Kundalini Splendor

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Flash Mob does Beethoven 

This is a totally delightful video of what happens in a Spanish town when musicians "flash mob" the plaza with a wonderful rendition of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy".  When the world is so full of sorrow, it is encouraging to see such spirit coming forth in spite of all.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Hafiz--versions from Daniel Ladinsky 


Real love
I always keep a secret.

All my words
Are sung outside Her window,

For when She lets me in
I take a thousand oaths of silence.

Then She says,

O, then God says,

"What the hell, Hafiz,
Why not give the whole world


Great religions are the

Poets the life

Every sane person I know has jumped

That's good for business
Isn't it



I am
A hole in a flute
That Christ's breath moves through -
Listen to this

So much from God
That I can no longer

A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
a Buddhist, a Jew.

The Truth has shared so much of Itself
With me

That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even a pure

Love has
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed

Of every concept and image
my mind has ever known.

From: 'The Gift'
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

(Hafiz was a Persian mystical poet who lived from 1325 –1389.  His name indicates that he had memorized the whole of the Koran.)

(picture found on internet)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Masculine vs. Feminine Approaches 

Recently I received a letter from a man who had read my account of my awakening experience ("Unmasking the Rose"), and felt I was "New Age."  I was quite surprised at this response, since my experience (like that of many others these days) was based (loosely) on ancient techniques and approaches, many of which are --to my mind--not "new" at all but rather rediscoveries of age old knowledge.  Indeed, it is correct that mine was an extremely self-directed experience.  I definitely followed the traditional path of the mystic, one who responds to her own "inner knowing" rather than a formulaic or previously prescribed method.

He himself is more comfortable with a tried and true procedure handed down through time--such as chi gong or t'ai chi--in which the student is carefully instructed in the proper way of "doing" the practice--how to stand, how to move, how to follow the model of the teacher.

He also felt that he was following "Eastern" rather than what he called "New Age" approaches."

The fact is that my journey has relied heavily on certain ancient Eastern sources--such as the "Shiva Sutras," "The Serpent Power" (Arthur Avalon), and the Upanishads, as well as the writings of Gopi Krishna, whose books are classics in the field of Kundalini.  However, no one of these has been my exclusive teacher.  Always eclectic in my approach, I have sought those passages that most resonate with my own experience.

I think indeed there is a dichotomy here, but I would phrase it differently.  Males are generally thought to be less in touch with their bodies, their inner feelings.  They are more comfortable with rigid disciplines, such as the martial arts and such.  They often repress any sense of the inner energies (blissful sensations), preferring to focus on the outer forms.  They sometimes speak of the need for a "container" (a guide). There are of course, many exceptions to this observation.

Likewise, females are thought to be more in touch with their bodies and feelings, whether of emotions or the movement of the inner energies.  Thus they are often more at ease with a more open, spontaneous system, the traditional path of the mystic of all traditions from early times.  They are comfortable with such sensations as bliss and ecstasy (see Bernina's great statue of Saint Teresa in rapture) and more easily acknowledge pain.  They are apt to follow Buddha's injunction to "be a light unto yourself" rather than relying on outside "authority" figures.  They are often the innovators of social change, rather than followers of traditional patterns of behavior (consider the impact of the women's movement in recent decades.)  Indeed, a major thrust of the women's movement has been to free women from the dominance of males in positions of power, whether in the home or in institutions of one sort or another.

Thus the one approach may be called the "masculine" and the other "feminine."  Fortunately, many today are recognizing the need to incorporate aspects of each into their own natures.

I recall the story of a man who lived in an ashram, followed all the prescribed procedures, did all the disciplines, and never (to his regret) felt the bliss. On the other hand, I recall a time when I was in a chi gong class, and was being corrected by the teacher on my movements (not exactly as they were supposed to be)--yet I felt flowing bliss with each posture.  When I mentioned this bliss to the teacher, she rejected the notion, since no such response was described in the ancient texts.

For me, bliss itself is the aim and end of the journey (assuming it rests on a solid foundation of morality, maturity, and intellect).  In fact, I wonder if the movements of all the bodily disciplines, such as hatha yoga, t'ai chi, chi gong and the like were not discovered by  persons who felt the sweet energies flow when certain moves were made, and from these devised a pattern for others to follow). But for many today, it is the technique rather than the inner response that is paramount. One is the way of the warrior who seeks control and strength above all, and the other the path of the mystic--whose rapture is itself the reward of the practice and a token of divine connection, as well as an affirmation of a core identity--"who I truly am."

One of the fundamental notions of many Eastern philosophies is that of

"Satcitānanda, Satchidānanda, or Sat-cit-ānanda (Sanskrit: सच्चिदानन्द) {which is interpreted as} "being, consciousness, bliss" ... a description of the subjective experience of Brahman... This sublimely blissful experience of the boundless, pure consciousness is a glimpse of ultimate reality."

Thus divine consciousness itself is seen as "bliss".  To be fully alive is to be in alignment with this very cosmic consciousness and to partake of bliss--then one is not focused on the right or wrong of the practice, but the delight of union with that which is larger than self.  In my view, to reject bliss is to reject God (ultimate reality).  And, of course, Kundalini itself is a principal path to enter this state.

