Kundalini Splendor

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Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Skeptic Enters Heaven––poem by Dorothy 

















The Skeptic Enters Heaven

Even when she arrived
and was filled with love
she didn't believe it.
Some kind of chemical or
magic trick, she was sure.
Something to make you
feel good, like laughing gas
in the dentist's chair,
a substance people ate or inhaled.

And then there was the landscape.
All those luminous blues and greens,
colors she was certain
they had somehow manufactured,
as if she were wearing a special pair
of tinted lenses,
easy to explain.

When they asked her what she
would like,
she wanted a book of reproductions
of famous artists.
They offered her a glimpse
of the originals,
but she refused,
obviously these were phonies.

So they left her to roam
the libraries,
books on every topic,
and she read and read and read,
oblivious to the display
of golden clouds and shimmering gardens
outside,
the celestial music wafting in from somewhere,
safe in her bastion of doubt.

Dorothy Walters
September 14, 2019

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Matthew Fox––Exploring the Nameless God 


Exploring The Apophatic Divinity (The Nameless God)
BY MATTHEW FOX
SEPTEMBER 28, 2019
VIA NEGATIVA, LIVING CS

The word Apophatic means without light.  The God of Creation, liberation and redemption is more a Cataphatic or “God with light” Divinity.  But the Apophatic Divinity needs attention today also and is an important antidote to excessive projecting or excessive sureness about Who or What God is (or Who or What one rejects when one calls oneself an “atheist”).  Spending some time with the apophatic Divinity can liberate God from too much human projection and even arrogance in imagining we know exactly who God is.

Consider these teachings from various spiritual traditions:

Dionysios the Areopagite says God is “superessential darkness” and a “darkness beyond light.”


Ancient galaxy is “brimming with dark matter” 
Image credit: NASA/CXC/Univ. of CA Irvine/D. Buote
Meister Eckhart says: “The final end is the mystery of the darkness of the eternal Godhead [which] is unknown and never was known and never will be known.”

Eckhart again: God is “without a name and is the denial of all names and has never been given a name—a truly hidden God.”

David Hart: “We see the mystery, are addressed by it…but can approach only when we surrender ourselves to it.”

Thich Naht Hanh.  “We know the Holy Spirit as energy and not as notions and words.”

Thomas Aquinas:  The mind’s “greatest achievement [is] to realize that God is far beyond anything we think.  This is the ultimate in human knowledge: to know that we do not know God…By its immensity the divine essence transcends every form attained by the human intellect.”


Possible birthing place for stars: the darkness of Molecular Cloud Barnard 68 

Estelle Frankel: “Befriend the unknown” and “trade the certainty of the known for the unknown.”

The Zohar: “Thought cannot encompass Your divine essence.”

Frankel again: “You cannot wrap your mind around God.”

Estelle Frankel, who is a psychiatrist as well as a student of Jewish mysticism, draws some practical advice from these meditations on the apophatic divinity when she writes: “Being receptive to the unknown, in all its many facets, allows us to become more open, curious, flexible, and expansive in our personal and professional lives.  This openness is the key to all learning and creativity.  It is the gate that unlocks our wisdom and courage.”

What are the implications of Aquinas saying that the ultimate in human knowledge is to know that we do not know God?  Is this knowledge more important that our knowledge of atoms and energy and galaxies and the size and age of the universe?  Why might that be?  What implications flow from that important knowledge?  Does religion have to begin anew?  And maybe atheism also?

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God…Including the Unnameable God, 126f., 130f.


Queries for Contemplation

IF Frankel is correct, that the apophatic practice is “the key to all learning and creativity” and unlocks both “wisdom and courage” this makes the practice of the apophatic divinity very important, doesn’t it?  Do you practice this understanding of the Divine?  Can you do more of it?  Is your learning, creativity, wisdom and courage expanding as a result?

Do you surrender yourself to this mystery as Hart proposes we do?

Take just one of these statements above about the Apophatic Divinity and sit with it for a number of sittings.  What are you/we learning?

Recommended Reading

Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God …Including the Unnameable God
Too often, notions of God have been used as a means to control and to promote a narrow worldview.  In Naming the Unnameable, renowned theologian and author Matthew Fox ignites our imaginations by offering a colorful range of Divine Names gathered from scientists and poets and mystics past and present, inviting us to always begin where true spirituality begins: from experience.
Matthew Fox

Rev. Matthew Fox, PhD, author, theologian, and activist priest, has been calling people of spirit and conscience into the Creation Spirituality lineage for over 50 years. His 36 books (translated into 74 languages), as well as his lectures, retreats, and innovative education models, have ignited an international movement to awaken people to be mystics and prophets, contemplative activists, who honor and defend the earth and work for justice. To learn more, visit matthewfox.org
Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation


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6 thoughts on “Exploring the Apophatic Divinity (the Nameless God)”
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MARY SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 AT 4:50 AM
As I read this wonderful meditation and your final questions, this realization arose: I don’t practice this “understanding of the Divine”. It practices me. Perhaps that is one gift of both widowhood and of the aging process.

