Kundalini Splendor

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Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Greetings from Anam Cara 

Dear Friend

John O'Donohue, author of Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, inspired our non-profit organization's name and its mission to befriend the souls of the world by making meditative practices from a variety of traditions available to everyone. When we shift states, from the ordinary waking mind to the boundless, all-embracing Consciousness of meditation, we come home to our heart, to our humanity, to the fully loving and compassionate source that every cell of our body lives to serve.

In this New Year, as we begin with the extra attention and mindfulness that we bring to such auspicious times, may we have the greatness of heart, the clarity of mind and the surety of wisdom to receive all the blessings this New Year will unfold for us!

May the One, in all Her forms, guide you and bless you all ways!

With profound respect for all the ways that you bring the Light of your true nature into your life everyday, and with deep love and appreciation for you and your unique journey,
yours in service,

quotes from:
 John O'Donohue
 Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

"Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey."

"Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment."

John O'Donohue
 To Bless The Space Between Us: A Book Of Blessings

For Equilibrium, a Blessing:

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what's said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.

(Note:  Anam Cara, the name of a book by John O'Donohue, is also the name chosen by Lawrence Edwards (PHD) for his valuable spiritual community/website of that name.  The selections presented today from John O'Donohue plus Lawrence Edwards' own words of wisdom seemed especially appropriate for this day of new beginnings.  May each of you be blessed with a time of special joy and creativity in the coming year.  May each know and fulfill your own soul's purpose and know the gratitude and harmony that this task can bring into your life.

For more from John O'Donohue (now deceased) go to his website at http://www.johnodonohue.com  

Friday, December 28, 2012

We are all One Being 

When you expand your vision and awareness, you see that you are a part of
everybody. If people around you are suffering, you do not simply shut your eyes
and say, 'I'll be really happy.' The subtler you go and the more refined you are,
you feel for everyone in the world. You start feeling for trees, animals and
plants as well. You begin to care for the environment."

~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar)

We must never permit the voice of humanity within us to be silenced.
It is man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him truly a man.

~ Albert Schweitzer

Dogs emanate a goodness that people respond to. One of the joys of walking your
dog is often people come up to you and immediately their hearts open. They are
not interested in you, of course. They want to pat your dog.

~ Eckhart Tolle, Guardians of Being

The hope for the animals of tomorrow is to be found in a human culture which
learns to feel beyond itself. We must learn empathy, we must learn to see into
the eyes of an animal and feel that its life has value because it is alive. Nothing
else will do.

~ Kenneth White

I was sad one day and went for a walk; I sat in a field. A rabbit noticed my
condition and came near. It often does not take more than that to help: just to
be close to creatures who are so full of knowing, so full of love that they don't
chat, they just gaze with their marvelous understanding.

~ St. John of the Cross

"Every single creature is full of God, and is a book about God. Every creature
is a word of God. If I spend enough time with the tiniest creature, even a
caterpillar, I would never have to prepare a sermon, so full of God is every

~ Meister Eckhart, 14th C .Christian mystic

(Quotes found on NDhighlights)


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Eagle and Jeff 

Freedom and Jeff

(The following is an account which was forwarded to me from an unknown source, as was the picture.)

Freedom and  I have been  together 11 years this summer.
She came  in as a baby in 1998  with two broken wings.
Her left  wing doesn't open all the way  even after surgery,
it  was broken in 4 places.
She's my  baby.

When Freedom  came in she could not stand
and both  wings were  broken. She was
emaciated and covered in lice.  We  made the
decision to give her a chance at life, so I   took
her to the vet's office. From then
on, I  was always  around her. We had her in a
huge dog  carrier with the top off,  and it
was loaded up with  shredded newspaper for her to
lay  in. I used to sit  and talk to her,
urging her to live, to  fight; and  she would lay
there looking at me with those  big  brown eyes.
We also had to tube feed her for   weeks.

This went on  for 4-6 weeks, and by then she  still
couldn't stand.  It got to the point where the
decision  was made to  euthanize her
if she couldn't stand in a week.  You  know you don't
want to cross that line between   torture and
rehab, and it looked like death was
winning. She was  going to be put
down that  Friday, and I was supposed to come  in
on that  Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to go
to  the  center that Thursday, because I couldn't
bear the   thought of her being euthanized;
but I went anyway,  and when I  walked in everyone
was grinning from ear  to ear. I  went
immediately back to her cage; and  there she  was,
standing on her own, a big beautiful
eagle. She was ready to  live. I was
just about  in tears by then. That
was a very  good day.

We knew she  could never fly, so the  director
asked me to glove  train her.
I got her used to the  glove,
and then  to jesses, and we started
doing education  programs  for schools
in western Washington ..
We wound  up  in the newspapers,
radio (believe it or not) and   some
TV. Miracle Pets even did a show
about  us.

In  the  spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with
non-Hodgkin's   lymphoma. I had stage 3,
which is not good (one  major organ  plus
everywhere), so I wound up doing 8  months of
chemo.  Lost the hair - the whole
bit.  I missed a lot of work. When  I
felt good enough, I  would go to Sarvey
and take Freedom  out for walks.  Freedom would
also come to me in my dreams and  help  me fight
the cancer. This happened time and time   again.

Fast forward  to November 2000

the day after  Thanksgiving,
I  went in for my last checkup.
I was told that  if the  cancer was not
all gone after 8 rounds of chemo,   then my last
option was a stem cell transplant.  Anyway,  they
did the tests; and I had to come back  Monday for
the  results. I went in Monday, and I was
told that all the cancer was  gone.
So  the first  thing I did was get up to Sarvey and
take the  big  girl out for a walk. It was misty
and cold. I went to   her flight and jessed her
up, and we went out front  to the top  of the
hill. I hadn't said a word to
Freedom, but somehow she  knew. She looked at me
and wrapped both
her wings around me to  where I
could feel them pressing in on my back
(I was   engulfed in eagle wings), and she
touched my nose  with her beak  and stared into my
eyes, and we just  stood there like  that
for I don't know how long ..  That was a
magic moment. We  have been soul mates  ever
since she came in. This is a very  special  bird.

