Kundalini Splendor

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Franz Wright––"The Fire"––(poem) 

The Fire

Listen, I've light
in my eyes
and on my skin
the warmth of a star, so strange
is this
that I
can barely comprehend it:
I think
I'll lift my face to it, and then
I lift my face,
and don't even know how
this is done.  And
everything alive
(and everything's
alive) is turning
into something else
as at the heart
of some annihilating
or is it creating
that's burning, unseeably, always
burning at such speeds
as eyes cannot
detect, just try
to observe your own face
growing old
in the mirror, or
is it beginning
to be born?

~ Franz Wright ~

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sally Kempton on Air, Breath, and Soul (from her "Awakened Heart News, May 28) 

Here is a poem I wrote several years ago and it seemed relevant to Sally Kempton's article which follows.

More Songs from Lalla

"Dance, Lalla, with nothing on but air."

The Prankster

Let the breath come in,
and if a god, too, 
make this her subtle path,
do not deny her

He wishes to build transparent monuments
in your heart,
chambers whose quiet bells will resonate
into your farthest reaches,
your soles, your lids,
your elbows, even.

For the god does not disdain
even the humblest part,
the clumsiest joining.

This is his sly jest,
his coy affirmation
of you as oneness.

Do not fear the god.
As the wind wafts through light,
she wafts through you--
Ruach, Prana, Chi --
lifting bone, cell, and tissue
into that other world.

Even in this one, 
trees bend to her
in their slow spirals.
Dolphins breathe her.
Herons glide to her fluid rhythms.

Do not fear the god.
She is yourself, returning.

Dorothy Walters
(from Marrow of Flame)

Here is Sally Kempton's article:    

Dear Ones,

If you're a meditator or a yogi, you know that breath practice is basic to just about every spiritual process. And you probably know why. Neuro-science as well as yogic science can give us a slew of reasons why a counted breath, or a full yogic inhalation is so good for us.

Conscious breathing not only calms us. It not only nourishes our lungs and massages our organs. Breathing also connects us--naturally and almost automatically--to that subtle force we call spirit, soul, or inner Self.

Which is no doubt why, in nearly every one of the old languages, the word for breath is the same as the word for soul. The Sanskrit word for the inner Self--atman--originally meant breath. The Hebrew word ruach and the Greek pneuma mean both breath and spirit. In fact, the first line of the Hebrew Bible says, that God begins to create with a wind (ruach) sweeping over the water.

Psyche is the Greek word for consciousness, or mind, and it also means "a breath" or "a gust of wind."

As always, Sally presents a message that is both informational and inspiring.  She reminds us of the importance of breath and demonstrates how breath itself is connected to Soul.  

The Latin word for soul--anima--also signified air and breath. And as philosopher David Abram points out, "these were not separate meanings--anima, like psyche, 'originally named an elemental phenomenon that comprised both what we now call 'the air' and what we now term 'the soul'." In these old cultures, there was an assumption that air was a sacred presence, that it is synonymous with spirit, and that the air joined human beings to the environment. The Navaho people believe that we are in a constant interaction with the surrounding winds. Through the winds, human thoughts, songs and rituals were thought to influence the whole environment, either positively or negatively. To the Navaho, both the breath and the wind were not only interconnected, they were holy.

So, tuning into your relationship with the air around you can be a profound act of awakening to the sacred. Maybe you get quiet enough to recognize that you aren't actually breathing, but are being breathed, as if by some great invisible lung. You might become aware of how air is constantly caressing you, embracing you, energizing you. Air invisibly enters our bodies, carrying not only oxygen and other chemicals, but also carrying the thoughts, feelings, and energies of everyone around us. Through the air, you're continually being entered and opened by the world around you.  Air is the medium of connection. Every time we inhale, we take in the life force of millions of others. When we exhale, we breathe ourselves, our moods, our energetic state, back into the atmosphere that carries it across all borders and barriers.

So, why not let your breath carry blessings? Why not let the breath carry mantras? Why not consider your breath the vehicle through which you transmute the disharmony you might feel in a particular place or person? Why not do the breath practice of the sages--inhaling with the thought, "May I be blessed" and exhaling with the thought, "May blessing flow to everyone and everything." Sending love through the breath a powerful act of subtle activism!

(Sally Kempton)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rilke––God Speaks to Each of Us (poem) 

God speaks to each of us

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
 then walks with us silently out of the night.

 These are words we dimly hear:

 You, sent out beyond your recall,
 go to the limits of your longing.
 Embody me.

 Flare up like flame
 and make big shadows I can move in.

 Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
 Just keep going.  No feeling is final.
 Don't let yourself lose me.

 Nearby is the country they call life.
 You will know it by its seriousnes.

 Give me your hand.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

(Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Those Moments (poem by Dorothy) 

Those Moments

Well, I remember those moments,
even if no one else does.
Unless the absent ones continue
to dream beneath the grass,
or even the ones whose names
are washed away on the tombstones
and no one is sure exactly
in which part of the cemetery
to find them.

I remember the time
we went up
all together
into the mountains
and built our fires
on private land
and Howard and Wayne
and John hauled
massive logs
and built a fire
with sparks so
so wild they touched
the sky,
so hot
that they split the stones
of the ringed circle
where they lay.

And I remember how it was
that time I came to your door
bearing a poem,
but lacked the courage
to knock,
even though I had seen you there
in front of your class
and I had to step back
from the  energies
that swirled from where you stood as
you explained "Sailing to Byzantium"
to your oblivious students.

And I remember that time
that you and I went up high
it was fall
and the flaming leaves burned their way
into our sight
and we lay down
on the green carpet below
amidst the red berries
and took
one another's picture
as if we were models
from a pre-Raphaelite

and also the time
a different you
and I ordered the Brandenburg
Concertos and listened with delight
to those staccato tones
one Sunday morning
over coffee and scrambled eggs.

