Tag: spiritual path

The Secret Path

I follow the journey of breath–a kinetic wind

creates the body transparent; I ask, where, when

did you begin, who have you inhabited, and who will

welcome you when I exhale?

 

Through which window,

which door, which country will you go?

Life-giver, dear to all, moving beyond boundaries,

beyond dogma and hatred, So Hum.

 

 

(c) Gudrun Mouw

11. 21. 15

A Poem

GURUDEV

 

 

To Sri Swami Satchidananda

By Krishnadasi

 

 

 

You say humans have never seen

their own face

only a reflection,

and in those countless mirrors

lakes, pools and rivers

are pictures that don’t exist.

 

We smile and dance

to world illusions

unless

glass or water clean and still

and pure mind listening,

 

awake and quiet;

then, you promise

we may catch a glimpse

quick as the heart of a butterfly

reality

moving across our screen.

 

© YOGA JOURNAL, 1976

 

 

This poem was published when I was known by the Sanskrit name, Krishnadasi, which means servant of Krishna. I was living at the Santa Barbara Satchidananda Ashram at the time. Later, Gurudev suggested a change in my name to Krishnaprema, meaning the divine love of Krishna, which someone told me was a promotion. I did not, at first, accept this change with enthusiasm, because I was attached to the intense experience which brought about Krishnadasi.

 

Gurudev noticed my reluctance and teased me about it. Eventually, he wrote to me and explained how he considered Krishnaprema to represent the best way for me to move forward on my spiritual journey. Fortunately, I had already had a change of heart. I was able to embrace his words and have found them to be an inspiration in my life to this day.

 

Gudrun

A Poem Personal Updates

After a recent and powerful storm, an exotic bird arrived at our back door slider. It was beautiful with a bluish-grey neck, white and tan body the size of a juvenile wild turkey and a delicate feather crown on its head. It exhibited signs of trauma with flickering-eye expressions and nervous pacing.

For days, the bird hung around. It jumped up our recycle bins to look in our kitchen window. We fed it, concerned it would starve to death, because it was not engaged in food searching behavior. It also didn’t show much interest in our offerings.The bird did not exhibit any physical injuries. At some point, we had to give it tough love, put chicken screen around to protect our entrance from poop, and to keep the bird from damaging the glass door.

bluefeatherstripReturning from a hike I saw the bird obsessively walking back and forth again; I noticed it seemed to recognize its own image in the glass. Ah, I thought, it sees a fellow bird not understanding the concept of reflection. Later that day, on the meditation path, I saw evidence of a coyote kill. The remnants had the same coloration as our distraught visitor.

Sorrow hit my heart. The bird was in mourning for its companion, I decided. We wondered how to help it survive, recognizing the bird’s current behavior would be life threatening if it did not leave the place where another of its kind had been killed. We hung up a sheet in front of the sliding glass door. The reflection was gone and so was the visitor pacing at our door.

T., at some point, saw the bird was more relaxed, and we hoped, perhaps, it was ready to move on. The next morning, the bird was nowhere to be seen.

We wished him/her well. It was not in our hands, ultimately, what was to come. At least, we were no longer responsible for the false perception created by our door; but I asked myself, how does one handle suffering of the other?

The same way, I think, we handle our own suffering–recognize, acknowledge, feel it, and then, look for ways to embrace the best possible solution. Furthermore, the yogi seeks to understand how what we perceive is no more real than our reflection in a mirror. Also, perceptions, my teacher would often tell me, are not accurate if the mirror of the mind is distorted.

Days later, I found, on an off-the-trail site, the same kind of remains I had seen on the meditation path. Heartbroken, I remembered a quote from Jack Kornfield: “Our hearts are meant to be broken,” and the memory of these words helped me understand. In his recent Super Soul Sunday conversation with Oprah, Jack spoke about how compassion sometimes comes through the tears we carry, and we need to honor that.

Personal Updates

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