Annihilation and Kisses

Many years ago, I shared a kiss with a man who is one of my soul mates in this life.  A force opened up which moved through us connecting Heaven and Earth.  It poured down from Heaven through his body and rose up from the Earth through mine, sealing us together with electromagnetism so powerful that we both heard the roar of the Nada Brahma, the original, “unstruck sound” upon which Creation rests.

Due to the circumstances of our lives, there was no place to take this, so we let it go.  I wrote poetry.  He took comfort from my writings, and eventually, the balm of time did its magic work of helping the experience to fade from memory…  until a few weeks ago when once again my breath and the breath of a soul mate entwined, and now all those memories are crashing back.

kiss.001

 

 I find myself asking if Free Will exists.

And I find myself yearning, not for the human being who held me, but for the Infinite force which embraced me through him.  I find myself wondering if it is not the flesh and blood man whom I love, but rather the transcendent power of Love itself.

For the human being who is the vessel for the Beloved this time is often clueless or in denial.  He runs about trying to label the experience.  He says he has never before felt ‘not in control of [his] own body’.  It terrifies him.   He feels almost usurped by forces he cannot explain.   He claims Love is utmost in his life and that he has been in Love more than once, but in truth, he has never before experienced what it is to have Love reside within him so completely that his ideas of who he is are first dwarfed and then annihilated.  So he runs away.  He stands me up, leaving me alone yearning in the dark.  If I am upset, instead of hearing me with a compassionate heart, he becomes defensive, thinking, “What is so wrong with me?”  so he loses his temper and barks like a mindless dog, saying things to hurt me, saying he loves other people more than me.  And on a good day, he simply makes a million excuses to prove he will test my patience, cause harm,  and persistently be unworthy.

And I have seen all this before, so what can I possibly say?  Big Love is terrifying.  It shows us all our darkness, all our pettiness, all our inadequacy, every growing edge we have.  We glorify Love, idealize it, romanticize it, but really most of us prefer the vague empty isolation of safety to the formless void of annihilation and the utter powerlessness of real surrender. To love requires tremendous courage and if one genuinely persists in the practice of loving, one will unfold into fearlessness.  This is the Path to Liberation.  It is.

Most human beings are quite willing to settle for an imitation.

So if I see all this, how can it be that I love this man with all his shortcomings, fears, ego control strategies and pockets of immaturity who runs from what I know is the only Real Reality? I cannot possibly love him, eh?  Why would I?  And yet I do.   With all my heart and soul.   And when he runs away or hides, every edge I have still to polish, every rough, unfinished place inside my soul is brought to light and I, too, am childish, immature, fearful, struggling for control.  I, too, am far less than worthy.

But when we touch,  we melt.  We disappear…  We vanish. And in these incredible moments of magic, gazing back at me through the eyes of this human being are thousands of lifetimes, eons, of recognition… Infinite Love… Eternity.

The why and how of who Love chooses is an eternal mystery.  If it were solved, that solution would most probably deprive life of much of it’s magic.  For, certainly, we Love beyond reason, and that is exactly what stretches us in ways we would never consider stretching if Love were not burning us with its fire, torturing us with its yearning and seducing us with its warm, deep ecstasies.   That is what Love does to us– it drives us toward Life.

We like to believe we choose Love, but that is all the greatest hubris.   Love chooses us.  And ultimately, Love does not choose to make us comfortable, it chooses to destroy our limitations and liberate us from the prisons of the mind, to do whatever it takes to awaken us to its own ineluctable Reality.

