Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Pruned Tree

(this one's for Joshua)

As a torn paper might seal up its side,
Or a streak of water stitch itself to silk
And disappear, my wound has been my healing,
And I am made more beautiful by losses.
See the flat water in the distance nodding
Approval, the light that fell in love with statues, 
Seeing me alive, turns its motion toward me.
Shorn, I rejoice in what was taken from me.

What can the moonlight do with my new shape
But trace and retrace its miracle of order?
I stand, waiting for the strange reaction 
Of insects who knew me in my larger self,
Unkempt, in a naturalness I did not love.
Even the dog's voice rings with a new echo,
And all the little leaves I shed are singing,
Singing to the moon of shapely newness.

Somewhere what I lost I hope is springing
To life again. The roofs, astonished by me, 
Are taking new bearings in the night, the owl
Is crying for a further wisdom, the lilac
Putting forth its strongest scent to find me.
Butterflies, like sails in grooves, are winging
out of the water to wash me, wash me.

Now, I am stirring like a seed in China.

---Howard Moss

63 comments:

Joshua said...

SeekHer,

Thank you so much for posting this beautiful poem! I am honored.

I've been reading it over and over, savoring the intricate meaning of each line.

This does reflect so much of my own journey of late, especially in regards to Siddha Yoga. "The light that fell in love with statues," (so many of them in SY!) now "turns its motion" toward my own Self. Rejoicing in the light within instead of using it to glorify another person.

I especially love the line, "all the little leaves I shed are singing, singing to the moon of shapely newness." This is, and has been, a process of shedding old ideas, long cherished beliefs and concepts -- the surety that through SY I had finally "found the answers" now falling away. Grief, and yet the soul sings and sings with new found freedom.

And tomorrow, February 20th, is a complete eclipse of the moon, just as it becomes full at around 9 pm Eastern Standard Time. In the Ashram, we were warned about the "danger" of lunar eclipses, and encouraged to stay inside and chant the mantra. We were not to travel outside during the eclipse, even between buildings, and to look at it was considered quite "inauspicious."

Tomorrow night, I'll stand outside in the moonlight, and watch the moon grow full, and red, and look it straight in the face, "trace and retrace" its beauty -- unbound by rules and dogma, and sing to its "shapely newness."

Nice to hear from you again, SeekHer! Thank you so much for this wonderful and transforming site.

-Joshua

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Odd, isn't it that this is the first time I have visited in a month and I see you have posted for the first time in a month.

Peace and Love

Epi

PS. You may have heard that Babu Rau died recently. People who visited GSP will remember him.

Anonymous said...

Really perfect for these full moon nights. Remember being taught to leave milk out to absorb the rays. Now the moon has been given its freedom. Powerful healing images. Thanks Seekher.

Anonymous said...

In the Ashram, we were warned about the "danger" of lunar eclipses, and encouraged to stay inside and chant the mantra. We were not to travel outside during the eclipse, even between buildings, and to look at it was considered quite "inauspicious."

--
Yet another incorrect attribution. The ashram may have promoted this idea, but credit should go where it is due-- this is an ancient Vedic belief. Why is it people are always so quick to credit the ashram for things??

Joshua said...

Anon. 4:48. There is nothing "incorrect" about what I wrote. I didn't say that this was a Siddha Yoga -invented tenet, or "credit" the ashram in any way. I merely related what we were told in the ashram.

Yes, it's a Vedic idea that was "promoted" in the ashram. Strongly promoted, as in voice mails that told us "not to go outside" during the eclipse.

We were also told not to travel during the waning moon (only the waxing moon, a practice Gurumayi still follows,) not to start projects or travel during Pitru Paksha, to step with the right foot in and out of doors, (especially in the Temple and the halls) not to start anything when Mercury was in retrograde, don't let your books ever touch the ground, and on and on. Vedic and Hindu traditions are filled with these kinds of detailed proscriptions.

My point was not that the ashram invented any of these practices, but that as part of the ashram staff and SY culture, we were overwhelmed with behavioral and cultural "rules" constantly. You wouldn't have even considered getting married without consulting a Vedic astrologer to get an "auspicious" date. It's fine if this is the culture you grew up in, and these are your normal practices - I'm not knocking that. It's the SY group-think that I find distressing.

It was absoloutly not okay to question any of these practices. When I was first told about not going out during an eclipse, I laughed and said, "What, are we cavemen huddling inside, expecting the world to end?" After I was reprimanded for this remark, I was told that this directive to stay inside came directly from Gurumayi. So during each eclipse, I stayed inside, like everyone else, chanting and not looking at the moon.

These days, I shake my head at how I slowly conformed to these cultural norms in SY. I let myself become afraid to look at the moon!? Amazing!

Through reading this blog and Marta's and examining my own experiences, I've begun to free myself from these superstitions and fears. In the same way that SeekHer doesn't have to pick up pennies anymore, I don't have to hide from the moon.

So tonight I'm going to go out and dance in the moonlight, and LOOK at the moon! And not be bound by beliefs that are not really mine. For me, that's freedom.

-Joshua

Anonymous said...

"I laughed and said, "What, are we cavemen huddling inside, expecting the world to end?" After I was reprimanded for this remark, I was told that this directive to stay inside came directly from Gurumayi." -Joshua
February 20, 2008 7:43 PM

Hard enough to rid ourselves of primitive animism, let alone having a spriritual mother feed it to you. That said, it is told that is is a time to think of the things in your life you would like to bring to a close, finish, or end.

And if we no longer collect here as time passes, sending a huge wish for everyone's continued evolution. Thanks Seekher et al.

Anonymous said...

"That said, it is told that is is a time to think of the things in your life you would like to bring to a close, finish, or end. "

A concern here: Joshua's original request was for help in understanding his own experience -- especially as freed from associations or overlays of belief added by SY for the sake of claiming 'ownership' over them. Is he (and are we) being told/urged to drop them and forget about them? Is all experience -- such as the experiences shared by Joshua and others in this blog -- to be forgotten or rejected as a delusion or sham, or worse yet a dangerous and deranged state?

Jnaneshwar Maharaj predates SY by centuries and in his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita (1290 AD) describes the kinds of states and experiences Joshua was asking about (chapter 6, verses 180-320). It's worth reading, Joshua, if you have not given up on your question.

The poem shared by Seekher is beautiful and a deep contemplation, full of meaning especially for us. "Somewhere what I lost I hope is springing to life again.'

Our loss is also our gain. When freed from dogma (including the dogmas of skepticism), words such as those of Jnaneshwar make the case that there is still something there, something which can yet spring to life.

"The roofs, astonished by me,
Are taking new bearings in the night, the owl
Is crying for a further wisdom, the lilac
Putting forth its strongest scent to find me..."

This bears a fair resemblance to what Jnaneshwar describes as his own experience of renewal.

We all seem to be fairly well agreed on what is coming to a close as far as beliefs we held before. That is a new birth and a cleansing. And there is something still there in our experience to be explored, and cannot be fully dismissed.

What is "the lilac putting forth its strongest scent to find me"? Perhaps a blessing of our healing is that we catch the scent of that call more strongly, and are less likely to accept paper lilacs with a borrowed fragrance.

Anonymous said...

yes! i love all these comments about the eclipses. i knew the ancient vedic ideas about lunar eclipses predated syda, but they were always promoted with a particularly strong gobbledygook fearmongering energy...

and yes, yes, yes! just like joshua, my friend and i rejoiced last night in going to a high hill and watching with total rapture that exquisite eclipse...it had been raining for a day or two and all the sudden the sky was clear and the eclipse was out in all its magnificence..and we both, as ebullient escapees from "the path" were marveling over how wonderful it was to watch reality unfold in all her splendor instead of cowering in some corner pleading with the mantra for protection.

i felt nothing but beneficence from that eclipse and honestly, thrilled to the bone to have jettisoned those terrified, childlike ideas. not only did we watch it, but we TRAVELED all day in her car, having a really fun road trip. we ended up at one point stopping to see a beautiful mosaic staircase that had been created by some artists. suddenly we saw in cobalt blue, black and silver tile, a lunar eclipse had been depicted as part of the design. what a sign to us that the shakti was with us all along, guiding us to the mosaic stair and to the eclipse itself later.

i remember the same "warnings" about initiating anything on the new moon. i stopped listening to those years ago when i realized often on the new moon the universe herself was bringing me great opportunities that were ridiculous to ignore out of superstition. and i even got told repeatedly in those years wednesday was the most inauspicious day to ever leave the ashram. by the bitter end, i tried to come and go on wednesdays just to show how crazy this whole thing got.

my friend and i laughed last night that it might be time to watch "the wizard of oz" again. that story has such parallels for so many of us.

in the end, it's so easy to be free of it all. and thank you for the exquisite poem to that effect.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this Poem, Seekher.

I'm settling down inside now after months (probably more like years) of spiritual "pruning". The SY era of 30 years is behind me now. Got more steady on my spiritual feet with further study and inquiry. "...Or a streak of water stitch itself to silk and disappear, my wound has been my healing..." Healing, healing.

What remains for me is in the social arena of all those friendships formed based on our common SY values and culture. Some people I can "come out" to and most I dare not. I miss my community and the Sunday morning Guru Gita and breakfasts together.

How do you walk away from friends?

-Feelin' Lost but Found

Anonymous said...

The Guru also says to have no fear, which is far more universal and transcendant. I could see it being distracting in travel, but to fear it is to take the Guru's teaching a bit literal. SOmeone probably asked her about it, so she stuck with the scriptures. What they did with it, superstition.