On a side  note: I have had people  who
were sick come up to us  when we are out, and
Freedom has  some kind of hold  on
them. I once had a guy who was
terminal  come  up to us and
I let him hold her.
His knees just   about buckled and he
swore he could feel her power  course  through his
body. I have so many stories like  that..

I  never  forget the honor I have of being so close
to such a   magnificent spirit as

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Letter from Reb ben Yisrael 

Here is a letter written by a Russian rabbi in the early twentieth century.  As the commentator notes, it could have been written by a Zen master or a Sufi Master.  And for the word "God" as it is used here, other words could as well be used, such as Brahma, Source, Goddess, Creator, Ultimate, Absolute, Unnamable--and many others.

Reb Yerachmiel ben Yisrael
19 Tevet 5636

My Dear Aaron Hershel,

You ask me of God: to define the Nameless to place in your palm the ultimate secret. Do not imagine that this is hidden some­where far from you. The ultimate secret is the most open one. Here it is: God is All.

I am tempted to stop with this-to close this letter, sign my name and leave you with this simple truth. Yet I fear you will not understand. Know from the first that all that follows is but an elaboration on the simple fact that God is All.

What does it mean to be All? God is Reality. God is the Source and Substance of all things and nothing. There is no thing or feel­ing or thought that is not God, even the idea that there is no God! For this is what it is to be All: God must embrace even God's own negation.
Listen again carefully: God is the Source and Substance of everything. There is nothing outside of God. Thus we read: “I am God and there is none else [am od]” (Isaiah 45:5). Read not simply “none else,” but rather “nothing else”-not that there is no other god but God, but that there is nothing else but God.

Let me illustrate. It rained heavily during the night, and the street is thick with mud. I walked to the Bet Midrash (House of Learning) this morning and stopped to watch a group of little children playing with the mud. Oblivious to the damp, they made dozens of mud figures: houses, animals, towers. From their talk, it was clear that they imagined an identity for each. They gave the figures names and told their stories. For a while, the mud figures took on an independent existence. But they were all just mud. Mud was their source and mud was their substance. From the perspective of the children, their mud creations had separate selves. From the mud's point of view, it is clear such independence was an illusion-the creations were all just mud.

It is the same with us and God: “Adonal alone is God in heaven above and on earth below, there is none else” (Deuteronomy 4:39). There is none else, meaning there is nothing else in heaven or on earth but God.

Can this be? When I look at the world, I do not see God. I see trees of various kinds, people of all types, houses, fields, lakes, cows, horses, chickens, and on and on. In this I am like the chil­dren at play, seeing real figures and not simply mud.

Where in all this is God? The question itself is misleading. God is not “in” this; God is this.
Think carefully about what I have said. It is the key to all the secrets of life.


P. S.  Those who have experienced major Kundalini awakening know that this perspective is true.  The energies of Kundalini are indeed the ultimate reality/force of the universe, and we are but tiny atoms of its manifestations.
When the above article was published on one site, a respondent noted "Yes. Actually the mud metaphor is a duplicate of an old Vedic one which speaks of how various items of jewelry may appear different, but, at root, are all gold."  (I found this article on NDhighlights).

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

poem by Stephanie Marohn 

Invocation to the Light

On this solstice eve
with the world poised at the precipice
waiting to plunge or cross over
I call upon all the angels of mercy
who have ever shed a tear for the human race
I call upon all the guardians of peace
who have ever raised an olive branch or let fly a flock of doves
I call upon all the mystics
who have ever crossed a desert in search of the truth
I call upon all who have journeyed to the underworld
and returned with the wisdom of the dark
I call upon all the ancestral spirits who know the pain of parting the veil

I call upon the guardians of the four directions of the universe
O East, O South, O West, O North
help us to open our hearts to your weeping whispers
I call upon the luminous, numinous Center of the orb
O help us to embrace again the mystery of unknowing

I call upon all the animal messengers who hold the secret of oneness
I call upon all the faeries and sprites who dance in the forest
I call upon the undines, the gnomes, the sylphs, and the salamanders
the oracles of the mountains and the sages of the springs
I call upon the elves
the pookas
the djinns and the genies
the heavenly nymphs
the houris and peris

the cherubim
the seraphim
the celestial choir
the witches
the magi
the prophets
the messiah

saints and avatars
paragons and virtues
archangels in waiting
wings, haloes, and music

I call upon the three Fates
the three Graces
the nine Muses
and the seven Sisters
all the gods and goddesses
of a thousand names and guises

I call upon the Angel of the Abyss with the flame in his hand
the Angel of Memory who knows where we’ve been
the Angel of Truth
the Angel of Hope
the Angel of the Apocalypse who rides into the night

O come to us now
All forces of light
help us find our way through the wilderness
open our eyes to your sight

—Stephanie Marohn

(see her at www.StephanieMarohn.com
and also read her exciting new book, "What the Animals Taught Me")

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Carol by Larry Robinson 

A Christmas Carol

Away in a manger
or a crack house
or under a bridge
or in a bombed-out village
or a refugee camp
or in the mesquite shade close to the border wall
some Mary is giving birth.

Even as you read this
a child is being born.

What if one of these were the promised one,
the beacon of hope,
the seed of a new light
in a dark time?