And I think that all will enter this state of unconditional divine love at death, the state that so many describe who have undergone the near death experience.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Parvati, Goddess of the Sacred Marriage 


Parvati: Goddess of the Sacred Marriage (from Integral Life)
Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber
Audio, 9 minutes

"As you court intimacy with the divine feminine, you'll also notice that she can be met at any level. Depending on your intention, she might manifest as a felt sense of energy, as a nonphysical presence you see in visions or feel around you, as inner guidance, or as a doorway into the Absolute. She takes on different forms, leading you into subtler and subtler states, then shows you how to bring out those subtle qualities into your life. Invoking Durga, you invoke your own hidden qualities of protective strength, the fierceness of the feminine activist who can run a family or a business or summon the tribe to collective action. Invoking Lakshmi, you summon the shimmering quality of feminine beauty and the energy of abundance and wealth.

Parvati's energy is a mixture of these two feminine poles. Related to Durga and Kali, Parvati is one of the strong goddesses. She's also a goddess of love, with a seductive radiance directed at her beloved, yet at the same time focused inward, on her own essence. She's a mother. She's a yogini, a seeker of truth who inquires deeply into the nature of reality. She's powerful and she's tender, she's willful and she's playful—both at the same time. Moreover, Parvati is a goddess of relatedness. When you tune in to Parvati, you tune in to your own longing for sacred partnership. Parvati incarnates the feminine side of a form of marriage that many modern romantics crave: the union between the fully realized feminine and the fully realized masculine, the dance of intimacy where two powerful beings become one without sacrificing their individuality."

From Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton

In this 13-part Goddess Returns series, acclaimed teachers Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber discuss one of the most powerful ways we can reconnect with a crucial aspect of feminine wisdom that has largely been lost in today's world: by invoking and internalizing the energetic qualities of eleven different Hindu goddesses.

As a way to honor the sacred feminine, Integral Life will be publishing discussions of each of these goddesses over the next couple weeks, with a different "Goddess of the Day" featured every few days. Click through to hear today's feature, Parvati: Goddess of the Sacred Marriage.


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Larry Robinson--"Rise and Fall"--poem 

Rise and Fall

Let go of fear
and rest in that which is.
For peace, like love,
comes to those who allow it.

Let go of fear
and rest in stillness.
Watch the breath rise...
and fall.

Watch the tide rise...
and fall.
Watch towers rise...
and fall.

Watch walls rise...
and fall.
Watch statues rise...
and fall.

Watch empires rise...
and fall.
Watch the breath rise...
and fall.

Let go of fear
and rest in the arms
of the One
who has always held you,
the One who holds
atoms and empires
and oceans and stars.

Let go of fear
and watch what happens next.

- Larry Robinson
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Sally Kempton, Stephan Dinan and Kundalini 

The following brief description of Kundalini is one of the best concise summaries I have found (from the words of Stephan Dinan of the Shift Network).  Stephan is describing here the focus of the upcoming workshop on the Goddess Energy that Sally Kempton is presenting.  (I have posted information about this workshop earlier.)
This workshop sounds most exciting: indeed it is one of the few that offers aids to help you awaken these sacred energies within your own bodies through meditation, guided visualizations, and chanting.

Here is Stephan's description:

The tantric tradition teaches that the true force that evolves consciousness is Kundalini Shakti, the inner life-force energy. In this experiential audio, Sally invites you to meet the Goddess in her form as your own inner current of this energy. When activated, this subtle life-force energy helps to refine our bodies and minds, and brings the goddess alive in us as a palpable experience of inner power and love. In this meditation, we tune into the Goddess through breath and body sensing, then draw the current of inner energy through the chakras to the crown.

In fact, I'm delighted to share with you a clip from a very moving and transformative audio in which Sally guides you in chanting sacred mantras for evoking the primordial power of Shakti (or goddess energy).

The most literal translation of the word mantra is "to liberate one's mind." In this recording, Sally guides you in chanting various "seed" or Bija mantras, single-syllable sounds that have multiple meanings depending on the intentions of those who chant them.

This is a beautiful and powerful practice, and I hope that you will enjoy it and can feel the sacred presences of the goddesses that Sally is guiding you to evoke:

Listen to 8-Minute Audio >> An Invocation of the Primordial Shakti of the Goddesses
Note:  Go to Shift Network to hear audio)
In addition, here is a recording of her recent Q & A session:

You can listen to Sally's recent Q&A session here:

1-hour Q&A Recording with Sally Kempton

And, to register for or find out more about her new training, visit: The Wisdom Goddess Empowerment: Opening Transpersonal Gateways for Expanding Your Capacity for Desire, Insight and Action.

And more from Stephan:

In fact, I'm delighted to share with you a clip from a very moving and transformative audio in which Sally guides you in chanting sacred mantras for evoking the primordial power of Shakti (or goddess energy).

The most literal translation of the word mantra is "to liberate one's mind." In this recording, Sally guides you in chanting various "seed" or Bija mantras, single-syllable sounds that have multiple meanings depending on the intentions of those who chant them.