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BARBARA SCHWARTZBACH SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 AT 6:43 AM
I believe it opens me to more love and wellbeing.
Much gratitude for these postings.

Reply
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ANNE MARIE RAFTERY SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 AT 6:45 AM
Awesome! Really. I need to sit on this Apophatic imagery/mystery.
It triggers mind-expansion for sure.
Thank you.

Reply
Avatar
MICHAEL MOON ~ DREAMTIME POET SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 AT 8:28 AM
Dearest Beloved Friend Matthew,
Some three to four decades ago, the wise women in Western Australia, in the small esoteric gatherings,
the Circle Dance, Neil’s Douglas-Klotz’s Universal Dances of Peace, our Andrew Harvey Lovers,
The Beshara, the Ibn Arabi kernel, our Beloved fellow Saint, Dom Bede Griffiths,
our Rumi’s and HRH the Dali Lama’s faithful and so on,
Instructed me, (in Great Excitement and Enthusiasm), to Listen to You,
Dear Mathew Fox, with your Original Blessing.
So this soul wandered inside all of these amazing universes,
to finally deeply listen to you Now (in the last few weeks.)
Eternal Gratitude Is my simple message.
Gratius for revealing the Black God, in western sol-literature upon our table.

So Matthew, this soul, dedicates and boomerangs, the following passage to Your Self.

***💙***
Beloved Friends
Be Brave,
Tide the River of All Nights
Leave the Known Safety
of the Great Fountain
the Eternal Waterfall

Go Inside Your Empty Mirror
Beyond the Gateless Gate
at the Edge of Infinity

There One may Begin to Uncover
the Ineffable Sacred Apophatic
Embracing Entwining Miraging
the Awesome Cataphatic

(Dedicated to Matthew Fox
Looming Midnight New Moon, September 2019)

Michael Moon ~ Dreamtime Poet
***💙***

Reply

ESTHER SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 AT 9:06 AM
Like all life we expand and contract, like a womb, like our breathe, like the mind, like the universe, this is the natural process of life to be one with. I am leaning on my breathe today as a silent reminder we are one with that first breathe of God.

DOROTHY WALTERS SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 AT 5:22 PM
Thich Naht Hanh. “We know the Holy Spirit as energy and not as notions and words.”
We are never going to think our way to God (Holy Spirit.) God will not be comprehended as a thought nor an idea nor a theory. But “God’ surrounds us as divine love/energy, and through Kundalini we can allow that energy to enter our physical, psychic and subtle bodies and feel the reality of that divine love. I call this awareness union with the Beloved Within. At times this energy comes to us as bliss, as time as total ecstasy. Surrender is indeed the key. We must embrace it when it comes, reverence our knowledge of it as possibility when it is not (seemingly) present. It cannot be taught. We cannot make it happen, but we can prepare ourselves to be penetrated by it when it arrives. Yeats said, “Man (sic) can embody truth, but never know it.” We do indeed live in mystery and the mystery embraces us through feelings, not notions. In such states, we affirm our divine origin and nature and know that we are indeed part of the vast immensity for which there is no name.
See ‘Some Kiss We Want:Poems Selected and New”; “The Kundalini Poems.” These contain many poems to the nameless, faceless, bodiless god who is yet a powerful presence in our lives.

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Arrival––poem by Dorothy 



Arrival

This is the time for you
to go to the place you 
have dreamed of,
longed for 
so long.

Yes, you have traveled
now
for eons,
many incarnations,
lives,
Have journeyed 
for eras,
taken false starts,
wrong turns,
futile efforts.

Sometimes you found
a place to rest for a time,
to enjoy the palm trees
or else the pines,
let the wind 
lift your hair
in a kind 
of love stroke,
found companions
who loved and
then betrayed
(your karma),
but then you always
went on,
and soon fell again
into another ditch,
met another suitor full 
of promises.

But you 
did not become cynical,
renounce all human connection,
hunch forever
in the corner resentful and sad.

Now is the time
to sail into the port
you have long imagined,
enter the kingdom
with your name,
decked with your rewards,
waiting only to be claimed.

Dorothy Walters
September 27, 2019

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Mirabai and Krishna(poem by Dorothy) 


Mirabai and Krishna

Mirabai loved Krishna, 
that naughty boy,
favorite of all the 
milkmaids and her beloved.

She left everything,
memory of dead husband, 
home and safety,
to follow him,
like a traveller seeking
a lost kingdom.

He came to her
in dreams,
in visions,
when she was waltzing
in the road,
when she stopped
to wash her hair
in a flowing stream.

