Kundalini Splendor

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Computer problems...again 

This is Patricia Lay-Dorsey posting for Dorothy with the news - sigh - that her computer is acting up again and preventing her from going online. She is hoping a techie will come riding to her rescue soon. Please send good connective energy and be assured that Dorothy will be back just as soon as she can...

Friday, February 19, 2016

Linda Hogan--"Rapture"--poem 


Who knows the mysteries of the poppieswhen you look across the red fields,
or hear the sound of long thunder,
then the saving rain.
Everything beautiful,
the solitude of the single body
or sometimes, too, when the body is kissed
on the lips or hands or eyelids tender.
Oh for the pleasure of living in a body.
It may be, it may one day be
this is a world haunted by happiness,
where people finally are loved
in the light of leaves,
the feel of bird wings passing by.
Here it might be that no one wants power.
They don't want more.
And so they are in the forest,
old trees,
or those small but grand.
And when you sleep, rapture, beauty,
may seek you out.
Listen. There is
secret joy,
sweet dreams you may never forget.
How worthy the being
in the human body. If,
when you are there, you see women
wading on the water
and clouds in the valley,
the smell of rain,
or a lotus blossom rises out of round green leaves,
remember there is always something
besides our own misery.

~ Linda Hogan ~

(Rounding the Human Corners)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A New and Rather Strange Practice 

Yesterday, after I studied the Spanda Karikas edition I have described earlier, I had one of the sweetest "bliss outs" in a long time (as I did my slow movement practice with circling hands.)

Today also, was delightful, but it occurred in a totally new fashion that "just came to me."

I had noticed that my energies seemed to be very "alive" this morning, even as I moved a little bit doing simply things in the kitchen.  When I went into my practice space (in my dressing room) I picked up a towel from the floor and folded it into a rather small rectangle.  Then for some reason I began to move the towel (holding corners with both hands) back and forth and then in circles and discovered that I was feeling sweet energies flowing as much as it often has when I held a vial of essential oil (Frankincense and Amber) or perhaps empty handed.  This effect seemed unusual, to say the least.

Once more, I am given a practice that I have never heard of or expected.

This journey is filled with surprises--indeed,  I think we are called upon to keep on refining our energies in various ways in preparation for becoming pure vibrational beings when we transit to another plane.

And I think that each of us has to discover for ourselves the approach that is best for us at the level at which we are at the moment, and allow the process to carry us forward.

Question: Did my unexpectedly sensitive reaction today have to do with the fact that I had been reading about a crystal healing workshop online just before it began?  Who knows what energies we can pick up just from reading pieces on the internet?  We resonate constantly with one another and move ahead together.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Liberated Person (Jivanmukta) 

On Jivanmukta (the Liberated Person--from the "Yoga Vasistha")

The Yoga Vasistha describes the Jivanmukta, or liberated person, as follows (abridged from the 1896 translation by KN Aiyer):

He associates with the wise. He has reached the state of mind, which sees happiness everywhere. To him, neither sacrificial fires, nor Tapas, nor bounteous gifts nor holy waters have any meaning. He is replete with wisdom and friendly to all.

He is desireless and in his eyes there is nothing supernatural. His state is indescribable and yet he will move in the world like anybody else. His mind will not be bound by any longings after Karmas. He will be indifferent to joy or pains arising from good or bad results. He will preserve a pleasant position in the happy enjoyment of whatever he obtains.

He is never affected by anything, whether he is in a state of Jiva consciousness or state of Shiva devoid of the Jiva consciousness.

He is same whether he moves in a family or is a solitary recluse.

He feels unbound by the delusions of Srutis and Smritis.

Nothing matters to him, he is unaffected by griefs or pleasures. He is distant, he is close, he in the one Reality of Atman. He is neither clingy nor arrogant.

He has no fear of anyone, no anger against anyone.

When the attraction towards external objects ceases, then there yet remains the internal craving which is called Trishna (thirst). The Jivanmukta is beyond Trishna. He is, not becoming. He does not even long for salvation. He is content.

A Jivanmukta will always transact his present duties, but neither longs for things in the future, nor ruminates upon things of the past.

