Kundalini Splendor

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jay Volusek--Contemplation vs. Doing Something 

The following is by Jay Volusek.  He and his wife Barbara offer a group session to read and contemplate a single poem, after the manner of the monks who also read and contemplated specific sacred passages as part of their practice.  This selection focuses on a particular poem by Mary Oliver, and asks the question, "Should contemplation not also lead to action?"

We meet the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. Our next gathering will be Sunday, February 3, from 9:15-11:30 a.m. Please RSVP so we can plan accordingly. Click here to RSVP.

Lectio Poetica Website:


Do Something (or Not)
“Thought buds toward radiance.” – Mary Oliver

In her prose poem “What I Have Learned So Far” (New and Selected Poems, Volume Two, 2005), Mary Oliver appears to be chastising herself for overdoing her particular form of contemplative practice. “Meditation is old and honorable,” she writes, “so why should I not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside, looking into the shining world? Because, properly attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.”

What’s wrong with sitting and looking and listening to the world? Isn’t this what she advocates in so many of her poems? Well, yes. Yet here she implies that both the delight of her morning meditation and the inescapable havoc of life—pleasant and unpleasant experience, calm and chaos—suggest, even demand some sort of response, some action on one’s part.
“Can one be passionate about the just, the ideal, the sublime, and the holy,” she goes on, “and yet commit to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.”

A few sentences later, she explains: “Thought buds toward radiance.” Imagine the pressure that would build up in a flower that refused to open to the sun. As Anais Nin put it, the day inevitably comes when the risk of remaining tight in the bud is more painful than the risk it takes to blossom.

Bud and blossom. Being and doing. Contemplation and action. Conception and birth. One thing leads naturally to the other.

I’m guessing, but I imagine one bright day Oliver must have frowned at herself, enjoying a lovely morning on a hillside, doing nothing, while someone, somewhere in the world was suffering. Living with havoc. She mentions something like this, with a hint of guilt at her self-indulgence, in the poem “This Day, and Probably Tomorrow Also” (Red Bird, 2008): “I begin another page, another poem. / . . . While somewhere women are walking out, at two in the morning—/ many miles to find water. / While somewhere a bomb is getting ready to explode.” Hmm.

Okay, so she’s saying, Don’t just sit there, do something. Is that it? But doesn’t that sound, uh, kinda conventional? Especially to meditators and contemplatives, who love to turn that phrase on its head: Don’t just do something, sit there. Ha, ha.

Maybe it’s not either/or, but both/and. A paradox. Sit there and do something—in particular, whatever seems called for by the sitting. Sit there until the fire of passion, whatever passion smolders deep within the soul, blossoms into flame. “Be ignited, or be gone,” Oliver concludes.

Conceive. Gestate. Go into labor. Give birth. It’s natural. An organic process. It is, in fact, what Mary Oliver does when she sits on a hillside, looking into the shining world.

Some seed takes root, and grows. Thoughts bud. She goes back to her house, puts pen to paper. A poem blossoms. She doesn’t just sit there. She does something—something she’s passionate about. Something uniquely her own. And we’re grateful that she doesn’t just sit and look and listen, but that she writes and publishes too. She has nothing to feel guilty about, after all. Poetry is her response. It is her gift to the world.

What is your gift? What passion burns in your heart? What wants to be born?

Oliver is saying simply: Pay attention. And do something. It will require labor, no doubt, but how else can that which you conceive emerge from within?

I confess, I chose this poem for our last Lectio Poetica gathering because it seems as if I, too, have been sitting too long on something that wants to be born. I’m overdue. My soul is crying for me to do something. Don’t just sit there, pretending to listen to your soul while ignoring its pleas. What’s the point of listening, if you don’t act on what you hear?

Egads, what if I’m so attached to contemplation, I cannot bring myself to action?

Maybe that’s why an Eagles song keeps running through my head, sometimes in the middle of the night. An earworm, as they say. It’s from their first studio album in decades, released in 2007. The song is “Do Something.”

“When I feel like giving up, and I’m ready to walk away, in the stillness I can hear a voice inside me say, Do something. Do something. It’s too late for saving face. Don’t just stand there takin’ up space. Why don’t you do something? Do something. It’s not over. No, it’s never too late.”

In the stillness, can you hear the voice inside? What’s it asking of you? Maybe, unlike me, you’re doing too much. Maybe you just need to sit there. If you’re listening, you know. That’s what Lectio Poetica is all about. Join us, if you dare.

—Jay E. Valusek

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Poem by Rumi 

Becoming the Lover

How can you ever hope to know the Beloved
Without becoming in every cell the Lover?
And when you are the Lover at last, you don't care.
Whatever you know, or don't , only Love is real.

