Friday, March 29, 2013
The fire rises in me
By Symeon the New Theologian
(949 - 1032)
English version by Ivan M. Granger
The fire rises in me,
and lights up my heart.
Like the sun!
Like the golden disk!
Opening, expanding, radiant --
-- a flame!
I say again:
I don't know
what to say!
I'd fall silent
-- If only I could --
but this marvel
makes my heart leap,
it leaves me open mouthed
like a fool,
to summon words
from my silence.
Symeon the New Theologian is one of my all time favorite mystical poets. When Ivan Granger posted this poem on the PoetryChaikhana today, I could not resist reprinting it here.
Is the fire he mentions Kundalini? I rather think it is. Like the mystical flame in his heart, Kundalini is extremely hard to put into words.
And just think--this poem was written about two thousand years ago. Kundalini fire has a very long history, indeed.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
As a life long lesbian, I of course have a particular interest in the case concerning gay marriage now up before the supreme court. As an elder living alone, this decision will have no particular effect on my life, since I have no plans to marry anyone of any sex. Nonetheless, I have a vested interest in the outcome of this case, since, in my view, it has a direct bearing on whether I will continue to be classed (still) as a second class citizen or be accorded all the rights and privileges of others in my society.
As a long time teacher of critical thinking, I am particularly disturbed by some of the "logic" used against the proposal to legalize gay marriage. Here are some of the arguments I find perplexing and irrelevant:
Mr. Cooper responded that “it will refocus the purpose of marriage and the definition of marriage away from the raising of children and to the emotional needs and desires of adults, of adult couples.” The key to marriage, he said, is procreation.
Is procreation truly the purpose of marriage? Do people realize that one of the most critical issues facing us as a species is overpopulation? Perhaps those who do not procreate deserve special credit for thus benefitting the planet.
Further, what ever happened to love as a test? Does a loving couple of the same sex not deserve the same right to sanctify their union under law as is accorded heterosexuals?
The logical conclusion of this argument is that anyone not able or willing to procreate should be legally barred from marriage, and even that those who are married but too old or ill to procreate should be by law forced to divorce.
Then there is the argument that allowing gays to marry will threaten the traditional institution. Yet, we do not now have gay marriage and the divorce rate is soaring among heterosexual couples. Obviously, some other factors than gay influence is at work.
Further, what ever happened with our regard for love as a basis for union? Some gay couples have remained together for decades. Should such devotion not be respected and honored as a basis for legal sanction?
And there is another argument saying that to legalize gay marriage would unsettle certain segments of society. Well, I suggest that every major progressive social movement unsettles some portion of society--witness the civil rights struggle of a few decades ago, the shift which allowed women to vote, the freeing of the slaves in the last century. All major moves toward greater equalization and democratic progress are met with resentment and opposition until they are established as law.
It is particularly disappointing to me to see members of the black community, especially clergy, oppose gay marriage. As Obama pointed out, until fairly recently the law banned persons of different races (specifically blacks and whites) from marrying. The law was changed and there were no disastrous results. Where is the willingness to support those seeking a similar choice for themselves?
And, finally, there is the "moral" argument. When Congress opposed gay marriage in the nineties, it frankly included "moral disapproval" of homosexuality as one of the bases for its position. What happened to the distinction between church and state, as embodied in our constitution? Why is a civil issue being considered as a "moral" issue? Are such arguments based on logic and fairness or emotional attitudes?
One last thought: it has long occurred to me that those who experience Kundalini awakening have much in common with homosexuals, not in a sexual sense, but in terms of social attitudes. Both are (or were) more or less viewed as strange, suspicious, weird. Many from either group do not feel comfortable sharing their situation with family and friends. Members of both groups realize that they are "outside the norms" and that their essential nature is different from that of the masses.
Personally, I feel privileged to be gay and also to partake of the blessings of Kundalini. But then, I was never one to "follow the crowd." I feel it is important to follow your own path, to do as Buddha said: "Be a light unto yourself."
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I'm driving on the dark highway
when the opera singer on the radio
opens his great mouth
and the whole car plunges down the canyon of his throat.
So the night becomes an aria of stars and exit signs
as I steer through the galleries
of one dilated Italian syllable
after another. I love the passages in which
the rich flood of the baritone
strains out against the walls of the esophagus,
and I love the pauses
in which I hear the tenor's flesh labor to inhale
enough oxygen to take the next plummet
up into the chasm of the violins.
In part of the song, it sounds as if the singer
is being squeezed by an enormous pair of tongs
while his head and legs keep kicking.
In part of the song, it sounds as if he is
standing in the middle of a coliseum,
swinging a 300-pound lion by the tail,
the empire of gravity
conquered by the empire of aerodynamics,
the citadel of pride in flames
and the citizens of weakness
celebrating their defeat in chorus,
joy and suffering made one at last,
joined in everything a marriage is alleged to be,
though I know the woman he is singing for
is dead in a foreign language on the stage beside him,
though I know his chain mail is made of silver-painted plastic
and his mismanagement of money is legendary,
as I know I have squandered
most of my own life
in a haze of trivial distractions,
and that I will continue to waste it.
But wherever I was going, I don't care anymore,
because no place I could arrive at
is good enough for this, this thing made out of experience
but to which experience will never measure up.
And that dark and soaring fact
is enough to make me renounce the whole world
or fall in love with it forever.
- Tony Hoagland
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Sometimes fury shoots from me, sometimes love,
I never know which face you'll show
Who lives in me now and dangles my body
Whatever way you want until I die.
- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi
(Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi)
Monday, March 25, 2013
(Here is a letter I received from Andrew Harvey describing his coming workshop with Matt Fox):
I feel that, at 60, I'm at last ready to share the greatest passion of my life, which is my passion for Jesus - not for the churches erected in his name, but for the great revolutionary passion of love that entered human evolution through and in the figure of Jesus.
I think Jesus is the key to the evolutionary future of humanity because what Jesus shows us is that by connecting to the burning love of God and daring to enact it with great humility and dedication, we divinize life itself, and so take our whole human nature to a new level of divine empowerment.
