Thursday, July 30, 2015
by Denise Levertov
Tired and hungry, late in the day, impelled
to leave the house and search for what
might lift me back to what I had fallen away from,
I stood by the shore waiting.
I had walked in the silent woods:
the trees withdrew into their secrets.
Dusk was smoothing breadths of silk
over the lake, watery amethyst fading to gray.
Ducks were clustered in sleeping companies
afloat on their element as I was not
on mine. I turned homeward, unsatisfied.
But after a few steps, I paused, impelled again
to linger, to look North before nightfall-the expanse
of calm, of calming water, last wafts
of rose in the few high clouds.
And was rewarded:
the heron, unseen for weeks, came flying
widewinged toward me, settled
just offshore on his post,
took up his vigil.
If you ask
why this cleared a fog from my spirit,
I have no answer.
"A Reward" by Denise Levertov
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Recently I attended a group meeting to experience what are called Peruvian whistles.
First, some five of us traveled high into the mountains to a lovely home where a sculptor and his wife, a bee keeper, lived. From the front of the house we saw an amazing view across a wide valley below to the distant peaks.
Inside, the generous owner of the Peruvian vessels demonstrated to us (now 7 in number) how to blow on them. A Peruvian vessel is like a pot with a native face sculpted on the front and a long stem attached to the back. When you blow on this stem, the pot emits a shrill whistle, much like the sound of a whistling teakettle that is beginning to boil. You can modulate the tone up and down a bit, by blowing harder or softer, but you cannot play a tune on it.
These vessels were considered very sacred by the earlier Peruvians. Each child was given his or her whistle at birth, and this sacred object was then buried with them when they died. The Spaniards tried to destroy all vestiges of the native religions, so they outlawed the use of these devices. The result was that very few of the originals survived to our time.
To perform our "ceremony," we gathered in a tight circle and blew our instruments together. The sound was shrill, and almost deafening You could hear not only your own whistle, but also those near you. Sometimes the combined notes produced a kind of buzzing in the brain, somewhat like the sound of a buzz saw in the distance.
Our practice consisted of three 15 minute episodes of blowing, each followed by 10 minutes of rest.
During the first cycle, I seemed to "see within" an ancient Peruvian male (maybe 35 years old) who went to the cliffs each morning to blow his vessel and welcome the coming day. During the second episode, I "saw" a plain middle aged Peruvian woman whose life was filled with drudgery. She complained (to herself) that her life was composed only of repeated daily ritual: "All I ever do is carry the water, grind the corn, and sew the cloth." Then, I witness her literally drop dead on the path as she was going or coming somewhere. Her spirit ascended into the sky and she marveled that "from up here you can see everything."
Our "leader" had warned us that we might have some repercussions in the following days, for buried issues (such as anger, grief, frustration) might come into consciousness.
However, for me the opposite was true. Next day, I felt extremely well--fully balanced, energized, content.
And the following day I experienced delightful bliss, such as happens now only occasionally. The bliss began in my hands and arms, and ultimately traveled throughout my system. This delicate rapture lasted some 30 minutes or so. I wondered if it was the result of the whistling experience itself or if I had simply picked up certain delightful energies of gathering, for each member was in fact an "evolved" being helping to create a "bliss field," and I often pick up such group energies when the setting and the participants are right.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
When I live in that woman,
she lives in me.
When I drink wine with that woman,
her lips touch the glass
I drink from.
When I come home at evening,
she is the one who waits for me.
she is brushing her hair
in front of the glass,
laying out her nightclothes,
beckons me to bed.
July 26, 2015
(This poem was not written with any particular goddess in mind. But tonight, when Andrew Harvey and Sally Kempton talked on the goddess Lakshmi on their webinar, they asserted that one should not only be devoted to this goddess, but that one should in fact identify with her in all ways. This poem seems to reflect that level of identification.)
Monday, July 27, 2015
The Universe within 14 billion Light Years
The Visible Universe
Number of superclusters in the visible universe = 10 million
Number of galaxy groups in the visible universe = 25 billion
Number of large galaxies in the visible universe = 350 billion
Number of dwarf galaxies in the visible universe = 7 trillion
Number of stars in the visible universe = 30 billion trillion (3x10²²)
About the Map (not shown)
This map attempts to show the entire visible Universe. The galaxies in the universe tend to collect into vast sheets and superclusters of galaxies surrounding large voids giving the universe a cellular appearance. Because light in the universe only travels at a fixed speed, we see objects at the edge of the universe when it was very young up to 14 billion years ago.