He is a child amongst children; as old men amongst the old; as the puissant amongst the puissant; as a youth amongst the young, compassionate and understanding with the grieved.

In him is found nobleness, benevolence, love, clearness of intellect.

(The "Yoga Vasisthha" is an ancient Indian text, thought to date somewhere between the 6th and the 14th century.  The text consists of a discourse delivered to Prince Rama by the Sage Vasistha.  It consists primarily of stories and examples, similar to those of the "Ramayana.")

Is it possible that when the full Kundalini awakens, the Jiva consciousness (little self) joins the Shiva consciousness (supra mundane consciousness--cosmic consciousness)?   At that time we surrender our identification with our limited being and become one with that which is universal and eternal (and pure bliss).

This philosophy also posits that there is an element of the self (Jiva before it diminishes into the living being) that survives death and is reborn into a new configuration at the next birth.  Thus, can we easily awaken our spiritual/energetic bodies if we bring in with us a high development of our subtle bodies, and thus begin more or less where we left off at our last incarnation?  Does this explain spontaneous Kundalini awakening into rapture when there is no apparent preparation for such awakening?  In this state, rapture becomes remembrance, re-experience of that which is now both strange and familiar.  We may not remember the circumstance of such prior development, but we immediately recognize this ecstasy as part of who we are.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Spanda Karikas---more from Paul Muller-Ortega 

The following is an excerpt from my blog posted originally in 2005.  These notions have a special relevance to the recent discovery of the gravity waves pulsing through space.  Gravity waves now join light waves and sound waves as part of  the "vibratory web of infinite complexity" which makes up the knowable universe.

Recently, I mentioned the book titled "The Field," (by Lynn McTaggert) which contains some fascinating information about new disocoveries in frontier physics. Lately I have been having some interesting discussions with some friends about seeming parallels with ancient lore contained in certain early Kashmir Shaivite texts. The latter seem, to me, to predict the discoveries coming along at present about the makeup of our "material" world.

I won't pursue this too long, but I do want to add that when I mentioned the apparent similarities in recent discoveries in quantum physics and ancient Eastern wisdom literature, I was thinking more or less specifically of the text named the "Spanda Karikas" (with its commentary the "Spanda Nirnaya"--the English title is "The Yoga of Vibration and Divine Pulsation" in case anyone wants to locate it.)

My translation is the Jaideva Singh (from the State U. of N. Y. Press) with a foreward by Paul E. Muller-Ortega. And I realize that much of my grasp (however limited) of this work is based on his (to me) most masterful introductory comments.

Here are some that stand out, and seem to me to be associated with several of the concepts presented in "The Field" (which, along with other books written for the lay audience, I must rely on for my scattered knowledge of what may be coming up in current theory).

"Long before the discoveries of modern physics, the Shaivite concept of spanda intimates a view of reality as composed of a vibratory web of infinite complexity."

(Muller-Ortega continues going into the metaphysical implications....most physics hasn't reached this point yet):

"Moreover, the Shaivite tradition suggests to us a unifying continuity between our physical reality, the activities of sense perception, and all forms of interior awareness. All of these are seen as phenomenal manifestations of the ultimate consciousness, enmeshed in a complex vibratory matrix."

Muller once more summarizes the text:

"Employing a variety of metaphors, the tradition often glosses the spanda by the term sphurra, the scintillating pulse of the supreme light which continuously trembles with its own incandescence. In sonic terms the spanda is glossed as the nada, the subtle but powerful resonance that echoes through the supreme silence...."

(Now, more extension into metaphysics): "The supreme spanda releases a vibrating spectrum of energies that originate within the supreme (anuttara). As the infinitely fast vibration of the supreme systematically coalesces and condenses into progressively slower and thicker vibrations, tnagible perceptible forms emerge from the void and formlessness of the ultimate consciousness. These apparently solid appearances are called "cognitions" (puramasa) and they are complex and sustained interference patterns which arise in the intermerging cross-swirl of energies created by the interaction of the vibratory consciousness with itself."

