Kundalini Splendor

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Who I Am––poem by Dorothy 





Who I Am

I am not the young one
gazing in admiration
at the teacher
I adored.

I am not the person
whose lover always left,
casting me adrift on
the island of grief,
lost in the abyss of despair.

I am not she
who discovered
the Great Mother,
became her willing
acolyte,
felt her power
within.

I an not the being
who was torched awake
by the passion
of the real,
cells and sinews restrung
as I entered the vast unknown.

Nor am I the traveler
who felt earth's secret
currents
stream through her body
standing in bliss in certain
appointed spots
of ancient worship.

I am the one
who lives quietly,
hermit of the soul,
communing with the lover
known only to me.

Sometimes we revel in rapture,
sometimes we write
with a sober pen.

Snow outside,
warmth and Mozart inside,
what better life than this?

Dorothy Walters
February 23, 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018

"The Agnostic's Prayer"––poem by Dorothy (revised) 





The Agnostic's Prayer

They talk of miracles.
Of stables and hay
and virgins giving birth.
A world savior arriving.
A star.

I sit here
thinking of Buddha
beneath the Bodhi tree.
His mother seeking shelter
from the rain.
That flower he lifted
in front of his disciples

And then there was this wild Shiva dancing,
this Krishna and his
hypnotic flute.
Paravati, Laksmi, devas riding the sky.

Sky gods, earth mothers,
what should I believe?
Save me from the myths
and superstitions
of a frightened crowd
seeking comfort
from the unknown.
What should I make
of any of these?

I will take refuge
in my mind.

Yet I do not know
who I am,
how I got here,
how to behave.
Some kind of strangeness
seems to be at work here
that put it all together.
Something I can only guess at,
things I can't explain.

I sit in confusion and silence
and a voice that keeps repeating
"I love you"
and telling me to attend.

Dorothy Walters
January 6, 2018

(image from internet)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Buddha's Pronouncement 





Buddha's Pronouncement

Buddha, I don't understand
your message.
Old age, sickness and death––
indeed they come to us all
and many of my friends
have already gone,
having already succumbed
to each of these.

What are you trying
to tell us?
I think I am hearing it
wrong.
Should we not care about these?
Show compassion
when others fall?
Should we not be honest
and confess
that when our time arrives,
we will likewise go
through the stages
and not be sure why?

If nothing in this life script
matters,
how does life itself count?
Were we sent here
for a purpose?
And must we taste
old age, sickness
and death
many times over
as part of the bargain?

Buddha, you leave out
holy rapture,
union itself the goal
and end.

I know I cannot
think my way to God.

I must find
someone wise and ancient
sitting under
a tree
to explain such things,
set me straight.

Dorothy Walters
February 20, 2017

(image from internet)



Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Second Coming––poem by Dorothy 






Second Coming

When You first arrived
you were a tornado
that tore my mind to shreds.
All of the edifice that I had made
to tell me who I was
crumbled and fell,
my thoughts and notions
obliterated,
my theories destroyed
to dust.
Sentences were not possible,
paragraphs beyond my grasp.

All I had left was this
honey scent
You left behind,
the blinding nectar
of Your love.
I drank and drank of this
sweet wine,
and forgot all other concerns.

Gradually something has rebuilt
the ruins of what
was left behind,
shards and remnants
now retrieved to make a new habitation.
I now command a retinue
of ideas and rhetoric,
find  pleasure in thought and theory,
and seldom seek your presence
in between.

When will you come again?
Will you enter this new edifice,
find me once more unprepared,
again abducted after I have shed my mental
coverings,
once more blasted
to become I know not what?

Dorothy Walters
February 20, 2018







Monday, February 19, 2018

Buddha's Flower––poem by Dorothy 








Buddha's Flower

I know about Buddha's flower,
emblem of truth.

But then there was
that man
hanging from a tree,
the one who cried aloud
at the end.

How can I know both,
reconcile these disparities,
untangle good from evil?

Many have tried
and failed.
Others choose
to ignore the question.

