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450 Posts

Posted - Oct 29 2011 :  11:02:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Originally posted by anandatandava

The election of a liberal governor has brought winds of change through Corrections, blowing away a blanket of constraint I'd apparently grown accustomed to.
Yes, the gravitational pull of love could draw me out, but what with all the legends that have accreted like barnacles to my hull, and the huge web of words I've spun that search engine spiders will eventually explore, I'm afraid I've braided a noose that throttles off much chance of finding what I need. ...
Seriously! Where is sanctuary, where is safe harbor?...

Parole! Hooray Hooray! Best of luck to you!

There's so much going on in this post, so many assumptions, both stated and unstated, that I'm having trouble organizing my mind's response, so I'm going avoid the analysis and stick to metaphor the way you've done.

In your word-painting, you're a barnacle-encrusted ship about to head out from dock onto stormy open waters, and you're afraid (understandably). You're looking for a way to skirt the storm or a safe place to moor until the storm is over. But the storm is too big to skirt, and it will never be over. The storm is life itself. You can't avoid it.

So let me offer you another vision: Calm. Stillness. Sunlight. Joy! These qualities radiate out from your ship with such intensity that even the barnacles, plainly visible, are beautiful to behold. The stormy seas hit an inpenetrable wall of calm around your ship, and the sunlight peeks out from behind the clouds. The winds freshen, and the sea is yours! All you need is a heading.

You have questions. Drop them into silence, and one day you will wake up and know the answers. Have some faith in yourself.
Much love,
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United Kingdom
266 Posts

Posted - Oct 30 2011 :  07:49:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
John A Shed expressed this beautifully: 'A ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are built for'.
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215 Posts

Posted - Nov 03 2011 :  10:59:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

I apologize for how my ears thirst for love they can slake themselves upon. The nectar of one's heart is carried in the voice, so let us together tip the flowing bowl and topple into its stream of love - intoxication.

Lest you misunderstand the spiritual purity and fervor of my quest, I ask that I be judged by the standard of the Majnun of Love. He was the celebrated lover of ancient Persian lore whole beloved was Layli, daughter of an arabian prince. His name means "insanely in love", to which I reply "guilty as charged!"

.........It is related that one day they came upon Majnún sifting the dust, and his tears flowing down. They said, "What doest thou?" He said, "I seek for Layli." They cried, "Alas for thee! Layli is of pure spirit, and thou seekest her in the dust!" He said, "I seek her everywhere; haply somewhere I shall find her."

Yea, although to the wise it be shameful to seek the Lord of Lords in the dust, yet this betokeneth intense ardor in searching. "Whoso seeketh out a thing with zeal shall find it." [Arabian proverb.]

The true seeker hunteth naught but the object of his quest, and the lover hath no desire save union with his beloved. Nor shall the seeker reach his goal unless he sacrifice all things. That is, whatever he hath seen, and heard, and understood, all must he set at naught, that he may enter the realm of the spirit, which is the City of God. Labor is needed, if we are to seek Him; ardor is needed, if we are to drink of the honey of reunion with Him; and if we taste of this cup, we shall cast away the world.

On this journey the traveler abideth in every land and dwelleth in every region. In every face, he seeketh the beauty of the Friend; in every country he looketh for the Beloved. He joineth every company, and seeketh fellowship with every soul, that haply in some mind he may uncover the secret of the Friend, or in some face he may behold the beauty of the Loved One. from IN THE SEVEN VALLEYS OF BAHA'U'LLAH.........

I'm speaking of you, Lover, for your sighs bear the very strains of Heaven, and I wish to entwine myself within them. Come, my Flute, let God breathe through you. Your adoring audience stands ready in ovation.

i could continue from the peerless ecstatic text, which is for me a source of crippling shakipat from the Baha'i tradition, but if any akin sentiment bubbles up from the blue fathom of your soul, then you already know all that bears knowing. Let us set sail, my Queen, while your crest jewel of discernment sparkles, the bhakti burns bright, and the dove of certitude sings within the bower of your heart. Your oarsmain strains at the moorings, ready for us to embark and ross a pulsing ocean of maya in this ship of light. (Even if we must for now sleep on opposite ends.)

What is that you say, O Gentle One? Just a toe in the water first? Very well. Friend me in Facebook (Roy Eric Wahlberg), then sit and meditate quietly only to serve you as partner and devotee. You take the lead first.
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3189 Posts

Posted - Nov 03 2011 :  11:12:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Everyone

I talked with Roy (Anandatandava) on the phone last night and he asked me to let everyone who has responded to him in this topic know that he is sorry for not "conversing" with you, it is not personal, he just has no way to see what you have written to him. At this point, it is mostly fellow inmates (who are allowed access to computers) who are posting for him and this doesn't allow Roy much opportunity for "back and forth" communications. He is hoping that if you would like to have a back and forth conversation with him, that you will write to him and send it in the mail. If you would like to write to Roy, just let me know and I can give you his address.

