Kundalini Splendor

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Non-Dual Christianity––Peter Fenner 

"Western Judeo-Christians are often uncomfortable with the word "nonduality." They often associate it (negatively) with Eastern religions. I am convinced, however, that Jesus was the first nondual religious teacher of the West, and one reason we have failed to understand so much of his teaching, much less follow it, is because we tried to understand it with a dualistic mind."
~ by Fr. Richard Rohr, in The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See

I think it is important to stress the fact that the saints and sages of India have no title-deed to the Truth over and above the devotees of other lands and religious traditions. Every religious tradition worth its salt recognizes the same eternal Truth; and all great religious teachers have taught according to their own intimate experience of God, their “mystical vision” -- whether it is called “samadhi,” “nirvana,” “fana,” or “union with God.”

Since there is but one ultimate Reality, which all share, each one who has experienced the Truth has experienced that same ultimate Reality. Naturally, therefore, their teachings about it, and about how one can experience It for oneself, are bound to be identical.

The languages and cultures of the various teachers who have lived throughout history are, no doubt, different from one another. Their personalities and life-styles are different. But their vision is one, and the path they teach to it is one. In the mystical experience, which transcends all religious traditions and cultures and languages, the Christian and the Vedantist alike come to the same realization: They realize the oneness of their own soul and God, the Soul of the universe. It is this very experience, which prompted Jesus, the originator of Christianity, to explain at various times to his disciples that he had known the great Unity in which he and the Father of the universe were one:

“If you knew who I am,” he said, "you would also know the Father. Knowing me, you know Him; seeing me, you see Him. Do you not understand that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? It is the Father who dwells in me doing His own work. Understand me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me." 1

This is the truth that Vedanta speaks of as “Non-Dualism.” The term, “Unity,” is, of course, the same in meaning; but it seems that the declaration, “not-two” is more powerfully emphatic than a mere assertion of oneness. Indeed, the word, “Unity” is often used by religionists who apply it to God, but who have not even considered the thought that they themselves are logically included in an absolute Unity.

Non-Dualism, the philosophy of absolute Unity, is the central teaching, not only of Vedanta, but of all genuine seers of Truth. This position is embodied in the Vedantic assertion, tat twam asi, “That thou art.”

Once we begin to look at the teachings of Jesus in the light of his “mystical” experience of Unity, we begin to have a much clearer perspective on all the aspects of the life and teaching of the man. His teachings, like those of the various Vedantic sages who’ve taught throughout the ages, is that the soul of man is none other than the one Divinity, none other than God; and that this Divine Identity can be experienced and known through the revelation that occurs inwardly, by the grace of God, to those who prepare and purify their minds and hearts to receive it.

The words of Jesus are so well known to us from our childhood that, perhaps, they have lost their meaning through our over-familiarity with them. He attempted to explain to us, with the words, “I and the Father are one,” that the “I,” our own inner awareness of self, is none other than the one Self, the one Awareness, the Lord and Father of us all.

Why, then, are we so unable to see it? Why should it be so hard for us to attain to that purity of heart, which Jesus declared so essential to Its vision? Probably because we have not really tried -- not the way Jesus did, going off into the wilderness, jeopardizing everything else in his life for this one aim, focusing completely and entirely on attaining the vision of God. Not the way the Buddha did. Not the way all those who have experienced God have done.

Perhaps we’re not ready for such a concentrated effort just yet. Perhaps we have other desires yet to dispense with before we will be free enough to seek so high a goal. For us, perhaps, there is yet much to be done to soften the heart, so that we are pure enough to hear the call of Divine Grace. It is to such as us, for whom much yet needs to be accomplished toward the attainment of a “pure heart,” that Jesus spoke.

All of what Jesus taught to his disciples was by way of explaining to them that his real nature, and that of all men, is Divine; and that the reality of this could be realized directly. Furthermore, he taught them the path, or method, to follow in order to attain this direct realization. Let us look to his own words to corroborate this: In the Gospel book of John, he laments to God, “O righteous Father, the world has not known Thee, but I have known Thee.” 2

And, as he sat among the orthodox religionists in the Jewish temple, he said, “You say that He is your God, yet you have not known Him. But I have known Him.” 3 Jesus had “known” God directly during a time of deep prayer, following his initiation by his “satguru,” probably during his time in the wilderness; and that experience had separated him and effectively isolated him from his brothers, because he alone among his contemporaries seemed to possess this rare knowledge of the truth of all existence.

This is the difficult plight of all those who have been graced with “the vision of God.” It is the greatest of gifts, it is the greatest of all possible visions; and yet, because the knowledge so received is completely contrary to what all men believe regarding God and the soul, it is a terribly alienating knowledge, which brings upon its possessor the scorn and derision of all mankind.

History is replete with examples of others who, having attained this saving knowledge, found the world unwilling to accept it, and ready to defend its ignorance aggressively. This circumstance is little changed today.

Because the “vision” of God is so difficult to convey to those who had not experienced it, Jesus spoke often by way of analogy or metaphor in order to make his meaning clear. He spoke of the experience of seeing God as entering into a realm beyond this world, a realm where only God is. In his own Aramaic language, he called this realm malkutha. In the Greek translation, it is basileia. In English, it is usually rendered as the kingdom of God.

His disciples asked him, “When will the kingdom come?” Jesus said, “It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying ‘Here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ Rather, the kingdom of the Father is [already] spread out upon the earth, and [yet] men do not see it." 4

"... Indeed, what you look forward to has already come, but you do not recognize it." 5

The Pharisees asked him, “When will the kingdom of God come?” He said, “You cannot tell by signs [i.e., by observations] when the kingdom of God will come. There will be no saying, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There it is!' For, in fact, the kingdom of God is [experienced] within you.” 6

Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will have preceded you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you [as well]. When you come to know your Self, then you [i.e., your true nature] will be known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know your Self, you live in poverty [i.e., you live in the illusion that you are a pitiful creature far from God].” 7

Another of Jesus’ metaphors utilized the terms, “Light” and “darkness” to represent the Divinity and the inherent delusion of humankind, respectively:

Jesus said, “The world’s images are manifest to man, but the Light in them remains concealed; within the image is the Light of the Father. He becomes manifest as the images, but, as the Light, He is concealed.” 8

He said to them, “There is a Light within a man of Light, and It lights up the whole world. If it does not shine, he is in darkness.” 9

These are terms, which have been used since time immemorial to represent the Divine Consciousness in humankind and the hazy ignorance, which obscures It. In the very first paragraph of the Gospel of John, we find an excellent explanation of these two principles, and their Greek synonyms, Theos and Logos;

"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. He [or It] was with God in the beginning. All things were made by Him; without Him nothing was made. Within Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of man. And the Light shone in the darkness, but the darkness comprehended It not." 10

A word of explanation is necessary: These two terms, "Light" and "darkness," are also indicative of the cosmic aspects of Reality; in other words, they are not only the Divine Consciousness in humankind and the darkness of unknowing, but they are, at a higher level, the very Godhead and Its Power of manifestation.

