Kundalini Splendor

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How to do real therapy--(from Films for Action via Sparrow Mattes on Facebook) 

Here is how a survivor of the massacres in Rwanda describes attempts by western psychologists to help with the resulting depression among many:

from 'Films For Action'

"We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave.

They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better. There was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again. There was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy. There was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again.

Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave."

~A Rwandan talking to a western writer, Andrew Solomon, about his experience with western mental health and depression.

From The Moth podcast, 'Notes on an Exorcism'

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Awakening 

I was so inspired by Fran Claggett's poem that I wrote another one, following the pattern of her poem, but on a very different subject.

The Awakening

the ecstasy, the grief

the lifting of the heart
to the top of the mountain,
waves of rapture

free fall into despair,
nights of frozen tears,
cry of silence.

what did it mean,
I wonder.
yet I am grateful,
even now,
when the journey
is still unfolding,
even now,
joy stirring within.

Dorothy Walters
June 27, 2015

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fran Claggett––"The Supremes"--poem 

The Supremes

the joy, the sorrow

the sun
rainbow flags

arrows in the heart
all those years
of silence

why am I not shouting
why at last the tears

- Fran Claggett

Friday, June 26, 2015

This HIstoric Day--Love Is Love 

I confess--as I read through the many letters of congratulation and exultation appearing today to celebrate--finally--the restoration of full civil equality to Gays and Lesbians and Trans folk across the nation--many brought a tear to my eye.

Why?  Because I was born 87 years ago into a world that had only contempt and derision for anyone who did not "fit into the mold" of heterosexual society.  At that time, if you were discovered to be gay, your parents, friends, and family might disown you, the law might incarcerate you, your employer might fire you, and the medical and psychiatric establishments might institutionalize you.

The only place you could read about yourself was in Kraft-Ebbing's descriptions of "perverts" or perhaps in "The Well of Loneliness," a work of fiction which offered a totally depressing version of those hidden from and rejected by the mainstream society.  (And this book was taken to trial in England and charged with being pornographic, though it did not contain a single "sex scene."  It was the topic itself that was held to be obscene.)

Given that the penalties were so serve, why did so many of us follow our hearts and seek to be with our same sex partners anyway?

The answer is simply--as many have made clear today--love is love.  To give up the person you felt you were destined to be with overrode all other considerations.  And the penalties for this were severe, even if we were not punished in any of the ways mentioned above.

Gays and others were forced to hide their identities from all but a carefully chosen circle of friends.  This meant denying to others who we truly were, what we really felt about ourselves and others, and carrying within a heavy burden of  guilt feelings imposed on us by society at large.  We all heard horror stories of people being (often) wrongly accused and publicly humiliated by the authorities--though some of these had never had an actual homosexual relationship, for they were afraid.  Some were so intimidated that they were not able to have any kind of mature sexual relationship with anyone, even as adults.  Some were subjected to cruel and painful "cures" to change their sexual preferences.

I could go on and on with such accounts.  I grew up as a totally closeted lesbian, although often I was in an extremely long term relationship, and frankly I think this was a very unhealthy way of being in the world.  

Today, I am proud that I was a "foremother" of many of those who celebrate today.  I like to think that "I was a lesbian before it got to be popular."

I have lived alone for many years and the new ruling will have no practical impact on my life, since I do not plan to marry anyone of any sexual group.

But I am delighted that--finally--I and my sisters and brothers have at last been allowed to come to the front of the bus and are no longer forced to pretend to be something other than what we are.

Here is a letter I received today from Emily's List, a group dedicated to helping more women get elected to public office:

It's happened.

The Supreme Court has made marriage equality the law of the land.

Today is a historic day for progress. I could not be more humbled by the decades of hard work by millions of activists that led to this moment.

Equality for LGBT Americans has come so far in just half a century. It was 46 years ago almost to the day that instead of enduring another police raid of a gay bar, the patrons of the Stonewall Inn fought back — sparking the modern LGBT rights movement.

It was only in 2004 that Massachusetts became the first state where same-sex couples could get married. As of yesterday, 37 states and Washington, D.C. recognized marriage equality. Now in every single state couples will be able to marry whom they love.

These victories have been hard fought and hard won — and we should all take this moment and celebrate that. But there are more battles yet to be won.

Victory will only come if we continue to fight, and if we continue to elect and push our politicians to do more for LGBT rights.

Join me and pledge to continue the fight for equality and help elect the politicians who will stand with us:


Thanks for all you do,

Stephanie Schriock
President, EMILY's List

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Zeynep Hatun--poem 

I am a fountain, You are my water

By Zeynep Hatun
(15th Century)

English version by Murat Yagan

I am a fountain, You are my water.
I flow from You to You.

I am an eye, You are my light,
I look from You to You.