Well, I won't continue, but I do think these excerpts offer material for interesting reflection, in and of themselves, but also I sense echoes with some of the more modern material coming forth from some contemporary physicists. Many of the words and themes seem to resonate, one with the other, such as:

Light and vibration ---(doesn't string theory posit a vast sea of infinitesimal dangles of light as the basis of all material reality? Aren't we now told that everything which seems to be material and solid is in fact a deception, since there is nothing, really, but dancing particles of charged energy--something akin to samsara or maya?)

Resonance--Here again, resonance seems to be an underlying concept in both areas. McTaggart speaks of the universal resonance of virtually everything with everything else--a constant process of both resonance and exchange of energies.

Interference--spoken of by McTaggart as extremely important--a central concept.

Now, there is much more, and of course the Shaivite texts proceed to link their world view to a total, more metaphysical system. But there are indeed seeming parallels, and I would indeed welcome a review by someone versed in both areas.

I of course have no such knowledge, and hence am forced to rely on what bits and pieces I can pick up from those who write for a general audience. And, indeed, I would never think to try to convince "science" of anything--a futile task, indeed. I would merely like this mythical writer to inform and enlighten me (and kindred souls) beyond my present limits.

And--I would not "tie these investigations to an every shifting scientific world view." I would readily agree that all we could hope to do would be to get a firmer grasp of seeming parallels, not for all time, but for the present moment, which is, I think, a time of possible opening and discovery, not in terms of literal and total concurrence, but some very fascinating similarities.

And, as a final note, I would add that I, of course, tie such discussions to the experience of kundalini bliss, in which one becomes, in effect, a pulsating body of light, an infinitesimal particle dancing in the endless sea of divine consciousness.

P. S.  Although this SUNY text is now out of print and expensive to purchase, you can order it in what I take is a digital form for your pad or other device for less.

And now you can order a pb copy from Google Play for a reasonable amount.

# posted by Dorothy : 8/26/2005 01:42:00 PM

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Spanda Karikas and Gravitational Waves 

In a discovery that promises to revolutionize astronomy, scientists have made the first direct observations of gravitational waves – bizarre ripples in space-time foreseen by Albert Einstein a century ago.

The find is a triumph for Einstein’s celebrated general theory of relativity, the basis of his 1916 prediction that the fabric of the universe is perturbed by gravitational energy. The find is also a triumph for the mammoth scientific apparatus – the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO)  – that was the first to pick up the stealthy advance of these waves, in this case created by the violent union of two black holes 1.3 billion years ago.

Other scientists hailed the find as the kind of advance that comes along only once or twice in a lifetime. Because gravitational waves carry information about their source, the ability to detect these weird undulations will allow researchers to study distant and elusive features of the universe. Black holes too far way to study using today’s techniques, for example, should become easy scientific prey with the help of gravitational waves.

Study of the universe via gravitational waves “will be the astronomy of the 21st century,” predicted Arizona State University’s Lawrence Krauss, who is not part of the LIGO team. “This is a whole new window on the universe.”

As far back as the 1970s, scientists garnered indirect evidence for such waves, spawned by the movements of massive objects in space, such as spinning supernovae or whirling pairs of neutron stars. The $1 billion LIGO directly captured the wave itself, which, if confirmed, would be “a monumental extra step,” said Cole Miller of the University of Maryland, who is not affiliated with LIGO either.

(from USA Today)

(from Dorothy:

Spanda Karikas

And so here we are,
a small dot
on the rim
of an inconsequential
sometimes trembling
in joy.

Who would take notice
when we arrive,
when we go
what our involvements are?

Yet it emerges.
Something inside,
this flower that constantly

Only the pulsation
is real.

