Wednesday, December 14, 2011
"love is pain" my son said when he was 18. like all the jail tattoos the gangsters have. sometimes yes, it is. and sometimes it feels better than anything you imagined was possible to experience and sometimes worse than anything you think you have the strength to live through.
i am sitting parked in my truck outside a liquor store with my son and a pack of his teenage friends drinking 40s of cheap beer leaning against the hood. They make jokes, push each other around, slur their words a little more. they get louder and prouder as the drink adds up.
i am talking to the director of the documentary we are making in India about the work i have been doing there to teach yoga to women sex workers in sonagachi, the red light district of india. most of them are mothers too. i look in their eyes and see my own worry and pain reflected back in bottomless black eyes, wet with almost-tears. people tell me that "i am doing god's work". i wonder if they would imagine this crusader sitting and watching my own son get fucked up on a friday night.
i dropped out of high school too. i slept in makeshift shelters and flirted with disaster, played out being a homeless hobo. maybe it is the blessing-curse of the spanish gypsy ancestors. i hear empty glass bottles rolling on the asphalt from the ones they have finished, the rickety sound of things getting a little too loose.
a bigger kid walks up to my sons group, he is dressed like a cholo. i keep talking on my cell phone to anka about our details for the next trip to india. I see things are heating up outside my truck. the bigger boy is getting angry, he is talking to one of my sons friends, who is about half his size. his arms are waving to emphasize something. i hold my breath. this is not a good part of town and there are gangs here, and this kid definately looks like he's in a gang. suddenly, he lifts his shirt up, does he have a weapon? it is possible to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. he is showing a tattoo on the side of his torso. the smaller boy is holding his ground. then the bigger one starts laughing and shakes the smaller ones hand. everybody relaxes and i realize all the other boys had been standing frozen too, waiting to see if things were going to jump off. i breath again.
i wait awhile longer, letting my son spend time with the friends he doesn't see much anymore. i am looking out my windshield my eyes lock with the big cholo. he tilts his chin up in an acknowledgment and i tilt my chin back at him. respect. he says, "who's girl is that?" and walks over to my window.
"these your kids?" he says.
"only one of em" i say. "i drove out from joshua tree to pick him up".
a moment of silence as he stands at my window.
"it's a full moon eclipse" i say and point at the moon in the middle of the sky above us.
"what's that?" he says.
"well, the moon goes blood red and dark, you should watch it"
he stares up looking contemplative at the white disc in the sky.
he has a friend he came with parked on the other side of my car. the friend looks like an older gangster.
"what are you looking at?" the friend says. he is wearing a plaid shirt and has a moustache.
the cholo laughs and ealks away from my window to his friends car.
i tell my son i want to go and he and his friends pile in my truck, reeking of cheap beer. they are laughing and telling jokes. my son says when we first pulled up one of his friends was like, "you got a girl with a nice whip". "no, that's my mom's car". one of the boys said the kid who stood at my window just got out of jail for 13 months for stabbing someone. shit gets real. this is normal life here.
i drop off the friends and drive my son stinking ad reeking and passed out in the passengers seat under a full moon in the rolling desert. it feels like we are driving through the isolated, rocky terrain of mars. we get lost and i stop at a gas station. i look around at the beat up cars in the parking lot, the teenagers in clusters around the gas pumps waiting for the next party. it looks like the kind of town where everyone is missing teeth from doing too much home made meth. my son is beligerant now and wants some weed. so he goes to one of the teenagers and talks to him. the teenager looks at his cell phone. i am getting pissed in the car, i am not waiting for some bullshit hook up at this gas station in some devil's asshole town. i pull my car around with the engine running and roll my window down. i want him to feel me waiting, pissed. i take a deep breath. patience. he gets in and we leave. i shake my head at the lump passed out next to me in the passengers seat. patience.
the next morning we have breakfast and a good talk and go for a hike.
sometimes i think, it's just a part of life, we all evolve, teenagers on the cusp of adulthood have a lot of wildness to get out. and sometimes i don't know how i am able to help so many people, but feel so helpless with my own son. it's a great gypsy joke, and somewhere the gods, who must be crazy, are laughing even when i cry. my son makes me so happy-sad. so proud-worried.
love is pain. love is bliss. love is love. it cannot be weighed, measured or contained in a word. love is a riddle, a koan, one word that you will spend your life unraveling. to get to the the meaty heart of the matter, the meaty, bloody, beautiful, throbbing heart of the heart. to the love of the love. the egyptians said when you die, the gods will weigh your heart against a feather. how much does my heart weigh? is my love lighter than a feather?
Friday, December 9, 2011
waking up to survey the theater, the battle field, to fulfill his role in the play?
i bet some days he was like, "damn, this is impossible" or,
"look at all the armies mounted against me"
it's like that sometimes...there is too much to do, too many people asking for answers, needing attention, too many particles of maya screaming and dancing, pulling in different directions...
i think to myself, "cesar must have felt this way".
and yet you serve your dharma. so i may die today? just another day on the battlefield. so i may fail, i will live to fight another day. and in times of peace, i will eat drink and be merry, but i will not shrink like a coward from the theater battle field of life for i am a warrior of love...
like a kamikaze pilot
i just might strap into a love bomb of my immanent destruction
take aim at what i love
and blow the fuck up
you'll find scraps of me- of this love lunacy- in every cup of coffee
warrior-lunatics of LOVE
i need you to throw down your non-refundable love, money and pride onto the poker table of life and belly up to the Mother in the tavern of lunatic lovers...
She deals the cards in your hands
She says you better risk something if you wanna be a player
otherwise go back with all the other sheep sleepwalking through life with fast food religion and drive thru sex
it's time to lay your love on the line- like a tightrope walker - not a gawker- i walk the line
I am sitting down to write a book, to share my experiences, to share what I know...
Sexuality has strong code of secrecy in both the mainstream culture and in the Tantric lineage I am a teacher of. Sometimes the secrecy is good, in that it allows a sense of privacy, a place where our spirit is free from the world life and the energy is ours alone, secrecy can be a tool for individuation that is healthy.
Often though, sexual secrecy has come from a deep shadow of fear. There are sexual secrets that are hidden because wrong has been done, it is best to open and air these wounds so all can evolve. In the path of Tantra, there has been secrecy for fear of judgement and punishment. Many tantriks and mystics from all over the world, all cultures, have been punished, sometimes by death, for practicing. I have seen my own death in past lives for carrying this energy as a woman and practicing and teaching. I am thankful that in this day and age they cannot drown me, burn me, cut out my tongue or lock me up for heresy or insanity. Knock on wood. I have had people close to me try to have me put in a mental institution "for my own safety and good". I have also been diagnosed as mentally ill and taken medications before I remembered who I was, what I came to do. The world is crazy, so if you feel out of step and crazy, you just might be sane.