They are those same two principles we have so often run into, called “Brahman" and "Maya,” “Purusha" and "Prakrti,” “Shiva" and "Shakti.” It is the Godhead in us, which provides the Light in us; it is the manifestory principle, which, in the process of creating an individual soul-mind-body, provides us with all the obscuration necessary to keep us in the dark as to our infinite and eternal Identity.

Jesus said, “If they ask you, ‘Where did you come from?’ say to them, ‘We came from the Light, the place where the Light came into being of Its own accord and established Itself and became manifest through our image.’ If they ask you, ‘Are you It?’ say, ‘We are Its children, and we are the elect of the living Father.’ If they ask you, ‘What is the sign of your Father in you?’ say to them, ‘It is movement and repose.’” 11

Jesus said, “I am the Light; I am above all that is manifest. Everything came forth from me, and everything returns to me. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone, and you will find me there.” 12

Here, Jesus identifies with the Eternal Light; but he seems never to have intended to imply that he was uniquely and exclusively identical with It; it should be clear that his intention was always to convey the truth that all men are, in essence, the transcendent Consciousness, manifest in form:

"Ye are the Light of the world. Let your Light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." 13

Frequently he declared to his followers that they too would come to the same realization that he had experienced:

“I tell you this,” he said to them; “there are some of those standing here who will not taste death before they have seen the kingdom of God already come in full power.” 14

“The heavens and the earth will be rolled up in your presence. And the one who lives from the living ONE will not see death. Have I not said: ‘whoever finds his Self is superior to the world?’” 15

“Take heed of the living ONE while you are alive, lest you die and seek to see Him and be unable to do so.” 16

“That which you have will save you if you bring It forth from yourselves. That which you do not have within you will destroy you.” 17

“That which you have” is, of course, the Truth, the Light, the Divinity who manifests as you. “That which you do not have” refers to the false identity of separate individuality, which is simply a lie. It is the wrong understanding of who you are that limits you, and which prevents you from experiencing the Eternal.

The teaching, common to all true “mystics” who have realized the Highest, is “You are the Light of the world!" You are That! Identify with the Light, the Truth, for That is who you really are!” And yet Jesus did not wish that this should remain a mere matter of faith with his disciples; he wished them to realize this truth for themselves.

And he taught them the method by which he had come to know God. Like all great seers, he knew both the means and the end, he knew both the One and the many. Thus we hear in the message of Jesus an apparent ambiguity, which is necessitated by the paradoxical nature of the Reality.

In the One, the two -- soul and God -- play their love-game of devotion. At one moment, the soul speaks of God, its “Father”; at another moment, it is identified with God, and speaks of “I.” Likewise, in the words of Jesus to his disciples, we see this same complementarity: At one moment, he speaks of dualistic devotion in the form of prayer (“Our Father, who art in heaven”); and at another moment he asserts his oneness, his identity, with God (“Lift the stone and I am there . . .”).

But he cautioned his disciples against offending others with this attitude (“If they ask you, ‘Are you It?’ say, ‘We are Its children ...’”).

At times, identifying with the One, he asserts that he has the power to grant the experience of Unity (“I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind”). 18 And at other times, identifying with the human soul, he gives all credit to God, the Father (“Why do you call me good? There is no one good but the ONE, that is God.”). 19

There is an interesting story that appears in both Matthew and Luke which illustrates the knowledge, from the standpoint of the individual soul, that the realization of God comes, not by any deed of one’s own, but solely by the grace of God:

Jesus had just commented upon how difficult it would be for a young man, otherwise spiritually inclined, who was attached to his worldly wealth and occupations, to realize God; and his disciples, who were gathered around, were somewhat disturbed by this, and asked,“Then, who can attain salvation?” And Jesus answered, “For man it is impossible; but for God it is possible.”

And Peter, understanding that Jesus is denying that any man, by his own efforts, can bring about that experience, but only God, by His grace, gives this enlightenment, objected: “But we here have left our belongings to become your followers!” And Jesus, wishing to assure them that any effort toward God-realization will bear its fruits in this life and in lives to come, said to them: “I tell you this; there is no one who has given up home, or wife, brothers, parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not be repaid many times over in this time, and in the time to come [will] know eternal Life.” 20

He could guarantee to no one that knowledge of God; that was in the hands of God. But Jesus knew that whatever efforts one makes toward God must bear their fruits in this life, and in the lives to come.

And so, throughout the teachings of Jesus, one finds these two, apparently contradictory, attitudes intermingled: the attitude of the jnani(“I am the Light; I am above all that is manifest”); and the attitude of the bhakta (“Father, father, why hast Thou forsaken me?”). They are the two voices of the illumined man, for he is both, the transcendent Unity and the imaged soul; he has “seen” this unity in the “mystical experience.”

Jesus had experienced the ultimate Truth; he had clearly seen and known It beyond any doubt; and he knew that the consciousness that lived as him was the one Consciousness of all. He knew that he was the living Awareness from which this entire universe is born. This was the certain, indubitable, truth; and yet Jesus found but few who could even comprehend it. For the most part, those to whom he spoke were well-meaning religionists who were incapable of accepting the profound meaning of his words.

The religious orthodoxy of his time, like all such orthodoxies, fostered a self-serving lip-service to spiritual ideals, and observed all sorts of symbolic rituals, but was entirely ignorant of the fact that the ultimate reality could be directly known by a pure and devout soul, and that this was the real purpose of all religious practice.

Jesus realized, of course, that despite the overwhelming influence of the orthodox religionists, still, in his own Judaic tradition, there had been other seers of God, who had known and taught this truth. “I come,” said Jesus, “not to destroy the law [of the Prophets], but to fulfill it.” 21

He knew also that any person who announced the fact that they had seen and known God would be persecuted and belittled, and regarded as an infidel and a liar. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus is reported to have said, “He who knows the Father (the transcendent Absolute) and the Mother (the creative Principle -- the Christ) will be called a son-of-a-bitch!” 22

It seems he was making a pun on the fact that one who does not know his father and mother is usually referred to in this fashion; but, in his case, he had known the Father of the universe, and knew the Power (of Mother Nature) behind the entire creation, and still he was called this derisive name.