Dorothy Walters
August 25, 2008

The Spanda Karikas is the name of an ancient text (ninth century?) of Kashmiri Shaivism, a  belief/spiritual practice which began in ancient India.  The term Spanda refers to the divine impulse or trembling which creates and sustains the universe.  The name Karikas literally means 'a set of verses explaining the philosophical doctrines'.  Many of its notions are remarkably similar to those of modern physics and suggest our own relationship to the overarching Reality.  Here is an excerpt from the back cover of this text in the edition translated by Jaideva Singh and with a forward by Paul Muller-Ortega, published by the State of New York University Press:

Spanda is the vibratory dynamism of the absolute consciousness. . . .
Through modern physics we have grown accustomed to thinking of reality as waves of energy----as the matter-energy continuum.  Tantric Shaivism presents the full matrix of energy pulsation of which physical reality is only a part.  From the relatively superficial perceptions of the senses to the progressively subtle forms of inner awareness, a unified spectrum of spanda leads inward, until the most delicate and powerful tendrils of individuality merge with the infinitely rapid vibration of ultimate consciousness.

In his brilliant introduction to this volume, Muller-Ortega offers the following description:
Long before the discoveries of modern physics, the Shaivite concept of spanda intimates a view of reality as composed of a vibratory web of infinite complexity.  Tantric Shivaism would have us understand that the vibratory energies that compose our physical reality are themselves condensations of ultimate consciousness.

I believe that this fundamental text of Kashmiri Shaivism  not only explains what is going on in the universe on a cosmic level, but also describes what happens within each of us as we undergo awakening into what we call “kundalini consciousness,” and subsequently move into “progressively subtle forms of inner awareness” as the process unfolds.

Who wrote this profound work so long ago?  Many hold that it was divinely inspired, a gift of knowledge bestowed on the rishis of old by the ultimate source of all knowing.

Note:  There are many translations of the Spanda Karikas.  Only the New York University Press edition contains the Muller-Ortega forward, which I feel is essential reading.  However, this book is now out of print and used versions--even of the PB edition--are very expensive.  You can buy a digital copy on "Google Play" for about 10.00 (Note says:
Best for
Web, Tablet)

Look under the title "The Yoga of Vibration and Divine Pulsation, (Jaideva Singh)

Other versions of the Spanda Karikas (such as that by Daniel Odier) read as though they are totally different texts.  That is because many translations of this work have appeared over the years, and the translations differ widely.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

John O'Donohue--A Blessing--Poem 

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.
As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.
Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.
As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.
As silence smiles on the other side of what's said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.
As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.
May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.

― John O'Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

Friday, February 12, 2016

Craig Hamilton--Activating the inner Postures of Awakened Consciousness 

Dear Dorothy,

As you know, every month I lead a global meditation gathering called Meditation for Evolutionaries.

It’s always an extraordinary experience for me to participate in the powerful collective field that forms when hundreds of us come together in meditation.

But sometimes the event wildly exceeds even my expectations and ends up taking all of us somewhere I didn’t anticipate.

This past Sunday was one such gathering, so I wanted to share the audio with you in case you missed the live event.

To listen online or download it to your computer, just visit the link below:

Meditation for Evolutionaries Audio Download: Activating the Inner Postures of Awakened Consciousness

If you’ve been reading my emails, you’ve no doubt heard about the upcoming year-long program I’m leading with my good friend and colleague Jeff Carreira: Opening to the Infinite.

As I’ve shared, the primary focus of this 12-month program is on teaching and activating what we’ve come to call the Eight Inner Postures of Awakened Consciousness.

These “inner postures” are based on the natural dispositions of the awakened mind and when we practice them, we are essentially stepping directly into our own already awakened self.

Until now, we’ve only spoken briefly about these inner postures, but in this past Sunday’s meditation gathering, I spontaneously found myself guiding the group in an in-depth practice of three of these postures: Immediacy, Inclusivity and Limitlessness.

This spontaneous flow seemed to take all of us present right into the deep end. After the event, I received a flood of responses from people sharing that the practice had given them access to an experience of awakening they hadn’t experienced in meditation before.

Given how challenging meditation can be for so many of us, I wanted to share the audio with everyone right away in the hopes that listening to it will give you the same experience we had on the live call.

If you’re interested in deepening your meditation practice and have a little time this week, I encourage you to find a quiet place and give the audio a listen.

And after you do, please share your experience on our Facebook page so we can all benefit and learn from it.