Somehow the ancient yogis knew what scientists today are telling us–that the entire universe is moving. Nothing is ever solid or still. Everything that exists pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of OM(A+U+M). We may not always be aware of this sound in our daily lives, but we can hear it in the rustling of the autumn leaves, the waves on the shore, the inside of a seashell.
(above found on internet--then lost source)
Friday, July 24, 2015
Her Dark Face
You want to know about the goddess?
She will come into your life, stealthily,
or else like an explosion of flame
from a great forest fire
You will be torn to bits,
to pieces of love,
She will rend you
piece by piece,
until you cry out with rapture,
until you cry for mercy
You will dance with her
night after night,
who she is,
who you are,
where you came from,
where you are going
Always, her dark face
July 24, 2015
(image from internet)
Thursday, July 23, 2015
I recently ran across this beautiful piece on another website, but I did not know who wrote it. It turns out it was written by my own dear friend Aditi Devi, who is currently again on pilgrimage, this time to Tibet, "where the clouds gather and the dakinis dance." I wrote to her that she visits places that I can only dream of. Yet the Beloved visits here as well.
This is Why Yoginis Wander
This is why yoginis wander:
when the usually kind temple priests ask us to cover our hair in front of our dark naked Mother, blood dripping from Her mouth, they say our naturalness must be hidden in Her presence
when the monks in the gardens walking by won’t meet our gaze, we are their downfall, they blush and turn to hasten by, poison to their tightly defined liberation
when sitting with the influence of fine company, soft cushions, rich food after a long journey, evening prayers unsaid in the intoxication of gossip and social intrigue, emboldened lovers offering their attentions
time to wander on, better to leave the gilded temple behind, Mother firmly planted in us, knowing our nakedness is the way we wear our Union with Her, our hair as Her hair, Her love piercing us more deeply than any etiquette;Digambari Maa is our wild warrior love cry
time to wander on, better to be the whore dancing in the lush night garden, stripping the monastic of his robes, offering him venom in a wine cup, our joined breathing showing him that it is his shame that is the crime, entwined and waiting for the guards with their jangly rings of keys, they find us covered in jasmine and soft river greens;Raadheshyamraadheshyamraadheshyam is our love cry
time to wander on, better to thank our hosts before we enter their gilded doors, let us cook alone over a small dung fire, sleep outdoors another night on the hard stones, bruised hips, aching bones on an aging body, cold discomfort and bright Candikaa as the companion of our clarity; a soft tender Maa Maa Maa is our night long lullaby
no compromising, yogini, no compromising, time to wander on, Maa herself will wander on away from us when we bargain for a little too much softness and comfort, how long did it take to find Her, don’t forget who you are, don’t forget your own knowing, delve into your wisdom stream, wander on, yogini, follow Maa down the road, wander on towards your own freedom
(by aditi devi on the way back from fierce pilgrimage, december 2011)
(picture from internet)
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
The Institute of Noetic Sciences is currently holding its annual meeting. Many renowned luminaries are presenting on various fascinating topics––but not one paper or even one word is dedicated to Kundalini. There seems to be mass amnesia where this subject is concerned. Apparently Kundalini remains as mysterious and esoteric as ever, even though certain centers proclaim themselves teachers of "Kundalini yoga."
I consider Kundalini to be a fundamental instrument in the next evolution of consciousness. Those who fail to explore it are, in my view, turning a blind eye to this essential element in the next state of human evolution.
Some of us always seem to find ourselves at the front of the parade into the future. We seem to be even ahead of many of the self-proclaimed "futurists." Where are the leaders of this procession? It is a lonely position to find oneself so often without companions on this critical journey.
Yet people continue to have awakenings, in what seem to be ever increasing numbers.