At night he whispered
in her ear
as she lay down,
his love notes drifting
over her
like scent from the garden,
like an invisible hand
gently stroking her brow.

The villagers thought
she was a bit crazed,
but she did not care.
"Krishna, Krishna" was the song
that played always in her head,
that led her to continue
her journey down the road
clothed only in her bliss.

Dorothy Walters
July 28, 2010


Monday, September 23, 2019

Janet Fatoke––Kundalini Healing of the Heart 







KUNDALINI HEALING
by Janet Fatoke
❤️
Last night and this morning during meditation I kept getting the experience of a deeper opening within my heart. A gentle pressure followed by the rushing light and love penetrating deeper and deeper, making me feel more sweetness, ecstasy and indescribable satisfaction.
It was as if emptiness was shooting love in the form of arrows into my heart. At the time I thought this is exactly as in the myth of Cupid shooting arrows of love.
Then I came on FB and saw this image and I realized, that’s exactly why this Red Tara / Kundalini is holding a bow in her hands while dancing. This is what heals and restores us. A living flame, Kundalini moving ever more blissfully and deeply into the parts of our being that ache to be nourished, healed and restored.

Friday, September 20, 2019

THE CLIMATE STRIKE––MATT FOX 



The Climate Strike—Where The Via Creativa And Via Transformativa Converge

BY MATTHEW FOX

SEPTEMBER 20, 2019

VIA CREATIVA, VIA TRANSFORMATIVA

In my video yesterday I urged people to march on Friday at the worldwide Climate Strike event envisioned by the contemporary prophet, sixteen year old Greta Thunberg. In May 1.4 million kids walked out of school to awaken adults about their passion to combat climate change.  Tomorrow, Friday September 20, will be, according to Bill McKibbon, the “biggest day of climate action in the planet’s history.”  Big trade unions, workers at Amazon headquarters, college students and senior citizens are planning to join this action.  Intergenerational wisdom on the march!  Try to make it yourself, and if you can’t, urge others to attend. 

Greta Thunberg meets with the press at the European Parliament, April 16, 2019. Flickr

How does this action for Eco-Justice echo the meditations we have been sharing since Mother’s Day?  First, recall that the reason we launched on Mother’s Day was two-fold: First, to honor our Mother Earth from whom all life derives and by whom we are fed daily and nourished and enriched not only physically but spiritually.  Second, because it is time to honor the Divine Feminine that has too long been sidelined by our patriarchal institutions and ambitions that have unlashed the reptilian brain of extracting wealth from the earth at any price.  The result has been the rape of Mother Earth and the setting on fire of Mother Earth and flooding and huge migrations and all the suffering that comes with climate change.

For the last two months we have been laying out the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality as the pattern for our mystical and prophetic journeys.  In this case, our love of Mother Earth (the Via Positiva) and awareness of her suffering (the Via Negativa).


Photos taken at the Global Climate Strike in London on Friday 15th March 2019. Photographer: Garry Knight, Flickr
 What emerges next is the Via Creativa wherein we can imagine a healthier Mother Earth.  Taking that holy Imagination into action is the Via Transformativa—exactly what Greta Thunberg is inviting us to do. 

Just as Gandhi organized the angry Indian citizens to march to the sea to gather salt and to take up the spinning wheel to make one’s own clothes to stand up nonviolently to the British Empire, and just as MLK Jr. and his cohorts organized many, many people of all ages to stand up to segregation by filling jails, marching and the rest, so too is Greta Thunberg inviting all of us of whatever age to march and be counted.

These acts are all Social Art—gathering people to express themselves clearly and unambiguously.

This moment is when the rubber of the Via Creativa meets the road of the Via Transformativa.

See: Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, Jen Listug, Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Albert Einstein__What We Are 


What We Are

We are slowed down sound and light waves, a walking bundle of frequencies tuned into the cosmos. We are souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play their music.

Albert Einstein

Monday, September 16, 2019

Eating Tchaikovsky––poem by Dorothy 






Eating Tchaikovsky

It was, of course, Tchaikovsky.
His great violin concerto.
Now played by a strong fist
in a child's body,
perhaps from China,
her almond eyes,
her hidden breasts.

I came upon it by chance,
and it was the sweet vibration
that captured me,
features now hard to recall, like 
a love session
that was rapture,
but can't be remembered
in detail.

It began in the hands,
traveled upwards
and then awakened the crown,
opening to god's glory
flooding in
from elsewhere,
then down through each chakra
and bodily region,
ending in breath,
exaltation, supreme moment  of love.

How powerful she was,
years of practice
preparing for this moment,
this brilliant illumination,
she making love to her
instrument,
and that in turn
making love to me, 
each fiber and corpuscle
quivering in bliss,
indefinable love potion.

They never told us 
who she was,
nor spoke the name
of the violin
or the man with the baton.
But then it did not matter.

