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215 Posts

Posted - Nov 04 2012 :  7:47:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The Inconvenient Earworm


I write to live -- in you --
... It's true! For nowhere else can I exist
... other than in the one who beholds.
Yes, my dear, you most certainly do hold me;
... and such a Big imagination you have!
... I should know.
For mine is not a face that's jot on watery thought,
... and forever retraced lest I dissolve.
No! -- for I write with Flame hewn
... direct from the burl of a burning heart
... that brands you permanent,
... a singing, not stinging wound,
... my abiding mark within you,
... so you can't forget -- that hot little earworm of mine,
... crawling around on your mind -- just try knocking me out!

But still your silent question I hear:
... "Who are you, really?"
Dearest, haven't you been looking and listening all this time?
... Perhaps stuck at the crossing, your mind all a-tossing,
... for tho you I see here, indeed crystal clear,
... my face in your mirror -- bah!
... still has a smear.
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215 Posts

Posted - Nov 04 2012 :  7:54:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Song of Songs


I have a problem -- tho surely you've noticed several --
... but this one the doctors call hyperacusis
... and say I hear too much.
I say no, that's far too little,
... for I still don't hear your voice.
How is it to be so Cherished
... for something you give away for free
... to everyone -- but me?
Having lived with yourself so long
... you've forgotten the Wealth you hold --
... that which you unearthed as a babe and joyfully
... flung out like golden baubles to an adoring audience.
But you are a music box, richly inlayed
... your repertoire not yet fully played,
... the sounds beyond all others' ken
... that would for me all Heaven unpen.
Yet here I am, a shamed-faced conjoined beggar,
... two pleading ears extending their bowls --
... perhaps even less -- a starved listening only,
... staring into the Void where your voice should be.
I feel like a frustrated thief,
... prehensile ears reaching boldly out --
... straining -- like hands in the darkness.
... Where are you, my Nocturne?
Oh, don't speak too soon!
... Wait for me.
... Let's not drop a precious note...
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215 Posts

Posted - Dec 03 2012 :  8:46:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Love Whisperer


Gelded by chosen path and plight,
... my Love glows pure as sun's own light.
You raised me as a foal well-favored,
... rocked me in a new-moon manger,
... nectar-nursed me sugar-lump kisses.
Don't leave me now in desert fastness;
... and arid herbage won't stem sadness
... nor thistles make a good provision
... for softened hearts in hardened vision.
An unled bridle bites so grievous
... among the fanged and slavering beasts
... I'm famine-lamed at peril's verge --
... e'en one lost colt would wound the herd!
So open wide your heart's rich pasture,
... your clovered vale of loving rapture;
... my thirsting ear tilts 'round to hear
... your whispers washing thru the air.
I'll trace that brook to find the Source
... then in a dream will come the Horse
... to nuzzle you with gentled mane,
... and urge you take my moonbeam rein.
My flanks a-shine with glorious Fire,
... we live but once and join the Pyre,
... so mount this Horse and burn entire!

Edited by - anandatandava on Dec 12 2012 09:37:35 AM
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215 Posts

Posted - Dec 03 2012 :  8:49:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Flipping Birds


I don't write for fame or acclaim;
I prefer to remain yesterday's news
... and stay here to write for you
..... in tears on the breasts of birds
..... (they weighs not a grain, causing no pain)
... then send them to beat against your casement... pane.
But still you don't answer.
What have you against birds?

Edited by - anandatandava on Dec 12 2012 09:40:04 AM
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215 Posts

Posted - Dec 03 2012 :  8:54:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The Crucible


Oh will you, won't you be --
... wet to my water
... cherry to my cream
... flesh to my bones
... heart to my body
... spring to my seasons
... reason to my living?

I tell you, Beloved,
... we are bonded ecstatic -- numinous numismatic --
..... like two faces
... with but a sole Dervish coin between them
..... but also a singled untarnished Soul.
... This brightly-spun beauty -- Circulated, Very Fine Grade --
..... who's to tell heads from tails
..... in such gold-struck Holy Poverty?

Flicked by God's finger, we landed
... in life's crucible together
... for a highly refined reason.

Melting with Love
... we turn face to face...