In doing so, we transform society and the world and create a human race which is able to co-create with the divine a wholly new way of being and doing everything.
I also believe that the deepest meaning of our time is that we are experiencing both a very great death and a very great birth. That birth is of a force of love in action, the force of what I call "sacred activism."
I believe that this force is destined to birth a new embodied divine humanity and that this completes and fulfills the vision and the example of Jesus.
This perspective does not deny the great achievements of Hinduism and Buddhism and Taoism, but it focuses us on two essential things, the empowerment of human beings into their divine consciousness and the aim of that empowerment, which is not simply to float off into the light, but to focus the compassion and wisdom of the light on radical, sacred, inspired action in the world.
We are now reaching the point where the whole future of humanity and of nature is at stake. It is two minutes to midnight.
It is absolutely essential that all of us, whatever path we are on, take extremely seriously the cry of this man, Jesus, to become real sacred activists of love in action in the world with whatever resources we have. Because on that depends the future of the world and of humanity.
And that is why I invite you to join my Christ Path course, which begins tomorrow. It is my heart offering to you to inspire your journey through the alchemical flames of divine love. It brings together a lifetime of hard-won learnings to empower you to embody the Christ path in a new way.
I welcome you joining the more than 500 of us who are gathering from around the world here: The Christ Path (google Christ Path Seminar to learn more)
This is a picture of me with Andrew Harvey taken just a few days ago when we had dinner together (he happened to be in town and we got together). I consider Andrew one of the most highly evolved spirits on the planet--his vision is compelling--that we as a species are in fact on the edge of extinction, but there are definitely ways in which universal transformation into divine realization can occur. I consider the opportunity to spend time with such a wise soul is a rare opportunity.
Andrew throws himself completely into his work of service. He now travels the globe, offering lectures and workshops on four continents, including Australia and Africa. He speaks unabashedly of the possible divinization of matter (human evolution into higher levels of consciousness) and understands the role of Kundlalini in this process.
And--I might add--he is one of the few people who has a real understanding of my own journey, including the significance of my current practice of sensing the subtle body as a source of ecstatic love making with the Beloved Within. I am grateful to have him in my life. For me, he is a treasure.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Tantra of the Great Liberation, p. xxvi
"The dual principles of Shiva and Shakti, which are in such dual form the product of the polarity manifested in Parashakti-maya, pervade the whole universe, and are present in man in the Svayamhu-Linga of the muladhara and the Devi Kundalini, who, in serpent form, encircles it. The Shabda-Brahman assumes in the body of man the form of the Devi Kundalini, and as such is in all prani (breathing creatures), and in the shape of letters appears in prose and verse. Kundala means coiled. Hence Kundalini, whose form is that of a coiled serpent, means that which is coiled. She is the luminous vital energy (jiva-shakti) which manifests as prana, She sleeps in the muladhara and has three and a half coils corresponding in number with the three and a half vindus of which the Kubjika Tantra speaks."
The above excerpt, from the text as quoted, is from the introduction to this classic text. Although some of it may be unclear, the gist of it is affirmation of the traditional notions about Kundalini--that it exists at the base of the spine as a coiled serpent who has three and a half coils before she awakens and rises. The Svayamhu-Linga which is mentioned is the linga (phallic symbol) which rests at the base and is encircled by the feminine Kundalini depicted as a serpent.
This description is often paraphrased in modern texts. It is reassuring to find passages such as this which illustrate ancient bases for modern notions.
(Of course, today we do not look upon such references to Linga or the coiling serpent as literal, but rather as metaphors for the Kundalini process. The"serpent " is sleeping because until it is awakened, awareness of the Kundalini energy rests in the subconscious and only when it comes into conscious mind is it seen to "uncoil.")
"Tantra" here refers simply to a type of ancient Indian text. Arthur Avalon (an English official stationed in India) translated this text into English, and dated his preface as 1913, though the original text was indeed much older.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Note: Yesterday I posted a poem on this same topic. Here is a prose reflection on the same theme, for it is a subject I have often thought about:
On Precise Imagery vs. General Observations
I think it was Ezra Pound who began it (imagistic poetry). He described something as being like “petals on a wet black bough”. Certainly this phrase evokes a definite sense of place and texture. It is clear, precise—sharp even.
Pound’s approach caught on and since that time poetry has more or less been dominated by the need to express things in sensuous and sharp imagery, all serving the purpose of evoking a specific object or texture or place or event or setting.
And all of this is to the good—it was indeed time to get away from the diffuse, sometimes amorphous writings of centuries past, to evoke an experience that could in effect be sensed, felt, tasted, seen by the reader.
But—as fascinating as this approach is and as effective as it can be in the hands of an adept writer—somehow it is not for me. Marge Piercy admonishes the would be poet to get out and learn the names of flowers, plants, birds, the textures of such objects as the bark of trees or the sand of a particular shore.
I learned few or none of these. Like Rumi, I was drawn to the essence, the distillation, the gist of things. I wanted to touch the inner not the outer realms. I focused not on external objects and events, but that which occurs in the deep recesses of what used to be called the spirit or soul (and I never did resolve my confusion about these two terms—still not sure which is which, though some claim there is a clear distinction.)
What I wrote about was not seen nor heard in the outer world. It involved sensation, awareness, intuitions that are difficult if not impossible to convey, since each is unique to the subject, the experiencer. That is to say, each of us meets the transcendent in a different way. a mode peculiar to ourselves and, ultimately, one not to be shared or even made fathomable to another.
Yet, there is commonality. We somehow recognize the source as peculiar to ourselves yet shared with others. We know that somehow, even in the midst of the general, there is a bond, a connection, one to another, and we are grateful to that poet who dares to bring us to this state of being, this level of consciousness, that the “outer world” of things and events is oblivious to. We are given the key to the invisible realms, knowledge of the (to most) unsuspected regions of the psyche, connection with what many call the ultimate divine, that which is sensed and cannot be accurately named.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Living Room Bliss
If there is a place
where those of us
who never learned to
name things will be sent,
then that is where
I want to go.