What if they all were?
What gifts would you bring
if you were wise?

- Larry Robinson

(picture from internet)

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Precession and the Mayan Calendar 

The following is an article I ran across on the website of in intuitive counselor named Mary Swanson--see www.mary swanson.net  It seems to me to be one of the best explanations of the astrological events happening now that I have found.  It explains with clarity the connection between the Precession and the Mayan Calendar.

Precession of the Equinoxes Determines Astrological Ages and Mayan Great Ages

By Sandra Musser

Precession causes much more than changes in our view of the night sky. When a Mayan Great Cycle or Astrological Age changes it affects everything on earth including us, physically and psychologically. This may surprise you, but if you really think about it, the full moon has been proven to have dramatic effects at times on a person’s mood. Many doomsday prophecies are based on these sometimes massive cycle changes including the Mayan prophecies for 2012.

The common thread that creates the uncanny resemblances between the Greek/Egyptian Astrological Ages and the Mayan Great Ages is the ancient people’s knowledge of precession. Our ancestors were much closer to nature than we are today, and they realized over time that what happened in the cosmos above affected events on the earth and all life below.

Add to this the Hindu yugas, you have a number of galactic and planetary indicators that point to great change coming in and around 2012. The fact is, it has already begun.

I’m not going to give you the heavy technical data about precession. There’s lots of information available already. Instead my concentration will be on the “effects” of precession and “trait or value changes” that come during Astrological and Great Age changes on the Earth.

So what is precession?

The stars and constellations appear to slowly rotate around the Earth. This is caused by the earths own rotation within the greater rotation of the universe. Like a wobbling top, the orientation of the Earth’s axis is slowly but continuously changing as it traces out a conical shape over a 25,625 years cycle.

About every 2,160 years the sun moves into another new zodiacal constellation. The years between constellation changes, which are caused by precession, are approximate because constellations are of different sizes. Other planets cause planetary precession due to their gravitational force on the Earth. This occurs because of the small angle to Earths orbital plane, the ecliptic. These factors cause the plane of the ecliptic to shift slightly, so the Sun crosses the Equator at a little different point every year.

This movement is called precession of the equinoxes. As it shifts, the present constellation in the pre-dawn eastern sky slowly edges out the next constellation, which moves in to take it’s place. Right now we are in the Age of Pisces. The Aquarius constellation, for the Age of Aquarius is slowly replacing the Pisces constellation. It is through precession that the ancient people became aware of Astrological Ages and the Mayan Great Ages. Most ancient cultures looked to the night sky to anticipate changes that would happen here on earth.

Astrological Ages and Mayan Great Ages have many similarities.

The twelve Astrological Ages all last about 2,160 years. Each is marked by a radical change in the environment or cultures or both. A great cycle which includes all the twelve zodiac signs lasts about 25,625 years. I find it very interesting that a full Astrological Age cycle of twelve signs, lasts the same amount of time as the Mayan Grand Cycle of five ages. The Egyptians and the Mayans who recognized these cycles were on opposite sides of the world with no physical contact. Both types of Ages record the progress of precession.

The difference between the two, is the Mayas five Great Cycles each last about 5,125 years. For both, when completed, the cycle begins again in a never-ending circle of repeating Ages. The Aquarian Age also marks the beginning of the next Mayan Great Age.

Why you should care about precession and it’s effects.

Precession occurs gradually, and its influences on humankind as well as the earth also occur gradually. When one Astrological Age officially changes to the next, the influences of the coming age are felt far before the change actually occurs. But, the earth doesn’t necessarily move through the zodiac at the same speed for each Astrological Age. This makes an exact calculation of a calendar date difficult.

I’m going to give you an example of precession you can pinpoint yourself in the night sky. Right now, the star Polaris is at about the north celestial pole. Polaris is the bright star located straight up from the far lip of the Big Dipper. Over time it shifts position in our vision and other stars will eventually replace it as the North Star. It’s in a much different position now than it was before Christ. The Maya have a myth about the shifting pole star. It’s called the Popul Vuh.

The zodiac is a belt or band of constellations or star through which the Sun, Moon and planets transit across the sky. The changes we’re experiencing right now in our climate, socially, and personally are not unique. The world has gone through massive changes many times. What’s interesting…they appear to occur when the dominant constellation in the pre-dawn night sky changes through precession.

We are living in an era of change. This occurs before the dawn of the next Astrological and Great Age slated to take place about December 21, 2012 on the solstice.

Precession is the reason the Earth is changing so quickly socially, economically and environmentally.

“When we understand what the darkness of our cycle means and why it’s necessary, we begin to see the great challenges of our time in a new light…our response to the changes that come with it take on a new meaning. With these ideas in mind, it becomes even clearer that “now is the best time” for us to go through such a cycle. The reason is that “now is the first time” we have the understanding, the need and the technology to reach into the realm of all possibilities and choose the kind of future that will arise from the chaos of the present.” Fractal Time, Gregg Braden

The Maya called this moment in precession, “The Time of No Time.” It’s during this period that the completion of the transition from one Age to the next occurs. It’s not just a change in Ages either. A whole new set of values replaces the old values before the cycle begins again. The changes are more obvious in the Astrological tendencies of different Zodiacal signs in each person.

The darkest moment is just before the dawn of the next Astrological and Great Age…We are in the darkest moment right now.

The Egyptians and the Maya were a world apart. But, they were synchronized with their views on precession and it’s relationship to the earth

The ancient cultures and astrologers today believe that what happens above in the cosmos, happens here on earth. Below is a summary of significant changes that occurred from one Astrological Age to the next during our human history. All dates are approximate. A lot of this information came from a seminar I attended by Dehyana Lim Lee from Anchoring the Light called Esoteric Teachings.