Fierce and Tender Love,
Murshida VA

__________________________
Credits: Image

Sacrament

Sacramental Sex


is the only kind
that interests me

let my body
be the temple
where you worship
even if God is dead for you
surely you can see
*
*
sacrament-buddism-tantra
*
*

I AM ALIVE

 

the pulse beats in my neck,
“I am alive, I am alive.”

the quickening breath speaks,
“I am alive, I am alive.”

the deepening voice
cries out for communion

hands pressed together
knees bending
hips rocking

 

you
into

 

the rhythm of life…

and the river of life
flows down
through my body

 

onto
you

 

and as you are anointed
does it stir your soul…

there is one true path
where you meet yourself
there is destiny

 

can
you

 

feel yourself
reaching yourself
through my body

hands reaching through flesh
to the soul’s home

can you feel
in your own passion

for rhythm and beauty
and movement and pleasure

it is Life you love, Life–

 

Life!

 

 

look through my passion dance
into your own

for We are One

One Light, One Heat,
One Breath Eternal

for
God

so loved the World
so loved the World
so loved the World…

the World is my Body
look you through my Body
to your Soul.

 

Murshida VA

________________________________________________________________

It Was the Right Place to Come

you came here asking for help
it was the right place to come.

now the pot is boiling and you want to get out
but there is no getting out because there is nothing that is not the pot.

you think there is a place to hide
but it is already over
it is already over.

you will see…

the Truth of who you are will stalk you into every night
it will follow you…

God takes all bets and wins.

so go ahead, do whatever you want.
It’s already over.

turning back from what?  turning back from where?

the Truth of who you are is stalking you.
the Truth of who you are will grab your sweet ass
throw you down
break you open
and smash your heart so wide that it bursts into a billion trillion stars

La illaha il Allah haqq

and then there will be only
joy
only
bliss
only beauty

and you and I, we will laugh together again, then, my friend.
we will laugh and play and sing together again.
like children.

—-

in Loving Kindness,

–Murshida VA

The Main Course

you think i want you for my lover?

that would be nice, don’t get me wrong, that would be… nice.

but really i would only be softening you up
for the main course
i would only be marinating you to be served at God’s table.

you see, i want your freedom
more than anything
more than your hands on my body
more than your breath inside me
more than your warm, deep kisses

you thought you could come to Kali’s house
and play with fire
without getting burned up
on the cremation grounds?

what were you thinking?

the Mother is dancing, naked, laughing,
bathed in ashes, grieving your death
while you are still here breathing.

She is celebrating your death,
while you are still clinging desperately
to all your ideas of who you are.

and you still think I want you for my lover.

Stupid! I want to mesmerize you with bliss
until you drop your guard for just a moment
until you slip for just a moment
into surrender

into surrender
for just a moment

and then I’ll pour what’s left of you
into God’s mouth
like the finest red wine
to wash down the meal

and you and God will be so happy then
like two lovers after hours and hours of love
punctuated by a perfect feast
prepared by the Chefs of Heaven
with warm tummys

resting entwined
engulfed devoured
happily exhausted

breathing together
like the waves
of the ocean

yes, you and God will be so happy then
that it will not matter what I did to get you there
you’ll forgive me,

laughing and crying all at once
for how I tricked you

you’ll forgive me for tricking you
into believing
i was just a woman who wanted you
for my lover

and you’ll know it’s true then–
i could never only want that
i could never only want that

because once you see
once you know
once you feel the bliss of God

you’ll know, that really,
all this human lovemaking is just…
well… it’s just for practice.

–Murshida VA


————————–

Notes:

It is partly correct to say Kali is a goddess of death but She brings the death of the ego as the illusory self-centered view of reality…  Of all the forms of Devi, She is the most compassionate because She provides liberation to Her children. She is the counterpart of Shiva the destroyer. They are the destroyers of unreality. The ego sees Mother Kali and trembles with fear because the ego sees in Her its own eventual demise. A person who is attached to his or her ego will not be receptive to Mother Kali and she will appear in a fearsome form. A mature soul who engages in spiritual practice to remove the illusion of the ego sees Mother Kali as very sweet, affectionate, and overflowing with incomprehensible love for Her children.   –from: http://www.goddess.ws/kali.html

God in the Heart

When I was a child, I felt God in my heart all the time.  My earliest memories are of this energy in my heart, this spinning, whirling love that “looked” to me like sparkling electric green-blue and white light.  I always knew this energy was God.  I never doubted or questioned it at all.