Instead of precision,
only vague allusion.
Instead of connecting
to azalea and hibiscus,
we will inhale the soft scent
of what some call frankincense
and declare ourselves
If a cloud appears,
we will exclaim "Beautiful"
and not try to catalogue it
or say what type
We will forget about
and even the things
Lost in the sweet Sargossa
of the mind,
we will move gently
and feel something important
is taking place.
We will become merely
the soft currents within,
the thin rivers of connection
with something neither inside nor out,
something that has no name.
March 15, 2013
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
For those who missed Andrew Harvey's presentation a few days ago, here is how you can listen to the recording of his talk. For me, it was a brilliant summation of certain major themes and ideas, certainly not all new or unique to Andrew, but a gathering together of certain concepts essential to any meaningful transformation of ourselves and our society. Among others, he discussed (for me) such major topics as the history of alchemical transformation, the role of the divine feminine, the sanctity of nature and all its creatures, the evolution of consciousness, and the divinization of matter (us). He noted the role of certain early mystics such as Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, long among my favorites among the deep mystical visionaries.
I urge you to take advantage of this unusual opportunity to hear this profound thinker in action, and to note as well his stunning rhetoric.
As you can see, I am a committed "fan" of Andrew, who, in my view, carries the conversation about "evolution of consciousness" to a level quite beyond that of certain other speakers and writers, who (it seems to me) too often stay at the surface level of what transformation means (such as running faster, getting a raise at work, learning how to relax, etc.) Moreover, Andrew clearly sees and delineates the shadows threatening our time, but he also fully credits the light, and sees unlimited possibilities for the continuing growth and transfiguration of all.
Here is a reflection by Stephan Dinan of the Shift Network, which sponsored Andrew's talk. It describes both Andrew's recent presentation and the ongoing course that Andrew along with Matt Fox are presenting beginning next week:
When I talk about the Shift of our world in private conversations, I often talk about the Christing of humanity. Teilhard de Chardin wrote about the Christification of our planet as the Omega Point of evolution and it's something that is at the core of Barbara Marx Hubbard's work as well.
For me, what that means is that we're bringing down a higher octave of divine consciousness into embodied form. We're divinizing matter, making our daily lives holy, living as little God-lings, and co-creating heaven on earth.
But this is not about religion or beliefs, really, or veneration of Jesus as an exclusive guide. It's not just for Christians. It's about a process that we undertake as incarnated beings in which we get sufficiently clear, open, receptive, and balanced that we can take a higher voltage of spiritual current running through our inner circuitry.
In the East, enlightenment is already seen in this way: it's a journey we can all go on. For me, Christing is similar but has a different quality to it than enlightenment; more of a divinizing of our lives and bodies than transcendence of all suffering.
I believe that this Christing process is the inheritance of all of humanity and that in the coming decades and centuries we're going to increasingly figure out how to make it a journey that we can each successfully undertake - the democraticization of Christ consciousness.
Until the Christ Path work we've just started with Andrew Harvey, I didn't have as good of a context to talk about this in relationship to The Shift without feeling like we'd be alienating people who weren't Christian. Because, as I said, it's not about a particular religious form, although Jesus is a beautiful guide to it. It's a natural, evolutionary process.
With that said, walking the Christ Path does not mean that we're going to reach its end point overnight. After 23 years of working on myself in many ways, there are still plenty of refinements required. However, I've had enough tastes and glimpses of this way of being that I feel quite sure it's where we are headed.
The reason I see Andrew Harvey as such a master guide for this path is that he's not afraid to speak the total truth as he sees it - even when it is raw, upsetting or challenging. He has a depth of mystical realization himself that is truly rare. And he's incredibly articulate about dissolving our more saccharine view of the Christ Path and getting gritty, grounded, and engaged in worldly transformation.
It's not just about ourselves on the solo journey of seeking - it's about divinization of our world, which includes our relationships, our work, and even our businesses. As we learn to create a just, peaceful, sustainable world, this naturally allows for us to express more of the Christ nature. It creates the space in which we can all blossom into this new level of human evolution.
If you resonate with what I'm sharing here, I encourage you to join Andrew in The Christ Path journey that begins next week. He will open your mind, your heart, and your passions. He'll help you understand Jesus in a whole new way and give you guidance and practices that empower your own divinization.
It's a journey I've gone on with him myself in the past, whics fantastic.
To live from the sacred heart is no small task and Andrew is masterful at helping us break through the barriers and illusions.
The course with him starts next week: The Christ Path
For more information, or to register, go to:
P.S.(from Dorothy) The one note I would add to this discussion is the role of Kundalini in the evolution of consciousness. Along with Gopi Krishna, I believe it is the primary engine of such transformation and that all will undergo such awakening at some point.
Monday, March 18, 2013
(These are the beautiful flowers that Patricia sent to me on my birthday, which was yesterday. I received many delightful cards and phone calls throughout the day, but only Patricia sang Happy Birthday--thank goodness.)
I Gave You my Life
I gave You
my life, my mind,
my place in the world.
Now I am wondering
what else I might have
Meanwhile You sit there
I am trying to smile
in the midst of this
the only thing
I have left.
March 17, 2013
Friday, March 15, 2013
Here is a message from Stephan Dinan, of the Shift Network, announcing a rerun of Andrew Harvey's talk the other night. I am grateful for the rerun, since I was unable to connect with the original presentation.
Dear Dorothy Walters,
I've been so heartened by the response to Wednesday's Rediscovering the Christ Path event with Andrew Harvey! If you missed it, we'll rebroadcast tomorrow (Saturday) at 10 am Pacific (details below).
It's clear to me that Andrew is bringing something very essential to our world: A complete re-invention of Christianity based on the unadulterated teachings and example of Jesus. Ultimately, this re-invention leads all of us to take seriously the possibility of becoming Christed, or Christ-like.
