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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - Mar 02 2012 :  08:08:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The Gate


I just graduated with honors from a college-accredited computer vo-tech curriculum, and am batting 100% in the next. If humor may be defined as non-threatening surprise, well, I’m hiddenly laughing. The system had beaten out of me all memory and belief in my own cognitive ability, and I guess I am still a little nervous to show it. In this land of the blind, the one-eyed man get’s his lights punched out!

But it’s really inner light that counts anyway, right? So though it was a trial by fire to be stripped of any traditional use for my mind for so many years, it forced me down the one avenue they were unable to block – religious freedom – where I found a Fire and Light to eclipse anything man could devise.

So though life is unpredictable, for the time being I actually have options! I can sit before the computer as Robot-Boy, serving the soul in the machine; I can stand at the ready as a GED tutor, even being allowed to write when idle (maybe my skills will improve! ); or I can be a hot yogi, stripping layers off at any hint of the spiritual. And what good fortune it is that the one option that can’t be taken away is the one I’d prefer to the exclusion of all else anyway (if it weren’t for that pesky need to make money. )

Still, despite its current survival value, living in three quite compartmentalized worlds is a bit unsettling. I feel like a repairman for Janus, the Roman god of doors and gateways, swinging this way and that. I dream of greater unification, but can’t seem to become motivated to try fighting my way out of this gladiator school without hope of a spiritual home to immediately enter.

Have you heard of such a community, one that would take in a parolee on a trial basis? I’m confident of success from there, for I can feel loving-kindness toward anything from pit-bulls to peach trees. But a big strength lies also in computers, and it is likely there that I can best earn my keep. (I already have a related enterprise in mind.)

My fellow inmates watch cars go by on a distant freeway and see the gate in the fence as the freedom they seek. I myself look to the gate in others’ hearts as freedom, whether or not I do get out. Will you open yours? Tell me you wouldn’t enjoy sunshiny appreciation being poured in your ear now and then… (No, it’s not sticky! )
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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - Mar 20 2012 :  08:46:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Karmic Seed


Tho sown deep in salted earth
My veins hold God and Love,
A stubborn grain that parts its berth
To drink the Light above.

It starts with virtued friends
To make fertile barren stone,
Satsang bringing to an end
The marooning of a home.

So if you bear a flow of Love
Come spill that generous pail,
And if you will to share abroad
Make green this arid vale.

Then sit and inward breathe my Friend
If you're a rhythm fancier,
For you're drawing up a Heavenly breeze
To awake the Cosmic Dancer.
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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - Mar 20 2012 :  09:06:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Kitty



I've experienced an unfortunate confluence of events recently that had me placed in seg quite unwillingly for my own protection - twice in short order! First time for everything, I guess. For a while it seemed I might be a goner, but I couldn't viscerally fell a threat to this body of mine, which seems to be only like a kid brother who follows me around, sometimes so close I trip over him. No, silly me, I had concerns for only two things: (1) my unfinished postings, which then would remain unborn; and (2) my potential assailants, who would suffer punishment for no valid reason. (Is violence ever valid?)

I first discovered to my amazement that seg underwear is now bright pink, and the unit was so quiet I thought I was alone for nearly a day. I wonder if these two things are related. (Hard to be woof'n when you feel like a kitty!) Next I checked if Ecstasy was there with me... yup, minty-fresh body hug, so warm and real it's impossible to not anthropomorphize it in a divine sort of way. Well, with a perfect cellmate, what more did I need?

The problem I faced ironically arose because I am so firmly committed to universal love and acceptance in a world where you're expected to take sides over the most ridiculously trivial matters. I try not to speak here because if I do, I will be speak for equality, be it regarding gender, race, religion, orientation, past, or whatever. But something lipped tangentially out of me, and it fell like a spark in an armory! Really amazing ferocity, duration and variety of acrimony sprang forth, but it stayed just this side of physical violence because I simply didn't respond. Good old ahimsa saved me again.

There is a technique taught in anger management classes where you're supposed to observe how energy is exhibiting itself inside you, attention being thereby drawn away from external events. Geez, what do you think I've been obsessively engaged in for the last decade, though for entirely different (and delectable) reasons?! So when torrents of loudly shouted true and false accusations, twists of the verbal knife, and dire threats washed over me, I found myself watching how it broke up into little curly tendrils, flowing upward and dissipating. This bought time for their flame to die out due to lack of fuel and the dampening influence of others coming to my support. Viola, I'm still here to gum up the clockwork universe a bit longer.

I should hope this illustrates why I dream about a spiritual community that would allow for my open love. As I sit and watch political news while eating (Patanjali would certainly advise against that!), what I see scares me. So much hatred and division out there, it seems to rival prison! Is this so? Please tell me man is an essentially congenial race, the few incidents of exception filling the airwaves to disguise a more amiable truth. For if I have to remain silent to hide my non-judging nature in open society, I see no point in living there.

I am not too naive to know that even in the most loeing spiritual environments there are little points of conflict and palace intrigues, but at least then there are countervailing influences: collective purpose, shared values, and greater opportunity to commune with the Depths. I want and need that kind of world!
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whippoorwill

USA
450 Posts

Posted - Mar 21 2012 :  12:21:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I’d like to talk for a moment about my own experience with prison – not as an inmate, but as a visitor. I’ve found that people who have never been to a prison really have no concept of what it is like. It’s truly unimaginable until you are there. At least that was the case with me.

Several years ago I began visiting a cousin I’d played with as a young child, but who was recruited into a gang and has been locked up off and on since his early teens. The sentence he just finished was 15 years. I’ll call him John Henry just for fun.

I’m going to leave out as much of John’s story as I can because it’s his story to tell, not mine. I want to tell you about the visits – the experiences and observations. I visited a high-medium security adult male prison with some X-class housing for people who had committed the very violent crimes. (In prison, they are not referred to as people at all; they are called offenders.) I’d drive for 2 ½ to 3 hours to get there, park, leave everything but my keys and my wallet in the car, and walk in the front door. The guard would buzz me in through the security door to the waiting room. I’d sign in, give John’s name and ID number, hand them my driver’s license, and wait for them to process me. While I was waiting, I’d put some money on a little plastic debit-style card that worked with the vending machines in the visiting room. When the guards decided I was okay to visit they’d stamp my hand with a little stamp that shows up under a black light. Then I’d wait for my turn with the shake-down.