(photograph by N. M. Rai)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Integral Life New Year's Event 

Integral Life


The What Next Conference officially starts in Colorado on December 28th, and continues through January 1, 2013, including the Ken Wilber Tribute New Years Eve. We have fabulous days to explore this year’s theme: The future of consciousness, culture, and technology. We will be diving into the many potential futures that await us in 2013 and beyond, and how the Integral worldview is being applied to a diverse list of subjects, including leadership, money, relationships, spirituality, and technology. This quickly shaping up to be the premier event of the Integral Community this year.

Can’t join us in person?

We know there are many reasons why it might be difficult to attend this year’s What Next Conference.  That’s why we want to do everything we can to make it easier to experience this amazing celebration.  So we are once again offering a live webstream and on-demand video experience for those of you who still want to be a part of the action, but cannot make it in person.

Our online What Next Conference experience includes:

Access to over 24 hours of the event, over five days, in real time via live-streaming. This livestream includes live presentations by Ken Wilber, Helen Palmer, Roger Walsh, Diane Musho Hamilton, Terry Patten, Jeff Salzman, and Steve Whitmire of Muppet fame. Plus spotlight presentations by Cindy Wigglesworth, Gail Hochachka, Steve McIntosh, John Dupuy, Miriam Mason Martineau, Keith Witt, and Michael Schwartz.  Special video presentations by Tony Robbins John Mackey (CEO of Whole Foods), Genpo Roshi, Dr. Larry Dossey, Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault, and Andrew Cohen.  Also includes nighttime celebrations with Paa Kow’s By All Means Band and a special jazz concert by the fabulous Arni Karlsson.
PLUS a very special bonus: a ring side seat to the entire Ken Wilber Tribute on New Year’s Eve, featuring appearances by some of the most well-known luminaries of the Integral community, honoring Ken with the inaugural Integral Lifetime Achievement Award.
Access to the on-demand video with streaming video play-back until February 1, 2012.
A discount for $50 off the regular price of $149 for members of the Integral community.
Buy access to the What Next Conference Livestream and On-demand video for $99 now!

Copyright © What Next Integral 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holy Longing by Goethe 

The Holy Longing

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
because the mass man will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive,
what longs to be burned to death.

In the calm water of the love-nights,
where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
a strange feeling comes over you,
when you see the silent candle burning.

Now you are no longer caught in the obsession with darkness,
and a desire for higher love-making sweeps you upward.

Distance does not make you falter.
Now, arriving in magic, flying,
and finally, insane for the light,
you are the butterfly and you are gone.
And so long as you haven't experienced this: to die and so to grow,
you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth.

(image from Wikipedia)

This is one of my all time favorite poems.  It describes beautifully the process of spiritual transformation, where the old self dies and the new being is born.  Kundalini is in fact one of the most prevalent forms of "love making" with the higher elements.  When it occurs, we often turn away from our old obsessions--our depressions (our "obsessions with darkness") and now are "insane for the light."  The former identity is lost--"you are gone."  We must indeed "die to grow."  And not once, but many times over.

The Moment

And we must die,
not once,
but many times over,
again and again,
how we disappeared
into that deep well
of darkness, shuddering beneath that load of silence,
clinging to our narrow ledge.

Yet the darkness, sometimes,
unfolded as light.
Our atoms dissolved in it,
each separate molecule opening
into a radiant disk of feeling.

How still we became,
witness and thing seen,
spectacle and observer,
each point admitting an untrammeled flood.

Dorothy Walters
from "Marrow of Flame, Poems of the Spiritual Journey"

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Poem by Marilynne Robinson 


It has seemed to me sometimes

as though the Lord breathes on
        this poor gray ember of Creation

and it turns to radiance-

for a moment or a year or the span of a life.
And then it sinks back into itself again,

and to look at it no one would know
it had anything to do with fire, or light.

But the Lord is more constant and
far more extravagant than my words
seem to imply.

Wherever you turn your eyes
the world can shine like transfiguration.

You don’t have to bring a thing to it
except a little willingness to see.

Only, who could have the courage to see it?

- Marilynne Robinson

(picture found on internet)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Alone Again 

Alone Again

Alone again.

Waiting for the snow
to begin.

Silence, the air
thick outside,
and in here, soft wool.

Only this music
to save me.

Only the sound
of angels passing.

Dorothy Walters
December 15, 2012

(picture found on internet)

Friday, December 14, 2012

"Oh, Jug of Breath" (poem by Dorothy) 

Oh, Jug of Breath

There is the night of love
and the morning after,
the angel on the mountain,
and then the descent.

Some call it a coy whirligig,
constant revolution into opposites,
eternal cycle carrying us
like leaves in a storm
in contrary directions,
furious spiral of love,

Dorothy Walters
December  14, 2012

(Title from Mary Oliver)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Astrology and the Future (Stephanie Austin) 

Stephanie Austin

Stephanie Austin

Subject: New Moon, New Age, New Earth

Important Dates:
December 12: Alignment of 12-12-12
December 13: New Moon 12:42 AM PST (22º Sagittarius); Uranus turns direct (5º Aries)
December 18: Sun conjunct Galactic Center (27º Sagittarius) and opposite Ceres (27º Gemini)
December 21: Solstice 3:12 AM PST; end of Mayan Long Count Calendar, end of 26,000 year cycle
(Because this is a lengthy article, I am reproducing it in sections.  Stephanie Austin is a well know astrologer.  Her analysis is quite interesting.)
December 11, 2012
Dear Friends,

This is a very intense week, and a very, very special time. The next new moon, this month, and this year mark a momentous turning point, the end of a 26,000-year cycle, known by many names: the Great Awakening, the Ascension, the Mayan End Times, the Hopi Fifth World, Christogenesis, Timewave Zero, and others. The number 12 symbolizes completion — the union of heaven and earth, sacred and secular. December 12, 2012 and December 21, 2012, the dates most often given for this evolutionary passage, do not mark the end of the world, but rather the initiation of a global shift, from living in duality and materialism to realizing our unity and divinity. The dates 12-12 and 12-21 mark the peak of two immense cosmic waves, which have been building for a long time, and whose wake will continue through the end of this year and beyond.