When we dare to think of becoming Christed (which has long been taboo), it can feel so intimidating. We know how often our thoughts and behaviors are petty, grumpy, or unloving.
We may feel lazy. Confused. Afraid.
How could we possibly become Christed?
Andrew Harvey begins to illumine how - regardless of our particular religious faith or spiritual bent.
One of his perspectives that I found most valuable in this regard is his focus on the Divine Child, which is born of a sacred marriage between masculine and feminine within us.
The Divine Child is really connected to this Christ-like part of ourselves. Rather than hatching fully formed, it's much more like a baby in us--sweet, innocent, uncoordinated, and bit helpless.
That's why Jesus's birth is such a beautiful example. He was born in a manger. It was a humble birth. And it took a good 33 years before he was ready to step out as a teacher.
This gives us a bit more space and time to conceive of the Christ within us.
A sacred marriage between the masculine and feminine within requires that we love and bless the full spectrum on BOTH sides.
It's certainly no small task. But marrying the two can create the energetic link-up in which the Divine Child can be born.
If you want to explore this sacred marriage more deeply, do join Andrew Harvey's 7-week virtual course on The Christ Path. He'll spend a module each on the Divine Feminine, Divine Masculine, and Divine Child.
Reserve your spot here: The Christ Path: A 7-Week Journey to Awaken and Embody Christ Consciousness
And here are the call-in details again:
Rediscovering the Christ Path: How to Embody Sacred Love In Action
with renowned mystic Andrew Harvey
Encore Presentation << Join Us!
Saturday, March 16th
10 am US Pacific (click here to find your local time)
Dial 206-402-0100 or find your local number here, and enter the PIN 498523#
Or connect to the webcast at http://attendthisevent.com/?eventid=39254259
LIMITED-TIME BONUS SESSION WITH ANDREW AND MARIANNE WILLIAMSON
Wednesday night, we also announced a special limited-time bonus with Marianne Williamson and Andrew on "Embodying Christ Consciousness: Putting Sacred Love and Wisdom into Action." Since we've added this encore presentation, we've extended the deadline on that to Saturday night. This will be a powerful conversation between #1 New York Times bestselling author Marianne Williamson and Andrew Harvey.
Reserve your spot here: The Christ Path: A 7-Week Journey to Awaken and Embody Christ Consciousness
Thursday, March 14, 2013
(for Michael, in loving memory)
In the world’s great book
it will not matter
whether your name
appears among the list
of the renowned
and illustrious dead.
Whether you were celebrated
among millions of inhabitants
across the vast globe,
recognized by every school child
Wheat will count
is how close
you were willing
how you humbled yourself
whether god’s thumbprint
marked your heart.
March 14, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
When What Happened
When what happened to me happened,
I did not know what to make of it.
Though I had read vague descriptions
here and there—
something about snakes
and lotus flowers.
A reference to something named
“chakras,” a word I
was not sure how to pronounce
and did not really understand.
Someone told me I had entered
a word that seemed to be right
though I had never experienced
anything like this before
(I was a professor, and
rapture was not part
of the curriculum.)
I re-experienced this strange
and delightful state,
this thrill through the blood,
but still I had no one to
talk with or who might explain
either the vocabulary or the process.
But I delighted in my happy condition
of not knowing,
recalling the familiar adage,
“ignorance is bliss.”
It was like being
the only flower
in a garden,
a rose, say,
who woke up each morning
to greet the day by blooming
all over again.
That was years ago.
Then one day the flower woke up
in a garden over crowded
with flowers and plants
of every color and variety,
voices chattering all around,
people bending their bodies
this way and that
as if in an athletic contest,
secret words bandied about
as if they were recipes for a cake
or directions for a road trip.
It was, of course, nice
to have company along the way,
to know that others
had found the path,
but something inside
kept on yearning
for those early days
of silence and solitude,
whispered inner wisdom
that only I could hear.
March 9, 2013
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Dear Dorothy Walters,
I'm SO excited that you'll be with us for tomorrow's groundbreaking event with Andrew Harvey, "Rediscovering The Christ Path: How to Embody Sacred Love in Action."
TOMORROW, Wednesday, March 13th at 5:30pm US Pacific / 8:30pm US Eastern/ 1:30am GMT, Andrew Harvey will lift the veil on the deeper messages hidden within the Christ path and esoteric Christianity.
These truths point the way to how you can open your heart in radical new ways, awaken to your embodied divinity, and walk a path of sacred action in the world.
This is an event I believe you will really want to share with your friends of all faiths and spiritual leanings. Andrew Harvey is one of the most powerful speakers and influential spiritual leaders of our time.
To do so, simply cut, paste and personalize the template included in the P.S. Or, just send them this link and encourage them to join you tomorrow: http://theshiftnetwork.com/RediscoveringTheChristPath
Until tomorrow, I'll leave you with this beautiful quote by Andrew:
Sacred Activism is the fusion of the mystic's passion for God with the activist's passion for justice, creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing.
And tomorrow, you'll join Andrew and thousands of other seekers around this "Third fire," as we bear witness to the Christ within and sacred love in action.
P.S. Here's the template you can personalize for your friends:
-The Christ Path, tomorrow: Join me & world-renowned mystic Andrew Harvey
You and I both understand that all authentic paths lead to the divine and deserve to be honored.
And that's why I feel inspired to invite you to a powerful event TOMORROW, Wednesday March 13th with the world-renowned mystic Andrew Harvey.
It's called, Rediscovering The Christ Path: How to Embody Sacred Love in Action
Whether you're a Buddhist, a Jew, a Hindu, a recovering Catholic or an atheist, the Christ Path as Andrew Harvey teaches it is gateway into our divinity, creating a sacred marriage of heaven and earth, literally bringing more "God force" down into form through our bodies and relationships.