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi
(Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Poem by Irina Kuzminsky 

This morning I was thinking of the many paths people choose to enter into divine union--I have recently met some devoted to Hildegard, others immersed in Sufism, still others committed to Kali, and another who found her path through Tibetan Buddhism.  I realized again that there is no one way--rather there are "many paths up the mountain, all converging at the top."  As for me, I still connect most fully with the Beloved Within, who has no name and no face.  We spend our time together each morning for half an hour or so before beginning the day.  Each encounter arrives as a mystery and a miracle.
As I was finishing my contemplation, this poem arrived from Irina Kuzminsky, who has found her divine connection in Kali, the Dark Goddess:

Names of G-d

Some call You the Unknowable
Some speak of You as Dark
While others dance in drunkenness
Seek You in grapes, in pressing and in Wine
Still others sense your mysteries in the Way
Or speak of Wisdom and unfathomable Space
The One from Whom all Buddhas know their birth
While prophets speak of the supreme I AM
And mystics probe into Your darkness
But sweetest to my heart
Most piercing is Your Name of Kali
Your Naked IS-ness scarcely covered by this Name
– Thus do I simply call You
            – Mother.

© Irina Kuzminsky

(picture found on internet)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

poem by Irina Kuzminsky and special Kali event 

In Kali’s Temple

A priest’s thumb

Cuts itself a path

Through outstretched arms

To dab Her sacred mark

Red teardrop

Kumkum paste

Huge centred to my Eye

She marked me as Her own

Amidst the incense fires

The darkness

And the beating heart of drums

Later that night

I stared back at my face

Turned unfamiliar and

Otherworldly strange

And would have chosen not to wash

This mark forever from my face.


I was marked

Upon my heart

With an indelible

Vermilion paste

A mark which neither time nor space

Nor my own doubts

Henceforward could erase.

© Irina Kuzminsky

(Note: Irina Kuzminsky is a dancer/poet who lives in Australia.  She is also (clearly) a devotee of Kali.  This poem describes a very profound initiation experience.)

Here is an upcoming event in Colorado:

a special event
in Boulder, CO

The Yogas of Adya Kali

Friday, February 1, 2013
5:30pm onwards

The Yogas of Adya Kali

Boulder, CO

   Friday, February 1, 2013
at the Integral Center
2805 Broadway
corner of Balsam and Broadway
Boulder, CO 80304


A special gathering as a result of a special request from a wandering yogini
 In this evening gathering, we will immerse ourselves in the embodied practices of the Shakta Tantric Goddess Adya Kali. We ask who is Adya Kali? The term adya means primordial, primal, first, and original. Adya Kali is the primordial energy, shakti, ultimate reality, who creates, preserves, and transforms/dissolves all existence.

. . . as a Mother power she unfolds herself into the world and again withdraws the world into herself.

Along with learning more about the practices of Adya Kali and the Kali Kula, you will learn a small yet powerful practice that we do at the end of community Kali Puja and Kirtan. This practice, known as The Protective Mantra of Kali (kaalii kavacam) will bring the tender blessings and fierce protection of the Dark Mother directly into your body.

These teachings are suitable for beginners as well as more advanced practitioners.

$40 suggested sliding scale donation
(includes space rental, material fees,
and offerings for Aditi Devi Ma)

Children are most welcome as our guests.

Please bring your journal, a snack to share, and an offering for the shrine, if you please.

There is plenty of free parking on the side and back of the building.

Aditi Devi began the study and practice of South Asia Tantric traditions more than 23 years ago. As an initiated yogini, pujarini (ritualist, priestess), lineage holder, and authorized teacher, she has lived and practiced her sadhana with adepts in Nepal, India, and Tibet. Aditi Devi Ma's practice, teaching, research and writing focus on the embodiment of the divine feminine in the Shakta Tantric traditions of India and Nepal. She earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology and Asian Studies, and was a Fulbright Scholar and college professor.

Aditi Devi is authorized to teach what are called the
Kali Practices focusing on the reverence of women as embodiments of the divine and awakening in the body, in deep relationality. These practices have their fullest expression in Assam, at the Temple of the Tantric Goddess Kamakhya, a yoni
Goddess who is revered throughout South Asia (and indeed the world); this is one of Aditi's spiritual homes and practice seats.

After several years of living in a remote contemplative community, Aditi has taken to the wandering life again, bringing her offerings to yoga retreats, teacher training courses, festivals, godowns, and wherever yoginis and yogins gather. She recently returned from pilgrimage in India where she followed the trail of fierce desire, visiting several remote Yogini Temples.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Two Poems by Jay Ramsay 


 When a rose in the chest of every man and woman flowers, then we
shall see as we did in the beginning.  We shall touch and feel, taste and
savour, smell and linger, and hear the soul of sound.  We will
remember that we were all feeling, and are, and we will see how we
 have been this down the length of centuries.  We will see inwardly in
 blood that is light-rose-blood-and we will know the secret lines of light
 between all of us that span cities, seas and continents.

(Excerpt from the longer version)


i.m. Sylvia Plath, 10.2.63

The news unbearable…every day

a corkscrew twisting into the heart of the sun.