Edited by - anandatandava on Dec 12 2012 09:41:13 AM
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215 Posts

Posted - Dec 05 2012 :  6:38:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Rug-Rash Epilogue to Most Every Poem

With the prison breathing down my neck, trying to throttle off what little external contact I have, my writing voice has taken on an even more rebelliously brassy timbre here and there. It could be my, "Take that, you scoundrel - I will no longer let you see my fear." Yeah, I'm tired of being treated like a political prisoner in a 3rd-world country. I'm tired of all the lies told of me, and AYP has taught this mute autistic to talk back. So, how d'ya like me now?

For since in me the drive won't drop,
there's just no need for us to stop;
so if you find you're feel'n froggy,
we'll next get down and do it doggy!

I wonder: when they push me up thru this stalag chimney, will the sky grow ashen with this lost boy's passion? Catch that snowflake in your mouth, if you will...

Edited by - anandatandava on Dec 05 2012 9:49:37 PM
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215 Posts

Posted - Dec 05 2012 :  6:57:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

I just learned that updates to this topic pop it back to where casual browsers might see it. I immediately thought of those poor innocents who come traipsing along only to run into my shocking drivel. Oh! - I am so sorry! I assumed I'd long ago scrolled off into a digital backwater.

All this made me realize just how much I have in recent times been chronicalling the long-term effects of loneliness. Much writing is in the pipeline, but you'll see why I had to stop writing poetry in particular, it becoming a transmogrification of my increasing mutiny against pain. For good reason the Cherokees considered loneliness to be the depth of degradation, worse even than death.

Things just have to change, so I first contacted the Innocence Project, who for good reason immediately re-opened my case. If the DNA evidence still exists, it'll crush age-old impressions; if it's been lost, the effort may well implode on me here instead. Ah well, love makes one reckless, for what really matters without it?

Then I heard that there are free inmate penpal websites, but still have no idea where. I could possibly write to other inmates, but am afraid I've never learned the language.

I feel myself to only exist when I can write for at least some small amount of purpose. But since typing my posts is a burden to others, I may be forced into a venue that supports scanned images, if even just to store me. Why? It's a primal need. Sad. Google's little search spiders will miss me.

Edited by - anandatandava on Dec 05 2012 9:49:53 PM
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215 Posts

Posted - Dec 18 2012 :  09:58:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Stifle Yourself, Dude!
(Just one way yoga makes you smarter)

Given how aggressively I approached complete breath-stoppage in the beginning, I used to wonder if I was damaging my brain (further) in favor of kundalini kicks. Well, science to the rescue, for new research shows that many aspects of the brain and body actually require hypoxia (low oxygen) for optimal growth, maintenance, and function.

Celeste Simon at the U. of Penn looked particularly at the hippocampus, the key memory processor in the brain, also now thought to be important for healthy mood. Stem cells there are busily engaged in “neurogenesis”, creation and replenishment of hippocampal neurons. The key point, though, is that these stem cells are most active in areas of low oxygen, the hypoxic response acting as a growth stimulant, similar to how it triggers the release of human growth hormone and muscle/blood vessel development during exercise, and is also important to embryonic and fetal maturation.

Simon next wants to determine if the oxygen debt caused by physical exercise contributes to improvement in brain function via the same process. If so, then pranayama and asanas help our brains in ways that add to the already well-known protective value of meditative stress-relief.
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215 Posts

Posted - Dec 28 2012 :  09:36:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Rendered Unto God

Ananda, please rein your galloping verses;
.... clumsy foal, you couldn’t sound worse.
Sorry I am, my Splendid Friend
.... your ear so round to twist and bend.
But you see how helpless that I’m driven
.... and tossed about in metered thought-rhythm.
For words they ride a rocking saddle
.... when lips are tangled and Love-addled.
With drunken Muse as certain sire
.... the o’ertopped cup can never tire.
And verse trots out what must be said,
.... not some jockey in my head.
Why must you drive me so, my Lord
.... to canter on ‘til all are bored?
Learn to kiss the whip, my child,
.... For Rapture takes a touch of Wild.
Then is felt a searing crack,
.... bringing in just what I lack
To open wide a Vedic dream:
.... dance with gods and drink the cream.
Each finger now a burning candle,
.... nearly more than I can handle
To comb profusion from confusion
.... and from the Presence, draw its Essence.
A timeless catch comes in the breath,
.... snatching ego to his death:
Light the Fire! Burn the Pyre!
.... Feed base root to Flow’ring Fruit!
As life it swoons from cold to Heat
.... and tears they run from salt to Sweet,
Prayers and praise I mean to gift
.... are why this pen doth fly and lift;
And Love to farther outward fling
.... is why this soul doth rise to sing!
To melt himself right thru the Portal
.... and truly know the Life Immortal
This horse is off to be full-rendered
.... and pour into the Many-Splendored!