Another initiation
into mystery,
another transfiguration
into the beginning, 
nada Brahma,
endless joy.

Dorothy Walters
September 16, 2019

Note:  After further research, I found that the violinist was Sagka Shagi, a woman of Japanese descent who spent her childhood in Sienna, Italy.  She plays a Stradivarius.  The recording was with the Philharmonique de Radio France.

(image from internet)





Sunday, September 15, 2019

Stephanie Marohn and Andrew Harvey in conversation on Youtube about animals and humans 





Stephanie Marohn and Andrew Harvey on the relationship between humans and animals
https://www.youtube.com › watch

The link above will take you to a wonderful conversation between Stephan Marohn and Andrew Harvey on the state of animals today and the connection between us and them.   Stephanie is an animal communicator and operator of an animal sanctuary that she runs for large farm animals.  She has devoted her life to this mission.  She stresses that we should allow each animal and every part of nature to know its own "sovereignty" as its birthright.    Her major book is "What the Animals Taught Me."   She is also one of my oldest and dearest friends.  I deeply admire her.

Andrew us also one of my most treasured friends, someone who has helped me immeasurably in my life.  He is passionate about the plight of animals today, for they are being exterminated in a holocaust of annihilation.  He has recently written on this topic, but feels that we must emphasize the light rather than dwell on the darkness.

A world renowned spiritual writer and teacher, his beautiful recent book is "Turn Me to Gold: 108 poems of Kabir."  He is soon leading a group to Africa to view the wildlife there.  His special concern is the white lions, which natives consider the most sacred animal in Africa.  Andrew states that being this close to the animals in their native home has changed his life. 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

'Still Life" ––poem by Dorothy––from Poetry Chaikhana (Ivan Granger) 











Still Life


By Dorothy Walters

(1928 - )



          The rose that no longer blooms in the garden,

          blooms inside her whole body, among the veins
          and organs and the skeleton.
                              -- Linda Gregg


A hidden blossoming.

Petals flaming beneath the skin.
And a softness pressing,
as delicate as the mouth
of a blind lover.


Each movement,

each quiet gesture
awakens
a rosary in the blood.
Was it desire
which brought her to this moment,
this arrival at source,
or was it merely a need
to be still, to be richly fed
from this fountain
of dark silence.
(from Marrow of Flame)


Hi Dorothy -
I consider Dorothy Walters to be a friend, as well as a source of inspiration. She is in her 90s and still very active with various spiritual groups, sometimes giving talks, and regularly offering advice to people who contact her online. She and I have a running joke -- One of us suggests getting together for brunch and conversation... until we try to pin down a date. Her schedule is always so busy that she ends up saying something like, "How about in two months?"

Since I'm in fairly regular contact with her, I was surprised to randomly find a new interview she recently did for the YouTube channel Buddha at the Gas Pump. I was surprised because she didn't tell me about it or send me a link, it just popped up unexpectedly in my YouTube queue.

You can watch the YouTube interview here: Dorothy Walters Interview - Buddha at the Gas Pump

A couple weeks ago I noticed that her book of poetry, Marrow of Flame, which the Poetry Chaikhana publishes, had experienced a bump in sales recently and I was curious why. Then I noticed the new interview on YouTube. That's why. More people are discovering this fascinating, unconventional spiritual elder and are wanting to read her writings.


With Dorothy in my thoughts, it only seems natural to share one of her poems from Marrow of Flame today.

Let's start with the poem's title itself, "Still Life." Normally, that suggests a static painting, something beautiful with life in it, but without movement. Reading this poem, there is so much vitality that it is easy to forget that it is all happening within. The person of the poem -- Dorothy Walters herself, you or me as the reader -- is actually not doing anything outwardly. All of that life, the blossoming and searing, that is all happening within, and outwardly there is stillness, or perhaps just a slight gesture here and there. Still life, life within, stillness without.

Dorothy Walters speaks very directly about the spiritual and energetic opening often referred to as Kundalini awakening. She regularly talks about the highs and lows of Kundalini, that it can be blissful, rapturous, transformative, but it can also be deeply challenging and disorienting. Not only is it spiritual, with profound affects on the consciousness and one's sense of self and interconnectedness with all things, it can also be quite physical, bestowing the most delightful sensations down to the cellular level, but also sometimes producing physical difficulties and discomfort. Dorothy's poetry gives voice to the entire range of the Kundalini experience.

When she takes Linda Gregg's quote, the inner blossoming becomes a representation of the spiritual energies of the Kundalini, flaming like the fire so associated with the experience, and also delicate and soft, like a lover, since this opening is often likened to ecstatic union with the Divine Beloved.

A hidden blossoming.
Petals flaming beneath the skin.
And a softness pressing,
as delicate as the mouth
of a blind lover.


With her first lines we immediately feel the searing, possibly painful passion, somehow balanced with a sense of profound peace.