While I’m writing, I also want to take this opportunity to remind you that our yearlong Opening to the Infinite program starts in less than two weeks with a one-day virtual retreat on Saturday, February 6.

Opening to the Infinite is dedicated not only to activating, but also to sustaining the miracle of awakened awareness.

We have created a yearlong structure that we believe is intensive enough to generate the energy we need, subtle enough to convey the true depths of awakening, and at the same time accommodating to the realities of our busy lives.

You can learn all about it at the link below:

Opening to the Infinite Online Course Brochure

Thank you for your commitment to awakening and your interest in this work.

To our evolution,


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sally Kempton on Kundalini 

Kundalini: The Living Flame of Your Conscious Evolution

Kundalini is the subtle energy that evolves human consciousness to its highest  levels. As Kundalini  wakes up inside you, it draws you into a new and  radical intimacy with your inner Self. The gifts of kundalini are legendary. Whether dramatic or subtle, it is the only force on earth that can fully transform your experience of your life. As Kundalini  purifies and awakens your body, it brings insight and intuition alive, wakes up love in the heart, unties knots in your chakras, and transforms your outlook on every level. Kundalini can plunge you into deep meditation. It’s greatest gift is to dissolve the veils and illusions that keep you from experiencing your true connection with the world and God.

Sally Kempton

In my view, Sally Kempton is one of the wisest wisdom teachers among us. Look her up, if you have not done so already.  Read her books.  You will learn from them.  She does not simply repeat what others have said before her.  Hers is indeed a remarkable voice, once sorely needed at this time in our history.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Billy Collins--"I Love You"--poem 

"I Love You"

Early on, I noticed that you always say it
to each of your children
as you are getting off the phone with them
just as you never fail to say it
to me whenever we arrive at the end of a call.

It's all new to this only child.
I never heard my parents say it,
at least not on such a regular basis,
nor did it ever occur to me to miss it.
To say I love you pretty much every day

would have seemed strangely obvious,
like saying I'm looking at you
when you are standing there looking at someone.
If my parents had started saying it
a lot, I would have started to worry about them.

Of course, I always like hearing it from you.
That is never a cause for concern.
The problem is I now find myself saying it back
if only because just saying good-bye
then hanging up would make me seem discourteous.

But like Bartleby, I would prefer not to
say it so often, would prefer instead to save it
for special occasions, like shouting it out as I leaped
into the red mouth of a volcano
with you standing helplessly on the smoking rim,

or while we are desperately clasping hands
before our plane plunges into the Gulf of Mexico,
which are only two of the examples I had in mind,
but enough, as it turns out, to make me
want to say it to you right now,

and what better place than in the final couplet
of a poem where, as every student knows, it really counts.

—Billy Collins

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Denise Levertov--For the New Year, 1981 

For the New Year, 1981

I have a small grain of hope—
one small crystal that gleams
clear colors out of transparency.
I need more.
I break off a fragment
to send you.
Please take
this grain of a grain of hope
so that mine won’t shrink.
Please share your fragment
so that yours will grow.
Only so, by division,
will hope increase,
like a clump of irises, which will cease to flower
unless you distribute
the clustered roots, unlikely source—
clumsy and earth-covered—
of grace.

- Denise Levertov

Although this poem was published many years ago, I feel it is still most relevant today.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Ted Kooser--"A Rainy Morning"--poem 

A Rainy Morning

A young woman in a wheelchair,
wearing a black nylon poncho spattered with rain,
is pushing herself through the morning.
You have seen how pianists
sometimes bend forward to strike the keys,
then lift their hands, draw back to rest,
then lean again to strike just as the chord fades.
Such is the way this woman
strikes at the wheels, then lifts her long white fingers,
letting them float, then bends again to strike
just as the chair slows, as if into a silence.
So expertly she plays the chords
of this difficult music she has mastered,
her wet face beautiful in its concentration,
while the wind turns the pages of rain.

~ Ted Kooser ~

Friday, February 05, 2016

for Martin Luther King--a belated tribute 

A Tribute for Martin Luther King

Psalms 15

Lord, who can be trusted with power,
and who may act in your place?
Those with a passion for justice,
who speak the truth from their hearts;
who have let go of selfish interests
and grown beyond their own lives;
who see the wretched as their family
and the poor as their flesh and blood.
They alone are impartial
and worthy of the people's trust.
Their compassion lights up the whole earth,
and their kindness endures forever.

