Kundalini Splendor

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Rough Bark 


Rough Bark

Yes, I know,
I have been blessed
with delight beyond measure,
descent of grace,
light playing
over eyes and lips,
surging through veins,
no real triggers,
not repetition of
sound
nor postures
nor  solicitation
of celestial visions.

Yet there are times
when I long
for that which is more tangible,
the feel of rough bark
against my palm,
drifts of clouds through
the purple of twilight,
red hibiscus blooming
in a private garden.

Some say the inner joy
is a preview
of what lies beyond,
that we will all taste it
in that other realm.

They call it
bodiless love.

Dorothy Walters
September 28, 2014






Friday, September 26, 2014

Rilke--"Happy are those who know" 




Happy are Those

Happy are those who know:
Behind all words, the Unsayable stands;
And from that source alone, the Infinite
Crosses over to gladness, and us -

Free of our bridges
Built with the stone of distinctions;
So that always, within each delight,
We gaze at what is purely single and joined.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bhuvaneshwari: Goddess of Infinite Space 





 


Bhuvaneshwari: Goddess of Infinite Space, She Whose Body Is the World
Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber
Audio, 11 minutes

"Bhuvaneshwari is the Goddess whose body is the space of infinite possibility. She is ananda—infinite, creative wisdom/love. She's the matrix, the eternal mother energy who spins the universe out of her own body the way a spider spins a web—and then lives in it. As an energy you touch in meditation, Bhuvaneshwari is akin to the Buddhist goddess Prajna Paramita, the perfection of wisdom, the vast awareness who spirals out and draws you into herself, fully alive to the paradox that form and emptiness are one, that all forms are essentially empty, and that emptiness contains infinite forms. You can't fully realize this without the goddess's permission. Since she herself is that paradox, she holds the key to your recognition of it.

Bhuvaneshwari is a wonderful goddess to access in meditation, guaranteeing you that even in the most formless state of awareness, you'll feel a subtle, motherly embrace. When you invoke her presence in meditation, she can gather you into a space that feels like a vast, spacious, cosmic womb. Bhuvaneshwari's subtle meditation presence is formless, detached, an oceanic awareness that you can float in. It will hold you, support you, and renew you. When I want to practice letting go of anxiety or fear, it's often Bhuvaneshwari whom I invoke. Her spaciousness seems to swallow whole whatever needs to be cleared. You can offer her whatever you're holding onto: guilt, loss, emotional upheaval, or just an excess of thoughts. She will take it in, dissolve it, and offer it back transformed. She is the cosmic womb, the great expanse within which all things are held, and out of which they are born."

From Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton

In this 13-part Goddess Returns series, acclaimed teachers Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber discuss one of the most powerful ways we can reconnect with a crucial aspect of feminine wisdom that has largely been lost in today's world: by invoking and internalizing the energetic qualities of eleven different Hindu goddesses.

As a way to honor the sacred feminine, Integral Life will be publishing discussions of each of these goddesses over the next couple weeks, with a different "Goddess of the Day" featured every few days.

+LISTEN NOW



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sweet Kisses--poem by Dorothy 




Sweet Kisses

There are some for whom
the veils are thin.
They receive sweet kisses
and secret messages
all from an unknown lover.

Others wear felt
around their heads.
If anything leaks
through
they dismiss it
as “just another
fantasy”
and go about
their business,
feeling  very safe.

Dorothy Walters
September 24, 2014

(picture from internet)



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rumi--The Guest House 



The Guest House

Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

- See more at: http://www.scienceandnonduality.com/the-guest-house/#sthash.ViJnIuTL.dpuf

(picture found on internet)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Free registration for online "Spiritual Awakening Summit" 



The Spiritual Awakening Summit

September 22, 2014

Dear Ones,

How do you bring together the wisdom and insight of your best moments with the demands of your life? Is it really possible to hold onto an awakened state of awareness when your job is high pressure or your teenager just crashed the car? How do we live in an exploding world with both passionate engagement and willing surrender?

These are some of the questions that we'll discuss at The Spiritual Awakening Summit, a free on-going conversation between spiritual teachers. We'll take on some of the most important issues that arise for a person trying to live a spiritual life in the world. You can sign up for the free summit, through a special link for my friends: http://www.mcssl.com/app/?af=1602053

My piece in the program airs October 1st, at 12noon Pacific time, on the topic Living Strong from a Vulnerable Heart?