You are neither my right nor my left.
You are my foot and my arm as well.

I am a traveler, You are my road.
I go from You to You.

-- from "Women in Sufism: A Hidden Treasure - Writings and Stories of Mystics Poets, Scholars and Saints," Edited by Camille Adams Helminski

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Stages––poem by Dorothy 


This is the final thing.

Power and faith, power and blood.
                                Linda Gregg

Power and blood,
distilled in faith.

All of us came

down here in desire,


The yielding nipple,

its fruity


The love spasm,

shuddering through

like a divine fury


Always we gave and received,

received and gave,

until we were weary of Things,

worn out with doing.

Interminable waiting. . .

endless despair.

Stricken searching in the dark.

Sudden illumination igniting

all the tapers 

of the soul.

Veins and sinews lit

with  incandescent joy.

Then, a final darkness

before new light.

Dorothy Walters
Sept. 16, 2005

(image from internet)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Walt Whitman--Miracles 


Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge
of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with anyone I love, or sleep in the bed
at night with anyone I love,
Or sit at the table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honeybees busy around the hive
of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining
so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon
in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread
with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim-the rocks-the motion of the waves
-the ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

~ Walt Whitman ~

(Leaves of Grass)

Monday, June 22, 2015

I Became the Fish 

I Became the Fish

One raindrop fell
on my tongue
and I became the fish
who drowned in
the ocean
of light.

A rose opened.
I fell
into its core
and transformed into
the seed of all life.

The sun's rays
the desert sand
and burnt away all signs of awareness.
I bloomed silently below
and became the molecule
of the world
of living things
that exist
even amidst the dunes
and cinders.

Dorothy Walters
June 18, 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sofia Diaz in Crestone 

Sofia Diaz in Crestone

Sofia Diaz

(Note from Dorothy: Sofia Diaz, known primarily as a yoga teacher, is also, to my mind, one of the wisest of the wise women among us today.  I would urge anyone who can, to attend this workshop, perhaps our last chance to see her and drink of her "wisdom well" before she goes into a kind of "semi" retreat mode (as I understand it.)  Crestone itself is a sacred center, well worth the trip.  I wish I could go, but cannot.  This is a rare opportunity.  Go if you can.)

Sofia Diaz
Sofia offers a unique approach to Hatha Yoga, sacred movement and feminine spiritual practice, deriving her style of teaching and body philosophy from the South Indian temple arts. She lectures at Naropa University and teaches throughout North America.
Dear Friends,
The Women's Annual Crestone Retreat will take place August 4-9 in beautiful Crestone, Colorado. 

The first two years of this retreat were outlandishly powerful, surprisingly blessed, shockingly attended by women of all ages and many countries. Nonetheless, the third year, the most amazing Patroness and manifestor of this retreat, beloved Mersedeh Kheradmand, was unable to orchestrate it, and I, Sofia Ophelia Diaz, was, as usual, too swamped to do it by myself, so, I was going to let it slip by.

God knows how, but the two eldest, wise-women practitioners who had both attended a previous retreat in honor of their birthdays, found out and called me. They both energetically reached through the phone, took me by the ear, shook me and said (in so many words but almost identical without even knowing each other) "you cannot let this pass, it is not about you, it is about women registering a different possibility about themselves, their wisdom, the value of their lives in a new way, that we may all look toward a new way to participate in all ages with each other, but especially look to live the latter parts of our lives out of joy, wisdom, generosity of wisdom, beauty and abundant healing to our dying breaths."

Click here for more information and to register for the retreat.

So, this year is a return and a profound ode and prayer to this calling and thus, this may be the last year this retreat happens in this exact way, in this exact location.

It is time for me, Sofia O. to let go of the way I have held everything in order to open the space for how and what needs to manifest rather than carrying all that has wanted to manifest through me, on my back, like a big, phat, old turtle. Time for me to put the shell on the ground, let my innards and backwards get some sun and find out what structure can hold the marvel of our majestic practice. Beloved Women, you have carved a groove of grace that has resounded universes with your ruthless love-growth-nakedness into highly spiritualized and awake yoginis, dakinis, earth mamas, sisters, mothers, daughters, Lovers, Goddesses. On behalf of our universe, I THANK YOU, now...

I personally invite you to come and let go into the simplicity of a dandelion field that needs to be blown to the winds to land, plant and flower MORE magic for our precious lives and times. Lets slip into and slather on the healing balm of retreat and re-trust! As we continue to kiss all of manifestation with our unstoppable Love, let’s allow the next gathering to reveal itself by letting go of everything, together one more time in celebration of each other and the un-nameable beauty of Divine Recognition that ever brought us to practice together in the first place.

Join this year's 15th annual women's retreat with Sofia Diaz.

With oodles of Love, gratitude and excitement!