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215 Posts

Posted - Nov 03 2011 :  4:41:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
11/3/2011: coming up somewhere in this chronological jumble of posts is one entered by divine brother Francis. Like me, his life has been defined by a single uncharacteristic event upon which many distortions were heaped by the adversarial legal process. (Abandon truth, all ye who enter here.)
Francis' father was a consultant (Job Corps Program, starting w/L B Johnson) and administrator. Despite living in St. Paul MN he is immensely loving and giving, his life centered aroujnd helping those even less fortunate than himself. (By the typist: maybe on a good day. Never mind.)
Francis is absolutely brilliant but, like someone else you know, his gentle soul flies perhaps a bit too close to the same spiritual fires that warm us all. Oh, and that brilliance runs thru the whole of him, not only intelligence but also the color of his personality, speech, and writing. He makes me feel monochrome, frankly, but by all rights the two of us should be "painting the town" in a shared blog. Gosh, what a stir that would be!
So hopefully Francis will be "on a mission" for me now and then, both ere and Facebook as I keep working to spread mu burden out. As always, any flaws are solely the fault of the author, who is driven by a completely roguish Muse, who in turn is driven by... say, who does tension your bow, Kamadeva? Do I hear Kundalini Shakti's laughter? Gah!
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215 Posts

Posted - Nov 08 2011 :  7:43:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Waves and Pulses of a Sunlit Tide

In another example of the impact human contact can have, Turiya Nada changed the nature and tenor of my practice with a Facebook msg that landed in my cell like a spiritual firebrand. Since he lives a public life I feel comfortable sharing it:

Gratitude for your feedback that inspires the flow, the inner guru of wisdom awake throbs in the joys that flows from each of us as words of grace, words that alight, words from the loud silence. Certain you enjoy these realms yourself on your own path of light!

Ayi! What a luminous river of meaning to me - so many points of reference into my own life, my own experience, all of which I thought had no value. I cannot speak to the grace of my words, but they do indeed flow brightly alit from a loud silence, to then alight and cling like little glowing coals, goading me to cast them down immediately on whatever paper lies near. Even laying down (alas!) I feel like a walking Christmas tree, a waving arati lamp, a festival of light.

Looking up from the message, my mind reeled back with a new awareness. Previously opaque book titles suddenly took on at least the apppearance of translucence. Among them:

Path of Fire and Light by Swami Rama
Spanda Karikas: The Divine Creative Pulsation by Jaideva Singh
Wave of Beauty and Wave of Bliss by Shankava

Then I again read Reader Feedback #143 in Easy Lessons, Vol. 1: "...so more people of intense fire can join? Divine One, all our joyful space that trembles in us as the supreme dancer, as the eye of the Source...to share each breath!" - ND

Wow! So do these authors speak literally or figuratively, for their words describe my own life: the fire and light in my being, how my simple heartbeat and breath have grown to carry throbbing sunbursts and flowing waves of the thick, hot Divine Love I crave, how the fluidity of ecstatic dance fills me whether seated or standing, my undying creative impulse.

But by validating my intensity, Turiya also broke its hypnotic spell over me, allowing me to inspect it objectively. I then realized (duh!) that I could easily use that divinely inspired breathwave and heartbeat like an inner mantra and say externally calm in meditation (tho what a thrilling quietude!) Otherwise, kevala kumbhaka has been "seizing me", keeping my practice (and me) unbalanced. Oh, this is a big step on the path for me - I can finally meditate as well as "ecstatitate"! Only took a decade to learn, too. *laugh*

And note that it came when Turiya, in a personal eommunique (that luckily made it through), reached out and touched my most sensitive buzzer - ecstatic love! But this external delivery of my favorite poison worked in me like homeopathy, proving magically curative.

So keep the poison coming, divine friends, for no matter what your tradition or experience upon it, all tributaries carrying that yummy Universal Love flow into the same rising fountain in me. Yup, I'm pretty "uppity", wouldn't you say?!
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215 Posts

Posted - Nov 12 2011 :  07:03:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

I live in abandonment. I write in abandonment. But perhaps therein lies the secret of my changeling pen, my Tree of life, casting down a sun-dappling of light and shadow, pleasure and pain, thrills and thorns. But what will happen should freedom bring the sun down to earth and eclipse my pattern? Have I lived them so long I've become them, spread out over the same Mother earth that allows my tiny rays to play over her welcoming lap" Stay in your sky, Shiva, or recess will be over for me! It is enough that I write through a curtain of your all-consuming fire!

*sigh* I worry I may not be suited to a life of full societal immersion. Unless I find a yoga and/or non-sectarian spiritual household or community to protect me from the cold, I fear freedom should best be left to the abstract and internal. Else, for me it may be much like perfume - to smell it is good, but to drink it is bad.