I can hardly even imagine what it would be like to be this sensitive young woman from yesterday’s blog entry, praying and praying but feeling nothing and then suddenly, at the age of 22, awakening with such force to the interconnectedness of everything.  What a shock to the system to suddenly feel alive, to suddenly feel connected to Life, to all of Life.

For me it was a shock to suddenly feel dead.  I remember being about nineteen when it happened.  There had been trauma, oh, lots of trauma, but what I did to myself was the last straw.  The cocaine was the last straw.  One day I woke up and that place in my heart was simply dead.  It was as if it was frozen, ice ice cold.

In an interview with a man named Peter Miller who is doing an extensive research project on the shamanic qualities of plants, I described this experience as having appropriated the power of the spirit of cocaine as my own because I felt so powerless, had lost so much of my own power to the relentlessly abusive and psychologically violent patterns of my family of origin.  The Cocaine Daemon, filled that empty place inside me and gave me the illusion that I was empowered.  But actually, it was sucking my Qi, my fundamental life force energy, right out of me.

I had attempted to appropriate it, and it was appropriating me right back.

If there can be such a thing, I was a fortunate addict.  ‘Rolling Stone Magazine’ published an article on Cocaine Addiction in 1983 and I checked off all the signs and symptoms of withdrawal.  A little switch went click in my head and I knew, just “saw” that my body was having a chemical reaction to the cocaine which was creating the addiction. I realized that if I continued putting cocaine into my body, that same series of chemical reactions would keep occurring.  So I stopped.  Right then and there.  I never did another line again.

Well, I did get my nose repaired a few years later and the standard anesthesiology for rhinoplasty is liquid pharmaceutical cocaine, but after the surgery, I breathed through the cravings.  I did not relapse.

There never was NA or AA for me.  Not that I was rebellious, just that I didn’t know the options existed and the shame was so terrible, at having hurt myself so deeply, that I confided in no one what I was going through.

Yes, I was really one of the lucky ones.

It took almost ten years before the craving stopped, and for another five years I would still periodically dream I was snorting lines and wake up terrified, shaking myself out of sleep into the deep relief of my clean life.  I did all the right things– I cut all my ties with anyone and everyone from that world; I turned to exercise, meditation and daily spiritual practice and developed a better diet; I tried to really process every single feeling I was feeling, leave no stone unturned and cry a lot, more than most modern, industrialized humans.  I really really cried a lot.  And as much as possible I did not criticize myself for crying, or for feeling anything.  Gradually, I even learned to set boundaries with my family and say “No.” to cruelty and meanness, not with a rising battle of well-I’ll-show you, but with a bow and a “No thank you, please.”  Gradually  I relearned that incredible gift I was born with– loving kindness– and in relearning it, I learned also to protect it this time, and never ever to take it for granted.

Yes, I am definitely one of the lucky ones.

By the time I heard about 12-Step groups, I had been clean so long it really seemed moot.  Instead, still struggling with family issues, I attended Al-Anon for several years. That was incredibly helpful.

Years later, I ran an addiction recovery program in the Lowell Prison.  It was my 12th Step work.  I was very very good at it.  The women in that program helped me to heal my shame, to forgive myself, finally, for everything I had done to myself. They helped me to see myself in each of them, in their terrible stories, in their loneliness and desperation and deep sense of powerlessness.  Together we survived all of our parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles, processed the collective ignorance, cruelty and selfishness of humanity, and helped one another to heal and to love.

I didn’t exactly follow the NA guidelines.  After all, I didn’t really know them.  But that wasn’t my job:  my job was to be helpful.  So I taught awareness.  And it helped.  It helped all of us.

And that feeling of God in my heart, of God being alive within my own heart, that eventually, after 17 years or so, came back home to me, and now, after almost 28 years clean, has continued to grow stronger and deeper.  There is not a single day that I do not feel grateful for simply being and for being able to love.