You can sign up for this free event with Andrew Harvey here: http://theshiftnetwork.com/RediscoveringTheChristPath
He'll share about the deeper message and unvarnished truths hidden within esoteric Christianity and unbounded by doctrine, ritual and history. After forty books and scholarship that addresses every major mystical tradition from Hinduism to Sufism, he can articulate and illuminate the unique power of the Christ Path with new eyes.
Andrew Harvey is definitely a must-hear. Anyone seeking a holistic, inclusive path to sacred love will benefit immensely by his teachings!
I really hope you'll join me.
Register here: Rediscovering The Christ Path
Monday, March 11, 2013
Everywhere I Turn
It wasn’t enough
that you dismembered me,
limb by limb.
That you tore my heart open
and left me bleeding
on the shore.
Now you are wanting
Now you are demanding
my very awareness,
Now that I am nothing
I see you everywhere
March 11, 2013
Friday, March 08, 2013
I have just yesterday received the news that Michael Black, one of my dearest friends of many years, was killed last week by a hit and run driver while he was walking on the side of the road. This news comes as a great shock. I realized that for the most part we simply take our friends for granted and assume they will be with us always. They become pillars in our personal landscape, part of the foundation of our lives, even when we do not see or talk with them often.
Michael was one of the purest spirits I have ever known. He was the kind who would gladly give you his last dollar, that is, if he had one to give (he was never very at home in the material universe). He had the most open heart one might imagine. He was a lover of "fringe" topics, being convinced he had had lives on other planets and sometimes he even now took voyages to other parts of the universe. He was an avid collector of crystals, whose wisdom and energies became an important part of his life. He was devoted to many spiritual leaders, living and deceased. Among these were Buddha, Jeshua, Quan Yin, Saint Germaine and others. The result of his spiritual dedication was that he himself carried high and pure vibrations and thus he was an energetic/spiritual healer for many. You could feel these sweet vibrations in his presence. I never heard him speak a word of criticism or judgment about another.
Michael was also a dedicated environmentalist. He loved nature and felt a mystical connection with all things therein; he loved hiking, or sleeping on the side of Mount Shasta, and had visionary experiences when he did so. He did not trust governments in any shape or fashion. He was a yogi of a high order, spending hours each day in yogic practice.
Before becoming immersed in energy healing and other spiritual pursuits, Michael had a sometime life as a college professor. "Raised in Portland, Ore., (he) had a doctorate in political science from the University of Oregon and taught at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., the New Jersey Institute of Technology and at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont."
Amazingly, the last thing Michael wrote was on death, as if he had some sort of premonition or intuition that his own death was nigh. Here are his words, followed by a lovely poem he wrote earlier:
" Death is neither something to be judged nor feared, but rather approached with compassionate dignity.
The Arc of life is both fleeting and profound ;our lessons stemming from BEING present all along the way.You are being invited to hold space for the living and the dead, for in their conscious re-union is an opportunity to return to celebrating the entirety of life., carrying -forward accumulated lessons which, once acknowledged, cease being either "tears or breaks in the field of love. " 2/27/13 Michael Black
Tree Lake’s Heart
Picture a delicate but sturdy Tree
Growing out of the center of a still
Lake that is your heart.
Now imagine that all beings you encounter want
A place to hang their hearts upon your Tree.
This particularly sacred and holy
Tree will sprout within you and blossom
Skyward upon a scaffolding of words.
Welcome this Tree of Life to your heart,
Which ties together so many spiritual traditions
With its deeply satisfying pool of energies.
Acknowledge all of Creation hovering nearby,
Gathered around to celebrate its imminent arrival
And joyfully share in its frequencies.
Those who feel ready will want a still place
On or under your sheltering canopy that
Confers peace, joy and contentment within.
Your Creation will provide a means of
Erecting Heaven on Earth, one born of
Mutual responsibility and shared sacrifice.
It is time for the hearts of all illumined walking trees
To be awash in gratitude.
Know that soul’s candles illuminating
Each tree will burn brightly and true, as through
All that preceded it is gently swept away.
Share your verdant, cool waters with one
Another as we erect scaffolding for a New Earth,
One born of Beloved’s Divine Light.
Stand firm in each of your respective trees,
And know that nothing can distract from the
Vertical flow of energies, the same
Frequencies that manifest Heaven on Earth, and
Earth in Heaven. Drink from that delicate but sturdy
Tree growing out of the center of a still lake that is
Your Heart. Watch as darkness is parted by your Light,
And be joyful!
Thursday, March 07, 2013
Break the Shell
Break the shell
and step forth.
What some call a “container”
is really a prison,
confining you to a small space,
where you are cramped
and it is difficult to breathe.
Kick through the walls.
Break out the windows.
You are more than
this shrunken creature,
huddled in the corner
of your cell
waiting for someone else
to bring you bread and water.
Open your eyes
and see what is in front of you.
Let your old clothes drop
to the floor.
Move ahead naked.
A feast is waiting.
March 6, 2013
(picture from internet)
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
The following is a continuation of Matt Fox's article which appeared in yesterday's post. It was first an article for Sounds True.
Sounds True: I'm interested in this idea of redeeming worship. I do believe that many people don't find inspiration or an opportunity for satisfying worship in the traditional churches or temples. Can you talk more about that?
Matthew Fox:We just held a conference this fall in North Carolina for five days around the theme of renewing forms of worship. It was really wonderful. There was a very diverse group of people from all different religious backgrounds. Some of them had left religion completely. But we put a lot of planning into it, and it really worked. I feel so strongly that if we could only renew worship, we could change society—its potential is that radical. Worship is education of the heart as well as the head; the young, the old, the children, all of us can be involved in it.
Sounds True: What if somebody is reading this, and they don't have much of a community for worship? They don't find much connection with their church or synagogue, but they want to pray. What would you say to someone who wanted to pray, but didn't know how to go about it?
Matthew Fox: There's so much to say about your question. One kind of prayer is to just sit and be quiet; to just listen to one's breathing, and breathe in and breathe out. It's something of a conscious way of realizing that breath is the ultimate gift. We know someone's dead when they can't breathe anymore, so breath and life go together. And so do breath and spirit. They're the same word. We have to pay attention to the things we take for granted, and holy breath is one of them. Listening to your breathing is very simple and wonderful. “Something you always have with you,” as Groucho Marx would say.