The shake down is where most of the obstacles arose. After driving for hours to get there, you don’t want to get turned away and sent home for wearing the wrong bra, but it happens. The shake-down starts when the officer opens a second security door and points you into a little room with some lockers and a shelf. The officer comes in and closes the door, and you put your shoes and your wallet on the shelf. You get out your two quarters to rent a locker for your wallet, and you get out your little vending machine card. The officer examines the shoes and goes through the wallet. Then the officer asks to see inside your mouth, so you have to open your mouth and lift up your tongue. Then you have to turn around and hold your arms out to the side for the pat-down. The officer checks the collar, under the breasts, under the armpits and down the sleeves. Then the officer pats downward from the crotch to the ankles. They check the bottoms of the feet. They go through all the pockets, feel the back of the bra, and sometimes they take down the hairdo and go through the hair. Then you’re required to reach up your shirt, grab the front of your bra, and shake it out really hard. (Then you have to shake everything back in.) When the officer decides you don’t have anything on you, they ask you to walk through a metal detector, and then you sit and wait to be escorted to the visiting room. You’re allowed to take the key to your locker and the little money card for the vending machine.

Sometimes the shake down was okay. Sometimes it felt like a grope-fest. Different officers had different styles and some seemed to take a lot more personal pleasure in it than others. One officer, feeling on my butt, asked if I was wearing panties. I had to show her my panties. Another officer, feeling on my bra, asked if I was wearing a sports bra. (Sports bras were not allowed there for some reason.) I had to lift up my shirt and show her my bra, so that she could see that it had cups and underwires. Another officer had an issue with my jeans – ordinary blue jeans, and the same jeans I’d worn there dozens of times before. I never wore jeans to the prison again. I learned never to wear light colors, never wear a dress or a skirt, never wear nylons, never wear thigh-high socks. Crew neck shirts only. Work slacks only. Solid shoes only. I would shop for clothes that I thought might pass muster over there. They’re actually pretty hard to find, and I would spend money on clothes I didn’t like, simply because they would have a shot at getting through the shake-down. And if you think it’s dehumanizing to have an officer grope around on your breasts or examine your butt, it is.

To get to the visiting room, you exit the shake-down area, go outside, and enter another building. You wait for the officer in the control room to open the sliding metal door, and then you wait in the hallway for the door to shut. You put your hand under a black light and let the guard see your hand stamp. Then you wait for a second sliding metal door to open. Finally you walk to the visiting room, enter that door and give the officer your name and the person you’re visiting, and the officer assigns you a table. The tables are hard steel and plastic affairs with attached seats, which are bolted to the floor. You sit down at the table, and the officer may come over and tell you to sit at a different seat at the table. You must always sit across from the inmate, and the inmate’s seat isn’t always marked. I learned to ask which chair to sit in before I sat down. And then you wait. On a good day, I’d be waiting for no more than 20 minutes; on a bad day, I’d be waiting for nearly an hour. There are bathrooms in the visiting area, but an officer has to escort you, and then shake you down again after you relieve yourself. So I learned to hold it.

Then the person I came all this way to visit comes into the room! John would see me sitting there, but would give no sign of acknowledgement. He would hand his slip of paper to the guard, and then go wait for his own shake-down. His was no simple pat-down. He was strip-searched before and after each visit. John had to get completely naked twice each time I came to visit. Finally, his strip-search finished, John came back into the visiting room. There was a threshold of about 10 feet away from me, where John dropped his steely demeanor and became the guy I knew and loved so well. We’d hug and then sit down and chat until my bladder couldn’t take it any more or the guards told us our time was up. I’d buy sandwiches, snacks, and sodas from the vending machine, and we’d have ourselves a really good time.

The visiting room was always busy. Murderers, kidnappers, armed robbers, and drug dealers all have families. Little children would play dominoes with their Daddies or color in coloring books. Little babies would sleep on the hard tables. It was against the rules for the inmates to hold their children, but sometimes the guards looked the other way. Actually, if I might slip in a political view, you can see the enormously high cost of our war on drugs right there in a prison visiting room.

For a few hours, the men in that visiting room would drop their masks just a little and be themselves with the people they loved. For a few hours, they would become human again. The tragic thing is that often, after a few months or years, the visitors stop coming.

Sometimes John Henry would tell me stories about the things that happened in between our visits. When a person is in the hole (Roy calls it in “seg”) they’re allowed to go outside for a short period of time. They’re escorted outside and put into cages to keep them separated from each other. Well, even in seg, you still have weapons, and even separated by cages, you can still fight. Chimpanzees aren’t the only animals who fling their sh*t. John Henry has been stabbed a few times in prison. Fights are a fairly regular thing and, probably because of that, they have a machine gun trained on them while they eat their meals. Prisoners very quickly develop a hard shell and learn to project a persona that shouts, “Don’t even think about f****** with me or you will pay.”

Roy slipped up and let his true self shine through for a moment and nearly paid for it with his life. Here on the outside, we do our practices, clean the mud of Karma off our faces, and shine to each other here in this wonderful forum. Roy can shine there in prison, but the muddy faces can’t reflect the light back at him. They either absorb it or they douse it with their own mud. Roy can shine here in this forum to a limited extent, but he’s hampered by my inability to keep up with his postings and by his own neediness, I think.

My request to you, the members of this forum, is to shine back. I know there are some serious limitations, and I know there may be some discomfort with communicating with someone in prison – maybe not necessarily because of the person, but because of the prison. I send Roy the replies to his posts via snail mail. (Carson used to do that. You’re awesome, Carson!) And I’m willing to pass on an anonymous message if you’d rather communicate that way. If you would rather communicate directly, I can give you the ins-and-outs of snail mail, and I can give you the scoop on phone calls too. If you don’t have anything to say, that’s wonderful too, but if you do, I’d like to help remove the barriers.