I hope that this book serves as a map for others to find their way back to the Goddess and themselves in this confusing world. We have forgotten so much, we choose to be sleepwalkers in someone else dream. Wake up sleeping soul, wake up! May the unconditional love of the Mother Goddess comfort you and you find harmony of the sacred energies and great spirits that have created us. May we remember our place in the great Wheel of Life and play our parts well. May you find joy in your suffering and re-birth in your death, May we all remember we are ONE and act accordingly.
Gu-ru is a word that means teacher, but it is a coyote word, it means many things. It means light and darkness, so that we can understand that we are not only light, but also dark and that it is the mysterious womb of darkness which holds the light of the stars. A teacher will show us our darkness as well as our light. Guru also means "one who points the way". No one can walk the path for us, but we can see teachers and they can point to a way, we all fumble our own ecstasy to get where our hearts and should deeper longings call us to.
I am a Kali devotee, she is the Mother of Bliss, she gives bliss and liberation by making us face what we fear to become whole. Her face in the full moon is Lalitha, the Goddess of Sri Vidya Tantra, she heals by offering us sugarcane and pleasure, beauty and love. For my initiations into these godesses and this path through my guru, Sri Amritanada, I have been truly blessed.
As a woman, I also teach Vama Marga, the left hand path of taboo, so it is not surprising that I would break taboo of lineage custom in sharing secret practices openly. I have my teachers blessings in our lineage to do so. Many teachers have hidden their practices and have been brought down because of it. It is time for a new paradigm in teachers being more open, more authentic and human. The powers that be are still at work even if we, as teachers, unmask ourselves.
May this book and the opening of sexual secrecy into a more open inquiry bring more self-awareness, healing and empowerment for us all.
Friday, December 2, 2011
"of what?" i ask. we have been talking about him getting a job.
"of everything" he says and his jaw is working back and forth, his black eyes are shining with anger. "sometimes i think the world would be better off without me"
or i would be better off without the world, i think to myself
i sigh heavily, i feel very old and tired
"i don't know" i say. "i feel like that too sometimes"
i look out the window of the ihop restaurant in a strip mall, somewhere in nowheresville, california. cars go by. this world, this life. the way we live, the way we treat each other. there is an elderly black waitress shuttling around plates and people's orders, she seems too old to do the job, but happy to be doing it.
i shake more salt on the french fries and watch the little white particles sift and fall through the cracks. i flip the ketchup bottle open and pour the bright red sauce on the chipped plate next to the fries. i shake a little of the bright orange hot sauce on top. i dip a fry into the spicy-ketchup mixture. repeat. i am not really hungry but it is hard to be with my son when he is expressing his pain. i know it is good for him to let it out, but it's hard to hear. it tugs at my sadness, anger, shame and guilt. this is not any disenfranchised youth, it's mine. the product of my upbringing.
i eat the pain, as if the spongy potatoes will absorb the excess karma, the quivering of my cells in the face of hopelessness. at least i can shit out the fries tomorrow. probably not all of the pain.
after he works himself up, he works himself down and says he feels better. opening the wound we don't have answers for somehow still feels better than holding it all in.
"i like people like that waitress" he says. we both smile. somehow she is a beacon of light, of someone making the best of their circumstances.
joshua tree, ca
i hate it when people say they don't get stuck writing. that it just flows "spontaneously". well yes, if you let creativity just give you a little blow job, a little breeze under skirts, a small poem is sure to emerge from the tickling.
but i am talking about commitment not whimsy. when you commit to write something and to finish it. a book, a screenplay, a thesis. commitment of any kind acts as a magnifying glass to expose all the hidden warts and blackheads we wouldn't notice otherwise. commitment is serious business.
just yesterday morning i was teaching a yoga class and one of my students rolled over and did a somersault when i was pushing her into an adjustment. we fell on the floor together laughing. it is good to stay relaxed and go with the fall once you are falling, but sometimes it's harder to hold your ground than go with the flow.
like sitting down to begin writing my tantra book. suddenly i feel very inspired to go for a hike, to do yoga, to catch up with friends. to even pay my bills! that's the siren call of distraction from the task i have set before myself. will i succeed or will i fail? because failure is possible. even though God won't judge me for it when i face the pearly gates, i could fail to finish this book in the 14 days i have allotted for myself, a pressure cooker i have put myself in, a crock pot of creativity. ride or die.
i had a tae kwon do teacher who studied in korea. one of his masters said to him, "satori (sublime awakening) is in the moment of getting hit while sparring". know yourself, know your opponent. because it is the truth, it is the power of now. you can dance around and think you are a lot of things, but in the moment of contact you know exactly who you are. i am the jaw that was hit. i am the skin that stings and will bruise. i am the lungs on fire gasping for breath. i had another woman in a martial arts class say to me once, "you aren't afraid of getting hit then?" she shrugged her shoulders when she said it, a small judgement passed on my gonzo sparring nature. i thought how i kinda like the smack of skin, the crunch of bone, the taste of being alive. contact makes me high, it's why i like sex so much.
everytime i sit down to write in discipline (not inspiration)...i wonder, "do i have anything of worth to say?" does any of this matter? and the existential abyss yawns open and threatens to swallow the small, flickering candle flame of my purpose with it's sulphuric breath. that smell? that's the smell of self-doubt. smell your armpits. yes that's the sweat of fear. fear is the cutting edge of excitement. i jab with this sentence. i round house kick with that paragraph. who am i sparring? the blind and invisible universe from whom i must wrestle my words. say my name universe, say my name.
Friday, November 18, 2011
friday, nov 18
the great refuge from the mind is the body
the mind goes in a thousand directions,
but the lingam and yoni only go in two
man and woman
in and out
consciousness also goes in and out of itself
from darkness to light
with every inhale i am born
and with every exhale i die
hold you breath in
hold your breath out
where did you go?
these are saying that can only be understood through direct experience
when my lover touches my body, i feel the silent One stirring inside me
my body heats up like a burning coal and the serpent begins to move
in figure eights through my spine
and i wonder, who can withstand such a fire?
so much of my work has been done alone
has cost me much
and still, i have withstood such a fire
i have not turned to the left or the right
the fire has burned through the center
i try to please you, my lover
but still, i am a handmaiden of the mother
if you stay or if you go
we walk the edge of the knife and never know
my heart can be broken
and even psalm could die if her life force poured out her broken heart
but still i would serve my mother
i am not good and i am not bad
i am, like consciousness
Sunday, November 13, 2011
I am getting ready to go on another journey to India, to leave my home in America and travel and teach and go to the red light district to teach yoga to a sex workers co-op there.
I woke up in my warm bed in Venice beach this morning, in sunny southern California, and stared up at the ceiling, my eyes still heavy from sleep. I asked the ceiling and God, (if God is in the sky beyond the ceiling), does it matter? Does any of it make a difference? Why not stay in my warm bed? I could feel my partners body, heavy with sleep beside me. I could feel the soft rise and fall of the blanket with his breath. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have made a home here. I would still be traveling like a gypsy from plane to plane, to spread the word, to spread the good news, as Jesus called it.