And let's not forget the sense of life, an entire garden within, and that garden is waking up, blossoming.

Each movement,
each quiet gesture
awakens
a rosary in the blood.


I love that phrase, "a rosary in the blood." When fully swept up in the experience of the awakened Kundalini, when the energy flows without hindrances, there is a profound sense of stillness and interconnection. It is as if there is no sense of a little self to cause disruption within the wide open expanse of being. And in that open stillness, if you then move the body slightly, or if it moves on its own, as sometimes happens in such moments, even if you shift your energies a bit, that profound inner stillness can become a gently flowing bliss that bubbles and anoints every cell of the body. There is a wondrous interplay between stillness and movement, movement emerging from stillness and returning back to stillness, highlighted with ripples of delight.

Was it desire
which brought her to this moment,
this arrival at source


What brings us here? Whether we call it Kundalini or by some other name, what brings us to moments of awakening and communion? Is it because of some inner drive, some effort or practice? Is it because we have found the right pathway or teacher?

Or is it because something in us hungers and can be fed by nothing else? Is the hunger itself the beginning of one's awakening?

or was it merely a need
to be still, to be richly fed
from this fountain
of dark silence.


Whether we have some big experience that we label Kundalini awakening or simply live our lives day-to-day learning to better embody our true selves with kindness and compassion, that secret fountain feeds us.

In our quiet moments we can feel it, that secret life unfolding, a hidden blossoming.


(Commentary by Ivan Granger, Poetry Chaikhana)
-
Background


Dorothy Walters, PHD, spent most of her early professional life as a professor of English literature in various Midwestern universities. She helped to found one of the first women’s studies programs in this country and served as the director of this program for many years. After an extended residence in San Francisco, she now lives and writes in Colorado, where she has a close relationship with the mountains as well as various streams and canyons.

She underwent major Kundalini awakening in 1981 (a phenomenon totally unfamiliar to her as well as to most of her contemporaries at the time); since then she has devoted her life to researching and writing about this subject and to witnessing the unfolding of this process within herself as well as assisting others on a similar path through writing and other means. As someone who made her extensive journey without the direction of any external leader or guru, church, or established order, she is a strong believer in the “guru within,” the inner guide rather than the external authority figure or institution.

She feels that universal Kundalini awakening is the means for planetary and personal evolution of consciousness, and that evidence of planetary initiation is becoming more and more prevalent. Her Kundalini awakening and subsequent process of unfolding are described in her memoir Unmasking the Rose: A Record of Kundalini Initiation.  Her poems taken from her four previous volumes are published as Some Kiss We Want: Poems Selected and New. Her article on “Kundalini and the Mystic Path” was included in Kundalini Rising, an anthology from Sounds True Publications. Her poems, which have been included in many anthologies and journals, have been set to music and sung at the Royal Opera House in London as well as Harvard University, used as texts for sermons and read aloud in churches, included in doctoral projects, been frequently quoted, and have given inspiration to many.


Her latest book is "The Kundalini Poems: Reflections of Radiance and Joy."
(Amazon and Emergent Education Press)

NOTE: A new edition of "Some Kiss We Want" is forthcoming.  It will be at a more reasonable price that the one currently listed on Amazon.
"Unmasking the Rose" is now out of print and unavailable from Amazon.
If you wish to purchase copies of either of these, contact Dorothy at dorothywalters72@gmail.com and she can send you one of the remaining copies of each.




















-





Friday, September 13, 2019

When Shiva Dances––poem by Dorothy 








When Shiva Dances


When Shiva dances,
the world yearns for light.
When Shakti comes in close embrace
the world unfolds
as light.

Become Shiva,
become Shakti,
let light flow through
your body.

You are the male,
you are the female,
you are both,
bound together
in holy wedding.

Only when you do this,
when you become both,
will you become love,
all disparates united
in sacred oneness,
supreme manifestation
of all that is.


Dorothy Walters
August 27, 2010

(image from internet)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Jeff Carreira––October ‰retreat win Portugal 



JEFF CARREIRA'S UPCOMING WORKSHOP IN PORTUGAL


Hi Dorothy, 

I am happy to invite you to attend The Effortless Attainment of Wholeness Retreat – a five-day journey of healing, spiritual growth and awakening.

The retreat will be held in a beautiful location in southern Portugal from Saturday, October 26th to Wednesday, October 30th, 2019.

We held a similar retreat last year and the results were truly magical. I will be leading this retreat with Silvia Rodriguez, a native of Portugal and a dear friend. Silvia is a skillful yoga teacher and a practitioner of Advaita Vedanta – the same lineage in which I was trained. 

Teaching with Silvia last year created an atmosphere of deep spiritual devotional that ignited awakening as well as physical and emotional healing for many participants. 

It is a joy to be leading this retreat again on the magical grounds of the Orada retreat. Center – one of the most beautiful retreat centers I have ever taught at. 