--Ananda T.
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215 Posts

Posted - Dec 28 2012 :  09:38:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
What’s the Angle of Your Ganglia

I’ve long insisted to other inmates that the greater the emotional curses they carry, the greater the blessings that can flow out of using the body to inform the higher reaches of the mind and spirit. But I now more clearly see why.

Under the forebrain lies an area called the basal ganglia. It helps to process movement, emotion, pain and pleasure, so is very involved in addiction. Unfortunately, it is also very easily damaged, as thru PANDAS, where strep antibodies attack the brain, and an afflicted child can overnight develop symptoms of a wide variety of neurological disorders such as OCD, ADHD, Tourette’s, autism, anxiety, and depression -- why, even epilepsy and hydro should serious infection occur. All this can also happen with celiac disease, so take your pick with me.

Thru repeated disease attacks could a child draw all the face cards in this game of life? Yes. Could he ever fly the abyss and find normalcy? Oh, perhaps not normalcy, but with AYP yoga he could definitely learn to fly, and on unusually powerful wings. Here’s why:

Within the basal ganglia lies the nucleus accumbens, a major pleasure center that sits right at the crossroads of motion and emotion. Here’s where AYP yoga comes in to generate intense pleasure out of even the slightest twitch or mere intention of movement. For a hedonist like myself, the constant development of that pleasure revealed a great love radiating, which in turn developed me spiritually. Amazing!

Sensitive tissues generate a lot of pain or pleasure depending on how they are stimulated. A person with a wounded basal ganglia is sensitive indeed, experiences great suffering, is often addicted to one thing or another, and perhaps has even been institutionalized at some point. To such a brain, the right spiritual practices can be like touching a match to an Olympic pool of gasoline -- tho in a good way -- and you’ve seen that in some the flame burns hot

I believe this explains most spiritual emergencies. The underlying condition is already present in a person and simply becomes more visible as the practices bring unaccustomed energies into every aspect of a person’s being. Thus the importance of Yogani’s safely balanced approach, bringing benefits beyond the power of even the most colorful words to express.

Were I to have the capacity to speak into patient support websites, I would start with Tourette’s. Trust me, there is great suffering there, both seen and unseen, and AYP holds a cure they will be quickest to experience in its fullest flowering. For example, yoga cured my previous movement disorders, or perhaps more so funneled everything into a pleasure-intensified combination of yoga and dystonic movement and/or statically-held postures. Way, way perfect!

Anyway, I’m a poor poster child, but could go down a long list of ways this yoga turned a damaged brain from an enemy into an ally. It needs to be bundled and labelled as “vagal yoga” and brought into patient communities. I’ve got tons of science and anecdotal stuff, and would be overjoyed to help ghost-write support materials for others to clean up and use. There is a practical use for my passionate energy, I swear! (Tho swearing is something I do much less frequently now.)
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215 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2013 :  7:21:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Tantric Pillow Talk

Om mani padme hum;
.....let me tell you how its done.
I'll set my jewel inside your lotus;
.....from mystic marriage no one can hold us.
You shouldn't think it being naughty
.....the passion rites of Shiva-Shakti,
For placing lingum into yoni
.....as sacrament is made quite Holy,
As thru the Valley in-between
.....the Peak of Pleasure may be seen,
For every angel's born love-cloven,
.....eager to be shuttle-woven
And flood the vale of separation
.....in God's full-deluge inspiration!
A life without the loving act
.....is like a tree that's lost its sap;
A Priceless Gift and freely given -
.....all should seek to be wood-riven!
Now as the Fire hides in the flint,
.....from your eye appears a glint,
So come make Love with Heaven's Own Breed,
.....and draw up full the Eternal Seed!

- Ananda T.
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215 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2013 :  7:41:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Higher Power

When a fallen, pain-wracked addict
.....ascended celestial ecstatic,
.....his wings unfurled thru Grace not merit.
Libations curse was corked and capped
.....when melting Love was fully tapped.
The crippling crutch was thrown and hedged
.....when wings of Rapture sprout and fledged.
Spiritual cures for spiritual ills -
.....whom God loves She first destroys
.....to clear the road to Heaven,
Which once washed by bitters and beers
.....now shines bright thru Love-sweet tears.