And then there was that other time
with yet another you
and you had brought over
some Mary Jane
as we called it then
and we smoked it
(though I was a novice
and almost never did it again)
and as we passed the cigarette
back and forth
I felt an electric current
shoot up my arm.

And when you returned
from your journey
and it was a hello kiss
with energies that flew
between us
like Ingrid
and Bogie
in Casablanca.

And that spring night in the
parking lot
when we never even got out of the car
while the yearly sunrise Easter pageant
took place somewhere above
among the rocks
to enthrall the
and there was thunder, rain, and
lightning all around––
Lear on the moor––
and we created our own small drama
there within our snug home
 and played out our parts
in a different kind of passion play.

And of course,
the moment that turned
my life around forever,
the moment that still goes on,
and You are the one that
no one has ever seen,
yet You come.

I wonder who was I then...

Who am I now?

Dorothy Walters
April 10, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

When Kundalini is Out of Balance 

Recently I have been reading an advance copy of  a book entitled "The Body of Chris: A Memoir of Obsession, Addiction, and Madness."  This book offers an inside look on the actual experience one can go through when he/she is in the grips of these afflictions, which include eating disorders, drug addiction, and psychotic states.

The author is amazingly candid and authentic when he shares the harrowing details of his experience, which began in his teen years and continued for many thereafter.

Included in his account is his encounter with a "New Age" group which uses age old techniques to prepare followers to attain "Enlightenment."  Here, as always, Chris becomes addicted to the practices and techniques presented by the teachers of this method.  Chris becomes the star pupil, and imagines that he is preparing to become a teacher himself, devoting his days to further his progress through breathing, raising his inner energies, practicing for many hours at a time.  He feels that he has at last found his true calling, and through his gifts he will be able to help humanity and the world.

At first, Chris is quite dazzled by the talents of his local teacher.  She intuits at once that he uses alcohol and that he has had operations, both true.  She encourages him to continue his strenuous practices in preparation for the time when he can become a leader of this technique.

Soon he is experiencing incredible energy flowing through his body, as the channels open.  He feels very "high," convinced that he has at last found his true vocation.

Ultimately, he discovers that the founder and world leader is himself corrupt in many ways, and leaves in disgust.

He renounces the entire package, which he describes in mocking tones. And he once again falls into the pit of depression and disillusion.

His error, clearly, was in not taking a middle path--trying to incorporate far too many energies than his system was prepared to deal with.  He did not allow for the beneficial effects of these experiences if following in moderation.

Indeed, Kundalini is powerful and can be dangerous if not pursued in a proper, balanced way.  Like electricity, the energies themselves are neutral. The effect on the devotee depends on the readiness and overall makeup of the seeker.  Those who are not able to approach the altar in sobriety and meekness, who cannot control their desires, suffer the equivalent of a drug or alcohol overdose.  They are not yet ready for bliss and suffer the terrible consequences of too much, too soon. Likewise, those who are are grappling with unsolved psychological and emotional issues, who are suffering from physical problems (even menopause can be an issue).  But experienced in proper doses, Kundalini can lead to beneficial and blissful expansion of consciousness.

Curiously, many of the symptoms that characterize "binge spirituality" resemble the results of Kundalini awakening.  One, like an electrical charge too strong for the outlet,
burns out the connection.  The other, the "Middle Way," can become safe and enlivening, and, under the proper circumstances, can bring bliss and inner happiness.

Kundalini is the indeed the razor's edge, and should be approached with caution.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Czeslaw Milosz––"Late Ripeness"--(poem) 

Late Ripeness

By Czeslaw Milosz
(1911 - 2004)

English version by Robert Hass

Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year,
I felt a door opening in me and I entered
the clarity of early morning.

One after another my former lives were departing,
like ships, together with their sorrow.

And the countries, cities, gardens, the bays of seas
assigned to my brush came closer,
ready now to be described better than they were before.

I was not separated from people,
grief and pity joined us.
We forget -- I kept saying -- that we are all children of the King.

For where we come from there is no division
into Yes and No, into is, was, and will be.

We were miserable, we used no more than a hundredth part
of the gift we received for our long journey.

Moments from yesterday and from centuries ago -
a sword blow, the painting of eyelashes before a mirror
of polished metal, a lethal musket shot, a caravel
staving its hull against a reef -- they dwell in us,
waiting for a fulfillment.

I knew, always, that I would be a worker in the vineyard,
as are all men and women living at the same time,
whether they are aware of it or not.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

What Thoughtful Person (poem by Dorothy) 

What Thoughtful Person

What thoughtful person
would ever tire
of drinking the nectar
of the goddess?

This shakti is the joy,
the abundance,
the final gift.

It is the way in
and the way out,
the signpost
and the road,
the search and the arrival.

It is who we are,
in a thousand forms.

It is our blessing,
our blooming,
our essence.

It is our mirror
into ourselves.

Dorothy Walters
May 14, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Rebecca del Rio--"Gratitude"--("Arms Full of Wildflowers") (poem) 

Arms Full of Wildflowers

Gratitude means showing up on life’s doorstep,

love’s threshold, dressed in a clown suit,

rubber-nosed, gunboat shoes flapping.

Gratitude shows up with arms full of wildflowers,

reciting McKuen or the worst of Neruda.

To talk of gratitude is to be

the fool in a cynic’s world.

Gratitude is pride’s nightmare,

the admission of humility before something

given without expectation or attachment.

Gratitude tears open the shirt

of self importance, scatters buttons

across the polished floors of feigned indifference,

ignores the obvious and laughs out loud.

Even more, gratitude bares her breasts, rips open

her ribs to show the naked heart, the holy heart.

What if that sacred heart is not, after all, about sacrifice?