I have a feeling that parole is going to happen, whether Roy wants it to or not. And when it does, Roy will walk out of there with the clothes on his back and the knowledge in his head, and that’s it. I can’t do much to help him with his worldly problems (I have too many of my own ), but I can shine his light back at him and add my own light to the divine flame.

Lots of love!

P.S. I really admire anyone who made it this far! I hope nothing in this post offended.

Edited by - whippoorwill on Mar 21 2012 12:30:27 PM
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faileforever

USA
190 Posts

Posted - Mar 21 2012 :  1:51:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Absolutely beautiful whippoorwill, thank you, thank you for sharing.
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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - May 04 2012 :  9:38:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Big Time Sensuality


“No man soars too high provided he soars on his own wings” Now that I’ve provided a little insight into my use of spiritual symbol, I feel emboldened to fling a handful in the air with new flair.

When I return from a passion and view what was written, I worry that the heat of my words may offend some. What good to protest. “It’s She who speaks and rewards me with ecstasy!” Tho that may seem so to me, I’ll simply state that my compass is set to Dakshina Marga, evolved to profound self-sacrifice to the Goddess. As this is entirely inner ritual vs. outer enactment, in expression I mean only to invite and tease the spirit, not touch the body.

So please view even risqué passages as ceremonial worship – even courtship – of the Feminine Ideal. It’s pure bedroom chatter between Her and I, which you, by choice, listen in on. If you think it healthier that more human dialogue be in my life instead, that choice is yours as well. Otherwise just sit and watch how in deep isolation inner experience can shape and chose a man, seducing him away from his previous nature, confusions, and resistance.

While tutoring students in the morning I remain in a state of non-dual Vendantic humanism that for me is best suited for external expression of loving-kindness. But no one there understands my inner being, nor does the computer I spend afternoons with, so I hope you forgive my going unusually deep into God in my spare time to find the reassurance of intimate love I need.

Thus it is that I dive under the satin sheets of Sankhya duality every chance I get. If one can in truth drink the cream of the Vedas, I’m suckling direct from my own sacred cow, the Queen of the Puranas. Mouth and pupils like glazed donuts, how do you detach the obsessed? Don’t switch this baby to formula – his Source surpasses any single dogma, can or label!

The Lovers have intertwined for a long time now, and as the relationship ripened from fickle to fulsome, my buzzer became set into a well-practiced and instinctual groove indeed. Now, who the bird, and who the bird? Who the buttered loaf, who the bursting oven? The pulse and resonance of thick Love fills Infinity any time She or I reach out, attending to the Ever-present.

Be sure that this devotee feels the watchful eye of this Mistress upon him at all times – She who would surely brook no unfaithfulness! How could I even consider other enticements when no other Touch could be this whole and omnipresent, just an eye-flicker away?

So I do what I can to please Her, my inner guru, living the most proper yogic balance I can manage. Then the slightest drawing inward makes all divine things possible – all forms of love, all at once, all alone in my cell: the spiritual, familial, romantic, and erotic, all consummated and satisfied beyond perfection simultaneously by various manifestations of my dark-eyed Ishta.

Shaped my Moonglow, exotic forms can blossom under prison stone, eventually coming to lift it. The urging of sacred life cannot be restrained: trantric metaphysics and iconography coming alive, more real than real – self-existent divine forces, a Dionysian wildness of resplendent forms, movement, and sensations. How is it that all this enchantment becomes coalesced into an infinite and world-piercing pillar within me, an ever ascendant lava lamp flowing and glowing with honeyed Kamadeva? Shakti, from your Eminence, deign to bend and kiss me. Make this fool but a tool for your Love!

And come She does, as a heavenly flash-mob of devis, blessing me first with multifaceted pleasure-bee eyes to best appreciate Her many perfect forms, who, in a timeless round of exquisite Kundalini caresses, impalings, and squeezes, toss me like a giddy chamber toy, a lambent Love-baton, betwixt themselves. I lose myself in the swirl; am I the pulsing baton, the buzzing bee, the sound, the sensation, or am I merging into the devis that surround me? I am at once nothing, yet Everything! Oh, where is this shudder-breathed race headed?

Laughing in response, Shakti draws the finish line over me like a scented veil, for the end sacrifice is nigh. In an inner boudoir of delight, we topple into the unifying bed of Truth, peeling layer after layer of obscuring maya from one another until all image and form shatters. There, in an obliterating Fire of Love, fusion between God and man is achieved. All has returned to the primeval roar of Nada. Ahh – pinch me, Lover, bring me back to my Supreme Self!

So you see, a non-dual state is re-entered at the end, but of such unspeakable beauty I can only say that I regularly pass along Dante’s way:
… What love within her holy eyes I saw just then – too much to be retold;
not only do I fear my words may fail, but to such heights my mind cannot return…


I live for this, finding it hard to draw my focus out to sights other men seek. Why do so when the Universe enters to centerpiece my life in a panoply as broad and colorful as Hinduism and all the other traditions combined? What is it when one may eat the grapes of both seeded and seedless Samadhi with equal gusto? Is this not freedom? Is this not Heaven?
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Radharani

USA
843 Posts

Posted - May 09 2012 :  03:11:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Radharani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
anandatandava,
I had been under the misimpression that you could not read our comments in the forum, but then Whippoorwill said she was snail-mailing them to you. So -

Thank you so much for sharing your delightful writings with us. I can SO relate to your experiences of ecstatic divine communion! and I think it is wonderful that you are using the "prison" situation as essentially a monastery - a rude, violent and generally unpleasant monastery, to be sure, but one which still serves the purpose of isolating you from the so-called "real world" and allowing you to explore the inner spiritual world. I'm sure you miss "normal human relationships," but at the same time, I also know that nothing can compare with the ecstatic intimate Love you now have which most "free" people out here "in the world" will never experience. God is good indeed. Bless you, my brother. Love, Radharani
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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - May 14 2012 :  12:50:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Heartwood


It’s no secret I worship the Eternal Feminine, but let’s bring the Sacred Hen home to roost in her most sublime form – grandmothers – those who show us the power of a quiet and stable posture towards life.