There is nothing to fear. Relax. Rest. Release. Receive. Remember.
Relax in the knowing that you don't have to do anything, that you always have choice. Do less and be more; the best "doing" comes from your "being".
Rest into the loving support that is holding you and assisting you through this transition. Your guides and angels are on standby, waiting for you to call on them. You only need ask.
Release whatever is weighing you down and holding you back. Be in the present moment. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Bless it all. Be grateful for what you learned.
Receive the light, the love, the information that is pouring down from the heavens. The downloads may take a while to decode. Hold beginners mind. We are making a quantum leap.
Remember who you really are. Remember that you were born and trained for these times. Remember that everything you need is inside you. Remember your heart knows the way.
“On 12/12/12 there is a cosmic opening relative to your position along your personal ascension path... This  gateway is merely the opening, the very beginning of a whole new human experience now possible for all, but for and by which many souls will and will not choose to embody, in their own time. There will be other openings that will usher new waves of souls who have made the choice to experience LOVE as their guiding force, this is but the first of its kind. For those of you relatively new to the ascension path… those who have not made the first cut, so to speak… be not weary, rather inspired by what those before you have made possible for all. This is not a race, but an unfoldment, as those at the front of the parade were once at the back. The journey home is an individual, yet collective experience. You must become a whole individual before you can become a part of the One.” -- Pleiadian High Council, channeled by Loren Gorgo (http://thinkwithyourheart.com/3966/rising-of-the-new-sun-121212-122112/)

Slowing down and being in quiet receptivity for at least several days around 12-12 and 12-21, and as much as possible, facilitates absorbing and adjusting to the new frequencies being beamed onto Earth from the galactic core. This not only assists your own ascension, but also helps ground the energies for others. Our DNA, our consciousness, and our reality is changing. Think of it as a huge cosmic upgrade, where a bigger hard drive or more RAM must be installed to run more complex programs. “We are gradually being prepared to assimilate to the new Earth as totally upgraded beings where we will become much different, more highly evolved humans than we have ever been. The energy waves are also capable of causing upheaval in one's life, as you have likely experienced at times during 2012. Rest assured, it is all part of a grand Divine plan meant to give you the boost you will need to resonate to the higher frequencies to be found upon the new Earth.” -- Scott Mowry (full article at http://www.miraclesandinspiration.com/news_december-2012.html)

The most visible marker for such a large cycle is the apparent alignment of the winter solstice Sun with the center of our Milky Way galaxy, symbolic of Spirit’s deepest descent into matter and its return to the Light. The more we clear our shadow, the more conscious we become, and the more receptive we can be to the extraordinary cosmic upgrades offered by this alignment. As we shift our focus from making a living to making a difference, as we heal and open our hearts, we perceive and live in an entirely different world. For more, read The Mystery of 2012, an anthology compiled by Sounds True, Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 by John Major Jenkins, and Cedar River's excellent article Crossing the New Frontier of Oneness at http://www.cedar-rivers.com/articles/consciousness-spirituality/90-crossing-the-new-frontier-of-oneness.html

“For the past 25 years, since the quantum leap in energy, vibration, and consciousness the Earth and Humanity experienced during Harmonic Convergence, we have been through myriad influxes of Light. These influxes have included rare Celestial alignments, Solar and Lunar Eclipses, powerful Solar Flares, and literally hundreds of Global Activities of Light that were orchestrated through the unified efforts of embodied Lightworkers and the Company of Heaven. Each and every one of these events bathed the Earth in Divine Light and accelerated the frequency of vibration in Humanity’s physical, etheric, mental, and emotional bodies at an atomic cellular level. Many people were consciously aware of these influxes of Light, but the vast majority of people evolving on this planet went through these experiences without any conscious awareness. The influx of Light we will experience on December 12, and December 21-22 will be infinitely more powerful than anything we have previously experienced, but our I AM Presence has been preparing our bodies to withstand this Light for 25 years. Children are being born with the ingrained capacity to assimilate this Light as well, so all is in readiness. All we have to do in order to be the instruments of God we are destined to be is stay focused in our hearts. Then we will be the Open Door for the Light of God that will Birth this planet and all her Life into the patterns of perfection for the New Earth. What people will experience on a tangible level will be unique for each person. Some people will be very aware of the shift of energy, vibration, and consciousness that has occurred within them. Other people will initially be oblivious to any changes, but as time passes and they assimilate the Light they will realize that something has dramatically shifted within them. Day by day, they will begin to “see with new eyes and hear with new ears.” -- Patricia Cota-Robles (http://www.eraofpeace.org)

(Photo of The Milky Way Galaxy - Spitzer Space Telescope, NASA)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jay Volusek on The Dance of Nature 

The Dance of Nature

“Doesn’t the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?” – Mary Oliver

The last time I wandered the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, some months ago, the street musicians were out in force. I sat for a long time, listening with eyes closed to a young man playing, of all things, the harp. Amazing. Beautiful. Rhythmic, flowing, inviting. I wanted to dance. I didn’t. But a little girl did, her parents sitting nearby. About seven years old, she turned in circles, her dress billowing in the air like the robe of a whirling dervish, her smile beatific. For a moment, I almost joined her. The urge was enormous. What stopped me?