Imagine it is about joy, barefoot and foolhardy,

something unasked for, something unearned.

What if the beat we hear, when we are finally quiet

is simply this:

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

– Rebecca del Rio

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lawrence Edwards Shares His Wisdom 

Lawrence Edwards is one of the key figures in the world of spiritual transformation.  A Jungian psychologist, he is also a major authority on Kundalini itself.  He has counseled vast numbers of people undergoing Kundalini transformation and is thus one of the best possible helpers for this experience.

In the following article, he shares some of his wisdom to help clarify some of the confusion surrounding the Kundalini experience.

One important dimension that comes up in doing research on Kundalini, as well as in working with people going through some kind of transformative process, is how to define and ascertain whether or not the phenomenon you or the person is observing are actually Kundalini.  This is more important in terms of research and clinical applications, but has bearing on your question about whether or not more people are experiencing Kundalini awakening.  The term is more widely known now and often misapplied.  Not all awakenings are the Maha Awakening of Kundalini.  There are degrees of awakening and expanding consciousness.  There are movements of prana that create shifts in the mind and consciousness that are similar to Kundalini’s spontaneous and ongoing processes, but aren’t Kundalini awakening.  There awakenings of the mind as it steps out of the confines of roles and identities it has been conditioned to inhabit that lead to expansion of heart and mind, but aren’t Kundalini awakening.  It is very difficult to discern the multidimensional, self-sustaining process of true Kundalini awakening and in some ways it’s academic.  On a practical, sadhana level, we treat the underlying power that creates and sustains awakening and transformation with great respect, love and reverence.

There’s confusion arising from the conflation of Kundalini awaking and mental illness.  There are many people experiencing one or the other or both simultaneously and there’s complete confusion about this.  This has huge implications for how the person needs to be supported, guided, directed, in doing sadhana practices.  The wider familiarity with the term Kundalini and Kundalini awakening has led to its misapplication and obscuring its meaning and depth.  This too often leads to inflation, a defensive attachment and identification with being awakened and having everything attributed to Kundalini, as if the individual has no responsibility for what is occurring, etc.  I’ve gotten emails and calls from people who are in a psychotic process, sometimes from people in psychiatric hospitals, who ask me to tell their psychiatrist that they are really going through Kundalini awakening and should be taken off medications and released.  They might be going through Kundalini processes and when I ask them how they function without medications and the structured container of a treatment center they almost always tell me they completely fall apart, have to be rescued by family or friends, etc.  They need an integrated approach like I describe in the book Kundalini Awakening, that incorporates a variety of treatment modalities and supports them developing the strength of the container, the mind/body, to deal with the energies of transformation and not disintegrate.

Then there are the cross religious uses of the term Kundalini.  I occasionally hear from people from some Muslim countries who seem to be experiencing Kundalini awaking and have found absolutely no support or understanding in their culture. The same is true for some Christians who have contacted me, though if one speaks of Kundalini in terms of Holy Spirit there’s some acceptance, but there’s often so much fear of the devil and fear-based distortions that these folks are looking for something  outside of a fundamentalist paradigm to help them. Then they contact us!  I’m sure you hear from all kinds of people awakening to the transpersonal, the transcendent, and wondering how to get oriented.

I don’t think it is every soul’s purpose in this lifetime to experience awakening.  We incarnate across countless lifetimes, evolving, learning from our actions and their consequences, preparing for the time in the cycle of evolution for that quantum leap into the Infinite.  Maybe it will happen before mahapralaya – the great dissolution ending kali yuga and starting the next round of ages, maybe not.  Most souls are fulfilling their soul’s needs right where they are – whether as a bug or a Buddha!  We keep the lights on for those seeking the light and hoping it will illumine the journey for those exploring the dark as well.

Many, many people have been doing yogic, meditative, spiritual, shamanic practices for lifetimes and are incarnating now, bringing with them the levels of awakening and preparation for awakening that they’ve completed in past lives. With enhanced communications now and those rising numbers of awakening souls, there’s hope that we can have more of an impact on collective consciousness.  Whether one is aware of it or not, Kundalini awakening only occurs through lifetimes of preparation and ripening.  Then it can take more lifetimes for Her transformative work to unfold. And then, and then, the real fun begins!

May all beings know complete freedom from suffering!


All love,

Lawrence Edwards, PhD, BCN, LMHC
Founder & Director, OPTIMAL MIND®
2 Byram Brook Place, Ste 2
Armonk, New York  10504

“Transform your mind….
                     transform your life.”®

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Sanskrit and the Human Energy System (Vyaas Houston) and commentary 

Sanskrit and the Human Energy System

by Vyaas Houston

 "Learning the Sutras in English could be compared to scientists using words rather than numerical equations to solve their problems. Not only does Sanskrit offer a precise technical vocabulary, but it is a completely fluid language consisting of
vibrational harmonies, perfectly designed to bring the human energy system into phase with the subtlest matrix of creation. Since the Sutras are nothing more than word equations, the most rudimentary knowledge of Sanskrit suffices. The first step is to learn some basic Sanskrit, especially the pronunciation of its sounds. This is relatively easy, because the sounds of Sanskrit are based on being the purest, and most resonant the human vocal instrument is able to produce. . ."

(from Sanskrit and the Yoga Sutras (Sanskrit and the Certainty of Freedom) from the website of the American Sanskrit Institute: www.americansanskrit.com/ )

My Response

Vyaas Houston is one of the premier scholars of yoga and the Sanskrit language alive today.  He has created a major method for learning the language of Sanskrit in its written and spoken form.  He is certain that a knowledge of this sacred language is essential to experience the full impact of the ancient scriptures written in this language.

I must confess that several years ago I attempted to learn the visual form of Sanskrit, but was basically unsuccessful.  The images seemed unfamiliar to me, as if they had never in some past life been part of my knowledge system.