Here is the announcement from the Institute of Noetic Sciences:
Please join us for
The SCIENCE of BEING
The SPIRIT of COMMUNITY
July 22–26, 2015, Hilton Oak Brook Hills Resort near Chicago
Twitter / Facebook hashtag: #IONS2015Conference
Picture yourself at an inspiring gathering of fellow explorers and like-minded friends. The menu of options speaks to your deepest passions, and luminaries from science, the environment, and wisdom traditions spark new insights. Music, dance, conversations that matter, and exercises that help deepen your experience are woven into a rich tapestry of renewal and transformation. You share your dreams and your vision, find inspiration, celebrate, reorient toward your deepest purpose, and take away tools you can immediately apply in your work and your everyday life.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
How It Will Be
"When naked to naked goes. . ."
to music and light
And a drift of awareness
like the taste of some fruit
you ate for breakfast
the voice of an old friend,
someone you loved
But always approaching,
never fully arriving,
this music piercing
to the root,
light invading the nerves,
to the edge of feeling
however it came
now the Beloved naked at last
July 21, 2015
Monday, July 20, 2015
The following article is found on the website of the Institute for Consciousness Research, a group located in Canada, and based on the discoveries and theories of Gopi Krishna. The site contains much valuable information on kundalini and related topics. It is well worth a thorough search.
Gopi Krishna thought that Kundalini would lead to enlightenment itself. I prefer to think of it as an important element in the evolution of consciousness.
The purpose of ICR is to encourage awareness, interest and scientific research into Kundalini. The term Kundalini is found in the ancient esoteric systems of India, but the concept has also been known, to a greater or lesser extent, in the mystical traditions of most faiths.
According to these traditions, Kundalini is a psycho-physiological mechanism in the human body which, when activated, can bring about heightened states of mental functioning such as genius, creativity, inspiration, revelation, mystical experience, and paranormal faculties of mind. It may also, in cases where the process does not proceed in a healthy way due to various hereditary and environmental factors be accompanied by certain forms of mental illness.
The goal of the Kundalini mechanism, when it proceeds in a healthy fashion, is to accelerate the process of evolution in the brain and nervous system of the individual towards the development of a new faculty of perception – what has sometimes been referred to as ‘cosmic consciousness’ or enlightenment.
The Kundalini process is said to be controlled by a subtle, super-intelligent organizing principle called prana in the Indian tradition. Prana is thought to permeate every cell in all forms of organic life, and to coordinate and control all aspects of growth and organic function.
The existence of a super-intelligent principle such as this has major implications for our understanding of evolution. It would imply that rather than being a purely random process, as is postulated in Darwin’s theory, evolution has a predetermined goal, i.e. the new perceptive faculty of enlightenment.
In the past the faculty of enlightenment has generally been confined to mystics and the founders of the various faiths, but eventually it will become a feature of the mental faculties of the race as a whole.
The intellect apprehends reality through the five physical senses, and processes this information via logic, inference and reasoning. Over the ages, the mind has developed various mental constructs, such as mythology, religious precepts, and scientific theory, in order to understand reality as it is presented by the sense impressions.
Enlightenment, on the other hand, is a new mental faculty, functioning independently of the intellect, which allows one to perceive reality directly as pure consciousness, from which the phenomenal world appears to be ‘projected’.
Although this view of consciousness as the fundamental reality is in direct contradiction to the currently accepted scientific paradigm, which views it as simply a product of brain function, it has been verified countless times over the ages, through direct experience, by the great mystics and founders of the major faiths.
The activity of the Kundalini mechanism is affected by numerous hereditary, environmental and lifestyle factors, and can be accelerated by various spiritual practices and disciplines. It may also become active spontaneously in certain individuals who have a hereditary predisposition to the process.
If the lifestyle of the individual is not healthy, and does not facilitate this process, various physical and psychological difficulties may result. In order to help those individuals facilitate the process, it is imperative that we understand in detail the physiological factors that affect it.
The possibility that the evolution of our species has a predetermined goal, rather than being totally random, has enormous implications for our future progress. As our collective lifestyles have the ability to either facilitate or hinder this process, it is essential that we understand the consequences if evolution becomes blocked or frustrated. At our current level of technological development, the very survival of our species may well depend on this knowledge.
We believe that the scientific validation of the Kundalini process is possible through research and experimentation, and will require the involvement of the public, as well as scientists and researchers.