I have no answers,
must for now just listen to this Beethoven and Bach,
behold the snow falling like white spring petals
outside my window
from the infinite to no where,
drift into rapture again.

Who am I to know final wisdom?
What I know is feeling
in the heart,
spasms of joy,
the Beloved come once more.

Dorothy Walters
February 12, 2018

(image from internet)


Sunday, February 18, 2018

"Sacred Emissaaries"––poem by Dorothy 







Sacred Emissaries

Some of us have been
priests and priestesses
since time began.

In Egypt we served in the
pyramids,
we caste the spells
mixed the potions,
to bring healing
to the people,
food for the land.

In Greece we roved
the mountains,
thyrsus in hand,
uniting with nature,
the oracle speaking words
with earth's tongue.

As shamans we flew
high into the heavens
to bring down light
and secret wisdom.
The gods were merciful,
shared the secrets,
yet many died on the way.

Yet it was there,
in sacred East,
that we truly found our path
to union with the gods.
They and we were one,
our ceremonies of fire and chant
calling them down
and we became other.

We still inhabit this
world that does not care.
We are called by different names,
live hidden,
seldom seen.
 Mountains, forests,
running streams––
if you look,
you will find us there.
If you listen,
you will hear us speak.

Sometimes we will arrive suddenly,
fill your bodies
with a joy you cannot name.

Dorothy Walters
February 14, 2018

(image from internet)





Saturday, February 17, 2018

Where the Beauty Resides––poem by Dorothy 





Where the Beauty Resides

Will someone please tell me
what day it is,
what time?

More and more I keep on living
in that place that has no date,
and no timepieces are to be found.

And then when I return
to that other world,
the one  they call "real"
with its clocks and calendars,
its appointment books and meetings,
I come blinking and dazed,
wonder what all the confusion is about,
yearn to hurry back to that other realm
where the beauty resides.

Dorothy Walters
February 7, 2018


Friday, February 16, 2018

Questions for Kabir––poem by Dorothy 





Questions for Kabir

How is it that I write these poems
all morning,
then find these stunning verses from the Master
with the same themes all afternoon?

There is a well of truth
from which we all must drink.
Some take deep draughts,
others a few sips now and then.

Oddly the thoughts they present
often resemble each other
yet in different language,
his luminous,
mine trying to capture
invisible light.

Dorothy Walters
February 7, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018

These Honey Drops 





These Honey Drops

Kabir, Kabir,
when I read your poems
I melt into the earth.
Or if I stay upright,
a certain sun lights
all my pores 
and I become a vague outline
of Desire.

Tell me, who sends you
these sweetmeats
made of words. . .
who places these honey drops
on your tongue?

All I want 
is more.

Dorothy Walters
February 12, 2018

Note: Andrew Harvey has just finished a brilliant translation of the poems of Kabir, the renowned poet/sant of early India (15th century).  I find them totally intoxicating.  I will let you know when they are published.

(picture from internet)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Valentine from Kalidas 


This Valentine is from Lawrence Edwards (Kalidas)gifted poet and founder of Anam Cara Foundation.


Anam Cara Meditation Foundation
Perennial Wisdom For The Soul's Journey
February 14, 2018

Sophia's Gifts


Events
Living Through Dying Retreat

Weekly Meditation Programs
Dear Dorothy,
We offer you these poems in celebration of Love!


The Flames of Love

Let the flames of Love cleanse you
of all clinging to illusion.
Let Love illumine the Truth.

Love is the most precious gift.
Love is the most sublime path.
Love is the most profound meditation.
Love is the highest attainment.

In Love - the fullness of compassion.
In Love - timeless patience.
In Love - unbounded awareness.
In Love - all is illumined.
In Love - vast spaciousness.
In Love - form and emptiness embrace.
In Love - I and Thou disappear.
In Love -

Kalidas
From Kali's Bazaar, p. 31


The Greatest Path

The greatest practice is Compassion.
The greatest discipline is Patience.
The greatest path is Love.
Resolve to faithfully and enthusiastically follow these,
And you will know yourself to be Free.