Inmate friends tell me that mine if the face of institutionalization. But I myself see a Sannyasin in the mirror and think it good. In the face of no single truth, is there a Middle Way? I trust only yoga voices in this, so only satsang can work me free from the snare. Corrections has gone the extra mile, even giving me my own account on their computer network (unheard of!) for use in release planning, and now waits to see what I'll do. So given the heat of the moment, I hope you can forgive me for all the pleading for yoga contact I've been doing.

Please note that I'm not asking for financial assistance. To the contrary, I'm a powerhouse with computers, and making money in that realm is efforless and fun. So I can be an asset to others in at least that way, which will also give me a more balanced life. But first must come love.....
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215 Posts

Posted - Nov 12 2011 :  07:25:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

By mere chance, I heard there were responses out here for me. Please note that until I find a yoga friend to help me with logistics, it is far safer to use phone or snail mail. But while i wait for a printout, I'd like to describe two recent examples of why it is essential that I hear from people in spiritual matters, reasons that go beyond "mere" validation as a human being (tho surely that is the most important). I don't mean to slight or discourage anyone not mentioned here, for no matter where you are on whatever path, your words are very important to me. These come thru Facebook Message:

Ilse in Belgium wrote many wonderful things, and mentioned that she practices Tai Ji Quan. The day I read that I saw that there was to be a Chi Gung demo on PBS, so made a point to watch. When the teacher began my body immediately knew, "This is for me!" and I leaped up to mirror the moves. Instantly I was crying out from the intense pleasure and stopped to think, "This can't be normal!" I tried again, with the same result. In short order, four things seemed clear: 1) my ecstasy is perhaps too abnormally strong (?), probably from the way my Tourettes dissolved away into the tantra; 2) flowing motion with lots of upper body involvement is my bag, and Chi Fung is perfect (I've long done similar things while seated); 3) doing practices with other people adds a real element of richness for me; 4) that penname of Ananda Tandandava (the Dance of Bliss) is certainly appropriate - oof!

This all goes to show that you never know when important awarenesses will open, sometimes based on a single word or phrase, and the most penetrating source for me lies in the serendipity of human contact. So please keep it coming. You may think you contain only ordinary objects, but to me they are priceless gems, the Crest Jewel among them being Universal Love.

The next example relates to this one, but I'll split it off so as to not exhaust either the typist or reader.
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30 Posts

Posted - Dec 14 2011 :  4:43:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit Roxy's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

I can finally draw a full enough breath to speak somewhat non-cryptically of recent events here. The problem comes when staff and inmates in positions of power view my supposed smarts as a potential threat to their interests. Since people tend to project their own value system onto others, they are completely unprepared for someone whose interests lie solely in the service of his spiritual path. So I end up in the crosshairs.

It is hard to awaken from a dream of Love, and the lover makes it easy for his enemies to set their snares. Sleep-walking starry-eyed, it seemed everything sprang at me at once, and for a time almost all seemed lost forever: my writing, job, computer school, and contact into spiritual and social worlds through the Web. And much more. Then I had a seizure, got banged up, ambulanced to the hospital, and then thrown into seg until things got sorted out, everything, that is, but my traumatized mind.

In the end it was the consistent focus of my writing that saved me. The investigators called me in and said simply, "We get it. We get it." every time I tried yapping about my search for spiritual love and friendship. (So I wrote some long kites instead.) So most things were restored to me except that Facebook apparently has a policy against 3rd party maintenance.

Now I'm committed to restoring my presence in social networking media where such a policy does not exist. The goal, as always, is to find a friend who can tolerate and perhaps even feed my spiritual desires. Barring contrary advice, I'm beginning by building profiles in Google+ and Orkut, and could sure use technical input into how I might splatter myself like a June bug as broadly as possible across webscreens in the love-based spiritual world, so that if policies change in one location I'm still linked through a thousand other points of light.

Please help me to continue seeing the sky.
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30 Posts

Posted - Dec 21 2011 :  4:35:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit Roxy's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

"Pain plunges like a sword through creation, leaving on one side cringing and degraded animals, and on the other side heroes and saints."
~Evelyn Underhill

I am non of these. Just a wee inferno, a tiny candle of Love who, when standing erect and shining, finds itself an object of unjust attention.

So it seeks me out, this sword of fate for 'tis
The blows rain down, but do not drown, the Flame.
They cut my wick, but I burn more bright,
My fuel the painstream so generous ladeled.
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30 Posts

Posted - Dec 21 2011 :  6:27:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit Roxy's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
A note to readers: this and the above entries from Roxy have all been written by Anandantava.


Yogani writes that kundalini often causes imbalances in the pitta and vata doshas relating to heat and movement. Well, isn't that me in spades?