This is a beautiful and powerful practice, and I hope that you will enjoy it and can feel the sacred presences of the goddesses that Sally is guiding you to evoke:

Listen to 8-Minute Audio >> An Invocation of the Primordial Shakti of the Goddesses
(again, go to Shift Network for this)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

An Unexpected Synchronicity 

I wrote last about Matt Fox's fascinating presentation here in Boulder.  It so happened that several of his former students from his school (University of Creation Spirituality) were present, some living nearby, others coming from long distances to hear Matt speak.

When Andrew Harvey used to teach at UCS (then in Oakland) he often invited me to come and read poetry to his classes.  Imagine my surprise when two women at Matt's talk remembered me from those days, about 10-15 years ago.  We were all delighted to see one another again--they are both very interested in Kundalini and wanted especially to speak with me on this topic.  They told me that just the night before, they had been looking again at "Unmasking the Rose," my memoir of my own awakening, and thus were doubly surprised when I showed up at the presentation.

I also found it interesting that one of the other women at our small group lunch table knew nothing of Kundalini, but then recognized it as the same as what she called "divine energy."  I assured her that they were one and the same.

(picture by Suchin Rai)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Matt Fox, visionary  

On Saturday, I attended a presentation by Matt Fox, the former Catholic priest who got expelled from the Church for heresy.  Among his heretical views was the shocking notion that instead of our being born into original sin, we were in fact born in Original Blessing.  He also espoused the notion that all of creation was sacred, and developed the idea of "Creation Spirituality" as well as the notion of the "Cosmic Christ."

That morning he offered a very interesting and informative talk on the Beguines of medieval Europe.  The Beguines were groups of women who chose to live together in small groups, independent of Church authority and for the most part unencumbered by marriage ties.  Beginning in the end of the twelfth century, they flourished for some two centuries until the Church (outraged that women were living without the supervision of males) disbanded them.  It is estimated that some 1,000,000 women participated in this movement overall.

One of the Beguines, named Marguerite Porete, advocated the freedom and rights of these independent women, and she was burned at the stake for her views.

Matt proposed that Marguerite Porete authored a book which was known to the great mystic Meister Eckhart.  Many of her views were reflected in his writings.

He too was accused of heresy and the Pope ruled against him, but by then Eckhart had died.

Matt Fox, also accused of heresy, became an Episcopal priest and now offers lectures, workshops, and writings presenting his "heretical" views.  His emphasis is on love, rather than judgment, and he advocates the incorporation of the body into one's spiritual life.  When he headed the University of Creation Spirituality (which he founded), he included "body prayer" (dancing and movement) into the rituals of the school. He is an avowed feminist and mentioned beloved Adrienne Rich as an example of a woman who publicly revealed her own lesbianism well before such sexual preferences were accepted (to some extent) by society.

He has written many books--the most recent is a work on Meister Eckart: A Mystic Warrior for Our Times.  In this volume, Matt describes imaginary meetings between Meister Eckhart and various leaders of our time, from Adrienne Rich to Carl Jung.

We all owe Matt gratitude for his fortitude and courage and his willingness to keep offering his perspective to the world at large.  Indeed he has been a "mystic warrior" all of his life.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Goddess Kali--from Integral Life (Ken Wilber and Sally Kempton) 


Kali: Goddess of Revolution
Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber
Audio, 14 minutes

"In Indian mythology, Kali first appears as a frenzied, battle-maddened demon slayer, who comes into the world at moments when dark forces—demons—threaten civilization and especially the feminine. In the core myth of Kali's emergence, she appears out of Durga's third eye at one of the key moments in the Devi Mahatmya, when the Devi is threatened by two demons called Chanda and Munda. Durga's face darkens, and Kali emerges with a roar, her sword swinging, cutting down demons and crunching them in her teeth. At last, she slashes off the heads of Chanda and Munda, and presents them to Durga. Later in the battle, Kali confronts the demon chief Raktabija. Raktabija has a magical power: when drops of his blood spill, they turn into warriors. Kali, with her long tongue, licks up his blood before it can touch the ground.

"Many images of Kali show her with a long tongue, caught in the act of licking the blood of warriors. In these images, she often appears as a hag, emaciated, ugly, with fangs, and with blood dripping from her tongue. But as human consciousness evolved over the centuries, so, it seems, did the image of Kali. Her body became beautiful, as it is in most modern representations. Instead of seeing her as an almost demonic presence, devotees meditating on Kali began to find esoteric resonance in her gestures and implements. Raktabija's blood became a symbol of the uncontrollable desires that agitate our minds, and Kali's tongue became the power of yogic will to eat up desires and thoughts so that the luminosity of our essential awareness can reveal itself."

From "Awakening Shakti" by Sally Kempton

In this 13-part Goddess Returns series, acclaimed teachers Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber discuss one of the most powerful ways we can reconnect with a crucial aspect of feminine wisdom that has largely been lost in today's world: by invoking and internalizing the energetic qualities of eleven different Hindu goddesses.

In honor of the sacred feminine, Integral Life will be publishing discussions of each of these goddesses over the next couple weeks, with a different "Goddess of the Day" featured every few days. Stay tuned for our next installment, Parvati: Goddess of the Sacred Marriage.