We send our special mailings to yoga students of Sofia Diaz.

Our mailing address is:
2770 Arapahoe Rd.
Lafayette, CO 80026

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ivan Granger on Pain and Suffering  

Dear Friends,
Today, Ivan Granger posted this vivid and moving reflection on the topic of pain and suffering (www.poetry-chaikhana.com).  All of us experience, from time to time, bouts of deep grief, emotional disturbance, and physical pain.  Ivan is especially prone to the latter, and this recurrent agony has caused him to reflect deeply on the sources of our pain and suffering.  I am reprinting his article here for I feel it contains words of wisdom for us all.  And I am reposting a poem I wrote some time back on how we tend to hide our pain from ourselves and others:


We bury our pain in a secret crypt,
stealing out at night to worship or pray.

We insist our pain is nameless,
and therefore does not exist.

We hide our pain behind the crockery
on a high shelf,
convinced that when we lift it down
it will be less intense,
muted by dust and silken webs.

We put it in with the silver
which we use only on Rare Occasions,
removing it with the flatware now and again,
to polish and make inventory.

We wear our pain inside
a small locket around our neck.

We carry it as a stone hidden in our shoe,
or else as a thorn riding our flank.

We fasten a red ribbon around our throat,
so that we do not speak or whisper.

Dorothy Walters
from Marrow of Flame, Poems of the Spiritual Journey

Ivan's discourse:

Hi Dorothy-

It's the end of a rough health week for me. I mustered enough steam for my day job, but I didn't have the proper focus or energy to select a few poems, really spend some time with them, and share my thoughts. I was going to let the Poetry Chaikhana be silent this week, but then I remembered this note about health and suffering I wrote a few years ago. As something that was written in the midst of a particularly difficult bout, it's not exactly an "all is light" sort of statement, but I hope that it helps to awaken that inner fire and grit we all need sometimes to get through life's challenges…

Here's the thing: Not every disease or discomfort is meant to be overcome. 

That's a hard thing to say, and even harder to accept. But it's true. If disease dares to show up in our lives, we want it fixed, removed. We want to get on with life and refuse to see disease as being part of life. Even in the holistic health community which views illness as a teacher, we often want to learn the "lesson" so we can quickly dismiss the teacher.

Sometimes, though, dis-ease is an annoyingly persistent teacher. It teaches us interior awareness. Not something learned quickly. It teaches sheer endurance. And, maybe the most difficult lesson, surrender. Many of us get into the world of "alternative" health as a way to take control. But surrender, that's much more difficult to achieve with grace. It requires real subtlety to even distinguish between surrender and defeat. I don't think we should give in or give up. I personally keep trying new things, new approaches, new... strategies. Maybe it's my Aries nature, but I sometimes think of it as a sparring match. I don't necessarily get into to it to win. I just like the sparring. Like a martial artist. The back and forth teaches me more about myself. 

Don't speak of your suffering -- He is speaking.
Don't look for Him everywhere -- He's looking for you.

- Sanai


One other thing that has come to me over the years -- one of the mental reflexes for suffering is jealousy. That's not the first emotion one normally associates with illness, but it's often lurking in the background. I've certainly noticed it. 

Why should I have so much of my life and attention diverted by this, when everyone else has it easy? 

Says Farid,
I thought I was alone who suffered.
I went on top of the house,
And found every house on fire.

- Baba Sheikh Farid

I'm always being reminded that no one has it easy. Sure, some people have less struggle, while others have heartbreaking levels of suffering. But, when the weariness clears, I glimpse a surprising truth: None of that is the point. The purpose of the human spirit isn't to be free from difficulty. 

That may sound like a cold statement, but it is not. When deeply embraced, this understanding opens us to greater levels of empathy and compassion, and it begins to create a profound resilience within ourselves, allowing us to encounter suffering without shutting down. In other words, if you hold in your mind the idea that suffering is inherently and always wrong, then when you encounter it, you will instinctively shut down. If, however, you accept the existence of suffering -- in yourself, in others -- your eyes and heart remain open and your hands become willing in the midst of struggles. Accepting suffering gives you greater ability to genuinely alleviate it.

Spirituality and Health

There is a related unconscious thought we often carry that suffering and illness are the sign that something is imperfect about ourselves spiritually. Saints get cancer and have heart attacks. Sages suffer epilepsy. Medicine women get migraines. The body, being a limited vehicle designed to operate in a sometimes disharmonious environment, will sometimes ail. The mark of attainment is not a lack of struggle, but how we respond to that struggle.

Our lives are simply stories. Sometimes the drama and the heat are high, sometimes they are quiet. What is important is the meaning we discover and reveal through that drama. It's a supremely difficult paradox: We have to engage intensely in the body and the challenges of life, yet, at the same time, it's not personal... it's a fascinating story being told through us.

