The Fire of Love: Dharma Talk, Dharanas, and Chanting from 10.15.12

It’s been nearly three months since I’ve written here. Coming back this evening I discovered content that’s been sitting since October, waiting to be fleshed out and published.

This is a talk I gave on 10.15. While the Path of Heart was still my principal focus, I was beginning to weave the Kali Work back into the tapestry. For the last few years, I’ve moved away from metaphors of the Sacred Feminine. This talk on the fire of love marks a shift back into that perceptual framework and articulates where we find ourselves when Kali awakens on the Path of Heart…

Here’s the Mary Oliver poem I read as a dharana at the end of my talk:

 -Mary Oliver
Sweet Jesus, talking
his melancholy madness,
stood up in the boat
and the sea lay down,
silky and sorry.
So everybody was saved
that night.
But you know how it is
when something
different crosses
the threshold — the uncles
mutter together,
the women walk away,
the young brother begins
to sharpen his knife.
Nobody knows what the soul is.
It comes and goes
like the wind over the water —
sometimes, for days,
you don’t think of it.
Maybe, after the sermon,
after the multitude was fed,
one or two of them felt
the soul slip forth
like a tremor of pure sunlight
before exhaustion,
that wants to swallow everything,
gripped their bones and left them
miserable and sleepy,
as they are now, forgetting
how the wind tore at the sails
before he rose and talked to it —
tender and luminous and demanding
as he always was —
a thousand times more frightening
than the killer storm.

Here are mantras [om namah shivaya and navarna] with a short dharana at the end of the clip:

And the last word goes to Mirabai/Bly.  If you’re still wondering how to walk the Fire Path of Heart, here are operating instructions…

The Heat of Midnight Tears

English version by Robert Bly
Listen, my friend, this road is the heart opening,
Kissing his feet, resistance broken, tears all night.
If we could reach the Lord through immersion in water,
I would have asked to be born a fish in this life.
If we could reach Him through nothing but berries and wild nuts,
Then surely the saints would have been monkeys when they came from the womb!
If we could reach him by munching lettuce and dry leaves,
Then the goats would surely go to the Holy One before us!
If the worship of stone statues could bring us all the way,
I would have adored a granite mountain years ago.
Mirabai says: The heat of midnight tears will bring you to God.

One thought on “The Fire of Love: Dharma Talk, Dharanas, and Chanting from 10.15.12

  1. I enjoyed listening to your talk this morning. I am learning to be guided by spirit in my yoga readings and studies. I’ve always found it hard to read spiritual content – my ears are much more perceptive in this realm – so THANK YOU for posting your talks and these poems! Robert Bly always pops up to say hello to me now and then, so you’ve helped me revisit and old friend here.

    Also, I LOVE Kirtan – when I left my home in Arizona I left a Kirtan community I loved. A few weeks ago was my first time leading my own yoga class in some mantra – Asato Ma – thank you for your inspiration here!

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