I am dusting off the blog again after a short hiatus during the holidays, including the new year. I am meditating more, and honoring what allows me to be happily more. More happy, more peaceful , more connected to a presence that means everything to me.
I discovered what some may consider to be the presence of the universe early on in my life in Christianity. From there the vastness of this presence, this truth, opened up in my understanding of Hinduism, which I found out later was an experience of the Buddhist understanding of emptiness.
I have recently, in the last few years, found an ancient tradition that spans millenia that incorporates the body into its approach, into spiritually living, and it is living, not removed from the daily but just about being, and not shunning anything.
Without getting into details, this tradition in many versions embraces Kali in one form or another. Blessedly, I rediscovered and remembered how Kali informs the understanding of Hinduism that has spoken to me for over half my life now. Connecting back to her through my path now and acknowledging her means so much to me, and allows my body to be more at peace as I honor a spiritual path.
I felt moved to introduce Kali, and for the first time I am personally moved to more openly connect with and honor Kali and what she brings in my life.
For those curious or interested to find out more, I recommend the book Kali, The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar found on the store portion of this site: www.kalimandir.org
I have been debating about adding a section on resources to the site, so I am doing it in the form of blog posts entitled with the first word "Resources" followed by the type of resources. They will be collected together in the Resources category on the side of the blog page, or at the bottom of the page if you are viewing the mobile device version of this page. [Update: I may just tag other posts with the Resources category that contain a resource, so they will show up when clicking on the Resources category. They may not contain the actual title "Resources" in the post title.]
Sacred Feminine Resources
Sacred Feminine Awakening: The Emergence of Compassion by Misa Hopkins
She has four books now beginning with the same first words for the title; however, this one in particular beautifully expresses perhaps what has been a lost understanding of the sacred feminine, in a way that attempts to speak to anyone, regardless of what faith or spiritual path one has.
The Virgin's Promise: Writing Stories of Feminine Creative, Spiritual, and Sexual Awakening by Kim Hudson
I am always charged with inspiration and motivation when I pick up this book. Although it has been written for screenwriters, the universal story the author has discovered about the fulfillment of life truly resonates on a fundamental level, as it no doubt should based on the author's research that went into discovering this story. The theories of Carl Jung, a therapist inspirational to me who informs my work, helped guide her in the process. He put forth the idea that we have within us universal archetypes, or patterns of potential or behavior which we can follow, which show up in stories from around the world as characters. Kim discovered these universal characters and their life paths in stories across such a diversity of cultures. What she writes about represents living a sacred feminine way of life.
Into a quieter time of year, the potential is there, where you will not have to do what you think you need to do, where you can simply be, and that is enough.
To this time of year I add and am inspired by the words of author Ursula K. Le Guin, speaking of a feminine way of being, spoken as part of a commencement address she gave over thirty years ago.
See how it shines now:
(Full speech here: A Left-Handed Commencement Address)
"In our society, women have lived, and have been despised for living, the whole side of life that includes and takes responsibility for helplessness, weakness, and illness, for the irrational and the irreparable, for all that is obscure, passive, uncontrolled, animal, unclean — the valley of the shadow, the deep, the depths of life. All that the Warrior denies and refuses is left to us and the men who share it with us and therefore, like us, can’t play doctor, only nurse, can’t be warriors, only civilians, can’t be chiefs, only indians. Well so that is our country. The night side of our country. If there is a day side to it, high sierras, prairies of bright grass, we only know pioneers’ tales about it, we haven’t got there yet. We’re never going to get there by imitating Machoman. We are only going to get there by going our own way, by living there, by living through the night in our own country.