Whether by way of humor design, God has so arranged that the more I become the embodiment of physical ugliness, the more I am struck by the wonderfully growing and glowing beauty of the mothers of mothers, and others old enough to be so. It is partly because all women attract children to them with the unconscious bait of unconditional love, in time giving and receiving so much it shows in their faces, rising to the surface of their skin in harmonious patterns, - the fractal geometry of a ripened soul – to be shared with the world through the magic of a simple smile.

So where some may notice laugh-lines I see mature cherrywood that has absorbed into its grain the endless gales and birdsong of children’s laughter, the salt of many tears, the nectar of many kisses, the weathering of many storms, and the light of many rainbowed sunrises. If we could part such a woman’s fibers we would see heartwood grown huge from lengthy and copious waterings of such experience.

But we know that children are not essential to heartwood, for women are born with a surplus of it, designed to be trunks of stability while many others sport their monkey business out on a limb. Women, by nature, feel their familial roots and obligations very intensely. Being then less willing or able to escape the multifarious storms of life, their rootstock – their souls – elongate in situ into deep, quiet wells of introspection, burying the ego beneath it. This is God’s opportunity, for a larger rootstock makes for a larger crown, and in the countersunk silence a Holy Light begins to shine ever more clearly above.

So it seems to me that mature women demonstrate the power of steadfastness in many ways. And what is true for trees and grandmothers can be true for anyone, even lifers, should they plan their souls solidly. I frequently draw my ribs aside with this pen to check the development of my own heartwood. (Feel free to inspect it too.) Hmm… a lot of old scars, knots, and burls, but I think they’ll polish up nicely in time.

To those living on the open plains of opportunity, the Holy Lights is less focused and so may not be noticed. Then options prove to be curses, causing one to squirrel to and fro on the road of life, never entirely certain where the choicest nuts are to be found. So I say let us give thanks to our chains, the ties that bind, for then we are more likely to dig down to the Kernel that surpasses all expectation. Only then will the seeker be satisfied; only then is the questioner inside silenced. (For all my complaining, I am a pretty plump-cheeked, happy squirrel!)

Cells and wells of depth come in many forms, but once heartwood develops one becomes very phototropic, forever turning towards that always new and mysterious Radiance that tickles, then engulfs. Observe your houseplants: do they not always tilt their faces toward their Lord?

Watch your grandmother as she unwaveringly serves up simple Love. Teachers surround us in quiet ways everywhere. Follow their example and take the silence to Heart.
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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - May 20 2012 :  11:51:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The Migration


Argh – I so question getting swept up in the whole lemming-race toward physical freedom. Other inmates think happiness lies there, over the horizon, when for most it’s merely an ocean they’re not prepared to swim. I learned that happiness must first be found inside oneself, and now, except for an unreasonable desire for satsang, I have found it. So is that single desire strong enough to turn my toes toward the streets? Can I trust that my craving may be satisfied out there, or will I simply exchange my admittedly shallow secular friendships here for even more intolerable loneliness out there?

Fortunately there is another direction to travel, described many times in the Vedas:
As rivers flow to their dissolution in the sea,
Giving up their names and forms at the destination,
So the wise man… [likewise] attains the Supreme Absolute…

And the wise lemming knows that this Vedic journey contains the immediate foretaste of his destination -- he need merely leap into the river of yoga for a tidal bore of delight to reach him, sustaining him with ever-increasing felicitude as he is borne onward toward the Ocean Pacifica that lies within. I hear the joyful billowing of its waves now, calling me to drown myself again and again in that blessedly pulsing tide. But first I pause with parchment against these freshly sweetened salt-flats to say my happy goodbyes and hellos and thank you my Friends.

(Much later…) According to biologists, animal migrations possess several general traits: special behaviour, stored energy, persistence, linearity, and undistractibility. Parallels with the yogic path are striking, both involving a redirection of attention away from normal activities toward a greater purpose.

It is very hard for me to redirect myself back again away from what saved me, when what I’ll face on the streets is still a blank. I know I should tell myself that even if I’m alone I… wait, if I’m destined to be alone anyway, I might as well stay where my physical needs are relatively accounted for, and I can concentrate on flying in the direction and altitude I’ve grown delightfully accustomed to. Right? Ashrams come in many forms, surely.
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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - May 25 2012 :  4:40:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Beauty and the Beast


I recently asked Whippoorwill why she chose to befriend me and tutor me in the ways of the world (which, it strikes me, is a bit like employing a gold spoon to clean a clogged drain). With typical humility, she replied that the reason was selfish, that when I suffered, she suffered also. I then realized that I have hurt other good people as well when I write desperate posts. I know what hapless empathy feels like, for example, when I watch from my distant human world an unpaired sparrow futilely advertise a poor resting site, or hear the haunting call of a goose that has lost its mate.

I regret my behavior, because I know that melting love is an action-oriented solvent that wants to run toward suffering and wash it away. When obstacles stand in the way, very commonly fear (either of the unknown or, in this case, perhaps of me), the distress in love’s possessor is redoubled. My first rule being do no harm, I have to lighten up. (Oh, but I’m keeping my plebian charm, you know, just for fun.)

I confess that when Whip assured me that people do inquire about me privately, I was left wondering how people could feel solicitous, even loving, toward me, yet not approach. But then I remembered a poem by Rilke, “The Panther,” surely inspired by watching a zoo animal endlessly pace his cage. A person could feel great compassion at the site but still not work up the courage to reach a soothing or even curious hand through the bars. I understand this, and am again sorry to so test your equanimity. But since it is my manner to snatch a sad melody from the air and bend its contours to something a bit more bittersweet, I here offer a different flavor of parry against our piquant little impasse. Sorry if the imagery is a bit strong, but when fighting ghosts one must flush them out into the open, if only symbolically.