Anonymous said...

I just got it -- Joshua tree!

Stuart said...

Anonymous said...
SOmeone probably asked her about it, so she stuck with the scriptures.

It takes a very bad teacher to "stick with the scriptures." Intelligent people see for themselves; fools stick to scriptures.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Stuart said...

Anony wrote...
A concern here: Joshua's original request was for help in understanding his own experience -- especially as freed from associations or overlays of belief added by SY for the sake of claiming 'ownership' over them. Is he (and are we) being told/urged to drop them and forget about them?

When we talk about experience, it could be that we're referring to what we're perceiving and doing right now. In that case, the experience is alive and undeniable. But sometimes it seems that people are talking about some passing happening in the past, in which case it's clearer to call it a memory.

We all know that memories are fun, that maybe we can sometimes learn from them, so there's no reason to forget them or pretend they don't exist. On the other hand, I'd say it's useful and sane to realize that memories are just memories, something very different from the living experience of this moment.

Is all experience -- such as the experiences shared by Joshua and others in this blog -- to be forgotten or rejected as a delusion or sham, or worse yet a dangerous and deranged state?

To whatever extent we want to save our memories... it's possible to try to see things just as they are. There's no reason to overlay them with concepts like Shakti or Spiritual or Sham or Deranged or anything else. Those are just opinions, and there's a brighter truth that shines through when we stop covering everything up with all these opinions, whatever they happen to be.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

So what is the "brighter truth that shines through?"

Anonymous said...

This interesting and beautifully woven poem by Howard Moss calls out rather poignantly to this former SY’er in several ways. The extensive use of colorful dramatic personification brings to mind a Disney-esque Fantasia-like fever dream enacted here through the persona of a recently pruned tree. The voice of the tree, now elucidating in the first person with all the perforce of a bona fide bhakta with hairs standing on edge, or a whirling dervish preparing for takeoff, heralds the maxim – hope springs eternal. This botanical magnus opus is borne witness to by an array of anthropomorphic creatures animated in the third person who serve to augment and complete the total act of personification, and objectify the eventual psychological redemption of the corporeally pruned tree. I only wish could corroborate with Mr./Ms. Tree and exult in my own share of post-SY shorn rejoicing, however, more to the particulars of my own circumstance, in weighing the positive gains against the negative loses I’m afraid the scales are leaning decidedly toward doling out a somewhat more pessimistic viewpoint. The vulgar injuries sustained in SY beckon the force of gravity much more so than the genteel gains collected over the long haul. I’m certain that for many of us, those poetic rooftops espying our newly shorn shapes are decrying in astonishment, “What the hell happened to you?”

Indeed, life does not always wax and wane to the simple rhythm of momentary indignity like the unbecoming flotsam and jetsam of a bad haircut – the plunder of which benignly grows back to a state of gradually won neutrality over the course of a few off put weeks. No, sometimes the stakes are much higher and the losses much slower to capitulate back to the state of even keel – if indeed they ever do capitulate. Not having the meticulous approbation of design by a master gardener or topiary craftsman, some of us are rather inclined to feel as if we were tastelessly hacked at by some misguided clod in orange robes, who, blinded with myopic self interest brandished a dull machete of half truths, full lies, and shadowy phantom energies. Thus our tired reflection in the flat water indulges the bitter tears of its own wetness to note the incongruities of our unfortunate disfigurement. For many, the fresh and pure has been rent brackish and blue. The light that once fell in love with statues now struggles to blink out from the eye the festering impurities of a gritty sorrow.

While personification is an artful technique supporting the creative life spring of literary magic, it is the ruination of the SY devotee. The message of the cult harkens followers to animate the persona of a virtual stranger with the all exulted imagery and intimacy of a near and dear personal savior. In a creative leap of faith, the guru is catapulted to the position of one who knows the devotee better than they know themselves; one whose selfless altruistic outpouring of love supposedly begins and ends with the devotee’s best interests at heart. The bhakti of Siddha Yoga is built on a fantasy world of guru personification. The misappropriated power of bestowing grace upon mortals and the other magical attributes afforded to the guru are cleverly engineered for a petri dish, test tube culture, and reinforced with coercive texts like the Guru Gita and the syrupy pabulum of endless guru/disciple teaching stories. Grace, mystical experience, and spiritual powers are not unknown entities in my life to be sure, and I’m not abiding for their censure, but the character of the SY guru is a foul caldron of feverish personification for a character who was, and remains, essentially an unknown and very clandestine variable.

So I care not to genuflect with my old comrades and dance to the anesthetizing SY catch phrase “everything happens for the best”. While the import of those words is certainly no stranger to any number of theological systems, in SY they attained to the aura of high understanding generally reserved for the canonical underpinnings of foundational teachings. It was as if wearing this obligatory plasticine optimism were to be counted among the vital Ten Commandments of SY culture and praxis. Could it be that believing “everything happens for the best” is just another step down a slippery slope that warrants the deconstruction of the natural world of cause and effect, the world we witness everyday with our own eyes and interpret, and reinterpret with our own minds? Is not this “everything for the best-ness” simply a shadowy denial wearing the vestiges of a brightly colored painted smile? Doesn’t it tend impede our cultivated sense of doing the right thing and give rise then to the false hope of imagined divine protection through the auspice of the office of the guru. Led astray, we throw an “all for the best” happy spin on that which is truly unsavory and dreadfully unpleasant. This catch phrase is merely a conduit to prop-up the disconnection from our own intelligible sensibility. When “everything happens for the best” is tattooed on our brains like a neon sign of universal truth, then as Rod Serling would say “Welcome to the twilight zone”. Of course there’s nothing wrong with seeing the glass half full, as long one’s vision isn’t so amnesic as to deny, no matter what the odds are saying to the contrary, that the glass is still irredeemably half empty. Hope springs eternal is a beautiful flower whose roots may very well be hardwired into the matrix of our individual survival consciousness. However, the blossom of it fragrant petals unfolds best far beyond the shady maxims of externally coerced artificial fertilizers.


BTW – I don’t know if Seekher is aware of this or not, but interestingly enough Howard Moss was the poetry editor of the New Yorker magazine until his death in 1987; that darling of a publication which had the courage to fire a sizable volley at the waterline of the good ship SY in 1994. Not that the year was personally important; it took another 12 solar cycles for me to realize I was spinning my wheels in an SY fantasy world. Only then was I able to finally catch up on my long, long overdue reading - having slowly rent the spell cast by the indignant flame of Udun (allegorically speaking), who in return for surrender and obedience, bound my perception darkly with promises of bliss, trance, protection, and transfiguration. Fie on the abysmal hunger that leaches the lifeblood of its unsuspecting prey, and belches forth smoking piles of vomitus on tarnished trays of insipid teachings held out to be golden, but secreted with outstretched tentacles maliciously grasping to drown the moon by night, and eclipse the sun by day.

PS. BTW – The term Vedic Astrology as used in the West to denote Hindu astrology, or Jyotish as it is called in India per se, is a misnomer. The Vedas themselves actually speak little of astrology, and the astrological injunctions found in the Hindu religion originate from other sources. The seminal work of Jyotish is the Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra, though of course there are several other classical texts on the subject. The point is that in SY, Hindu custom and culture was often elevated for credulous Westerners into those gospel maxims that many well-educated pious Hindus would only consider with a healthy grain of salt.

Anonymous said...

“When we talk about experience, it could be that we're referring to what we're perceiving and doing right now. In that case, the experience is alive and undeniable. But sometimes it seems that people are talking about some passing happening in the past, in which case it's clearer to call it a memory.

We all know that memories are fun, that maybe we can sometimes learn from them, so there's no reason to forget them or pretend they don't exist. On the other hand, I'd say it's useful and sane to realize that memories are just memories, something very different from the living experience of this moment.

To whatever extent we want to save our memories... it's possible to try to see things just as they are. There's no reason to overlay them with concepts like Shakti or Spiritual or Sham or Deranged or anything else. Those are just opinions, and there's a brighter truth that shines through when we stop covering everything up with all these opinions, whatever they happen to be.”

-----------------------------

Actually the findings of neuroscience, psychology, and just plain common sense are largely in conflict to your thoughts on the nature of memory and experience. Neuroscience demonstrates that experience creates specific neural pathways in our brains relative to the nature and intensity of the experience. Psychology explains that memory is constantly informing our moment to moment evaluation of internal and external stimuli. Common sense shows us how definitively people are impacted by their experiences of life. Memories are not inert. Memories are far more than just “fun” or something we “maybe” can learn from, as you call it. They can also be horribly traumatic and near impossible to forget. Memory recall is an experience in the present, and our experiences in life create our individual I-ness. When we stop evaluating our memory, even ordinary memory, we loose the ability to refine ourselves as human being. When we loose our ability to experience memory we don’t obtain satori or nirvana or enlightenment –we’ve ascended rather to advanced dementia.

Furthermore, “concepts like Shakti or Spiritual or Sham or Deranged or anything else” are indeed concepts, or better yet, categorical objectifications. Opinions are the beliefs held about concepts and categories. For example, a medical ethics committee discussing euthanasia will not refer to euthanasia itself as an opinion, but rather an action, object, or understanding to which opinions can be voiced. Equating concept with opinion only serves to obscure the issue and extract chaos from simplicity.