Evil lashing out at love. And numb

as snow, that winter as the white cold

uncandyfloss fluff stuff brimmed over my wellies

wading out into it with wonder…

Numb as cloud above before it rains awakening,

but suspended, flaking down instead

still wondering like a child at life and death in the garden

examining ants, a wasp’s nest, the prize of a blue broken bird’s egg

all existence in wonder, for our lives—yours taken, given away

numb beyond pain, passionately ice, afloat in your reason

and my mother’s taken like lightning (the sky become a sun

and everything a longing, an urgency of wonder)

then your dark rival’s…but then, in this haunting, your son

islanded up in the Arctic, ice-bound,

ringed with absence as you had foretold

motherless and fatherless to the void within…

and yet we are loved

despite being earth-numb and mind-blind

we are loved inside the light, inside life

in the place where you close your eyes and breathe

with no sermon or priest, no Daddy, but love

that is the love within, the love you had

the love you needed, the love you wasted

in fear and rage—the love we waste

for Christ’s sake

and yet we are loved, greatly loved

far more than we may easily know

despite the evidence (which is only our own)

despite great chunks of ice sliding

from the cliff’s edges leaving a strange raw blue behind

like a layer of skin stripped to blood that is air, blue blood

we are loved, we are helpless refugees, we are crying

we are stupid beyond belief

stumbling into love, loveless, numb

frozen in our enemy minds, our alpha minds, heart-dumb

as the spring that goes on innocently returning

each moment born

and now is the great thaw

Jay Ramsay

from MONUMENTS (new collection)

Jay Ramsay is a celebrated poet in England, noted especially for his devotion to poems of the spiritual path.  He has published an impressive number of books, and is, in addition to being a poet, a psychotherapist and an energy healer.  He has a gorgeous speaking voice and his readings sound like a cross between Laurence Olivier and Andrew Harvey.  Such resonance restores poetry to its traditional role as an oral art.
Go to his website at http://www.jayramsay.co.uk   And once you are there, explore his poetry as well as his spoken recordings. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Kundalini and the Elder 

As my own Kundalini process has unfolded over more than 30 years, I have observed with interest the changes -- in quality, intensity, frequency--of the various responses in my body to these once unfamiliar energies. After many years since the original awakening experience, my difficult or painful episodes have occurred much less often and the pleasant (bliss or rapture) experiences have continued though, as I have said before, with less "volume."  The frequencies have seemed to rise, my nervous system to respond with greater ease and less effort, as if it too were moving into a higher vibration.

And, as I have described before, the raptures have continued, even though I am now in my mid eighties.  I think this continuing phenomenon might give encouragement to those who wonder what happens with the energies as one grows older and older and perhaps less attuned to sensuous reactions.  The answer is--fortunately--the vibrations continue to bring pleasure, even as one reaches an impressive number of years.  I often think of the woman who wrote that she was having pleasurable bodily sensations even as she reached ninety--she wondered if this reaction could be Kundalini.

As I have described before, my sensations now seem to come from circling my hands (with or without aroma) around my body, never touching, holding them a few inches away.  I could not have done this at the beginning.  Nor could I have moved the bliss energies with micromovements or perhaps just by moving my eyes back and forth.

So--take heart, all who are arriving at the later stages of life.  Apparently Kundalini does not care about what you look like, how limber you are, how old you are in terms of the number of candles on your (now crowded ) birthday cake.  The Beloved Within remains your close companion as always and you know that you love and are loved just as before.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Offering 

Dear Friends,
I have been off line for several days because of computer problems.  A good friend just came by and fixed the problem in about 30 minutes.  So I am finally back in business.
Here is a poem I wrote just recently:

The Offering

I have placed my heart
on this altar,
and now the animals come
one by one,
the lion,
the leopard,
even the hyena,
each taking their share.

They have arrived
to consume,
deliver me where
their own most
secret meaning abides,
cells and blood,
hide and bone.

Listen and you can
hear my voice calling
in their roar.
How I float
from sinew to
How I drift
among the
hidden currents
of their veins.

At times I wonder,
Who am I now?
How much rapture
can I bear?

Dorothy Walters
January 22, 2013

(This poem is, of course, about merger into the divine.)

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Year of Rumi (course by Andrew Harvey) 

I have begun the "course" by Andrew Harvey called "A Year of Rumi."  I am extremely excited by this offering and am looking forward with anticipation to future poems.  What I discovered that is of special interest is that although this is called a "course", the cost is based on a sliding scale, beginning with payments as low as one dollar and then going up to whatever you can afford to pay.  It is, I think, one of the great bargains of our time.  Andrew is, clearly, focused more on getting the words and wisdom of Rumi out into the world, rather than making a large profit from this venture.
I gave a rather lengthy link to sign up for this course on my earlier post.  But here is a simpler way to get to it through google.
First google www.dailyom.com   This will bring up an entry for that site, and will include a reference to their courses.  Bring these up and one will be for "A Year of Rumi."
Here is the poem for today:

Lesson 2: Your Grace

There doesn't exist a being Your grace cannot transfigure,
And the Lover You choose lives in joy forever.
What atom could Your Grace even for a moment come near
Without making it more magnificent than a thousand suns?

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi
(Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi)

Rumi is a precious jewel that all of us can adore.  Thank you, Andrew, for your magnificent offering.