While busy pacing meaning into this meaningless cage, I remain only vaguely aware of onlookers. Out there, you may stand, mouse-quiet in the anonymous crowd, watching and perhaps even marveling at a wholly unexpected if elusive flashing play of psychic musculature beneath this, my panther-brutish and bar-shadowed hide. But tell me, do you shrink to think that at the snap of a twig or a click on the mouse the rhythm might cease and I, the beast, pin you there with a golden stare, twin stars stroking the hushed and expectant air to a pregnant flare of heartbeats, yours and mine? More than merely stalked, a shaktipat thrums and catches your breath by an unsheathed tip. No point to run when stitched firm by the Sun.

The bars would not then seem so secure, would they, vanishing like a mirage under that glowing gaze? This moment of first contact with an alien world and intelligence, a close encounter of the nth kind, where all potential lies ahead and you don’t know what to make of the thrill that rises up your spine. I see this scene play in you now, for I rise within it too. And I know exactly what to make of it.

*snap of the fingers* Break your trance, my precious pet. Is this how you really think of me? A beast? I oft think so and the image aches. But not this time, for I took command and made it mine, pounced about a bit, testing for fit. But it didn’t, you see, for it is not me, and I’m ashamed to have penned it. But stay it will, for fear must at times be faced in a flood to be swum. Then perhaps one day you’ll reach thru the bars and find that the lion can indeed lay down with the lamb, and the panther with the pea hen, when their eyes reflect both ambient and Inner Light. Seen in this way, do my dusky rosettes not cameo up in relief like lotus blossoms? Not yet? Cock your head, squint your eyes, and a new discernment may arise.

For in truth I am a kitty-cat with a push-start purr, and seek only warm little heart-windows to curl up before. But if you’ve followed my soliloquy over time you already know this, plus more of my inner being than you may now of your own spouse. So in a way, are we not already friends who just haven’t met yet? And by having “emanated upon thee a force of love” [Qur’an, 10.39] your practices have imparted a tell-tale heart that recognizes the deep truth of a person, and not just what lies at the surface. So though I may speak as a Stranger in a Strange Land (can you grok it?), spiritual love can be our lingua franca. It is said that inner beauty is so obvious only the executioners miss it, so my tail is held high in hope.

Bit if you can only pass by my window for now, I still thank you, for here pressed against the glass is where I live. Without you there would be no movement, color, or meaning. Here Kitty can speak, a privilege he uses sometimes tangentially, sometimes direct, often testing the bounds of reason and decency as he unfolds and tests limbs grown clumsy from disuse. And when he then flings himself into the uncertain air, it is a definite freedom he catches, gaining purchase in a fevered fire-sale!
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AumNaturel

Canada
687 Posts

Posted - May 26 2012 :  12:48:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear Anandatandava,

I have first come across your writings after having read the AYP Support Forums Postings book, and only recently have started reading and at once immensely enjoying your wonderful words, prayers, and open sharing, all from a position of hardship in which I can hardly imagine one to keep their body and mind together, much less thrive by making the very best out of what must be the very worst of conditions. I hope it is of some assurance that you will be part of our group healing samyama list, starting today, in hopes that you may continue on with the resources you have cultivated and that you have been using to get you through already so much. The Light that you share makes my own also shine that much brighter, and off it goes into the world at large, so that at some point it may come round back to you and all around you.
Wishing you the very best,
Albert (AumNaturel)

(thank you Whippoorwill for passing our messages along)
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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - May 29 2012 :  10:16:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Signs and Symbols


“Symbol is that which the spiritual borrows from the material plane to clothe that which lies beyond earthly vision.” -- Evelyn Underhill

Heraclitus suggested that God, like an oracle, neither “declares nor hides, but sets forth by signs.” As above, so below, it seems. So although the Unitive State could be described unadorned terms: sublime sensations and sentiments, the absence of boundaries, self, suffering, questionings, and time. But to capture the real essence of melting love and direct experiential contact with the Absolute, one must use symbol and metaphor – the tools of the poet – and those employed by any writer, plus the effectiveness by which they are received by any audience, depend much on accidents of birth, culture, education, and experience – an amalgam of nature and nurture. Thus, though an aesthetic experience may feel similarly profound for the many, the particulars by which it is elicited and take expression differ, depending on what already lies within a person, ready to reach back. (What have you swallowed now, little Krishna?)

I speak here also of religion, each being a collection of symbols, a standardized conception of the Real, a single facet in the Gem of Many Colors. Each is a die used to strike the coinage of a particular spiritual treasury. There is a profusion of such dies, but only one precious metal – the Gold of the Absolute – upon which each religion places its heraldry.

The Divine Ground itself cannot be surveyed with logic, nor sub-plotted into territories and owned, no matter how man insists on trying. Direct contact there is always ineffable, but the human experience that comes nearest is pure and open Love. Thus any mystic, theologian, or layman who has actually been there, no matter how wildly they might be thrown off topic by the fullness found therein (*wink*) is always going to return to: “O love, Love, even by naming thee, my soul loseth itself in thee.” [Gertrude More]

We are always reminded to value and use what we already carry in our purse or personage: “The guru is in you,” “Namaste,” “I am Truth,” “Behold, the kingdom of heaven is in you.” Activities that touch us most deeply require this inner participation, drawing inborn and subconscious knowledge out to join its playmate in conscious daylight.

Mystical writing shares much with poetry in exhibiting a strong pull to the rhythmical and heavy use of symbol and metaphor. There is much left to the imagination, weaving each reader’s personal narrative into the dance – a melding of minds and clasping of hands in what becomes shared performance.

When the mind is called upon to duet with another, it becomes much like love-making, each providing what the other cannot. Whether with a spiritual teacher, artist, or love, the other’s truth blends with our own, flowing in and out with an intimate and magical friction. The clearest and ultimate example is tantra, which provides the shuttle to carry weft into warp and weave a single flowing fabric of our relationships with lover and God. We lose the distinction between self and Other and truly Reach! Gah!

To know this build and release of sublime tension, the peaks and valleys inherent in art and yoga-love, you must become a sea anemone, opening and inverting yourself fearlessly into the Tide. Start by making you and your partner the poets of your own singular Love, the musicians of your own singular Delight. Who knows where this might lead? But then you don’t need a monk to tell you that.