You have to look a lot of suffering in the eyes to share the Good News. I think of the friends I made last year with the sex workers in Kolkata. I think of the woman with the burned face, when I asked her about how it happened, she said "they poured gasoline on my face and lit a match". Is it possible for humans to treat each other this way?
I go to teach them yoga because it saved my life. I came from a lot of suffering myself and nearly lost hope for living a few times in this life. I hit a rock bottom in an emergency room and knew if I went to yoga every day, it would make my life possible, sane. A lot of my own suffering came from a background of sexual abuse. So many of the sex workers have similar stories. So many men and women everywhere I teach do. Shame is a terribly binding force on the human heart. There are no easy answers when it comes to sexuality. The sex workers are not victims, they are strong, resiliant, funny women who are finding a way to survive and thrive. They have organized into a workers union and fight to have sex work acknowledged as real work to, to have the rights and respect of any worker. Of course, this work exists on the fringes of society, and most of society would rather turn a blind eye.
What can we do about this? How can we make change, make the world a better, safer place? The more I do the work, the more I realize how big the problem is, how many faces there are, like an ocean that multiplies itself with each new wave. I realize my own limitations and I wrestle with my own ghosts.
My own son has been angry with me for many of the trips to India I have made. When I called him last year from a crackling phone line in Varanasi, he said, "Why are you trying to help people in India when your own son is in pain?". Good question. I just know I have had to. Other times he has told me he is proud of me. My heart goes up and down, but the path keeps unfolding straight ahead, one step at a time. I try to balance it all, to be a good mother (good enough), to follow what is my path. Why do I call it my path? Because it pulls me forward when I don't know why, towards some invisible place, I know it is the truth because I feel it comes from my gut. My guru told me that the spiritual path is standing on the edge of a cliff, knowing you can't go back to your old life, and feeling like you will die if you take the next step off the edge of the cliff...but instead you land on a bed of roses or you fly.
Can we make a difference? I know I have made a difference in myself. I am not good or perfect, but I feel that I am doing what my soul came to do. When I was younger, that was the worst pain I had, was feeling deep inside me that I had to find a way to share and express the work my soul came to do. When I think about going back, I get a funny feeling in my stomach, a loss of gravity as if I am on a roller coaster. It is the feeling my body has when I am afraid. Sometimes it means I need to turn back and sometimes it means I need to walk forward. Not much interesting or powerful work has been created without confronting fear, even fear is a great ally in helping become our best.
I want to teach these women yoga, I want to make their lives and stories visible to the world. Where shame and suffering have been hidden, let us shed light and breath fresh air into old wounds. Will it make a difference? Who knows, I just know what I have to do.
for more info on this project go to: www.couragetorise.org
to support the project, buy the benefit music cd -go to: www.mothermedicinemusic.bandcamp.com
Why go on pilgrimage (Hero’s Journey)?
The path of pilgrimage is as old as time, as dusty as the bare or sandaled feet wandering the desert, mountains and rivers. Seeking, seeking something to be answered from inside from a physical journey taken on the outside. They say no matter where you go, there you are. You cannot escape yourself. This is true, but Place and Land and Temple will change you. There are people living in other cultures. They are different than us, thank god, and have things to share with us. To share no on the flat pages of a book, but in the rocky terrain, in the smell of spicy sweat and exotic foods. These people have built statues, temples, churches; have placed stones to cast ominous shadows from the sun, foreboding prophets in a silent language that can only be learned by gnosis, the personal experience made real in flesh. And sometimes the pilgrimage is to something made by hands larger than humans.
Different physical lands are all places on the body of the Mother, and they have earthly and astral downloads and activations for the hungry seeker. These pilgrimages are prayers made of effort, sacrifice, determination and ecstatic longing. It is said by many traditions that once you commit to a pilgrimage the testing begins. Why? We do not know, we only know it is so. The Sufis say that most people cannot stay in the dergha because the atmosphere is too thick, too concentrated for most minds. Most minds are scattered . You need single focus. They say you can only stay in the dergha when you have only one question left. What is the question? They won’t tell you.
The hero follows the call to adventure, to pilgrimage. After facing outer obstacles and inner demons she returns home a prophet. She doesn’t look the same as when she left, a strange glow of inner fire in her eyes. Will she find rest after her adventure, her arduous journey? No! The integration back home is often the most painful of all. A prophet is not welcome in their hometown. The prophet speaks uncomfortable truths. The hero returns different when their relations want them to stay the same, not to rock the boat.
Pilgrimage brings adventure and acceptance. What god has for each is the portion each will get. It is enough. Inshallah
Have you felt called to journey to India? Land of saints and magicians...Land of sweet and spicy chai and mystic holy rivers...Let me share the magic with you...
In all her holy rivers and mountains and crowded cities, India whispers in your ear, "Remember your Soul"
I have been traveling to India to study Yoga and Tantra for the past five years and have been bringing groups of students to experience on a cellular level the Motherland of Yoga. Just the trip to India will transform your life...India has a gift to share, to remind us of what is magic and what is most holy within ourselves, to light the flames of devotion and the path of ritual and remembrance.
Swami Sivananda said: "Love, Serve, Give, Meditate, Purify, Realize, Know yourself, be happy and be free"
to learn more about this India Pilgrimage go to:
Friday, July 8, 2011
MY KALI CROW MAJIK WOMYN...
THE TIME IS POWERFUL...THE MOTHER IS NOW...
LIVING THROUGH US SHE HAS NO BODIES BUT OUR OWN...
CROW WOMYN TEACH TRUE LAW...
THERE IS MANS LAW AND THERE IS TRUE LAW...
WE BRING THE SWORD THAT CUTS AWAY THE ILLUSION
LEAVING US SHIVERING AND EXPOSED IN OUR RAW NERVES,
WET PUSSIES AND NAKED SKIN...
WE MOLT TO COVER OUR RAWNESS INTO ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL VEIL OF ILLUSION...
IS IT POSSIBLE TO LIVE WITHOUT ILLUSION, WE WHO ARE MADE OF THE ILLUSION, WE WHO DREAMED OURSELVES,
WE DAKINIS BIRTHED FORTH FROM THE 3RD EYE OF THE eye-in-EYE, YES-I, JAI JAI...
CHOOSE YOUR ILLUSION MY BLACK CROW RAINBOW BUTTERFLY WOMYN...
REMEMBER YOUR MAJIK, SHE WAKES YOU IN THE WIND, IF YOU ARE LISTENING SHE WILL INFECT YOU AGAIN...