(Martin Luther King's birthday fell during the time my computer was down.  Thus I am posting this blog now, a bit late, but very heartfelt.  I received the contents through another internet site.)

(A Book of Psalms, translations by Stephen Mitchell)

Thursday, February 04, 2016

More on Heart Sutra and Mantra 

More on the Heart Sutra and the concluding mantra:

This morning I again repeated the mantra from the heart sutra (printed in yesterday's blog) and once more found it elicited sweet flows of energy, even as I dressed or did gentle stretching movements.  And indeed I did soft pelvic circles and moved my hands in front of my body, as I usually do while sounding these lovely syllables.

Then I looked again at the words of the heart sutra which I also posted yesterday.  I think I now understand more of what these seeming paradoxes mean:

For this reason, amidst emptiness there are no appearances,
nor are there any impressions, thoughts, associations and knowing,
There is no eye, ear, nose, tongue, touch, ideas.
There are no colors, sounds, smells,
tastes and touch dharmas.
There is no eye-element up to no imagining nor knowledge element.
Neither is any non-understanding,
nor is there any end to non-understanding up to no old-age and death.
Neither is there any end to old-age and death.
There is no suffering, cause, extinction or path.
There is no knowledge nor anything to find.

Because there isn’t anything to find. . .

Here is my own interpretation, which may or may not be correct:

When we enter the state of "vastness" (which many feel they attain in meditation), we no longer are aware of our outer surroundings (which we usually perceive through out senses) nor of our inner impressions or concepts.  We now are pure "cosmic consciousness" aware of nothing external nor internal.  We are not seeking something "to find" because in this transcendent state "there isn't anything to find."

And--this interpretation also describes the pure bliss (ecstasy) states of Kundalini, when we lose awareness of all those elements listed above and know only the rapture that enters us and becomes who we are.  There is nothing to find, because we already have entered the ultimate state--what could be beyond the rapture which unites us with the Beloved? (Some refer to the Beloved as God.)

This morning, I looked up Guru Mayi (Muktananda's successor) just to see if she had yet come out of hiding (she seems to have disappeared from the public eye).  There, in a quotation from her recent Satsang for beginning the new year, I found these words:

"Move with steadfastness

Toward becoming  anchored

In Supreme Joy”

From Siddhayoga.org

(Gurumayi’s Message for the year  from A Sweet Surprise Satsang)

Is this not simply a translation of the mantra which concludes the Heart Sutra (but no attribution is given.)

I also looked up Muktananda (the founder of the Siddha lineage) on Google, and read of his chronic sexual misbehavior in his ashrams (constant seduction of girls, some as young as 13.)  He conveyed a powerful message in his public role and wrote many useful books, but obviously got swept away by his exalted position as a guru and abused his power.

Here is another example of a guru gone bad.  His is yet another account that convinces me it is best not to follow any self-styled "gurus" but to heed the promptings of one's own heart, which will, if we but listen, carry us safely through the challenges of the spiritual journey.  Andrew Harvey, my own beloved mentor, insists that he is a teacher, not a guru, and I strongly approve.  The distinction is extremely important.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Larry Robinson--"Passenger Pigeon"--poem and the uses of mantra 

Passenger Pigeon

I never met Martha nor any of her kin.
She died alone a century ago,
outliving parents, brothers and sisters,
cousins, uncles and aunts.

Once she and her tribe numbered
in the tens of hundreds of millions
and darkened the sky
in their passing.

All too soon they flew to that further shore,
singly and in pairs,
in dozens and thousands.
She was the last to join them.

We are all passing that way, of course
sooner rather than later,
drivers and passengers alike,
hurrying to some imagined better place.

But if we could slow down enough
we might look a little more kindly
on all that we are passing
and all that is passing us.

I take refuge in our shared awakening.
I take refuge in that which is.
I take refuge in the community of all beings.
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha!