(Image from Integral Life)

Monday, August 18, 2014

How Sally Kempton awakened to the Goddess 

As I have noted before, I do not worship any specific goddess, but for many years before actual Kundalini awakened, I felt closely in touch with the Western Great Goddess.  And today, I look on Kundalini as the "goddess of goddesses," but without name or form.
Here is Sally Kempton's fascinating account of her awakening in India during a sacred festival.  I am especially impressed with her description of how the  goddess arrived as a "pulsing current of ecstasy and power that arose in my body and seemed to swirl from the air itself."  Thus she entered the arms of the Goddess herself, and knew that Spirit was not merely a concept but a sensuous feeling of rapture within the cells themselves, as  She enters the body.
Once again, I recommend her upcoming internet course, where she will offer ways of connecting with the Goddess in your own body.  Details of a free preliminary session are included at the end of this description.

(from Sally Kempton):

"For me, the key to discovering my own inner feminine wisdom came from discovering the Goddess –– a very unexpected source for me at the time. And, I was specifically drawn to the goddesses of the Hindu pantheon — a circle of profoundly ecstatic, sensual and endlessly potent deities whose help and love is available to anyone who knows how to evoke and celebrate them.
I can’t tell you what a surprise this was for me. And, I want you to know that it took me years to realize how utterly present the goddesses are.

As a young journalist in New York, as a spiritual practitioner and later a teacher, I put enormous effort into looking for ways to awaken spiritually, to grow creatively, and to find the balance between professional success and personal love.

But, like many rational Westerners, I thought of deity practice as a relic of mythology and traditional religion. For me, the spiritual path was all about finding Spirit as my inner Self, and anything that suggested dependence on a personal deity seemed at best suspicious –– and at worst superstitious.

Then, one evening in India, during a festival, I met the Goddess. Not in a vision or through a picture, but as a pulsing current of ecstasy and power that arose in my body and seemed to swirl from the air itself.

Over the next few years, I would feel her presence as a current of ecstasy, a shimmer of heightened awareness that often seemed to hover in the air around me, especially in the natural world. I came to realize that the Goddess comes in many forms and in many emotional flavors.

As Durga, she gives us courage to fight battles that we’d never have been able to face. As Saraswati, she literally brings the inspiration to write and teach and answer our own deepest questions. As Lakshmi, she smooths our path by showing us how to create abundance and beauty in our own minds and then in our lives. As Kali, she breaks through our illusions, and awakens us to every form of truth.

There are good reasons why goddess practices have been the secret of so many esoteric paths. The Goddess is the power that manifests through the so-called Law of Attraction. She’s the guide through the thickets of the spiritual journey. Above all, she is the power that awakens us –– inwardly and outwardly –– to our highest possibilities as human beings.

We need the Goddess now. We need to see her in our own bodies, and to discover her in our lives. And the good news is that she is more present for us now, I believe, than ever before.

In one of the great myths of the Goddess Durga, she says, “When times are difficult, when the need is great, call me and I’ll be there.”

That’s what we’ll be doing in my Wisdom of Goddess Empowerment course: calling on the goddesses, learning to recognize their presences, and above all, actualizing their power, love and beauty in our own lives.

And remember, you can find out more about my training and the sacred and potent powers of goddess practices when you tune in on Thursday, August 21, at 5:00pm Pacific, for the FREE Q&A session with me.

Call-in details for Q&A:
Connect to the webcast at http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventid=58437570
Or dial +1-425-440-5100 (click here to find your local number) and enter the PIN 498523#
I look forward to meeting you on the call!

In love,


(image of Durga from internet)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sally Kempton--Free replay of teleseminar 

(Please note that at the bottom of this announcement is instruction as to how to register for this teleseminar)

Sally's Free Teleseminar Kissed by the Goddess of Bliss

August 15, 2014

Dear Ones,

The Kiss of the Goddess of Bliss is the inner touch of the sacred feminine--arising as a subtle inner Eros, a delicate touch in the heart. The goddess of bliss is also known as Lalita. Lalita's name means "Playful One". Someone who listened to our call on Wednesday described her as 'soft power.' That's a great way to understand the subtle power of this aspect of the sacred feminine.

Lalita's is the face of sacred Eros--the inherent deliciousness at the heart of embodied life as well. She also represents the highest levels of spiritual awakening. So, Lalita's kiss is the inner embrace of Spirit itself. Tuning into Lalita is a powerful way of accessing a genuinely embodied experience of sacred energy--and the deep sweetness of being alive. Lalita's inner touch awakens us to what it means to be Spirit in a body--not as a beautiful idea, but as actual experience.

Several thousand people were able to tune into Wednesday's Kissed by the Goddess of Bliss class. As the hour began, Stephen Dinan of the Shift Network asked brilliant questions about how the recognizing the Goddess can impact our spiritual and worldly life! In the main part of the class, I spoke about how to recognize this aspect of the sacred feminine. I introduced three core practices for invoking and experiencing Goddess energy in and around us. And we practiced them!

