Me & The Capricious Sorcery of Cyberspace…

SHIVA IN PURPLE AND BLUE“Oh, I don’t ever worry about Mira being lonely,” a friend declared at a farewell party in Manhattan, thrown to celebrate my terrifying decision to leave mainstream life for the unknown quiet of the Himalayas. “She walks down to the grocery store alone and returns with a hundred friends.”

An exaggeration? Yes, but true in essence: for I was thrust into this world with an openness towards all beings, regardless of gender, age, caste, tribe, or income. You could say I was destined for the philosophy I would espouse as an adult—of Advaita-Vedanta, which teaches, in its most simple form, that all beings emerge from One and return to One.

My quest for a home in which I could focus solely on spiritual and creative goals finally led me to put down roots in a small south Indian town. I was drawn down south from the region of the Himalayas by the cleansing fire of Arunachala, the sacred mountain millions believe to be the living embodiment of Shiva, God of Paradox and Destroyer of Illusion—who burns away our insidious attachment to ephemeral body and mind so we can experience the immortal bliss of our Self. Continue reading

The Wisdom of Bear: Kali, Aghori & Unconditional Love #4/6

image-7The years flew by and our group of fantastic females disintegrated. Some left Manhattan or began new lives that did not allow for the intimacy we’d shared as single women. As for me, I took a huge leap into the unknown at the eve of the millenium: I left my comfortable life in Manhattan for the foothills of the Himalayas in order to become a good Tibetan Buddhist. But that plan for enlightenment did not work out for a variety of reasons, and once again I found myself travelling here, there and everywhere, searching for that perfect home into which I could settle for the rest of my life, in order to focus on my creative and spiritual goals.

At one point, this search led me back into America, where I met a man whom I believed could evolve into the perfect mate for me. But soon I began to see ethical flaws in him that my rose-colored spectacles had initially masked.

While I myself am no masterpiece of humanity, I at least acknowledge that I am a work-in-progress composed of—relatively speaking—both good and bad; this fellow, however, hid his flaws beneath a million masks. As my vision cleared, I began to see a narcissistic and slippery man with no true respect for women and who suffered from the cardinal sin of emotional and material cheapness. Continue reading

Luminous Kalyanamitras – Part 2

My own tumultuous life-path led me to break free of a marriage that was choking the joy out of me. Post-divorce, I severed my fifteen-year bond with Manhattan and fled to the other side of the planet, to Dharamsala, seat of the Tibetan Buddhist community in exile, nestling in the foothills of Himalayas.

Jetsunma_in_caveAfter barely surviving my first brutal Himalayan winter, I had the amazing good fortune to meet Ani Tenzin Palmo, a Buddhist nun of English extraction. Ani-la had recently returned to the area from a small cave located way over the snow line—after a thirteen-year solitary retreat!

I asked Ani-la how she’d survived there for so long, alone, and often in sub-zero weather. She had held my gaze with soul-penetrating blue eyes: those years had been the happiest of her life, she had replied in her crisp British accent. Even when the fellow who had promised to transport her rations on a six-month basis did not arrive on his hardy donkey, and she was forced to stretch her little remaining food over the next half-year, Ani-la had not balked, having prepared herself to die in retreat if need be. It was the combination of a lapsed visa and a growing compulsion to serve others that had persuaded her to leave her icy refuge. Continue reading