That little girl was still in touch with something elemental about human nature that many of us have lost, forgotten, or become embarrassed about as adults. Nature dances. And we are part of the natural world. We’re made to dance, like everything that lives.

Rumi, that whirling Sufi saint, says, “A spring wind moves to dance every branch that isn’t dead.”

If you think of dance as any movement repeated again and again to a rhythm, the whole universe is dancing. The tension between gravitational attraction and centrifugal force keeps a billion stars circling the galactic core, a handful of planets revolving around the sun, comets looping into and out of the orbital plane of the solar system in rhythmic cycles—a cosmic dance to the music of the spheres, punctuated by the silence of deep space, that expansive rest between the notes.

From a terrestrial perspective, the sun and moon dance around the earth every day. The stars circle a point in the heavens, as if holding hands in the dark. The seasons cycle with the subtle tilt of the planet’s axis and its annual revolution around the local star. The tides sweep in and out, dancing with the moon. Dust devils, tornados, hurricanes turn in circles driven by the delicate friction of air and the spinning of the earth. The breath moves in and out of the body. Plants rise and fall. Animals and birds move in herds and flocks, in a communal dance with weather, with predators. Birth and death bound the cycle of life.

Everything dances.

Among humans, communal dance originated, so far as we know, in every culture as a primal reflection—a direct imitation—of the dance of nature. We observed the turning of the heavens, the cycles of the seasons, the circle of our own lives, the wheel of fortune as the ancients called it. And we danced. In circles. We did not invent the dance. Nature did. And when we danced, we longed to tune ourselves, to align or synchronize ourselves with the mysteries of the cosmos around and within us.

The little girl dancing unselfconsciously on the Pearl Street Mall knew this. Not in her brain. But in her blood and bones. In the pulsing rhythm of her heart and lungs.

In “Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?” (Why I Wake Early, 2004), Mary Oliver invites us to reflect on the dance of nature, its meaning, and our relationship to it. She draws the image of a Sufi poet, a “jug of breath,” spinning in circles like the wind, out of sheer love for the “seed, the egg, the idea” at the center of everything. Contemplating the poem again, a week after we used it for Lectio Poetica, I wonder: What is the seed? And where, exactly, is the center of everything? Is it, as Oliver asks, without or within?

Is it the sun, a hundred times the diameter of the earth, or is it the soul, tiny as a flower opening to the sun? I have no idea.

After 58 years, I have mainly a feeling, an intuition, a sense of something sacred, something worthy of my deepest reverence, at the center of everything. It feels like something within, yet something surrounding me as well, in this great “garden of dust” we call home. Maybe it is life itself, so rare and precious as far as we know in the whole of the universe. Maybe it’s my own wild and childlike self, still spinning somewhere inside this annoyingly aging and aching body, nearly forgotten, hoping to get my attention—inviting me to rejoin the dance of nature.

In my home office after work one afternoon, I give in. I put on the flowing and pulsing music of Loreena McKennitt, and dance. I turn in circles like the little girl, like a Sufi mystic, like wind in the branches of the Tree of Life. I boogie. I get down and get funky. “Ah,” my soul sings, “I’m not dead yet!”

This is the essence of Incarnatio, the sixth movement of Lectio Poetica. For a few life-giving moments, I embody the spirit of Mary Oliver’s poem. The word becomes flesh.

Our Next Gathering: Please RSVP

Lectio Poetica is a contemplative practice that originated in the monastic tradition of the West. With poetry as our sacred text, it is appropriate for seekers of any worldview. We meet the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. Our next gathering will be Sunday, December 16, from 9:15-11:30 a.m. As always, please RSVP so we can plan accordingly.

Our Web Site: http://Lectio.JayEValusek.com

For more information and comments from previous participants, visit our web site at http://Lectio.JayEValusek.com. And please help us spread the word, if you know anyone who enjoys nature, poetry and contemplative community.

Jay & Barbara Valusek

(image found on Wikipedia)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Poem by Gregory Orr 

It Isn't Magic

It's not magic; it isn't a trick.
Every breath is a resurrection.
And when we hear the poem
Which is the world, when our eyes
Gaze at the beloved's body,
We're reborn in all the sacred parts
Of our own bodies:
the heart
Contracts, the brain
Releases its shower
Of sparks,
and the tear
Embarks on its pilgrimage
Down the cheek to meet
The smiling mouth.

~ Gregory Orr ~

Monday, December 10, 2012

YouTube from Ivan Granger 


The above underlined link will take you to Ivan Granger's new presentation on YouTube.  The site is beautifully composed, and comes with appropriate background music.  Congratulations, Ivan, on a wonderful creation.

See also www.poetry-chaikhana.com for more poems and commentary from Ivan.

Friday, December 07, 2012

How to Live to be Ninety 

How to Live to be Ninety and Look Twenty Years Younger

Recently I attended a meeting which included many people interested in cutting edge science.  One of the members in the audience, an interesting man who was obviously of Indian (India) origin, made some intriguing comments about the ancient texts written by sages of many centuries past--these spoke to many of the issues of modern physics.

I went over to thank him after the presentation, and was surprised when he told me he was ninety-one years old.   I was surprised because he looked some twenty years younger. I asked him how he managed to look so young, and he answered as follows:

No smoking
No alcohol
No drugs
No meat
Hatha yoga every day

Whatever his recipe for life, it certainly was working.  I also wondered what kind of genes he had inherited--was his long life due entirely to his regimen or was it in part the legacy of his parents?