Many people in SY, including former members who have no investment in lying, continue to remark on the incredible nature of their spiritual experiences – experiences that may have changed them, shifted their perspective of life, and continue to inform their experience of circumstances in the moment in ways that other experiences may not. From what I read on these forums, some people are still having post-SY mystical experiences and feel very open, perhaps almost vulnerable to this type of phenomena. It seems that over the years many people only put up with or accepted the steady stream of SY BS BECAUSE of the intensity of their mystical experiences, and for no other reason.

When these types of experiences are marginalized, especially by persons who claim little or no personal experience with mystical or spiritual experience, I have to question the purity of their motives. IMHO it would seem more compassionate to let people discuss what they feel they need to discuss rather than rhetorically suggest that their interests aren’t really all that important. To advise under these circumstances that “memories are just memories” seems not only to skew the observations of science and common sense; it seems somehow motivated by the cruelties of self-interest.

Anonymous said...

Stuart said... February 25, 2008 12:53 PM

It takes a very bad teacher to "stick with the scriptures." Intelligent people see for themselves; fools stick to scriptures.

(1) Has this been your experience, or are you quoting the scriptures, for such advice is in the scriptures. It's also in the Siddha Yoga books. Example: When you cross the bridge, don't stop to worship the bridge, but keep going.

(2) Quite often, fools depart from the scriptures, for they think they know it all, and become delusional, seeing signs in everything, and interpreting everything according to their "logic." They also tend to lead others on the path to delusion.

(3) In your experience, when did you decide that it was time to depart from the scriptures? This is a direct question, so don't engage in your usual polemics to avoid answering, as I really want to know. This is an important question, at the heart of the matter for a lot of people.

(4) In your reading of the theory, when is it a good time to depart from the scriptures? When is one to decide this? Sometimes people are over-confident in their choices.

(5) I take it that by scriptures, you're referring to spiritually-related texts, and not to things such as Medical school texts, where it would be dangerous to depart from the scriptures.

One of the "problems" I had with Siddha Yoga, was that they answered your questions with riddles, and didn't provide any solid guidance, except for phrases such as,

"Do your dharma" Well, what is my dharma?

Or, "Follow the Shakti" Well, how do I know if I'm following it, or if I'm following my daydreams.

Or, "Chant, Meditate, and do Seva. Everything will unfold from there." I'm still waiting!

Anonymous said...

"stirring like a seed in China"...don't get it in relation to life post-syda..."stirring like a seething China"? Now that I get! China is putting out some pretty lethal "flowers and plants" these days...(post Moss)


" but the character of the SY guru is a foul caldron of feverish personification for a character who was, and remains, essentially an unknown and very clandestine variable."<<<

Yeah, like I said..."stirring like a seething China" the post-syda "flowering" experience.

Anonymous said...

"The point is that in SY, Hindu custom and culture was often elevated for credulous Westerners into those gospel maxims that many well-educated pious Hindus would only consider with a healthy grain of salt."
February 27, 2008 12:51 PM

Great post. The prose fabulous, but also highly accurate. Felt great to read. Felt confirmed, afirmed all the way through. Woke today remembering so many good times, so many letters, so many gifts yet the dissonance with so many twisted finely honed cruelties tailored just for my personal psyche I felt the squelch inside, defeated and numb. How I had wasted precious faith in something so spiritually perverted. It calls to mind the experience of children who have been sexually abused by a parent.

These days I sometimes diminish the impact of SY on my development as a person. Your post help me put it into persepctive and accord it it's proper place. Severely damaging. Taking full assessment of that damage is required to heal and your post helped to do that.
I am happy for those who easily move one, I just am not one of them. It's work, more like housekeeping. Boring drudgery, like cleaning out the basement.

Many many thanks. Hope you keep posting.

Anonymous said...

"While personification is an artful technique supporting the creative life spring of literary magic, it is the ruination of the SY devotee. The message of the cult harkens followers to animate the persona of a virtual stranger with the all exulted imagery and intimacy of a near and dear personal savior. In a creative leap of faith, the guru is catapulted to the position of one who knows the devotee better than they know themselves; one whose selfless altruistic outpouring of love supposedly begins and ends with the devotee’s best interests at heart."
February 27, 2008 12:51 PM

This especially reverberated as exactly my experience. SY pervaded every aspect of my life and when it's machinations made me feel like dirt on the sidewalk, I learned to say 'it's all good'. But it wasn't.

Very therapeutic to read. Thanks

Anonymous said...

"It seems that over the years many people only put up with or accepted the steady stream of SY BS BECAUSE of the intensity of their mystical experiences, and for no other reason".
February 28, 2008 1:17 PM

To this day I can remember the visceral experience of satori. A deeply embedded experience/memory. There were others, but that one was for sure what made me put up with the SY BS. The say Wilson, who created AA only had one such experience. It was enough to keep him schlogging the rest of his life. I agree, not good to minimize the impact of such memories. Thanks.

Stuart said...

Anonymous said...
So what is the "brighter truth that shines through?"

You're perceiving it right now.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Stuart said...

Anony wrote...
Many people in SY ... remark on the incredible nature of their spiritual experiences ... some people are still having post-SY mystical experiences ...

"Spiritual" and "mystical" are ideas connected to belief-system. The experience itself is one thing, while "spiritual" etc are ideas that are overlayed on the memory of the experience. Clarity may be found by separating what actually happened from these ideas that we choose to cover it with.

When these types of experiences are marginalized

If you examine your experience and memories with a questioning mind, you can get to the root: the experience as it is/was, rather than ideas and beliefs attached to it. To see your thinking, experiences, and memories for what they are is hardly "marginalizing" them. What exactly gives you this idea of "marginalizing"?

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Stuart said...

Anony wrote...
when did you decide that it was time to depart from the scriptures?

From the time you appeared in this world, you could see, you could hear, you could act, you could experience for yourself. Then, at some point, you stopped believing in your own experience, and began believing in "scriptures."

So originally, there's no need to "depart from the scriptures." Why embrace scriptures in the first place?

Example: when you take a shower, how do you know whether the water is too hot or too cold? Do you need to refer to a scripture?

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Stuart said...

Anony wrote...
To this day I can remember the visceral experience of satori. A deeply embedded experience/memory. There were others, but that one was for sure what made me put up with the SY BS.

Isn't this a common dynamic? People get some big, special experience in the ashram, with the guru, or in meditation. It's so stunning that they cling to the memory of that experience for years.

We cover the memories with ideas about "spiritual" or "mystical" or "satori" (or alternately "deranged" or "sham"). By glorifying (or demonizing) the memories, we become less able to perceive with clarity the every-changing, moment-to-moment experiences of our lives.

Specifically: when we uncover some of the BS in the organization, a clear mind would lead us to question the org, its leaders, and its belief-system. But precisely because of attachment to those memories that we've made so special... we instead find a way to ignore or justify the BS. We "put up with" all sorts of BS... rather than responding to it with clarity and questioning.

not good to minimize the impact of such memories

Isn't this a false dichotomy? That is, it's not like we only have 2 choices: (1) glorifying some past experience, or (2) "minimizing" it. Fact is, we can also simply see it for what it is (without minimizing or maximizing anything). What it is... is a memory of a past experience, linked in our minds to all sorts of ideas, beliefs, and opinions.

Anyway, this isn't something that needs debate, because each of us, right now, can test it out for ourselves. Pay attention: what's it like when we focus on some wonderful experience from our past? And what's it like when we attend 100% to the living experience of this moment? Very simply and directly, we can see this for ourselves, and decide for ourselves which way we like.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Stuart wrote:

"From the time you appeared in this world, you could see, you could hear, you could act, you could experience for yourself. Then, at some point, you stopped believing in your own experience, and began believing in "scriptures."

So originally, there's no need to "depart from the scriptures." Why embrace scriptures in the first place?

Example: when you take a shower, how do you know whether the water is too hot or too cold? Do you need to refer to a scripture?"


As I expected, you didn't answer the question posed directly to you. When indirect questions are posed, you say be direct; and then when direct questions are posed, you talk about taking cold showers. It's ridiculous, and a waste of time, and this is the last conversation I'm having with you.

I'm sorry but what you state is contradictory to your behavior. If as you say, people are to be left to stew in their juices and to think for themselves, then why follow anything. By this I mean you. Why do you advertize your "Empty Gate" Zen center. Your pictures are there. They have all the same trappings as Siddha Yoga. In fact, they appear to be Siddha Yoga Korean Style, with kimchi on the side instead of sour cereal and upma.

If you say that people should be left to think for themselves, why have you spent countless years in trying to influence the thinking of people. And by influence I mean the kinds of things you say, and which you don't practice yourself. You don't seem to walk your talk.

Why do you persist in talking in riddles? People are here to understand what happened to them. The things that happened to them turned their lives upside down. A lot of them are suffering from post traumatic syndromes, and their lives (and finances) are in shambles. For them it is a very serious issue to be able to discuss their process with others. And all you say is cold showers and hot showers. I find it insulting.

All that you have said, I've read in the fortune cookies in my local Chinese restaurant over the years. So what are you adding to the mix? Why do you continue to trivialize what others are going through, just because your life is on easy street.

Anonymous said...

Love the poetry. I am a little lonely and bored so if I may be permited to have a go myself.

A successful mother lyon has learnt the value of her own milk.
Left alone in the wilderness she has but no other who will clean and tend her wounds.
As she licks she taste the saltiness of injury, it's bitterness as it congeals.
Her healing requires such singleness of purpose that she must take herself to the darkest of dens.
Ever deeper in the cavernous regions so that she may not be eyed upon by a preditor.
Without such an act she would not live long enough to spawn a brood.
And so she has learnt to mother.