I believe that all symbol and dogma should serve only Love. To place the fear of God or self-interest before the Love of one’s brother is to pt the cart before the horse, and to lose sight of the Source. If this happens, you’re definitely thinking with the wrong head – try your heart instead. To keep my own vision clear, I let others keep the whole of religious division and simply live within Ms. More’s heartfelt cries: “O let me love, or not live!” Does the rest not then just fall into place?

I cannot judge other’s path, however, for unless I know the whole of a man’s path and present (which I cannot), there’s no accounting for his tastes in food, music, or the face he places upon his Higher Power. Nor can anything be gained from arguing against the deeply ingrained other than a sore throat. So let’s just be good stewards and examples of what works for us, find common ground in Love, and celebrate the many, many ways in which it may be found.

My own idiosyncratic path is heavily cobbled with the dark and the light, and the iconic geodes of many traditions. This is my convenient if bumpy road to Heaven, for in being nonsectarian I am free to use any runway that appeals or appears to me in the moment. But however the lineaments, symbols and lyrics change, the song remains the same: Love is God and God is Love and all the rest is filler!

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maheswari

Lebanon
2399 Posts

Posted - May 29 2012 :  12:19:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - Jul 13 2012 :  10:41:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Something More


“It ever was, and is, and shall be, ever-living Fire, in measures being kindled and in measures going out.” -- Heraclitus

Just in case I suddenly vanish, for a time or for good, I’ll say now that it’s been more than fun. I’m a poor poster-child, but the teachings do come to pass; ecstasy can indeed be a mere intention away at all times, not to mention many other blessings. I didn’t really think any of it was possible, at least not for me. I thought it was just an ever-receding ideal to be pursued, like enlightenment or the Holy Grail. But Yogani insisted, so I persisted.

But lest someone stumble upon my odd writing and be misled, know that when I’ve used concepts like:
Sweet – no, I meant something More
Warm – no, I meant something More
Pleasure – no, I meant something More
Fire – no, I meant something More

For words are only the vapor of the heart and my be mistaken for time-bound enjoyments that lead inevitably to overly cloying or bitter ends, all ashes in the mouth. One must directly quaff the nectar of Quintessence to know that there is much More in heaven and earth than any normal human sensation or aesthetic can encompass – things that can permanently color and mark a person within, and turn a life on its axis:

“What if the many could see Beauty Itself, pure unalloyed, stripped of mortality and all its pollution, stains, and vanities, unchanging, divine… the man becoming, in that communion the friend of God, himself immortal… would that be a life to disregard?” – Plato

Disregard? Heavens no, for although I feel myself to be less than nothing, what enters me is Something indeed. So as to Beauty, nay, disregard me not, a thousand times no!

Beauty, O Beauty,
Throw my shoulder to Thy golden wheel;
Embosom me in Thy golden light;
Weave my curl in Thy golden fleece;
Bind my stalk in Thy golden sheaf.

Of Beauty’s many faces, the one that stands in highest relief above this pearlescent world is Love. So tho I may in solitude drink the moonshine of intense ecstasy, I would in an instant trade its most spectacular reaches for the warm milk of community. For from my cellular perspective, I doubt anyone can remain an ever-firm pillar of absorption when Love has softened him into a thirsty sponge.

Thank goodness I find an infinite Source of this Love thru the light touch of sambhavi. O God it is so real… so full… so intense… so objectless and universal and yet so focused! The practices brought me ecstasy, but the ecstasy brought me This! I cannot speak for others, but I myself never experienced anything remotely resembling This. It is then no wonder I so worship Love as God! Now standing in the Light, I have Reached more than I could have ever know to hope or dream. So if life rounds itself here… or there… I’m ready to roll. It hasn’t been entirely a ball, but he who drinks the wine thru the bottom bung must acquire a taste for dregs, lees, and sediments.

Remember this when my words seem to take a smoke-shadowed turn, for I have lived my life on the ghats, and there not being cleansed by water but by fire. Just dance with me to the tune of bansi and know that all is well, ever was, and ever shall be. May your vision be sambhavi-singled to span the whole of Infinity and see!

So. If the Big Flyswatter catches me, I can just let my assorted jelly fillings and random attachments lie where they’ve fallen. Viewed in this way, I can see just how gooey-ridiculous they really are. Besides, I see perfect freedom forming there in that slowly desiccating bug-puddle: running to earth, kissing the earth, being rubbed back into the flowing skin of the earth. So if silence in any form comes, let us not be sad that the gadfly buzzes no more – just pick his smiling carcass out of the amrita-bowl and keep the party going!

For I do not view death as a tragedy. It is a returning to unencumbered Dance, full immersion in Lila. For just as every breath draws atoms once expelled thru sauropod roar and Delphic lips, death will in time smear my constituent particles across the windshield of the world, to rise in the eternally revolving wave of birdsong that greets the sun with dawn chorus. Imagine that – for the lowly fly to find his highest reward thru the lusty sparrow!

O supernal glory! To once have so admired the Beauty and then to become swallowed into it, lending a hand, touching All, being All: to weep in the willows, whisper in the pines, blush in the maples, shimmer in the elms – O Lord! Shade my eyes, dim my heart, for I see too much, feel too much – the world rises in a tide, crushing me with sight upon sight, all spouting fountains of light! Oh!...

(Some time later…) Gads, such a singular Grace can befall even the addle-pated! ‘Tis more proof that though everyone wants to reach Heaven, the ecstatics are impatient – a simple dart of the eye, a twirl of dance, an arc of passion, a quickening of sense and spirit – all to see and hear and touch and taste and feel an d… Love… the Divine that fills all things before and within us. Fore here lies Heaven, here lies Beauty Itself, here in the haiku poetry of each moment lies the Something More. The magic of Awakening is within each of our power, so come taste the rainbow, do the dew, tune in, turn on, and drop into my amphibious Rapture, squirting effortlessly between worlds. Why look – here comes Basho’s frog now – plop! Ahh, the Suchness…

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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - Jul 13 2012 :  10:43:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Antennae


If generations of mystics have returned from their journeys tongue-tied in awe, far be it from me to claim my translations do any better than obit the Truth like a moth about a night-lamp. For though I may time and again smash the bulb to free the Light, how we when thus stunned can I capture the Formless except thru Love and side-long metaphor?

