xiii.1

From “The Circle of Fire, The Metaphysics of Yoga” by P. J. Mazumdar

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

For Adrienne Rich

Note: Adrienne Rich was one of my favorite poets.  She died a few weeks ago and I consider her passing a great loss to the world of poetry and the world of authentic being.  She was always willing to speak out about oppression, whether of women as a sex, or sexual orientation (she lived the later part of her life as a lesbian), minorities (she was a Jew), and the injustice of governments against  the ordinary folk.  She was above all both honest and "authentic" in whatever she did, and stood up when others sat down or left the scene.  She was a major voice in getting women equality of rights and recognition in a time of patriarchal dominance.  And, of course, she was one of the most gifted poets among us, serving as a great inspiration to her contemporaries and those who follow.

Today, as I was browsing around on my personal documents file, I came across this poem, written several years ago, as a tribute to Adrienne. I had, frankly, forgotten all about it, but thought I would share it today as my personal recognition of her enormous contribution.
I think I was especially fond of her because she was almost exactly my own age (early eighties).  She and I lived through some of the major social transitions of our time, she in center stage, me more on the sidelines (though active in my own way).  Heroine and witness, we traveled the changes of the last century and the beginning years of this one together, though we never truly met.

For Adrienne Rich

Whether you like it or not
I am writing this poem to you.

Whether you care
or would like to stop me,
putting some kind of small cloth
in my throat, or perhaps
a rubber band
across my mouth,
no matter,
too late,
nothing will do.

We two have ridden the landscape
for almost eighty years,
you not knowing
who I was,
even that I existed,
me keeping my eye on you
from a distance.

I watched you when you
were the young bride,
rebelling against your role,
or perhaps just the live-in
of a fellow in an undisclosed
talking of cigarettes and
looking bright and
full of hope.

I taught your poems to my classes,
explaining about the art of
why lions were a symbol,
and—later—what lesbians were,
how they, too, fell in love
and lived together in fidelity,
at least for awhile,
just like normal people,
the other, accepted folks.

Frankly, those poems helped
especially those like me,
also a lover of my own kind,
fearful to find my voice.

And now, later, here you are,
queen of poets,
mother who helped bring to birth
an age undreamed of
in terms of who we are now,
of who you are now,
still speaking out in your strong voice
against oppression,
injustice wherever it appears,
those who would squeeze “others”
(however they appear)
into a box of their own defining,
perhaps to destroy them
when they do not fit.

Frankly, I loved those early poems,
for I was (unbeknownst to anyone,
or so I supposed,)
also a lover of my own kind,
but it was (I thought) a secret destiny.
Some of us did not dare speak out,
but you gave us voice
and courage.

And now, too, your attention turned
to the world stage,
your roots and genesis,
your Jewish heritage,
how noble you appear,
how much a beacon
in a time of growing dark,
despite all,
your advancing years,

your physical challenges.
You were never one to wince
or turn away,
and so also now
in this, your final stage.
I watch you close as ever,
applaud your choices
grown to final bloom.

Dorothy Walters
June 21, 2004

(photo found on wikipedia--Adrienne in her somewhat younger days)

Tuesday, May 01, 2012



Some do it quickly,
like making love over
a short noon break,
lightning flash of illumination,
bursting nova
in the brain.
Others take their time,
are sensuous,
thoughtfully absorbing for years
the soft rays of love,
relishing each one.
Others try to follow a book
with its stages
and diagrams,
but they get lost
between the
many charts
and prescriptions.
Who wants to
try to remember
how to breathe in a certain way
or count the petals of a lotus flower
making love?
Best to let it happen
in its own manner,
a sly spirit
winking down
from the ceiling,
a serious lover
come to call
when least expected.

Dorothy Walters
from "The Ley Lines of the Soul, Poems of Ecstasy and Ascension"

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