Sometimes people find me strange– I am so grateful, so appreciative, so deeply aware of how precious life is and how easily it can be taken from us.  Gone, gone in a moment, vanished.  Sometimes it makes people uncomfortable to be around me.

Sometimes they leave.  Sometimes they stay.  I go on loving them anyway.  Just as life goes on being precious– whether we dare to truly feel that or not.

in Loving Kindness,

Murshida VA

——

To participate in Peter Miller’s research project, take the online survey at: http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/era/PsychoPlants/

Earth Offerings

“It appears to me as if the omnipotent intelligence of planet Earth is recognizing the advancement in the level of evolution in human beings.”–Shahabuddin David Less.

The beautiful young woman on the phone was describing her experience in the forest, hearing the voice of the Earth speak to her of thousands of years of pain.  As a child, her parents and all the elders told her to pray. They told her that if she would pray, she would feel God in her heart, but although she prayed and prayed, she felt nothing.  And then this, this mystery, this miracle, this sitting on the Earth and hearing, simply hearing the voice of the Mother herself, telling the story of her pain.

And her heart broke wide open and she began to feel everything and hear everything– all of the feelings, all of the voices of the One Being.  At first the voices of pain were easier to hear and she felt her life slipping away into the Abyss, her soul tumbling into fear and desolation.  But as she fell, another voice reached out to her from beyond the Void, penetrating her heart, filling her soul with light and hope.

“Go back to the earth and make love, little one.” it said.  “Make love on the prairie, on the beach, on the forest floor.  So many people are raped on the Earth nowadays, but so few people lie down in love on her body.

“Make love on her.  Make wild love on her.  Make crazy love on her.  Let her feel your ecstasy.  Let her feel your joy.  Let her know how grateful you are for your life.  Let her know how grateful you are for your life.  Thank her for the gift of your life with your whole body and everything you feel– what prayer could be more beautiful than this?  What prayer could be  more beautiful than this?

“Tell her, tell her you will do whatever is within your power to do to help to heal this world and ask her to heal you, ask her, humbly and openly, to heal you, to heal you completely, so that you may serve the healing of this world.

“Then put all your attention to your healing.  And when it is done, when it is done, when the healing is completed, live your vow– give all you are able to give to the healing of this world.  You will see miracles.

“You will see miracles.  And you will be Magic.”

Let her feel your joy.

That was my voice.  I am her Teacher, her Guide. And these things I learned from my Teacher, my Guide, but when the world was cracking open for me and rushing into  my heart with all it’s pain and joy and horror and beauty, and the tears did not stop for more than four years, I did not have a Guide.

I am lucky to be here in this world.  So fortunate not to have been consumed by desolation and darkness.  When I first met Shahabuddin, he pointed me out from a group of about 75 people and said, “You almost didn’t make it.”  And I knew it was true.

So I am here, now for the young people of our community, holding the light as they traverse the darkness, throw themselves headlong into the abyss, penetrate the Void, all in the name of finding that Truth which Awakens within us as Embodied Divine Love.  Hopefully, their journeys will be easier than mine because I am here.  Hopefully, I will save them some time.  My mother always said, “A good teacher will save you time.”  One never knows, though.  One just does the best that one can do every moment and the rest is up to the brilliant Universe.

We rarely talk about ourselves as individual “I’s” in the Dervish tradition, but my life is all I have to offer to the world.  It is the most precious gift God has given me, and it is the most precious gift I can give.  So I talk about my life.  I write about my life.  I love my life.  I live my life.  And I strive to inspire others to live their lives in this way- with complete fullness, with uncompromised vitality.

Amidst all this pain and suffering, there is so much beauty here, and as we learn to love through and beyond it all, as we learn to transform the darkness within and around us, not by denial but by embracing, we become, one by one, part of the healing.