The results of this research will have major implications for our political, economic, social and educational systems, as all of these must work towards furthering our evolution, so that the human race can continue to evolve in a healthy and progressive way.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Bulldog on a leash, your bald owner defines your universe
how proud on your morning walk
past the Momofuko Milk Bar
aware of your boundary within leather lengths of constraint
what’s your name?
you bear the gait of a celebrity or even a saint
in the firmament of flesh,
someone like LeBron James, Meryl Streep
or my deceased Grandpa Moishe
who sang socialist hymns and preached baseball stats
and must have walked early morning avenues like you dog,
on the way to the steamy loft
where he sewed garments
twelve hours a day
- Barry Denny
This poem really strikes home when we reflect on it. All of us--even the Pope or the Dalai Lama, live within restrictions. Many inhabit a "box" defined primarily by the approved social conventions--they may love baseball and hot dogs, a committed church membership, a steady income at a dull or perhaps dangerous job. Their lives are circumscribed by daily routine, expected happenings.
Others have transcended such social limitations. And––when Kundalini strikes, it institutes the beginning of a total revision of attitudes, beliefs, and practices. One sees the world in new colors. It is as if one is the famed "visitor from another planet," the observer from without, who both is and is not part of the familiar community. One is suddenly aware of a "new world" or perhaps the old world seen in new perspective.
But, even with this new found "freedom of seeing," one is still limited. One has, as it were, "escaped a box only to enter a new box." We can only know so much. We can travel only so far. We can now see beyond and sometimes through, but we know none of our visions is ultimate––we now have a taste of expanded consciousness, but we know that our new state is itself just that--a taste, a glimpse, a hint of the vast realities lying beyond. "Man can embody truth but never know it." (Yeats)
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Eleven Addresses to the Lord
Master of beauty, craftsman of the snowflake,
endower of Earth so gorgeous and different from the boring Moon,
thank you for such as it is my gift.
I have made up a morning prayer to you
containing with precision everything that most matters.
'According to Thy will' the thing begins.
It took me off and on two days. It does not aim at eloquence.
You have come to my rescue again and again
in my impassable, sometimes despairing years.
You have allowed my brilliant friends to destroy themselves
and I am still here, severely damaged, but functioning.
Unknowable, as I am unknown to my guinea pigs:
how can I 'love' you?
I only as far as gratitude and awe
confidently and absolutely go.
I have no idea whether we live again.
It doesn't seem likely
from either the scientific or the philosophical point of view
but certainly all things are possible to you,
and I believe as fixedly in the Resurrection-appearances to Peter and
as I believe I sit in this blue chair.
Only that may have been a special case
to establish their initiatory faith.
Whatever your end may be, accept my amazement.
May I stand until death forever at attention
for any your least instruction or enlightenment.
I even feel sure you will assist me again, Master of insight beauty.
~ John Berryman ~
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star (from Ode. Intimations of Immortality)
By William Wordsworth
(1770 - 1850)
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.
(picture from internet)
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Listening to Music in Poses
Let the music within
listen to the music without.
You are the note
and the singer,
and the hands floating over the strings.
You have been tuned
for this moment
for a thousand years.
Each star at midnight,
each drop from the well
became who you are,
flesh, muscle, bone.
Once there was a divine pulsation in heaven.
You and all that is
are its revelation,
summoning the world to being.
Remember where you came from.
Then you will receive
a thousand kisses within,
become a million raindrops
stroking the cheeks of roses.
Your blood knows how to live within
this dark intensity,
this opened vein of love,
like a stillness before a storm,
a river flowing quietly
through a hurricane.
It is beginning once more.
July 26, 2000
(Image from internet)
Monday, July 13, 2015
Krishnamurti--on Kundalini (from YouTube talk) (Some random notes and reflections)
I ran across this talk by Krishna Murti when I looked at the entry which began as:
"Is it true that yoga will awaken deeper energy, which is called kundalini?"
Here are some random notes I took, along with some comments I wrote in response:
I have long suspected that this is the case, though I have met a few people who felt that hatha yoga did more than this. Today, most yoga practices are as he says--merely exercises to tone the body. Often even the teachers do not know the source or purpose of kundalini.
The physical part of yoga did not come into existence until a few centuries ago. It was not part of the earlier practice.
Often, we refer to hatha yoga as "yoga." Obviously, this was not the case until comparatively recent times. Yoga means "join, or yoke." It is intended as a means to connect with divine reality--and I think that connection comes about most pointedly through kundalini, where the body literally awakens to another level of consciousness. The "yoga" that is referred to is not hatha yoga at all, but may include simple, gentle movements to awaken and circulate the energies within as bliss states or even rapture. Other means can also work--such as music, aroma therapy, crystals, chanting, mudras, chi gong and tai chi, dancing, poetry, artwork and such. All of these are (or can be), I believe, forms of "yoga," the path of divine connection.