If you missed the call, and are wondering how to hear it, the class will be replayed tomorrow--Saturday, August 16th, at 10 AM Pacific Time, 1 PM eastern. For those of you in Europe, that's 7 or 8 PM, which I know is a much easier time to hear the call. After the call, you'll get an email that gives you the link for downloading the class.

If you're already registered, you should be getting an email with the call-in or web numbers. (Check your spam folder if you didn't receive it). And if you haven't registered, here's the link:

So much love to you all,

Anthem--Song by Leonard Cohen 


The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.

- Leonard Cohen

At times it seems as though the world is collapsing all around us and reconstituting itself through spiritual renewal all at the same time.  Even as we delight in our inner rapture, it behooves us to acknowledge the challenges of our time.  Light and shadow are intermixed.  Our task is, I believe, to stand in the light while we acknowledge the shadow, and not succumb to debilitating despair.  Every transition to a higher state of consciousness involves chaos as well as joy--who knows what transformations humanity is undergoing?

(Picture found on internet)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sally Kempton, Goddess Lalita, Bliss--repeat of earlier presentation 

Here is Stephan Dinan's summary of Sally Kempton's talk on Lalita, the Goddess of Bliss, as it was delivered yesterday.  Lalita is a fascinating goddess, one we don't often hear a lot about.  Above all, she carries erotic energies leading to joy and pleasure.  Her name recalls the notion of Lila, the idea that the universe itself and all its manifestations are simply the "play of god."

At the end of Stephan's summary is information as to how to listen to a repeat of her interview, and I would encourage you to listen to it if you have not heard the original.
Although I myself follow a more "direct path" (devotion to the unseen, unnamed Beloved Within), I respect those who prefer the "way of the goddess" to achieve joy and union.  I believe that it is Kundalini that is the motivating force behind all goddess images--for many, Kudalini itself is the "goddess of goddesses"--without it these would not have the power and energy that they embody.

Here is Stephan's summary from the Shift Network:

Dear Dorothy Walters, 

I really enjoyed being on the call, Kissed by the Goddess of Bliss, with renowned spiritual teacher Sally Kempton last night. 

If you listened in, I'm certain that you were as impressed as I was by Sally's deep knowledge of the Divine Feminine as evoked through the energies of Hindu goddesses, not as myths or abstractions but actual subtle beings that can empower you. Her own story of transformation through advanced mystical practices -- connecting her with their hidden Shakti -- really helped to bring the goddesses alive for me. 

If you missed this powerful and revelatory call, no worries. There will be a special encore event this Saturday, August 16 at 10:00am Pacific, and I've included the call-in details at the end of this email for you. 

What I especially enjoy about Sally's teachings is that she weaves deep sacred scholarship on the attributes of the Hindu goddesses with a profound devotional background as a former monk. This makes for a potent and illuminating approach to evoking and embodying the powerful energies that these deities hold. 

Sally speaks with the words of a poet, as she paints an exquisite picture of the dazzling natures of these icons. And, all the while, she's also sober and clear about the groundedness, peace and heightened self-esteem they can help us discover and ignite within. 

At the core of Sally's teachings is the idea that these goddesses -- dating back millennia -- can open us to a different relationship with the Divine -- one that is more tender, embodied and infused with sacred presence. Our devotional relationship can open a very accelerated pathway to spiritual realization. 

During the call, Sally shares extensively about the Hindu goddess Lalita and her ability to help you find a higher expression and fulfillment of your primordial desires. In doing this, you open to the world and see it as it is (from a non-dual perspective), falling more deeply in love with your life and experiencing a subtle current of bliss. 

Sally also talks about her upcoming 7-week The Wisdom Goddess Empowerment course -- that starts August 26 -- in which she'll focus on a different Hindu goddess each session to help evoke in you an initiation of the distinct characteristics you need (or desire) to grow personally and spiritually. 

In this training, you'll:

Begin to experience deeper and subtler levels of reality around you
Discover hidden sources of spiritual power within your body and mind
Become initiated into the ancient tantric understandings of Hinduism through the lens of an accomplished teacher
Become skilled at invoking fierce goddess energies for both protection and liberation
Enhance your creativity and powers of manifestation
It is truly a gift that Sally is bringing her wisdom to us in this format and will be sharing the fruits of her own devotion and spiritual realizations, so that both men and women can find a balance of the masculine and feminine within -- at a time when our culture is ripe for it and in desperate need of this sacred marriage. 

Here are the call-in details for this Saturday's encore event at 10:00am Pacific: 
Connect to the webcast at http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventid=58436562 
Or dial (425) 440-5100 and enter the PIN 498523# 

I do hope you'll listen in to learn more about Sally's experiential approach to meeting the Divine Feminine energies at your core -- a journey that we can all benefit from as we take the next steps on our path of spiritual awakening. 