- Larry Robinson

In recent years, I have seldom followed mantra meditation, preferring subtle movements while standing.  However, I was drawn to this one, which is, in fact, one of the most famous and repeated of all.  It is taken from the Heart Sutra, a central Buddhist text.  When I said it aloud, I felt sweet, soft energies flow within, and realized that this repetition could, indeed, keep us in touch with the Beloved Within, in a most gentle way.  As I repeated it, my arms lifted spontaneously into various positions, like body mudras.

Here are two translations of the text:

'Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha' 

"Going, going, 

going on beyond, 

always going on beyond, 

always becoming Buddha." (from the Heart of the Prajna Paramita Sutra)

And another translation:

Gone, Gone, Gone beyond Gone utterly beyond

Gone, Gone, Gone beyond Gone utterly beyond

Gone, Gone, Gone beyond Gone utterly beyond

Oh what an Awakening (sometimes rendered as "Hail, Enlightenment!)

(Here is some further explanation from the Heart Sutra:)

For this reason, amidst emptiness there are no appearances,
nor are there any impressions, thoughts, associations and knowing,
There is no eye, ear, nose, tongue, touch, ideas.
There are no colors, sounds, smells,
tastes and touch dharmas.
There is no eye-element up to no imagining nor knowledge element.
Neither is any non-understanding,
nor is there any end to non-understanding up to no old-age and death.
Neither is there any end to old-age and death.
There is no suffering, cause, extinction or path.
There is no knowledge nor anything to find.

Because there isn’t anything to find. . .

(Personally, I do not think you must fully understand this series of seeming contradictions to respond to the vibrations themselves, for these operate with or without a literal understanding of the words.  For me, they seem to reflect the state of consciousness we enter when we are in touch with the Beloved, who indeed is nameless, formless, etc., and comes to us as pure bliss.)

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Rumi--O, Pilgrim--(Version by Larry Robinson) 

O, Pilgrim!

O pilgrim, where have you been?
Where are you now?

While you have been searching the world
the Beloved has been here all along
waiting for you.

Let the caravan carry you home
to your deepest heart’s desire.
The treasure you sought was buried in your own garden.

Come home, o wanderer, and behold the face in the mirror.
Look behind the eyes and see the One
who has been searching for you.

You are seen;
you are known
and you are beloved.

If your seeking has brought you here at last,
you know that there is nowhere else to go
and nothing more to say.

- Jellaludin Rumi
 (version by Larry Robinson)

Monday, February 01, 2016

The Accidental Tantric 


I have written my story elsewhere many times.  How I, a (closeted) lesbian feminist English professor in a Midwestern university, was reading one morning in a text that mentioned Kundalini––how it was an “energy” that rose up the spine and into the head, where the crown became a lotus where a “thousand petals opened” as the effulgent forces of the universe flowed in as ineffable bliss.  And how then I decided on impulse that I could do this––bring the energies up and feel them as divine bliss entering my body from invisible regions, from unknown sources, and I and “it” would then be united always as one being.

And such, of course, is essentially what happened.  How the energies rose up like a rocket ascending, a flag ripped up on a flagpole, a heron taking sudden flight.  Thus it was that I attained, in an instant, what untold numbers before me had striven years to achieve, had sometimes starved and mutilated their bodies, had left society and lived for countless years in caves, in forest retreats, in monasteries locked away in cells, courting the divine favor, seeking the embrace of the unseen Beloved Within, the source of all that is.

So after years of silence, I finally came forth and told my tale.  At least a certain part of it.

And people wondered and asked how I achieved this sudden success where so many had striven for years to accomplish and had failed.  What was my secret? they asked.  How was it possible? they queried.

Yes, I had told the skeleton narration of what had taken place.

But there was part of the story I did not tell.  I mentioned that I was in a personal emotional crisis, for I feared I was about to lose my relationship.  ButI did not reveal what had happened immediately before the Event, what was, I later realized, clearly the essential preparation, the lead up, the necessary preliminary.  I am telling the story now because I realize that it is now time to tell my experience, lest my account be like a piece of music that is disappearing into the distance, perhaps never even heard.