From an ayurvedic perspective the situation is worsened by my restricted diet, which I "brighten up" with salt and condiments, including a pint of hot sauce a week. No wonder I burn too brightly! *pant*

So relieve my afflictions; step forward and spritz a little holy water on me. You know the kind I crave: melting Love! Especially that carried safe in the womb of your voice - the mirror of your soul. Float your words out over it like the morning dew, that I might awaken to the melody of your inner Truth--your anahata heart-sounds. But the counterpart is also true, in that you will then also know mine. For my customary labyrinth of words can then drop away into the oceanic simplicity that lies beneath. What a grace it would be if we went into silence together, right there on the phone. Softly repeat your mantra, or say nothing at all. It will all be music to me.

At birth your mere presence was wept over. Allow this same gift of tears back into your life, for I see Divinity's glow within you, waiting...waiting. Let the pangs come, and deliver the Child to my open and ready ears. Strike me with a torrent of your unstruck sound! Like a pearl-laden cloud, spread a shower of sacred syllables over my parched earth. What a harvest of happiness will emerge! But first must come my grateful tears which, with your patience, will subside. Can you hold samyana through this?

If you doubt the importance and efficacy of melting love, for a moment consider this cardinal spiritual law through the science of thermodynamics. Fluid is the preferred cooling method in engines, nuclear reactors and supercomputers. By providing a vast and all-enveloping surface area for thermal conduction, fluid makes for an ideal "heat sink". (No wonder they call it coolant!)

So does it not stand to reason that the best fluid to run in and around an overheated soul is melting Love? Only love can overtop the thirstiest vessel, cap the lonliest peak, tame the wildest wind, blot out the greatest distance, outstrip the sprint of time, and trod upon death! I know you have felt the truth of this!

So come, my Grail, pour yourself, sink yourself over me. Nothing hugs closer than a warm bath. I am only a discordant collection of sound, but you, you (!) are Mother Nature, the perfect conductor for my unruly orchestra.

I know your life is terribly busy, but just consider allowing me once a year to sit quietly in on 15 minutes of the meditation which you're already doing. Thus, no time is wasted. In fact, allow me just 60 seconds the first time and see how you feel. Your practices have sensitized you to recognize a kindred spirit regardless of circumstances. All that sets us apart where it counts is that I am a very single-dimensional sahnyasin, and can't be dragged off spiritual topics. If you can forgive this, well, what obstacle remains, for I have no interest in the physical realm in which you reside.

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4854 Posts

Posted - Dec 31 2011 :  7:01:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shanti's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Post by anandatandava

The Voice

High in flight, sudden blow, evil blocked the air.
Shattered wing, Love was stopped, then he sank and fell,
Spiraled deep, 'round and 'round, thru blank despair,
'Til somehow luck, was scarcely caught, on the rim of hell.

Quick to act, by counter stroke,
Toward nectared body strong!
Cut the thread, free the hope,
And wake the inner song.

Speak, O Muse, tho outward still,
That which is so dear,
Words of Love none other will,
Words I long to hear.

If Seraphim be all heart for Love,
And Cherubim eyes for Light,
In order I approach the the Dove,
Its ears that gain me height.

So my Love, be dusk or fair,
Float me back on air.
For true it is, that just like prayer,
Your voice can take me there.


Edited by - AYPforum on Jan 06 2012 9:33:25 PM
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4854 Posts

Posted - Dec 31 2011 :  7:05:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shanti's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Post by anandatandava

The Sextant of Love

"I imagine most of you engage in couples-based tantra, but don't assume an equally galvanic Stairway to Heaven doesn't also exist on my solitary path. Despite sitting stationary, there lies within me a frenzied intensity of the most abandoned love-making, even the fiery loss of self normally associated with prolonged orgasm, all with no sexual enactment whatsoever. Lacking a corporeal explanation for such transport, my spirit of its own accord finds certitude of unity with God. An easy task this, for the experience contains a distinct numinosity that appears immanent to my own being.

Here in prison I am required to enter this absorption under varying levels of judgmental scrutiny, but the ecstatic embers are easily breathed up to incandescence and then buckets of ice water wouldn't matter, for I've closed the gates on consciousness and hung the sign: "Not here. Present elsewhere." In fact, reaching this depth requires no breath at all; I simply "look" to it thru the Inner Eye of sambhavi, and kevala kumbhuka settles over me like a cloak to muffle out the external world.

It is not in me to mediate quietly, for I sit in a roaring funereal pyre, tongues of celestial flame licking away into Supreme, my heart made unalloyed and pure. O burning sighs! O sweet wound! That I walk without harm thru the Furnace of Love-what death is this that leaves one more living than before? Lord, inthe Benevolence, grand me no cure!

*groan* In this shining moment I am become Flame itself, peering out thru Shiva's calm visage at His world=shattering Dance. But the radiance of a thousand suns has burst into the sky, and I cannot quiet my shimmering against the All-seeing Eye Ahh-but from this lone eyrie I salute the equal merit in your path, householder brothers and sisters. In fact, a greater courage is ours, to dance both in the meditative Eye but also the full hurricane-the Pageant of Life-which by turning love outwards you have made sacred in its own right.