However, my contact with oral sanskrit was totally different.  The first time I heard these sacred syllables spoken aloud (in a devotional workshop years ago), I was so filled with rapture I thought I was going to fall out of my chair onto the floor. Each sound sent waves of intense bliss throughout my system.  I was in such a trancelike state, that I assumed that the mere sounding of these words would automatically produce bliss in any listener, no matter the singer.

Subsequently, I experienced other spells of rapture from hearing sanskrit sung or spoken, often in kirtan or CD's of Vyaas Houston and others.  I once listened to his transcendent recitation of the Gyatri Mantra as my primary practice for several months, and each time was an ecstatic experience.  Occasionally, I listened to kirtan from inexperienced reciters and I was surprised that no shakti was present.  Apparently the magic depends in part on the source and the setting (which could well be one's own living room.)

I have often wondered why my response was so different to the written and spoken forms of the language.  My guess is that in a past life I was exposed to Sanskrit as a spoken or sung language, not as written script.  I responded to it then (as now) as vibration that permeates the body and awakens profound rapture, as it is intended to do.  In other words, I could not read in that life time, but  heard the sounds through kirtan or recitation. 

In any event, I love the sounds of Sanskrit(even when I have no idea of the meaning) but do not resonate in the least with the written form.

The sweet inner vibrations produced by Sanskrit do indeed awaken the Kundalini within.  Those who are awakened to and connected with Kundalini as bliss will, I think, most likely respond to these as blissful sensation, for the frequencies of Sanskrit are designed to do just that.  The body thus becomes a sounding board, resonating with each note and syllable as ineffable rapture.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mary Oliver––"I Happened to Be Standing"--poem 

I Happened to Be Standing

I don't know where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance. A condition I can't really
call being alive.
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that's their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not.
While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don't know why. And yet, why not.
I wouldn't persuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don't. That's your business.
But I thought, of the wren's singing, what could this be
if it isn't a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.
~ Mary Oliver

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ikkya, Iconoclastic Monk (from Elephant Journal) 

The Story of Ikkyu: Founder of Red Thread Zen Buddhism
(from Elephant Journal)

An  Iconoclastic Monk: Enlightenment Through Real Living

“The autumn breeze of a single night of love is better than a hundred thousand years of sitting meditation.” ~Ikkyu

Ikkyu was an eccentric iconoclastic Zen monk and poet in the 1400s.

Buddhism sometimes has a reputation as being free and individualistic. At least, that’s how many of us wish it was. Often, this is not the case. Buddhism can sometimes be as rigid as other paths, but we should try to avoid this.

Ikkyu Sojun was the embodiment of iconoclastic Buddhism.

Raised in a Rinzai Zen monastery, he was an illegitimate son of the emperor of Japan—so his mother put him in the monastery to make sure his life was spared.

The Buddhism he learned was strict and had a rigid hierarchy.

Ikkyu really loved the Dharma, but he was not a fan of the hierarchy. He felt that it was political, which the Dharma should not be. So when he reached adulthood and they offered him the certificate of enlightenment that would allow him to become a fully ordained Zen Monk, he refused. He left the monastery instead.

He hadn’t given up on the Dharma. In his opinion the establishment in Japan had. He thought that the monks he met were just acting spiritual and focusing on the hierarchy instead of the Dharma. Some believed that enlightenment could only be found by breathing in incense and sitting in silent meditation for hours at a time. Ikkyu disagreed. He believed enlightenment was with us already and we could realize it just as easily by spending our time with poor people and prostitutes as we could with monks. So that’s what he did.

He became a wandering monk and was given the nickname ‘Crazy Cloud’.

The point of Ikkyu’s life story is that the ‘sacred’ is nothing more than ordinary life experienced with mindfulness. His view was non-dualistic. He traveled the country doing things that we don’t associate with monks. There are a lot of stories about him traveling the country, drinking sake, and sleeping with women. He was freedom-loving and he didn’t really care what the religious authorities of the time thought.

Instead of staying in monasteries like most monks, Ikkyu gave teachings in places monks didn’t usually go. He taught in the streets and in brothels. His students were hobos, criminals and prostitutes. A lot more of his students were laypeople than monks because he thought the Dharma was for everyone.

He created his own version of Zen. He called it Red Thread Zen. The Red Thread represents passion. He taught that passion could be a road to enlightenment. He thought that Zen should be life affirming and positive. He didn’t believe that the renunciation that many monks practiced was helpful. He had a great passion for life and said that we should too.

But, at the same time, he expected a lot from his students. His ways taught that having a regular meditation practice was important.

His students were dedicated to Buddhist practice, but in the context of secular life, in the real world instead of in monasteries.

Red Thread Zen was radical in its non-dualism. This version of Buddhism includes the entire world in its teaching, rather than being confined to sacred spaces. If all beings have Buddha nature, then enlightenment isnt a matter of lifestyle, it’s a living experience. When his teachers tried to get him to stay in a monastery, he wouldn’t do it. He wanted to be in the world, working for the Dharma.

Is this bad? I think his story is a lesson. We shouldn’t be attached to what we think a good Buddhist should do and we certainly shouldn’t be attached to systems of authority. Good and bad are just labels. More than that, challenges to authority are important, especially religious forms of authority. Even if you think Ikkyu was wrong in his iconoclasm, it’s important that he was there to make the challenges.

Near the end of his life, a civil war caused many Zen temples to be destroyed. Ikkyu was a big advocate for rebuilding them. In old age his life’s mission was making sure that the religious structure that he had rebelled against would not be lost forever. In the end, Zen in Japan owes him a debt.

Is there Red Thread Zen today?