The keys to prayer are attention and concentration. They're helpful in the next way to pray, which is to go into nature, and again, just listen. Go into the woods, not thinking of all kinds of problems, be aware of your breathing, and be present with the leaves, and the trees, and the wind, and the animals.
Another way to pray is what we call “arts meditation.” This is a way to go into yourself and find your personal images, and give birth to them through painting, or dance, or storytelling, or poetry. It's a very powerful way to pray, and I think a very essential way to pray, too.
Also, read the mystics. When you read a book by a mystic, such as a book by Hildegard of Bingen, you stop whenever you hit a passage that strikes you. Just stop. The point of reading a mystic isn't to finish the book, it is to pray. And these mystics are wonderful because they are poets of the spiritual journey; they engage us with their amazing images. They can bring the mystic out of us.
You learn to play tennis by playing with someone who already knows how to do it. So you nourish your own mystic by reading the mystics who are solid. Not reading them in an academic fashion, but with your heart. And that's a real help for prayer too.
Sounds True: Do you see that the traditional structure of Western religion will change to meet people's mystical needs? Or are people going to develop their spirituality outside of the traditional institutions?
Matthew Fox: Well, Bede Griffith, the 86-year-old monk who's lived in an ashram in India for 50 years, says this: “If Christianity can't recover its mystical tradition and teach it, it should just fold up and go out of business. It has nothing to offer.”
I agree that we're in an “either/or” situation. If the churches cannot recover their mystical tradition, I think they will become passé. And those movements that can, will bear the energy of our Western spiritual traditions into the next millennium.
People today don't want religion; they want spirituality. They have a right to it. And spirituality involves spiritual practice. “Religion” has to strip down and travel much more lightly. I think that's an important part of our future.
Matthew Fox (b. 1940) is an internationally acclaimed theologian who was a member of the Dominican Order for 34 years. He holds a doctorate, summa cum laude, in the History and Theology of Spirituality...
(Picture found on SoundsTrue site: http://www.soundstrue.com/shop/articles/The_Cosmic_Wisdom_of_Matthew_Fox?component=authorcontent)
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
The following interview with Matthew Fox was published in SoundsTrue Articles:
The Cosmic Wisdom of Matthew Fox
A fiery priest, once silenced by the Vatican for his controversial views on feminism, sexuality, and the priesthood, calls for a return to Christianity’s mystical origins.
Sounds True:In your workshops, books, and recorded lectures, you often use the term “Cosmic Christ Archetype.” Can you begin by helping us understand what you mean by this term?
Matthew Fox: An archetype is a universal experience. And the “Cosmic Christ Archetype” is a universal way of seeing the world. The Cosmic Christ Archetype is a way of seeing the splendor and divine grace in all things. Hildegard of Bingen, the twelfth century Christian mystic, said, “Every creature is a glittering mirror of divinity.” In terms of John’s gospel, this is the light of Christ in every creature.
If I try to relate in terms of today’s sciences, I think of photons (a tiny indivisible quantity of electromagnetic energy). We know that there are photons in every atom, in every being. Therefore, the Cosmic Christ is the divine radiance that’s present in every galaxy, in every star, every porpoise, every blade of grass, and every human.
The Cosmic Christ Archetype is not unique to the Christian or the Jewish tradition. It appears in Eastern traditions as well. Buddhists talk about the “Buddha nature” that is in every flower, in every child, and in every smile. This is the Cosmic Christ; it’s just another language.
Sounds True:I know you have worked with many influential physicists relating the discoveries of modern physics to the discoveries of mystics throughout the ages. What about the recent discovery in quantum physics—that the universe is expanding? Does this mean that the Cosmic Christ Archetype is expanding or evolving in some way?
Matthew Fox: Absolutely. Most societies thought that time and space were eternal in their present forms. Not too long ago, we began thinking about time as being evolutionary, but now we’re learning that space is something that is being created and expanded. So I think it gives us permission to expand our vision of the Cosmic Christ—in fact it demands of us that we expand.
I think it’s like the opposite of fundamentalism. Fundamentalism is the resistance to expansion. It is a desire born out of fear, to trap and hold back, to build walls and moats of orthodoxy and exclusion. Whereas we now know the law of the universe is to be inclusive and expansive.
I think that plays very much into a spiritual consciousness—a mysticism which is what the Cosmic Christ experience is all about—going beyond the ordinary levels of space/time relations and limitations.
Sounds True: What are some of the practical implications of the Cosmic Christ tradition? If we look at our world, with its starvation and inequities and ecological problems, how can the lessons of the Cosmic Christ Archetype be of help?
Matthew Fox: To begin, let’s look at the ecological crisis. This archetype, I think, has a power much more than, for example, a stewardship theology which is based on duty, and really, guilt. That we have to save the environment, that kind of thing. This is not about duty; it’s about pleasure and delight. That the earth is a garden, radiating with a divine presence. When it is in danger, it is like the crucified Christ; the compelling urgency here is born out of the experience of beauty and grace, not out of duty. Beauty and grace inspire us to let go of our lifestyles that are hostile to the health of the environment, and to recreate our lives in terms of politics, economics, education, worship, all of it. So that’s one of the practical implications—in terms of the ecological crisis, it gets us moving and awake.
Another is worship. Worship is so dead in most of the West. And the reason is that it’s become heady and wordy, and anthropocentric. It has become boring. But the Cosmic Christ Archetype invites us back into the lower chakras, to start breathing again and rediscovering the ways of praying that we’ve lost and reduced to words. I’m talking about the drumming, and the sweat lodges, and the earth spirituality, and the playfulness of dances—spiral dances, circle dances—the forms of prayer that get us back into our bodies and in touch with the earth again.
