November 23, 2009

Day 11 Visual Creation- Bhakti Shakti

Bye bye Ashram. 

I still can not decide whether I liked being at the Ashram or not. It is a peculiar thing, I WANT to like it, the place just seemed so solemn, rigid, cold. This is not to say that there were not lovely people there, I was treated very well, cared for even. Still I can’t shake the idea that people were not being themselves.

Swami Sivananda Radha Saraswati, the founder of Yasodhara  and creator of many teaching centres (Radha Yoga Centres) in North America, Mexico and England, has such a fascinating story. She was a dancer, eventually through her devotion to Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh she came to see dance as a way to celebrate and devote oneself to the divine. There is singing everyday at the temple which is such an amazing sanctuary to sing in. Yet the Satsangs were morose, just as a mantra was about to begin to rock out, it would end. I sang, and put my hands in the air, felt the pull to move to the back and dance, but I got the feeling this was not acceptable. I did not see any dancing while I was there, well except for my own reflection in my bedroom window when I was bustin' a move to the Ghost Brother version of Hare Krishna. How could the work of this womyn, who had so much Kali fire, have become so mundane? This temple, devoted in so many ways to the Goddess, seems to be so lacking in femininity.

I know I was only there for three days, it is coming on winter and things are at their sleepiest. Perhaps if I show up in the Spring I will find what it is I crave: a spiritual community which accepts and celebrates all aspects of the Divine and focuses on the feminine, from the nurturing of Gaia to destructive nature of Kali. Perhaps  the mantra’s will last longer, allowing us all to really make it cellular. Maybe the Swami playing the harmonium will smile and make eye contact, and I will dance with wild abandon, devoted to all. Maybe this spring Shakti Bhakti will flow. This would make me very happy. 

"The main thing I try to do is have my students bring quality into their lives. To me, people are not spiritual if this quality is not there in their lives-even if they meditate six hours a day. By quality I mean that which comes from deep inside and shows up in their actions, their treatment of others and the way they do their jobs.
~ Swami Sivananda Radha Saraswati“


   ”What qualities of the feminine do you identify within yourself?“ is the question in 12 days journal #225


  1. Hmmm, I feel a bit sheepish answering this one, as you are much more in touch. But I have to say the thing I have enjoyed most in my life is very much a feminine quality. I loved nursing my children, especially in the wee hours of the morning when all was still and quiet and they'd pull off steady to grin up at me.

  2. Tracy will tell you I'm almost obsessive about convincing people to do this, but the kind of bhakti shakti you're after is this: Dave Stringer's kirtans. Google his website, find out when he will be doing kirtan near you and GO! (I have bad photos on my facebook if you want to see them...there were more than a few folks off dancing in the back and to the side. Even yours truly, although no pic of me dancing since I was the camera person. LOL.) Seriously, his kirtans truly are what you've said you're longing for.

    As to your question, well, as I've been reading here, I'm getting the definite impression that you and I differ greatly in our perceptions of the feminine and masculine. I wish that we could sit down face to face over coffee and have a huge long gab-fest on this topic, a sharing of "my worlds" that I have no doubt would be incredibly fascinating!

    Which is, I guess, my long-winded way of saying that I wouldn't be able to even BEGIN to answer your question here on the blog. LOL.