.....................................Ananda T.
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215 Posts

Posted - Jan 04 2013 :  08:00:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
All Things Bright and Beautiful
(in the eyes of love)

I finally made it back to a room with wooden furnishings and a door that needn’t be locked. I’m in a cul-de-sac at the end of a hall, so there’s little traffic or noise. It’s a “garden-level apartment”, so my window ledge is low enough for frogs and baby toads to jump up on in the spring. (They’re so cute at that age!)

But it’s fall, so songbirds are stoking up for migration. For some reason -- perhaps because grass seeds are being blown around the corner of the building -- they always seem to be feeding right outside my window. So I feel like St. Francis, despite my being unable to feed them thru the heavy screen.

Tho most seem the same species of sparrow, close inspection reveals their unique appearance and personality. One guy in particular caught my eye: big and puffed-up in grayish finery, like a snow leopard. He sat right on my ledge, looking in, and I out. Very peculiar! He seemed very relaxed, and sat for a long time dreamily opening and closing his eyes before giving a long trill and bouncing away to join his brethren feeding in the greenery.

I awoke the next morning to discover a bird lying dead right outside. It wasn’t him -- thank goodness! - but still I was aghast, and then very grateful to whatever removed the corpse soon afterward.

A couple days later there was a cold drizzle in the air, and there my friend was again, perched right against my window. He was all bedraggled and shivering and alone. There was clearly something wrong, and my heart was bursting with desire to take him in, warm him against my chest, and feed him my own life-blood if it would help -- yes, without hesitation, for I’ve kept it captive earth-bound for too long.

Desperate, I grabbed some bread and ran to the nearest outside door. There was the rest of his flock, actively feeding, like little puffballs of energy. They clearly carried the future under their wings, but, now I realized , not so my friend. For my window-sill appeared to be where little birds go to die -- out of the wind and rain. Sadly, I threw the bread and returned to do the only thing I could for my friend -- witness. And when he was gone, a grey sparrow-sized piece of me accompanied him. For that is always the risk of love, but one we must take to live at all a meaningful life.

That very day someone was chasing a spider with a shoe.I’ve had a lifelong terror of arachnids, perhaps from having been bitten so many times. (Always my own fault, by their getting trapped in clothing I left laying on the floor.) But this time, and while watching myself in amazement, I maneuvered to cause the spider to crawl up on my hand, and then brought into my room to stay cozy and safe for the winter. Hmm -- so love trumps fear?

So it was that tho I couldn’t save the sparrow, I did save the spider. The gratitude I felt: did it emanate from the spider, or from God? No, likely just my own for the opportunity to tip the scales of life back the other way a tiny bit. (It wasn’t a small matter to the panicked spider!) But it also helped me further understand that rat temple in India. For in addition to its direct religious symbolism is the spiritual truth that if you can open your heart to the very least and often most reviled of God’s creatures, how much easier that should make it for universal human brotherhood to take residence within as well. Who knows, it may even bring you to touch an incarcerated leper with a very long but loving fingertip. Or perhaps you’d prefer that a spider crawl into your bedclothes? Were it that I had four more limbs...

P.S. : The spider re-emerged, spooling down from the ceiling right in front of my cellie
as he stood primping in the mirror! Like straight out of a movie!

Edited by - anandatandava on Jan 07 2013 1:12:19 PM
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215 Posts

Posted - Jan 04 2013 :  08:54:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
To Write is to Be

“That impassioned phantasy, that vague and vast,
Made art an idol and a king to me.”

I am often called upon to justify my need to write. Here’s how another responded to his inquisitors:

“But 'why then publish?' -- There are no rewards
Of fame or profit when the world grows weary.
I ask in turn, -- why do you play at cards?
Why drink? Why read? -- To make some hour less dreary.
It occupies me to turn back regards
On what I've seen or pondered; sad or cheery,
And what I write I cast upon the stream
To swim or sink -- I have had at least my dream.”
---- George Gordon Byron, Don Juan

Indeed. A natural-born autistic, I don’t have much of a social life, especially living in a very conservative religious environment where I daren’t mention universal brother- and sisterhood. So my cell is a haven, where a completely loving God flies in like St. Nick with a sleigh-load of words and metaphorical playmates, and away I go as I please.