And if you register for this free program today, you can hear every one of these teachers discussing not only their personal experience, but also the tools and teachings that make a difference for their students. I believe that a lot of significant, earthy, useful information will be heard on these calls!

With love,
Sally

Sally Kempton teaches at the cutting edge of ancient and contemporary wisdom, unfolding the energetic practices of the tantrikas in an atmosphere that creates space for real inner change. A former swami in a Vedic tradition, she has been teaching for nearly 40 years and is known for her powerful transmissions of meditative states. Sally is the author of the recently released Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga and the best-selling book Meditation for the Love of It. She also writes a popular column, Wisdom, for Yoga Journal.

I'll be joining Narayani Gaia and 23 other teachers, including Don Miguel Ruiz, Nischala Joy Devi, Dada Nabilananda, Patricia Albere, and others. The conversation starts today, September 22. You can sign up here.




Friday, September 19, 2014

Lalita Tripura Sundari: Goddess of Erotic Spirituality 





 


Lalita Tripura Sundari: Goddess of Erotic Spirituality
Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber
Audio, 13 minutes

 (from Integral Life)

"Lalita Tripura Sundari ('the charming beauty of the three worlds') is the form of the goddess who most successfully holds together the apparent opposites of executive power and sexuality, and of sexual and spiritual love. Queenly and playful, she represents a most delicious form of the integrated feminine. She is connected to Parvati, who is herself a beautiful form of Kali. In a sense, Lalita integrates the qualities of Parvati—the faithful yogini wife—with those of Kali, the untamable wild woman. Lalita is primarily a Tantric goddess—a mediatrix of the inner realms, a guide through the portals of high stages of samadhi. She is the divine beauty (sundari) who permeates the waking, dream, and deep-sleep states—the tripura, or 'three worlds'—as well as the physical, subtle, and causal bodies in which we experience those worlds.

Lalita reveals herself as the inner rapture that rolls through the body when kundalini colonizes the topmost chakras, and also in the rapturous union of intimate partnership. The name Lalita refers to her capacity for erotic play—one manifestation of which is the natural universe itself, which to an awakened eye appears as a dance of sensual love play, fueled by desire."

From Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton

In this 13-part Goddess Returns series, acclaimed teachers Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber discuss one of the most powerful ways we can reconnect with a crucial aspect of feminine wisdom that has largely been lost in today's world: by invoking and internalizing the energetic qualities of eleven different Hindu goddesses.

As a way to honor the sacred feminine, Integral Life will be publishing discussions of each of these goddesses over the next couple weeks, with a different "Goddess of the Day" featured every few days.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Your Body (poem by Dorothy) 





Your Body

Your body, Her body,
they are one.

Your lips,
Her lips,
are the same.

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

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

Dorothy Walters
September 18, 2014




Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Penny Hackett-Evans--"White Prayer with Wings" 






White Prayer with Wings

Driving just above the speed limit

in my constant pursuit of efficiency,

I chanced to notice a great white egret.



Motionless

on the edge

of a black pond



in the midst

of a field

of spent grass.



A marble statue.

A white silhouette.

A saint.



Her perfect beauty


looking back at her

from the dark water.

Penny Hackett-Evans

(picture from internet)


























Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Yoga Vashista--Renunciation vs. Worldly Obligations 



Glimpses of the Yoga Vashishta

Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Denmark, 26.4.82

(from "Yoga Magazine")

The excerpt contains a discussion of an important issue--whether one should renounce worldly obligations and devote oneself totally to one's spiritual practice or else try to maintain a balance between the two.  It is a question that is relevant today.

"Yoga Vashishta is the name of one of the most ancient and famous scriptures of India. The name literally means "the Yoga of Sage Vashishta", Vashishta being the name of a great rishi or seer. He was the guru of Rama, a great emperor, and he was also the family guru (kula guru) of a ruling dynasty of ancient India called the solar dynasty.

The scripture takes the form of a dialogue between Rama and Vashishta in which the question is raised as to whether karma (duty and work) or renunciation is most conducive to spiritual illumination. Vashishta says that both duty and renunciation are necessary. A bird needs two wings in order to fly, and in the same way, for the spiritual flight, also the two wings of fulfilment of one's own duty and inner renunciation are required.