INJECT ME WITH YOUR LOVE GUN, INFECT ME WITH YOUR POISON,
DEATH NEVER MADE ME FEEL SO ALIVE
FLY OR DIE
BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT
THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
"I feel there is something unexplored about women that only a woman can explore." -georgia o'keeffe
as i write, it is interesting the feedback i get. because of the sexual nature of my writing, i get a lot of men writing very juvenile comments. i also get marginalized by the mainstream of spirituality. as if i can be put in a box as "sexual".
my friends, are we not all sexual creatures? have we not come from sex? is the fabric of our existence not made of sex?
but we put it in a box. most religions and philosophies speak of all kinds of imaginary cosmologies, but the thing hanging between your legs is barely touched on. it goes in a box in storage. in a closet. and festers. if i am airing out that closet, i am experimenting with saying the unsaid. speaking about the most personal and universal experience we all have with out own sensuality and sexuality. but which we make every effort to hide from the rest of humanity. and when sex is spoken of, it is in the most garish way, which shows the explosive nature of repressed energy. if we looked at it more often, there might be more subtlety in our understanding, experience and communication.
i do not expect everyone to understand what i am doing, because even i do not always understand what i am doing...everything swirls around me...and then sets itself into place perfectly...chaos as part of the creative process...it is being done through me...this whole thing, this whole LIFE thing is birthing itself through me and is a mystery to me...
sometimes i feel judged...but that is mine to carry and make sense of. still i feel driven to create, or to allow what is pushing through me to be birthed.
people say i am fearless but it is because i am afraid of everything that i have put myself against the blade of my fears to experience more, i do not let the fears keep me from tasting my desires. i am terribly sensitive in my moments alone. but i do not let the sensitivity keep me from speaking my truth. this is not a statement of valor, it is simply how i observe myself to be built.
to the men with the sexual comments:
why are there so many idiots in this world? seriously, if the fb chat comments i get from men are any indication of the state of collective human consciousness...i am disappointed in our evolution. it would be nice if there could be more subtlety in the PLAY.
tame your penis for goddess sake! can i speak of the universal experience of sexuality, of being spirit animals without a bunch of high school come ons? i mean, seriously...i am exploring saying what is usually unsaid...but which is the common fabric of our consciousness...
to the spiritual community:
i am also disappointed with the spiritual communities lack of a sense of humor. everything is taken so seriously. can i have a fucking emotion without having a bunch of yogis clucking under their breath that they are praying for my peace? it is so condescending.
what about art and exploring differentiation instead of trying to be a bunch of sheep repeating OM OM OM... it is tiresome...where is the tolerance for individual expression and differing points of view? difference makes the world VIBRANT
there is an expression going around, "life is a comedy, not a drama"...really? i thought it was made of both? must i always put on a smiling bliss face for you? can you cherish your suffering as well as your joy?
i had my cup of coffee. please enjoy my mornings verbal droppings. that is all.
i think of my mother and feel very sad. i become a little girl, i curl on the bed in a little ball. i cover my naked body with my wool shawl, like the favorite blanket i had as a baby. i want my lover to hold me. i want someone to hold this terrible ache and emptiness. i weep alone, unashamedly with no one to witness me. so much of the hero i called forth has to be found in myself. at some point the crying stops and i feel the heat of the sun from the window on the bare skin of my thigh. i run my fingers across the warm skin, it makes me think of my lovers fingers touching me. i become aroused and i take out my laptop. i photograph myself masturbating, it turns me on. after i come, i fall back asleep. i am so tired. i wake from my nap a few times fitfully, but i cannot move, my limbs are too heavy. finally i wake and stretch, i have been asleep for maybe hours, time has disappeared.
i shower and dress. i am ready to go inside the church, i have circled it for a week. i am ready to go to the temple in my heart where i hold my longing for my own mother, i have been circling it for years. i feel a great moment is approaching, a moment of the angels, a moment of my healing will come when i enter the church.
i go out to the square and they tell me the church closed at 4pm, it is now 6pm. they say it is closed on mondays and i leave tomorrow, i already bought my ticket to seville to fly early tuesday morning. what a cosmic joke! i write shiva that i made the pilgrimage and danced in the courtyard and slept on the beach, but never made it to the church. he says that is my way anyhow, fuck the buildings i will find god in the streets.
the difference between external worship and internal worship is that external worship is what can be seen from outside, in the form. people put on their best clothes and file into church trying to get points from god or at least the priests and their neighbors. internal worship has no piety and cannot be seen from the outside but is a constant state of offering all life to the sacred flame. everything is sacred, even the profane. i met a monk in india who said i should not wear my prayer beads while taking a shit. he said it would offend god. i said, how can i offend god by taking a shit? god made me and god made the shit. the other teachers all say be good, but i say be bad. you have been so programmed you do not even know good from bad.
i do not know what will save me but i know it is nameless and formless. i may not be good but i am burning, and that burning is a purifying flame. what will i become from all this burning? the moth is attracted to the flame until it is eaten by the flame and becomes the flame. that flame sets others to burning. do not ask if your path and teacher give you peace, only ask if they set you to burning.
it is shaping up to be a long, lonely night. by body is on fire with the memory of my lover inside and nowhere to release the energy. most of the people have left from the festivals and all the corners that had been full of musicians and dancers are empty now. i haunt the streets like a ghost that night, following the sounds of guitars. outside the church close to midnight, a group of young men are playing guitars. a woman in black approaches the group. she has black hair, a black cowboy hat, eyes rimmed in black and her blouse, skirt and shoes are all black. her face is lined with a life that looks hard, but full of good stories.
she waits for the boys to finish their song and then removes her guitar from it’s case. she begins to play and sing, the voice of a woman who is used to singing alone. her songs are in languages i do not understand, but the brave longing i can understand. her songs make me see wide open prairies and horses. they make me think of freedom and loneliness. one of the young men begins to accompany her on his guitar, but she waves for him to stop, she is playing alone. her fingers strum the guitar strings and sometimes she beats out a sound with the tips of her nails that sounds different then the way i am used to hearing the men tap the soft pads of their fingers. when she is finished a young man who looks like a traveller, dark and unwashed, kneels to give her praise. we have all witnessed a miracle here in the church courtyard. then she waves to accept our gratitude and walks away.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Pilgrimage to the Black Madonna
excerpt from book in progress as i am writing it in France
in any language or religion, the true name of god is the name of our own mother.
this book is dedicated to my mother, whose name is bella. whose face my eyes have not seen for 12 years at the time of writing this book. her name is bella. i repeat her name, i pray to her, for her, i circle her madness in my life. tough crazy gypsy witch god fearing woman, may you be blessed and may you bless me, your daughter. amen.
i have seen when they burned me in past lives, when i was tied to the stake and shamed, as if fire could drown my spirit, which returns lifetime after lifetime, wrapped in a new body of flesh and bone. "they" are the non-believers, the ones afraid of the great mothers power, the ones afraid of the agreement they made with death to be born, who now are afraid to live and who move through this world with their spirits sleeping, locked inside their insatiable bodies. their souls are thirsty so they drink more wine. their souls are hungry so they eat more food. how alone it must be to not remember who you are, a child of the great mother, the birther of the cosmos. and those non-believers have called us witches, the ones who remember, the ones who worship in her name. they have forgotten the ways of the sacred profane. the symbol of the mother is a snake eating her own tail, through death she is reborn.