It is the common experience of all the great seers, from Lao Tze to Socrates and Heraclitus, from Plotinus and al-Hallaj to Meister Eckhart and St. John of the Cross. All were cruelly tortured and persecuted for their goodness and wisdom. Jesus too found the world of humankind wanting in understanding; he said:

"I took my place in the midst of the world, and I went among the people. I found all of them intoxicated [with pride and ignorance]; I found none of them thirsty [for Truth]. And my soul became sorrowful for the sons of men, because they are blind in their hearts and do not have vision. Empty they came into the world, and empty they wish to leave the world. But, for the moment, they are intoxicated; when they shake off their wine, then they will repent." 23

(found under name of Peter on internet)


1. John, Gospel Of, 13:40. back
2. Ibid., 17:25. back
3. Ibid., 8:54. back
4. Thomas, Gospel Of, 114; Robinson (trans. by Thomas O. Lambdin), pp. 138. back
5. Ibid.,51, p. 132. back
6. Luke, Gospel Of, 17:20. back
7. Thomas, Gospel Of,3; Robinson, 1977, p. 126. back
8. Ibid., 83, p. 135. back
9. Ibid., 24, p. 129. back
10. John, Gospel Of, 1:1. back
11. Thomas, Gospel Of, 50, p. 132. back
12. Ibid., 77, p. 135. back
13. Matthew, Gospel Of, 5:14-16. back
14. Mark, Gospel Of, 9:1. back
15. Thomas Gospel Of, 111; Robinson, 1977, p. 138. back
16. Ibid., 59, p. 132. back
17. Ibid., 70, p. 134. back
18. Ibid., 17, p. 128. back
19. Luke, Gospel Of, 18:18. back
20. Ibid., 18:18-30; Matthew, Gospel Of, 19:16. back
21. Matthew, Gospel Of, 5:17. back
22. Thomas, Gospel Of, 105, p. 137. back
23. Ibid., 28, p. 130. back

Download Andrew Harvey and Terry Patton from January 25 

To hear this discussion replayed, do as follows:

Go first to Beyond Enlightenment at


Audio Recordings of
Previous Dialogues

Then follow instructions.  At present, this dialogue is listed first, so listening should be quite easy.

This dialogue is the one entitled "The Ways of Passion and Illumination."  The first describes the "way of passion" such as Rumi and other great mystics (including St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross) followed, as well as many of us today if we have undergone Kundalini transformation.  The second is the quieter, more sober, and slower path offered by such meditation practices as Centering Prayer, various Contemplative Practices, Vipasanna and traditional "meditation techniques."  These quiet the mind, lead us into a soft tranquility, and escort us along a gentler path.  It is often argued that one or the other is the preferred approach.

This dialogue offers a rare opportunity to hear two brilliant and highly evolved spiritual teachers discuss topics of key importance.  It is indeed a classic, one which offers fresh insights and does not simply "recycle" familiar ideas.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

What is Enlightenment? 

Recently, while reading various authors, I came across this notion, one that I have often sensed as true, but never seen so well expressed.

Here is the core of this perspective:

Enlightenment is generally presented as a permanent state to be attained at the end of the spiritual journey.  Actually, for many of us, it is rather a temporary condition that can be experienced now and again in an unpredictable manifestation.  We can enter this transcendent realm from time to time and thus we are aware of the true nature of Enlightenment, but this is not the same as "being enlightened."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015



How foolishly you try, O mind,
to know the nature of Reality.
You are searching in vain,
as a mad person seeks treasure
in a pitch-black, empty room.
God is known by ecstatic love,
there is no other adequate mode.
Truth is only experienced
by recognizing all as God,
never by discriminating neti, neti:
“This is not God. That is not God.”
Nor is God encountered
through Vedas, Tanstras,
or any system of philosophy.
The elixir of pure love
delights Divine Reality,
who dwells secretly and joyously
in this chamber of the human body.
For a single drop of pure love,
yogis meditate for ages.
When ecstatic love awakes,
Reality absorbs the soul.

~ Ramakrishna (1836 – 1886) (from Great Swan, Lex Hixon)

(Ramakrishna was a revered mystic,/ecstatic in nineteenth century India.  His main attribute was his tendency to fall into ecstasy easily.  He often had to rely on his disciples to support him even to cross the room.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jan Elvee--"In the infinitesmally small space" (poem) 

In the Infinitesimally small space

In the infinitesimally small space
between drama and detachment,
between unworthiness and pride,
between cynicism and wonder
something new is coming into being,
naive, fresh, alive, awkward.

My lifelong companion,
that weary jaded observer,
exasperated, incredulous,
oppressive and boring,
critiques, judges, condemns.

Not possible!  Not you!
How ridiculous to imagine
we could walk side by side
through a different door,
down a different path.

Be not afraid, dear anguished one,
my protective and defensive self.
We'll sit here together.
We'll wait; we'll pray.
Someone will come.

Jan Elvee, January 22, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Andrew Harvey and Terry Patton in Dialogue 

Please join us for:
Andrew Harvey
“The Ways of Passion and Illumination”
Sunday, January 25th
at 10 a.m. Pacific

These dialogues between such master teachers as these are immensely informative.  They give us food for thought on major issues today.  They do not simply repeat what we already know.  Listen by all means.

Dear Dorothy,

This Sunday, January 25th at 10am Pacific please join me for another conversation with the renowned mystic, scholar, poet, and activist Andrew Harvey entitled “The Ways of Passion and Illumination.”

Over the last year Andrew and I have been engaged in a series of sacred conversations, ecstatically “riding the wave” of what is organically emerging in the moment, allowing it to guide us. We decided to start recording these conversations and even to teach together March 4-8 in Berkeley California.

This latest recording is in part an exploration of the true nature of Love. In it, I share with Andrew my belief that the task of our lifetime is to grow in our capacity to love. Love is the sternest master and asks everything of us.

You’ll also hear us discuss the (mostly) not talked about spiritual controversy between the ecstatic mystery teachings of intense spiritual feeling vs. the “cooler” nondual and mindfulness approaches. We both agreed that the reconciliation of these two schools could be the key to addressing our world in crisis—compassion and agency united in sacred activism.

We speak about our own practices and our latest insights, and what is becoming available in our own teaching. It’s no longer about the traditional exchange of wisdom or knowledge between teacher and student. A whole new model is emerging. Profoundly liberating transformation is not merely subjective; it is enacted in relationship, and ceremonially “made real” in community.

I’ve written a blog which further details what you’ll hear on the recording here. I hope you’ll listen in. You can follow along with Andrew’s gorgeous recitation of a Rumi poem which he says exemplifies the prime power of love as the way of illumination and knowing.

To our evolution,

  How to Participate:
Andrew Harvey

"The Ways of Passion and Illumination"

Sunday, January 25 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific*

*Find your local time

Listen live by phone or online, or download the recording anytime.

Access Instructions

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alternate number: (501) 707-0312

Then, enter Access Code: 272072#

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To download the audio after the teleseminar is complete go to the Beyond Awakening Audio Page

Join the Dialogue: About one hour into the dialogue, we'll open up the lines and you'll have the opportunity to interact with us directly over the phone or via Instant Message. Here's what to do:

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2.  Send us your question via Instant Message in the teleseminar window in the webcast interface on your computer

Connect with us! You can always join the dialogue, before and after all the Beyond Awakening dialogues by posting your questions and comments on our Beyond Awakening blog .

