Author: <span class="vcard">Gudrun</span>

lightfiltersNovember 25, 2014

Late morning light filters through green oak leaves that throw a hue on the walls inspiring me towards a pale yellow paint I have yet to bring to the room.

Inspiration and manifestation are two different ends of the spectrum. Where is that barely turquoise accent wall I’ve been wanting? Where is the completed manuscript about my teacher, Dear Gurudev?

And how is it, by the way, whenever I write about my teacher, the early drafts seem to need so much help. In general, I realize, I’m a many-drafts type of writer.

At an author’s luncheon, I once heard someone, sitting across the table, say, “I never do more than 3 drafts.” How lucky she is, I remember thinking, to be able to do that. I never could do just 3 drafts, I wish I had that gift.

There are exceptions: A writer’s journal has few corrections. Perhaps, that’s why it is a mirror-to-the-soul type of thing.

Ideas percolate, but something stands in the way. Several shelves and piles of projects wait to end.

November 27, 2014

The journal is a bits and pieces medium, or at times it is the process of remembered videos around Thanksgiving holidays gone by, especially those before the passing of my parents. We are alone this year.

Perhaps, there is a new story needing to be born, even with old ones not finished. Circumstances change one’s priorities, sometimes, like that recent Gallery visit, seeing beautiful bowls with crows that sit on the rims.
The Love of Crow

It was a long time ago, but I still vividly remember a fearless creature, its beak seemed to point me in a fierce direction. I was hesitant. I had been writing for a contest and had arrived at a stopping point punctuated by insecurity about my writing being too stark. Compelling with a bold, steady gaze, he looked down at me from a wall next to the beach where I had gone to discover additional inspiration.beachinspiration

It seemed I heard him with words I could understand and which quickly manifested on the page like a gift straight from universal consciousness. I was able to finish the piece I had been working on, and that crow helped me win “The Dream” contest.

Today, I also remember the saying, “Eat crow.” I understand that to mean needing to do penance after having been proven wrong about something. Ah, I realize, the crow made me eat crow.

I think of recent writing work, classes, Thanksgiving, an event that will soon to require extensive preparations. I lean back in my chair and see a point of light with no discernible source.

The light comes from a pink quartz crystal. The rest of the room is in shadow, except for afternoon sunlight visible a distance down the hall–a different color light, more yellow, through a tall, west-facing window in the dining room. The warm patches on white wall fade, but light from the rose quartz still calls out to me.

Beyond the English garden building, the bamboo fence shines so strongly that it reminds me of a soon-to-appear-sunset. Time to start dinner.

When I sit down again, I have missed the sunset. It has turned very dark outside the sliding glass door–the color of crow.

Inside, the rose quartz still shines. This has happened before. I sat in in the dark, several weeks ago, and light came out of the pink quartz glowing as from an unknowable source. I remember feeling uplifted.


This time, I do a test. I turn off the kitchen light, then the hall light which I had turned on during the food preparations. Nothing happens until the hall light goes off. The quartz, shaped in a circle, glows around its circumference and then goes dark. Crow.

The play of opposites. Door of mystery. A willingness to be amazed, to be curious and, at the same time, not to know.

The Process of Writing

A quote sent to me via one of my students:

Personalities are born once.
A mystic many times….

I am not Shams Tabriz,
But a light within his light.

The poem reminds me of my teacher who passed over a decade ago. His light continues, and is the same within us all.

I still remember the strong scent of rose when Gurudev, unexpectedly leaving his assigned seat, sat down beside me at a movie premier. Earlier, I had been asked to wait, for a time, before I entered the theatre, finally, just before the room went dark, my name not having appeared on the list. I was later than I wanted to be; embarrassed, I sat far in the back.



To Gurudev, Again

88 years you walked the firm
and the soft
through space thicker than water.

Your father called on your gift
for the rhythm and dance
of words.

You planted seeds unknown to me
until now
a tree of gratitude has grown.



November 24, 2014

A Poem

SunsetPaintedCavePoets such as Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson have appealed to me for the metaphysical nature of their work, their innovative use of language and spirit of independence. I admire in Sylvia Plath’s poetry what has been called her “control of intolerable pain.”

Theodore Roethke’s grandfather was a Prussian, as was my maternal grandfather. I was born in the home of my grandparents in East Prussia, and when I met the poet Kenneth Rexroth in the 1970s, he said that my poetry was very “Prussian.” At the time, I didn’t get what he meant by that. However, when I review Roethke’s work, I am still drawn, as I was from the first, by his wry approach to nature as a great clarifying force.

Discovering the mystical poets such  as Kabir and Rumi was very exciting for me. They both have the quality of being refreshingly irreverent and, at the same time, intensely spiritual. I find that these mystical poets’ ability to describe the strange and awesome world of ecstasy to be a continuing source of inspirations.

The Process of Writing

  Midnight Vigil

Between forest and farm, we appear to sit
without moving;
leaned back
in our chairs.

We ride the light from our eyes
to the stars.

Meteorites flash and fall,
oaks heave bright auras.

Inside oceanic wind,
our ship rotates
through space.

A Poem

Gudrun Mouw speaks on reincarnation and her forthcoming book Out of the Ashes (to her meditation students).

A Video



I see a rainbow inside;
outside, nothing but light.

that which awakens.

Being here, kundalini
does not relate
to there.


Whenever the word, kundalini, comes up in conversation, which it has lately, I remember an intense and confusing period where my perceptions were shifting dramatically.

TreePoseLSD.epsOne way to describe the awakening of kundalini is that it is an intensification of internal energies, which can be a smooth rush of energy coming up through the center of the spine, or if there are physiological/psychological blocks there may be unusual manifestations of heat, reactive neurological movements, or other processes that may be difficult to understand. However, eventually, the process of kundalini works to remove the blocks and to create a transformative experience.

After years of integration work, I see now, that such times of challenge can lead to incredible growth spurts. Sometimes, the growth feels as if it is moving too fast and that can be confusing.

I am looking at some of the books I have read on the kundalini experience. I learned that the information I gleaned from my research, though very helpful, was not always totally reassuring. Much more important was and still is to have people in one’s life who are understanding. Without my daughter’s acceptance and support and the help of friends and students, the journey would have been much more difficult.

One massage therapist said about the kundalini energy–“It’s like a Maserati engine driving on a dirt road.” This is an awkward experience until the physical and energetic bodies are integrated.

Each kundalini experience is unique and that can make it harder to work with, because there’s no one way that is correct. The kundalini process can be very puzzling to the outside observer, because it is such an inward process. However, with a positive and nurturing environment, the kundalini can blossom and transform one’s life in a beautiful way.


A Poem Personal Updates