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Poem by Billy Collins 


This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor’s window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door –
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor –
just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

 - Billy Collins

This is my favorite poem by Billy Collins, who usually employs the mask of irony and sophisticated skepticism to present his notions.  Here, it is as if he is overcome by the deep emotion of love itself, love for everything no matter how small or seemingly trivial.  This state of universal love was called by one person "seeing with saint's eyes."  In this state everything and everyone is beautiful--we are in love with the universe, for, as Yeats said, "Everything we look upon is blessed."

Here is another quote on this central theme:  [For the sage] hand in hand with anxiety and fear, ugliness is put to flight.  Gems sparkle on dusty roads, puddles appear as lapis lazuli; tough weeds acquire fragile beauty; dung takes on the charm of delicately mottled amber."  (John Blofield in his "TheSecret and the Sublime,"  quoted by June Singer in "Androgyny," p. 202.)

To be in such state is, I think, a special blessing--many experience it during Kundalini or other forms of spiritual awakening.  It is my guess that when we experience this condition, our brains become wonderfully balanced, and then, indeed, the world and all its aspects appear beautiful.  It the the alchemy of love in its best expression.

Collins never directly connects his experience to the divine or the sacred.  He does not tell us what precipitates his transition into this state of joyous receptivity.  He simply recounts the "facts" of the day in catalogue fashion, leaving the reader to draw his/her own conclusions.  I personally believe that such states offer a more or less direct connection to divine reality, and reveal to us what it is to exist transformed by unconditional love.  May we all know such states as we enter the next stage of human evolution, where love will be the key to full awareness.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Ivan Granger's pick for spiritual gift books 

Ivan Granger is well known for his pioneer work on Poetry Chaikhana, where he has brought to notice many famous and less famous writers of past centuries and today.  Here are his suggestions for spiritual books to offer to friends and family as gifts for the season (See this entry (December 4)  on www.poetry-chaikhana.com for even more suggestions).

Real Thirst: Poetry of the Spiritual Journey
Poems & Translations by Ivan M. Granger

We have to celebrate the publication of the Poetry Chaikhana's first book! Original poems by Ivan M. Granger (yours truly) with new translations of works by visionaries from both East and West: John of the Cross, Francis of Assisi, Symeon the New Theologian, Hakim Sanai, Tukaram, Sarmad, Bulleh Shah, Sachal Sarmast, Vladimir Solovyov, Tulsi Sahib, and Antonio Machado.

"I found Real Thirst to be a slow, cool and refreshing drink. I believe you will find these poems an antidote to the rush of your days." ~ JOHN FOX author of Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making


For the modern mystic...

The Ley Lines of the Soul: Poems of Ecstasy and Ascension
by Dorothy Walters

Every time I feature a poem by Dorothy Walters on the Poetry Chaikhana, I receive a flood of enthusiastic emails. Andrew Harvey praises her poetry as a "...record shameless but unhysterical of an extreme love affair with the Divine."

Breaking the Drought: Visions of Grace
by Stephen Levine

The author of several classic books in the field of conscious living and dying -- including A Gradual Awakening, Who Dies?, Healing into Life and Death, and A Year to Live. This collection reveals he is also a poet of clear vision and grace.

Where Many Rivers Meet
by David Whyte

The poetry of David Whyte continues to be a deep well of inspiration. Beneath his craft of words, he reveals a rich silence and a patient eye. This collection is one to spend time with.


For the eclectic...

The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry
by Stephen Mitchell

This is a compact anthology, but a wonderful collection that includes Li Po, Wu-Men, Rumi, Kabir, Mirabai, Rilke... And the added bonus of Stephen Mitchell's way with words. One of my personal favorites.


For the wise woman.....

Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women
Edited by Jane Hirshfield

This is the first anthology I got years ago that made me say, Wow! Includes Sappho, Rabia, Yeshe Tsogyel, Hildegard von Bingen, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Hadewijch of Antwerp, Lalla, Mirabai, Bibi Hayati, Marina Tsvetaeva. The best collection I've found of women's voices in sacred poetry.


Illuminated and Illustrated...

One Song: A New Illuminated Rumi
Translated by Coleman Barks

A follow-up to the excellent Illuminated Rumi -- excerpts of Rumi's poetry accompanied by digital collage artwork that draws you deeply into each page. This book entrances on several levels. An excellent gift book.

Wine of the Mystic: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyan: A Spiritual Interpretation
by Omar Khayyam / Paramahansa Yogananda

A 20th century Indian Yogi commenting on the spiritual meaning of an 11th century Persian Sufi's poetry. That combination yields both perfume and controversy -- but plenty to contemplate. Lovely artwork and border scrollwork. And Fitzgerald's delightful translation of this classic. Recommended.

Perfect Harmony: (Calligrapher's Notebooks)
by Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi

Brief selections from Ibn Arabi's metaphysical love poem "The Interpreter of Desires" combined with the amazing Arabic calligraphy of Hassan Massoudy. If you didn't think calligraphy could be fine art, you have to look at this book. Find a quiet place, open this book, and lose yourself in any page...


A Sufi sampler...

Perfume of the Desert: Inspirations from the Sufi Wisdom
by Andrew Harvey / Eryk Hanut

Something about Andrew Harvey's selections and translations always strike a pure note. This book is a delightful collection of poetry and Sufi wisdom stories. Rumi, Kabir, al-Hallaj, Shabistari, Ansari... This is one I return to again and again.


A little Zen in your pocket...

The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhalla Library)
Edited by Sam Hamill / Edited by J. P. Seaton

A very nice sampler of Japanese and Chinese Zen poetry. Han Shan, Li Po, Wang Wei, Basho, Soseki, Ryokan, Issa... The book fits well in your hand when you're walking to the riverside or the local coffee shop.


For the Christian contemplative...