You can also engage with Beyond Awakening's many fans, on our Facebook page.

About Andrew Harvey:

Andrew Harvey is an author, speaker and founder/director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, an international organization focused on inviting concerned people to take up the challenge of our contemporary global crises by becoming inspired, effective and practical agents of institutional and systemic change, in order to create peace and sustainability.

He was born in south India in 1952 where he lived until he was nine years old. At the age of 21, at Oxford University he became the youngest person ever to be awarded a fellowship to All Soul's College, England's highest academic honor. He became disillusioned with life there and returned to his native India, where a series of mystical experiences initiated his spiritual journey.

Over the next thirty years he plunged into different mystical traditions to learn their secrets and practices, including deep extended study and practice of Hinduism, and Tibetan Buddhist practice. He collaborated with Sogyal Rinpoche in writing the classic Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. He did deep study of Rumi and Sufi mysticism, and produced some of the most magnificent and luminous translations of Rumi's poetry.

To listen to all the Beyond Awakening dialogues, please visit our audio archive page, where you can browse, preview and download our complete collection of dialogues.

About Our Host:

Terry Patten co-developed Integral Life Practice with Ken Wilber and a core team at Integral Institute. He hosts the acclaimed online teleseminar series Beyond Awakening: The Future of Spiritual Practice. He speaks and consults internationally-inspiring, challenging, and connecting leaders and institutions worldwide.

In his cutting-edge writings, talks and teaching, he not only inspires transcendental awakening, love and freedom, but calls us to accept and incarnate our full humanity. He was the senior writer and co-author, with Ken Wilber, of Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening. His 8-session course, Integral Spiritual Practice guides students step-by-step in establishing a heart-centered do-able daily integral practice. His personal web site is http://www.terrypatten.com/

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Amma––The Life Force 

 "The life force that pulsates in the trees, plants, and animals is the same life force that pulsates within us. The same life energy that gives us the power to speak and to sing, is the power behind the song of the bird and the roar of the lion. The same consciousness that flows in and through every human being, lends its power to the movement of the wind, to the flow of the river, and to the light of the sun. How can there be any sense of difference once this subtle principle is understood?" -Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi)

(via Sparrow Mattes)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Amy Edelstein webinar on Evolutionary Mysticism and the New Ecology--Please listen! 

I look forward to this  presentation since I am interested in both topics.  I consider Kundalini itself a major mystical process and the driving force behind human evolution.  If you are unable to access it from this site, you could try looking it up on the Emergence Education website or else wait until she sends out the audio and I will put that up on the blog
Try the following address: http://bit.ly/12Mystics  That should tell you how to register.  

You are invited!
Evolutionary Mysticism and the New Ecology
a free 60-minute teleseminar
Sunday, January 25 noon US Eastern Time

Dear Dorothy

I want to extend a warm invitation to you to a free 60-minute teleseminar I am running this Sunday, January 25 from 12:00 to 1:00 US Eastern Time. It’s called Evolutionary Mysticism and the New Ecology.

Since ordaining as an interfaith minister and becoming the wisdom keeper of evolutionary spirituality for OUnI, I’ve been inspired afresh to explore some of the beautiful theologians, philosophers, and mystics of this wondrous path.

It’s been a moving and illuminating journey as I’ve contemplated views on evolution and God, creative union and the science of process. In this seminar, I’ll share with you the most transformative insights that I’ve had, the ones that have deepened the way I think about oneness, evolution, and living a deeply engaged spiritual life.

I am really looking forward to sharing all this with you!

In this seminar, you’ll learn:

Why Teilhard de Chardin saw all creation within a “divine milieu.”
How Alfred North Whitehead got the word “creativity” into the dictionary.
What these two evolutionary scientists saw about God in animate and inorganic matter.
Who created the first “Evolutionary Liturgy” and how ritual can be part of the path of evolutionary spirituality.
Where the distinctions between nature as spirit (pantheism) and spirit as pervading nature (panentheism) can provide an uplifting shift in our view of the environment and our “stewardship” of it.
These questions are inspiring and meaningful. They can open up how we relate to our path and the world around us. If you’re intrigued, please register for this complimentary 60-minute teleseminar on Sunday, January 25 at noon US Eastern Time.

If you are unable to attend live, don’t worry, I’ll be sending out the audio shortly afterwards.

I’m looking forward to it, join me by registering here.

In Spirit and with warm regards,

Amy Edelstein

Click here for info to register!




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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kundalini and the Awakening of Dormant Aspects of Human Consciousness 

Note: This site offers some very intriguing ideas for contemplation.  Kundalini is presented as a near final stage of the transformation of consciousness and awakening the light body.

from thetemplate.org

(Note: The main thrust of this site is that we as a species are evolving through the activation of currently unused segments of our DNA.  These activations occur through various "ceremonies," one of the most important of which is Kundalini awakening.  This site is fascinating, though it is difficult to follow.)

When I experienced the light body activation at Coopers Creek I did not register Kundalini energy rising or descending in my body. I experienced it as imbuing my being in synthesis with my breath, from every point within my field. The field that is established by experiencing the 7th Ceremony is approximately one foot from the 6th Ceremony field. These two fields are aspects of the greater field that surrounds us; a field that is the energetic form of differentiated consciousness (Tantra) that defines us as autonomous fractals of Source Awareness; a self-referencing vortex, a torsion field that translates light into a medium with which to assemble and construct the coded co-ordinance that manifests the full masterpiece of the Human design prior to our genetic modification.

During our transcendent experience on Green Mountain in Hawaii (Worldbridger chapter 7), Jiva and I were able to see this field of light around us.  It was approximately 12 feet in diameter. The fields resurrected and activated by the 6th and 7th code, although substantial, are aspects of this holographic incandescent orb.

Many who attended the 7th Ceremony experienced the intensity of a Kundalini awakening during and after the event, some even before. The two activation codes of the 1st and 2nd Worldbridger Ceremonies are not initiating temporary Kundalini awakenings that eventually dissipate without being repeated or sustained. They are re-establishing a stable self-referencing field offering an endless source of energy; a field that is a multidimensional labyrinth of photonic codes originating from the Tantric cohesion that coordinates the cognizance of Source Consciousness into a temporal zone, a field that is a fractal aspect of the Divine Immortal Continuum.

Within the confines of various spiritual traditions of seeking a Kundalini experience for its ability to awaken dormant aspects of Human consciousness it is perceived as an isolated system that begins at a point from which it travels to another. In the light of the understanding of the holonomy that fractally assembles all of manifestation it follows that the projection of this Tantric energy is not linear, nor is it a separate and specific energy; it is life itself. All is Tantra.

Within the full manifestation of the Human bio-computational unit of circuitry it neither rises, nor descends- it infuses. It is a force which naturally and spontaneously animates the Human hologram, an energy whose full power requires a comprehensive infrastructure of pathways in order to manifest the full spectrum of its potential.