Here is what Deepak Chopra said of Rumi:

Intro by another:
Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi or Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi (30 September 1207 - 17 December 1273) was a 13th-century Persian philosopher, theologian, poet, teacher, and Sufi mystic. Also known as Mevlana (Our Guide), Jalaluddin Rumi, but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi.

Deepak Chopra:
"Rumi was dancing the dance of life. He knew it, and so did his listeners, which is why the line between poet, saint, and lover became quite blurry in his case. No poet is more intimate than Rumi, no lover more crazed, no saint more innocent. An air of the supernatural gathered around him because he never lost this wild, extreme state of ecstasy. Somehow the deepest lovers don't have to fear time. Their intoxication is permanent, even though the divine beloved is invisible, remote, and never touched physically."

(quote found on http://seabreezephototos.com   Picture from internet source.)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ascension: Unexpected Bliss, Unwelcome Pain 


I want to write about this morning’s practice, because it was different in most ways from any other I have experienced.  And, to be honest, to write on this blog of personal sessions is a way for me to keep track of what is happening within as my body attunes to ever higher frequencies.

Usually, I do my “aroma therapy” practice in my dressing room, before I get dressed and go into my living room to look at my computer to check correspondence, etc.  For some reason, this morning I happened to sit at my computer before doing my usual routine, but a surprise was in store.

The surprise was that my body was already feeling the delightful energies of subtle bliss, and as I sat there, moving only slightly, and still in my pajamas, I could feel the sweet currents coursing through my system, now here, now there.  My palms were pressed together, as if in prayer, and indeed, as I felt the wondrous flow of energy move with my hands—each bodily part responding in turn—I offered a healing prayer to those I know who are in agony (and there are many—these are difficult times).

I did not follow a prescribed path, but—as always—allowed intuition to direct the movement.  At one point, I lifted my arms higher and higher over my head, and always continued to feel the amazing and indeed wondrous streams of soft energy fill my body with delight.  The flow is sensuous, not sexual.  The hands never touch the flesh, yet the effect might be compared to subtle love play over the entire body, or perhaps a gentle rain falling on the leaves of a tree.

I realized that I was doing the initial stage of the Tandava dance, which begins in a seated position.

With the aroma therapy exercise, most of the feeling is in the face and torso—little in hands and arms.  But the reverse was true this morning, and I wished I were an energy healer to share these lovely energies with an actual person in need.

I could have stayed in this experience all day, but realized I needed to add some actual standing movement to complete the exercise.  So I spent time standing and stretching and doing simple moves from chi gong.

I finally—and reluctantly—quit and got dressed to meet the demands of the morning.  However, after some 20 or 30 minutes, I realized I was feeling pain where there had been pleasure, as if my old problem of a hiatal (esophagus) hernia had been activated once more.  I felt light headed, not truly faint but suggesting an oncoming attack of some sort.  I wondered if, once again, every pleasure must be paid for with a corresponding pain, every joy with a twinge of agony.

After I took some medication for stomach ache, the pain ultimately subsided and I felt whole again.

I wondered if these twin episodes of pleasure and pain are related to our body’s efforts to integrate new and higher vibrations as we continue the ascension process.  Certainly they are related to the overall Kundalini process, which seems to continue with its “ups and downs” forever.   There is no final end, only more intense states of both, as we progress into higher states of consciousness and integrate our system’s familiar vibrations with the new and higher energies of ascension.
January 14, 2013

(The picture above hangs in my living room.  It is, I believe, from a painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and is entitled "Beatrice in Rapture.)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Year of Rumi (Andrew Harvey) 

Here is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the work of the great mystic poet Rumi.  I cannot recommend this course highly enough.  Andrew Harvey is recognized as one of the foremost translators and writers on Rumi, with many books on the subject.

A Year of Rumi
From A Year of Rumi On-Line Course

by Andrew Harvey

The following is an excerpt from the "A Year of Rumi" on-line course. If you would like to enroll in the course, click here:

When the great Sufi mystic and poet Jalal-ud-Din Rumi died at sunset in Konya, southern Turkey, on December 17, 1273, he had lived for almost half his sixty-six  years in the Sun of the Awakened Heart. With the light of its splendor as his constant inspiration, Rumi composed 3,500 odes, 2,000 quatrains, and a vast spiritual epic called the Mathnawai, and founded the Mevlevi Order that, under his son Sultan Walad and his successors, was to spread his vision throughout t the Islamic world, from the most remote villages of Turkey and Iran to Jakarta, from Tangiers to Sarajevo. Now, over 700 years later, through the pioneering (and superb) translations of Coleman Barks, Robert Bly, Jonathon Star, and others, Rumi is almost as well know and revered in the West as he has long been in the East.

Not long before his death, Rumi wrote of his passion for his Beloved, Shams-I-Tabriz, and its significance:

Those tender words we said to one another
Are stored in the secret heart of heaven.
One day, like the rain, they will fall and spread
And their mystery will grow green over the world.