The dialogue concerns the dilemma of Rama in his relationship with life. When he was young he was sent to live with his guru for twelve years. When he returned he began to neglect his daily duties and did not participate in the family affairs. He became depressed and did not take interest in his family and friends. He used to sit in his room and brood, and led a very undisciplined life.

Rama's argument

His father Dasharatha became perturbed and summoned Rama and confronted him. He said, 'My son, you have lived with your guru for twelve years and When you came back, we expected you to fulfil your commitments, obligations and responsibilities. What has happened to you that you are completely withdrawn and disinterested in life?'

Rama replied, 'I am not interested in this world because here everything is evanescent. Every pleasure is temporary. I see no fun in relating myself to the frivolities of life. Why should I participate in life when it is so transitory? What is the use of pursuing the affairs of life if they are to come to an end? Life is so short and uncertain that one doesn't know whether one will live for another second. The more one does karma, the more one develops samskaras (mental impressions); and the more one develops samskaras, the more one has pains; the more the pains, the greater the anxieties and worries, and the more one gets entangled in life and death, life and death. This endless circle will never come to an end. So I am withdrawing myself.'

Karma or meditation

His father got worried and requested Sage Vashishta to set his son's philosophy in order, and this dialogue is the text of the Yoga Vashishta. Vashishta tells of the secrets of spiritual life and the relationship between karma and realisation. He explains that it is not at all necessary to renounce karma and only do meditation. Many people are misguided and they think that they have to leave work because by work they accumulate more work and more samskaras. They think that by doing karma they become impure and contaminated. And for this reason they retire from the active arena of life. Vashishta makes it clear that this is not at all necessary. What is important is that one should aspire towards spiritual life, whilst continuing to live in the world.

(image from internet)


Monday, September 15, 2014

Bibi Hayati--poem--"Is it the night of power?" 



Is it the night of power

By Bibi Hayati
(19th Century)

English version by Aliki Barnstone



Is it the night of power
Or only your hair?
Is it dawn
Or your face?

In the songbook of beauty
Is it a deathless first line
Or only a fragment
copied from your inky eyebrow?

Is it boxwood of the orchard
Or cypress of the rose garden?
The tuba tree of paradise, abundant with dates,
Or your standing beautifully straight?

Is it musk of a Chinese deer
Or scent of delicate rosewater?
The rose breathing in the wind
Or your perfume?

Is it scorching lightning
Or light from fire on Sana'i Mountain?
My hot sigh
Or your inner radiance?

Is it Mongolian musk
Or pure ambergris?
Is it your hyacinth curls
Or your braids?

Is it a glass of red wine at dawn
Or white magic?
Your drunken narcissus eye
Or your spell?

Is it the Garden of Eden
Or heaven on earth?
A mosque of the masters of the heart
Or a back alley?

Everyone faces a mosque of adobe and mud
When they pray.
The mosque of Hayati's soul
Turns to your face.




-- from The Shambhala Anthology of Women's Spiritual Poetry, Edited by Aliki Barnstone.  Bibi Hayati was a Sufi (female) poet who lived in what is now Iran in the early 1800's.

"While Hayati found a welcome for her ecstatic connection to God in Sufism, she waited until she had permission from her spiritual teacher to communicate her experience outside her immediate family in writing in these poems. She was initially reluctant because of her gender, Hayati’s spiritual master conferred on her the duty to write these ghazals that relate her mystical experience, because, according to him,  she had attained the status of manhood through her devotion to the Sufi path: “In the realm of love, sincerity and Sufism, you too are a man.  True manhood is courage.”
(above quote found on a site called "Voices of the Pearl."


Friday, September 12, 2014

Sally Kempton's newsletter 



Here is Sally Kempton's Newsletter for this month.   Because I consider Sally one of the most important spiritual teachers of our time, I am reprinting the newsletter in full here.  Note in particular that she is offering a weeklong retreat on the island of Maui--and also  that she is going to present a web workshop on the Kundalini journey through Shift Network beginning November 4:

The Shift has asked me to offer an advanced level of The Wisdom Goddess Empowerment. This one starts November 4, and in it we'll be focusing on the journey of Kundalini and the way that the goddesses unfold within us as Kundalini unfolds. I'd deeply looking forward to it, and we'll be sending out more information in the coming weeks.

