Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by MEKoan, Oct 20, 2009.
I'd try to write something clever, but I've given up on my brain for today.
"I have given up on my brain." is my motto too!
I love Rumi, Kabir and Mirabai, and have had Robert Bly's translations since the 1980's. He was a friend of my old college boyfriend. I got to recite one of my favorite Rilke poems with him at a reading once. It was fun to do a poetry duet with him!
"A truce to your volumes, your studies, give o'er: for books cannot teach you love's marvelous lore
"Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.
I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.
and my favourite
Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins
That may buy you just a moment of pleasure,
But then drag you for days
Like a broken man
Behind a farting camel.
hmmmmmmm think I'll add these to the quotes page
Here's a Kabir poem I really like:
There is nothing but water in the holy pools.
I know, I have been swimming in them.
All the gods sculpted of wood or ivory can't say a word.
I know, I have been crying out to them.
The Sacred Books of the East are nothing but words.
I looked through their covers one day sideways.
What Kabir talks of is only what he has lived through.
If you have not lived through something, it is not true.
That's so cool, Dream! Must have been a marvelous experience!
I love this RANT RAVE RIFF project. I think this take on Rumi is extraordinary. Who would think to put fan dancers with Rumi?! I think I posted, Who Says Words With My Mouth, by the same artists, a few weeks ago. I can, and do, watch them over and over again.
I think Barks' Rumi is so alive and so robust and yet so tender. A Persian friend, who translates Rumi for pleasure, finds Barks' translations a bit too modern but it is that modern, living, immediacy that I love. This is a lusty Rumi.
They have made small films of poems by Neruda, Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughs ahhhhhhhh...?
bye bye brain.
Have you ever seen Mira Hunter? She's a west coast dervish, as is her father - I can't remember his name (or my own) and he was her first teacher. They are wonderful to watch. He has perfect form and she is... she is all wrong and all right and totally amazing. I think her husband is a dervish, too.
You would think if you could do what Mira Hunter does when whirling, that would be what you did but she's an artist, too.
I can't even find video of her whirling but saw a doc with her and her father. Can't remember what it was called.
Where am I?
........who am I ?
i'm so dizzy
may have seen her at the vancouver folk fest. Get dizzy just thinking of it now. Dizziness - lastest sypmtom to become more prevalent. So now I'm a dizzy blonde as well as a dumb blonde.
found her - take a look
yeah, I haven't clicked on her link lately (will do when I'm done this) but all that was there was an art piece using multiple disposable cameras and some stills. Maybe she's put up something else but I get the feeling she doesn't want to.
She breaks the line when she whirls, she does things that are impossible without coming over dizzy and falling and being plunged into... ooohhh... was imagining that a little too vividly.
Anyway, yeah, she's amazing and so's her old man.
If you have a chance to see her, and you're not already too dizzy, take it!
Oh, thanks, Finn, there was whirling there! She buries it!
Koan, that video is balm for my given-up-on brain. Yes, who would ever think of putting fan dancers with Rumi? I'm swaying with fans in another world...
Dreambirdie, what an amazing experience it must have been to meet and read with Bly. His book "Leaping Poetry" changed my life in the early 80s. And I mean changed! He opened up portals to whole other constellations beyond the stars of steady light.
Robert Bly event of my life
I have a long history of Robert Bly "connections." When I was in college, in 1977, my creative writing teacher told me that Robert Bly was doing a reading in town (in Boulder, CO, where I lived), and that if I didn't go, she would FLUNK me! She was trying to make a point, because I was really into Jung and fairytales and myth, etc... (as Robert Bly was), and she desperately wanted me to attend his reading.
So I went to that reading, and it ended up being one the MOST MOST MOST powerfully eventful events of my life. HO! my god! In the middle of a wonderful theatrical reading in a small downtown church, Robert Bly stood up and confronted the Naropa Buddhists for having their orgies! I knew all about this, as this group of Buddhists, followers of Rinpoche Trungpa (a known drinker and womanizer) had "a reputation" that preceeded them. But they always got away with whatever they did, under the guise of what they called "crazy wisdom." When Robert Bly called them out, it was a scene I will NEVER forget... with the Buddhists in the audience shouting back at Robert, and he shouting some more at them, and then the Buddhists stomping out, in the middle of the reading, and then Robert continuing on without a blink.