The time has come for this greening of the world‚s heart and mind by the mystery of Rumi's love for his Beloved. Increasingly, Rumi is being recognized as the unique spiritual genius he is, as someone who is fused at the highest level and with the greatest possible intensity the intellect of a Plato, the vision, passion and soul-force of a Christ or Buddha, and the extraordinary literary gifts of a Shakespeare.

Rumi is, I believe, not only the world's greatest mystical poet but also an essential guide to the new planetary spiritual renaissance that is slowly emerging from the ruins of our civilization. He speaks to us from the depths of our own sacred identity, and what he says has the electric eloquence of our innermost truth. No other poet or philosopher of whom I know has Rumi's almost frightening intimacy of address, and no one I am aware of in any civilization has conveyed the terror, rapture and wonder of awakening to Divine Love with such fearless and gorgeous courage, such humility and such unflinching clarity.

The world is in terrible danger. We have very little time left in which to make desperately needed changes in every arena of life. We need the truth and empowerment of authentic mystical understanding and love now more than at any other moment of our history. May the Light of the Heart be revealed in all to all of us, and may we all, united in and by Divine Love, transform together the conditions of life on earth.

- Andrew Harvey

When you enroll in the on-line course, you will receive an email that contains one of Rumi‚s wonderful poems every day for the next year. Today, we begin our journey together with the following:

    If you are seeking, seek us with joy
    For we live in the kingdom of joy.
    Do not give your heart to anything else
    But to the love of those who are clear joy,
    Do not stray into the neighborhood of despair.
    For there are hopes: they are real, they exist ˆ
    Do not go in the direction of darkness ˆ
    I tell you: suns exist.

   - Jalal-ud-Din Rumi
    (Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi)

For more information visit A Year of Rumi On-Line Course

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Vision of a Guru 

Many years ago when I was living in San Francisco I was enrolled in a movement class.  One evening as I was doing my movements, I saw (in my mind) an image of a figure looking down at me.  I did not recognize him, but noticed that he was dressed as a monk, was very plain looking, younger than most gurus, and had extremely long arms.  Soon thereafter I saw his picture in some current publication and learned that he was visiting in the San Francisco area where he was to appear in a major spiritual gathering in a few days.  From the picture, I learned his name  and that he was based in England--but that was all I ever knew about him and I even forgot his name over the years.

Yesterday, at the grocery store, I was looking over the magazines in their racks and--for some reason--picked up a copy of Tricycle, the well known Buddhist Review.  Part of me did not want to do this, since often when I buy such publications, I never get around to reading them.  But this time I picked it up and opened it at random--to a page which carried a picture of "my guru" as well as an announcement of a new book he has just published.  This time I looked up his website and discovered that he is now a famous spiritual teacher who has written many books and has established numerous New Kadampa Buddhist centers across the world, an order which he founded.

I am sure that I shall never meet this man (unless he visits Colorado), but I continue to be interested in him and his approach to spirituality.  He website (he also has books listed on Amazon) offers a free download of a three-volume work  (on Modern Buddhism: the Way of Compassion and Wisdom)  he has written.  It includes  such topics as sutra and tantra and will, I am sure, benefit many.   I ordered all 3 for my kindle on my computer.

The Amazon site offers this brief description of him:

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso was ordained as a Buddhist monk in Tibet at the age of eight. He is a fully accomplished meditation master, prolific author, and international teacher who has lived in the West since 1977 and has founded over 1,200 Kadampa Buddhist centers. 

I discovered that his name means "spiritual friend," which happens to be how I describe myself on my (personal) business cards. 

I looked over his volume on Tantra and was pleased to discover that he describes various levels or types of tantra, including both sexual and non-sexual.  I practice the latter, but he did not include a description of my practice, which now exists as neither sexual or non-sexual, nor does it include meditation on a deity.  Rather it focuses on circulating the pure, blissful energies, in the way I described in my last post (through the aroma of essential oils).  These energies can be accessed through aroma, slow movement, music, yoga asanas, mudra, yantra, chanting, personal puja, sacred locations, group ceremony and various other ways.  I feel that mine is a major form of tantra, one not associated with a deity or particular lineage, but rather connecting with ultimate source, or the creative energy of the universe.

I have heard other people who have "seen" their guru in their mind's eye before meeting him.  However, as always, I am again on my own, with no one to discuss these fascinating experiences with.

The following information is from the Wikipedia website:

Consistent with the lineage teachings he received from his root Guru, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Kelsang Gyatso believes that the practice of Dorje Shugden should continue to be practised by any Gelugpas who wish to do so. This view differs from that held by the Dalai Lama XIV, who, despite having received the same lineage teachings, after long consideration has renounced this practice and actively discourages it as he considers it detrimental to the unity of the various Buddhist traditions of Tibet.

As I understand it, Dorje Shugden is considered by some to be a "angel protector" of the Dharma.  By others he is classed as an evil spirit. It seems that Buddhism, like all organizations, also has its splits and differences of opinion.