No. Ikkyu didn’t name a successor, so he didn’t create a lineage. Rinzai Zen is still around, but the offshoot that Ikkyu created died with him. But, many in the Zen tradition do revere him today. It’s sad that he didn’t preserve his lineage, but he was probably concerned that after his death it might become another sect like the ones he had rebelled against.

Maybe we can try to practice Red Thread Zen anyway. What do you think?


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Kundalini, Flowers, and Feeling 

How do you know but every bird
 that cuts the airy way, 
is an immense world of delight, 
closed by your senses five?

William Blake

Kundalini, Flowers, and Feeling

This morning I received an announcement about a new group (TheEdge @evolutionaryleaders.net) that is forming that is dedicated to exploring new approaches to the future.  Two conferences are planned, one in Japan (May 15-17), the other in Denmark (May 16).  The flyer contained the names of many luminaries, all well known in the field of spiritual and social transformation.

However, I was disappointed to discover that not a single one mentioned Kundalini or new feeling states or experiences of bliss, much less transcendent ecstasy.  Their focus was, rather, on refashioning our social structures and mental attitudes to build a new world.

Their efforts are, of course, extremely valuable and much needed on this planet, but they are, I believe, preliminary stages to a still "higher" state of evolutionary development.

My focus lately has been on feeling as such as a necessary ingredient to the new state of consciousness.  Now, "feeling," is an ambiguous word.  It can indeed allude to emotional or psychological states such as "feeling happy" or "feeling sad" or "feeling angry" or "feeling remorse."  But it has another usage (more than one, actually.)  When we talk about " feeling bliss" we are referring to more than a psychological statr.  It is as if we have a sixth sense that puts us in touch with our own responses going on within, literally at the cellular level, leading to sensuous and, sometimes, even quasi-erotic delight.  These are sensations, not mere emotional states, and to ignore them is to omit a key ingredient in our makeup.

Kudalini often produces such reactions (though not always).  It can carry us to the heights (or else take us to the depths).  The former states can often be experienced as we listen to music, absorb at a deep level the sounds and meanings of poetry, stand on sacred ground, absorb the radiant vibrations of a special piece of artwork, move in a deliberate or spontaneous way, come into the presence of someone we love or a group with aligned energies, or even smell a delightful odor.  There are indeed other ways as well since this list is of necessity partial.

I know one woman whose Kundalini activated in an intense way when she visited Macchu Pichu.  Another feels this energetic delight when she visits and communes with the whales (from the deck of a boat) in the Atlantic ocean off Venezuela.

But this morning I had yet another kind of bliss experience  I was walking home when I paused to admire a patch planted with lovely flowers and plants.  Now, I often go into an "altered state" when I connect with nature in various forms.  And I love the visual stimulus they provide.  But this was different.

As I gazed lovingly at the various plantings, my "bliss system" got activated and I felt delicate, sweet energies flow within.  I knew this was Kundalini moving in a most subtle form.  It continued to ripple through softly as I looked now at one, now at another of these living creations.  I realized that even when nature carries us to high states of  awareness and we almost dance with joy, there is yet another level, in which we resonate in a palpable way with what we are seeing.  We enter and experience this energy field as inner vibration, and know its sweetness as our own.

Later, when I paused to contemplate another group of flowers, I was struck with a yet different notion.  What if the flowers experience our vibratory fields just as we feel theirs?  We know that growing things have definite, measurable frequencies.  Perhaps the exchange is mutual.  Perhaps all that is alive, including all animals as well as trees and other such living beings, actually live in a paradise of sensations, and that we, when we perhaps  evolve into angelic beings will, likewise, move into such constant edenic realms and our world will be one of never ending "feelings" of bliss.

Dorothy Walters
May 12, 2012

Monday, May 11, 2015

Kundalini as Future Reality 

Our Era

Sometimes I think indeed
it is an experiment,
taking us to the edges
of terror,
the far boundaries
of joy,
so that we can prepare,
know how it is
to be angels,
feeling as we feel,
tasting what we taste,
living ever within
and as who we are.

Dorothy Walters
May 9, 2015

Some preliminary thoughts:

What will the world be like if universal kundalini awakening occurs?

How will people know who they are if no longer put into pigeon holes of child bearers or child begetters?

How will people relate sexually?  More as energetic attractors?  Will the energies "flow through" one another?

There is a scene in "Cocoon" (l985) where the alien female transmits intense sexual energy across the swimming pool,  I think this scene is prophetic.  The "hero" stands in the water along a shallow side of the pool and the female visitor from another planet stands directly across from him in the water on the other side.  He is extremely attracted to her and would like to couple.  At that point she "zaps" him with a wave of energy and he wilts, commenting "If this is foreplay, I'm a dead man."

Here are some possible aspects of who we may be if universal Kundalini awakening occurs:

We will all be more sensitive to every stimulus...

We will feel energies of earth, of flowers--smell odors of flowers more distinctly, know music as rapture, body as constantly flluctuating energetic field of feeling'

We will be post "human"--the new human--the divine human that many have predicted.

Will we now be more like angels?
May 10, 2015

Random Thoughts:

Many of those who write about the shift into a new consciousness, speak as if the change were primarily mental--a new perspective, a different way of seeing things.  Such an intellectual change is indeed essential, but they are ignoring a more fundamental aspect--the transformation of the body and its many layers into the new paradigm of the future human.

What if the change involved the body in the most radical way?  What if the "body" now had totally new capacities--to feel, to experience, to know through the sensate system the entire world and its contents in a novel and totally different mode?

What if lovers (and all would be lovers of each other) discovered and entered one another in the fashion (I believe) that the angels do--as clouds of feeling fusing with and then dispersing as they pass through one another?  Gender issues as such would be irrelevant, for there would be no assigned "genders"––all would be beyond male/female and exist as pure being, the way "ultimate essence" (god, angels) is/are now. What if another's pain were felt within as if one's own?  What if compassion were a mark of one's own deeply experienced identification with the wounded one's own pain? Would this not do a great deal to annihilate war, murder, mayhem of all sorts?