Preparation for the pilgrimage
NYC May 20
A hymn for the lovers:
Somewhere between grace and insanity we hover like urban angels testing our leather wings against the blood and cut and guts of the Matrix. We fly to rise and change the world. All we have is love, all we have is prayer. all we have is each other...two become one and kill each other with LOVE to become none. World without End, amen.
love will kill you every time. i turn over in my sleep, my hungry fingers seeking your body for some reassurance that all of this is real. i fly away again tomorrow, or at 1am, it is already today. we stay up so late that tomorrow always becomes today, time doesn't exist when you are already dead. two pirates adrift in a ghost ship, adrift between dreaming and waking. your body is cold to my touch, i am confused. there is no heat, no desire in you. i need your desire now, i want to know you want me, i want to feel safe in our connection before i leave. i run my fingers along the smooth, warm skin of your back, you live inside this skin, but like a house with a locked door, i can't get in. i think of running my fingers lower, to touch the man root of your body, the electric place, but it feels like it would be desperate now, and i don't like being desperate (or at least having anyone know i am). you i think i will die if you break my heart again.
we get out of bed. i sit and watch you roll a cigarette, the loose brown strings of tobacco gently coaxed into the thin paper by your nimble fingers, you bring it to your mouth and lick the edge to seal the cigarette. i want you to touch me like that. i am wretched once again. i feel myself start to go numb, a cool detachment begins to separate me from the heat of heartbreak. i will walk alone again, i know how, i am the priestess, the teacher, i am the brave warrior woman. i know how to do this, how to walk strong, alone, where mere mortals fear to tread. they worship my bravery, my courage, my recklessness. most people are afraid to burn their homes down, i burn them all…yours, mine, ours. i see the lie, the falseness in myself. the free woman…free from what? "be patient with me" i say. "i have been on my own trip for so long. i don't know why i have to go on this trip, but i do. it has to do with my mother". my tongue gets thick and i can't find words for the thing inside me. "i have a hard time trusting. the pain from both my parents being gone is so deep". i have not expected anything but independence, freedom and being alone in this life.
"i don't want you going to places i don't know how to pull you out of yet" you say. "i don't want anything coming between our medicine". "what medicine?" i ask. does he mean the medicine plants he carries? does he mean the tantric goddess lineage i carry, the healing through sexual energy? "the medicine of our connection" he says. the simplicity of what he says pierces my heart. there is a medicine in our loving that is so powerful now. his love is my truth serum, it makes me let go of my layers of protection that guard my soul more than anything does now. in time, everything that is real in the moment becomes an idea, a worn out cloak we forget to remove once the moment is past. this is true even of my role as a teacher and a healer.
"i just want to see you with no clothes on" you say. "i don't want to see you hiding anything". we are standing on the street corner in new york at 2am smoking the hand rolled cigarettes, it could be anywhere. a man and a women wrestling with love. i gently butt my forehead to your chest, to your heart and you hold me, frozen in time. we are immortal. a bar on the corner is playing an old song by cheap trick, "the flame". the gods have orchestrated life's jukebox for us again. "you'll be the first to be the last" the song plays and the words are perfect in the middle of the night in the middle of the street.
we go inside and you take off all your clothes, our skin touches like warm velvet. you stroke me and pull me to you. i grow wet and compliant. i sit astride you, your lingam the blade that pierces me open from root to crown and i move like an animal from deep instruct. sometimes my eyes are closed, sometimes they are rolled back in my head. sometimes i open then and see you, beholding me and it is almost too much to bear, the obliteration of my self into us. two become one and kill each other to become none. your lingam inside me the blade that killed me. my false ego is dead and all we have now is eternity, we died for love. your lingam covered in my blood, there are some agreements older than the rascal time, older than the moon. shiva is the dying god, dying like the emptying of the moon. we merged, the golden serpent laced between our spines. we are the medicine, you are always inside me, always dancing in my spine. i am drowning in happiness, is it possible to be this full? i say, "baby, you are the medicine". you say, "ride it baby, its yours."
NEW YORK CITY May 21
i call a cab to take me to the airport, and have them meet me at the neighborhood mexican food joint. i start practicing my spanish, "uno mas margarita por favor". i gulp it down and grab two fish tacos to go, the cab is waiting outside. i kiss my man goodbye in the street, the look in his eyes pierces me with their grey-blue sincerity, something to come home for. i slip into the yellow cab taking me to another mystery. the cab driver is blasting salsa de columbia. he is from mexico, he speaks to me in spanish, it has already begun. high on tequila and life, i spill out of his cab at the airport.
i land in madrid and start walking with a crumpled piece of paper and an address for a place to sleep tonight. one of my students in hawaii arranged for me to stay at her dance teachers school here in madrid. the air is warm and moist, the old building and cobblestone streets are charming, lovers lay embracing each other on the grassy park lawn. i start to pass two people walking slower than me, i smile to myself. when i was in new york, he said i didn't walk fast enough. here i am walking too fast, i like walking slow better. in my head i tell him, "what's the hurry baby, we're already dead, right?". if we are dead we might as well take our time in life.
i find the school, it has beautiful, big spanish windows and indian patchwork pillows. the dancers from the school take me out to tea and then a hookah bar, where we smoke sweet minty perfumed tobacco from a glass hookah pipe. i suck in a long drag and hold the moist steam deep in my lungs, when i exhale the smoke rises and envelopes me in a fragrance for a moment. the dancers coax each other to get up in the restaurant and do solos for each other, the men who work at the restaurant turn the music up. the women call for me to dance. i am so jet-lagged i am falling asleep in my tea. i ask for more moroccan drums or african drums so i can dance. they find a good song and i rise from the table and stand bare feet on the floor, listening to the beat with the skin of my feet before i begin to move. even if everyone is watching, i am still alone. i don't have my dagger (i didn't want to risk it being confiscated by airport security) so i grab a butter knife from the table. i listen to my feet, the beat and the power of the blade, even a butter knife likes to cut things.
i begin to dance, carving the space around me with the knife. in a swirling world of chaos where anything is possible, i make decisive cuts with my knife, cutting a line from the future to the past. this is a dance of action, holding the sword of time in the formlessness of space. my body starts to move faster, i am sweating from the fire in my spine, the serpent has woken and is dancing through me. my legs lift higher until it is more of a war dance, and why not? you have to be a warrior in this world. i dance for the angels and i dance the demons through me. i slow the dance but keep the heat, so that i can send the power, the shakti, through my hands to one of the dancers sitting near me. i dance a blessings for my spanish sisters, i give them the power surging through me. i stop and they clap. they tell me afterwards it was beautiful to see me dancing alone with god.
there is a peaceful revolution in the streets of madrid, people have built a tent city in one of the main squares. they are protesting all the government parties being corrupt and not representing the people. the night is warm and thick and there is excitement in the air. i stop and dance in the center of the drum circle, everyone is surprised when i say i am american, with my black hair and gold nose ring with a chain that attaches to my earring hoop. the drums beat of a universal language and we are all brothers and sisters in search of freedom. i dance in the cobblestone streets, i dance for their justice, for the uprising of their hope.
i walk back to my room alone, it is after 2am and the streets are being hosed down by giant trucks. i am lost and wandering for awhile. i ask some british tourists if the know the address i am looking for. they are young and pissed drunk. one of the boys drops his jeans in front of me and i walk away, no time to waste with idiocy. i hear them talking behind me, "of course it scares people when you pull down your pants" and "but she doesn't have any fucking shoes on". i smile to myself, i must look strange. i walk through the park under large white statues of horses against the inky black sky. i finally find my room and try to call him before i fall asleep, no answer. i know it is silly, but falling asleep in the strange room in spain, i wonder if he was in the arms of another woman.