Yes, in the dancing and eye-kissing light the morn of certitude dawns. Our path contains a freely-swinging gate, a 2-way eye, a 2-way mirror, 2 sight-lines thru the sextant of Pure Love. This sis the mirror of God, devotees! Gaze long there, into the nimbus at your Ishta's heart. There, in the very Bower of Heaven, witness Truth: that we already nestle as close and melting as twin fawns. How does one distinguish fawn from fawn, fawn from Bower, Bower from God? This is God's intended use for eyes, that we see how the dappled play of Divine Light blends our surface form into perfect Union.

But oh! You snuggled so tight, now lifts us in flight, Rising in form, fit to be borne, on air! Reaching for Light, clear to our sight, You to the left, and I to the right, What diff'rence is chosen, in wings we have woven?

For can't be denied, all chevrons aside, Moths of all stripe, moths of all type, once singed by Flame, the moon be too plain.

So if thou see'st Light, link our hands tight, Here left to right, and both of us so right, To soar the same Height, surfing Love's kite!
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30 Posts

Posted - Jan 07 2012 :  07:50:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Roxy's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

All of us are blade runners, sliding inexorably down the edge that eventually parts us from our mortal lives. But each moment on that blade also lives and dies, urging us to say yes or no to the life it contains. For just as raindrops make the ocean, moments make a life, and in each lies a decision you cannot avoid, because even in not acting you have still chosen. So what is your habit?

Do you tip to the side of action, kissing the winged moment, seizing each day in an attempt to improve the world around you? Or do you topple easily over to inaction, effectively saying no to life both small and large? Do you grasp every opportunity to do good, or do you spend your spare time as inert as an empty pot, a shipwrecked amphora, at the altar of society’s insidious TV god? Guard against being attracted to the wrong light, my enchanted moth. Look up, look up, time’s a-wasting!

Tell me, Beloved, how do you choose to handle the melting love you contain? Do you open a lotus cup of blessings, stay closed up in a tight bud? Your day on earth has dawned and it is time to blossom! You must let love flow, for even the purest water grows stagnant if left to sit too long. Witness the chicken, who sits all day and night yet is not known for love. Use it or lose it - you must turn it outwards.

So have you shown someone you love them today? More importantly, have you told him/her? Once Big Love ripens within, take it out of silence. Split yourself open like a ruby-filled pomegranate, and spread those fruitive berries of Love around! Don’t be too late, for the blade of life runs a limited arc, and the moment always arrives (too soon, too soon!) when God or fate pinches its singing edge into silence. So let me hear you sing!

You ask what a lifer, a murderer, could possibly know about the value of life and love. Who better, really, for I swim in the full import of it every single moment. In just one aspect, I dare say I could rip the heart from the sky in describing how I did the same to my victim’s family. Like a tongue forever seeking a missing tooth, has their eye yet stopped being drawn to the empty chair at the table, or to the brick pulled from their holiday hearth? Not my eye, I tell you, no, not ever.

Thus my ambiguity concerning freedom, for I feel guilty of all possible crimes in every instant, and live in the white-hot crucible of tonglen, breathing in the world’s suffering. But from this death of self, from this Agony, rises a spiritualy charged Phoenix of Ecstasy from whose streaming flight I burn, weep and moan, and fashion from my own ashes the ink that shimmers before you. *sob*

Forgive these, my feeble efforts, Friends, but the tears are real and meant only to wash your feet as you walk the road to Heaven. May you be impatient, though, and taste of your destination here and now in this realm, right through the gates of Love!

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215 Posts

Posted - Jan 13 2012 :  11:18:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
House of Pain

When I express pain during the height of literary flight it is understandable if my path and its chronicler are called into question. Ah, but just as there are many sorts of men and the lives they are destined to live, there are also many paths to the Mountaintop.

Never is this more apparent than when pain is a relentless pursuer and closes off routes of escape until there seems only straight up or straight down. I’ve tried downward in suicide, but kept getting dunked in Heaven and spit out. I wonder: did Jonah benefit this spectacularly?! For I have been held like a dry date in the Cherished One’s mouth ‘till the sweetmeat of my soul slipped its encasing shell and flew! Oh, I know every trick of the Wind. I, Shakti’s pet falcon, riding the updrafts, then returning to rest in oblivion on my Master’s arm. Then, with a mutual chime of our bells, She sends me skating the earth like a dandelion seed; in whose fertile heart will I catch? Yours? It’s almost sunrise; do you know where your Ecstasy is? Right here, knocking gently; let it find you wanting… wanting… for it feeds on your desire.

The falcon has his ways, which you may learn, assuming you are unafraid of heights, kettledrum thunder, or dying of astonishment. There is a way, Love, to steal the sun from the sky. Come learn to fly on the inside. (Thanks, Shine Down.)

