The Mystical Songs of Lalla

Lalla’s poetry is always an inspiration for me.   She was born in Kashmir in northern India in 1320 and died in 1392.  She was both, a mystic of the Kashmiri Shaivite sect and a Sufi saint. Her poetry are some of the earliest compositions in the Kashmiri language.  She is the Kashmiri equivalent of Germany’s Hildegard of Bingen.

Lalla married at age twelve and moved into her husband’s family home. She was mistreated by her mother-in-law and  her husband. In her early 20s, she left left her marriage and became a disciple of a respected saint in the Kashmir Shaivism tradition of tantra. She dedicated her life to Lord Shiva. Lalla was called to wander from village to village,  nearly naked, and singing songs of rapture. Her short, simple, and direct songs spoke to common people. Her words  open a window to the soul and allow Truth to be seen.

Read her poetry at the link below.

http://www.poetseers.org/spiritual_and_devotional_poets/sufi/lp/

Conscious Dying

A few days ago I was meditating with my mother.  She was seating with her back to me.  I sat and focused on my breath. All thoughts disappeared and deep peace filled me.  I dissolved into Emptiness.  “Emptiness,” with no up or down, no forward or back, no left or right, empty of form and yet full of Consciousness.

I opened my eyes and looked at my mother’s back. i felt incredible gratitude and appreciation for her being in my life at this powerful time.  I closed my eyes and once again there was only Emptiness.  I recognized that Emptiness doesn’t feel emotions. Only a human form can feel the love of a daughter for her mother.  I became aware of my body’s desire to move, then thoughts came and went. I recognized that Emptiness and form are One, co-existing as this apparent me, called Crystal Dawn.  I saw that life is a meditation. Every inhalation is an opportunity to awaken to the now. Every exhalation is an opportunity to surrender the past. As both Emptiness and form I was free.

My mother, Freda, was diagnosed with brain cancer on May 12th while having during brain surgery. The brain tumor had only been discovered two days earlier when I took her to the ER because she was confused and lethargic. During her week in the hospital, I spent many hours on the internet researching primary brain cancer and glioblastoma multiforma, which is the type of cancer she has.  Friends and family helped in learning about possible treatments, both medical and non-medical.  There is no cure for this type of cancer and the prognosis is poor.

On May 18th Freda was discharged from the hospital and moved in with me. It was the first time we had lived together in 40 years. Post surgery she became clear-headed once again.  Our family came together and talked about the various treatments. Mom was clear that she did not want radiation or chemo. She wanted to die consciously and really be present throughout the experience. She felt all she needed was to eat healthy, meditate several times a day and avoid unnecessary stress.

At 78, she trusts life. She has been amazingly healthy. On entering the hospital I had to explain that she was taking no medications and her last hospitalization was in 1958 when she gave birth to my brother. It is an inspiration the grace that natural surrounds her as she goes about her life. She is surprisingly relaxed and happy. She reads and is creating a journal about her experiences. She is writing a novel based on a short story she wrote several years ago. Friends and family come to visit.

The first couple of weeks  after she moved in I felt called to prepare myself to support my mother in dying consciously. I reread the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and reviewed the Buddhist practice of Phowa , Conscious Dying, that I was initiated into in May 2006.

Knowing that she may be only a few months left to live has made it easy to set aside the business I often get lost in. I have a new appreciation for each moment we share. Being with her at this time of transition is teaching me to slow down and revaluate my life.

The past few weeks are teaching me that birth, death and rebirth are always unfolding. I commonly call it “change.” Change may appear exciting, like a trip to Hawaii or scary, such as being laid off from work. When it is exciting I am attracted to it and want more. When it is scary, I contract. I want to deny, blame or resist what is happening. I find myself saying, “This is not my life.”  Resistance causes me to suffering. Another word for resistance is control. Most of my life, I have believed that if I take charge and stay in control, I’ll be safe and keep my loved one’s safe as well.   Of course this is just a belief. Control is an illusion.

Over the past few days I’ve been noticing when I resist what is. I can clearly see how my ego wants to be in control, to get “my way.” The ego, the ‘’I,” is the cause of the suffering. When I stop and let go of “I’ and recognize the Emptiness that is my true nature, there is no resistance, no fear, no need to change what is. There is peace, joy and love.  My intention is to just stay present and empty and let everything be as it is.

Copyright 2011 Crystal Dawn Morris

Tantra Tip of the Day-Harvesting with Grace and Gratitude

The monsoons came late this year to Sedona. A rain squall just went through a few moments ago. The air is fresh and the sky is full of billowing white clouds. The first dusting of snow covered the San Francisco Peaks over the weekend. The Aspen trees ate beginning to turn golden. Autumn has come to Sedona.

I grew up in the Midwest and fall was harvest time. At this time of the year I pay attention to the seeds I planted in the spring and I ask, “What are you harvesting now?” By seeds I mean my vision for the year- intentions and desires. I look to see if what I am harvesting matches with what I thought I planted. If they don’t match I examine where my thoughts, beliefs and actions were out of alignment with my vision.

When my desire, intent, thoughts, words and actions are in alignment with my heart then my harvest is bountiful. That does not always mean that it looks the way I imagined it would. Harvest time is receiving with grace all that is being given.

Tantra has taught me how to be more conscious and aware of my desires, words, thoughts and actions. I continually practice being in the moment as much as possible, living authenticity and loving what is arising as a precious gift. I offer gratitude for all I receive. This practice helps me stay connected to my heart and to Source.

What are you harvesting? How does it relate to what you planted? How gracefully are you receiving your harvest? What is your relationship to gratitude?

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(C) Copyright 2009, Crystal Dawn Morris, all rights reserved.

Sedona Tantra Meetup Group

On Monday, August 11, I as invited to the Arizona Tantra Meetup Group in Phoenix to do a presentation on SkyDancing Tantra. Twenty-five people came and we had a wondeful time learning how to open our inner flutes, move our energy and feel more alive and present. I then facilitated the group in a Heart Puju. A puja is a living prayer, in which we open to the the Divine within us and see the Divine in others. I had such a great time with this group that it has inspired me to form a group here in Sedona.

Here is the link if you want to join. http://tantric.meetup.com/68

Our first meeting is Wed. Sept. 17, at 7 pm in West Sedona. I look forward to having an active on going Tantra Community in Sedona. I hope to see you there.