That morning my lover and I had indeed made love.  We were well matched, and the typical outcome was that we both reached climax and thus were left happy and fulfilled.  But that day, such a release had not happened for me––contrary to my usual experience.  However I was not particularly upset by this outcome.  I knew that many such ecstatic experiences had occurred in the past and others were sure to happen in future.  I was not deeply concerned when I left my lover sleeping in bed while I went into the living room and began reading in a certain book the passage that was to change my life forever.

The book mentioned Kundalini, said it must rise up the  spine into the crown, and there the aforementioned thousand petaled flower would open as if by a hidden spring, a silent command from an invisible source.  I knew virtually nothing of this mysterious force called "Kundalini," but I was fascinated by what it might involve.

This book also contained illustrations.   One was the famous Tibetan representation of the divine couple in union, sometimes called Shiva/Shakti, sometimes described as Vajrasattva (a major guru in Hindu spirituality) embracing his consort, and sometimes said to reflect the marriage of various other, less sensuous opposites.

Another was a photograph of Bernini’s we known depiction of Saint Teresa of Avila in full ecstasy, with the angel hovering near with his lance aimed at her heart.  (Only much later was I told that the opening of the heart chakra is the most ecstatic of all, and indeed I have found this to be true.)

I had read somewhere that tantrics sometimes did not work with partners but simply meditated on an image to arouse their energies, and so I began to contemplate Shiva and Shakti embracing.  I had for some time (as a teacher of feminist topics) contemplated the essential nature of male and female, sometimes described as “aggressive” vs. “receptive” aspects of the human make up.

So I easily “threw” my energies into the male, then into the female, finally into both locked together in their intimate embrace.  And, because of where I was in my own process at that moment (sexual energies aroused but not released), I quickly felt the sensuous flow within, mainly in the lower chakras. Then, when I focused on bringing these energies up (through breath and attention), they literally shot into my cranium, which became a “sexualized brain” as the thousand petals opened in pulsation after pulsation of indescribable bliss.

Without prior intention or instruction, I had intuitively followed an ancient tantric ritual, one practiced for years in certain parts of the world, in which males deliberately employed their female partners to arouse them sexually until they could through intention and design bring the energies up and enjoy the exquisite sensations of the opening of the head, the “thousand lotus petals unfolding” in sensuous delight as they experienced ultimate “union with the gods.”

This was indeed an “awakening experience.”  The results have echoed through my life in one form or another for all the years thereafter.  What I learned from the experience was, mainly, that we as separate entities do not exist, that we are infinitesimal particles in the vastness of this divine flow, and that when we are in correct alignment with this cosmic flood, we can experience some of its ineffable delight, as it “enters us and claims us” for its own.

Yeats said, “Man can embody truth but never know it.”  Likewise, we can never untangle the full mystery of the universe, though we can on occasion taste or glimpse it as our own bodies participate in its infinite splendor.

And as for me, I also learned that anything can happen to anyone anywhere at any time, if the conditions are right and the cosmic overseers feel that this is the right time for us to be “opened.”

In my most recent post I discussed the contribution of bliss energies to the overall "love field" of the world.  That post was written as I approach my 88th birthday.  I am amazed that the bliss still "visits," albeit in a much subtler and more delicate form.

However, this more recent post describes my original awakening experience, at the age of 53.  It was indeed a surprise, not scripted or intended by me in the way it happened but it changed my life forever, for it revealed to me "who I really was."

P. S.  I never repeated my experiment.  I did not need to, for the bliss energies were now fully awakened, and I experienced rapture/bliss many times through simple practices--meditation on Shiva (too strong); then Krishna; basic yoga (while I was able); movement;
music--such as Krishna Das, Jonathan Goldman, Brahms' "German Requiem"; crystals (just once, but powerful); essence of frankincense/amber;  trees and flowers; receiving the vibrations from my sacred Buddha thongka; and now mantra repetition. I have lived alone for many years and am happy in that state.  The energies still flow in subtle ways even now.  For me, the inner bliss energies are the sign of the true Tantric.

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