Sally

Sally is a major force for presenting a "feminist spirituality," for she recognized that only an approach which incorporates the feminine principles of receptivity, intuition, and welcoming the inner shakti will serve out time.  Thus her work stands as an important corrective to thousands of years of male teachings, which stress something quite other (repressing the bodily energies, discipline rather than joy, and mind over body).  For me her attitude is quite gratifying--I recall the time in the chi gong class soon after my awakening when I tried to tell the teacher about the inner bliss I was experiencing and was told that the texts described nothing of the sort--and then there was the other (male) teacher who said of my bliss states, " If  you are lucky, you will get over it."  I only wish there had been a teacher such as Sally to guide me at that time.



Sally Kempton's Awakened Heart News

September 2014


Sally's Upcoming Schedule

For full details on Sally's schedule visit her website.

September 19-21, 2014
Yoga Journal Conference, Estes Park, CO
Variety of workshops.
Details and registration here.

October 1, 2014
Interview during Spiritual Awakening Global Summit
Details here.

October 24, 2014
Science & Non-Duality Conference, San Jose, CA
Shakti & Self-Awareness: The Way of the Non-Dual Feminine.
Details and registration here.

October 26-November 2, 2014
Lumeria Retreat Center, Maui, HI
Awakening Shakti: Power, Love, & Wisdom with Sally & Sianna Sherman
Details and registration here.

November 8, 2014
Yoga Tree, San Francisco, CA
Falling in Love with Meditation
Details and registration here.

November 21-23, 2014
Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA
Loving Your Way to Enlightenment: The Path of Outrageous Love with Marc Gafni
Details and registration here.

November 30 & December 7, 2014
Open Center, Webinar Series
Karma, Relationships, & Transformation
Details and registration here.

March 15-20, 2015
Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA
Meditation, Kundalini, and the Inner Marriage
Details and registration here.

There are just a few places left in the Awakening Shakti retreat with Sally and healer-priestess-yogini Sianna Sherman in Maui, HI, October 26th through November 2nd.

Dear Ones,

It's been wonderful having so many of you on our current Telecourse, The Wisdom Goddess Empowerment on the Shift Network. I've been especially moved to read people's accounts of how the goddesses are showing up for them in so many different forms.

One of the gifts of this class for me is that I've become more and more aware of Shakti as the life-force energy that lives through "my" body and mind and nervous system. In other words, that it's She who lives as me. It's similar to what Buddhists call an experience of no-self. But rather than feeling like an absence of something, it's a feeling of presence--a deep Presence that is both impersonal and completely loving.


The Goddess in Maui: Lumeria Retreat

Next month, I'm looking forward to going deeper into the rich texture of the divine feminine with the wonderful Sianna Sherman. Our ten-day retreat, Awakening Shakti, begins Sunday evening, October 26, at the luxurious Lumeria Retreat Center in Maui. There are a few places left in the Retreat, so if you're feeling drawn to be there, I hope you'll pay attention to the call, and come!

I can promise you this: It will be a profoundly rejuvenating time. We'll practice deep meditation, dynamic and gentle asana, ceremony, mantra, goddess wisdom teachings, and many more powerful teachings and practices for deepening your experience of yourself as Shakti. There'll be time for deep silence and time to explore the island. You'll make new friends. And you'll be guided and opened by the unfolding energies of sacred feminine Presence, moving through everything we do together.

I'll be teaching from the texts of the Shakta tradition and leading meditations, mantra sessions, contemplations, and exercises designed to transform your experience of yourself. Sianna will teach asana, ceremony, mantra mudra, and fill her sessions with myth, story, and the dynamic qualities of her own presence. Together, we'll create a transformative vortex that can take you to the next level of your practice!

And of course, we'll be on Maui, which is one of the most healing environments on the planet! The Lumeria retreat center is state-of-the-art, created lovingly to nurture spiritual growth. The accommodations, on 6 acres of sacred gardens with sunset views of the ocean, are magnificent. The company will be great, the food delicious, the ocean a living canvas of sacred feminine energy, and the possibilities enormous!

You can find out more, or register here.

Save the Dates: Advanced Goddess Teleconference Class

The Shift has asked me to offer an advanced level of The Wisdom Goddess Empowerment. This one starts November 4, and in it we'll be focusing on the journey of Kundalini and the way that the goddesses unfold within us as Kundalini unfolds. I'd deeply looking forward to it, and we'll be sending out more information in the coming weeks.