Stuart said...

Anony wrote...
Why do you advertize your "Empty Gate" Zen center. Your pictures are there. They have all the same trappings as Siddha Yoga.

Very important point. If you keep a superficial mind, then you focus on "trappings." Most of us are intelligent adults, so we can question more deeply, and look into the meaning and intention behind outer appearances. You'll never get anywhere with this focus on "trappings."

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Stuart said...

SeekHer:

Please review the anonymous posting of March 2, 2008 9:33 AM.

Since this comments section is moderated, I understand that you must have read it and decided it was worth including. Am I to understand that it's now perfectly allowable on this blog to make purely mud-slinging comments? That you allow personal attacks that are completely empty of intelligent debate about Gurumayi or SYDA?

When people read views in the comments section that make them feel challenged or uncomfortable... should they now know that they can hide behind anonymity, and respond with mud-slinging that avoids all serious issues? Is it now OK to call anyone who posts here a clown? Will you allow posts that are purely name-calling? Are we free to call each other stupid, or fat, or ugly, or commie, or anything we feel like, if it'll help avoid real discussion?

Stuart

Stuart said...

Anony wrote...
At this point the most pointed response to Stuart's posts would be the same as the appropriate response to Anne Coulter. Ignore him.

This is absolutely essential to maintaining a cultish mindset: you must somehow ignore anyone who may make you question your beliefs in a serious, intelligent way. The specific technique that anony uses here... mud-slinging, personal attacks on anyone you perceive as out of lock-step with your dogma... that's also a vital part of the mindless cult dynamic.

One wonders... how is it that anony had the time and energy to post personal insults... and yet not enough time to write one single sentence responding to any specific thing I've said?

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

SeekHer said...

Stuart wrote:
SeekHer: Please review the anonymous posting of March 2, 2008 9:33 AM
-------------
Not sure which comment you're referring to, Stuart, I have deleted a few comments re: you that I posted before reading carefully. It seems someone dislikes you intensely and has nothing better to do than write loooong, long posts about it. You have no idea how many of these comments I've rejected, or posted and then took down almost immediately after reading them in their entirety. Just today I published one from "anony" because, unlike many others, it was at least polite, and then I got a "reply" from the same person pretending to be someone else agreeing with anony that you are a jerk. So, I removed the first listing and rejected the second. (I could tell they were from the same person because the language and examples used were practically identical).

Anony--do you realize your tag is an anagram for "Annoy"?

And Stuart, your straightforward but rather relentless "be here now" philosophy seems to strike some as over-simplified, and to really push the buttons of others. Is this intentional on your part? I find the core meaning of your postings (that all we have to rely on is our experience as it unfolds in the moment) to be more and more persuasive as I transition out of SY, but must admit that the messenger sometimes gets in the way of the message, for me too.

Anonymous said...

Stuart wrote:
"Spiritual" and "mystical" are ideas connected to belief-system. The experience itself is one thing, while "spiritual" etc are ideas that are overlayed on the memory of the experience. Clarity may be found by separating what actually happened from these ideas that we choose to cover it with.

-----

Words like spiritual, mystical, truthful, beautiful, and so on are self-evident abstraction used for expressing a general set of qualities. Clarity, a word you’ve taken refuge in is also an abstraction or ideation. You need to differentiate between qualities and interpretations. Failing to do so only brings confusion to simplicity. In any event, clarity, as best as humans can find it, is IMO a diamond with many facets. Reductionism to the bare essentials of immediate perception, or separating event from idea as you put it, is just part of the elephant, not the whole elephant. Pandering to reductionism as “the way” to clarity is rather limited and dogmatic. You could argue that a rose has no beauty; it is a collection of cell walls and pigmentation. Beauty is but an idea connected to a belief system. And while that argument is consistent with your position, its reductionism really does nothing to bring clarity to human experience.

In any event, as far as these “ideas that we choose”, in the realm of spiritual and mystical experience, there is no “we”. You are by your own admission, not an actual participant in that aspect of the group experience and your voice is only here, in this instance, to proselytize to those who were.

*************

Stuart wrote:
To see your thinking, experiences, and memories for what they are is hardly "marginalizing" them. What exactly gives you this idea of "marginalizing"?

-----

Your notions about thinking, experience, and memory were pretty butchered ideations of what they actually are, as explained previously through the examples of neuroscience, psychology, and common sense. A false premise does not lead to a valid conclusion, or the programmer’s say “garbage in garbage out”. I believe it’s an accurate assessment to say you’ve marginalized those whose wish to investigate and discuss experiences characterized as spiritual or mystical. Your reply here is the rational equivalent of ringing a doorbell and running away; a veneer of logic with no substance.

Am I just wasting my words as Anon has suggested? Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

Stuart wrote: "Very important point. If you keep a superficial mind, then you focus on "trappings." Most of us are intelligent adults, so we can question more deeply, and look into the meaning and intention behind outer appearances. You'll never get anywhere with this focus on "trappings.""

By the same logic, I could be within the geographic and spiritual confines of Siddha Yoga, but in my conversations not mention any of this, and people would have no idea that I was in Siddha Yoga, and I could pass myself off as a sage. I say this because you haven't answered the question:

Are you practising at the Empty Gate Center? If yes, then aren't you not an independent thinker, but subject to the mental persuasion techniques (whatever you wish to call them) of that particular path?

As is your modus operandus, you probably won't answer the question, but I'll just put it out there.

By the way, you complained about someone calling you a clown. Meanwhile, you called me a sheep. That's an insult too. Or do you fall under a protected class?

SeekHer said...

Ahhh. Regarding the last comment. I don't think Stuart--or anyone--should have to answer a question that begins:
"Aren't you not an independent thinker"

OK. You obviously don't understand one thing. This isn't a place for personal vendettas to be carried out, especially when the participants have never met and know each other solely through their respective comments.

If this is what the community discussion devolves into absent any new content, well, it's probably time to shut this mofo down. For now, any further back and forth between Anony and Stuart parties regarding their mutual antipathy will not be posted. It's bad enough I have to read it.

Joshua said...

SeekHer,

Thank you for jumping in here. This blog is an important and precious place, and has been so vital to my own growth and learning. I realized tonight that this is, for me, the only safe place to discuss these issues. There really isn't any other place like it; a place to talk about our experiences in SY, about our process of disenchantment, about the "leaves falling off the tree." It's not ExSY or LSY -- it's unique. I love the openness, your beautiful writing, and your thoughtful and careful moderation of the posts.

While I also find many of Stuart's ideas interesting, I've found most of his posts to be dispiriting and rather dismissive. The combative back-and-forth feels to me like it's shut down the discussion, not encouraged it.

I've enjoyed being able to talk about experiences here, yet I've been hesitant to post this last week or so. I didn't want what I've said to be picked apart. In other words, it hasn't felt safe. I don't know if anyone else feels this way.

I spent too many years in SY being "teached at," and that's not why I read this blog. I read it to learn about other people's experiences in SY or other similar types of organizations. To be inspired and to better understand my own experiences, in particular, the cognitive dissonances I felt for so many years.

I think the process of "leaving" (for lack of a better word) Siddha Yoga is pretty darn difficult and confusing. There's a lot to sort out. Anger, gratitude, great friends, wierd crazy contradictory teachings, the Guru is perfect, the Guru is a person, all the rituals that we performed over and over for so many years.... Is it a cult? Were the good times really good? Were we deluded? Immature? "Love bombed?" Addicted? Such great things to think about -- so many rich ideas have been exchanged here.

I'd be so sad if you shut it down SeekHer; I think this is such an important forum.

My best friend teaches college. During his classes, when two students get into a sparring match over ideas in class, he lets it go on for a little while. Then he politely asks them to take it outside, or to put in on hold so that he can open up the discussion to the rest of the class. Just my personal preference, no insult intended, but I wish that Stuart and his Anonymouses could do the same -- just take it off line and hash it out in private. If there's something we all might learn from, fine. If not, how about discussing it out in the hallway. I guess that call is up to you, SeekHer, since it's your blog.

In any case, let's go on. Let's keep talking and figuring all this out, or not figuring it out, together.

The other day someone called me to do seva at my center, and I said no, awkwardly. I missed my friends at the center, and had that longing for the "old days." Then another friend called to chat, and said her daughter (who has never met Gurumayi and doesn't practice SY) had gotten a scholarship to college. "She owes it all to Gurumayi," she said. I wanted to scream. The longing for the old days vanished, replaced by gratitude for the painful yet wonderful process of waking up. I hung up the phone and thought, "Thank God I don't believe that crap anymore."

Contradictions, lots of feelings, paradox ... it's such a mixed bag. And you and so many folks here have helped me think about things in a new way.

I'm thinking about where we started this thread, with that beautiful poem. We are "stirring like seeds in China." As kids, when we dug holes, we wanted to dig "all the way to China." Somehow we thought if we dug deep enough, we'd come out on the other side of the world.

And now I believe that if we do dig deep enough, we can.

Thanks SeekHer.

-Joshua

Anonymous said...

"I find the core meaning of your postings (that all we have to rely on is our experience as it unfolds in the moment) to be more and more persuasive as I transition out of SY, but must admit that the messenger sometimes gets in the way of the message, for me too."
March 2, 2008 6:56 PM

Ditto on this Seekher. I am finding Stuart's simplicity a definite tonic, but tonics are not something we take all the time. Plain water is great, but so is juice and wine. They all have their place. To Stuart, I was surprised the remarks got under your skin. But alas it makes you more human, shows you have tender spots too. Like the rest of us. :-)

Anonymous said...