Monday, January 19, 2015

On Reading Mystical Poetry 

A common mistake that many people make when they read mystical poetry is that the "lover" refers to an actual human lover.  Mystics frequently employ the language of love to describe their experiences.  The lover is simply the invisible "Beloved Within," for these encounters often have a definite erotic tone, even though sexual activity as such is not involved.  The sweet energies are indeed not sexual, but rather the natural bodily energies sublimated (transformed) into spiritual energy and the result can be somewhat erotic in tone, but they are not essentially sexual.

The picture above is Bernini's famous statue of St. Teresa in ecstasy, as the angel plunges his lance into her heart.  Indeed, for some, the opening of the heart chakra is the greatest rapture of all.

I once had a friend who made a collage for me on ecstasy which included many depictions of couples making love in erotic poses.  She had misinterpreted the kind of ecstasy my poems were describing, though she meant well.

The early Indian poet Mirabai (1498-1565?) wrote many poems on the theme of the unseen beloved:

Here is My Dress

Here is my dress. With him

my sari is forgiveness.

Rama’s name is its gold hem.

The vermillion dot on my forehead is Rama.

His holy word is my nose diamond.

I wake to him in my braceleted arms.

He is also wrapped around my wrists

as glassy red bangles.

I put my clothes on after we leave the bed.

-Mirabai (1498-1573 ce) South Asia

(The Shambhala Anthology of Women’s Spiritual Poetry, edited by Aliki Barnstone).

Another error of interpretation is a misunderstanding of the meaning of the "annihilation into the beloved," the traditional end of the mystic journey.  Some think this means that one gives up one's power and thus implies that women, in particular, are in fact being urged to surrender their true identity and instead being reduced to a subordinate role in a human relationship.

Quite the opposite is true.  The "mystic marriage" is one in which the human partner relinquishes the "small self" in order to discover and unite with the "larger self," and thus arrives at a higher state of awareness, as the blissful currents of the cosmos flow in. One thus in effect discovers and experiences an aspect of being which was previously hidden from consciousness.  I cannot imagine a more empowering encounter than this.  We then know the meaning of "unconditional love," the ultimate unfolding of the true self.

Kundalini itself is a prime example of this stage of the mystical journey, one that opens us to bodily bliss and a profound sense of union with the divine.  After such awakening, one surrenders self doubt and becomes free to become whole and integrated at a new level of consciousness, as lover and beloved become one.  We are now embraced by       " one who has no name/ in a place that does not exist."

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Kabir––To be a Slave of Intensity––poem 

To Be a Slave of Intensity

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think. . .and think. . .while you are alive.
What you call “salvation” belongs to the time before death.
If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
do you think
ghosts will do it after?
The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because  the body is rotten–
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of
If you make love with the divine now, in the next life you
will have the face of satisfied desire.
So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
Believe in the Great Sound!
Kabir says this:  When the Guest is being searched for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that
does all the work.
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.
— Kabir
version by Robert Bly

Friday, January 16, 2015


I have no name (from The Song of Life)

By Jiddu Krishnamurti
(1895 - 1986)

I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.
I have no shelter;
I am as the wandering waters.
I have no sanctuary, like the dark gods;
Nor am I in the shadow of deep temples.
I have no sacred books;
Nor am I well-seasoned in tradition.
I am not in the incense
Mounting on the high altars,
Nor in the pomp of ceremonies.
I am neither in the graven image,
Nor in the rich chant of a melodious voice.
I am not bound by theories,
Nor corrupted by beliefs.
I am not held in the bondage of religions,
Nor in the pious agony of their priests.
I am not entrapped by philosophies,
Nor held in the power of their sects.
I am neither low nor high,
I am the worshipper and the worshipped.
I am free.
My song is the song of the river
Calling for the open seas,
Wandering, wandering,
I am Life.
I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Going––poem by Dorothy 


Now we are going
always into the
darkness which
is light,
into the sound
that is constantly
into silence,
a fountain of
that is springing
into joy.

Always it is journeying
into a moving
the place we have
never been,
the flame
that burns
and shifts
and flares once more,
and we
the silent watchers
who wait their turn.

Dorothy Walters
January 12, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Andrew Harvey and Terry Patton offer a Retreat on Death and Rebirth 

From Andrew Harvey:

Join me for a special retreat
View this email in your browser

4 Day Retreat with Terry Patten


Please make a great effort to come.  I am very excited to be teaching for the first time with Terry, and we have created, we hope a very exciting adventure. - Andrew

Andrew Harvey and Terry Patten will share their inter-linked visions of the radical evolutionary transformation that is possible and necessary in our remarkable historical moment, through talks, dialogue, and experiential processes.

They will open up one of the most profound narratives of transformation — that of death-and-rebirth, a fractal pattern so profound it is knit into the very fabric of all spiritual paths and narratives of awakening. Transformation can also be expressed as a hero’s journey, as an initiation into true human adulthood, and as a profound love affair with the Divine. But in death-and-rebirth we uniquely encounter the bardo, the gap, the unknown we most fear.

After Death and before Rebirth the soul must navigate the underworld between. Here there is radical purification, the only way to a hope that is stronger than despair — the “Dark Night” process described by Christian mystics. Radical purification, or death, is the prelude to the Phoenix of divine consciousness and radiant embodiment rising from the ashes of the collective and personal “false self”. This is the bitter pill we fear to taste, but it is the elixir, the medicine for what truly ails us in this time.

Andrew Harvey will present his inner journey to Sacred Activism and his vision of Sacred Activism as the birthing-force of a new embodied divine humanity. Terry Patten will present his inner journey into Integral Activism, and his vision of Evolutionary Mutuality. If the next Buddha will be a Sangha, what does this mean for our relationships with one another now?

When:   March 5, 2015 - 6:00pm - March 8, 2015 - 2:00pm
Rudramandir Center
830 Bancroft Way
Berkeley,  CA
United States
See map: Google Maps
Retreat Registration

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Buddha's Advice 

I think that this advice (as reprinted below) is extremely important.  If more people would heed it, they would not fall into the trap of mindlessly following false prophets, charlatan "spiritual teachers," or inauthentic authority figures.  Just because the speaker/teacher is famous and has numerous followers does not guarantee that his/her views are correct, nor does it mean that because a lineage or practice is ancient, it is valid.  Even if the "guru" is sincere, he/she may not be right.

Here is what Buddha said:

Believe nothing,

No matter where you read it,

Or who has said it,

Not even if I have said it,

Unless it agrees with your own reason

And your own common sense.


And to the above, we may add the following, including the last words of Buddha ("Be a light unto yourselves.")