What if group souls of those with like identities were formed, in which each participated the ideas and feelings of the others (though still retaining a personal identity)?

Is not Kundalini itself––with its charged feelings, its resonance with all about including not only the physical setting but the emanations from the persons it is dealing with––a move in this direction?  Anyone who has thrilled from a passage in music, the view from a mountain top, or a lover's touch understands this way of knowing.  It involves perception, but is not limited to mental thought processes.  It offers a way of participating the universe unlike what is produced by mathematical formulae or artificial "intelligence."  Robots are not  people.  They may act on command, but they do not feel.
And feeling itself, incorporated into and reinforcing mental processes, is the basis of the new evolutionary stage.

Are we even now entering this critical stage of transition? Aren't even the New Age seekers, the followers of sometimes specious gurus, the still "green" would be wisdom writers who are yet not ready to speak––part of an already happening process?

Are we building toward a "tipping point," where the new being will emerge fully clad in its glory?

Those among us who already participate the new paradigm in as yet minor ways, those who open to the bliss of groups vibrating to the same frequency in harmony, those who have tasted rapture as music, as movement, as joy of the word--they are the wayshowers, the pilgrims who offer their bodies in all its aspects and levels, to the shift that is taking place, whether on or off this planet.  They are willing to climb onto the altar as sacrifice, for they yield their familiar identities and personae to be shredded in the service of the emergent being, the "divine human."

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Billy Collins--"The Lanyard"--poem 

The Lanyard

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

- Billy Collins

Friday, May 08, 2015

Kabir––"Between the Conscious and the Unconscious"––poem 

Between the conscious and the unconscious, the mind has put up a swing

By Kabir
(15th Century)

English version by Robert Bly

Between the conscious and the unconscious, the mind has put up a swing:
all earth creatures, even the supernovas, sway between these two trees,
and it never winds down.

Angels, animals, humans, insects by the million, also the wheeling sun and moon;
ages go by, and it goes on.

Everything is swinging: heaven, earth, water, fire,
and the secret one slowly growing a body.
Kabir saw that for fifteen seconds, and it made him a servant for life.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

On a Postgender Future (from Integral Life) 

The following article may seem out of place on this kundalini blog, but in fact it is intimately related to issues of the future and coming changes in experience and attitudes.  Kundalini is inevitably linked to the future--the changes that will come about when many more are undergoing major spiritual transformation and new ways of being are emerging in all fields.  One of the areas of interest is, obviously, that of gender issues, and how these will be affected by widespread Kundalini awakenings.

Kundalini, of course, does not have any particular sexual manifestation or preference.  It visits and transforms male and female alike, and thus may be said to be (like electricity) gender neutral.  But it will have an impact on how we as humans relate to others and ourselves, and will coincide with major changes in how we think about our own gender identity and that of others.

Debold's article offers a lot to consider in this regard.  I do not necessarily agree with all of her assertions, but do indeed believe that major changes are occurring even now in public and private attitudes and practices and that these will continue to manifest more obviously in the future.

Consider how social beliefs and practices have changed even in recent years.  A few generations ago (think two or three), medical manuals on sex claimed that sex was exclusively for male pleasuring, and informed their woeful female readers that women were incapable of experiencing orgasms (with the exception of a few "loose women").  It was taken for granted that the male would always initiate sex, and that the "missionary position" was the only acceptable form.  

Homosexuality was classed as a  "perversion," and only degenerates engaged in such despicable practices.

Mothers seldom revealed to their daughters what roles they might play as brides, for sex itself was a taboo topic.

I need not describe how attitudes have changed, particularly in most recent years, for anyone who even turns on a T. V. set these days can see clearly that, for better or worse, we are living in a different era.

My major purpose in including this article is, as I stated above, to demonstrate that many, many changes will ensue in future, and that both widespread experiences of kundalini and revised attitudes toward gender will play major roles.

Debold's article comes from the website called "Integral Life"

Conchita Wurst, Cyborgs, and Our Postgender Future
by Elizabeth Debold

When I watched Conchita Wurst sing her way to victory in the Eurovision competition in May 2014, I was thrilled. It wasn’t simply because her win was a triumph for transgender people everywhere (particularly given Putin’s gaybashing) but her unique masculine femininity (or vice versa) points us to a future in which the gender polarity that we feel is “normal” will no longer make sense. Conchita Wurst—the stage persona created by singer Thomas Neuwirth—breaks through drag queen conventions by sporting a full beard and no female prosthetics while wearing false eyelashes, big hair, and a sparkling gown. The transgender impulse challenges the very nature of male and female that has been the foundation of modern culture. It is an impulse toward a transcendence of biology that places a priority on freedom from the dualisms of modernity—masculine/feminine, mind/body, culture/nature—and thereby holds the potential for profound culture change.

Liberation from biology is not only happening among those who are transgender, but it’s also intrinsic to another cultural current: transhumanism. I don’t think it’s an accident that both are gaining momentum now. In fact, there are some fascinating similarities. Both encourage us to defy the limitations of our biology and re-invent what it means to be human. Both depend on technologies that are only coming on line now. Motivated by a drive for transcendence, which is often a spiritual goal, they seek to accomplish it through material means—surgery, implants, drugs, augmentation. Finally, different strains in these two movements envision a postgender future.

How much longer are we going to be able to depend on gender, and reproductive biology, to determine who we are as human beings? While it may be almost unthinkable to realize, identification with being a man or woman may become almost irrelevant to our lives, happiness, and creative contribution to life in the not-so-distant future. How will we ground ourselves and develop a deep sense of self-recognition, meaning, and purpose? I’d like to take a look at the postgender edges that are now emerging, and then contemplate how to develop our humanity so that we don’t become ghosts in a society of machines.