This is one of the most affordable retreats I am able to offer, and it is a pleasure to be able to make a retreat like this so easily available to you. 

Early registration price for a dorm style room is only $475 and includes 4 night’s stay and all meals. 

Early registration ends on September 10 so please take a look at the details of the retreat and register if it calls you. 
Sincerely,
Jeff.

e: jeff@jeffcarreira.com
w: jeffcarreira.com
w: mysteryschool-memberscircle.com


Emergence Education, P.O. Box 63767, Philadelphia, PA 19147, United States


Hi Dorothy,

Next month, during my retreat in Portugal, I am going to experiment with teaching in a style that is more customary to the Advaita Vedanta non-dual tradition. As I am thinking about what that would be like, I wrote this essay that I want to share with you now. 

I hope you enjoy it. 

Love,
Jeff

There Is No Path to Who You Are

For twenty years, I lived in a spiritual community that was rooted in the tradition of Advaita Vedanta and the lineage of the great Indian saint Ramana Maharshi. During those years, I had the luxury of doing enormous amounts of spiritual practice. Today, I share the fruits of all that I learned and experienced as a teacher of meditation and mystical philosophy. 

Over the past 12 years, I’ve taught extensively to public audiences around the world and the tradition of Advaita Vedanta has always been the core of what I teach. Over the years, I’ve developed a teaching style that I think suits a Western audience, but recently I feel guided to teach in a style that is closer to the satsangs of the Hindu tradition. I define satsang as the practice of "sitting together in the truth of who we are." 

My upcoming retreat in Portugal will revolve around daily sessions of sitting together in the truth of who we are. During these sessions, we will sit in direct recognition of our true nature and avoid any temptation to see ourselves as less than that. 

You see, the core insight that the entire Advaita Vedanta non-dual tradition revolves around is the recognition that we are already whole and complete and free. We are searching for wholeness and freedom when in fact that is already what we are. In many schools of Advaita Vedanta, any idea of following a path, or doing a practice, is seen only as a means of reinforcing the delusion that we are not whole and complete already. 

Satsang is different from other ways of teaching because it is not aimed at getting anywhere. It is not built on the supposition that a teacher will impart something to a student that they do not already possess. Instead, everyone sits in direct recognition of who we already are. To me, that means sitting with our attention on the source of awareness and resting there together. 

Ramana Maharshi taught a practice that involves turning your attention toward that which is aware. No matter what arises in consciousness, you simply turn your attention on who is aware of that. Inevitably, you find yourself relentlessly becoming aware of something else. Each time you do, you turn your attention back on who is aware.

No matter what you are aware of, you will always be the awareness that is aware of it. You are not an object that you can be aware of. You are awareness. Ramana’s practice demands that you continually return your attention to the awareness that is aware. 

It is not difficult to do, but it is supremely unnerving to do it for more than a few moments because, as you rest in the awareness of awareness, it becomes obvious that you do not exist. Only awareness exists, and you are that. You feel the disillusion of everything you ever imagined yourself to be. Your sense of self begins to disappear and, with it, the entire world. All that remains is awareness. 

If we rest in this depth of introspection, something miraculous happens. We realize that we always have been that awareness and nothing else. It is as if we were a cosmic being that was asleep and dreaming that it was human. Initially, our human sense of self feels frightened that it is disappearing, but, at some point, we realize that we are a cosmic being and suddenly we are thrilled to be waking up from our human dream.

There is only one path to direct recognition of our True Self and that is direct recognition of our True Self. The path to recognizing who we are is recognizing who we are. There may be other practices that support that, but they will never lead to it. That is why they say the path and the goal are one. 

The only thing that stops you from realizing your True Self right now are any ideas you have that you are not that already. Give up any doubt about your true cosmic nature and be perfectly content with who you are right now. You are already a universal source of awareness shining in human form, and it doesn’t really matter whether you know it or not because it’s already true. 

Satsang is essentially a practice of faith. It means rejoicing in the truth of who we are without demanding any proof whatsoever. That depth of faith is its own reward. We need nothing beyond that to be whole, complete and full right now. The miracle has already happened. The miracle is who we already are. Spiritual practices and retreats are simply opportunities to celebrate it. 

…the end…


P.S. If you feel drawn to join me on retreat in Portugal, there are still a few spaces left and early registration pricing is in effect until this coming Tuesday. 
Love,
Jeff

e: jeff@jeffcarreira.com
w: jeffcarreira.com
w: mysteryschool-memberscircle.com 

Emergence Education, P.O. Box 63767, Philadelphia, PA 19147, United States


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Rick Archer's First Meditation 








Rick Archer's First Meditation


Today is the 50th anniversary of my learning to meditate. I had a somewhat difficult upbringing, with a PTSD-suffering alcoholic father, and a mother who attempted suicide three times. At the age of 18, I had been taking drugs for about a year, and had realized in a muddled way that Enlightenment was life’s ultimate goal, but during that year I had dropped out of high school, been arrested for pot twice, for which I spent a few nights in jail, etc. 