Kalidas
From Kali's Bazaar, p 67

Love always arises within. Searching for its source we discover its only source is the Divine within.
Visit there often. It is the living state of meditation, the living state of union. Love is the ultimate transformative power of the Divine.
May you come to revel in it as your true Self!

Upcoming Events
Living Through Dying Meditation Retreat - March 16-18. 7pm Fri - lunch on Sun.
The Garrison Institute (click to register now or get more information), Garrison, NY. Fee: $225 plus accommodations.
Throughout our lives we encounter the passing of cherished relationships, loved ones, careers, hopes and dreams. Ultimately we will face our own mortality. Living Through Dying will take you into the practices, meditations and teachings found at deepest levels of the great spiritual traditions. Themes of birth and death, the nature of the eternal and the ephemeral, dying to the ego, and the transcendent way beyond suffering into pure rapture, appear in our spiritual traditions as ways of approaching the mystery of what lies beyond the ordinary mind, both in life and in death. These wisdom practices offer us a way to be free of the past, free to let die what needs to die in order to live fully in the present.

At the heart every human being is a mystic capable of directly knowing the deep truths about the link between womb and tomb, birth and death, and creation and dissolution. The retreat includes shaktipat diksha, empowered mantra and the Maha Kali Yantra empowerment as means for directly knowing who we are beyond the ordinary mind/self.

Through teachings and practices from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Grail legend, the Heart Sutra, and non-dual teachings of Kashmir Shaivism and Vedanta we will explore the Way beyond the way.

Additional Event Information


AC Meditation Hall

Thursday Night Meditation Sessions -Everyone is welcome! Thurs. evenings 7:15-8:45
Led by Lawrence Edwards. Includes meditation instruction, discussions, chanting, and meditation. Open to everyone, fee: donation. Click here for more information.

Anam Cara Meditation Foundation


Thank you all for your notes of appreciation for our newsletter. It's great to hear from you!

Everyone has the heart to be a true friend of the soul, an "Anam Cara." By embodying that ideal we may serve to help others to find love and compassion within themselves and the world.

Our highest nature is always manifest in relationship - to all other beings, to the environment, community, loved ones, and in relation to our own body and mind. Becoming mindful of the quality of our relationships allows us to learn where the light shines and where it needs to shine more. The ideal of Anam Cara is to continuously endeavor to expand the depth and the inclusiveness of the loving kindness we bring into every relationship, every moment, every breath.

If you have any suggestions, comments or sharings, for our newsletter please don't hesitate to e-mail me and I'll do my best to respond.

The Anam Cara Meditation Foundation is a 501 (C) 3, non-profit educational organization dedicated to teaching meditative practices. Our non- denominational programs are open to all. There are free meditation instructions and downloadable audio files of guided meditations on the meditation page of our website.

Thank you for the many ways you have shown support for Anam Cara . Because of your gifts we can offer free programs and instruction to thousands of people. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to Anam Cara please click here and you'll see the donation button on the bottom of the page. Your donations will support ongoing free programs, expanding our website resources, and making meditation practices freely available to everyone. Thank you for all your support!

A special thank you to our generous supporters who give donations and make regular pledged donations.

I look forward to welcoming you in person to our programs.

With all my appreciation and love,
I thank you all.
May all beings know complete freedom from suffering and may all our actions reflect only wisdom, compassion, patience and love.
Lawrence Edwards, PhD
Founder and Director
Anam Cara Meditation Foundation

All newsletter contents copyrighted 2018


Link to Additional Resources

Lawrence Edwards, PhD, Founder & Director | Anam Cara Meditation Foundation, Armonk, NY
914-219-8600 | info@anamcara-ny.org | www.anamcarameditation.org
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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

"Gallintine's Day" 




from EMILY's List

Dorothy,

Galentine's Day is all about celebrating women. It's a day set aside specifically to let the women in your life know just how great they are and how much you appreciate them.

And even though at EMILY's List we celebrate women every day by working to elect them, today we're taking a moment to do something a little bit more special for all of the women in our community.