  In spirit, 
Stephen Dinan

(image found on internet)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kabir--Hiding in this Cage (poem) 

Hiding in this cage

hiding in this cage
of visible matter
is the invisible
pay attention
to her
she is singing
your song

Attributed to Kabir. Translated from the original Hindi by Sushil Rao

Picture found on internet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Strange Incident 

Many people notice that when they move into deep spiritual transformation, unusual things begin to happen in their lives, such as synchronicities, seemingly paranormal events, precognition and the like.  And often, when someone dies, it is as though a "spirit messenger" in the form of an animal or a bird appears as if to say hello.  One of my friends felt that her mother came to her as a butterfly.  Again and again we noticed that when the three of us went to walk outside this mountain cabin, a single butterfly would separate from the rest and flutter around the friend's head and body.  And once, when I went alone to visit the shrub where the butterflies gathered, one flew over to me and circled briefly in front of me, as if to say hello.

Some years ago, on the afternoon when our beloved dog Fred died (he was a mixed breed who was as big as a great Dane)  a hawk settled on one of the telephone poles behind the house. No hawk had ever appeared there before.  The hawk sat there, contemplating the landscape for some 40 minutes or so.  We both felt that Fred had come back for a final goodbye.  The change to a hawk seemed right for him, for he was indeed a noble creature, and often on our walks I could see him look thoughtfully at birds in flight, as if he longed to escape the limitations of his lowly vantage point and see from the heights.

After that, hawks often appeared to us in other contexts--for example, when we were driving through the park, a hawk might suddenly swerve across our windshield--as if to say hello.

Here is another such incident that occurred recently to  some "friends of a friend."

The story begins with a grandmother who had recently passed, her daughter, and her daughter's two young girls.  The grandmother had been especially fond of hummingbirds-- indeed she looked on them as very special in her life.  One day, shortly after she died, a hummingbird flew into the house where the little girls were playing.  It landed on the finger of one of them and the other one (who had her camera nearby) took a picture of this unusual event.  (I have seen this amazing picture).

The bird then flew upstairs to join the mother.  She was also surprised (it's not every day a hummingbird comes indoors to visit) and found a way to release it gently outside again.

My own theory is that when the spirit passes, it does not necessarily "become" the animal form that appears, but that it somehow borrows this manifestation temporarily in order to communicate once again with its human loved ones.

(picture found on internet)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Georgia Carr--Lovely CD 


I have just received a most beautiful CD from a singer/composer from Australia named Georgia Carr.  This recording consists of words from Rumi and other great Mystics set to her original music, some with dulcimer background and some with piano accompaniment.  These pieces are virtually unique, relying as they do on the poetry of many outstanding mystics and wisdom teachers.  Each is filled with the spirit of shakti and love, for love is the central message of the collection.

Georia is a Sufi and follows the Sufi path of music as a portal into the embrace of the divine.  They are totally heartfelt, so much so that her center (called Heartcare) pledges to contribute $10 from each purchase to support asylum seekers and refugees.  Thus if you purchase, you are supporting not only an impressive creative endeavor, but actively helping to make the world a better place.

Here is what Andrew Harvey has said about her work:

Georgia's spiritual practice of expressing her devotion to the One through her songs and music has been deepening steadily over many decades.  This collection of songs is a culmination of the profound transformation that Georgia has been through in her life, and she invites the listener to share in this alchemical process of transforming everything with love into Love.  It is a joy to hear how Georgia has embellished so many of my translations of Rumi and other great mystics with her glorious music and her sweet and pure voice.

This CD offers a rare opportunity to hear songs clearly originating from the heart and reflecting a life long devotion to the spiritual path.

To purchase this CD go to www.heartcentre.com.au/gardenofflames
You will not regret your choice.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Patricia is interviewed by BBC World Update 

I have just learned that Patricia Lay-Dorsey has received yet another high honor--this time it is a wonderful interview with BBC World Update.  Her fame and recognition grow ever wider--her book "Falling into Place" is now known across the world and is indeed now a classic.
What an amazing woman!  I am most honored to know her!


OnMonday, August 4,  2014, my radio interview with Dan Damon of BBC World Update wa broadcast globally! You can hear it on their website via podcast (last 5 minutes of the 8-4-14 show) or by listening to the clip here:


The day of the broadcast the producer emailed to say that Dan Damon had instructed them to create a 1-minute audio slideshow with 28 of my images and a portion of the recorded interview to post on their website. Pinch me, I must be dreaming!

No Going Back--poem by Wendell Berry 

No Going Back

No, no, there is no going back.
Less and less you are
that possibility you were.
More and more you have become
those lives and deaths
that have belonged to you.
You have become a sort of grave
containing much that was
and is no more in time, beloved
then, now, and always.
And so you have become a sort of tree
standing over a grave.
Now more than ever you can be
generous toward each day
that comes, young, to disappear
forever, and yet remain
unaging in the mind.
Every day you have less reason
not to give yourself away.

~ Wendell Berry ~

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Art as a Life Raft--George S.Clinton 

Recently I posted a reflection in which I asserted that art--though it can carry us into wondrous realms--cannot fully open the portals into the even more transcendent levels available in the Kundalini experience.  However, I did not mean to diminish the importance of art as a totally transformative and nourishing experience on this plane.  Furthermore, art is an experience available to many, and Kundalini awakening continues to be a relatively rare phenomenon.
The following essay is a compelling look at the essential role that art may play in our daily lives.