"Therefore, Ananda, be a lamp unto yourself, be a refuge to yourself. Take yourself to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the Truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourself. And those, Ananda, who either now or after I am dead shall be a lamp unto themselves, who take themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, shall not look for refuge to anyone beside themselves, it is they who shall reach the highest goal." ~Mahaparinibbana Sutta

I should add that some question the authenticity of this excerpt.  As far as I am concerned, this is invaluable advice and should be heeded by all.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Interesting Thoughts on Kundalini 


The Emerging Science Foundation website is a most interesting effort to get at some of the basic issues and questions surrounding the Kundalini phenomenon.  It offers, among other things, a complex questionnaire for those who have experienced Kundalini in their lives. It also offers some very interesting discussions on topics surrounding Kundalini, often as summaries of past webinars and various responses.  If you are interested in contemplating these issues with like minded others, you will enjoy this site, which involves a highly cerebral approach to the subject, yet honors the subjective element.  Here is an announcement of an upcoming webinar on the topic of Enlightenment.

Live Webinar: January 31 at 10:00am PST

Webinar: What is Enlightenment?


Enlightenment, Samadhi, or Christ Consciousness are terms that are often used in religious circles, but could there be an objective, scientifically verifiable reality behind them? In his first webinar, veteran Kundalini activist, researcher, and vedic astrologer Michael Bradford will dispel the most common misconceptions about what it is to be Enlightened, and will show that true Enlightenment is much more than what most people believe it to be.

When it comes to religion and the New Age movement, there is no topic more confused than the subject of Enlightenment. Many well-known pundits today claim Enlightenment is simply a shift of perspective or attitude. Michael Bradford will show that this type of thinking is totally incorrect, and that Enlightenment has a profound biological basis. Michael will show the characteristics of Enlightenment, what seekers of today need to know about the mechanism that produced the enlightened sages and seers of the past, and will provide some basic criteria for assessing whether someone is Enlightened or not.

Register today for this webinar and you will receive:
Reminder emails for the webinar.
Links and access to important resources on the webinar.
Notification when the recorded webinar becomes available online.
Updates on upcoming events.
Register Now

And here is a very interesting idea about allegorical meanings of some common myths:

Much of the iconography in world mythos is used to embody functions within the human body. The theory of biological evolution controlled by Kundalini would help to explain the globally recognized “Virgin Birth” symbolism, as the word “Virgin” symbolizes the inward circulation of sexual energy and its sublimation. The “tree” which so many Gods and saviors are killed or crucified upon is a reference to the cerebrospinal system and denotes the major physiological transformation which occurs after Kundalini ascends upward from the base of the spine to the brain. Kundalini itself is symbolized by the serpent or snake and is the most widespread of all images encountered in mythology, as it denotes  both creation and destruction utilizing the spiral path of prana.
Joseph Alexander, from the webinar, "Reincarnation, Brain Evolution, and Kundalini in Myth"). 

I might add that the snake often occurs in ancient goddess worship as a symbol of rebirth or a source of wisdom.  In the Bible, it is seen as the bringer of evil, and Eve, who is seduced by the snake, becomes the source of all evil in the world.  Hence arises the denigration of females and female systems and the takeover of the patriarchy.  In this view, female equals evil and male equals good.  It also suggests that early patriarchal systems rejected such subjective processes as Kundalini (the mystical) approach because this experience was not controlled by the male hierarchy.

I also am reminded as I read these interesting comments, of what Yeats, the poet, said long ago: "Man can embody truth but never know it." Also of what Tolstoy wrote even earlier: "The kingdom of God is within you."

I think that when we reduce our rationalistic, often highly complex approaches to such mysteries as Kundalini, to their essence, we find that ultimately they are intricate presentations of very simple truths.  "The map is not the territory." The discussion is not the experience.  But it is fun to speculate and such discussions give our minds fodder for thought.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Krishna to Arjuna 

Krishna to Arjuna

Those who desire me
follow in my footsteps
even as these disappear
into the snow.

Those who give me
their love
will be cherished,
as a rare fruit
is sweet
in the mouth.

Those who know me
will be silent
even in the midst
of wisdom sayers
who have little to say.

Dorothy Walters
January 8, 2015

This poem "came through" suddenly this morning as I happened to be reading an excerpt from the Bhagavad Gita in the beautiful translation by Stephen Mitchell:

"Bhagavad Gita"  means the Song of the Blessed One. No one knows when it was written; some scholars date it as early as the fifth century B. C. E., others as late as the first century C. E."

The setting is ancient India. The god called Krishna is offering advice to the young prince/warrior Arjuna, who is about to enter the battle of good vs. evil.

Ultimately, we realize that Krishna is simply the Supreme Lord, even though he might be called by many names.  The Gita is now regarded as one of the most sacred works in human history.

The  poem that appears above is not a translation or version of the Gita, but rather something that was inspired from reading a brief excerpt from this ancient text.  I strongly recommend that you read Mitchell's translation for it is replete with timeless wisdom.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Barbara Marx Hubbard and Human Evolution into a New Species 

For many years, forward thinkers have speculated on the process of human evolution.  These visionaries have included such spiritual leaders as Teilhard de Chardin, Sri Aurobindo, and Gopi Krishna.  All agree that a new type of human is in the making, as we transition into a new level of consciousness and move toward what some call "the divine human."

This evolution is not a mere biological transformation, in the Darwinian sense.  It involves the transformation of spirit and capacities through the operation of Kundalini itself, the governing element which brings the incorporation of higher frequencies into the body, and spiritual transformation into the "more than human" level.

One who subscribes to the theory of a new species coming into being is Barbara Marx Hubbard, who has long been recognized as a leading spokesperson in this field.  In a recent internet talk on this subject, she offered an overview of the many writers and thinkers who have contributed in one way or another to the major shift that is occurring.  Many of these theorists have been around for decades, and each has explored a facet of the change that appears to be happening across the globe, as more and more people are being reshaped into a new configuration. Here are some of the names and topics she mentioned:

Maslow on self-actualization

Prigogine  on moving to a higher level of organization after chaos

Power with rather than power over

Co-creation (humanity and divine purpose)

The feminine principle as a guiding force in human affairs

A quantum field consciousness which allows us to connect with others

The possibility of "pods" of humans vibrating together at higher frequencies

Raising our own frequencies as part of the evolutionary process

Discovering and expressing our creative life purpose

She asserts that many are already undergoing transformation, as numbers swell across the globe.

Often people are doing it in private without the aid of authorities or group endeavors

She sees this phenomenon as part of a universal process of transfiguration and speaks of the participants as Sacred Journeyers.

Actually, many of these insights entered our thought stream decades ago.  Marilyn Ferguson ("The Aquarian Conspiracy") was writing about them as long ago as the seventies.  And, in fact, I was including many of these notions in my courses at that time.

The one least familiar idea (for me) was the concept of "human pods" working together to accelerate the change.  I long ago foresaw that such pods or collectives might form in the spirit world, so as to serve humanity in a more effective way, but I had not considered such groups operating in contemporary society.