Text GAL to 47717 for a Galentine's Day surprise you don't want to miss!

https://secure.emilyslist.org/Galentines-Day-Surprise

Talk soon,

Meg DiMartino
Digital Coordinator, EMILY's List

P.S. Want to spread the Galentine's Day cheer to one of the women in YOUR life? Forward them this email!


Monday, February 12, 2018

Something Shining––poem by Dorothy 






Something Shining

I am not one to go around saying
I have found final truth.

Truth is a vast tent
spread across the heavens.
We crawl beneath the edges of its skirts,
catch a small glimpse of something shining inside 
now and again.

Dorothy Walters
February 7, 2018

Sunday, February 11, 2018

On reading Kabir as Translated by Andrew Harvey 






On Reading Kabir as Translated by Andrew Harvey

Kabir, you have made me drunk
with your verses and I have lost
all my bearings.

Up, down, night, day, real, fantasy––
now all the same to me.

But I am not complaining.
I like this being tipsy.
Whatever you do,
don't make me get 
sober again.

Dorothy Walters
February 7, 2018

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Real Map––poem by Dorothy 





She Gave Me the Secret

She gave me the secret.
Now I live in the midst
of a busy highway
where throngs and traffic
are all headed the wrong way.
Many are lost in detours
and forget where they
are going.

I stand here shouting
and holding up signs
pointing to the true path,
but no one listens
and I realize they
are all deaf and some
are blind to boot.

Only those who follow
the one map
will reach the destination.

Dorothy Walters
February 7, 2018

Thursday, February 08, 2018

"Holy Union"––Poem by Dorothy 







Holy Union

I do not know
who you are,
where you are from,
what you look like.

Yet I know
that when you arrive,
I once more know the secret,
holy mariage,
sacred union,
you are who I am.

Then it is as though the vows
are renewed once more,
as if we have never been apart.

They talk of oneness:
abundance of connection
candle and flame
sea and wave
air and breath.

Dorothy Walters
February 7, 2018

The Beloved Shares Her Secret––poem by Dorothy 







The Beloved Shares Her Secret

I can't help it.
I keep on wondering
who you are,
why you keep coming,
how you are connected to me.

I think of a face, invisible
and smiling.

And then a voice says,
"Of course, you know me.
How could you not?
I am you and I have
never left."

"When you eat,
I am the taste
of the food you swallow.
When you hear music,
I send thrills of joy
through your body.
When you sleep,
I manufacture your dreams.

When you write poems,
you speak with my tongue.

Know that I love you,
for you are mine,
crafted from the same essence,
made of the same substance,
light and burning candle,
always one."

Dorothy Walters
February 7, 2018

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Kundalini 




Kundalini

What you must know
is this:
it will not come
as a thought
or a concept
or an experiment
in a laboratory.

It will not be an extension
of all that has been proved
by wise men
in tomes and cubicles
for centuries before.

It will happen
within what you call
your body.
You will not know
where your flesh ends
and a feeling comes that is
both outside and inside,
a realization arriving
as an experience,
a happening
you have no words to describe.

Of course, you can try.
You can speak of it
as rapture, as ecstasy,
as a flowing field of bliss.

But once it happens,
your will recognize it
as that which unites all
and of which you are an
indivisible part.

Drop to ocean,
cells to body,
the nameless you to
Love.

Dorothy Walters
February 6, 2018

To a Young Poet––poem by Dorothy 





To a Young Poet

She is indeed young
and beautiful
and gifted.

She has won prizes
and travels widely
to share her
productions
with grateful audiences.

Her eyes gleam with the
look
of someone
who knows where
she has been,
where she is
going and why.

Her poems are filled
with sharp insights
and nuanced texture,
she does what
artists have long
been instructed to do:
look on the world
in its fullness
with an unflinching gaze,
include that which is
random or else sought after,
you are the seer,
the teller of truth.

She is concerned
that she will soon
be forty,
though she is already
well established
in the world.

Obviously
she was born
with the gift of saying,
words filling her mouth
even as she drew
her mother's milk.

She carries her burden of fame
lightly, as if it were a blessing
or a boon.