Also consider my untreated hydro, which robs me of identity unless I continue at the water wheel, draining out ink. It’s like walking down a dark road where the only pools of illumination are thrown by the streetlamp of each composition, burning bright as I write and then pinned permanently to the ground when I see the online printout. There! -- I then think -- something more than twilight existed there, tho it seems by some sorcery, for in recalling little my printouts are like a photo album where someone else clicked the shutter. But I need only reach out to know again the ecstasy, of the author as he sat under the stage-lights plying his trade in the radiance of whole-body mudra. And here’s a great list of the cognitive traits that seem to exist there:

“Enhanced visual imagery and ideation with insight into its nature
Enhanced access to the personal subconscious
Fluent flow of original and novel connections
Relaxed openness to new experience
Sensitivity to emotional nuance
Impulse to share beauty of the sensory world
Absorbed in aesthetic matters
Insight intact; able to see through false solutions and erroneous data
Reduced inhibitions; avoids premature negative judgments: “open mind”
Desires to express insight in material form
Feels attuned to “higher sources”
Interconnectedness and meaning found everywhere
----John E. Nelson

So what do you think of a life lived almost entirely inside ecstatic writing? Opinions could rightly vary:

“More strange than true: I never may believe
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
That is the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen

Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.”
-----William Shakespeare, from “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream”

Do tell me where do you stand on my efforts. Vanity publishing? Perhaps some other type. Be honest now. Pageantry? Insanity? Profanity? Paganity? Indeed, where I live, “that is the question.” What is certain that only writing completes in ever-changing form a personage otherwise only flimsily maintained.

Edited by - anandatandava on Jan 04 2013 09:12:53 AM
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215 Posts

Posted - Jan 06 2013 :  11:33:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Less Talk, More Action

Love's epicure,
.....I smell the banquet of the world,
..........but from the gutter comes a soured
.....Hunger that exile sharpens;
..........then pane-pressed beggar harkens
.....Costume trinkets on the lips
..........while from hearts the Crest Jewel slips.

Speak to me not of miracles.
.....The power of prayer works deep in you,
..........not by bending natural rule.
.....First inward comes the signal difference
..........to outward shine our loving service:
.....To know God's hand must work thru us
..........should raise our own with little fuss.

Walk on earth - don't try the water.
.....To waft them lightly thru the air
..........our blessings may not land with care.
.....Christ worked not from lonely caves:
..........he walked among the least and gave.
.....Charity seen just in the mind
..........I fear the world may well be blind.

To do nothing - is that the mark you mean to leave?
.....Saints sh*t on soil with those they serve;
..........you think your cheeks a throne deserve?
.....We all must give what's sought to keep,
..........so sow the earth with solace deep.
.....Love kept inside is but a seed;
..........come sprout and grow the world to feed!

The real miracle lies in your own hands.
.....For hands that reach to those most low
..........are those that come the best to know
.....That just as grit works smoothing stone
..........it gives souls too their soothing hone.
.....And warm prints left on God's creation
..........shapes the one real-world salvation!

Now - wonder what it is you can do?
.....Stretch your heart out as far as you can
..........and start right where you land.
.....Oh gosh, a million ways a dif'rence make
..........to spread your love for others' sake;
.....And while you're at it, if it's meant to be,
..........let a little spill to me.

..................................................-Ananda T.
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215 Posts

Posted - Jan 14 2013 :  1:03:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The Bee and the Fly

Is it possible to be too committed to an ideal for one's own good? Read on.

Place a bee and a fly into an open glass bottle, (good luck on that!). Then lay the bottle on its side, and set its base against a sunlit window.

The fly is a glutton and very indiscriminate in his tastes. He will take advantage of any opportunity he stumbles across, gorging on pure sweet to pure sewage anywhere they might be found, from light to shadow. As a result, he will wander in aimless lack of concern around the entire bottle, quickly find the open end, and escape.

By contrast, the bee is a very discriminating creature, her heart set on only honey and hive. She looks to the sun to guide her thither, and so will throw herself without rest against the base of the bottle, where the heavenly rays shine brightest. Unable to accept that her trusted advisor is now keeping her fatally trapped against the frozen light, she never tries an alternate route, eventually drops exhausted, and dies of a broken heart.