I Dream of Ramona

Postgender societies have been appearing in science fiction for decades. Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, written in 1968, was one of the first—a “thought experiment” about a society in which people are “ambisexual,” taking on a specific gender once a month largely for procreation. In a recent series of posts on the science fiction/fantasy site Tor.com, author Alex Dally MacFarlane insists that “post-binary gender” needs to be an essential part of sci fi writing: “People who do not fit comfortably into the gender binary exist in our present, have existed in our past, and will exist in our futures.” In her posts, she notes how deeply gender is embedded in language and explores different approaches that authors have taken to break out of this binary. She asks: “How will languages change in the decades and centuries to come? How will we better express our gender systems—or, reaching far into the future, the gender systems of sentient life we might meet?”  

MacFarlane argues that the gender binary is still the default in science fiction, but I would argue that this default is being undermined in surprising ways. Hollywood and the commercial gaming industry churn out images of males and females that are extremely differentiated and hypersexualized. So, the male cyborg is metal plated and muscle bound (the Terminator, Robocop, or Roy Batty from Blade Runner), while the females are often, to use a term from Blade Runner, the “basic pleasure model.” Despite the tendency for female action heroes to be, as Dr. Caroline Heldman says, merely “fighting fuck toys” (think: Lara Croft or Elektra), among the great sci fi heroes, sex doesn’t really matter. Male heroes (for example, Mad Max, Han Solo, Neo, Tony Stark, Jean-Luc Picard) exemplify classically male attributes: physical strength, rugged individualism, sharp intellect, inventiveness, leadership, bravery, power, and aggression. In the dystopian visions of the future that preoccupy our collective imagination, these male heroes are called on to defend and protect, put themselves in the line of fire, and rescue women and the world. They are, in essence, cowboys. But here’s where the tables turn postgender: the truly great female sci fi heroines—Ellen Ripley from Aliens, Sarah Connor from Terminator, and Catniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games—are also cowboys, cowboys with a bit more complexity. Not only are they courageous lone warrior/leaders, they are motivated by classically maternal concerns.

The trouble is that, despite the freedom that sci fi creators have to envision new worlds, really great female heroes are far too few. From Barbarella to the fembots, portrayals of women in science fiction and fantasy more often remind me of I Dream of Jeannie—the sexy, magic companion that fulfills her “master’s” every dream. The Escher Girls tumblr documents the almost comically absurd distortions and inappropriateness of female anime warriors leaping into battle with huge spherical bared breasts, flashing their naked buttocks. Too often visions of the future end up being a projection screen of immature fantasies that hypersexualize both sexes, but hold extreme gender differences in place.

Yet, there is a subversive element to this adolescent male fantasy world that undermines the gender binary that the often hypersexualized images themselves reinforce. Male teens adopting female avatars in gaming or on Second Life, and vice versa for female and male avatars, expands one’s “self” identification beyond the sex/gender with which one might personally and physically identify with. In Second Life, there is a great deal of conscious cross-gender exploration. So many males adopt female avatars that it’s led to the term G.I.R.L.—Guy In Real Life. A prime motivation appears to be sexual: cross-gender roleplaying allows one to explore different aspects of one’s sexuality. Even Ray Kurzweil, the dazzling prophet of our glorious technofuture and a director of engineering at Google, is experimenting with cross-gender virtual reality. He’s created “Ramona” as his virtual reality alter ego who fulfills his fantasy to be a female rock star. (Ramona also hosts chats on Kurzweil’s website.) These experiments with cross gender role playing in virtual reality spaces could lead to a postgender world in Real Life.

The Feminine Invasion of the Masculine Sphere

I’d like to escape from the sci fi warrior world and return to Planet Earth where the gender binary has been under siege since the start of the women’s liberation movement. While it is difficult for us to see clearly now, the changes in expectations for women have already begun to forge a postgender social world. As women stepped from the private feminine sphere of the home into the pubic masculine sphere of work (and politics and so forth), the stark opposition that held the gender binary in place began to soften. Once a new change becomes the norm, it’s almost impossible for us to imagine that life could ever have been another way. We forget that in the nineteenth century well-respected doctors argued that women’s wombs would atrophy if they engaged too much in intellectual pursuits. At this point, given that women have clearly proven their capability and competence across the board., such ideas seem ridiculous. Similarly, it took over one hundred years of agitation by radical women to secure “permission” to wear trousers in public. Women today take for granted that they can wear what had been male-only clothing for hundreds of years.

We don’t yet grant men parallel permission to wear what has been female clothing. This is why Conchita Wurst’s appearance is such a surprise. She isn’t simply cross dressing; she is doing so without giving up her beard or her actual body shape (that is, without full breasts and buttocks). While Conchita is evidence that this is beginning to change, the growing trend for young boys to wear female clothing—simply because they want to—is a larger step toward a postgender world. These boys are not necessarily gay, nor straight, but are asking for, and getting, permission to play with the full range of appearance and behavior that male and female have encompassed.

The liberation of women and men to explore and to be the entire range of human possibilities will only be further enhanced by new technologies. The biological difference between men and women in relation to human reproduction has been foundational to the creation of a gender divided culture. Advanced reproductive technologies will make the biological differences between the sexes less and less relevant. What will it mean to be biologically female when advance reproductive technologies enable healthy infants to grow outside a living womb? What will it mean to be a male when technology could even enable men to bear children? How will we envision our robot helpers who won’t ever actually be male or female, and how, in turn, will that affect how we see ourselves? Gender means nothing to robots. As we begin to replace parts of ourselves or perhaps have more options for our embodiment, would we continue to create ourselves as distinctly male and female? Why would we?