Seekher,

Maybe we have run out of steam for a bit on these rituals of disenchantment. Squabbling etc. Because practicing SY pulled me a away from anything that wasn't gurucentric, then pulled the plug on that, I have had to seek new ways to contribute and be a part of something greater than myself, greater than my own private Idaho. This forum has provided a sense of community for me during the transition. Wherever you go, whatever you do, please know that sharing your grace here gave this Anony good company and hope and I will always carry a lot of very real affection for you. xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

The annoyance expressed by plural anony's arose from promising threads of conversation (eg. thoughts about the poem you posted for the present thread) being consistently dominated and derailed by someone who made it all about him. As one anony seemed to point out, Ann Coulter is a 'tonic' too, but not one who ultimately promotes civil or rational discussion -- just squabbles centered around attention-grabbing provocation.

Since this poster was given relatively free reign with little if any comment, wasn't it inevitable that there would be some blowback, especially from those of us deeply disappointed by the fact that posters who wanted to talk about their experiences were consistently put on the defensive, and thus silenced? No room seems to be allowed for expression of any positive emotion -- love, devotion, hope or even the use of the word spirituality. All relegated to 'memories' of 'nice feelings.' Tonic' or toxic? Skeptic or sceptic?

I too come to this blog as a special place for moving forward through open discussion and positive contribution of ideas. While some sympathy seems to have been somehow generated for the one person who has most actively and consistently undermined this, I tend to have more sympathy for those of us who, in a largely futile effort, did our best to call him on it. If escalating the blowback finally led the teacher to have the conversation taken 'outside,' then mission accomplished. I would rather stay in class. Has this ceased to be an option?

If you have moved on, Seekher, then I guess it would be best to say so and not leave the blog as an empty lot. We're all sad.

Lee

Anonymous said...

Dear Seekher,

I am the one who wrote the post that agreed with the person who called Stuart a clown. However, I am not the one who wrote the post calling him a clown. That you decided that we were both the same poster shows a bit of bias, for you let the post where he called me a sheep to stay, merely because I choose not to protest anyone calling me anything.

I am also the one who investigated the Kwa Num and Empty Gate websites and wrote all the quoted material from these sites. I only did this because Stuart has consistently and relentlessly reduced everyone's experiences to "good feelings" or something of that nature, and answered people with fortune cookie types of phrases. This is frankly very disheartening. Some of us have experienced mind-blowing and life-changing things, and to consistently negate it all as "good feelings," and for you to protect the poster of this reductionist thought just makes me want to go away. Yet I stay because there are other people who experienced the same things as me (you might think that all the Anony's are the same people, but they are not) and they do write brilliant things whenever they bring themselves to write, which now seems to be a lot less frequent than before.

Getting back to Stuart. He has, for better or for worse, decided to reveal certain aspects of his life in public websites and blogs. This opens him up for analysis and "criticism" and for speculation on his hypocritical stances. What's wrong with that? There is no vendetta against him, it's just that he has shut down all the conversation by drowning out other people. He can say that he has not insulted anyone, but by being a prolific nag, people tend to move away, thereby diluting the value of this blog.

Other people choose to remain anonymous. I wouldn't want my colleagues to find out about my past in Siddha Yoga. Call me weak, but I have to deal with my own reality the way I see fit, and not the way Stuart thinks we should comport ourselves.

Where am I going with this? I don't really know, for the experience on this blog seems to have gone off track and become all about Stuart. Is this what you want? I think not.

SeekHer said...

Joshua wrote:
Just my personal preference, no insult intended, but I wish that Stuart and his Anonymouses could do the same -- just take it off line and hash it out in private. If there's something we all might learn from, fine. If not, how about discussing it out in the hallway.
----------------------

I think this is an excellent idea. Stuart includes his website at the tail of his comments, and I'd encourage those who wish to debate him on his ideas, beliefs, practices, teaching methods, etc to engage him there. And Stuart, I'd invite you to look at how your comments have affected discussion on this forum. Personally, I've never felt shut down by your posts, but clearly others have. If your goal is to encourage others to adopt a way of seeing that stresses the immediacy of the moment, your approach is accomplishing the opposite. I chalk it up to what I ignorantly believe to be Zen teaching method, keep asking the koans until the mind stops, that sort of thing. But, the primary reason people come here is not to be taught a new method of apprehending their reality, but rather to deal with the dissolution of a method and the disappearance of its teacher in Siddha Yoga. Please respect that.

Anonymous said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head, Seekher. Stuart seems always to be teaching zen, but most of us are not zen students. I value very much of what he has to say, but often feel condescended to or patronized by what I perceive as a pedantic tone in his posts. My perception would likely be different if I had "signed on" as a student, but I haven't.

That being said, it felt to me that some of the various "anonys" arguing with Stuart might have had the intention of derailing discussion here. It would be a great shame if that were to happen, in my opinion!

older but wiser

SeekHer said...

someone wrote:
"Where am I going with this? I don't really know, for the experience on this blog seems to have gone off track and become all about Stuart. Is this what you want? I think not."

Odd. The last several comments have been dedicated to re-establishing a balance here, yet you felt the need to have the last word re: Stuart. Just who is it who wants this discussion to be all about him?

Anonymous said...

On the topic of memories and neuro science. I have been looking at techniques like EFT, Temporal Tappping, Thought Field Therapy all those tapping modalities, there are lots of brands.

Point of bringing it up is that although I get where Stuart is going with coaching us on the self-talk and concepts about life that cause us no end of trouble and weigh us down, the science tells us that the unconcious mind cannot make a distinction about memories, especially involving trauma. So when a trigger comes along we think we are back there for real and that it is all happening again. We have to retrain ourselves.

When folks share here, especially when it's poetry and eloquent remarks, my heart lifts up and heals. I can feel glad again to talk of spiritual matters.

Words are my hobby, vocation, avocation, my staff of life, my companions. I hung breathlessly, lovingly on every word Gurumayi spoke, even when she was mocking me, belittling me, tearing me down in private and in front of hundreds of people. With tears of humiliation streaming down my face, I took it all in.

That was trauma. Because I consider this still a SY venue, of sorts, when beautiful words are shared here about emerging away from this travesty of a spritual path, they heal.

Maybe I'll start tapping my frontal lobes while I read from now on. ;-)

Thank you poets.

Anonymous said...

“Jnaneshwar Maharaj predates SY by centuries and in his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita (1290 AD) describes the kinds of states and experiences Joshua was asking about (chapter 6, verses 180-320). It's worth reading, Joshua, if you have not given up on your question.”

----------

Jnaneshvari… Yes, took a read of those verses - very interesting memorabilia indeed for someone who experienced kundalini classically exploding up the spine and out the top of the head. The instruction (v.186) to recall the presence of the guru struck a nerve though. That sort of thing seems so prevalent in the writing of yoga tantra. You know, books are pretty safe compared to the dangers people allude to in working with living gurus, especially tantric gurus. I’m talking about the bad apples with selfish motives and purported abilities to tap into people psyches and mess with their minds, karmas, life-force, etc. - or so the accusations go.

Otherwise, I don’t understand how the yogi exists after the earth, water, and fire elements are absorbed into air and ether, i.e. (v.293) “the gross form of the body disappears and it is no longer visible to physical sight. In reality it is the same body, and is seen to possess the same limbs, yet it looks as if it were molded out of air.” … (v.296) “When such is condition of the body the yogi seems to be a spirit.” … (v.299) “The water dissolves the soil, the light absorbs the water, and in the heart center the vital air consumes the light.”

I’d heard these types of remarks during my tenure in SY. It all sounded so fantastical. In this life I’ve seen Bhagavan Nityananda on a few rare occasions definitively appearing before me in space like a holographic image, but this was long after he was dead to his physical form of course, at least in common chronological time. Jnaneshvar is implying the yogi can undergo this transformation while still in the body – well sort of in the body. Go figure!

Anonymous said...

Re: Jnaneshvar

Jnaneshvar was one of the pre-eminent members of the Natha sect of yogis responsible for hatha yoga -- and one of its critics (at one point he says the hatha yogis are the first to fall because of their pride in their accomplishments). The Nathas believed in the possibility of transformation into this non-physical or immortal quasi-physical state known as that of the (real) siddha, and it's been a head-scratcher for me too.

On the one hand the Natha version of 'siddhahood' involves the bizarre discussions of 'raising the bindu'/sexual fluid in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and a strange obsession among the hatha yogis with this sort of immortality not found in other works of yoga (people like Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna and even Nityananda didn't seem to worry about immortality, and embraced their physical passing). Add to that the fact that practitioners of these arts seem to end up dying anyway, eventually. Even Jnaneshwar intentionally took physical samadhi at the tender age of around 26 and displayed no great interest in sticking around.

On the other, there is the kind of experience described by Jnaneshwar and the kind of experience you mention -- that this subtler state is real. While I haven't been able to wrap my head around it, at the same time I can't just dismiss it out of hand or even explain it away. Jnaneshwar is another reminder that there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in my philosophy.