Save the Date: Spiritual Awakening Global Summit Interview

On October 1 at 12pm Pacific, I'll be speaking with Narayani Gaia on spiritual awakening and the journey that follows. This interview is part of the Spiritual Awakening Global Summit that runs September 22 to October 17 and features 18 other spiritual leaders as well. For more details and to sign up for free click here.

Love to you all,
Sally


from Shift:
Sally Kempton teaches at the cutting edge of ancient and contemporary wisdom, unfolding the energetic practices of the tantrikas in an atmosphere that creates space for real inner change. A former swami in a Vedic tradition, she has been teaching for nearly 40 years and is known for her powerful transmissions of meditative states. Sally is the author of the recently released Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga and the best-selling book Meditation for the Love of It. She also writes a popular column, Wisdom, for Yoga Journal. Her audio program of meditations on the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, Doorways to the Infinite , was recently released by Sounds True.

(picture from Sally's newsletter)


Thursday, September 11, 2014

More on Hindu Cosmology 




"The Hindu cosmology and timeline is the closest to modern scientific timelines and even more which might indicate that the Big Bang is not the beginning of everything, but just the start of the present cycle preceded by an infinite number of universes and to be followed by another infinite number of universes.
The Rig Veda questions the origin of the cosmos in: 'Neither being (sat) nor non-being was as yet. What was concealed? And where? And in whose protection?…Who really knows? Who can declare it? Whence was it born, and whence came this creation? The devas were born later than this world's creation, so who knows from where it came into existence? None can know from where creation has arisen, and whether he has or has not produced it. He who surveys it in the highest heavens, He alone knows-or perhaps does not know. '" (Rig Veda 10. 129) (From Wikipedia)


"The Rig Veda's view of the cosmos also sees one true divine principle self-projecting as the divine word, Vaak, 'birthing' the cosmos that we know, from the monistic Hiranyagarbha or Golden Womb. The universe is considered to constantly expand since creation and disappear into a thin haze after billions of years. An alternate view is that the universe begins to contract after reaching its maximum expansion limits until it disappears into a fraction of a millimeter. The creation begins anew after billions of years (Solar years) of non-existence.
The puranic view asserts that the universe is created, destroyed, and re-created in an eternally repetitive series of cycles. In Hindu cosmology, a universe endures for about 4,320,000,000 years (one day of Brahma, the creator or kalpa) and is then destroyed by fire or water elements. At this point, Brahma rests for one night, just as long as the day. This process, named pralaya (literally especial dissolution in Sanskrit, commonly translated as Cataclysm), repeats for 100 Brahma years (311 Trillion, 40 Billion Human Years) that represents Brahma's lifespan. Brahma is regarded as a manifestation of Brahman as the creator." (from Wikipedia)

Elsewhere it is noted that according to current scientific notions, the big bang occurred about 10-15  billion years ago.  The date given by these ancient rishis for the beginning of our current universe is 8.64 billion years ago.

In addition, these early sages asserted that there were many universes existing simultaneously in the cosmos--a theory also espoused by many scientists today ("the Many Universe Theory").

Each period in which these universes exist is called "The Day of Brahma."  The intervening period in which nothing exists is called "The Night of Brahma."  During the
"Day,"  Brahma is said to be awake.  The time of nothingness is called "The Night of Brahma" (when Brahma sleeps).

Scientists today are puzzled as to what existed before the Big Bang.  The rishis provide an answer to this puzzle: the Night of Brahma.

The tables cataloging the various "sub- divisions" of the longer time span are unbelievably complex and suggest that these ancient worthies were incredibly sophisticated in their computational skills--and strongly suggest help from "outside" (heavenly) sources.

Finally, after many, many cycles of "Day and Night," Brahma himself is dissolved and a new Brahma is created by Brahman, the ultimate Source and Creator of all.

Today, science tells us that our universe is composed not of matter per se, but energy itself.  In my view, when we connect to this energy through Kundalini, we are united with
the divine essemce of our universe.  As Yeats noted, "Man can embody truth, but never know it."

(picture from internet)



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Vashista--poem 




Deep inside of each one of us is light that is utterly peaceful
and quiet.
It is the you in me and the me in you.
It is unaffected and undisturbed by the outer world.
It is unchanged by birth and death.
It is not limited by time and space.
Teachers can teach you about the world, but only you can come to know the inner you.
This inner light is always pure, ever present, and free of sorrow.
Learn to rest in the Self.
Come to know the Bliss.