For Lovers of God Everywhere: Poems of the Christian Mystics
by Roger Housden

This has quickly become one of my favorite collections of sacred poetry within the many Christian traditions. John of the Cross, Merton, Hildegard von Bingen, Gibran, Dante, Meister Eckhart, Blake... and Roger Housden's brief, thoughtful insights.

The Book of Mystical Chapters: Meditations on the Soul's Ascent
Translated by John Anthony McGuckin

This is the book that, years ago, introduced me to the stunning poetry of Symeon the New Theologian, igniting my passion for his visionary poetry of light and transformation. You'll also find poems and poetic renditions of writings from many other saints and mystics of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Still a favorite of mine.

Selected Poems of Thomas Merton
by Thomas Merton

I can't recommend this collection highly enough. Merton, in addition to being a deep mystic, was a truly excellent contemporary poet. His poems feel entirely modern, yet touch on the eternal. While drawing on Catholic imagery, one can hear whispers of Eastern philosophy and insight in his words. Poems to reread and meditate deeply upon.


For the contemplative activist...

Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Poetry by the beloved modern master Thich Nhat Hanh, exploring service and suffering, humanity and interbeing, breath and stillness, beauty and bliss.


Lovers and the Beloved...

The Lover of God
by Rabindranath Tagore

Bhakti love poems from Radha to Krishna, originally written by a 14-year-old Rabindranath Tagore - as a hoax! That teenage boy became one of the great poets of the early 20th century, and these poems touch the lover's heart on so many levels.

I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded
Translated by Ranjit Hoskote

This has become my favorite translation of poems by the great Kashmiri mystic poet, Lal Ded. Sharp insight, flashes of humor, and vast timeless spaces.

The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master
by Daniel Ladinsky

Despite the book's title, these are not poems by the historic Sufi poet Hafiz; instead, it is a delightful collection of contemporary poems infused with the spirit of Hafiz. These poems tease and wink, and lead us chuckling to surprising moments of insight.


Poetic keys to the journey...

Saved by a Poem: The Transformative Power of Words
by Kim Rosen

What can I say? Read the first few pages and you won't want to stop. An exploration of the power of poetry to open our lives in surprising, healing ways and, at the same time, an engaging personal memoir. Highly recommended.


For those early mornings...

Why I Wake Early
by Mary Oliver

You can't go wrong with anything by Mary Oliver, but if you're looking for a good introduction to her poetry, Why I Wake Early is a nice place to start. This collection is one to enjoy, one poem at a time, in those quiet moments before the busyness of the day starts.


And for blessings...

To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings
by John O'Donohue

I keep being told by people how much they love this book of poetic blessings from the Irish philosopher, poet, and mystic, John O'Donohue. These poetically crafted blessings and meditations on the passages of life manage to elevate the spirit, warm the heart, and, on occasion, bring a tear to the eye.


For even more excellent book recommendations, click here.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Way of Creativity 

The Artist's Way
by Julia Cameron

It is my experience both as an artist and as a teacher that when we move out on faith into the act of creation, the universe is able to advance. It is a little like opening the gate at the top of a field irrigation system. Once we remove the blocks, the flow moves in.

Again, I do not ask you to believe this. In order for this creative emergence to happen, you don't have to believe in God. I simply ask you to observe and note this process as it unfolds. In effect, you will be midwiving and witnessing your own creative progression.

Creativity is an experience -- to my eye, a spiritual experience. It does not matter which way you think of it: creativity leading into spirituality or spirituality leading to creativity. In fact, I do not make a distinction between the two. In the face of such experience, the whole question of belief is rendered obsolete. As Carl Jung answered the question of belief late in his life, "I don't believe; I know."

The following spiritual principles are the bedrock on which creative recovery and discovery can be built. Read them through once a day, and keep an inner ear cocked for any shifts in attitudes or beliefs.

Basic Principles:

1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.

2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life -- including ourselves.

3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator's creativity within us and our lives.

4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.

5. Creativity is God's gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.

6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.

7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction.

8. As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.

9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.

10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

Note:  Many believe that Kundalini itself is the creative force, the life giving impetus that drives creative expressions.  Just as the universe itself represents ongoing creative energy, so personal artistic endeavors--whether as music, or poetry or painting--stem (or should) from the deep self, where the most intense longings and observations occur.  And these are indeed spiritual, for they allow that same self to express what otherwise would remain hidden,, not only from oneself but from the world at large.

What is important is not to rival the great masters in our field, but to allow the self to come into full view in ways which are authentic and real.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Angels Among Us 

Today I had an experience that convinced me that indeed angels move among us.

I had just finished my grocery shopping and was about to walk home wheeling my "duffle bag on wheels" when I realized I had in fact overloaded my carrier and that it was far too heavy for me to pull the few blocks to my apartment.  Already my back was starting to ache.  I had just thought, "What I need is so and so to be here with her car to help me," when a woman appeared "out of nowhere" and asked if I would like a ride home.

Often in circumstances like that I automatically thank the would be helper and refuse, for I am rather independent.  But this time I gladly accepted the offer from "my angel," a caring, nurturant mother figure about 60 years old.  Sometimes it is more difficult to receive than to give, but I was desperate.  She took me right to my door, and helped me carry my groceries to the entrance.

The Visitant
For what is an angel,
after all?
Is it oneself,
cast into its
larger dimensions,
swelling with joy
and attentiveness?
Or is it truly
presence from
some other nameless realm,
region of
that place where
Mystery dwells?
And if it should come before us,
massive, bright,
how might we greet it,
bear its gaze,
its knowingness
of who we are,
each particle of secret longing,
each hidden scar?

(from "The Ley Lines of the Soul, Poems of Ecstasy and Ascension")
(picture from internet source)

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