I am a bee among flies, for all intents and purposes trapped alone in my hive. A social creature cannot survive isolation, and my only hope for remedy lies in RSVP. So I write, filling the room and beyond with ink-stained origami petals in the hope of attracting other bees. I do it almost to the exclusion of all else, even to the consternation of prison staff and detriment of release efforts. Loneliness is the Queen of all pains.

In treatment, the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing and hoping for different results. But what other means than writing have I in seeking the nectar - the spiritual love - in a flow sufficient to prime my heart? You, as one who has tasted that love, surely understand why I, the love-mad bee, cannot rest in this, my long, reaching embrace of words. And in the strange way that mirage becomes oasis to a man dying of thirst, I feel that when your eyes in this very moment cast over my words, you gently stroke and caress me. Yes, and as the Web tallies up your visits, the progression of numbers are much more to me than tracks in the snow, much more than mere passersby. Regardless of why you came, it is as tho you actually entered and lovingly touched me. Did you know that? So if nothing else at least keep coming, and bring your friends, that by an ever-summing and lengthening thread I may continue to be borne up.
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215 Posts

Posted - Jan 21 2013 :  10:42:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Cry to the Sky

.............Erupting brain cells tap -:- Such dear, sharp-sugary sap'
........Tis no shock that I weep -:- Tears God-blessedly sweet
...But the dam's now been riven -:- And the reservoir has given
......To become so diminished -:- That soon I'll be finished
..As thought thins to dearth -:- And life fades to death
..........But now I am ready -:- And holding on steady
.....While riding the Crest -:- O'erlooking the Rest
But when fog blurs the view -:- A friend's pillow will do
...To hasten the fall -:-I gave it my all
........Disrobed in the end -:- And in the last bend
..............I hear at my back -:- Who the hell was that?!
...........'Tis a What, says the air -:- Cheshire grin hanging there,
.....And where It doth go -:- Is back to the Flow
....To kiss the same Sky -:- You will if you Cry.

.........................................................................................................................................- Ananda T.

Edited by - anandatandava on Jan 21 2013 11:05:49 PM
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215 Posts

Posted - Feb 04 2013 :  09:35:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

Discovering that the nucleus accumbens pleasure center lies at the crossroads of motion and emotion has really deepened my whole-body mudra and made me even more “dancey”, within the constraints of my increasingly chair-bound existence. Always looking to expand that world, I was happy to trip over yet another exciting discovery:

I always figured that the power of jalandhara bandha came exclusively from stimulation of the parasympathetic via cranial nerves that run thru the neck and baroreceptors (in the carotid sinus?) that track the position of the head versus the heart. I disregarded traditional sources that spoke of “pulling on the brain’, figuring it was just a subjective sensation. Well, it turns out the ancients may have been right all along.

It has been discovered that spinal cord and the base of the brain lies a small patch of fibrous tissue that attaches a tiny neck muscle to the dura mater, an extremely sensitive membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord. That membrane is tough stuff, similar to the fascia around muscles and the sclera surrounding the eye. Plus, as a contiguous envelope around the brain, if a mechanically functional handle on the dura mater indeed exists, jalandhara may be drawing on the nervous system just the way it feels!

From the moment I began the practices, head movement has always been particularly magical, including a firm tilt at the atlas vertebra on the top of the spinal column where the connection into the brain may lie. Little did I know I may have been tugging on a pucker string for real!
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Posted - Feb 04 2013 :  09:38:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

I was walking down the flag with someone the other day when he commented on how so-and-so was “weird”. I protested, “No, I’m weird!” He laughed and said, “Yeah, but you’re a nice weird.” I accepted that in the spirit it was given, but also found it sad, knowing how much in life one will find lacking to insist on no cracking.

Seeking more penetrating expression, Asian artisans developed intentional methods of “crazing” the surface of their pottery, recognizing the aesthetic import of such self-born pattern, or “li”. Originally applied to the markings in jade, li became seen as an essential quality of the Tao, capturing a frozen moment in the eternal flow of the Universe. As in chi, prana, and physics, there existed awareness of hidden subtle energies and lines of force, that which give phenomena like frosted windows, mineral formations, animate form, and other natural structure their intelligent mien, seemingly imbued and touched by conscious living purpose.

Like worshipful hymnal scoring, li provides visible notation of the same delicious build and release of inner tensions we feel while “lost” (found?) in our practices, music, and love. As these are all similar soul-wise, who’s to say it’s not a spiritual heat the pot also feels as it sits tastefully lozenging in the kiln? Ask any artisan if they do not come to revere their works as self-willed. Artistry is mysticism, as is life itself in the end.