The hallowing of Pain
Like hallowing of Heaven,
Obtains at corporeal cost 
The Summit is not given

To Him who strives severe
At middle of the Hill 
But He who has achieved the Top 
All is the price of All 

- Emily Dickinson

Meaning and Suffering

The ultimate question is one of meaning. When we discover meaning in suffering, the suffering becomes endurable. Even comfort and ease, without meaning, eventually become unbearable.

Illness may be devastating, but discovering meaning feeds a hunger even more fundamental than the desire to be free from pain. It feeds the hunger of the soul to know itself.

That hunger, when left unfed, is the real source of suffering in the world.

how can the heart in love
ever stop opening
- Rumi


I also have to acknowledge the heartbreaking murders that took place at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Not only does my heart go out to the suffering families and friends of those who were killed, but my heart also goes out to a country, my country, that wants so much to declare racism to be a thing of the past, but has yet to honestly confront that history and its repercussions today. 

Finally, to all my Muslim friends, I hope this Ramadan is a special time of reconnecting with the Divine and reconnecting with what is pure and true within oneself.

Blessings! And have a healing weekend!


Share Your Thoughts on today's email...

(Or view the note's blog page to click the FB 'Like' button.)

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Ivan M. Granger's original poetry, stories and commentaries are Copyright © 2002 - 2015 by Ivan M. Granger.
All other material is copyrighted by the respective authors, translators and/or publishers.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Your Lover--poem by Dorothy 

Your Lover

I am your lover,
your counsel, your joy.

When I come to you,
all externals fall away

till nothing is left,
but the sweet essence,
the seed of life at the center.

One day you will walk out
into a garden.
All the flowers will bear
your name.
Which has, in some unfathomable alchemy,
become my own.

For now we are one,
one fused being,
one truth.

You are my Beloved,
as I am yours,
night and day.

How can you separate
the petals from the rose?

Dorothy Walters
June 18, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Suggested Readings on Kundalini 

Many people encountering Kundalini for the first time as well as those involved in an ongoing process wonder where to begin their research into this unfamiliar topic.  The following list is arranged more or less in the order of difficulty, with the most basic texts presented first.

Tara Springett––Enlightenment Through the Path of Kundalini: A Guide to a Positive Spiritual Awakening and Overcoming Kundalini Syndrome
This book is "written for everybody who wants to learn about the mysterious phenomenon of kundalini and use it to reach the pinnacle of huan development––enlightenment.  The book is equally written for those who are going through an involuntary awakening..."
This volume contains much valuable information from a therapist who has extensive experience in the field of Kundalini, although I do not agree with her assertion that Kundalini is a certain path to enlightenment (what is?)  I also think it can be dangerous to try to trigger it through intent.  I am with Gopi Krishna, who felt that the inner guide would bring spontaneous awakening when the student was ready.  Of course, one can prepare for the time when that may happen in order to be fully receptive.

Bonnie Greenwell––The Kundalini Guide: A Companion for the Inward Journey (Inward Journey Guides) (Volumes 1 and 2)
Both volumes contain easily accessible information that is especially useful for the beginner on the path.

Gopi Krishna--Enlightenment: The Evolutionary Energy in Man
Gopi Krishna's Kundalini awakening is accepted as the classic account of how Kundalini awakens and operates within the human system.  As a result of his experience, he became convinced that Kundalini was the driving force behind universal evolution of conscious.  I agree with him, since Kundalini itself seems to bring about radical transformation of the nervous system, the mind, and the spirit.  His view is especially persuasive given the current widespread accounts of kundalini awakening reported across the globe.  Further, Kundalini appears to be catching, as often one initiate triggers similar reactions in others close to them.

Lawrence Edwards––Awakening Kundalini  "With his unique expertise in modern psychology, neuroscience, meditation training, and spiritual traditions, Lawrence Edwards clarifies for readers the many dimensions of Kundalini awakening, including practices and meditations for recognizing its manifestations and preparing the body and mind to enter its expansive, empowering flow/..."  A Jungian therapist, Lawrence is available for phone consults.