The whole idea of reawakening worship is so important. When you look at native traditions, they use worship to pass on education to the young. It’s not through schools and books. And the fact is that our schools are failing us. That’s a whole other topic: the task of renewing education. Schools are failing us partly because they’re modeled on European Cartesian definitions of truth—clear and distinct ideas, left-brain only. The Cosmic Christ demands heart work, which is bodywork really: breathing, and ritual, and the right brain. When you get both sides of the brain going, then you have authentic education.
Another practical result of the Cosmic Christ is what I call “deep ecumenism.” Because the Cosmic Christ Archetype exists all around the world, and embraces all the great religions, I see an opportunity to draw forth the wisdom from all the world religions. This practice involves praying and exploring the mystical practices of other religions—whether it’s breathing, chanting, sweat lodges, dancing, drumming—all the different ways of using worship to evoke the cosmic wisdom. And we need this so badly as a species today; we need all the wisdom we can get.
(to be continued)
(photo from Christ Path Seminars Website)
Monday, March 04, 2013
Introducing the Christ Path Seminars/Initiations
The world as we knew it is passing.
What sort of humans must we become to co-create a just, sustainable and spiritually awakened society in its place?
You are invited to join the Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox and Andrew Harvey in 12 unique initiatory weekends that will change your life….and give you tools to change the world.
Are you longing for a richer, deeper, fuller spiritual experience that contributes concretely to saving the planet…a world-changing practice of sacred activism?
Are you longing for a new relationship with the real Jesus, beyond twisted and outdated dogmas and institutions?
Do you share the growing tide of outrage against religious and social corruption and environmental devastation….and long for a culture that values contemplation, justice, and planetary survival?
If so, we invite you to join us for one or more of these twelve unique weekend initiations over the next three years…
Our accelerating world crisis demands a revolutionary vision of the Cosmic Christ and a radical, relevant Christianity.
The Cosmic Christ seminars respond to this crisis with practical answers: tools to cultivate critical dialogue and creative initiatives for personal and social transformation.
The Jesus Seminar movement revolutionized our understanding of the historical Jesus. These Cosmic Christ seminars will help us to ignite the other needed revolution in Christianity by reinventing our understanding and practice of the Cosmic Christ…
…a consciousness that fuses masculine and feminine, action and contemplation, science and spirituality, mystical truth and radical action.
Are these initiations for you?
a spiritual seeker of any tradition, longing for a comprehensive and living experience of Christian mysticism?
a churchgoing mystic, yearning for authentic mystical teaching and practice?
a “recovering Christian,” having left the churches but still longing for a deep, direct connection with Jesus and the gospel message?
an active parishioner bored and/or disturbed by the narrowness of church doctrine and church corruption?
If so, these Christ Path seminars offer you inspiration, challenge, and tools for transforming religion and society.
“May the Cosmic Christ redeem us from a mindless and mystic-less religion.
May the Cosmic Christ lead us to a saner—and less rational—century.
May the Cosmic Christ bless us all so that we might be blessers instead of crucifiers
of Mother Earth
and the generations to come.”
Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ.
Experitence a new form of workshop…
The twelve Christ Path seminars, individually and/or as a series, offer a radical reinterpretation and reinvention of Christianity for the 21st century. In each weekend, we will follow a new model of workshop as initiation as we move beyond inspiration and transmission to include an ongoing, creative process of dialogue and transformation. Through embodied sacred practices and oral transmission, each seminar will address a crucial theological, mystical, social or political topic.
Co-led by the (r)evolutionary theologian/author/activist, Matthew Fox, founder of the Friends of Creation Spirituality and the University of Creation Spirituality, and author/mystic Andrew Harvey, Founding Director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, the series features a stellar lineup of guest speakers including eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, theologian Bruce Chilton, activist and karma yogi Adam Bucko, author/educator Brian Swimme, economic prophet David Korten, healer and spiritual author Carolyn Myss, and more.
Together we will explore questions such as:
How can we as embodied spiritual beings evolve – now – to cease harming and begin healing this planet in transition?
Who is the historical person at the center of the world’s dominant religion – and how can his teachings be reclaimed from modern misrepresentations to reflect the cosmic awareness of which he is a facet?
How can we join the passion of our youth with the wisdom of our elders in a diverse and unified intergenerational voice for change?
How can we integrate science and spirituality to create a vibrant and viable cosmology for our time?
Who Are the Co-Directors?
A (r)evolutionary spiritual program such as this requires leading-edge thinkers at its core…and together, the Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox and Andrew Harvey represent the forefront of spiritual activism in this generation.
Visionary theologian Matthew Fox – author, educator, activist, and spiritual pioneer – has spent the past 40 years doing the culture-changing work to lay the foundation for the values of a new generation. As today’s leading voice of the ancient mystical Christian tradition of creation spirituality, he has founded two graduate programs and one graduate school, published a magazine and founded a publishing house, written 32 books on practical mysticism, interspirituality, creativity, and religious reform, and helped to midwife the birth of a movement that celebrates embodied spiritual practice, oneness with creation, personal awareness, educational empowerment, and social, environmental, and gender justice.
As Founding Director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, Andrew Harvey has spent nearly a decade supporting global peace and sustainability. A lifelong scholar/translator of Rumi and Sufi mysticism, transformational spiritual director and co-founder of the Sufi Conferences, Harvey has devoted his recent work to envisioning inspired solutions for the world’s current crisis. His books The Hope and Radical Passion: Sacred Love and Wisdom in Action offer compelling guidelines to radical change and world transformation through Sacred Activism, fusing deep mystical peace with clear radical wisdom. Harvey believes the world must return to the heart-centered ways of the Divine Feminine and the mystics throughout the ages, and cultivate the nonviolent philosophies of Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Dalai Lama.
Participate Anywhere, Anytime…Affordably
We believe that this program is critical to shaping the future of humanity in the coming years…and so we are making it as accessible as we possibly can by offering it both locally, on-site, and globally, online, based on Gift Economy principles for a registration fee of just $50. You can…
attend in person or by live-streamed internet..
participate by live chat while the workshops are happening…
view the recorded version as many times as you like for the month after each workshop…
purchase the recordings on CD/DVD…
plan to attend them all for academic credit
Whatever your preference and/or schedule dictate - please come.