The Japanese words wabi, sabi, and shibui point to another level of sublimity carried by imperfection. As our vision ripens under the sunlight of life experience, we develop an appreciation and even special comradeship with things that, like us, have come to show the mark of time, thus mellowing to become unpretentious, earthy, and natural. These can be objects like old china, tools, wood, stone, but also people, all developing a chatoyant inner/outer patina of rich personal history, an emergent quality that for most surpasses the original in emotional appeal. How long, after all, do you stand to enjoy the flawlessness of a blank canvass? How much do you trust, in the age of Photoshop, an unmarked cheek? (But if that’s your thing, it’s not love -- get a blow-up doll instead.)

There’s a deeper level still. Buddha taught that impermanence is in all things, but wabi, sabi, and shibui help us to also see the beauty inherent in inevitable loss. For it is indeed the fleeting nature of beautiful things that lends our appreciation of them its aching intensity. We know that this is the time to pay attention -- the shutter click in a forever-length feature where we ourselves also play only a brief cameo role. But looking to the flip side: outside the sacred, does immortal beauty ever rise to the same standard? How long is your eye drawn to artificial flowers? -- they are death itself!

As much as we try to dodge it intellectually, our deepest instincts tell us that all things pass. For this reason an ancient, vine-pierced temple speaks much louder to the heart than does any stainless modern ediface. Reflecting from the crumbling sculpture and mossy pools are the ghosts of once great gods and kings who now sit in silence. How much more feeble and circumscribed are our own grandest intentions!

Seeing as how this is so, that every rat-race ends up down empty, mildewed corridors, perhaps it’s time to slow down a little and see life in a new way: lila, sport, and a playground for love. But would you, by virtue of picking up the beat of a different Drummer, be willing to risk being considered “cracked”? I hope so, for it’s worth it to live your life in the suchness of a haiku, in love with what must be lost, but in that moment knowing eternity. Listen -- you can hear the call of the damaru....
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Posted - Feb 07 2013 :  10:02:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I am having technical difficulty getting my tantric poetry online. Any takers? Even one poem a month would be great, and a way could be found to keep you anonymous from me if you wish.
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Posted - Apr 19 2013 :  1:35:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Nature's Trap-Line

Clouded breath, creaking snow
Silent, shifting spirits go
Thrown by barren alder shadow

Cedar goblins line the way
Stars on sable fade to gray
Harbinger of morning

River ice runs white and black
To squeak like mice along each crack
And hisses out a warning

Far too late the boots turn back
All that's left is steaming black
And thin ice quickly forming

All predators meet a fitting end
In jaws like steel too cold to bend
With Nature's vengeance storming

- Ananda T.

Edited by - anandatandava on Apr 25 2013 08:40:22 AM
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Posted - Apr 23 2013 :  8:45:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
A Call to Arms!

My call to all who are outcast or downtrodden--
a call to arms!
Please accept these, my own
for I have all the love you need.

My brethren, my brothers and sisters
I won't ask where you got or gave those scars
your own revealed truth
whether silent, abstract, or tomely screed
is Holy Writ to me:
perfect and complete
for I have all the love you need.

The louder the ruthless hounds
of society's hell
bray at your footsteps
the closer I'll curl and sleep at your feet
for I have all the love you need.

You, the bag-lady, but still someone's mom
and you, the soiled and ancient bum
with 3-legged dog, rain-soaked shivering
around the burning log: I hear you all
muttering to your loved ones lost or gone
You think man discards you, and even God?
Think again, for some are drawn by fire and ash
and have more than all the love you need.

If when you look I've fallen dead
these words will stand here in my stead:
see me still in your distant stare
under the bridge in your shadowed lair
in the dancing flame and the smoke-curled air
for we have supped of similar sorrow
cursed the coming of the morrow
and whether demon or saint intercedes
I'll be there with the love you need.

- Ananda T.

Edited by - anandatandava on Apr 25 2013 08:43:44 AM
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Posted - Apr 23 2013 :  8:52:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The Eternal Eureka! Moment

Writing on yogic neuroscience from prison with no Web research access is a bit like dropping my pants in public and inviting others to point and laugh. But a hungry man is more likely than most to notice and ruminate over what few tidbits do fall over his wall, and then want to sing their praises to others. Something did arrive recently that answered a long-standing question for me.