Dorothy Walters––Unmasking the Rose: A Record of a Kundalini Initiation  Dorothy experienced spontaneous intense Kundalini awakening in 1981 in a setting (Kansas) where she did not know a single person who had even heard of Kundalini. This book offers an "inside view" of what it is like to undergo such awakening in a process that has continued to unfold over many, many years with only the guidance of the "guru within."  It is one of the few accounts of the personal journey written in contemporary times.  Many find this book useful as a guide for their own experience, even if theirs is merely spiritual transformation as such, in whatever guise.  For the author, Kundalini is the manifestation of the "beloved with," a presence which  brings recurrent experiences of ecstatic union with the divine essence, as well as many chanllenges along the way as she seeks to balance and integrate these unfamiliar energies.  In recent years, she has focused on writing spiritual poetry and reflections on the journey which she publishes as a blog (www.KundaliniSplendor.blogspot.com) as well as printed texts.  She takes inquiries at dorothywalters72@gmail.com

El Collie–– "Branded by the Spirit" http://www.kundaliniawakeningsystems1.com/downloads/branded-by-the-spirit_by-el-collie.pdf

El Collie, now deceased, was a pioneer in the area of Kundalini studies.  Her early newsletter (called Shared Transformation) brought myriad responses from those willing to share their experiences at a time when Kundalini was seldom spoken of.  Her articles on Kundalini, expressed with eloquence and grace, are extremely insightful.  Unfortunately, she  herself experienced primarily the negative symptoms of Kundalini, and she suffered much pain as a result, with the result that she pays little attention to the blissful aspects of the process.  Nonetheless, hers is one of the most fascinating discussions of the many features of the Kundalini process.  The first entries on this site are mainly her own earlier autobiography.  The later segments (beginning around p. 61) focus more specifically on aspects of Kundalini.

Kundalini Rising--from Sounds True (anthology from various perspectives--includes Dorothy Walters on the relation of Kundalini and the mystical journey)

  Lee Sannella––The Kundalini Experience: Psychosis or Transcendence
  Lee Sannella was one of the first to note the resemblance between psychological crisis and Kundalini awakening.  Sometimes one is mistaken for the other.  This book is of special relevance to all who are counseling those undergoing apparent spiritual awakening.

Evelyn Underhill--Mysticism  This book is a classic in the field of mystical scholarship.  Though Underhill frames her study in terms of Christian belief systems, her presentation applies equally to all mystical traditions and lineages, of whatever disposition.  Since Kundalini is itself one of the great mystical journeys, this book is extremely helpful for those Kundalini voyagers pursuing this path.   Note:  Skip the first section (too academic) and start with Part Two (more relevant).

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

John O'Donohue--"A Beauty Blessing"--poem 

A Beauty Blessing

As stillness in stone to silence is wed
May your heart be somewhere a God might dwell.

As a river flows in ideal sequence
May your soul discover time in presence.

As the moon absolves the dark of resistance
May thought-light console your mind with brightness.

As the breath of light awakens colour
May the dawn anoint your eyes with wonder.

As spring rain softens the earth with surprise
May your winter places be kissed by light.

As the ocean dreams to the joy of dance
May the grace of change bring you elegance.

As clay anchors a tree in light and wind
May your outer life grow from peace within.

As twilight fills night with bright horizons
May beauty await you at home beyond.

- John O'Donohue

Monday, June 15, 2015

Larry Robinson--"Watershed"--poem 

Water Shed

The green expanse of duck weed
Parts and there he sits,
Proud - or so I imagine -
In all his feathered irridescence,
Shedding water with neither thought nor effort.

The late Spring rains
Fall on Sonoma Mountain and English Hill,
Dancing down the Laguna and Atascadero Creek.
So Wintergreen becomes Summergold.

But where are the salmon, the steelhead,
The pronghorn and the grizzly?

There is so much for us to grieve now,
So much lost that we will never see again.
And yet so much still arising
That we have only begun to dream.

Can we shed despair
As we shed our tears
And see with clearer eyes
The shining form just now emerging?

- Larry Robinson

Friday, June 12, 2015

Enlightenment vs. Liberation--Some Tentative Reflections 

Recently, a friend who is well grounded in Yogic lore explained to me that the word "Enlightenment" is mainly a western term to describe the end of the spiritual process and that quite another view is offered in the East, which prefers the term "Liberation."  I think this observation deserves much consideration.  "Enlightenment" suggests a state in which the seeker has arrived at an ultimate ending of the spiritual journey, and that she/he is now perfect in all ways.  An "enlightened" master is presumably one who has conquered all fears, arrived at a state of exalted intelligence, and thus is worthy of unquestioned respect and obedience from the rest of us less evolved souls.

When I remarked that I did not think such elevated beings actually existed in today's world, she pointed out that Eastern practitioners do not use this translation of the
Sanskrit term, but rather interpret it as "Liberation."

Now what, we may ask, is liberation?  What are we to be liberated from?

i suggest that there are many stages of liberation and that these are available to all of us, in one degree or another, according to own own level of consciousness.

For example, one of the first stages is liberation from the cultural trance.  This "trance state" includes the many societal and religious imperatives inculcated in us from childhood, including the belief that our goal in life is mainly to marry, produce offspring, make money, live in a fine house, drive a spiffy car, and accumulate as much material wealth and goods as possible to maintain our life style.  Many never challenge these assumptions, though often they find that something is terribly missing from their lives.