I spoke with him about this many years later, and told Robert how impressed and awestruck I was with his courage that night, and was very surprised with his response. He told me that he was actually very scared. "There were people in that audience who wanted to hurt me," were his exact words. I told him it had changed my life to see that reading, and empowered me even more to stand up to the truth. He was really pleased to know this.
I've seen Robert Bly do readings almost regularly since the 80's and always look forward to it. There is a special connection I have because of that first experience.
Bly and Trungpa
Wow, dreambirdie, you were there on that legendary night? Word of those events traveled far and wide. Very interesting to have witnessed it, I'm sure! I can only imagine the intensity of the energy in that room. Amazing that Bly was able to stay so centered, but then again, he has always projected a kind of steady groundedness in his work.
Where I live now is close to Shambhala Mountain Center, and I've met a couple of people who studied under Trungpa. We've talked about how they reconciled the teachings with the flawed man himself. They seem to have found value in his teachings, in spite of all those issues. And knowing them, I kind of doubt they were in on the orgies, ha! But the way I've heard the Bly evening at Naropa described, including your own description, I can't help but think how there are fundamentalists of every stripe -- even among the Buddhists who were there that night, trying to shout down and shut down Bly's confrontation of their actions. Guess they had a way to go on their path.
But how very great that you had these connections to Bly! A magazine I worked at did an interview with him, and a couple of my mentors in life were close to him, but I never met him or heard him read. He contributed so much of value to the field of poetics. A true presence in that realm. His translations alone are a huge contribution. It must be amazing to have shared the reading with him and to have been a witness to his Naropa night!
I guess it was a "legendary night." I was a very young college student at the time, so it was really quite a big deal for me to be there and see things unfold they way that they did. I had the impression that Robert wasn't rattled at all by the intensity of the attacks on him, but like I told you, when I asked him about it many years later, he said he was "really scared."
Trungpa lived on "The Hill" just up the street from me, 4 blocks away, and I used to walk by his house a lot. There were always a bunch of men in suits running in and out, doing his bidding. One time I accidentally walked in on one of the Buddhist orgies that took place in a swimming pool right outside an apartment building, where I was going to an astrology class. I was blown away that everyone was screwing around so publicly, right THERE in the pool! And after the story Bly told that night at the reading, about Merwin and his wife being threatened by Trungpa's monkey men--to participate in one of the orgies at a retreat, that REALLY turned me off to the Naropa scene.
There are some shadowy things that go on in new age groups. I've witnessed it many times. Wherever there's a powerful guru type, there's the danger that these things are bound to happen. That's why I made Nature my guru, and skipped past the human ones.
Sometimes I miss Colorado. I lived there for seven years. Say hello to the mountains for me.
I can just see those men in suits doing Trungpa's bidding. Gurus often have an entourage, don't they? Wow, sounds like very strange and wild times around Naropa in those years. The Merwin incident was the death knell, if you ask me. I think Merwin, or maybe it was someone else, later said that Trungpa had done more to damage Buddhism in the west than anyone. On the other hand, lots of people credit him with doing more to help expand Buddhism in the west. Me, I always have liked the name of that Van Morrison album: "no guru, no teacher, no method." And Dylan had it right, too, "don't follow leaders..." I think nature is the real healer, and all these other systems, while they have their value and I won't disparage them, can't compare to a mysterious wind from the west, or a certain sky or a leaf rattle. That's what got my attention as a child, and I've stayed in love with the natural world ever since.
I can only imagine how amazing it must have been to be a young student in Boulder in those days with all that crazy wisdom energy swirling around. And to share those experiences with Bly himself. Whoa! Was the night you witnessed the same night that Trungpa put a bowl on his head while Bly was reading? Or maybe that was another legendary evening. That whole era at Naropa kind of is one big blur of bizarre stories for me. Now I can add men in suits and swimming pool escapades to that mix, jeez!
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