The point for me is that the whole path of meditation among these tantrics is the movement from the gross to the subtle, while not denying the reality of gross physical existence or writing it off as 'Maya' in the Vedantic sense. It makes for a more integrated, if puzzling, view of spiritual progress through meditation, and assigns a clear role for 'grace' in the form of the Kundalini, where before the emphasis in Classical and Vedanta was more on self-effort. And Jnaneshwar is describing more clearly what this force is and does. It loosens for me the dualistic mode of 'otherworldly' meditation, or meditation as 'liberation.'

Which brings up the question of the Guru. I totally understand and resonate with the nerve it struck with you -- me too. But the physical guru in Jnaneshwar's case was his older brother, who had himself come across a sage in a cave by accident, and afterward 'initiated' Jnaneshwar, and his role almost seems to be that of a formality, just as Krishna had a 'guru' as a formality and even Nityananda had Ishwara Iyer, who fairly clearly did not play the same role for Nityananda that we think of as the classic 'guru-disciple' relationship.

For myself I've come to terms with these references to gratitude to the Guru as being directly to this power of grace -- thus maintaining a proper sense of humility in relation to the Absolute -- and not to a physical individual and the baggage of individual ego and capricious whims that seems to inevitably come with that individuality.

Yes I entirely agree that the ambiguity of references to the guru has been capitalized upon by bad apples. A main feature of my own ritual of disenchantment has been to get much more clear with myself about what 'presence' I am 'recalling,' clearly separating the manipulative individuals from the reality of that presence.

I have had plenty of experiences -- my own and experience shared with me by others that are not connected with such individuals -- to convince me of the truth of this distinction. The grace/presence is the baby; the gurus are the bathwater. (PS I never got into drinking the bathwater -- LOL) All I can say is, that works for me.

D

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what all groups are out there on the internet that discuss Siddha Yoga, and also their particular philosophies?

Do you have the web addresses as well.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what all groups are out there on the internet that discuss Siddha Yoga, and also their particular philosophies?

Do you have the web addresses as well.


Some of them are listed on the right column of this blog. Unfortunately, there is no site that is free of moderation. So you have to go through them, read for a while, and get a feel for what kind of flavor you are comfortable with. Unfortunately, after a while you will find that the moderation tends to turn the regular posters into cultic thinking, where they kowtow to the moderators mindset. In other words, they become what they have tried so hard to leave. And you will find that if you are a free thinker, you will be biting your tongue because the post that you so wanted to post, will get you ejected from the group if you do, so you find yourself censoring yourself. It gets uncomfortable. Then you leave. Why do you think there are so many forums discussing Siddha Yoga? It's because the same people who clawed their way up the hierarchy in Siddha Yoga, are doing the same thing on these sites. So really, we have met the enemy, and it is us.

This blog is the closest I have seen to an unmoderated forum, even though there is moderation.

Maybe you should start your own blog, and see what a pain in the ass it is.

Seekher, what percent of postings have you deleted?

Anonymous said...

"For myself I've come to terms with these references to gratitude to the Guru as being directly to this power of grace -- thus maintaining a proper sense of humility in relation to the Absolute -- and not to a physical individual and the baggage of individual ego and capricious whims that seems to inevitably come with that individuality."
D March 4, 2008 10:31 AM

This entire post was good to read. I thrilled to read Jnaneshwari. The tumult, rushing gushing tumble of words directed to the Absolute were awesome. A Marathi James Joyce. I would like to recover that, tease it away from SY. Yet they were the source for me finding it.

Forgiveness will be a step that will have to come eventually. Not quite there. When I commented to someone that I would have to learn to forgive, I was guided to think instead that it was something you have to let happen, to allow. I like that. Not straining, rather releasing into it.

Thanks D

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what all groups are out there on the internet that discuss Siddha Yoga, and also their particular philosophies?

Do you have the web addresses as well.

March 4, 2008 12:24 PM

Hi Anon,

Seekher has all the links helfully posted right here on the home page where you are posting. Just have to click on them.

To ask what their respective philosophies are however is cheating. ;-) That's the kind of homework you have to figure out for yourself. :-)

J said...

"I've enjoyed being able to talk about experiences here, yet I've been hesitant to post this last week or so. I didn't want what I've said to be picked apart. In other words, it hasn't felt safe. I don't know if anyone else feels this way."
--

Yes!
In fact, after reading this blog regularly, I completely left it awhile back for just this reason. Stopped by today because I was curious what it had transpired.

Seeker, seems you have come close to allowing your blog to be hijacked by someone who is apparently looking to expand his posture as a teacher. That is a pity. I suspect most of us came here originally because you offered beautifully written and thought-provoking posts (without in any way putting yourself on a pedestal) that opened a door to exploring our post-SY experience. It was appealing because you did it with a more open approach than that at exSY.

I think it will be difficult to re-establish a balance here (as you said in your last post) unless you feel moved to provide more frequent posts (as opposed to comments). Otherwise, people are what they are and hijacking will happen. This blog will become increasingly indistinguishable from the exSY site.

Anonymous said...

I guess the quasi-physical state Jnaneshwar is referring to is like the state of those fabled Himalayan yogis who live without food or clothing in the traditional sense, and in rare sighting, are reported to have the transparency of specter like beings. I suppose the personage of Babaji, a la the Yogananda autobiography exhibits some of those quasi-physical qualities. Svoboda too, describes his mentor thrice removed, as being several hundred years old and in possession of all types of superhuman powers. While it’s interesting stuff to talk about, I’m not sure how much relevance it has I my life. I’d heard there was some guy, now dead, who claimed to be the fabled Babaji and amassed for himself quite a nice following. Others insist this person was an imposter trying to cash in on the Babaji name. Oh well, such is life, or its supernatural extension. :-)

Which reminds me that some devotees of Jnaneshwar consider him to be yet alive, held in kind of voluntary samadhi induced suspended animation. Supposedly, many generations after the fact of this samadhi, Eknath was psychically instructed by Jnaneshwar to enter his tomb and remove an obtrusive tree limb. Eknath later reported that Jnaneshwar’s body was still perfectly intact and warm to the touch.

I went back to reread those verses again with an eye towards figuring out just exactly how Kundalini rising transforms an individual’s understanding of the world they live in. I suppose I was hoping to discover some bridge to explain how the movement of Kundalini through the subtle body affects both biology and psychology. Then again, expecting a text that’s a 1,000 years old to speak in terms familiar to modern empirical inquiry is asking a bit much. Jnaneshwar does suggest that the goal of Kundalini practice is immersion of the individual mind in understanding the nature of the absolute, and one’s relation to the absolute, in a completely experiential, non-rhetorical fashion.

When you speak of loosing the dualistic mode of “otherworldy” mediation, or mediation as liberation, I believe you’re saying, if I can reframe it in my own words, that the division between the gross and subtle worlds is a misnomer, an act of faulty perception only, and that liberation is already achieved in spite of the fact that it doesn’t feel that way. On a personal note, I must admit that post-SY I’ve acquired a certain aversion to that slightly spacey, tandra like crossover between subtle and gross awareness. It’s like my brain has imprinted the shift into that altered state of awareness with the now repulsive violations of SY.

In a way, I can empathize and perhaps occasionally sympathize with the folks who having once sought and actually tasted the alluring flavor of mystical experience, now abjure all such experience in favor of less exotic, more exoteric approaches. I guess that’s the inevitable backlash of the group experience. Some people who reportedly experienced Kundalini awaking suggest they would have been better off without it, while perhaps a majority of others were led to believe the occasional lights and visions, etc. were signs of awakened kundalini, when in fact the phenomenon only represented an ordinary bump in pranic activity, not a true kundalini awakening per se. As is all too oft the complaint, in spite of the glittering nature of the unusual mystical trapping, no detectably transformation was experienced even in the short-term. Perhaps those who believe they had a genuine and abiding kundalini awakening that produced a revolutionary and immediate shift in understanding and perception are an awkward minority. And among these, how many can say with any modicum of certainty that the physical guru rather than the universal guru initiated these changes. I used to believe that I was fortunate my kundalini awakening happened away from the physical guru simply because it short-circuited the idea about impressions from a charismatic figure. Now I believe the event had little to do with the physical SY guru whatsoever. Whatever powers they may or may not have, their greatest power is appropriate for themselves that which they had little or nothing to do with.

Okay, now I’m babbling. Just one more thing – I’m not so sure Ishwara Iyer played the role of guru to Nityananda whatsoever. What I recall from reading the independent sans SY influence Nityananda websites is that Iyer played the role of Nityananda’s foster father until Nityananda made his sudden goodbyes to him at the tender age 8 years old. In accordance with a promise made during that unexpected parting, a 16 year old Nityananda returned home again to see his ailing foster father just prior to his passing, and afterwards assisted the family with the funeral rites before leaving again.

BTW – If anyone was wondering, in a nutshell the verses in question relate to Jnaneshwar’s description of a meditation technique comprised primarily of siddasana, evenness of breath, mental focus on the tip of the nose (no, I don’t think you have to look at it) with eyelids partially closed. Absorption in the technique encourages the pranic breath to undergo a change which in turn fires up the kundalini. The kundalini rises, creates incredible transformations in the body and mind, and eventually grants the yogi an experience and understanding that is simply incomprehensible to the ordinary mind and beyond being accurately described in words, though of course Jnaneshwar makes some sort of attempt to describe it anyway for the sake of intelligibility.

Did you ever think that in a yoga which stressed bhakti and seva and chanting and dakshina, with little or no emphasis on the traditional kundalini toolkit of hardcore hatha, pranayama, bij, internal energetics, visualization, and so on, that wondering about the state of your kundalini was not just a little more than a bit ridiculous?

Thanks for chatting.