The second trance state is that imposed by religious or spiritual belief systems that offer seeming alternatives to the materialistic vision.  Institutions such as churches, ashrams, certain New Age groups often impose such limiting thinking on their followers.  Most of us have met people who are either bound to these imposed belief systems or else are "in recovery" from notions instilled in them from childhood.  The latter are often delighted to discover that "spirituality" and "religion" are not synonyms, and that they may have a rich inner "spiritual" life outside the traditional forms.

The third trance is that occurring when a seeming spiritual "savior" (guru, supposedly spiritual teacher, popular hero) arrives and gathers a large group of followers who hang on his/her every word and become their devoted pupils.  In earlier times, it was posited that the guru was the supreme authority, never to be questioned as to word or deed.  Alas, we have too often discovered that such self proclaimed "infallible" authorities frequently have fallen far short of the ideal, and have proved to be more "rascals" than loving leaders of their flocks.

A forth trance is that which occurs when the naive student discovers some system or philosophy which appears to offer a coherent view of human society or spiritual reality and adopts it as "the answer" to all questions.  Such adherents often try to proselytize others to accept their chosen belief system, without pausing to investigate alternative and seemingly comprehensive approaches, from other sources.  Some advocate a "one interpretation fits all" approach.  Others tout the wonders of science and the strictly rational view as the path to universal truth.  All of these fail to recognize that "there are many paths up the mountain" and that all converge at the top.

A fifth source of trance is the entrenched belief that we are each separate beings, with little connection with the rest of humanity or the non physical orders that reign above us
(the realm of the divine).  Such limited views fail to recognize that we are each enmeshed in a universal web of sentient and perhaps even non sentient beings, that we are bound by invisible threads to one another in a common experience, in the great field of love and cosmic energies that flow through the entire universe.

Finally, there is the trance of belief that we ourselves exist as fully formed independent beings, apart from the ultimate cosmic energies that create and empower the world and all of creation.

I believe that "enlightenment' is the discovery of that we do not exist in the way we suppose, a realization which is itself something to be experienced to be understood.  Some people get very upset when they "learn" that they do not exist as independent beings, but rather are infinitesimal particles in a vast cosmic energy that swirls through the universe and is far beyond our capacity to comprehend.  We are embedded in mystery always and each seeming "discover" about the nature of our universe constantly give way to a new "discovery."  "Man can embody truth, but never know it."  (Yeats)

Through Kundalini we experience a"taste" of that cosmic force (stepped down to our own capacity for reception), but it is a mystery that we will never fully unravel.

In Indian religions moksha (Sanskrit: मोक्ष mokṣa; liberation) or mukti (Sanskrit: मुक्ति; release —both from the root muc "to let loose, let go") is the final extrication of the soul or consciousness (purusha) from samsara and the bringing to an end of all the suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and rebirth (reincarnation).
(from Wiipedia--"Enlightenment, Spiritual)

Hindu thought offers various interpretations of moksha, with some suggesting that such liberation can occur in this lifetime, and others insisting that final freedom can occur only after death.  They seem to agree that moksha does bring the discovery of one's true identity, the self that is real.

It was through me the Creator himself gained liberating knowledge,
I am being, consciousness, bliss, eternal freedom: unsullied, unlimited, unending.
My perfect consciousness shines your world, like a beautiful face in a soiled mirror,
Seeing that reflection I wish myself you, an individual soul, as if I could be finite!

A finite soul, an infinite Goddess - these are false concepts,
in the minds of those unacquainted with truth,
No space, my loving devotee, exists between your self and my self,
Know this and you are free. This is the secret wisdom.
—Sarasvati Rahasya Upanishad, Translated by Linda Johnsen

(Fortunately, much information on these topics is available on the internet, simply by googling various key words. We are indeed lucky that we no longer have to seek out a guru to receive such information, nor research arcane information in libraries of the occult.  Knowledge is readily available on the internet, whatever our interest.)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Lawrence Edwards (Kalidas)--What If? (poem) 

What If?

What if you took birth
to know radical freedom
Instead of constantly chafing
against the bonds of limitation?

What if you took birth
to know radical freedom
from self-centered wants and needs,
To be carried by cascades of love
along a river of ecstasy
with nothing to do but
shout to the parched, thirsty souls
standing on the river banks
"Jump! Jump in! Jump in!
You can be free of suffering!"

What if you took birth
to know radical freedom and boundless love
instead of wandering lost in the desert
maze of anger and fear?

What if you took birth
to know radical freedom
Empowered to unfailingly choose
the Way of compassion,
kindness and agapé?

What if you took birth
to know radical freedom
As taught by one fully awake -
a Buddha,
One who has gone beyond -
a tathagata,
A Christ
who taught the Way -
Do unto others as you would have them
do unto you,
Who taught the sutras of selflessness,
compassion, kindness and boundless,
joyous Love,
Who awakens you to why you took birth -
To rejoice every moment
bathing in the sea of unconditional love,
To selflessly serve,
buoyed by uplifting currents
in the ocean of delight!