Most of the writers on this topic have not themselves had the actual experience of spiritual awakening. Mainly they quote other previous writers on the subject.
I love this observation. I have long felt the same way. Their "teachings" consist of what earlier writers or their own masters have repeated to them. They do not know the subject from the inside.
Here is a story: a disciple came to the master and asked to learn to meditate. He assumed the "right" position, shut his eyes, breathed very deeply and waited. Then he heard a noise. He opened his eyes and saw that the master was rubbing two stones together. He then asked the master what he was doing. The master answered that he was making a mirror. The disciple responded that he could rub the stones together forever but he would never make a mirror that way. The master replied that the student could practice "meditation" in that way forever and he would never awaken.
Exactly. Students are led to believe that if they follow a certain prescribed course, they will be led to "enlightenment." Wrong. Some practice in the traditional way for years and never feel the bliss of kundalini. However, we do know that some of the ancient practitioners as well as some today followed and still follow rigorous practices of diet, exercise, abstinence, bodily purification and even sensory deprivation. I think these practices were intended not to awaken the energies, but to provide a clear path for them to ascend, in case that process occurred. Spontaneous awakening is a mysterious process––we simply do not know why some awaken with little effort, others not at all no matter how hard they try. I suspect it has something to do with past lives––I believe we reincarnate with our energy bodies intact, even though we may lose the memories of how we came to develop these energetic capacities in earlier existences. I also think that when we have difficult and or troubling awakening experiences, it is because we bring in an energetic body too strong for our present capacity to sustain it.
Krishnamurti added that the only way to higher awareness was through living a good life, observing moderation in one's life style, avoiding such excesses as alcohol and other addictions. The higher energies will awaken only when the ego ceases to exist.
He did not elaborate as to how that might happen.
I think these rules for living a good life are valuable advice for any of us. I also think that just because someone is an exemplar of moral conduct, he or she has no guarantee of awakening kundalini. However, I also feel it is incumbent on the initiate to demonstrate moral conduct in his/her life, since (for me, at least), kundalini represents a gift of grace and is above all a means of connecting with the higher self, the transcendent realms.
As for "ego death," this is a most difficult process. It is sometimes brought on by emotional or physical trauma, whatever brings about a sense that the self no longer exists and thus cannot exercise its normal expectation to be reckoned with equitably by others or society at large. It feels as though it can no longer make demands or experience familiar gratifications––it senses that "it does not count."
Oddly, the ego sometimes dissolves in high orgasmic states, where sense of self dissolves in cosmic (physical) bliss. Some even experience awakening in that state.
Thursday, July 09, 2015
I am going to hear and experience this man tonight. I read this book years ago and have always been fascinated by him and the method he describes. He was born in Tibet, but had to leave after the Chinese invasion. He fled to Italy and lived there for many years. I consider any chance to meet a Tibetan lama a precious opportunity.
Dzogchen is a fairly straightforward method, but like all prescribed approaches, it also includes certain required practices (which I am not into in this or any system). I do agree that the state of having nothing to reject or accept, as a means of experiencing "non-dualisitic consciousness," is quite attractive as a philosophy.
Excerpts from 'The Crystal and the Way of Light'
How I Came to Meet My Principal Master The Primordial State
The teaching of Dzogchen is in essence a teaching concerning the primordial state that is each individual's own intrinsic nature from the very beginning. To enter this state is to experience oneself as one is, as the center of the universe though not in the ordinary ego sense. The ordinary ego-centered consciousness is precisely the limited cage of dualistic vision that closes off the experience of one's own true nature, which is the space of the primordial state. To discover this primordial state is to understand the teaching of Dzogchen, and the function of the transmission of the teaching of Dzogchen is to communicate this state from one who has realized, or become established in it, to those who remain caught up in the dualistic condition. Even the name Dzogchen, which means 'Great Perfection', refers to the self-perfectedness of this state, fundamentally pure from the beginning, with nothing to reject or accept.