Anonymous said...

Anon March 5, 2008 2:27 PM wrote:

Okay, now I’m babbling.

Absolutely not, I am enjoying everything you are saying. Please give me more!

It is so refreshing to actually read something of substance at last. Something that will help understand one's experiences.

Thank you!

Did you ever think that in a yoga which stressed bhakti and seva and chanting and dakshina, with little or no emphasis on the traditional kundalini toolkit of hardcore hatha, pranayama, bij, internal energetics, visualization, and so on, that wondering about the state of your kundalini was not just a little more than a bit ridiculous?

Yes and no.

The Kundalini aspects of Siddha Yoga, IMO, are experiential. One can read about them ad nauseum, but unless one has the experience, there is no understanding of what exactly it is, and indeed a strong denial that there is actually anything there (you can see this manifest itself in many SY-related forums, in different ways). When the experience happens, all the limbs of yoga happen spontaneously. I write from experience. Please don't scoff at my saying this, it just is, that's all. I'm still a regular Joe, working a job and doing all the other mundane things in life.

I never warmed up to the circus that was the ashram, and on my rare visits thought I was in some strange fantasy, where I was the only one who felt it was a strange place, extremely strange, but I felt completely at home, as if I had come home (isn't that weird?). The people were so different from the outside world, it didn't feel real, yet at the same time I felt that this was real, and the outside world was the strange one.

I was having all these experiences at home, none of which reminded me of the ashram, yet there was this intense attraction to being in the ashram, to bathe in the shakti, as someone put it to me.

I found too many women there (as much as I like their gender), a lot of them looking for love, a major distraction. I went less and less, and eventually stopped going altogher, for what I was experiencing at home was a zillion times more intense than anything in the ashram. The Kundalini experiences were better than a million orgasms, as they say, and I can honestly tell you they indeed were. Were, not are, for they have gone.

I've read most of Gopi Krishna, I have Svoboda's books, Stanislav Grof (a friend went through holotropic breath work), Ken Wilbur, etc... Going in circles actually, there's a lifetime of reading out there.

I take all the above, and put it together with all the bullshit that allegedly went on, and it doesn't compute. That's a major conundrum I'll have to live with.

Lots more to tell, but I'll see if there is any atmosphere of interest. I so want to discuss this as I haven't had any opportunity to talk about it with anyone, and it is a significant aspect of Siddha Yoga, if not the central one.

I felt no attraction to being in the Guru's presence, so I can't understand people leaving everything to get that glimpse or to get that glance. As I said, it's experiential. Some experience A, and some experience B. It's all what they need to experience I suppose.

Now I'm babbling, so thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Did you ever think that in a yoga which stressed bhakti and seva and chanting and dakshina, with little or no emphasis on the traditional kundalini toolkit of hardcore hatha, pranayama, bij, internal energetics, visualization, and so on, that wondering about the state of your kundalini was not just a little more than a bit ridiculous?

Thanks for chatting.

March 5, 2008 2:27 PM

Glad you chatted, very glad. Just prior to meeting Muktananda, I spent some time in the Pyrennes, near Lourdes. My time was mostly my own and I taught myself to meditate using Vivekenanda's Les Yogas Pratiques. Wondering off into the mountains and finding a cave, well what can I say, it is still my style, romantic notion or not. I would love it.

Alas as someone noted in another post, we are meant to live with our brothers and sisters.

I don't give SY credit for all my experiences. It was that I finally found a community who had had similar experiences and we could be together. And I thought I had found trustworthy guides. Not perfect guides, just ones who would not cut and run. Stick it out. Thick and thin.

I am glad we are able to be together here sometimes. Even though we squabble.

Anonymous said...

Re: "I went back to reread those verses again with an eye towards figuring out just exactly how Kundalini rising transforms an individual’s understanding of the world they live in. I suppose I was hoping to discover some bridge to explain how the movement of Kundalini through the subtle body affects both biology and psychology. Then again, expecting a text that’s a 1,000 years old to speak in terms familiar to modern empirical inquiry is asking a bit much. Jnaneshwar does suggest that the goal of Kundalini practice is immersion of the individual mind in understanding the nature of the absolute, and one’s relation to the absolute, in a completely experiential, non-rhetorical fashion."

Thanks for chatting.March 5, 2008 2:27 PM

Came across the concept that God's favor could be shown to you when you life screws up, when you end up playing the fool. Came from a rabbi Michael Berg. Shortly after finding his thoughts I began praying/chanting Kundalini Stavaha twice per day for three years. The verses seem to reflect this same idea that that action of grace/holy spirit Kundalini, is not necessarily what we would like it to be. A yogi will come to expect her mischief. That is to break us of our bonds to materiality. Very hard to reconcile this kind of thing with family life. Chakras in the kitchen?

Kundalini came to seem a hostile, challenging force for me. Like Kali mostly. I got severely burned. At the end she was not kind and the understanding generated was quite nihilistic and not social. Sorry I can't be more coherent on this. But I wanted to find this bridge you talk about too and I almost drowned. I am not constitutionally suited to using the paradigm/metaphor of full throttle Kundalini sadhana. I guess I don't know how to make use of these experiences. Though I certainly pursued them with everything I had for a time.

just me said...

SeekHer: Thank you so much for maintaining this beautiful blog. Please don't drop it over a few debates.
signed - a lurker

Anonymous said...

Even with no new posts, there is so much richness worth going back to....This from just chatting. March 5, 2008 2:27 PM


"When you speak of loosing the dualistic mode of “otherworldy” mediation, or mediation as liberation, I believe you’re saying, if I can reframe it in my own words, that the division between the gross and subtle worlds is a misnomer, an act of faulty perception only, and that liberation is already achieved in spite of the fact that it doesn’t feel that way. On a personal note, I must admit that post-SY I’ve acquired a certain aversion to that slightly spacey, tandra like crossover between subtle and gross awareness. It’s like my brain has imprinted the shift into that altered state of awareness with the now repulsive violations of SY."

***
This intrigues me. Not able to speak to all the points in this amazing post. Just was reading a little about the difference between immanent and transcendent. Not a scholar and no time to run and get the book for an exact quote, but the idea is something like if you believe God is out there somewhere, otherworldly, transcendent, when there are no signs, miracles, gifts you will feel he is not there. Since you can't prove any of those signs really came from God, when the miracles stop, then God is what? Dead? This is the card the atheists play.

But when you experience God as immanent, in yourself, in the people you see everyday everywhere, then you have your own personal God. That experience is a big comfort, a big help. Opium of the masses as Marx called it.

The Guru then would be an example of an immanent God, we can talk to, call Baba, calll Mayi. So when they cut and run or their all too human underbelly is discovered, we feel abandoned, crushed.

Thinking about this as I woke. Clearly it was my experience that Gurumayi, and Baba, carried the presence of God in themselves at one time and were able to share that experience with others, through what they called shaktipat. Even if the experience was enhanced through all kinds of bells and whistles, smoke and mirrors, crowd control, hynotism. For me and thousands of others we got the experience of God's immanence when we were around them, or thinking about them or reading their books, etc. I believe they had this capacity for real. But it was lost. SY became corrupt. Gurumayi I believe was completely exloited by George Afif, but she was a willing accomplice for a long time, so has to take the consequences for keeping some very bad company.

I think Gurumayi's tendency to isolate herself to the point where no one is able to challenge her behavior, able to offer real guidance, that is her real downfall. Seekhers early post about "Where in Hell is Gurumayi" hit the nail on the head. She has no one to tell her she is going in the wrong direction. Narcissim is tragic.

Please Anon/March 5, do keep chatting.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:55 am wrote:
"I think Gurumayi's tendency to isolate herself to the point where no one is able to challenge her behavior, able to offer real guidance, that is her real downfall. Seekhers early post about "Where in Hell is Gurumayi" hit the nail on the head. She has no one to tell her she is going in the wrong direction. Narcissim is tragic."

Amen. Narcissists can do a lot of damage to others, and she has--but the damaging acts arise out of her isolated suffering. She is more alone in this world than anyone else I know, and though she may medicate herself with the praise and fawning attention of others, with her favorite ice cream and golden trinkets and silks and all the SY protocols designed to prop up her sense of worth, I can't believe any of that relieves the pain for very long. If she had it to do all over again, do you think she would take the same path? I don't, not for a minute. I wish her the same thing I wish for myself--may she one day be free.

older but wiser

Anonymous said...

When the experience happens [kundalini awakening], all the limbs of yoga happen spontaneously. I write from experience. Please don't scoff at my saying this, it just is, that's all.

… a lot of them looking for love, a major distraction. … The Kundalini experiences were better than a million orgasms, as they say, and I can honestly tell you they indeed were. Were, not are, for they have gone.

… there's a lifetime of reading out there.

… the bullshit that allegedly went on, and it doesn't compute. That's a major conundrum I'll have to live with.

… I so want to discuss this as I haven't had any opportunity to talk about it with anyone

------------

First and foremost I think it’s great that you’re finding an opportunity to unwind your experience to a sympathetic audience. The communal reconnoiter process can be immensely helpful. I’ve been considering what you wrote regarding “all the limbs of yoga happen spontaneously”, and almost hoping another contributor would divest their own pearl of wisdom since my contemplative meandering on the subject is failing to strike pay dirt IMHO. However, in lieu of the requisite happenstance, forgive me if I lob a few uncooked morsels into the batter.