One night I was high on some hallucinogen. To steady my mind, I was reading Zen Flesh, Zen Bones by Paul Reps. It dawned on me: “These guys were serious, and I’m just screwing around. If I continue like this, I’m going to live a miserable life. So that’s it. I’m going to stop taking drugs, learn Transcendental Meditation, and see what happens.


Two weeks later I was staying with some friends in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Someone drove me to the George Washington Bridge. I walked across, took a subway down to midtown Manhattan, and walked across Central Park over to the TM center at 123 E. 78th Street. When you learn TM, they do a puja ceremony, and you’re supposed to bring fruit, flowers, and a clean white handkerchief, plus an initiation fee, which at the time was $35 for students. I showed up with none of these because I figured that they were all relative and therefore illusory and that if these people were enlightened, they wouldn’t care. They sent me home, which meant walking back across the park, taking a subway up to the bridge, walking across that, and getting picked up by a friend.


I didn’t have any money, so I called my father in Connecticut and said, “Dad, I haven’t taken drugs in two weeks. I need $35 to learn meditation. It’s going to be the best $35 you’ve ever spent on me.” He said OK, but I had to get back to CT. Finally, around 11pm, one of my pot-smoking friends drove me to the NY State Freeway and I started hitchhiking home, which included walking across the Tappan Zee bridge and most of Westchester County. I got home around 4am.


A few hours later, my dad drove me to the train station, but I missed the train. I called the TM center and they said just take the next train. I finally got in there and got instructed. I immediately sank into the transcendent – a clear glimpse of the Self. I then went into another room and meditated for half an hour – also deep and profound. During my instruction, a huge thunderstorm crashed outside. It felt like Nature was celebrating.


Afterward, I walked down 5th Avenue in a downpour, feeling like 10 tons had been lifted off my shoulders. People were huddling under awnings staring at me. I didn’t care. I was elated. 


My life began changing quickly. I dropped all my druggy friends, got into a community college and earned a high school equivalency diploma (later bachelor’s and master’s degrees), got a job, and made amends with my father who had kicked me out of the house many times. Within 2 ½ years, I had become a TM teacher and became one of the most successful teachers in the country. I worked for the TM movement for 25 years, having many wonderful adventures around the world. I am no longer affiliated with the TM movement but am grateful for all the benefits I derived. 


My life was impacted so dramatically at the outset and I found meditation so enjoyable that I had no trouble sticking with it. Over these 50 years, I have never missed meditating at least twice a day, most of these years averaging 2-3 hours a day.

There are many other interesting stories (to me, at least). Maybe someday I’ll write a book, but my life is my book. There’s a Vedic saying, “Thy gifts, my Lord, I surrender to Thee”. I feel that God’s grace has blessed me immeasurably, and my life is dedicated to serving as an instrument of the Divine.

(Rick Archer is the founder and interviewer for "BATGAP"–– Buddha at the Gas Pump.  He has presented hundreds of interviews over ten years of "ordinary people who have had extraordinary experiences."  He interviewed me on Åugust 17 and that interview is now on YouTube as well as the Batgap archives.  He is indeed "an instrument of the divine" and an inspiration for us all.) 


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Gifts that are Given 





Gifts that are Given

When we go through transformation (or for some, even before), we often receive many gifts of expanded awareness,  I have met people who suddenly can see long distances, hear with uncommon acuteness, listen to heavenly music, or become highly telepathic.  Such abilities are especially likely to come about after Kundalini awakening.

Since my interview on Batgap, I have heard from many who enjoy such "talents."  Some are able to move their energies through slight movement of their fingers (I have described my own ability to do this––after so many years of experiencing the inner energies as bliss).  Others can know the future, both their own and society's. Some become remarkably telepathic.  Some receive "downloads' of information or even poetry.  Some do lucid dreaming.  Some communicate with their loved ones or others on the other side. Some become helpers of those leaving this planet for other realms.  Some become channels or dousers or energy healers.
Others develop x-ray vision.  Some can go out of body at will.
Many can see auras or feel the energy fields of others or stroke the edges of their own.

Perhaps the greatest gift is bliss, even ecstasy, for this aligns us with divine reality and we feel profoundly connected to Source, the vast love field that creates and powers the universe.

These abilities are not the reason we do yoga or undergo Kundalini awaikening. Rather, they are interesting side effects of the transformation process.  Kundalini, like yoga per se, aims to turn every fiber and cell of you body to light, as we enter the next stage in our ongoing evolution process.