Perhaps I do best to first describe the moth, for there is already certainly enough to set me a apart that I should be prey to intense ecstasies made visible by spontaneous writing. You can often tell the sign of “lift-off,” of when my crown lights up and the world rocks: excessive and/or inappropriate capitalizations, underlines, contractions, missing conjunctions, careless punctuation, sacred references, archaic language, etc.

I must hurry to capture what flies past, often reduced to jotting single words to flesh out later, other times (the best!) locked in Mystery for unknown periods, then released to spool out entire passages, fully formed. Slow going all, but putting a distinctly numinous sheen on the phrase “a labor of love.” The antithesis of writer’s block exists, for words flow like a river of shimmering stars, and I must write or drown or burst! Over time too many get laid to paper, where they squirm like neon-lit children, all shouting “Me, me!” (Ah, how do I choose among you, my darlings?) Some insist on being specially marked and brook no refusal. A self-autonomy grows in the writing to where if I thing to change something my overtures are blocked, and by the time I read the finished piece I am shocked to feel a strange lack of authorship. Whatever odd corer of the world or my mind this stuff lies, I only wish I had the proper tools and skill to be a better conduit.

Naturally curious to understand my “affliction,” I was gratified to discover the enraptured writing of similarly stricken brethren in poetic and spiritual literature. Trust me, catching the scent of fraternity, at least as an unruly little brother, is a real comfort to someone who never seems to fit in elsewhere. And what an unearthly thrill to devour like wild strawberries the words of those who were often labeled heretic or mad by their more earth-bound contemporaries. For despite their differing semantics and syntax, they speak in the accents of a Home common to but superceding all the traditions from which they emerged – the lingua franca of spiritual ecstasy and Universal Love.

With borders of language and country melting away in this world, do we not increasingly discern the Divine Ground in each other, see it in sambhavi, taste it in kechari, float upon it in samyama, feel it stretch and pulse in asana? The Way is much akin to listening, so perk your ears; you have been called – I know you’ve heard it – it’s time to come back Home.
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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - Jul 23 2012 :  09:07:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Leverage


“Give me a long enough lever and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I will move the earth.” Archimedes

Verily, we each carry as dual citizenship and birthright a God Spot and Pleasure Button, though they oft lie sub rosa and hidden to even ourselves. Tantra is the fulcrum on which these blossoms are tilted skyward and linked thru the various levers of Ecstasy. All that is good within us becomes elevated from the peneplain of humdrum existence to be perpetually caressed by a Divine fingertip. But lo! This Sistine fresco is painted on the arches of our own inner cathedral, so the animating Touch is felt throughout! (Talk about getting your chimes rung!) Is God a beekeeper? “Bzzz!” goes the happy bee in response.

To draw the Living Water, the levers must be moved, and so revealed to us here thru direct immersion or to water’s edge are a set of methods found over millennia to be both efficient and effective. Just as, however, an unused hand-pump appears to clunk ineffectually at first, so it may seem with a new yogic technique. But in the hidden deep, a Presence takes note of our efforts, and freshens its own movement in response. (“When you take two steps toward God, [God] runs to you.”)

So it is that our sought-after Gift remains forever astonishing when it rushes up as a self-existent and all-powerful fountain of sparkling Ecstasy and Love. If not God, what indeed is this Gestalt that so exceeds the sum of our own meager parts? It rises in us, but is it of us? The conscious mind balks, but a deeper Min knows that we are of the Right Stuff, that God is in us, Immanent, and that this Cornucopia of Wonder arises from our own prepared fields.

And now it is here with us, in us, always Here, never not Here! Slake your thirst without limit, Friend, for an unfailing Oasis of Paradise now provisions your stay Here, in the bower of Perpetual Love!

To those who say God and Pleasure should not be linked I respond: “Purity does not lie in separation from but in deeper penetration into the universe.” [Teilhard de Chardin] Do you truly not feel the Divine in at least some felicitous fashion? Who, when you were first designed, planted the capacity to any sort of pleasure in you? Would it not now displease the Host to find the proffered gift refused, or not used in its most Sacred and consummate form?

Attempting to deny the body is a bitter struggle that in all but the rarest of saints serves only to sour the soul, much like water left standing in a bowl. Tantra spiritualizes the physical, flowing naturally with the body to swiftly inform and awaken the higher reaches of the spirit. So don’t try to stop the river; swing off the tree-rope again, brown-skinned child, skinny-dipping in all innocence. Speaking of which…

There are a few yogic practices I’d like to speak on (assuming my pen gives me leave), and plan to begin with AYP’s musically lilting mantra. But before subjecting you to my questionable windfall of words, I submit that when Archimedes employed allegory to describe his principle of leverage, he was really referring to the fulcrum of tantra, ad that when he streaked naked down the street shouting, “Eureka!” it was to the accompanying laughter of the Grecian yoginis he had just left behind in the Delphic baths. So just what was it you found there in the tub, Archie boy? A means of measuring volume?

But as to you, Love, have you felt the earth move lately? Time to take the Levers of Heaven well in hand.
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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - Jul 23 2012 :  09:08:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Flame Whisperer


Friend of the friendless, servant of servants;
Embracing the untouched, kissing the lepers;
I lay down among the most reviled:
The hungry ghosts, the lost yogis,
Even those who are consumed in Flames
And can only dance.
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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - Sep 23 2012 :  10:10:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The Bandworks of Ananda T.