Art is a Life Raft
by George S. Clinton
from Awakin Weekly

Art is a life raft. Many who become artists did so because they found refuge in art from some traumatic aspect of their early lives. I know I did. For me, it was about finding a safe creative space from which I could weather the stormy emotional seas of having an alcoholic father. It actually was through that creative process that I became aware of the healing aspects of it and in the end was able to forgive him and even love him for the man he was trying to be outside the disease. This has been the case for me throughout my life.

I don’t remember her name, but a young blind pianist once said “music is what feelings sound like.” Another quote I recall is “music is the point where the spiritual and the emotional meet.” All art is a window into another point of view. When we experience art it is a communion between the artist and beholder. We get to see through their eyes, and hear through their ears. In fact, all we really have in life is our own particular and unique point of view. I wrote a small verse about it called “Blip.”

My blip is all I have
My fleeting point of view.
I am over in an instant and then
Blip—so are you.

Art has the power to connect us and that creates the potential for empathy which can lead to acceptance which can lead to love and even forgiveness. My creative life has given me solace, inspiration, release, insight, opportunity. I am continually transformed by it. In fact we all create our lives everyday. When you stop to think about it, our lives are just one big improvisation. Even in the routine of daily life we are improvising—our conversations, thoughts, actions, and even emotions are being “made up” as we go along. That’s not to say we can’t plan ahead, but even then we adapt to the moment once it comes. I guess in that regard, life is jazz—improvising through time and space while anticipating and reacting to the changes. We are all artists creating on a daily basis that art which is our lives.


Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Sally Kempton--Goddess of Bliss 

This presentation by Sally Kempton sounds quite fascinating.  However, in order to  register, you will need (I think) first to sign up for The Shift Network e-mails.  To do so, google their website and sign up and find the slot for registering for this talk.


 Receive our Shift Catalyst e-zine, program & event notices.

A Free Teleseminar Event
With Author and Spiritual Teacher
Sally Kempton
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
5:30pm Pacific / 8:30pm Eastern
(click here to find your local time)
Sign up to tune in or receive the recording
Do you want to experience the joy of opening to a sensuous relationship with life – one that goes beyond human sexuality – to embrace bliss without boundaries?

If so, you’re going to LOVE the work of respected scholar and spiritual teacher Sally Kempton. Her teachings are rooted in Hindu non-dual traditions, and her recent book, Awakening Shakti, serves as a rallying call for a new wave of feminine mysticism that builds upon ancient wisdom.

This path of sacred embodiment and juicy feminine mysticism understands the core truth of Oneness and celebrates the power and grace with which the Goddess expresses herself in ways that are quite different than the masculine face of God.

Where masculine spirit often arises as empty spaciousness, the feminine reveals the fullness of blissful presence within everything. Her gift is the arousal of the heart. Goddess practice is all about merging the inner and outer realms, aligning the freedom of pure awareness with the pulse of enlightened love and empowered action in service of the world.

During this special online event, Sally will draw upon the remarkable, and yet little-known, Hindu Goddess Lalita – to open the portals to a new understanding of what Goddess practice really is. She will show you the Goddess as the real power behind both inner awakening and the fulfillment of different levels and layers of both spiritual and worldly desire. You’ll learn how to open internal gateways to expand your capacity for subtle pleasure in all of what life presents – the innate sweetness that arises in the heart, regardless of what is happening in the external world. And you’ll discover how awareness of the Goddess is key to the true healing of our world.

Hindu religion has a long-established tradition of Goddess worship, not just for the masses, but also for the spiritually advanced who are ready for a profound, initiatory – and even sublime – relationship with very real higher “forces” of consciousness.

When approached sincerely as a part of your spiritual practice, Goddesses can be felt, experienced and received as a transmission of energy and consciousness from higher planes. And they are intrinsically empowering, giving you access to your innate gifts at whatever level you are able to actualize them.

Yes, this can sound confusing to the modern logical mind. Yet many of history’s greatest mystics have been Goddess worshippers who revere the Divine Feminine – not just as an abstract principle – but through a living relationship with specific Goddesses, each of whom carries unique blessings for humanity.

During this enlightening call, one of the most respected spiritual teachers of this work, Sally Kempton, will peel back the veils on her own direct initiations and experiences, particularly with the Hindu Goddess Lalita. While lesser known than some Goddesses, like Durga or Lakshmi, Lalita has a particularly powerful way of calling us into a blissful relationship with life. Sally will show you how to invoke Lalita’s energy in yourself through meditation and contemplation, then how to express it in the different acts of your life.

This relationship with Lalita, in turn, can help you to erase the divide between your high-minded “spiritual” pursuits and the delights and challenges of incarnate existence. In fact, they are “not-two,” and this integration of transcendence and immanence can open you to a path of liberation and bliss.

Western schools of Tantra have popularized some aspects of this lineage, but often missed the more subtle and advanced core – which does not depend on sexual partners – but rather a subtly erotic dance with our very life force.

Sally will light the way to a distinctly feminine path of empowerment in which Goddesses can come “off their pedestals” and into your heart and body as active catalysts for your awakening and your worldly service.