To understand and enter the primordial state one does not need intellectual, cultural, or historical knowledge. It is beyond intellect by its very nature. Yet when people encounter a teaching they have not heard of before, one of the first things they may want to know is where this teaching arose, where it came from, who taught it, and so on. This is understandable, but Dzogchen itself cannot be said to belong to the culture of any country. There is a tantra of Dzogchen, the Dra Thalgyur Tsawai Gyüd, for example, that says that the Dzogchen teaching can be found in thirteen solar systems other than our own, so we can't even truly say that the Dzogchen teaching belongs to this planet Earth, much less to any particular national culture. Although it is true that the tradition of Dzogchen that we are about to consider has been transmitted through the culture of tibet that has harbored it ever since the beginning of recorded history in Tibet, we nevertheless cannot finally say that Dzogchen is Tibetan, because the primordial state itself has no nationality and is omnipresent.
But it is also true that beings everywhere have entered into the dualistic vision that veils the experience of the primordial state. And when realized beings have tried to communicate with them, they have only rarely been able to communicate the primordial state completely without words or symbols, so they have made use of whatever culture they found present, as a means of communication. In this way it has often happened that the culture and the teachings have become interwoven, and in the case of Tibet this is true to the extent that it is not possible to understand the culture without an understanding of the teachings.
It's not that the teachings of Dzogchen were ever particularly widespread or well-known in Tibet; in fact rather the reverse was true. Dzogchen was always a somewhat reserved teaching. But the Dzogchen teachings are the essence of all Tibetan teachings, so direct that they were always kept a little hidden, and people were often a little afraid of them. Furthermore, there existed a tradition of Dzogchen among the ancient Bön traditions, the indigenous and largely shamanic traditions of Tibet, that pre-date the arrival of Buddhism from India.
Thus, if we consider the Dzogchen teachings as being the essence of all the Tibetan spiritual traditions, both Buddhist and Bön (though itself actually belonging to neither Buddhism nor Bön), and if we understand that the spiritual traditions of Tibet were the essence of Tibetan culture, then we can use the Dzogchen teachings as a key to the understanding of Tibetan culture as a whole. And with this perspective it can be seen how all the various aspects of Tibetan culture have been manifested as facets of the unified vision of realized beings, the masters of the spiritual traditions.
Like a crystal at the heart of the culture, the clarity of the primordial state, as manifested in the minds of many masters, has radiated the forms of Tibetan art and iconography, medicine, and astrology, like brilliant rays, or sparkling reflections. So by coming to understand the nature of the crystal, we will be better able to make sense of the rays and reflections that emanate from it.
From The Crystal and the Way of Light, compiled and edited by John Shane, © 2000 by Namkhai Norbu and John Shane. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston, MA. www.shambhala.com.
How I Came to Meet My Principal Master The Primordial State
Learn more about: Arts & Culture
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
Encountering the Infinite, the Dark One,
The mind falls into silence
Like no silence it has ever known.
Not the silence of sleep,
Nor the foggy quiet of self-absorption,
But absolute silence,
the silence of pure awe.
Enter the presence of the One
and feel the mind
Kalidas (Lawrence Edwards)
And this from the Tao Te Ching:
The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.
Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.
Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.
(Stephen Mitchell, trans.)
Monday, July 06, 2015
Here is Andrew Harvey's invitation to go on pilgrimage with him to South India in November. As so often, Andrew forgot to include information about how to sign up and other pertinent details. You can look these up on www.Andrewharvey.net I envy anyone able to go on this trip.
It would be wonderful, and a real grace, if you could join me on pilgrimage to South India and its most potent and empowering sacred places in November.
I was born in South India, and educated in its beautiful Nilgiri Hills, where my mother still lives, between the ages of six and nine, after which I went to England: when I returned to India at twenty-five I went straight back to South India where, in Pondicherry, living in a hut by the sea, I first met the life-changing philosophy and mystical presence of Sri Aurobindo and had my own first mystical experiences, which determined the course of my life.
I have returned almost every year since, most excitingly when I was 42 to meet the great Christian mystic Father Bede Griffiths, whose great personal radiance and authority initiated me into the living depths of esoteric Christianity. South India and its glorious ancient spiritual traditions are, then, the radiant ground of my life and search, and a constant inner and outer fountain of the deepest inspiration.