I observe and marvel
in amazement and awe,
silence descending over me
like a cloak of rain.

Dorothy Walters
February 6, 2018


Sunday, February 04, 2018

Some Context for Rumi's Bawdy Poems 








Some context for Rumi's bawdy poems by an unnamed Rumi scholar:

LATIN TRANSLATION OF THE MATHNAWI (courtesy of 'Ordinary Sparrow").  She forgot to include the author of this article.

We have the greatest respect and admiration for Professor Nicholson who devoted a lifetime to the translation of the Mathnawi into English. He has chosen, however, to render some 133 out of 25,700 couplets into Latin. His reason he explains in his Introduction to Volume II of the Mathnawi (translation of Books I and II). Rumi, he thinks, 'is too outspoken for our taste' on certain' topics 'and many pages' of the Mathnawi 'are disfigured by anecdotes worthy of an Apuleius or Petronius but scarcely fit to be translated.’ Form a total of about 4000 verses (4855 to be exact) the translator takes exception to nine odd couplets which in his view are not fit to be translated into English.
The Maidservant and the Ass is by far the most provocative story in the Mathnawi, were one to accept the yard-stick applied so far by the translator. He uses the blue pencil even in the prose heading of the story which begins with the following verses rendered into Latin [Vol. Vi, p.82.]:

A passionate, pleasure-loving maidservant had trained an ass to perform the sexual functions of a man. The crafty woman had a gourd which answered the measurement of the male, so that at the time of intercourse only half of it could penetrate. Had the whole member gone into her, her womb and intestines would have been in utter ruin.
The story is allowed to proceed. The ass was becoming lean, and his mistress was worried, but no ailment could be discerned in him. She began to investigate on earnest until one day, through a crack in the door, ‘she saw the little narcissus sleeping under the ass’ [V, 1343.]:

The ass was treating the maidservant exactly in the same manner as a man takes a woman. [V, 1345.]

The mistress became envious and said: ‘Since this is possible, then I have the best right, for the ass is my property.’ The ass had been perfectly trained and instructed and the mistress decided to take advantage of him. Feigning to have seen nothing, she knocked at the door. The maid with a broom in her hand opened the door. The mistress treated her like an innocent person. Later one day she sent her away on an errand. The crafty maid, whilst she went on her errand, knew exactly why she was being sent away. She was saying to herself: ‘Ah, mistress, you have sent away the expert. You will set to work without the expert and will foolishly hazard your life. You have stolen from me an imperfect knowledge and you are ashamed to ask about the trap.’
After the maid is gone the narrative lapses into Latin:

[V, 1361-64.]

She was happy at the (anticipation) of the pleasurable passion. She closed the door behind her and said (to herself): ‘Now I can shout my thanks! Now I am free from all worries: (I have perfect uninterrupted privacy).’ Out of pleasure her vagina (was singing like) a nightingale. She was impatient for the flame of passion. Having reached the height of excitement it was no wonder she was already feeling dizzy.
Lustful desire, goes on Rumi, makes the heart deaf and blind, so that an ass seems like Joseph, fire like light. Cupidity causes foul things to appear fair. Sensuality has disgraced a hundred thousand good names. Its spell made dung seem honey to you, it caused an ass appear like Joseph. And then we are allowed a peep into the room where the mistress is now closeted with the ass, and of course it is Latin again:

[V, 1382-90.]
That woman closed the door and dragged the ass and undoubtedly she enjoyed herself. Slowly she pulled him into the house and slept below the big ass. In order to achieve her and she stood on the same chair as she had seen the maidservant use. She raised her legs and the ass penetrated her. From his member he set her on fire. The ass politely pressed the lady up to his testicles until she was dead. The member of the ass burst her liver and tore apart the intestines. She did not utter a word and laid down her life. The chair fell on one side and the woman on the other. The courtyard of the house was smeared with blood, the woman lay prostrate. Without doubt the calamity had come. Such a bad end, O reader; have you ever seen a martyr to the member of an ass!
Immediately after this scene the moral follows:

Hear from the Qur’an (what is) the torment of disgrace: do not sacrifice your life in such a shameful cause. Know that the male ass is this bestial soul: to be under it is more shameful than that (woman’s behavior).If you die in egoism in the way of the fleshly soul, know for certain that you are like that woman. [V, 1391-93.]
When the maid returned she found that her worst fears had come true. Addressing the dead mistress she says:

[V, 1420-21.]
You only saw the member which appeared so tempting and sweet to you, but in you greed you omitted to see the gourd. Or else you were so absorbed in you love for the ass that the gourd remained hidden from your sight.
The following verses which bring out the moral of the story have been rendered into Latin:
The Master of domesticated animals cut off the head of the fools and invited the wise ones to his assembly to eat them. Their flesh alone is useful while the wise ones (have many uses such as) humble prayer and sincere supplication. The maidservant then came in from the little creek of the door and saw the lady dead below the ass. ‘O stupid lady!’ she said, ‘what is this? Did your teacher ever provide you with the proper picture? You saw only the appearance and the secret remained hidden from you. You simply opened a shop without mastering the tricks of the trade!’
A story which may seem saucy and scintillating in parts has to be read in its entirety and judgment suspended until after the author has concluded it. Any court of critics would concede that Rumi is by no means a pedlar in pornography and yet parts of the story being singled out, irrespective of the context, for translation into Latin tend to create an effect which is perhaps entirely opposite to the one intended by the translator. The censored part, like all forbidden fruit, becomes more delicious and one is apt to exaggerate rather than digest it within the general framework of the narrative. Keeping this essential requisite in mind we make bold to relate another story which the translator seeks to obscure by his peculiar technique. If the very mention of sex can cause a flutter in some petticoats, the remedy does not lie in cloaking words which merely reflect a fundamental fact of life. The Sufi, Rumi has stated time and again, is like a highly polished mirror. He only reflects your own reality. If you see an ugly face it is you; and if you see a beauteous visage, it is you. The reader, who makes a powerful, penetrating breach into the island of the Mathnawi, will see nothing but light and spiritual fervor. There is a point, therefore, in seeking to liquidate the mystery created by the lavish use of Latin in Book V...

This article does indeed provide some context for Rumi's use of bawdy narration, but I still am offended and grieved to find such vulgar passages in his poetry.   As for the writer of the above, I am bothered by his condescending attitude suggesting that only prudes would object to such materials: "If the very mention of sex can cause a flutter in some petticoats, then...".  He lays a double trap.  If you object to such material, you are by (his) definition a prude and a puritan.  Whatever you say can and will be used against you.   As I may have mentioned earlier, this entry  disturbs me as much as if Mother Teresa suddenly started telling dirty jokes.




Saturday, February 03, 2018

Like Light Playing Over Water 





Like Light Playing Over Water

Happening again.
She has come.
Even sitting here,
typing these words,
I feel Her stirring
within.

I do not know where
She comes from,
why She visits,
how She travels.

Now sweetness moves
from feet
to temples,
then back again.

Each time it is
like a lover's kiss
after long absence.

Why am I trying to
make sentences
about this?

The answer
is in the breath.

Dorothy Walters
February 3, 2018

(image from internet)





Friday, February 02, 2018

"The Second Jesus"––Gharib Nawaz, (1142–1236?) 


The Second Jesus
By Gharib Nawaz
(1142? - 1236?)
English version by Peter Lamborn Wilson and Nasrollah Pourjavady

O Lord, it's me: blanked out in divine light
and become a horizon of rays flashing from the Essence.
My every atom yearned for vision
till I fell drunk on the manifestations of lordship.
Love polished the rust from my heart's mirror
till I began to see the mysteries;
I emerged from the darkness of my existence
and became what I am (you know me) from the Light of Being:
blackened like charcoal dark soul's smoke
but mixed with love fires and illumined.
Some say the path is difficult;
God forgive them! I went so easily:
The Holy Spirit breathes his every breath into Mo'in--
who knows? Maybe I'm the second Jesus.
-- from The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry, Translated by Peter Lamborn Wilson / Translated by Nasrollah Pourjavad