Kelsang Gyatso has retired from his position as head of the order he founded.  He set up 4 types of "members"--male monks, female nuns, laymen and laywomen.  The Kadampa communities consist of all of the above categories, and ordained monks do not take precedence over lay people, nor men over women.  He has also said that a simple
 vow will suffice for ordination (not the 253  prescribed in ancient texts).  These are the vows, which he points out are for the most part contained in the 10 commandments:

Throughout my life I will abandon killing, stealing, lying or cheating, sexual activity, taking intoxicants and engaging in meaningless activities. I will practice contentment, reduce my desire for worldly pleasures, maintain the commitments of refuge, and practice the three trainings of moral discipline, concentration and wisdom.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Meditation Oil and Morning Practice 

I think I have written on this subject before, but people are still curious when I mention the essential oils I use in my morning practice.  Here are a list of the ingredients that go into the oil along with the way I use it.  You may recall that this vial is one that stood on my bathroom counter for years before I gave it much attention.  Then one day I decided to explore aromatherapy, beginning with this small bottle.  The results were astonishing.  They are yet another development in the continuing unfoldment of the Kundalini process and spiritual progression--indeed there is always more to learn, more to discover, more to experience.

My morning practice:  Name of Product: “Meditation Oil”

Made in Australia by Dynamo House

Iolu?  or Zolu? (couldn't read clearly on bottle)
Ban Oil?

Go to http://www.Dynamo House.com.au/  and look under essential oils for meditation to locate product. Their price is about $19.00 plus S & H.   Amazon offers similar blends at a lower price, but I don't know if they will work as well.
Also---new address is here for Dynamo House—you can order from them apparently

Another good essemce which does something similar is
“frankincense and amber” from Inesscents” available at Vitamin Cottage (in my town) and possibly online.  It has a slightly more delicate flavor.  Frankincense has a long history as a healing potion and is, I believe, the key ingredient in these products.

To do this practice, begin by simply inhaling the aroma by passing the bottle several times under your nose.  Then , holding the bottle a few inches from your body, move it in small spirals around your face and head, then down across the front of your body, giving special attention to the chakras.  You can also include your arms and (by intention) your legs.  Let the energies themselves direct you as to how to move.  With any luck, you will fee a soft bliss flow, as delicate as if you were being stroked by a feather, yet quite delightful.

You need to be in a slightly altered state to get the benefit of this experience.  Wear as few clothes as possible.  Best to do early before you get into your left brain doing busy work. These energies are very subtle and should be approached in a sacred manner.

I feel that the energy flows aroused by this practice are not only rapturous (in a subtle way) but also healing--I always feel quite refreshed after doing my practice.

I have recently added a new component--I do a bit of overtone chanting with the experience to intensify the vibrational results (and they definitely do move into higher vibrations than we typically experience).

And I also include yet another aspect--as I experience these delicate and sweet vibrations, I send healing energies and prayers to those in need whom I know by name.  In other words, I use the practice for long distance healing--no one told me how to do this--I just do it.

Finally, I send these energies out into the universe for the benefit of "all sentient beings."

Love to all in this New Year.  May we ascend together in ways appropriate to each one.

(picture from Dynamo House website)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Bill Denham, Mount Tam at Dusk 

Mount Tam at dusk

If I walk through my front door,

            step off the stoop,

            swing my body to the left

            and start toward the hills,

            the hills that hide from me

            the sun’s early morning rays,

            the ground beneath my feet falls away,

            slowly at first, then with more speed,

            till it bottoms out at the first cross street

            and begins a rapid ascent

            that takes an effort to mount.

And if I stop to catch my breath

            half way up this steep slope,

            and if the day is over

            and the sun is dropping

            into the sea

            and all around me

            will soon grow slowly gray,

            and if I turn, as I rest,

            look back over the pass,

            I have a near clear view

            through the crisscrossed wires

            that hang from poles on the edge of my sight,

            of that familiar shape the earth takes—

            the rise and dip and rise and fall

            of Mount Tam across the bay.

            And if the sky is cloudless,

            the summer evening air crystalline and cool,

            I see the edge of the earth glow red

            along its dark, rough spine—fire red,

            as air burns to touch the mountain top,

            cools to magenta, to mauve, to light pink, to nearly white,

            this thinnest of blankets, this rarest of good night kisses

            from the deepening, clear, gray, blue, early evening sky.

            And if I turn again toward the hills,

            I find a lightness in my step,

            a joy in my breath.

- Bill Denham

(Note: the picture is not of Mt. Tamalpais, but rather the mountain I see when I step out on my balcony.  I like this poem because it captures the intimate relation between the human observer and the natural scene he perceives.  Kundalini often has the effect of making us even more in tune with the natural world around us.)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Margaret Atwood: "The Moment" 


The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can't breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

-- Margaret Atwood

(picture found on internet)

This poem points out--in a beautiful way--a truth that many forget.  Certainly in our world today, many continue to pile up "treasures on earth" and display their wealth through huge houses (more than one, often), fancy cars, private jets and carefully buffed bodies.  But all of this accumulation is never "owned" by anyone, including our own bodies.  The theme of change and "mutability" has been sounded for many centuries--even the Bible warns us not to pile up "treasures on earth" where "moth doth corrupt and rust doth spoil."  Human beauty, like material "possessions", also passes, all too quickly.  People today often spend huge sums of money and hours in the gym trying to cling to youth.  Indeed, one of the saddest among us are former "beauties" (both male and female) who through the aging process, have lost whatever physical allure they once possessed.