The pilgrimage that I would love to take you on is designed to introduce you to the six main facets of the diamond that is "mystical" South India: the non-dual advaita tradition, as exemplified by Ramana Maharshi, in Tiruvanamalai: the Saivite tradition, dedicated to Shiva the Dancer, as represented in the holiest and most powerful of temples, that of Chidambaram: the Tantric tradition, vibrant in the gold stone temples of my favorite place on earth, Mahabalipuram: the evolutionary vision of the Plato of evolution, Aurobindo, and his consort the Mother, who lived and worked in Pondicherry: the all-embracing Christic knowledge of Bede Griffiths that lives on in his ashram in Shantivanam: the glorious Chola bronze sculptures that perfectly express the marriage of heaven and earth, soul and body, that is at the heart of South India's spiritual legacy, and can be most vividly experienced in the great museum of Tanjore, whose catalogue (still on sale!). I helped edit and prepare in my mid-twenties.
As well as teaching extensively on all of these facets, and opening up the secret glowing relationships between them, I will be offering many wonderful practices that South India and its non-dual Saivite and Tantric traditions have revealed to me in the hope and prayer that they will be for you as powerful as they have been for me and as helpful in birthing your own divine human. I believe that South India is the most thrilling and potent cauldron of evolutionary transformation on the earth and that anyone who travels there with humility, openness of mind and heart, and devotion to the Divine, will be given exactly the grace he or she needs to travel deeper and further on the path of radiant embodiment.
The ten or so days we spend together in the vast holy Mandala that is South India will, I can promise you, be a source of undying inspiration for your search and life. Please let me share directly with you everything Shiva's Dancing -Ground has taught me. On the pilgrimage I will be working with, and helped by, my great old friend Narinder Kumar, the kindest of men and a passionate devotee of Shiva, whose peaceful and humble yogic presence will be a teaching in itself.
With all my heart, I hope to see you in November in my sacred home.
Sunday, July 05, 2015
Caption: "Iowa couple of seventy-two years finally get married."
I think this photo says it all, particularly when you consider the current divorce rate among heterosexual couples. It makes Fran Claggert's poem even more poignant ("all those years of silence.")
I hope someone will interview them for the archives.
(Photograph: Thomas Geyer/ZUMA Press/Corbis)
Friday, July 03, 2015
In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes, knows;
the one who explains, lies.
How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?
She prayed: "O God! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell,
and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise.
But if I worship You for Your Own sake,
grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty.”
Rabia was born around 713-717 in Basra, Iraq. She was the fourth daughter of the household and thus her name means "fourth." She was one of the earliest of the Sufi women saints and is said to have created the doctrine of Divine Love. She lived for years in the desert as an ascetic devotee. She is also described as being "Self Realized."
Thursday, July 02, 2015
Several times in the history of the earth, "mass global extinctions" have occurred, when virtually all species disappeared. Each such event occurred over a vast spectrum of time, and it then took perhaps millions of years to rediversify. Here is an excerpt and the conclusion to an article which (in full) presents detailed scientific information about what is going on now in our own biosphere that makes it likely that if current trends continue, our planet will undergo mass global extinction within three lifetimes.
"Our results indicate that modern vertebrate extinctions that occurred since 1500 and 1900 AD would have taken several millennia to occur if the background rate [rate of earlier extinctions] had prevailed. The total number of vertebrate species that went extinct in the last century would have taken about 800 to 10,000 years to disappear under the background rate of 2 E/MSY (Fig. 2). The particularly high losses in the last several decades accentuate the increasing severity of the modern extinction crisis."
"The evidence is incontrovertible that recent extinction rates are unprecedented in human history and highly unusual in Earth’s history. Our analysis emphasizes that our global society has started to destroy species of other organisms at an accelerating rate, initiating a mass extinction episode unparalleled for 65 million years. If the currently elevated extinction pace is allowed to continue, humans will soon (in as little as three human lifetimes) be deprived of many biodiversity benefits. On human time scales, this loss would be effectively permanent because in the aftermath of past mass extinctions, the living world took hundreds of thousands to millions of years to rediversify. Avoiding a true sixth mass extinction will require rapid, greatly intensified efforts to conserve already threatened species and to alleviate pressures on their populations—notably habitat loss, overexploitation for economic gain, and climate change (31–33). All of these are related to human population size and growth, which increases consumption (especially among the rich), and economic inequity. However, the window of opportunity is rapidly closing."
(See http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/5/e1400253 for the full article, which was then (I believe) reprinted in the Huffington Post)