MARSEILLES June 23
back at the airport to fly to marseilles, i screwed up and didn't print out my boarding pass and they are charging me 40 euros. i feel like i have the flu from jet lag and i can't afford to be wasting money, my eyes water up but i don't cry. another nervous breakdown from the deconstruction of travel. i pay the fee and wait in line to board the plane. i am exaughsted, my eyes are burning. i tried calling him again, but still haven't gotten through. a little bit of panic runs through my body. "let's not give in to desire" he said when i left. "i am not looking for anything else" he said. i wonder if he will wait for me. "you're off on your own mission" he said the night before i left. i have been on my own trip for so long. now i want to make room for two, but will he wait for me?
i sleep on the plane and wake as we are descending at sunset in marseilles. the earth is pockmarked rocks near the shipping port and looks like a crusty shell from above. the clouds are pink and golden in the abalone sky. we are flying low over the orange-red terra cotta roofs of the french countryside. my phone beeps, it suddenly has reception. in the no mans land of the french airport, i get a text, "baby". my stomach flips. he still loves me! i remember the first time he called me baby, when i got up to get coffee after a night in the magic mushroom medicine together. we hadn't had sex yet, even though i had married him in the medicine, when he held me and the golden serpent laced our spines together.
we were still just flirting around each other when he pulled me to his lap as i was walking by the chair he was sitting in. deep in the melting of the mushroom magic i kept disappearing to a dreamlike place and re-emerging as if i was coming up from deep sea diving. one of the times i went under my mind to my subconscious i saw a vision, i was taking the vows of the priestess, of the lineage and he was there. and i saw he was the one who i could become who i am and be safe with. whether this was a dream born from my desire or a vision of dharmic law existing between us from other lifetimes, i do not know, only time will tell. the next morning, i woke up before him and laid there for hours, wanting to enjoy the thick syrup of breath moving in the space between our bodies. i didn't want to break the spell by moving. finally i got up and was leaving to get coffee, and he opened his eyes. i asked if he wanted coffee, he said, "thanks baby". my stomach fluttered, i liked it when he called me baby even though i didn't know what it meant, our dance still such a young thing and and fragile, i felt like a foal testing it's new legs. he called me baby for a few more days, then disappeared to be back with his ex-lover where his heart was calling him. i went on a two month mission around the world. from the beaches of hawaii to the brothels of kolkata i taught the mothers liberation. when i got back she had broken his heart and now he calls me baby again. will our love survive? i choose to love like a meditation, to see what comes without trying to control. anyways, i write better when i am lonely and longing.
on the train, i find out i made a mistake. i should have taken the train from the airport to arles, not marseilles, i went in the opposite direction, i will have to go to arles tomorrow. the attendant on the train asks what i will do. i say i don't know, maybe sleep on a bench in the station. he says in a heavy french accent, "you must have a lot of courage". "if you were my daughter i would be afraid for you". i tell him i am not afraid, i travel all over the world and always a miracle finds me.
all these rooms look the same...4am in marseilles...sleeping in a mostly clean white box with a somewhat working shower, wifi though. no tv. would be in french anyways...law and order in french would give me an orgasm...
it gets later and still i cannot sleep. it is still the middle of the day in my jet lagged body. i think of what the train man said, about being afraid. sometimes i do get afraid. but then i remember i am psalm fucking isadora! the angels and the demons listen to me.
on my way to the black madonna, i think of my mother. i think of crazy powerful women and gypsy blood and caravans and loyalty and how it is possible sometimes that pain is thicker than blood and we disburse. there are a lot of pretty women in the world, but what about the ones that scare the shit out of you? i go to the dark mother tomorrow.
i hired a private detective a few years ago to try to find my mother. he said she must be hiding out from bill collators and th tax man because he couldn't find an address. he said in his experience it doesn't go well to show up and surprise someone who is trying not to be found. so i circle the globe on a pilgrimage to the mother. maybe by moving in the physical world, my prayer will stir the invisible sea and change the weaving of what is keeping us apart. i walk in both worlds, a pilgrimage with my feet in the world and a pilgrimage for reconnection and forgiveness in my heart. the real pilgrimage is circling things inside me, the black madonna is the icon of the dream mother in my own consciousness. i worship the mother, i long for her, i journey far and alone in this world, i suffer for her love. my pain has made me strong and other people come to lean on me now, come to know the mother as she is channeled through me, i am an excellent vessel because i am so empty, my longing a fire that has burned me clean through.
someone once gave me a box of darkness and i dance inside
blood red lips and flamenco curled fingertips
the world is ending and i will dance calling in the spirits of chaos and oblivion, ushering in the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning
there is a temple in india of the mothers genitals,
you walk to the holy of holies,
a dark pit of water and stone.
a box of darkness, the mother's womb,
from where we all came and where we will all return.
someone once gave me a box of darkness,
i thank my mother who birthed me for this living mystery.
ST MARIE DE LA MER May 24
sometimes the burning is so intense
the travel wears me down and makes me emotional
so does drinking cheap liquor from strangers bottles and dancing barefoot in the streets with glass in my feet til 1, 2, 3am
so does traveling a woman alone not sure where i am sleeping every night
i hunt myself
i hunt my heart
i hunt my longing
i turn away the water so i can stay thirsty and use the thirst to hunt the root of my thirst
last night i followed a group of italian hippes and slept on the beach with blankets lent to me by a man and woman who came to me and asked for kali's blessing
this world is so many layers of beautiful delusion
the veils wear thin
i am the illusion
i am thirsty, road worn and broken down
i laid down on the sidewalk yesterday until a policeman came to see if i was ok or just another drunken gypsy over the edge
no more pride
i was laying on the sidewalk in pain and bliss
staring at the pink and blue abalone sunset sky
tears streaming down the sides of my face
i felt like i was floating
am i in this world or the next?
i pilgrimage to the black madonna
i am writing postcards from france back home to an address i found on the internet when i searched for my own mother
the statue of the mother i pilgrimage to is my own mother that lives inside me
my longing to see her face
i have not seen her for 12 years
they say blood is thicker than water
somewhere between all the confusion, abuse and pain, the pain was thicker than the blood and our caravan of gypsies dispersed
i pilgrimage to my hope that love is stronger than pain
i have not gone inside the church here
i have not seen the black mother's face except in the tourist pamphlets
all the idols were created for us to project our longing onto anyways
the power is in our longing not the statues
they say this mother is covered in many fabrics so only here eyes are showing
oh mother you remain always a mystery to me
Friday, April 15, 2011
who is the abuser and who is the abused? don't we all have to learn to love each other to heal, to see we are all one?
i have run into two camps, one that focuses on victimhood and blame and one that focuses on forgiveness.
the one focusing on victimhood and blame doesn't see a true transformation of pain is possible.
the one that focuses on forgiveness is often trying to take a spiritual bypass and whitewash the issues to move straight from the suppression to forgiveness.
i received this email recently,
I've got to tell you that I think it's the biggest fallacy in spiritual teachings that we've got to love our abusers; especially when the abuser is a parent. "Honor thy Father and Mother?" That's the first lesson in perpetuating abuse to the next generation.