Okay, back to task here. *ahem*

We all know pain, but in order to become better, not bitter, we must use it as a lens for spiritual energy, first finding meaning in it – sacrifice for something of great personal importance, something loved, for instance: God, country, or people. For many, the meaning emerges only after pain has settled in like a homeless friend you are called upon to accommodate and then look for uses for him around the house. For example, if you suffer, give of yourself to other sufferers, whose experience you now know. Viola! Instant relief for all! You found the Gateway!

With this cathartic pen, I openly express my own “useful friends:” physical pain and loneliness only ecstasy can block. (Now, that’s motivation!) To justify my loneliness, I point to the contrast between our worlds. When you can draw the breath of love and acceptance any time you like, it is easy to forget the central importance of air. Mine is a caste of throttled, forgotten ghosts, save the few allowed a tenuous haunting. (Thank you!) When you can enjoy satsang in person or electronically 24/7, it is easy to lose the difference between choosing spiritual silence and having it imposed unbrokenly upon you. Can the feasted man know the pangs of starvation, or the rested man exhaustion? But a yogi faces added poignancy in that, though he may reside at length in a cave, if Love ripens within him he craves to share it in the sunlight. Shadow becomes intolerable!

As of this moment I have never been more isolated from street contact and thereby my driving purpose of spiritual congress and expression. There is a real risk of being silenced completely, so I fight night and day against it. But I live in a time when the story of Buddha’s conversion of Angulimala to Ahimsaka can’t get much traction in men’s minds, nor can a man simply ride over the hill and start over no matter how far he has traveled in his soul.

But in saying that, I’ll let you in on a little secret: my past is not what you think. You see, someone on death row has everything to gain in protesting innocence, whereas a parole-able lifer has everything to lose. Modern DNA testing would shatter my case. So what? My interests lie in inner freedom, not outer. I’ve picked my battle, and that’s to feast on spiritual love. My work’s cut out for me, for when you enter prison young and pretty, you portray yourself as best protects you. In time your own lies accumulate with all the others to create a separate life-form with unstoppable inertia. I stand and look at it from the outside as much as anyone. Skeptical? Even if it’s “as you think, so you become,” my writing provides considerable provenance. Which do you think I am: a danger, or a dancer? But while you ponder, let me continue in the role assigned me on this world-stage. For the gallows rope “concentrates the mind wonderfully” and can prove a skyhook into Heaven… draw me up, Angel!

P.S. *laugh* If your head is spinning, don’t fret. In fact, don’t think at all; instead focus your heart on love, where all confusions coalesce into a single point of certainty. There I reside, fully certain for the first time in my life.
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215 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2012 :  08:36:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The Path

It should now be apparent why I am attracted to traditions that reflect and validate the transmutation of suffering into spiritual desire and ecstasy. Of these, likely owing to both inclination and isolation, I find most magically compelling those paths centered around the yearning of separated lovers, the archetypal Radha and Krishna, Rumi and Shamsi, Majnun and Layla, and through them to our own experience, for who among us has not felt the impalement of love’s loss, be it temporary or permanent through a changing or stilling of the heart? Though true that longing creates suffering, the longing born of love can reach a special fever pitch – a fever for and in the divine. For God is the friend of the friendless, and gives voice to the voiceless. The parted lover becomes the poet of his sorrow, a melodic flute driven by an ill-wind. In the solitude of prison a man is turned back upon himself, and this is what I find. Thank God for it!

So it is that for all the countless unsung lovers I live: all those too soon parted, the motherless children, the childless mothers, and all the other human disasters, on and on, in numberless waves, crashing in endless procession over me. This is my burden to bear; I welcome it. For I who was once frozen now melt with hot tears, tears for others, my own suffering serving only to prop open a broad doorway into their hearts. So please accept that I choose to continue to dwell here, in my house of pain. Give me yours too, all of it, most particularly your shame – compare it to mine and be healed. And then let me weep, and burn, and write after my odd fashion. Which in turn leads me to…

The degree with which this thornbush longs for his Rose, all the more so in being pulled from the garden and cast aside. Piled high with other societal waste, hot are the flames in which he is consumed. Gone are his brambled thorns; only heartwood remains, but who will think to look for sublimity in a ditch? Yet, thornbush blossom, and roses bear thorns, so kindred hope remains.

But for now, into the highlands of pain my rains must fall, and you see unfiltered the stream of consciousness that results. I am a fallen man living a fallen life, and God sees fit that I crawl over broken glass to reach Her. But pain and guilt can become transcendent when they crush the ego into silence, allowing the Spirit to implode inward. Lifelong estrangement from the world of men, uncounted bitter tears both caused and shed, this is an intense path indeed, but while my heart still beats it must be lived. So I walk my path for others.