It was my experience too, that when the incredibly powerful kundalini awaking occurred all yogas joined in confluence for my benefit, or perhaps it is better to say that I suddenly reaped enormous benefits from, and felt an affinity for, the various limbs of yoga. When my interest in regular spiritual effort started taking off, my body got very hot, and minor siddhis and psychic inclination frequently flashed into existence. I was having periodic episodes of dramatic insight into the workings of the universe and the existence of an atman. In effect knowledge was unfolding of its own accord and the pace of the transformation was break-neck. Bliss was no stranger to coursing in my veins, and I believed that in no time at all – well perhaps in a couple of short years or so, I would be realized, enlightened, complete.

Well things didn’t happen, sadly or comically enough, according to schedule. Eventually the pace began to slow. I will offer this opinionated possibility. Looking back over a litany of circumstantial evidence, there appears to be a historic pattern of parasitic influence which repeatedly drained off the very energy of my advancement. I’m indicting both the corporeal personages of the SY gurus, and certain alleged, unsavory incorporeal beings, which allegedly, assist the gurus with their so-called spiritual work and expect payment via the fruits of our sadhana efforts.

Here’s an experience I’ve never shared before. After about 10 years of reasonably solid efforts in SY, I became very interested in the notion of surrender and contemplated it deeply day after day. One day sitting in my kitchen after weeks of pondering these thoughts, and with surrender yet again on the menu, a singularity of sorts suddenly appeared near the ceiling above the kitchen table. It resembled the wavy irregularities a charcoal fire casts on the scenery behind it. With sudden alacrity I intuitively realized this entity before me was not some kind of benign liberating deity, but rather a nasty ass zombie maker that could suck your will right out of your head. With heart pounding I leapt full throttle from my chair and exited the building post haste pronto.

For days I wondered if the god Shiva, since he was the former object of my intended surrender, was in fact some kind of malefic psychic soul snatcher whose yogic linage procreated generations of evil indulgence. Finally, I succumbed to believing that my panic was simply the result of my own wrong understanding. After all, Muk had warned us that yoga meditation could get scary – “don’t give up” was his command. However, after reading Svoboda’s writings on aghora, and reading miscellaneous websites relating tantric stories, and reading the words of other post-SY writers, I think it’s only prudent to consider the possibility of a darker occult collusion in regards to the so-called kundalini and spiritual effect taking place in SY.

That isn’t to taint anyone’s experience or lessen its impact. It is what it is and no aspersions have been cast in regards to what it is. What I’m alluding to is that the catalyst for some of our experiences may not have been exactly pure, even though the experience of touching divinity in some way was indeed pure and genuine. Consider the case of an organic free range livestock farmer. Although the farmer’s animals get the best feed and the best range and presumably experience the best life a domestic livestock animal could ever hope for, the farmer’s interests lie primarily in the sacrifice of his animals make for him. The spontaneity of the complete yoga might just well be a fattening of the lambs for slaughter – in the sense of pumping up the devotee's shakti prana only to have a good deal of it covertly rendered off to feed the farmer.

On a less conspiratorial note, yes there is so much to read you could burn your eyes out in the effort to consume it all. On the other hand, when it comes to dirty occult laundry and collusion, there isn’t that much out there that I’m aware of. Perhaps that’s part of the conundrum - why the bliss and bullshit fail to compute. In any event, as far as surrender goes, nowadays I’m more interested in observing that I’m already the one I once really wanted to surrender to. There is no other out there that I am not already a part of.

BTW – There are several books written on the subject of Taoist and Tantric sexual technique which offer assorted solutions to offset the problem of male expenditure. Still, it’s not like learning retention methods is necessarily going to grant the equivalent of “better than a million orgasms”, but it does offer a way to elevate sex above commonplace sensual enjoyment. And it may not be a bad thing to know if you’re a household. FWIW as a staffer in Fallsburg I too was pursued by several resident yoginis, and like yourself decided to resist their charms in favor of the dedicated yogic life. Like another Anon, my predilection would have been to be cave yogi.

Thank you to those who’ve commented on my earlier posts.

Anon March 5, 2:27, a.k.a. Feb 27, 12:51, a.k.a. a couple others…

PS. How do you italicize text in these comment boxes? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how much one's nationality (and its "programming" effects) has on the SY experience. I read something on the web, and I thought I'd put it here for observation and comment, since I don't know where else it would be acceptable.

I decided to post this because in some ways, the anti-cult movement has become a cult, where people constantly negate anything of value from anything that has an organization behind its ideas or thought stream. This I find disturbing, for it keeps people wandering endlessly in the waterless regions, from one obsession to another, never finding any peace.

Anyway, I hope this gets approved by the moderator, even though it doesn't fit in with the poem that heads this stream of posts.

Quoted material:

The overwhelming majority of cults either start in the US or make the US their primary home. Of course there are exceptions and Australia has its own home grown whacko groups - but about 90% are US based. In many cases what starts out as a legitimate sect in India somehow turns cultish in the US. Why?

There is a particular type of American naive idealism. Part of it has to do with the cult belief of the promised land. Whilst every country has its cults some countries seem more susceptible than others. Speaking as an Aussie I'd say we were more susceptible than the English and less susceptible than the Yanks. In my experience of SY GM would tend to criticise the Aussies for a lack of commitment. Actually it was more scepticism and a deliberate distancing. Very few Australians would put 100% into any sort of 'group' behaviour. Many Australians were critical of the US devotees for being 'over the top'. A lot of Australians felt that SY had been Americanised, ie turned into a glitzy, smooth production and that GM had been 'celebritised'. The US, of all nations, has created this incredible cult of 'Stars' and 'Celebrities'. Put them on pedestals as if they are somehow greater. Australians generally find this attitude strange. The Australian tendency is the opposite (which can work against us - it's called the 'Tall Poppy Syndrome') as we are very egalitarian. For example, if a US citizen meets the President he or she will more likely feel awe and address him as Mr President, whereas an Australian on meeting the Prime Minister is likely to be unfazed and address him by his first name.

Somehow in this mix is America's penchant for pop psychology and cultish addiction to simplistic psychological fads (my particular bette noir is 'Repressed Memory Syndrome' - what a damaging piece of crap that was). I'd say about 90% plus of the world's self help pop psychology comes from the US. The US sometimes gives off the image of being a nation of people in some form of therapy about some sort of problem. How come shows such as Oprah, Sally Jessy, Springer, etc, etc are so popular? They would flop in Australia coz Australians wouldn't go on the show. (We have Oprah and Ricky Lake on daytime here - but the fascination is in watching Americans make spectacles of themselves - sorry, but it's true).

So there is this naive idealism and cultural sub-current that predisposes Americans to be enthusiastic followers of cults. With a subsequent 'cultish' desire to make it a serious problem that requires some form of counselling. In some of my posts in the past I have expressed the concern that some people here have made 'cults' of the anti-cult movement, that they have not been sceptical enough of the hidden agendas of the anti-cult movement, that they have moved from being 'true believers' in SY to being 'true believers' in anti-cult simplicties and propaganda. And I genuinely believe that such simplistic analysis is as damaging as being in a cult in the first place. I also think that 'talking' and 'sharing' can operate to consolidate a superficial understanding. You may momentarily feel better but you still end up with a 'incomplete' understanding. And in the end aren't cults about simplistic solutions and 'belonging' rather than independent, critical thinking?

Anyway, I'm feeling increasingly alienated by this site and will be unsubscribing. There has been a very strong resistance to what I admit has been my challenging questioning of the LSY status quo. I don't know how many of you realise that there is a conservatism on this site. Dare I say it, an almost cultish push to eliminate contention - oddly enough from those most strongly into the anti-cult ideology, a delicious irony.

I want to thank those of you who have been genuinely supportive of my presence here. I wish you well.

End of quoted material.

Anonymous said...

Haven't been here in a very, very long time.

Hit total SY-related saturation and spent weeks not involved with this blog, Marta's site, EXSY, LSY, ANY of it.

And it felt...like I've finally been able to move on and let SY go.

Got curious and decided to come in. Seems like conversation has really ramped down, maybe a lot of folks are feeling just like me?

OBW, w/respect to your point about wishing GM freedom and healing someday: After all she went through with Muk, and after everthing she's done - - building an empire, and watching it (encouraging it to?) crumble, from being worshipped by throngs to being despised and trashed by many, and shutting herself away from the world as a result - - with all the mind games she's played on people, the lives she's torn apart - - well, I just don't know.

I just don't know - - how such a person can ever find real freedom, real peace, real comfort, real healing.

I hate to sound so negative but I think she's a broken person for the rest of her days. I don't know how someone adquately makes amends - - even if she wanted to, which I sense she doesn't - - I don't know how someone heals or comes to a place of such deep self-forgiveness and remorse - - after all that.

Is it impossible? I don't know. Maybe not.

Is it likely? My gut sense tells me "no". Not as long as she continues to be surrounded by a small, ever-loyal circle of sycophants whose own survival depends on telling her what she wants to hear.

I've been away from this long enough, and regained enough sense of the self I was before SY long enough, to simply say: Ugh. What a mess. So many people in pain. Herself included.

Anonymous said...

Seekher, please come back. I miss your writing, your insights.

SeekHer said...

anon wrote:
Seekher, please come back. I miss your writing, your insights.

I miss contributing here, too. I've had a very difficult sitch at work that resulted in my resigning this week. I plan to blog about it this weekend, so stay tuned!

jplztmtu said...

Thought this Blog was about a poem ???????? Anyone else have comments on the poem.I happen to love it.