Having left behind
the conditioned mind,
Knowing radical freedom,
You are Buddha
You are Christ
You are Karuna
You are Kwan Yin
Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté, bodhi swaha!


May we serve the One with all the love and joy we are capable of!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Day of Bliss––prayer by Dorothy 

Day of Bliss

May the Energies of the Universe
flow through me.

May the sweetness of the gods
touch my lips.

May the strength of the guardians
come into my veins.

May I dwell in purity and love

May I offer all I have
to that which lives
inside and outside
of who I am.

Dorothy Walters
September 29, 2010

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Peggy Wrenn--Friend Letter 

When I moved back to Boulder some years ago, one of the people I met first was Peggy Wrenn. I had known a John Wrenn as my colleague at the university here long ago and asked if she was related.  It turned out that she was his daughter. now fully grown and wife and mother and poet.  Since then we have become close friends.
Here is a recent poem she wrote, dedicated to me.  Her poem is essentially a response to a blog entry I made recently.

An Old-fashioned, Friend-letter: a Poem-Response, Your Words, my words, To Dorothy from Peggy, May 13 2015

"The Kiss I Want" Dorothy Walters' book of poems

         is about to fly into the world, wide-world,  by beloved our female modern          Rumi, our Dorothy,  poems go out, for 2015, flying onwards

who loves Rumi and Hafiz

         I am a lover of Rumi, Hafiz, and Dorothy!

here is my gut feeling

         my gut agreeing, feeling so alive with fertile creativity

Iyengar Restorative--fun and very relaxing.

         I love Iyengar and the studio where you go, where your Yoga Slaves attend          to your sacred old body :)

shifts in spiritual consciousness

         I am feeling it my cells, my lungs, my G-spot deep in my vagina, sucking up          the perineum, the whole yin line going down, down, down

my eyes lit on various ones, I was feeling tiny but nice surges of energy inside.

         I have had visions and energy coming in through my eyes, when I soften my          gaze and imagine, look not at objects but in the empty field my corneas are transplanted from dead people

pleasure about the yummy brunch

         indeed, it was special, one my bestest birthday, with you, Poetry Goddess          Dorothy not from Kansas

human evolution occurs

         yes, our human evolution is on steroids, wow we are having warp time,          speeding along into to Something Spiritual Awakening

Kundalini is the driving force behind the transformation

         yup, of course, as Dorothy knew this a long long time ago, Goddess in our        

bodies, cells, micro-cosmic mirrors, above as below

         I'll read your blog whilst I do Qi Gong which is Kundalini,

         the cosmic energy of love, life loving life. I will read your poems

         which pop out like the most  beautiful new kinds of flowers,

         budding, “women squatting giving birth”

                                               Peggy Wrenn

Monday, June 08, 2015

Jan Elvee––"No One Told Me"––poem 

No One Told Me

No one told me about
the unrelenting ongoingness,
the daily everydayness
of falling in love with God;
how it evolves and unfolds,
how it lives in my body,
constantly surprising me
by its exquisite sensuality,
its unexpected physicality.
Sudden skittish timidities,
pointless questions, how, why,
obliterated by unimaginable joy.
It seems I've finally come to my senses,
and gone utterly out of my mind.

Jan Elvee
June 6

Friday, June 05, 2015

George Eliot--quotes 

There is always time to become the person you planned to be.

  George Eliot

If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence.

George Eliot

Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.

George Eliot

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Kali, Kundalini, Tantra––Jottings after reading Aditi Devi's article on Kali practices 

Tantra, like Kundalini, is one of the most misunderstood terms and practices among us today.  Many think  of Tantra as a specifically sexual practice, done with a partner, performed with the intention of increasing one's sexual pleasure.  Although Tantra can be used this way, this is not its primary purpose or expression.  For me, Tantra as the flow of the inner energies through movement, music, poetry and such is the path to inner feelings of rapture and bliss (the beloved within), whether these manifest as intense inner bodily delight or more subtle and refined expressions of delicate bliss flows in the subtle body.

My dear friend Aditi Devi is an advanced Kali practitioner and tantric.  She is both scholar and devotee.  She spent years in Nepal, joining a group of women dedicated to specific a Kali lineage.  Recently Sally Kempton posted an article by Aditi on her home page for her current webiner on the Evolutionary Goddess that she is offering along with Andrew Harvey.  I have not had a chance to discuss any of this with Aditi, but hope to do so once she returns to town.  My ideal would be to sit down with both her and Sally and have a long and full discussion of these fascinating topics.  

 I wrote the following hurriedly, for I wanted to capture my initial impressions of this article. There is much more to be said.