Yes folks there are many factors converging to silence me, mostly logistical. If you think there is any merit in keeping my voice - my life - going, please contact:

Roy Wahlberg 103429
7525 4th Avenue
Lino Lakes, MN 55104

www.corrlinks.com (one-way email)

In a perfect world you could establish a google voice or skype line to the 612 area code, but be forewarned that I may drive you crazy with my single minded focus on my writing.
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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - Sep 23 2012 :  8:56:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
10-01-2012

Pink Linguistics



Rise, my Moon, my Pearl, to glimmer:
entice the Night-Rose out to shimmer.
As Nectared Tide then mounts in full
all boats are float by primal pull,
And longer that the Sweetness flows
the further that Love's voyage goes.
The thirst that climbs the well unbidden
no more can be so coyly hidden,
For now I'm in the Dewdrop deep --
do like my lively kosher sweet?
In kechari it has been long hung
and many songs are lustily sung,
But none like you, my comely Dream --
what price to lap the kitten's Cream?
Yes, I'm a shaft of frozen Fire
and you melt me with a whet Desire,
But to the cold I'm lonely cast,
The hearth held farthest from my caste,
For I'm viewed as much too very lawless
to kiss Florets so dewy flawless.
Alas! -- you think that I'm a wanton thief
and all will come to wreck and grief,
But I'm naught but single-purpose driven
by loving thought in deep flesh-rhythm!
So drop your veil of stubborn blindness
and swaddle me in loving kindness
That then we may most close conspire
each other to heartfelt inspire
And neither be too idly lazy
to kiss the other wildly crazy!

Edited by - anandatandava on Oct 06 2012 6:05:32 PM
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Roxy

USA
30 Posts

Posted - Sep 29 2012 :  11:50:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit Roxy's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I have a lot of writing stacked up, and think the only way this will work is if someone owns my writing, lock, stock and barrel, past, present and future, for self-publishing. So, if you currently live for writing, and think you can aim my own writing in a way that serves you, please get in touch.

Roy Wahlberg 103429
MCF--Lino Lakes
7525 4th Ave
Lino Lakes, MN 55014
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Etherfish

USA
3615 Posts

Posted - Sep 29 2012 :  6:17:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Etherfish's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
maybe you could explain a little more about who you are and what are you doing? Are you Anandatandava, or someone else, or representing him, and are the writings his or yours? Are the writings more of what someone has posted here, or different, and who wrote them? Just curious, and trying to clarify for everyone. Thanks.
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anandatandava

USA
215 Posts

Posted - Oct 05 2012 :  6:50:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
10/01/2012

Versicle Cursicle


There once was a girl named Anonymous
who asked me to write in verse.
She thought I'd be slow
with talent so low
but look now, a brand new curse!

Edited by - anandatandava on Oct 11 2012 09:16:33 AM
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whippoorwill

USA
450 Posts

Posted - Oct 08 2012 :  11:15:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Etherfish

maybe you could explain a little more about who you are and what are you doing? Are you Anandatandava, or someone else, or representing him, and are the writings his or yours? Are the writings more of what someone has posted here, or different, and who wrote them? Just curious, and trying to clarify for everyone. Thanks.



Hi Ether!

That was Roxy, Roy's sister, posting on Roy's behalf. Roy is interested in publishing his writing via some self-publishing venue, and he's looking for assistance with that.
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yogani

USA
5188 Posts

Posted - Oct 08 2012 :  12:38:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Roy/Roxy:

For paperback, I can recommend www.createspace.com (owned by Amazon) "print-on-demand" service (which means no front end printing or inventory costs) for easy self-publishing. It is free do-it-yourself set-up with distribution to Amazon's many sites worldwide. For a small one-time fee (currently $25), distribution can be expanded beyond Amazon to major distribution channels in the USA and Europe.

Of course, the writing has to be properly formatted in book form (interior) with a decent cover, with both converted to high quality PDFs. All of that can be tricky, but it is do-able (there are services that will do it for you for $). Once you have interior and cover PDFs, it is fairly easy to get set up on Createspace. If something needs fixing, their system will let you know, and there is no cost for repeating correction uploads until it is right. That is about as easy and inexpensive a path I have seen to get your writings out there in paperback book form, and with good distribution (important).

All of the AYP books are on Createspace in updated editions as of summer 2012. The original editions (beginning in 2004) are still out there too through www.lightningsource.com (owned by Ingram, a large book distributor), which is also a good print-on-demand service, but with more costs -- about $100 to set up and proof a book, and $12 per year per title to keep it active on their system -- still a very good deal for self-publishing with worldwide distribution.

For eBook, Createspace also provides an easy path to publishing your book as an Amazon Kindle eBook, also free to set up. That is the leading ebook format. Publishing a book on Kindle is very simple, and for those not inclined to do a paperback, Kindle is the best first choice for getting a book out there. Besides the Kindle devices, there are Kindle apps for virtually all other stationary and mobile devices. To cover other ebook formats gets more complicated, and is often redundant with what Kindle offers. It is not necessary to go through Createspace to Kindle. See here: https://kdp.amazon.com

All the best!

The guru is in you.
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Roxy

USA
30 Posts

Posted - Oct 21 2012 :  10:20:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit Roxy's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
FIRST ASHRAM

In this cacophonous penal colony,
I've finally made it to my first spiritual community!
It's a house of true fraternal unity,
and though still within the walls,
sanctity rings the halls,
and I can openly love with impunity!

Yes, it's also a wellspring of opportunity.
For example: from prison, well-provisioned liberty,
and from danger, considerable immunity...
well, all but for one hook-beaked Harpy -
they don't provide any pay,
so I must struggle to stay!

It is thus that I ask you, pray,
tell me a workable way,
even by anonymous intermediary -
can it be thru my writing,
even though it's been frightening,
and it strikes me like lightning?

At least I've gained tools,
so it won't look a fool's
or so I might think,
even though it might stink. -
you be the judge,
if you won't hold a grudge.

But do please hurry
as I pace and worry
in my cell floor a groove,
for I don't want to move
right back in a jam
and lose my ashram!

.................Ananda T.

Edited by - Roxy on Oct 21 2012 11:45:28 AM
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Diet, Shatkarmas and Amaroli Book


Self-Inquiry Book


Bhakti and Karma Yoga Book


Eight Limbs of Yoga Book


Eight Limbs of Yoga Book



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