Vashishta

(picture from internet)

Vashista was one of the seven great sages of ancient times.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Jan Elvee--"The Big Bang" (poem) plus painting 




The Big Bang

Walking up
Fillmore Street,
a sudden
knowing:
THIS is IT,
right here,
right now,
me,
light,
stardust,
joy.

Jan Elvee

Jan continues her remarkable creative renaissance.  Here is her latest poem as well as her most recent painting--which she calls "another snake painting."  Of course, imaging or dreaming about snakes is often a sign of kundalini coming to life within.  She writes:


"And life goes on:  what a privilege to be alive.  How could I have been so apathetic for so many years?"




Monday, September 08, 2014

Dorothy--Four Poems 



When She Came

When She came
I did not know
what was going to happen.

That I would have to give up
everything
and become a pauper at the gate.

Now I have no name,
no identity,
no function in this world
other than to be with Her.

She too arrived
without name
or form.

Now we are twins,
always together,
honey dissolved in wine.

Dorothy Walters
August 29, 2014


For So Very Long

For so very long
I told no one
about our secret love making,
a hidden honey moon.

Then one day
I sang my song
and sent it
into the world.

Now the echoes return to me
from many directions,
the melody translated
again and again.

Dorothy Walters
August 29, 2014


The Winemakers

The winemakers claim
that only they
know how to brew,
that age itself
is the key
to the celestial drink .

But some of us
could not wait—
we got dead drunk
on the first sip.

Dorothy Walters
August 29, 2014


One Day

One day
as we were walking along
on our familiar path,
something snatched us away
and carried us
into the forest.

I will not say
what happened there,
only that after that
we were never the same.

Our eyes, our expressions
were transfigured—
the world without shone like
the gates of the first world
and we had
a radiant glow
around our face.

Even the trees
looked different.

Dorothy Walters
August 29, 2014










Friday, September 05, 2014

Rakha: Goddess of Romantic Longing 





 


Radha: Goddess of Romantic Longing
Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber
Audio, 12 minutes

"The Radha energy is present wherever there is passionate love and the wish to merge with the beloved. She can manifest (and often does) through a teenager's romantic fantasies or in the delicious experience of being immersed in a beloved other. She might also show up as a reckless compulsion to follow your erotic impulses despite all reason and practicality. As a divine archetype, however, Radha's Shakti goes far deeper than the human impulse toward romantic passion. Tuning into the Radha Shakti can uncover the burning heart of universal Eros—the radically impersonal life-force energy that creates life's sweetness—within your desire for a human lover. At the spiritual level, when Radha's energy awakens within you, she can transform a mild interest in inner practice into a wildly personal love affair with the inner beloved. She is one of the secret Shaktis who transmutes ordinary desire into longing and passion into fuel for the spiritual journey.

Teresa of Avila, who carried on a life-long inner love affair with Jesus, was infused with Radha energy. So were John of the Cross, Thérèse of Lisieux, Mirabai, and generations of Hindu and Sufi mystics. Radha's energy is imprinted so indelibly in the collective psyche that to this day she remains one of our great mythic models for passionate devotion."

From Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton

In this 13-part Goddess Returns series, acclaimed teachers Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber discuss one of the most powerful ways we can reconnect with a crucial aspect of feminine wisdom that has largely been lost in today's world: by invoking and internalizing the energetic qualities of eleven different Hindu goddesses.

As a way to honor the sacred feminine, Integral Life will be publishing discussions of each of these goddesses over the next couple weeks, with a different "Goddess of the Day" featured every few days.

+LISTEN NOW




 


Thursday, September 04, 2014

Marge Piercy--"The Art of Blessing the Day" 






Marge Piercy: "The Art of Blessing the Day"

This is the blessing for rain after drought:
Come down, wash the air so it shimmers,
a perfumed shawl of lavender chiffon.
Let the parched leaves suckle and swell.
Enter my skin, wash me for the little
chrysalis of sleep rocked in your splashing.
In the morning the world is peeled to shining.