The Message which came through for this beautiful, sensitive young woman opening into her enlightenment, is a Message for All of us–  if we can call up the courage to heal ourselves, we can heal the world.  We can heal this world.  Together.  All we have to do is heal ourselves and it will begin.

In Loving Kindness,

Murshida VA

Addiction and the Quest for God

Addiction, a brief definition from the clinical worldA beautiful young man, after Zikr last night, shared his struggles and challenges in finding compassion for a family member caught in the throws of addiction.  He felt it was so difficult to comprehend why any person would be caught in such a trajectory of self-annihilation.  But an addict is an amazing being– someone who is willing to annihilate themselves, even for the momentary illusion of being more alive, someone seeking life more passionately than many of the successful, careful and properly behaved among us may ever know.

Perhaps that is why, in 1968, God told Murshid Samuel Lewis, “Teach the Hippies.”  Perhaps God looked with great appreciation upon those reckless young people who were throwing themselves over and over at the jaws of death in hopes of a glimpse of Truth, a sweet taste of the Infinite.

It is so easy to turn away from suffering.  Addicts walk the edge, but how insane are those of us who feel that if we do not look at the suffering in the world, it will pass us by?  Do we honestly believe that by dissociating ourselves from that which is too painful to see, we will insure our safety from pain as if God were an insurance salesman and our willful blindness was a signature on His contract?

Oh, and then there are the  Fixers.   Not the healers, healers are of another ilk, but the Fixers– those of us who believe we have all the solutions, and by following the appropriate rules, all problems will be solved.  What a comforting offer! It’s so seductive, so seductive.  Here is the attraction and beauty of religious Fundamentalism at it’s core:  follow the rule book and we will be spared all pain… or at least whatever inexplicable pain we are subject to endure in this life will be explained or rewarded the next.

What addiction is the obsessive attachment to the belief that if we just find the right rule book and follow it exactly, that we will finally be saved, blessed, free of pain?  What a dark road it leads us down, over and over again, into Holy Wars and hell on Earth and yet we persist.  What ‘loss of control in limiting intake” is that?

And Fundamentalism isn’t limited to the spiritual realms.  There are Material Fundamentalists, even Atheist Fundamentalists.  For when we cry  “Give me rational proof or give me death!”  we are no different than those who cry, “Give me my God my way or give me death!”.  In these cries, we are still courting death to preserve our precious attachment to the righteousness of our points of view.  How precious is it to simply question?  To possibly not know?  To be willing to consider?  To be willing to examine the possibilities?

What if Heaven and Hell as places of reward and punishment don’t exist?  What if they are here, right now, here with us, in our minds, our points of view, our beliefs and concepts?  What if we truly have the power to bring Heaven to the Earth, or Earth toward Heaven, just by altering the condition of the human heart?  What if the addict’s painful and often horrible descent into personal hell is just the result of throwing herself into God without any flying lessons ? What if the horrible face that stares back at the addict from his mirror each day is a face humanity needs to recognize as part of itself every bit as much as humanity needs to recognize the Saints and the Prophets?  What if  “There but for the Grace of God go I” is a lie because all of us are everyone and none of us is truly free until we can accept fully and completely both the beauty and the capacity for utter devastation within us?

After all, we would not expect a child to excel at any academic discipline without recognizing and training his or her capacities, so why would we think we can fully attain our potential as a humanity or  realize, as a humanity, any real self- responsibility at all by persisting in denying the darkness within us.

Perhaps the addicts among us are actually Saints, sacrificing themselves so that we can finally see who and what we truly are.  Ask any addict in recovery and he will tell you– no matter what horrible things he did and how many people he hurt, the person who was hurt most by his addiction was the addict himself.

Notes:

On the clinical view of Addiction–

http://www.nida.nih.gov/pubs/teaching/teaching2/Teaching3.html

On Murshid Samuel Lewis (Murshid SAM)–

http://www.marinsufis.com/murshid.php

http://www.gnostic.org/murshidsam/forward.htm