If you look for me, though, know that I am not what or where you think. The fabric is gone, only the stitch, the sutra, remains: viraha, the separation of lovers. Drop by drop my heartache has created a Ganges of longing in me for both mortal and divine love that circumstance has allowed to flow only into God. But after so long at the Summit, can a person ever return? Who will wean me from Olympian mead? Who can pull me from God’s searing kiss? Lips swollen from Big, Big Love, can the salve of human kindness ever make me respectable again? Slap my face hard; do I see you, or are my eyes locked on Infinity? Ah! Perhaps I have in truth become Majnun. There are worse fates.
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2 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2012 :  11:36:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
your presence here is both inspiring and humbling. You have a precious opportunity to find what many out here in the world have not Freedom.


Edited by - Baldwin on Jan 30 2012 10:07:00 AM
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843 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2012 :  5:40:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit Radharani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
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215 Posts

Posted - Feb 04 2012 :  2:51:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
It Takes a Village

As the graceful limbs of the gazelle were carved by the sharp tooth of the cheetah, and the statue is revealed by the sculptor, a soul can be shaped to likewise elegance by its influences, if fate or wisdom resolve favorably.

I was a spiritual orphan, wandering what seemed a trackless desert, amorphous as the untamed winds, when I finally fell near enough the earth to see that there indeed were tracks: footsteps in the dunes, traces in books, voices that echoed from times past. Did such elevated beings still walk the earth?!

Living in an ocean of sand, it is either walk or wallow, so I began to follow a delicious scent that now moved through the air. Blindly I followed my nose, rhythmically breathing deep the magic that ribboned into me and pulled me back out. And things began to happen as the outward search became mirrored by an inner journey.

A fateful new page then turned in my book of life. In fact, it was a book in itself, one that laid out and expanded upon the very yogic practices I’d somehow taken in with desert honey – Mother Earth’s own Eucharist. Impossible! And it was contemporary writing and real live people. Thrill upon thrill!

An AYP oasis had materialized in the distant haze, and my focus shifted to opening conduits of soul-watering sustenance from it. Little by little, voices have passed down these lifelines to cheer, chide, guide, and hum the same resonance that now pulses within me. I’ve listened gratefully to each and every one, and felt their guiding influence, love melting like warm wax to reveal the ornament of my heart.

No longer formless, no longer empty, I feel at One with that ornament. Beauty – love – has replaced the dry void and emboldens me to draw ever more fervently on whatever straws I can place into the nectared fruit of satsang. And lo (!) a pomegranate has fallen into my waiting lap, for I now have an AYP’er to call once a week! Such blessed intoxication!

Thinking I might be seeking romance (the fault of my tangled writing), she all but apologized for being happily married, but that’s even more perfect when one is on a quest for spiritual love. For me, the beloved of either gender is a symbol of the divine Beloved. Is it not this way for us all? And when love rises to the height of religion, would physical proximity not bring peril? Why tempt the drunkard with the goblet when an even more piquant painstream of delight flows endlessly through its absence?

For me, God lies in the details of this Love. Where you may see only dark, I find my Light, for I dance through the pyre-smoke of the time-bound, and pierce the veil of maya. *ahem* But I’m also a man and suspect that a yogini could richly rock my world. For now, though, I make the most of transcendent longing.

Although I remain a bit (?) rambunctious, I am proof that it takes a village to raise a child, for AYP is building a spiritual home around me right where I sit. Heart by heart, like brick by brick, protective walls are being raised against the desiccating winds, saving me from a common prison fate – the rictus of desert mummification. So keep juicing me up!

I end by saying that having my new friend is like being buffeted by angel wings, as she directly challenges my screwy perspectives. But that’s exactly what I want, for we’re all littermates in the same box, puppies who need shared wiggling to become properly groomed. So nuzzle me or nip me as you see fit, and maybe we’ll get my fur to lay down straight yet.
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215 Posts

Posted - Feb 16 2012 :  7:01:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Posse Puzzle

I feel like a puzzle whose final pieces are falling into place. Now, no matter what, Friday is always coming, and I can try calling to hear the Voice again. It doesn’t matter what is said or if I monopolize the conversation or even if on certain Fridays there is no answer, for another Friday is always coming and with it the real hope of a yoga Voice: pure spiritual love and focus. For that 15-minute period, I am held steady by my ear, and the sensation is felt throughout the week.

You’ve seen my writing; am I not much like a sugar-amped kid at a multiplex, darting like a bedazzled moth against each screen in turn? The moth flies in ecstasy, but shouldn’t the child really spend more time in his seat? That takes quality human input, and though I already have never felt so calm, separation anxiety still shimmers right beneath the surface.

Prison drops this tincture in a man through the constant, irretrievable, and always shocking loss of one’s most cherished friend(s) on both sides of the wall. Only gang members, by virtue of their numbers, feel a sense of constant fellowship and family. Being “non-sectarian” in all ways, plus on a completely different wavelength from nonaffiliated inmates, I am compelled to continue working to draw together whatever spiritual “posse” I can from the streets.

I read once that if you die with enough really good friends to count on one hand, you’ve lived a successful life. I figure that’s a reasonable measure in order to not be a burden on anyone and make sure that the benefits flow both ways. So, wanna join my posse?