Dorothy Walters
September 10, 2019

Monday, September 09, 2019

Another "Surprised by Joy" Ex[periece 
















Another "Surprised by Joy" Experience

This afternoon I decide to go for a brief walk, and so I stepped out onto my balcony to see how hot it might be.  Almost immediately I felt sweet energy flowing within and so I moved my hands around my body (and never touching), a few inches away and up and down around the various chakras.  For about 15 or so minutes I felt lovely sensation here and there and, as always, was deeply grateful, for, once more, I received affirmation that I was part of the divine flow, the reality that undergirds and animates the universe.

Correction: I have mentioned that Kundalini bliss continues even now, but I do not mean that I am in a state of unbroken, constant bliss.  Not at all. I simply mean that from time to time I am visited and infused by this blessed force and I am grateful that such experiences keep happening even at this age.



Sunday, September 08, 2019

Jan Elvee––"Longing" (poem) 



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Longing

“By the waters of Babylon, 
there we sat down and wept 
when we remembered Jerusalem.”
Psalm 137


Once in a while, 
I sit myself down
to read a few Psalms,
ancient poetry of spiritual longing,
a lone human voice calling out to an absent God,
and often I weep from astonishment
at how deeply these words speak to me.


We weep for that place
from which we’ve been exiled,
that place we know exists
because we long for it,
that place beyond space and time and limitation,
that place where we become fully who we are,
that sacred place we might call God or Love or Wholeness or Home.


Jan Elvee

(Jan also painted the above picture)

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Love Poem for Those Who Long for a Human Lover––poem by Ddrrothy 





Love Poem for Those Who Long for a Human Lover

The Invisible Lover Speaks:

Of course I love you,
how could I not?
We meet at that place
where movement and language merge,
where sound and body blend 
into one saying, 
one note,
one being,
one reality.

Do you not know this?
Do you not feel this
as a vibration in your body,
a frequency you long for,
a tone you crave to hear?

The Human Replies:

Let the others
fall into vastness
or mate with the unseen.
I want to put my arms
around you,
feel your palpable self,
your fleshly glory
against my own.

But like air you have
no shape or form,
like light you move through matter
and leave no sign.

Even when you infuse me
with joy, you never show me
your face.

Dorothy Walters
August 15/September 7, 2019

Friday, September 06, 2019

Oneness 





Oneness

Yesterday, about 4 in the afternoon, I went out on my balcony to get a breath of fresh air.  I live in a 4th floor apartment and my balcony overlooks many trees, all still heavy with green leaves, as well as sidewalks and an avenue busy with vehicles nearby.

As I stood there, watching the trees sway slightly with the gentle   breeze, I realized that something was "different."  With each movement of the leaves on the nearby trees, I felt sweet bliss inside. Indeed, everything that I saw that was moving, created soft waves of sensuous feeling within my body.  Even the people walking on the sidewalk below had this effect, as did the cars traveling up and down the city street.

What is happening?  I wondered.  It is as if I and the "outside world" were linked with a special bond,  perhaps tethered to eternity.

Then today something else happened, equally intriguing.  Again, I had stepped out onto the balcony.  Behind me and to my left the wall of the building, red brick with white cement in between the bricks.  For some reason I ran my eyes down this wall, and as I did so I again felt delicious sensations within.  Of course my eyes were shifting to the left and down as I did this.

When I checked to see whether anything was moving nearby, there was only quiet; the I moved my eyes down the wall once more.  There was only bliss within when I traced the pattern made by the bricks and mortar.

I think eyes and eye movements are important in yogic practice.  I suspect that some advanced yogis are very familiar with what I describe, but, as always, I am allowed the delight of undirected discovery.

When these things happen, you do indeed feel that outer and inner, exterior and interior worlds, are one.

(picture from Vicki Woodward's site)

Thursday, September 05, 2019

The Awakening––poem by Dorothy 





The Awakening


You did not know
that your heart would open
in a spasm of joy.


That an angel 
would piece your chest
with a lance of love.


How the world would shine
with light from within.


How each face you looked upon
would mirror 
your own.


That the lover would return
day after day, year after year,
even when you were old
and there was no one left
to tell,
but you would
never hear her name,
embrace her form,
discover her source.

Dorothy Walters
September 4, 2019

(image from internet)

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

The Beginnings––poem by Dorothy 







The Beginnings


"Bliss (Satchidananda) is a superior quality of happiness. However, it is a bliss that is not permanent; it’s still just a state of mind."

                                               Nisargadatta


They talk of vastness.

What do they know of
splendor within,
infinite love that comes
from an unseen source,
touching your body alive,
with joy, with bliss
in you hands,
your cheeks,
your head and body?


Is this not proof 

of the divine connection,
is this not the lover
you have always wanted,
telling you,
"Yes, this is who you are,
infinite extension of rapture,
consummation of ecstasy,
now stroked to love
by an invisible hand,
finally opened 
to the beginnings"?


Dorothy Walters

September 4, 2019

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