A good example of this "clinging" is Margaret Yourcenour's great novel, "Hadrian's
Memoirs," in which the young lover of Hadrian commits suicide rather than face the horrifying truth that one day he will lose both his youth and beauty, and thus risk losing Hadrian's love.

Kundalini offers a very different path.  It does not care how much you imagine you "own", nor how you look.  It visits even the elderly and infirm.  The Beloved Within has no body to decay and presents no possessions to fade.  It leads us to the eternal union of self and spirit, mortal and immortal, and will, I believe, continue to unite us with this most precious of bonds even after the material body expires.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Penny Peirce, "Frequency" 

Penny Peirce has written a new book called "Frequency, The Power of Personal Vibration."  So far I have read only a limited excerpt, but it promises to be quite interesting.  It is not possible to highlight and copy from the "look inside" on the Amazon site, nor can I at present open the kindle copy I bought today.  Bu here are some highlights from the opening pages of this book:

Penny offers a convincing description of the various responses that people have when they first begin the "ascension process."  She includes the many familiar symptoms of Kundalini awakening, such as insomnia, nervousness, physical symptoms of various sorts.  She then goes on to say that once the beginning transition has been safely passed, one is indeed transformed.

One of her main points is that everything is vibration, including our own beings.

She offers a very interesting glossary.  One of her definitions of "ascension" is to transcend the body and enter a higher vibratory state without undergoing physical death.  This definition will appeal to those who fear death itself, or who somehow wish to cling to the body, even when they reach a higher vibratory state.  I am not at all sure that I agree with this definition of ascension.  I think we "ascend' a bit more each time we experience a state of higher vibration.  For me, this state comes each morning when I do my practice involving aromatherapy and (sometimes) slow movement.  I can feel the vibratory frequencies happening in my subtle body, and they have in fact become higher and more subtle over years of practice.  I think that many of us are undergoing such transformation into higher levels of frequency, each at her own rate and in ways appropriate to our own physical/subtle body system.

I wish I could quote Penny more directly, but so far I can't open the kindle version.  Very frustrating.  My instructions are to delete the present copy and redownload it, but I have no idea how to do either.

Friday, January 04, 2013


I do not necessarily endorse the following, nor do I claim to understand fully what it pertains to.  But I am often fascinated by practices of esoteric nature having to do with Kundalini Yoga.  I certainly agree with the assertion that we are in fact "the yogi, God and the Spirit having the human experience."  Anything that "awaken(s) the Yogi within is valuable, in my view.  Andrew Harvey speaks of the "Direct Path."  In this path, one does not follow any guru or offer slavish devotion to a spiritual teacher, but rather follows the promptings of the inner spirit.  And wouldn't it be wonderful to take a journey to the sacred wilderness and sacred caves of India?

I won't be doing this except in my imagination--and that can be an intense experience.

The most powerful vortex of Time: Mahasivratri! Time to be the Yogi, God & the Spirit having thr human experience!

For a yogi/ni, Mahasivratri is the “Day/Night of Yoga”, the time to transcend, transform and evolve. Mahasivratri has been observed as the single most important vortex of time by the yogis and householders in India for thousands of years. Based on the planetary alignment with earth and the lunar cycle, this vortex of time holds the objectives of yoga as in being the Spirit having the human experience; as in being ‘liberated’ from the limits of the mind and as in having the grace of Source in our daily realities. This year of 2013, Mahasivratri falls on March 10th.

In practical realities, Mahasivratri offers:
- An ideal time to detox the body.Take healing herbs. Heal your body!
- The time to ‘detox’ the mind as in letting go of the past and karmic imprints of limitations.
- To create an intent of resolution and a supreme prayer
- An inspiration to awaken the yogi within.
- A potent time to break free from the stagnancy of life to enable us to evolve into a life more attuned to our higher purpose with ease.
- To awaken to the joyfulness of “Being” a person of higher consciousness and thereby imbibing all the qualities of higher consciousness as in abundance, harmony, love and wisdom.

Learn more and take your own inner journey to Be! : www.worldyogaday.co

[Nandhi takes a small pilgrimage group through the sacred wilderness, the caves with and alongside our Siddhar Gurus- a total of 16 days- culminating on Monday March 11th. Dates in India: Feb 24th- March 11th.  This is  pilgrimage is exclusively for the initiates who have done the SivaSivaa or done a personal initiation with Nandhi  Write- awake@nandhi.com]

(The image was found on the internet--it presents the visage of one of the god/yogis in the caves of Elephanta in India.)

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Beyond Knowing by Jay Valusek 

Beyond Knowing
by Jay Valusek

“What I know / I could put into a pack / as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it / on one shoulder, / important and honorable, but so small! / While everything else continues, unexplained /and unexplainable.” —Mary Oliver

The wisdom traditions of East and West have much to say about the value of “not knowing.” Buddhism, for example, talks about “Don’t Know” mind, a natural state of awareness that precedes or underlies our often insubstantial opinions, ideas, and so-called knowings, which are, after all, causes of so much suffering. Not knowing, therefore, can be a wise and skillful means of living.