I also feel that Ms. Hubbard failed to address what to me is an essential part of inner transformation, and that is the actual feeling level of the process.  She does not include this highly subjective inner response to the personal transition, notably the bliss that accompanies the embodiment of higher energies through merger with the Beloved Within. She also overlooks the actual changes that occur in the nervous system, which now becomes ever more sensitive and aware.  Nor does she credit the role of Kundalini, which I feel, along with Gopi Krishna, is the vital instrument of transformation.  She also fails to address the challenges of the journey, as the person struggles to incorporate the new frequencies into their nervous and biological systems.

Evolution does not occur as a sudden leap from one level of functioning to the next.  It is a long and sometimes difficult process as humanity strives to move ahead, person by person, toward the goal of becoming a new species.

Shift Network will present a repeat of the talk I heard on this coming Saturday.  Here are the details for listening:

Here are all the details for Saturday's encore:
The Conscious Evolutionary 2.0: How to Ride the Edge of Evolution into Your Full Potential

With Barbara Marx Hubbard, Bestselling Author & Evolutionary Consciousness Pioneer
Saturday, January 10, 2015
10:00am Pacific | 1pm Eastern

Call in details:

Dial (425) 440-5100 and enter the PIN 498523#
Or connect to the webcast at http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventid=63346404

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Flashback into the Past 

We often hear about memories of past life experiences.  Some of us (including me) have clear recollections of who and where we were in one or another of our past lives.  For me, it included a memory of being an orphan in eastern Tibet who escaped a cruel master and fled to a monastery two days away, where he was accepted and given a job of collecting yak dung for fuel, an assignment he was thrilled with, for he now "had a job."

 Another was a memory of traveling with my family to be present at the famous water festival celebration for King George I.

Here is wikipedia's description of this event: "The first performance of the Water Music suites is recorded in the Daily Courant, a London newspaper. At about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 17 July 1717, King George I and several aristocrats boarded a royal barge at Whitehall Palace for an excursion up the Thames toward Chelsea. The rising tide propelled the barge upstream without rowing. Another barge provided by the City of London contained about fifty musicians who performed Handel's music. Many other Londoners also took to the river to hear the concert. According to the Courant, 'the whole River in a manner was covered' with boats and barges."

As I listened this morning to Handel's famous piece, something told me that I had been there to witness this spectacular event. I was a girl about 14, daughter of a poor farmer.  We loaded our flat bed wagon early (say, about 2:30 a. m.) and arrived in time to get a prime viewing position for the passage of the king and his retinue.  For me, this was the key event of my life, surpassing the excitement of getting married, having children and grandchildren.

But this morning, something a bit different happened.  I was listening to Handel's Royal Fireworks music (for George II, 1749) when, I realized how totally thrilled the musicians (especially the brass section) were to be included in this––or perhaps it was the Water Music–– performance.  They had practiced alone and with the full orchestra for countless hours, in order to offer a perfect tribute.  They wore splendid uniforms, freshly made, for this august occasion.  This presentation was the highlight of their careers, the pinnacle of their musical experience.

As I felt their exaltation, I noticed my own energies beginning to come through, sweet but lovely, and, as I often do, I moved my hands near and around my throat and head, allowing the subtle bliss to follow as I went.  As happens so often, it felt as though I was "stroking my aura," producing soft tender delight everywhere my hands went.

These states are difficult to describe, but they are lovely to experience.  I do not think I was actually a member of this orchestra, but I "felt" the inner thrill of the performers.  It was like a "glimpse" into the state of consciousness of someone from an earlier era.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Spiritual vs. Religious 

(from the N. Y.Times, reprinted on Contemplative Journal)
Examining the Growth of the ‘Spiritual but Not Religious’


“Spiritual but not religious.” So many Americans describe their belief system this way that pollsters now give the phrase its own category on questionnaires. In the 2012 survey by the Pew Religion and Public Life Project, nearly a fifth of those polled said that they were not religiously affiliated — and nearly 37 percent of that group said they were “spiritual” but not “religious.” It was 7 percent of all Americans, a bigger group than atheists, and way bigger than Jews, Muslims or Episcopalians. . . .

Linda A. Mercadante, who teaches at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio contests that description (book referenced earlier) of the spiritual but not religious. In “Beliefs Without Borders: Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but Not Religious” (Oxford), published in March, she makes the case that spiritual people can be quite deep theologically.

An ordained Presbyterian minister whose father was Catholic and whose mother was Jewish, Dr. Mercadante went through a spiritual but not religious period of her own — although she now attends a Mennonite church. For her project, she interviewed 85 S.B.N.R.s, then used computer programs to help analyze transcripts of those interviews. She found that these spiritual people also thought about death, the afterlife and other profound subjects.

For example, “they reject heaven and hell, but they do believe in an afterlife,” Dr. Mercadante said recently. “In some ways, they would fit O.K. in a progressive Christian context.” Because they dislike institutions, the spiritual but not religious also recoil from the deities such institutions are built around. “They may like Jesus, he might be their guru, he might be one of their many bodhisattvas, but Jesus as God is not on their radar screen,” Dr. Mercadante said.

When Courtney Bender, now teaching at Columbia, went looking for spiritual but not religious people in Cambridge, Mass., where she was then living, she found them not on solitary nature walks but in all sorts of groups — which complicates the stereotype of them as anti-institutional loners. She described her findings in “The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination” (Chicago, 2010).

They “participated in everything from mystical discussion groups to drumming circles to yoga classes,” Dr. Bender said in an interview. And her finding that spirituality “is not sui generis,” but rather learned in communities that persist over time, actually runs contrary to spiritual people’s conceptions of themselves, she said. “There is something in the theology of spiritual groups that actually refocuses their practitioners from thinking about how they fit into a long continuous spirituality.”

In other words, their self-image “makes them think, ‘I don’t need history, I don’t need the past,’ ” Dr. Bender said, adding that they think, “I am not religious, which is about the past — I am spiritual, about the present.”

Yet people who call themselves spiritual are actually embedded in communal practices, albeit not churches or religious denominations. Dr. Bender found them in “alternative and complementary medicine,” for example. “So people would encounter this stuff in the shiatsu massage clinic, or going to an acupuncturist,” she said.

“Another one that is very important is the arts,” she added. “People involved in everything from painting and dance” would also end up discussing their conception of the divine.

So is spirituality solitary or communal? Is it theologically engaged or just focused on “nature” and “gratitude,” as Ms. Daniel worries? To judge from “A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World” (Gotham, 2014), by Thomas Moore, whose “Care of the Soul” is one of the best-selling self-help books ever, spirituality can be whatever one makes it. In his guide to developing a custom spirituality, he encourages people to draw on religion, antireligion — whatever works for them.