These chaotic and painful days of planetary dis-integration and upheaval are not the time to play small….to numb out….to isolate in grief, fear or inadequacy.
The world needs each of us, in our complete, unique is-ness, reaching our fullest potential and fulfilling our role as faces of the Cosmic Awareness.
“Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind.
Did you think you were put here for something less?”
~Chief Arvol Looking Horse
To register online, click the button on the sidebar at right, or contact Anne Symens Bucher at email@example.com
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Dr. Andrew Harvey and the Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox co-direct the program and facilitate each workshop.
Questions? Confused? See the FAQ
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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5:30 pm Cosmic Christ and the New Humanity @ Former home of University of Creation Spirituality - OR Online
4:30 pm Cosmic Christ and the Historical Jesus @ Pittsburgh, PA - OR Online
4:30 pm Cosmic Christ and Youth, the Occupy Generation @ Burlingame, CA - OR Online
4:30 pm Cosmic Christ and the New Cosmology @ Los Gatos, CA - OR Online
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Who is the Cosmic Christ?
How can practicing mindful connection with this universal awareness heal your life and empower you to be an agent of planetary healing?
Sign up here for 22 days of transformational insights from Christ Path co-directors Matthew Fox and Andrew Harvey.
An Authentic Christianity Beyond the Dying Churches
Why Are the Christ Path Seminars Needed at This Time?
Who is the Cosmic Christ?
A Special Invitation from Matthew Fox
Stay in touch!
Become part of the Christ Path community
and stay informed as this exciting program evolves with new speakers and workshop recordings.
Future workshops will explore the Cosmic Christ in relation to...
... The Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine
... Rumi/Hafiz and Sufism
... New Economics (with guest lecturer David Korten)
... Reinvention of education, politics and worship
... The Great Western Mystics
... Personal Transformation (Jung/Rank/Grieving)
... Evil (with guest lecturer Caroline Myss)
For more information, go to the home page at http://www.christpathseminar.org
or google christpath seminars
Friday, March 01, 2013
She is Called Yogini: Taking Our Seat
An Online Sadhana for Women
in the Old Tantric Kali Kula style
Friday, March 15th ~ Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
Aditi Devi Ma
PLEASE NOTE: For those of you who would like to immerse yourself more deeply, we are also undertaking a longer parallel online sadhana. Watch for an announcement for Kali's Protective Mantra, a year long online sadhana that will run from March 8, 2013 - February 14, 2014.
Because she practices the yonimudra,
attends upon the Feet of Girija (the
and because of the glory of total
immergence without support,
she is called yogini.
~ Kulaarnava Tantra
In this online course, we open into the worlds of Yoginis--both the divine beings and the female practitioners--who gather in circles to practice their fierce devotion to all forms of the Mother Goddess, Devi. Yoginis are unfettered and spiritually disciplined, and fiercely dedicated to divine Union. Here, in this course, in alignment with the stanza from the sacred Kularnava Tantra, we find ourselves called to deeper devotion, commitment, and service to the Divine Mother in Her Tantric form. In this process, you will be supported in taking your seat as a female practitioner in a circle of other yoginis.
During these four weeks, we come together to undertake a small Tantric sadhana focusing on the 64 Yoginis as they are found at the temple of Kamakhya, the menstruating Yoni Goddess, in Assam, India. We trace the ancient roots of Yogini lineages, we sit with the 64 Yoginis as manifestations of the Tantric Goddesses on the inner and outer levels, and explore the round open-air temples where devotees still gather at night to worship and celebrate.
This sadhana commitment offers us the potential to access the more subtle realms of our relationship to the Yoginis and their blessing power as well as to help us find our way more completely into our own depth relationship with the Divine Mother Kamakhya-Kali.
What You Will Receive
* Four weekly live group telephone calls led by Aditi Devi Ma. The call will last up to 2 hours and is scheduled for Tuesday nights.
* Recording of each call to download and listen to later, should you be unable to attend the live call
* Membership in a private online community to connect intimately with the other yoginis in this sadhana
* Weekly emails from Aditi in support of our sadhana. You will also receive longer introductory and closing emails at the beginning and end of this sadhana. Emails may also include practice support, stories, puja suggestions, poetry, images, and other musings to support you in developing your own relationship with Kali.
* Depth teachings on the Yoginis from the perspective of the Kali Kula.
Friday, March 15: First introductory email
Friday, March 22: second email
Friday, March 29: third email
Friday, April 5: fourth and final email
Tuesday, March 19
Tuesday, March 26
Tuesday, April 2
Tuesday, April 9
It is not necessary to be online or have computer access for the entire sadhana commitment. Some of us will be traveling and away from computers for portions of this retreat time. We ask that you keep up your daily practice if you are not able to receive the emails or come onto the live calls.
The suggested offering, at full price, is $64.
Sliding Scale and Name Your Offering are available in special consideration of those outside the US economy and for those yoginis who remain on the edge of the traditional markets. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Trades may be welcome. Please be in touch with Aditi Devi Ma to discuss arrangements.
Please know that as part of your commitment to this sadhana, it will be up to each of you to make your offerings without promptings or reminders once arrangements have been made.
We are also accepting scholarship funding to support this offering structure. If you are able and want to make additional offerings, this would be most welcome and supportive.
Registration, Further Information, and URL
puja at aditidevi dot com
I am looking forward to falling into Kali's love with you
during this extraordinary sadhana.
Jai Mahakalyai Jai
About Aditi Devi Ma
Aditi Devi Ma 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 referred to as 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 Ma has taken to the wandering life again, bringing her offerings to yoga retreats, teacher training courses, festivals, godowns, and wherever devotees gather. She recently returned from pilgrimage in India where she followed the trail of fierce desire, visiting several remote Yogini Temples.