I've always wondered about that divine feeling in meditation, that of complete fulfillment, where (very seriously) no pain, problems, or questions remain. What is it that answers all questions in the most questioning of species? The mind leaps to spiritual sources, does it not? Well, here's a little scientific tinsel to hang on your Sky-Hook:

Very fast gamma waves appear in the brain during times of high activity and wide recruitment of neuronal resources. Not surprisingly, gamma is found in the kriya yogic ecstasy found in AYP practice, long-term compassion meditation, near-death experience, and I suspect a few other times of *ahem* peak human whoopee. I note that most share an element of breathlessness!

But there's another very commonplace source of gamma that goes far to explain the feeling of rich satisfaction that accompanies it. EEG studies on subjects as they worked on challenging cognitive puzzles showed a burst of gamma at the aha! or eureka! moment when the solution gelled crisply in their minds. We all know just how great that moment feels -- a moment reached thru completely forgetting ourselves in one-pointed focus on a single goal. And when we finally dive over the goal line, a flare of gamma stands our minds up in complete celebratory triumph over the only obstacle then perceived before us. Just how long the mind can stay there before drooping "back to its senses" depends on training.

Indeed, in an untrained mind, the peak gamma experience squirts by so fast (mere milliseconds in problem solving), it may scarcely be noticed and is certainly slippery to hole -- yes, even the "little death" at the height of love-making. But a trained mind can breathe (or not breathe) on that glowing ember of a moment until it bursts into pliable flame -- a sudden time/space effulgency -- the adept may sport about within as long as he wishes!

Similarly, since a writer experiences a rolling thunder of eureka! moments as he angles for the next turn of phrase, inkslinging can easily be converted to ecstatic gunslinging -- an intense peak-and-valley, right-hand tantra. And while Yogani's writing is true spiritual art while mine remains the bootprints of an unschooled savage, I've always sensed a kindred deep enjoyment flowing in him as we spool out our respective lines. I fancy, tho, that our lures attract a fish of a different stripe, and that you, faithful reader, are more generally bathysmal. That's fine with me -- let's stay wet together.

Anyway, consider the blissful yogi, his brain spun up to gyroscopic gamma speed. He has learned how to prop the window to superconsciousness open and know with experiential certainty that Sterling Truth lies fully grasped, all issues are resolved, and no questions remain. The yogi has taken that brief aha! moment and stretched it out to inner laughter: ahahaha! The questioner within has also disappeared, the mind consumed by the Big Fat Answer to Everything. Or perhaps it is better said that we become drowned in eternity where question and answer become one? (Keep sitting to broaden your mind thus, my poule de luxe!

You know, some astrophysicists theorize that black holes end not at a single point of singularity, but open back out into a parallel universe as gamma-ray bursts, one of the most powerful objects in the cosmos. How appropriate to yogic ecstasy with its sun-bursts of gamma brainwaves and the radiance that builds in devotees as they proceed upon the path!

It's then also no surprise that Vedic and modern cosmology coincide in terms of conservation of energy and mass, everything simply cycling back out in a Cornucopian cosmorama of resplendent new forms. Even a life that appears from the outside to be a dreary black hole can end up containing far more wonder than its skyward counterpart, for as one drops below society's event horizon and becomes buffered from external distractions, he spirals ever more swiftly thru God's inner domain, pierces the Singularity at its core, and then re-emerges into the gamma Heaven Realm that lies beyond. The journey is really not that far -- why, only to and thru the center of the mind!

Edited by - anandatandava on Apr 27 2013 08:12:09 AM
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Posted - Apr 25 2013 :  2:37:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

My heart, of a sudden
began to flutter like a startled bird
trying to flee its cage
Oh, I thought
another country heard from
I could start my own United Nations
Oh, I thought
better get those poems out
Oh, I thought
let it fly.

- Ananda T.

Edited by - anandatandava on Apr 26 2013 09:08:30 AM
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Posted - Apr 25 2013 :  2:43:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Open Your Peepers

I write about longing because I long
but you--you think me a sharp-point starling
or frigate bird, guns all ablazing
from a live wire that might sting or burn
Well, not so, and I'm sure you've heard
that compassion was once in the world
you know--
enough to suit a flight-worn bird
a droop-winged, fight-torn twerp
enough even to bathe him in song
But you--you should really give a chirp
before he's gone!

- Ananda T.
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