“Every day I add another piece to the religion that is my own,” Dr. Moore writes. “It’s built on years of meditation, chanting, theological study and the practice of therapy — to me a sacred activity.”

At the very least, we might conclude that “spiritual but not religious” isn’t necessarily vague or wishy-washy. It’s not nothing, although it may risk being everything.


Monday, January 05, 2015

Mirabai Starr on Buddha at the Gas Pump (November 5, 2013) 

This hour long interview is perhaps the best summing up of the interspiritual/mystical approach that one might find.  Mirabai Starr is that rarest of all beings, a truly wise women.  She explains in easily understandable language the difference between religion and spirituality, the meaning of "interspiritual" as opposed to "interfaith."  The former refers to the uncovering and experiencing of the essence of various traditions, whereas in interfaith presentations, representatives of various religions meet and explain the perspective of their own faith beliefs to others so that these may have a better understanding.

She firmly believes that experience is indeed primary over thought constructs.  Thus the practices of many diverse lineages can bring the practitioner closer to the goal of divine union than can discussion about or attempts at definition of such notions as " duality vs. nondual."  She feels that nondualism is itself a dualistic concept.  For the mystic, union with the beloved is the goal, a state to be experienced, not intellectualized.

She asserts that deep meditative states (of many kinds) lead naturally to a dedication to service to better the state of the world.  Thus outer action is an outgrowth of inner transformation in a natural process.

Mirabai comes to her present interspiritual perspective as a product of her family background and her exposure as a child to many, many faiths.  Her mother and father were (secular) New York Jews (hippies) who transplanted the family to Taos, New Mexico, where many faiths intermingled and existed in harmony.  Nearby was Ram Dass' Lama foundation where diverse faiths and beliefs systems were represented.  Mirabai was thus exposed to many systems of thought and religious traditions. When Mirabai was in school in Taos, her teachers included many well known spiritual leaders such as Pema Chodron and others of that rank.  Her English teacher was Natalie Goldberg ("Writing Down the Bones").

Mirabai has done many translations of great spiritual beings who were themselves profound mystics.  She herself learned much from these teachers.  She said that when she translated St. Teresa of Avila, she felt a deep connection with Teresa's spirit and inner being.

I rate Mirabai Starr as one of the major spiritual teachers of our time.  The opportunity to listen to her as she reveals her inmost beliefs in this way is a rare chance to learn from a truly wise woman.  I cannot recommend this presentation highly enough.  Make it a top priority on your list!  And listen more than once if you can.  It is packed with jewels to be had for the taking.

The interview is available as video and audio at Buddha at the Gas Pump through ITunes.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Kundalini and Wonder 

Recently, as I was browsing the internet, I came upon this comment and it seemed to me that these words might apply to Kundalini as well as wonder.  Indeed, we cannot plan our Kundalini experiences any more than we can "plan a surprise for ourselves."  Each visitation is a joy that seems to be orchestrated elsewhere.  We can receive the "gift" with gratitude, but we cannot "make it happen."  Each encounter "jolts us out of the world of common sense."  Kundalini introduces us to "some new dimension of meaning," and, although each episode is accompanied by wonder, the experience reaches beyond the familiar world (of wonder) into a reality that is, finally, ineffable.

It is difficult to explain these states to others who have not shared similar experiences: it is like trying to explain color to someone who is blind, or sound to one who is deaf.  It exists in a separate category of knowing, like a sixth sense, or a capacity to see angels, things invisible to ordinary perception.

Keen (l969/l973) in his “Apology for Wonder” sums up wonder like this:

Wonder breaks into consciousness with a dramatic suddenness that produces amazement or astonishment.  We can no more create a state of wonderment than we can plan a surprise for ourselves. . . ..wonder reduces us momentarily to silence.  We associate gaping, breathlessness, bewilderment, an even stupor with wonder, because it jolts us out of the world of common sense in which our language is at home. . . . .We are silent before some new dimension of meaning which is being revealed

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Jan Phillips––Preparing for the Sacrament of Holy Unity (poem) 

Jan Phillips is one of the most significant spiritual teachers/voices of our time.  I highly recommend that you check out her website at www.janphillips.com/‎  It is filled with wise and delightful writings.  She "gets it" and describes it in beautiful language.  Especially note her "Interview with Jesus" as if by Jon Stewart on her Museletter, September, 2010.
She is filled with life and creativity, and inspires us to be the same.

 Preparing for the Sacrament of Holy Unity

I will need a birch tree, a maple, a redwood, a white pine, a sequoia, a
cedar, a palm tree.

I want soil from Nigeria, Palestine, the Himalayas, Mississippi,
Auschwitz, Newtown, Alcatraz.

I want water from the Ganges River, Glacier Bay, the Sea of Galilee, the
Tigris and Euphrates, the Pacific and the Atlantic, the River Jordan,
the Dead Sea, Lake Bonaparte.

I want air from Kathmandu, Calcutta, Cairo, Nazareth, Athens, the Arctic
Mexico City, Port-au-Prince, Baghdad, Kabul.

I want near me a bison, a wolf, an eagle, a silverback gorilla, a
giraffe, a kitten, a
fawn, a black bear, a polar bear, a golden retriever.

From the waters, I want a humpback whale, a porpoise, a sea turtle, a
manta ray, a
flounder, a harp seal.

From the heavens I want a comet, a rainbow, a lightning bolt, a blue
moon, a summer
storm, a snowy night, a mauve and golden sunrise.

I want fire from my morning candle, the farthest star in the Milky Way,
a campfire
in the Adirondacks, the altar at St. Joseph's Provincial House, the
funeral pyres in
Varanasi, the Buddhist temples in Kyoto.

I want a vestment made of materials from Gujarat, India; Lhasa, Tibet;
Cape Town,
South Africa; St. John's, Newfoundland; Oslo, Norway; northern Ireland;
Australia; East Germany; and South Central Los Angeles.

I want co-celebrants from an Ethiopian village, a Harlem tenement, a
nursing home in Selma, a prisoner in Guantanamo, a Harvard Law class,
the Smokey Mountain garbage dump in Manila, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

I want bread kneaded and pressed by the hands of millionaires,
sherpas, Bolivian tin workers, emigrants and immigrants from a hundred
three Fortune 500 CEOs, nine Exxon board members, 14 Chicago gang
and seven out of work shrimpers from the Gulf of Mexico.

I want a choir of Chinese peasants, Israeli kindergartners, Japanese
Bonsai masters,
Navajo weavers, Zuni potters, Tlingit totem pole makers, and African
diamond miners.

Once assembled, we will celebrate the sacrament that contains them all.
We will sing till the earth wobbles in her orbit, give praise and thanks
till wine runs from the sugar maple. We will bow to the holiness we see
in each other forgiving the past, blessing the present, committing to a
future that is good for everyone.
And this will be the sacrament of Holy Unity
a welcome to the dawning of an Uncommon Era.

- Jan Phillips

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