Category: Personal Updates

Welcome, recent fog for bringing much needed moisture to our dry land! No real rainfall as yet; I’m still carrying grey water out to various plants, but it isn’t sufficient…our neighbor, the forest, still suffers from extremes of cold and drought….

I think of my teacher, Sri Swami Satchidananda Yogiraj. When asked about human suffering, he taught: such suffering comes from ignorance, different from that which is caused by external forces. Some seek out pain as a way to avoid suffering. Others avoid pain to reduce suffering. However, we can choose wisdom, which tells us that that though a certain amount of pain may be inevitable, suffering is optional.

When it comes to our relationship with Mother Nature, it seems we humans have not been good caretakers of earth—we have been wasteful, arrogant and blatantly blind to the consequences of our actions. We can see evidence of this not only environmentally but also politically….I will light a candle to pray for an end to human ignorance.

—Gudrun

Journal Entry Personal Updates

“I will not be afraid to enjoy

what is beautiful, and to believe that

as I give to the world, so the world

will give to me.”

—Unknown

I look at these Zinnias feeling grateful and heartened. In spite of a recent surge of national hatred, bigotry, cruelty and selfishness, this bouquet reminds me how important it is to keep cherishing that which affirms, that which gives generously and that which spreads goodwill and joy. I smiled when these flowers greeted me as I arrived to teach a yoga class, and I am smiling now.

September, 2019

Personal Updates The Spiritual Journey

My novel, From Ashes Into Light, is a reflection of new insights I gained into PTSD. For example, during an intense flashback to an event that probably caused the original injuries to my ears, I was six years old again; I remembered something that I had repressed.

PTSD flashbacks, I now realize, are part of a healing process. New information creates the space for re-learning, re-evaluating and honoring a journey that may take a lifetime.

Do we need to be reminded, these days, that there is no acceptable hatred? Horrible and reprehensible deeds are not o.k. The trauma such deeds create are not easily overcome. More and more people are suffering from PTSD.

I published the historical/metaphysical novel From Ashes Into Light in 2016 with themes in mind that I hoped would warn against the dangers of tolerated cruelty. I’d like to think this hope was, and is, not in vain.


Gudrun Mouw is a poet, yoga teacher and a novelist. Her novel From Ashes Into Light won 7 awards, including the Beverly Hills Book Award for Visionary Fiction and a silver medal in the Living Now Book Awards for Inspirational Fiction. For more information, please see her bio.

From Ashes Into Light Personal Updates

I keep returning to one of the poems published in NEWS FROM NATIVE CALIFORNIA, “When Coyote Comes to Visit” by D. Lorraine Sanchez.

Why is the “When Coyote Comes to Visit” poem so relevant in my view? We are living through times, it seems to me, when unpredictable, egotistical, cheating and foolish coyote energy has gained an alarming amount of power.

This poem has given me a different way to look at our current situation in the world. Perhaps, it is more important than ever, not only to see the amusing and entertaining side of coyote phenomena, but also to understand how we must not be mesmerized by the dangerous antics that are so blatantly displayed. I am grateful to the poet for the healing detachment and light this piece creates.

Gudrun Mouw (c)

Personal Updates

I was especially drawn to the “Bear River in Danger” article by Clyde Prout in News from Native California because it addresses the meaning of “home.” The writer points out, “We had a house…, but it wasn’t until I was older that I began to understand what [was] truly meant by ‘home.'”

Reading this, I realized how my background—having been categorized by the government as a “Displaced Person” in the 1950s—caused my search for “home” to unfold in painfully disorienting ways. Which is why it has been a blessing, for the last 20 years, to have had easy access to nature and wildlife, which promotes a sense of healing continuity for me.

The deer trail within sight of our home, for example, well used from before my life time, creates delightful and instructive interactions. And so nature freely provides a larger perspective for our journey on this planet. During difficult times, especially, finding ways to move from disconnection to connection seems ever more important.

 

Gudrun Mouw

(c) April/May, 2018

Personal Updates

The day I finished reading, The Sun and Her Flowers, I saw an interview with the 20-something poet and also learned about the international admiration for this book, which has been quickly translated into numerous languages. Apparently, Rupi Kaur’s fame began with a controversial Instagram image.

I like how the author has made the idea of poetry popular, which by itself is an immense achievement.  Born in India, the poet was raised in the west with a multicultural family awareness, which I know something about from my own experience. Overall, the poetry style seems quite innovative.

I was struck by how the poems in The Sun and Her Flowers dramatically expand the possibilities of the genre. Sometimes, the poems are simply short statements; other times, there are italicized summaries at the end (which serve as captions; there are no titles). Often the language seems designed to jolt and surprise. At other times, the poems are quite prosaic. 

In the interview, the poet responded to critics, who have called her too simplistic, by saying she was fine with that, but in the end she wanted the reader’s stomach to turn.  

Though this book is interesting, in the future I would like to see the kind of poetic mastery that could, perhaps, slow down the reader in order to deepen one’s experience, move one towards a rich, intuitive silence and keep the poems from falling flat emotionally.

 

Personal Updates The Process of Writing