Having just learned there’s a Bio spot in this website, I’ll get my address dropped in and work on the rest later.
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215 Posts

Posted - Feb 21 2012 :  09:50:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Tiny Candle (Redux)

“Pain plunges like a sword thru creation, leaving on one side cringing and degraded animals, and on the other heroes and saints.” Evelyn Underhill

I am neither of these: just a wee inferno, a tiny candle of Love, who, when standing erect and shining, find itself an object of unjust attention.

So it seeks me out, this sword of fate;
The blows rain down, but do not drown, the Flame.
They cut my wick, but I burn more bright;
My fuel the painstream generous ladled.

But I mean no harm: just a tiny candle suffering and shining thru translucent waxen tears, consuming itself in a grief of solitude. No candle is meant to stand apart; all cry for candelabra chorus, not to sing their light alone.

Just a tiny candle, crowning a sweetcake of Devotion:
Fingerpaint frosting, but the flavor will suit you.
Come, surely you have room for just one more...?

So reach your heart's warm hand, my Dove,
that we may wax and run with Love;
For I am Majnun, and I seek you in the darkness.
Burning... burning out... do you not see me?
Catch me as I fall.

Edited by - anandatandava on Mar 01 2012 8:08:38 PM
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215 Posts

Posted - Feb 21 2012 :  09:54:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

Shiva, in Thy mercy accepting the most reviled.
The world turns its back toward me
Thus I to it.

I sit in obeisance to Thee
Grant me refuge.

Thy consort Shakti fountains up

Om Namah Shivaya
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Bodhi Tree

2972 Posts

Posted - Feb 21 2012 :  11:39:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Man, this writing reminds me so much of Walt Whitman's magic. Good stuff indeed. Peace and love to you, brother.
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2516 Posts

Posted - Feb 21 2012 :  12:40:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
beautiful...so much talent...creation from stillness indeed...onwards
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215 Posts

Posted - Mar 01 2012 :  8:08:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Paint-Pot Geyser

One ecstatic last gasp (?!) concerning spiritual symbol. Perhaps with a running start I can describe my Unitive State unadorned before it purses closed on me like quicksand. Here goes:

It is always and ever “the Great Heat and all the other wonderful things,” to me meaning: Melting love, incandescent pleasure, the thrilling immanence of Divinity, the stilling of all sufferings and questionings, the pulsation and vibration of the universe, the erasure of selfhood, boundaries and time, no up or down, inner or outer.

But words are only pale attempts to describe the perfect via imperfect means. Even the stars know enough to hide their faces when the Sun takes its throne! So most mystics take to stacking loose and transparent watercolors, one upon the other, in the hope a discernable image of the Real will emerge. Lacking much in skill, this is my natural style. So tell me: in the resulting paint strata do you see only opacity, or do you instead feel the fullness that lies portrayed? See and hear with your whole being, my friend, for therein lies the Fount you seek.

Oh no! I spilled the paint-pots and went abstract again, even when determined not to! That’s a steep and slippery slope indeed, demonstrating that a love of exploration is not often accompanied by good map-making. I contrast my foolishness with Yogani – the wise cartographer – who rather than getting us lost in travelogue, provides the roadmap and instructions so that we can go see for ourselves. But hopefully room still remains in your heart for a drunken dervish who writes like an exploding confectionery shop? Good!

Anyway, there’s no use pointing out to most mystics that they speak figuratively. Half will deny it even to themselves, and the rest will shrug helplessly. For them man himself has little control. Instead something Immense comes, plunging deep into even the atheist, crushing the thickest bedrock of disbelief, then gathering like unforeseen gems the symbols by which to adorn and reveal the Divine to earthly vision.

In each man sleeps a unique yield of Treasure, unknown even to its proprietor, that awaits a spark, an earthquake, but often just steady excavation, to be thrown to the surface. To each is given a different gift, important to the mosaic of the Whole, so keep digging and find yours. A set of tools lies before you in yoga; they have worked for countless others who came before. But keep your prospector pack open, and should you find something of interest, come back and share.

From my cave I can only share what I find within, but it is augmented by what soars in to join me. For let my pen lift in quiet flight for but a moment before a towering phoenix of Flame rises. Something in Flight writes, you see, first grinding me against and into the Divine Ground, then with electric talons tirelessly furrows out the ore it seeks from this, my mortal clay. But from even the poorest tailings a gem must occasionally fall. And for this I live. *sigh*

In contrast to even the questionably artful lies pedantic writing, whose very name suggests lowly foot traffic. It has its place in work and school, but for matters of the soul it shuffles in dust and falls flat. I suggest we go by air and not set our altimeter too low, for Unity lies above the religious divisions by which man has scarred the earth. Let’s climb to where the arc of the earth is visible at all compass points, up where the Wholeness is undeniable. There in the opening scene of my near-death vision, let me show you what happens next!!
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