Keeping the “Trans” in Transgender

Recently, I read two different accounts of young adults who were in the midst of making the transition from one sex to another and then stopped. They stopped the process because they realized that becoming the supposedly opposite sex wasn’t what was driving them. One said that s/he didn’t want to go from one “box” to another. Reinstating a gender binary by switching from one side to the other misses the radical potential in the trans impulse.

While, clearly, some human beings feel that they are trapped in the “wrong” body, as a developmental psychologist, I wonder if this is may be an issue of cognitive development. Our culture emphasizes the gender binary, and at a certain level of cognitive development, our minds are capable of thinking only in binary terms. In this case, culture and mind may reinforce each other, leading a small but very real percentage of us to believe that the sex of the body that they have is not who they should be. If our culture would begin to see that gender and sex encompass a range, with “purely” masculine males and feminine females being the extremes of an entire range, then would there be less need or impulse toward sex reassignment? In other words, in the future, will most of us be “trans” in relation to the gender polarity we have now, and the “fringe” will be the masculine and feminine poles at either end of the spectrum?

The capacity for us to think “trans” rather than binary is a new and evolving one. The very structure of modern culture has been built on the binary distinction between two sexes with two genders: male/masculine and female/feminine. This is also the foundation of our identity—who we most deeply think we are. What becomes of us if we no longer have sex/gender as the foundation of our selves or our culture? How do we anchor ourselves in relationship and purpose if the sex of our bodies no longer hold a significant purpose that guides how we live our lives?

As I see it, we have two different paths to follow. The deconstruction of this polarized gender binary and questioning “woman” and “man” as monolithic categories follows an evolutionary logic. Eventually the polarity between male and female that currently has such a hold on our imaginations will cease. Life evolves toward diversity, and human life, even our sense of identity, grows toward greater differentiation. Our drive to individuate, to become unique individuals, is a movement toward differentiation. We can continue with this movement in relation to our gender identities and create a plethora of masculine/feminine/neutral ways to be human. I become a unique gender, which sets me apart. However, what then would bind us? Insecurity, fragmentation, and alienation could easily overcome us, leaving us increasingly separate and alienated from each other or from a core sense of self. How can one have a core if who we are is so malleable?

The other pathway, one that is emerging at the edge of culture now, would be to differentiate in the context of unity. Beyond and before our realization of separate or differing embodiment is the unity of consciousness that is the foundation of all creation. The cultural momentum toward post-traditional forms of spirituality expresses the longing that individuals feel for a deeper foundation of self. The realization of Being that goes beyond the separate self provides a context for difference within wholeness. Difference can only truly be engaged with from a place of unity, as a shared human project. Rather than rooting our self in binary difference or in increasingly fragmented me-genders, our various expressions of humanity can find an anchor in the ground of nonseparation from which all differences arise. This depth that is prior to gender holds the potential to liberate us to create a postgender culture that is, literally, wholesome.

- See more at: https://www.integrallife.com/integral-post/conchita-wurst-cyborgs-and-our-postgender-future#break

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Another world 

Another World

Now I live in this other world,
this place of now.

So many worlds have passed away
and it is as if I alone
am left to remember them,
(Ishmael at sea?)
Friends become souls anointed
or drifting,
paragraphs in a paper recounting,
once enemies even their names

What was the name of that one
who occupied my mind
for so long?
Who was it played a prank on me,
set my hair ablaze?

That woman who turned
the bed down each night,
secret touching in a car
traveling at night.

What became of the others,
those who barely made an imprint,
went on to become famous,
or else lapsed into a kind
of twilight routine?

Did they ever think of me?
Did they remember any of it,
an hour or a second,
moments so precious then?

Dorothy Walters
April 27, 2015

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

When (poem by Dorothy) 


When you were younger
there were certain things
you could take
more seriously:

the mystical temple, with its outer courtyard,
its inner courtyard,
the sanctum sanctorum
where only the priests might enter.

Invocations wearing
special garb.

and sacred.

Waves of bliss
which rose
out of the ground.

with their
strange answers,
their cabalistic messages.

The arrangement
of the stars,
your fate written
in the heavens.

Now you are occupied
with more familiar tasks,
assignments so very
mundane but necessary,
as if you had joined those who
call this way of life reality,
a realm where routine replaces

Except for those special moments,
like a star shower,
a sweep of rain
across the budding trees,
a sudden wave of joy
from a special phrase
of music,
a movement of the hands
that awakens ecstasy everywhere,
a memory recaptured.

Dorothy Walters
May 5, 2015

Monday, May 04, 2015

Ikkyu (1394-1481) "A Fisherman" (poem) 

A Fisherman

By Ikkyu (Ikkyu Sojun)
(1394 - 1481)

English version by John Stevens

Studying texts and stiff meditation can make you lose your Original Mind.
A solitary tune by a fisherman, though, can be an invaluable treasure.
Dusk rain on the river, the moon peeking in and out of the clouds;
Elegant beyond words, he chants his songs night after night.

(via PoetryChaikhana)

Friday, May 01, 2015

Gary Horvitz––Aftershock (poem) 


I wake, but what day is this?
I remember sleeping, but this is the dream.
I am talking. I hear myself but I don’t know what I am saying.
There is traffic, but where are they going?
I could leave, but where would I go?
The high-rise ghosts have all gone.
We are neither dead nor alive.
The big dog barks. And barks.
Will there be a meal tonight?
We will eat with our fingers.
I wear the same clothes as yesterday.
I will wear them tomorrow.
The sky threatens rain.
The light comes and goes.
People appear and disappear.
After the anxiety comes the depression.
After the panic comes the wandering.
After the dying comes the remorse of the living.
After the undoing comes the doing.
Nothing is the same as before.
I can’t even remember before.
When we slept.

- Gary Horvitz
  (from Kathmandu)

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