I think that we don't begin to release the repressed feelings trapped inside us until we learn to DIS-honor the people who abused us. Otherwise, our unconscious minds won't let us access those repressed feelings in a meaningful way.
After that, we can work on healing the damage the abuse did to our neurology.
After that, we can love the abusers.
After we can express and integrate the repressed feelings of shame, anger, rage and grief, then we can reach a true kind of love, not a spiritual bypass.
This reminds me of a teaching of Jesus when he said,
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--your enemies will be in your own household."
a great deal of physical, mental and emotional abuse comes from our own families. it is a hard thing to understand being angry at the people you love. sometimes these relationships get worse before they can heal. the psychologist carl jung described this process as individuation. learning to separate yourself from your family, culture, society, to become self aware. in tantra, the healthy ego center is manipura, in the belly and solar plexus, in your guts. the element of this center is fire.
what place does a sword have in healing? sometimes a wound must be cut open to air and find healing.
Jesus also said, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword".
so jesus contradicted himself, as all great spiritual teachers do. truth doesn't fit into neat categories. this life and the spiritual path is a sloppy human interaction of fumbling towards love and forgiveness through human relationships.
anger is a double edged sword, it can be used to slice through and transform, or we can get stuck in the habit of anger and bitterness without the transformation. anger is strong medicine, but it should not be avoided on the spiritual path for fear of it's power. anger is an emotion close to the surface, grief lies sleeping deep below in our subconscious. anger can make us aware, if we are able to follow the reaction to it's source. anger always stems from an unfulfilled desire. the way of healing, letting and moving on is to grieve our unfulfilled desires, not suppress them. without fire, there is no transformation. my guru says, "keep the power in your heart, otherwise it can be cruel".
Thursday, April 7, 2011
i got an email from a tantrika sister
"As a tantrika, I find it appealing to explore my love freely, to explore the depths and heights of my sexual power and my own capacity to love, transform, heal and co-create magick. As a magician, I recognize that my magickal intelligence is in part formed through my capability to be, do and flow through or with any person(or thing) as I perceive them (or it) to be in a sense, a part of my own being. Loving, intimate and erotic relationships offer a unique opportunity to explore the perception of the self in relation to the other. In this way the sense of self expands through selfness, selflessness and oneness with all.
I believe that the tantrika is inherantly polyamorous. What do you think?"
yes i believe a tantrika is inherantly polyamorous but i believe that the word polyamory and its western definition often fall short of it's layered meaning for me
i do not know if i could love monogomously
it seems to be a thing that comes in the beginning very strong when i meet someone who truly turns me on
all my energy goes into the flame with them and i want to nourish that one seed
i notice it isn't my mind that does this
rather, it is like a force of nature
(are we really so different from dogs sniffing each others asses?
meat puppets for the potent alchemy of god's pheromones?)
as there are phases to the moon, there are phases to loving
sometimes the love waxes and sometimes it wanes
sometimes it is completely full and other times completely empty
one of the interesting things about comparing love to the moon
is that the full moon is the time of endings
when the fruit is most ripe, it is about to fall from the tree
and decay, ripeness giving way to deconstruction of one form
to feed the earth and become another
when my loving is as full as a full moon
as ripe as a big cheese moon
i hate to think it is about to fall
but isn't that what we see in nature around us all?
and when the moon is empty, desolate
that emptiness is close to being filled again
but it is so hard to see in the darkness, in the emptiness of the grave
where the formless mystery is stirring her sweet cauldron of spells
to surprise us as they mature and are animated into form
i have hurt many hearts and my heart has born much hurt
i like to stay in the game, keep my heart open
in that way i am a player
i do not have any specific philosophy on monogomy and polyamory
it seems people are wired different
some more towards stability and monogomy
some more towards freedom and polyamory
what i do notice is people tend to preach their path
the monogomists think it is highest to connect and find your many faces through long term union with one other face
and polyamorists think it is highest to let go of attachment and let loving come and go freely through many faces
i think i am both polyamorist and monogomist depending on my season and reason
and add a third, because i often travel my path alone with long periods of celibacy
(nobody expects that from the tantrika!)
maybe you could call that unigomist?
shakti energy is freedom energy
is it possible to drink from the left hand cup and not stir the chaos cauldron for societal monogomy?
that would probably be difficult.
i practiced tantra in secret while i was married
i fell in love with other men too
i am not married anymore
i have had men ask for me to give myself to them only and i have said no
i have wanted to give myself to one man only and sometimes they say no
i change my mind
but so the moon changes her costume
i do not think i am fickle
i move to the rythm of nature and change
there are many people espousing free love who are not in a right way with themselves
and they are using the others bodies
let's hope they are maturing
there are many who judge others sexual energy and who make cages out of monogomy
lets hope they can be less afraid
either can be a way to hide
most important i think, is the self enquiry to be willing to look and see who we are
no more free love, now it's real love!
this tantrika is not monogomous because she is making love to every atom of all the the worlds!
p.s. i reserve the right to change my mind
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
i am finishing editing my first book, and i wanted to share the introduction:
freedom + pain + truth + liberation
why did i write this book? aren't there enough books already?
sitting and watching corpses burn in kashi, at the banks of the holy river ganges, i wrote:
" i wonder to myself, if i rip out my guts telling my story, will anybody care? will it change the world? i am driven by something unholy to be here, to write. i pray to the god of heaven and earth and the holy river that it will make a difference to someone, most of all myself."
my indian friend rohan told me, "all the world will be in your book, the the burning ghat, the shakti, the coming and going". he is silent for a moment. "sometimes with our eyes we see something beautiful, and then we don't see how difficult it will be. like the sun was beautiful this morning, but the burning body was hard to see. we see both. this is truth, no?" "yes, this is truth", i say, "satya". "in america, we say the truth will set you free". "truth is pain though, truth is hard, no?". "yes", i agree, "it can be. but the truth will make you free".