Dorothy Walters: To wonder if "I'm the second Jesus" seems like a boast. Yet when we are profoundly awakened, we may feel that we are indeed some supernatural being. The energies may be extreme. The mind may no longer be capable of rational thought. When I had my awakening many years ago, I initially wondered if I was some kind of buddha. I was unable to interpret my experience in rational terms.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

More on Rumi Discussion 


More on Rumi Discussion

I wrote a post on a very different topic, then it disappeared before I got it posted.  However, the question about Rumi evoked an interesting discussion on FB (from original post) and I am reprinting some of those responses here:

Gurudev Khalsa Two thoughts, dear Dorothy. Perhaps a bit like Sparrow Mattes, I think we do a disservice to the nature of humanity when we expect perfection of our idols--or ourselves. Ernest Kurtz' "The Spirituality of Imperfection" is a great antidote in that regar...See More
Manage

The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi
NEWYORKER.COM



Dorothy Walters Dear Kurudev Khalsa, Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I was deeply disappointed and disturbed by these "poems' attributed to Rumi. They are not a result of inaccurate translation. The subject matter is clearly pornographic. If you want to read ...See More


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Irina Kuzminsky
Irina Kuzminsky Not all Turks I have spoken to idolize Rumi in the same way as many Westerners do ...

Like · Reply · 3h

Irina Kuzminsky replied · 4 Replies · 1 hr

Dorothy Walters Guru Khalsa: I have now read the New Yorker article you mention. I am quite familiar with the charge that Barks offers renditions rather than actual literal translations of the original works by Rumi. However, I found the article quite interesting, f...See Mor

Dorothy Walters However, this article in no way addresses my concerns. I have called these particular poems as "pornographic" and even "obscene." I have also wondered if Rumi even wrote them. If so, then he must have had a split personality: one a devout mystic, a...See More

Dorothy Walters I was hesitant to publish this entry, but felt I needed to get some of these concerns "off my chest." As for the references to the unethical behavior of gurus and teacher, I feel that pedophilia is wrong, that using devotees as sexual objects and so f...See More

Gurudev Khalsa Thank you so much, Dorothy, both for initially writing of your deep concerns and for following up with your replies to me. I'm sorry I wasn't more sensitive to the depth of your horror at what you read, and am feeling rather silly myself for offering my comments without having read what you read. Please accept my apologies. I haven't had a chance to track down the passages yet, but hope to tomorrow. In the meantime, I can say that I agree with much of what you say above--that moral relativism must have limits, and that I actually prefer the poetry of Barks over literalism, without which I and millions of others might never have fallen in love with Rumi. But as a cross-cultural professional, I also know how much does get lost "in translation," both literally and metaphorically. It is apparent from the strength of your revulsion that you feel it is impossible that could explain what you have read. I suppose, in my own way, I am hoping to find what could soften the blow for both of us. Have you reached out to Andrew Harvey about this? I'd be very curious to learn of his perspective. Let us keep reflecting and sharing, in the hopes of learning how to make better sense (both in head and heart) of what you have discovered.

Dorothy Walters Dear Gurudev,

Dorothy Walters
Dorothy Walters Thanks for this further commentary. The two poems are: "The Importance of Gourdcrafting" (about women who have sex with a donkey) and "Two Ways of Running" (about a wife who discovers graphic evidence that her husband has had sex with the maid). I found them on pp.181 and 178 on "The Essential Rumi" of Coleman Barks and John Moyne.

Dorothy Walters By the way, I have always assumed that John Moyne was the actual translator and that Barks went from there with his renditions. I would like to ask Andrew about this problem, but at present cannot get in touch with him. I do know another deep Rumi sc...See More

Dorothy Walters As a retired professor of English lit, I enjoy delving into these problems of interpretation and much appreciate your comments.

Dorothy Walters All my best to you, Gurudev.

Ron Sult
Ron Sult there are controversial stories / elements (to put it mildly) about the lives and conduct of so many prominent spiritual figures (many that are even considered "spiritual giants"), that one almost comes to expect it.. :)



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