I would like to offer a few preliminary comments about Aditi Devi's reflections, and note in particular how closely the path of the Kali devotee corresponds with that of the Kundalini follower. Both may be classed as Tantric practices.

Notes:  what I agree with:  Both involve full body embodiment, with expressions of the goddess (and Kundalini is herself the highest goddess) manifesting through and in and as rapturous sensations flowing through the subtle body of the practitioner.  In Kali worship, the practice focuses mainly on the yoni (sexual center) of the female practitioner.  In Kundlini, the lower chakras may be the main focus, particularly in the beginning, but utimately the energies are awakened throughout the
system. Anywhere can be a “womb”––even the hands or crown or cheeks or eyelids.  There is no distinction, although the yoni can be the first “awakening” chakra since the muladhara is the seat of the sleeping Kundalini.

Thus the higher chakras are not “masculine” and the lower “feminine” since sensuous feeling is the response wherever the energies flow.

The earth itself is the body of the mother

Agree—Earth is the body of the mother.  You can feel this in sacred precincts.  In India, Kali’s sweet energies flow in the temple dedicated to her.  In Ireland, at Tara, you can feel it coming up through the ground and into your body, for Tara, usurped in earlier time to serve as the place where the kings’ were crowned, is in fact itself a site of ancient goddess worship and her body is the ground which you walk upon as you move across the earth once held sacred to the Great Mother herself.
Likewise, you feel these currents at various sacred wells throughout the Irish countryside.

The body of the Goddess Kali merges with your own with sufficient practice.

Yes, but with Kundalini it may be an unnamed, unseen reality which you may call simply the “Beloved Within.”  Kundalini is you, you are Kundalini.


Your body, Her body,
they are one.

Your lips, 
Her lips,
are the same.

When you breathe in,
Her breath of roses
comes into your lungs.
When you breathe out,
Her scent 
fills the room.

Even when you look
in the glass,
it is her face you see.

Connecting with the literal earth body of the goddess

In Kali worship you may touch the natural formation of the goddess’ yoni over which sacred waters or menstrual fluids flow.  Certain temples celebrate her body in this way.

I know of nothing like this in Kundalini, but who knows what the early Western practitioners included.  What about female lovers touching one another’s body, when the partner “becomes” a goddess?

Other points of disagreements:

Aditi—admonishes "Always follow the advice of your teacher."

Absolutely not.  Your “teacher” may lead you into many false paths.  May be corrupt or ignorant or ego inflated.  Listen to the guru within.  Buddha said “Be a light unto yourself.”  If you fall or stumble, pick yourself up and start over.

Animal sacrifice is part of the practice.  Claim is that the animal “consents” to be used in this way, and that we ourselves may reincarnate in animal form.

I disagree with both assertions.   Animals are sacred, not to be “sacrificed” by us any more than we are to be “sacrificed” by them.  This is a primitive rite to be rejected in our time.

 Likewise the notion of humans reincarnating in animal form derives from earlier, less enlightened eras.  What reincarnates is our own energy body and possibly our intellectual potential, likewise gained from previous lives.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Mark Nepo––"Breaking Surface"––poem 

Breaking Surface

Let no one keep you from your journey,
no rabbi or priest, no mother
who wants you to dig for treasures
she misplaced, no father
who won't let one life be enough,
no lover who measures their worth
by what you might give up,
no voice that tells you in the night
it can't be done.

Let nothing dissuade you
from seeing what you see
or feeling the winds that make you
want to dance alone
or go where no one
has yet to go.

You are the only explorer.

- Mark Nepo

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Courtney Walsh––"Dear Human"––poem 

Dear Human

Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong.
You didn’t come here to master unconditional love.
That is where you came from and where you’ll return.
You came here to learn personal love.
Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love.
Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love.
Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling.
Demonstrated through the beauty of…messing up. Often.
You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are.
You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous.
And then to rise again into remembering.
But unconditional love? Stop telling that story.
Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives.
It doesn’t require modifiers
It doesn’t require the condition of perfection.
It only asks that you show up. And do your best.
That you stay present and feel fully.
That you shine and fly and laugh and cry
and hurt and heal and fall and get back up
and play and work and live and die as YOU.
It’s enough. It’s plenty.

- Courtney Walsh

Monday, June 01, 2015

"There Is a Place"--poem by Dorothy 

There is a Place

There is a place
that is known
only to lovers.

When they meet there
all the birds begin
to sing in unison
and the stars come out
even though the sun
is all ablaze.

The lovers speak softly
to one another
in a secret tongue
that only the lovers
can comprehend.

No one can hear
the music they make ––
its notes flow forth
in a special key
that makes the trees dance
and flowers burst into bloom.

Dorothy Walters
May 31, 2015

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