So what I hope for you is that you live there not as prisoners, ashamed of being women, consenting captives of a psychopathic social system, but as natives. That you will be at home there, keep house there, be your own mistress, with a room of your own. That you will do your work there, whatever you’re good at, art or science or tech or running a company or sweeping under the beds, and when they tell you that it’s second-class work because a woman is doing it, I hope you tell them to go to hell and while they’re going, to give you equal pay for equal time. I hope you live without the need to dominate, and without the need to be dominated. I hope you are never victims, but I hope you have no power over other people. And when you fail, and are defeated, and in pain, and in the dark, then I hope you will remember that darkness is your country, where you live, where no wars are fought and no wars are won, but where the future is. Our roots are in the dark; the earth is our country. Why did we look up for blessing — instead of around, and down? What hope we have lies there. Not in the sky full of orbiting spy-eyes and weaponry, but in the earth we have looked down upon. Not from above, but from below. Not in the light that blinds, but in the dark that nourishes, where human beings grow human souls."
Sharing a place which alters lives, reveals them, shows us where we already are, where we might be headed, and how we are never really distant from what means so much--these are the kind of understandings I find so precious to share.
Whatever words one may use to communicate this place, I know where that is, I live from there, and try to know and allow it each second and moment, to the point where time becomes an unnecessary idea, and the concepts are lost in the experiencing.
Living life, alive.
I want this for anyone who might be led for me to be there to help out and guide them.
Contemporaries who nurture and live from this place include the teacher and author from my previous posting, "Summer, Tigers", as well as Anam Thubten, and Daniel Odier.
A truly sacred feminine teacher can be found in Mukti as well.
Please feel free to click on any of the names above to go to their websites.
With summer approaching soon, I feel an ability to be more at ease, natural and energized as a person this time of year. Obstacles, whether they be of people or situations, can be a challenge and a drain on energy during this otherwise rewarding time. Here are some words of wisdom which speak to my heart, which perhaps can be a source of inspiration for you to live your life past and around any "tigers" this coming summer.
From spiritual teacher Shambhavi Sarasvati:
"Resistance for me has most often meant going around rather than fighting the tigers head on.
I’ve tried not to struggle with other people’s fears, projections or demands that I take up a leading role in their karmic patterns. And I respect that people have the right to be however they are. I sometimes want to fight—to prove something or make people I’ve cared about understand me—but this rarely works. It most often gets me more entangled.
Going around and continuing on my way, or engaging in a softer mode, have worked better. These strategies have been my teachers. They have taught me a lot about aggression and have required developing some serious patience and fortitude. I’m definitely still working on it.
But I’ve learned, through sometimes painful trial and error, that the use of more forceful means is only rarely necessary. In fact, I’ve found that in simply continuing on my path and letting other people be, the intelligent and compassionate patterns of nature are revealed. Nature is generally playing a longer game than us impatient humans."
I am a woman, more than I am a man, in how I feel in gender. I feel called to help women on their journeys in life, being male-bodied, relating more to women. I feel the exquisite beauty and divinity of each woman's truth as I come to talk to and know each one.
I have always been on a spiritual journey, knowingly, more than most, and I have found that we all will break through gender definitions, that they don't matter, and the form coming closest to this on departure from gender is the female form of spirit.
In a loving way, this human way, this is the path.
I do not think the self-sacrificing male energies are the loving way to travel a spiritual path.
The sacred feminine means then, all the ways I have been touched by the spirit of my womanhood throughout my life, and perhaps even girlhood in my more playful moments.
I have gotten the greatest wisdom and inspiration and advice from fellow women, and that spirit of woman within me.
It may seem strange to me at times, and disconcerting, this disconnect from how my body is and what others might expect, but I cannot deny that I have a true female spirit, that I do not need to do anything, but just be me, and she comes out.
Thank God/dess! She comes out.
I have always enjoyed life when I can experience it beyond just the surface details, including in popular culture. Here's a song which certainly could be heard as a call from a very loving part of ourselves, or something outside of ourselves asking us to be loved just a little more. (Bit of language in this song FYI.) Snow Come Down by Lori Carson
I feel when we receive loving attention we are given the nutrients of life, of others, of another, whereby we can really blossom into who we are.
Author Tara Brach in an online article mentions attention as one of the most basic forms of love: "Attention is the most basic form of love. By paying attention, we let ourselves be touched by life, and our hearts naturally become more open and engaged."
Click here to read more.
Mark Newlon, feeling the embrace of the sacred feminine daily!
Sites of Interest