in the process of writing this book, i have doubted myself many times. i have doubted the importance of sharing my story, asking myself, "does anybody care? are you just making a big deal out of yourself?" i have doubted my talent as a writer, my ability to wrestle articulate words to share in language from the silent masses of emotional clay that form my personal subconscious. i have doubted the rightness of telling so much truth. it is the truth from my perspective and may not be the way other people in my life story see the truth of our experiences, but i have gleaned my stories to the bone, slicing away anything that was not true to me, so that it cut through many of my nerves in exposing these bones. sometimes i feel as if my fingertips are burning as i touch the pages of this book, the words are burning. i have asked myself, "is it the truth?" and this has been my measure of the rightness of carrying so many souls along with my own in this book.
much of this book was written by some force outside myself, my fingers would move quickly and the most difficult part was to sit there and witness my own life like watching a movie playing on the computer screen in front of me. many times i would cringe or cry or feel ashamed of myself. many times i had to get up and walk away. but always i was drawn to come back, to let this terrible force of creativity surge through me. and even when i doubted myself, i knew it was an important part of my souls purpose to write my story, to speak out to the great, nameless sky, to hear my own voice echoed in the void of all time. i say, brothers and sisters and gods do you hear me? do you bare witness to me baring my soul? and even in the solitary task of writing itself i am answered, i am met. i speak to the great invisible mind of the collective unconscious and i know i am never alone in this experience.
i have written to be exposed to others and to bear witness to myself. this book is a soul retrieval, shining awareness into the dark places and closets i have hidden pieces of me from me. and one day, when i was busy doubting myself, i got this letter from someone i never met, who was reading my blog on the internet:
You are a mirror to my unlived Self. I asked for inspiration, I asked for
something, anything to give me one morsel of hope today. You, Psalm, you speak my truth. You have the courage I haven't found. You gave me hope today. I have to trust and speak and stop being silent. My body pays the price of this with the pain I am struggling with. I have to embrace all aspects of Myself. Thank you Psalm. Thank you for being you. Your journey is bold,
brave and honored. I know it has not been easy. You are a pioneer and a wayseer. Blessings to you. May I find the courage to walk into the unknown.
"You are a mirror to my unlived self...I have to trust and speak and stop being silent. My body pays the price of this with the pain i am struggling with". I took a sharp breath in when i read these lines. yes to the soul, yes.
I hope this book gives freedom. i have broken the molds of a lot of "spiritual teachers" in exposing my own raw path in this book. i like to think that this book is crazy wisdom, a freedom teacher. may we all give voice to our unlived lives, and those we have lived but hidden in the shadows. may we remember who we are.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
her withering hand rests in my more fleshy one and from time time, it twitches. a hand that is bony, skeletal, fragile. the skin is so soft. i think, "how often have i worried about what i weigh?"
i hold the hand of you mother, not my own mother but the mother of my best friend. i feel the love between a mother and daughter. i feel the physical pain and fear of death. in her sick bed, in the room, there is a great feeling of suffering, but also of silence and light, a kind of holiness. who can say how each of us should face life and death? but remembering the ones we love helps.
i have come because your daughter asked me to sit with you, to meet you, and now i feel i know your daughters heart better having seen instead of only heard of you. you ask if you can meditate laying down i say yes, it is the same as praying or relaxing. focusing your awareness on the object of your choice bringing your mind back to concentration when it wanders. i teach you to inhale and let the pain expand, to surrender to what is. exhale send relief to your daughter, not to separate in the pain. your breathing becomes richer and a deepening silence fills the room. tears fall down my cheeks. i chant to krishna to keep your heart filled with love. i chant to kali the great mother for protection, courage and strength.
great mother we are all your children, help us to feel your love. as this mother loves her daughter, so you love all your children. may you feel peace in your heart knowing the strength of your daughter. i can tell you how beautiful in the world she is, and sometimes she worries about you, but her heart is filled with love and gladness when she thinks of you. all these moments string together our lives. your daughter says she feels guilty when she argues with you now because she is afraid she might not have much more time with you. and it reminds her of when you would leave her at college the two of you would always get in an argument because you didn't know how to say goodbye, and even the arguing is ok. like sometimes when she dances, she dances a little harder to express all the emotions inside her. may we all taste this life and each others love, may the great mother take care of us all, amen.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
hopeful and heartbroken in the city of joy
i am teaching yoga and kundalini tantra to sex workers in calcutta the city of joy and the city of much suffering
why? because these practices transformed my life from feeling like there was so much suffering in myself and the world that i didn't want to go on living, to having the strength to turn the poison of suffering into medicine for myself and then share that medicine with others to turn into into gold, the gold of human compassion
jesus it is amazing here
but i tell you this shit will break your heart
this one woman in the class today, she came and sat right in front of me, so intense she was to learn, to ask questions- they have a translator for me in bengali- and she with big black eyes that would get shiny on the verge of tears, she told me how she had to become a sex worker because her husband died and now her daughter can't live with her because of what she does to earn money to support her and her eyes get glassy when she tells me she lives alone. but then she laughs because she is so damn strong. i tell you life is not fair for these women, no they are living hard. and still that's not the question or answer is it? the fairness is not the question or the answer to struggle with. that has been a blind alley and i have raged against god, shaking a fist at the sky for many years. we must accept to progress.
practicing on a dusty concrete floor with a tin roof overhead the women made me promise to come back in august, i gave my word today because we are forming a bond here. and i have full faith the money and means will be provided for.
i want to bring a small group and i want to train others to do this outreach. in calcutta alone, there is a great hunger.
sometimes, so much raw suffering brings me to my knees and my guru said it is those times we must keep the faith. this faith is more than beautiful words. i am awake while the director of the documentary who flew in this morning and hit the ground filming sleeps and our guide sleeps and i am crying. that woman in class today she breaks my heart. and she invited me to her house for dinner next tuesday night and i know god put her in my life and do you know how many people just want someone to look them in the eyes and bear witness to their suffering? i don't have enough money to help all these women but i do have my yoga to share. and i am sitting there with my gold jewelry talking to them and you know, what the fuck man? i would sell it all to hand over the money but the difference has to come from then feeling their own power inside.
god grant me the strength, the courage, the wisdom
loka samasta sukhino bhavantu
may we all be happy and free from suffering
mitakuye oyasin...to all my relations
though this world is not fair
i love you i love you i love you
Saturday, February 12, 2011
a woman came up to me at the end of a satsang last night, she said, "do you feel alone sometimes?"
i said, "yes".
i am grateful in my life everywhere i go anymore i am moving in the grace of this energy of the mother since i have fully commited myself to serving her. everywhere i go in the world, every patch of earth i touch down, whether hawaii, india, detroit, i am immediately surrounded by allies, friends and students...and it is very fulfilling. still the fulfillment doesn't mean i don't feel loneliness and the loneliness doesn't mean i don't feel fulfilled. i dance with the dorge (sword), i surrender to the sweet blade, cutting away everything unessential, and it cuts me open as it cuts me in two...fulfillment and longing...we are one and we are two...we are a multitude.