This is the blessing for sun after long rain:
Now everything shakes itself free and rises.
The trees are bright as pushcart ices.
Every last lily opens its satin thighs.
The bees dance and roll in pollen
and the cardinal at the top of the pine
sings at full throttle, fountaining.

This is the blessing for a ripe peach:
This is luck made round. Frost can nip
the blossom, kill the bee. It can drop,
a hard green useless nut. Brown fungus,
the burrowing worm that coils in rot can
blemish it and wind crush it on the ground.
Yet this peach fills my mouth with juicy sun.

This is the blessing for the first garden tomato:
Those green boxes of tasteless acid the store
sells in January, those red things with the savor
of wet chalk, they mock your fragrant name.
How fat and sweet you are weighing down my palm,
warm as the flank of a cow in the sun.
You are the savor of summer in a thin red skin.

This is the blessing for a political victory:
Although I shall not forget that things
work in increments and epicycles and sometime
leaps that half the time fall back down,
let's not relinquish dancing while the music
fits into our hips and bounces our heels.
We must never forget, pleasure is real as pain.

The blessing for the return of a favorite cat,
the blessing for love returned, for friends'
return, for money received unexpected,
the blessing for the rising of the bread,
the sun, the oppressed. I am not sentimental
about old men mumbling the Hebrew by rote
with no more feeling than one says gesundheit.

But the discipline of blessings is to taste
each moment, the bitter, the sour, the sweet
and the salty, and be glad for what does not
hurt. The art is in compressing attention
to each little and big blossom of the tree
of life, to let the tongue sing each fruit,
its savor, its aroma and its use.

Attention is love, what we must give
children, mothers, fathers, pets,
our friends, the news, the woes of others.
What we want to change we curse and then
pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can
with eyes and hands and tongue. If you
can't bless it, get ready to make it new.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

from Buddhafield  





from "A Teaching by Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche" (www.Buddhafield.us)

I found the following on an internet site called "Buddhafield."  As always, I agree with much of what is said here, though I do have a few reservations.    I feel that when we spend too much time reflecting on our own imperfections, we get lost in "self- examination" and lose contact with the actual state of inner liberation, which is simply accepting our Oneness with All that Is in a union of love.  For me, Kundalini is the best way of achieving this sense of Oneness--without thought, without self-criticism, without pausing to ask what this is or why it is happening to me.  Of course, I feel that we should practice and develop our own moral sensitivity and actions--but these should emerge easily and naturally from who we are--our basic nature and expression.  "Namste" means 'I honor the divine in you."  Indeed.
I also do not think it is possible to "be happy in every moment" as some teachers advocate.  I think our lives are a mixture of light and shadow--moments of joy and moments of sober awareness of the shadow side of our world, as crises mount around us.  We are indeed living in a time of turmoil, when there is widespread chaos and suffering, and we should be aware and concerned at what is transpiring, even when we ourselves are not affected on an immediate personal level with the disturbing activities in other parts of the world.  
And, although I do not advocate following a spiritual "guru" who is accepted as an ultimate authority on all matters, I do feel that--once we peel away the "trappings" of the tradition, there can be much wisdom at the core.  I think that even when a man wears a robe and sits on a high throne (or carries a scepter and wears a special hat), he can have much to say that is worth listening to.

I like this observation:

Don’t grasp. Don’t release. Without loosening or tightening entanglements,
​A natural carefree state is achieved as a matter of course.
Unmoving, evenly pervasive, in the expanse of freedom from wide or narrow,
When all memories and conceptions are self-originated and self-settled,
That is the principle of the indestructible space of compassionate mind.

- From "The Precious Treasury of Phenomenal Space"   (ancient text)


Here are some key passages from the article:

This (from previous discussion) is the profound view of the Great Perfection. This view recognizes that our innate nature is primordially pure from the very beginning. Our innate nature is pure and perfect. Anger, desire, jealousy, and pride are temporary expressions of the energy of our alpha-pure nature. When we realize this, everything spontaneously liberates by itself! Then we are complete in our true nature. To recognize this completeness in every moment is the practice of self-liberation. How do we practice self-liberation? How do we reclaim our great wealth that is like a priceless jewel? First, realize that everyone wants to be happy and no one wants to suffer. Reflect in this way: All beings possess the primordially self-liberated nature, which is fundamentally pure and perfect. So everyone deserves my respect. Everyone deserves my compassion. Just as I am deserving of liberation, so are all beings. Everyone deserves to be one with the essence of self-liberation. Make this aspiration: From hereon, whatever I do, whether it is as small as drinking a cup of coffee, oras big as relieving world hunger, may I do it with the thought of benefiting others, without a single selfish thought to have happiness and peace only for myself. May this be a cause for liberating all sentient beings from suffering. May it bring them peace and happiness. May my intention be completely pure, so that all beings find perfect liberation in their enlightened essence.  I recommend that each morning you begin your day with the thought of benefiting others. Then, before you begin any activity, generate compassion and establish a pure intention. This doesn’t take a long time. A single moment is all you need. It doesn’t require a special mediation posture. You don’t need to go to a temple. You don’t have to cross your eyes or stare at your navel. How essential it is to have compassion! The core of compassion is to realize that everyone is the same in their essence. Then everyone is your brother, everyone is your sister. More than that, you are everyone and everyone is you. This is to realize the preciousness of being. This compassionate essence shows itself in every moment of life. This is self-liberation in every moment! In the pure space of self-liberation, you are naturally compassionate. There is no judgment and no exclusion. You don’t feel like you have to put anyone down or lift anyone up. You just embrace everyone equally, and everyone sees light in you. In the midst of darkness, you are a true source of light and joy. The great master of Dzogchen, His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, wrote:
 Whatever one does, joyful: Practitioner of the Great Perfection! In any company, happy: Lineage son of the Lotus Born! If you are relaxed in any company, if you are content, that is self-liberation. Wherever you find yourself, if you are comfortable, that is self-liberation. You are happy sleeping in a luxury suite in Paris or in a dirty shack in Calcutta. You are happy dining on gourmet cuisines or nibbling on a dry crust of bread. This is indeed a wonder! The ultimate blessing is to be who you truly are. So be true to yourself for a moment. To be who you are does not require designer clothing or diamond jewelry. You do not need a tattoo on your backside or the most expensive smart phone. Just relax and embrace your vulnerability. Accept that you are not invincible. Recognize that everyone is vulnerable. Everyone is victimized by mental unrest and emotional pain. Embrace this vulnerability and wear it like an ornament. This understanding is the adornment of compassion. With compassion in your heart, you see the value of every being. You see the treasure in every moment. When you can treasure every moment, you are the richest of the rich. Even if you have nothing but the clothes on your back, you will feel like the luckiest person in the world!

Copyright 2014. Rangrig Yeshe.






Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Dhumavati: Crone Goddess of Disappointment and Letting Go 





 


Dhumavati: Crone Goddess of Disappointment and Letting Go
Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber
Audio, 5 minutes

"Disappointment is a multilayered teacher. Not many of us would choose to apprentice with her, yet sooner or later, most of us do. People disappoint us. Luck runs out. Status declines. Strength fails us. Then, the goddess Dhumavati flies into our awareness, accompanied by her crow, a harbinger of worldly misfortune who ironically also bestows the inner gifts of detachment, emptiness, and freedom.

Dhumavati—her name means "the smoky one"—is also called "the widow." In traditional India, especially in the higher castes, there was no "more inauspicious form of the feminine. In a culture where status for women is given by the husband, widowhood is the worst thing that can happen to a woman. The film Water depicts life in a house of widows, where young and old women live together in poverty, begging for food. Shaven-headed and wearing white, women in these widow houses received one meal a day and were supposed to spend their time in prayer and meditation. A widow in such a culture is at the bottom of the social order, often thrown out of her children's houses, wandering homeless, living in the outskirts of temples or in wild places.

From a worldly point of view, Dhumavati stands for despair, sadness, and failure. Yet she has significant and subtle boons to give, especially for someone on the path of awakening. Without passing through Dhumavati's winnowing basket, we remain trapped by our dreams of success and our fear of loss, especially the losses that come with age and sickness. With her grace, we can mine the exquisite wisdom hidden in the heart of life's most difficult moments."

From Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton

In this 13-part Goddess Returns series, acclaimed teachers Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber discuss one of the most powerful ways we can reconnect with a crucial aspect of feminine wisdom that has largely been lost in today's world: by invoking and internalizing the energetic qualities of eleven different Hindu goddesses.

As a way to honor the sacred feminine, Integral Life will be publishing discussions of each of these goddesses over the next couple weeks, with a different "Goddess of the Day" featured every few days.

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