Gudrun Mouw Posts

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

Kundalini

 

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

Kundalini,
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

This morning I harvested rosemary. The attention and care it took for this project gave me a good feeling of place.

BldgFrontSmallI remember one of the first times I had this feeling of connection to the land. I was sixteen, staying with my maternal grandparents at the Bodensee, the lake that creates 3 borders, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. As part of the research for From Ashes into Light, my daughter and I traveled to Europe, and I very much looked forward to seeing the Bodensee again.

From New York, we landed at the Czechoslovakian airport to the sight of heavily armed soldiers. Memories were triggered. I struggled to regain a sense of balance.My daughter’s confidence, curiosity and competence broadcast practical needs of the moment, reminding me to let go of the past. I experienced a strong connection to several places in Prague–especially the synagogue, as well as the Jewish cemetery. After more than 3 decades, I had come to the continent of my birth with mixed feelings of fear and release, which surprised me. The humility and sincerity of the people we met reminded me of cultural differences I had forgotten. There were tastes, smells and sounds that triggered many visceral memories.GudrunAustriaSmall

In Prague, we attended a transpersonal conference where we spent a number of days listening to speakers in a building that looked like it doubled as a Renaissance style, ornate opera house. Towards the end of the conference, we danced with Olantunde on the streets. The music had a powerful trance-like rhythm. The night was clear and temperate. Even though there were more than a hundred people who joined the dance, I experienced a sense of close-knit community that transcended historical adversity.

We took the train from Czechoslovakia to the former East Germany. The fare was so inexpensive, I decided to go first class. It seemed as if there was no one else on the train but the two of us and several porters who frequently wanted to know if we needed anything. It was a long, pleasant ride dedicated to watching country landscapes along the Elbe River.

I remember practicing my German with a gentleman who was traveling to buy a new car and bring it home. He was retired and very relaxed about it, at ease with himself. His benefits were secure, and the knowledge of this seemed to permeate his being.

GudrunUrsulaSmallWe came to visit my Aunt, and my mother’s closest sister in age. She welcomed us so warmly, I felt I had truly come home. She lived very close to one of the last Russian internment camps our family had endured.

We next visited one of my mother’s brothers, the chiropractor, who hired a chauffeur to pick us up at the station. I had last seen him when he was newly engaged, and now his daughter was grown up just as mine was.

Eventually, we came to the Bodensee, where I had spent 2 summers during my teenage years with my maternal grandparents, my mother and her youngest sister with her first-born son. Those summers I learned to appreciate the healing power of nature. Along the lake, in the woods and the community gardens, I sought solitude, healing and transformation.

However, my return to the Bodensee was different than what I had held dear in my memory. My grandparents were no longer alive. There was a hole in the fabric of the family.

ambodenseeSmallMy aunt and uncle took us on many excursions along the Bodensee, which were welcome diversions–from old cobblestone harbor towns to craggy heights of the Alps. There were moments when these places impacted me with a healing sense of finding my roots–a deep familiarity that had been nearly forgotten.

 

 

Forthcoming Work