During this program, you’ll learn:

What it means to have an evolutionary relationship with a divine “other,” and how that relationship can open you to your human relationships
How different Goddess energies express themselves through you, and how to find the enlightened core of the Goddess
How Goddess energy transforms your relationship to your personal and transpersonal power
The difference between egoic desire and enlightened desire, and how to know when your desires are aligned with your highest truth
If you have secretly wondered whether all those beautiful Goddesses in the pantheon of world religions might be more than wishful thinking – and represent something not only real but profoundly relevant for our modern path (especially for women!) – this is the call event for you.


Receive our Shift Catalyst e-zine, program & event notices.
About Sally Kempton

Sally Kempton is known and loved for her ability to transmit meditative states and create transformative shifts in others. A former monk in an Indian order, she teaches internationally and was the author of the Yoga Journal column, Wisdom, for many years. Sally has a deeply mature understanding of the interface between deep spirituality and self-actualized living. She herself lives the path she teaches. Her books, Meditation for the Love of It and Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddess of Yoga, have become classics – and have revolutionized thousands of people’s experience of their inner life.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Art and Kundalini--And a poem by Paul Zimmer (Zimmer Imagines Heaven) 

Zimmer Imagines Heaven
                  For Merrill Leffler

I sit with Joseph Conrad in Monet’s garden.
We are listening to Yeats chant his poems,
A breeze stirs through Thomas Hardy’s moustache,
John Skelton has gone to the house for beer,
Wanda Landowska lightly fingers the clavichord,
Along the spruce tree walk Roberto Clemente and
Thurman Munson whistle a baseball back and forth.
Mozart chants with Ellington in the roses.

Monet smokes and dabs his canvas in the sun,
Brueghel and Turner set easels behind the wisteria.
The band is warming up in the Big Studio:
Bean, Brute, Bird, and Serge on saxes,
Kai, Bill Harris, Lawrence Brown, trombones,
Little Jazz, Clifford, Fats on trumpets,
Klook plays drums, Mingus bass, Bud the piano.
Later Madam Schumann-Heink will sing Schubert,
The monks of Benedictine Abbey will chant.
There will be more poems from Emily Dickinson,
James Wright, John Clare, Walt Whitman.
Shakespeare rehearses players for King Lear.

At dusk Alice Toklas brings out platters
Of Sweetbreads a la Napolitaine, Salad Livoniere,
And a tureen of Gaspacho of Malaga.
After the meal Brahms passes fine cigars.
God comes then radiant with a bottle of cognac,
She pours generously into the snifters,
I tell Her I have begun to learn what
Heaven is about.  She wants to hear.
It is, I say, being thankful for eternity.
Her smile is the best part of the day.

 Paul Zimmer

At first glance, this poem might seem to have little or nothing to do with Kundalini,
but I feel that this, like many other works of art, is intimately related to the transformation process.  All art--including poetry and other forms of literature, music, painting, dance and sculpture--can carry us close to the transcendent realms.  Lisel Muller, reflecting on a concert she has just attended, says that for two hours she was lifted into those regions "where the enchanted live."   Indeed, such experiences literally transport us, in effect "speak to our souls" by carrying us into a different state of consciousness, to a world beyond the mundane.

One who experiences such elevations gains delightful and fulfilling responses.  Often these are even visceral in nature.  No wonder art has been sought after and preserved through the ages.

For someone like the poet of the above poem, heaven itself would be existence in the constant presence of the famous poets, painters and musicians of past ages, as well as notables from the world of "popular" culture (jazz, baseball and such).
What the poet (and others like him) does not realize that there is, in fact, a realm beyond the world of art.  Art carries us to the doorway of the essential mystery, but it does not often break open our senses and awaken our ecstatic being the way Kundalini does.  Kundaliniis that which "lies beyond the veil," exposing the "next level" of response, and allowing us to experience in full--in somatic and mental delight-- that for which art has been a preparation or foretaste.  Now we become the sounding board, and--when all is in alignment-- respond to the "artist within" in ways previously unimaginable.  Art is still a comfort and a joy, but Kundalini takes us over to the next stage in our unfolding.

(picture from internet site)

Monday, August 04, 2014

Jan Elvee Painting and poem--"Falling in Love" 

Falling in Love

Falling in love is
an unexpected gift
that's already been opened
by the time you become aware of it.
No anticipation,
no announcement of coming events,
no unwrapping or untying
of the package is necessary.
Suddenly there it is inside of you,
and there you are inside of it,
once again, a fallen woman.

Jan  Elvee

This arresting painting by Jan Elvee is filled with mystic symbols, many directly related to Kundalini awakening--including snakes, chakras, and the energy envelope.  And, as she herself has noted earlier, this opening of the psyche often involves the state of "falling in love" with everything and every one you encounter, for the world becomes a very beautiful place where love flows freely.  We might call it "the honeymoon of the soul."

Friday, August 01, 2014

"Just Breath"--poem by Birrell Walsh 

Just Breath

In old age he used just breath
to put prayers upon,
no images, no word.
“Naught (he thought) is stronger -
unthought of and unheard,
the breath goes on,
(wryly) even into death
though mine no longer.”

Birrell Walsh

(image from internet)

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