Socrates, the ancient Athenian philosopher who lived around the time of the Buddha, claimed he was wise only in that he knew he didn’t know, so he went about asking hard questions, seeking to understand. Others, he discovered, were not as wise as he because they believed they knew, when, in most cases, they didn’t.

Medieval Christian mystics describe a “Cloud of Unknowing,” an apparently impenetrable darkness that obscures our view of transcendent reality. Surprisingly, some recommend that we learn to live in this cloud without getting too bent out of shape. Why? Because, they say, there may be something more important than knowing, something beyond knowing.

The Greek word for “unknowing” is agnosis (literally: without knowledge). Thus, one who does not know is “agnostic.” Generally, we use that term for one who does not know the truth about the ultimate mystery of divinity. But what about the proximate mysteries of humanity?

I mean, do we know—can we really know—what makes humans tick? We can read poetry, we can study spirituality and psychology and philosophy, but when a young man blasts his way into an elementary school and murders several dozen people, mostly small children, can we really know what it means? Can we “explain” it? Make sense of it? Are we not, in times like these, agnostic too? Are we not enveloped in yet another cloud of unknowing?

In her poem, “What Is There Beyond Knowing” (New and Selected Poems, 2005), Mary Oliver frankly admits that what she knows is so insignificant it could fit in a backpack slung casually over a shoulder, almost weightless. She admits that she has only “follow[ed] a thought quietly to its logical end” on a few occasions. “Mostly,” she says, “I just stand in the dark field, / in the middle of the world, breathing / in and out.”

Ironically, I chose this poem for Lectio Poetica several days before the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in December. That Sunday morning, just two days afterward, it seemed particularly poignant. A small group of us sat together for a few hours in a dark field in the middle of a world gone mad, unable to follow a thought to any logical conclusion, just breathing in and out. Not knowing. Curiously, however, the poem and the silence and the quiet conversation that followed somehow began to transform the darkness of not-knowing into something else. Something more luminous. Something like . . . compassion. Not only for the victims and their families, but also for ourselves and, yes, even for the one who perpetrated such unimaginable violence.

Mary Oliver asks a Socratic sort of question: “What is there beyond knowing that keeps calling to me?”

Certainly the need for explanation, for understanding, for knowing and even for believing, keeps calling to me. But as I reflect on what I experienced in our contemplative circle that Sunday morning a few weeks ago—as I recall what I saw in the faces and hearts of those who gathered—I realize that at least one thing beyond knowing keeps calling as well: compassion. The word means, in Latin, “to suffer with” another.

Compassion is a mystery, beyond logic, often beyond comprehension. Yet it’s real. It’s weighty and substantial, unlike so much that I know, or think I know or merely believe. Compassion, in fact, can be quite heavy. In times like these, it can seem nearly impossible to bear. Who wants it?

Ah, but compassion is that which—beyond all reason—keeps calling to me, to us.

As we begin the mysterious and unpredictable journey of another year, may we have the strength to take up the burden of compassion again and again as we move, at times, through dark clouds of unknowing. May compassion, like rain, condense out of those clouds and water parched souls. May we stand in the dark field of the world, breathing in suffering and breathing out peace. Even when it makes no sense at all.

- Jay E. Valusek

(Image from Jay's site  athttp://Lectio.JayEValusek.com.)

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Rumi--'Lose yourself" 

"Lose yourself,
Lose yourself in this love.
When you lose yourself in this love,
you will find everything.

Lose yourself,
Lose yourself.
Do not fear this loss,
For you will rise from the earth
and embrace the endless heavens.

Lose yourself,
Lose yourself.
Escape from this earthly form,
For this body is a chain
and you are its prisoner.
Smash through the prison wall
and walk outside with the kings and princes.

Lose yourself,
Lose yourself at the foot of the glorious King.
When you lose yourself
before the King
you will become the King.

Lose yourself,
Lose yourself.
Escape from the black cloud
that surrounds you.
Then you will see your own light
as radiant as the full moon.

Now enter that silence.
This is the surest way
to lose yourself....

What is your life about, anyway? -
Nothing but a struggle to be someone,
Nothing but a running from your own silence."

~ Rumi

'Rumi - In the Arms of the Beloved'
Translations by Jonathan Star

(picture from internet)

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

A New Year's Blessing--Larry Robinson 

A New Year’s Blessing
    by Larry Robinson

Unhurried mornings, greeted with gratitude;
good work for the hand, the heart and the mind;
the smile of a friend, the laughter of children;
kind words from a neighbor, a home dry and warm.

Food on the table, with a place for the stranger;
a glimpse of the mystery behind every breath;
some time of ease in the arms of your lover;
then sleep with a prayer of thanks on your lips;

May all this and more be yours this year
and every year after to the end of your days.

- Larry Robinson

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