Om Mantra (Video)

In addition to the plain text of this poem,

you can also read the ILLUSTRATED, ANNOTATED EDITION below

Om Mantra

Kirtans and satsangs

in yoga studios

Yinqiao Jiedu Wan

for the common cold

The ace of swords

in the House of Passion

Willpower embodied

in the House of Action

Dissolving fear

with the Law of Attraction

with 10 days of noble silence

with Self-Reliance with

Black obsidian

amulets

Intuitive heal

me with my

White feathered

tress

Reciting Clair de Lune

and the Arabesques

Leaves of Grass

Basic kindness

Rest.

Hang a mirror in the east

to keep your Chi glitch-free

Go gluten-free

Dairy-free

Tree-nut free

Don’t fuck with me

I’ve learned to let go

At my DIY shrine

A maneki-neko

Buddha and a few pretty shells

from that nice day at the beach

A silver ankh

or eye of Horus

adorns one of me

I’m polymorphous

I've studied the torus

the ouroborus

strips of Möbius and

other Strange Loops

The life and work of Carl Jung

in a graphic novel

Celtic runes

Aristotle

The present tense

Frankincense

Sandalwood

and myrrh

The cottonmouth toffee liqueur

lectures of Alan Watts over

Tibetan singing bowls

and binaural beats

And endless lists

can’t leave out

Gödel's incompleteness theorems

Two-for-one moon sign calculations

Positive affirmations

Kundalini aspirations

Gratitude journaling and

Drugs!

Ayahuasca Supernova

is the actual name of

my friend’s Shiba Inu

for God’s or fuck’s sake

We will try anything to feel

communion with the Divine!

But then this morning

still asleep

you roll on top of me

with that smooth warm

skin and without thinking

without trying

without wanting

anything

I moan mmmm

Tu cuerpo es divino.

Om Mantra

Sometimes called the "mystical syllable" Om signifies the essence of the ultimate reality.

A mantra is a tool of the mind, like a sound or incantation, that you can use to enter a deep state of meditation. [Here, the term is being used somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as the following lines of poetry may more likely pull your mind in the opposite direction, towards intellectualization.]

Kirtans and satsangs

in yoga studios

1. A kirtan is a call-and-response style song or chant, set to music, native to Indian religions.

2. A satsang a Hindu term which refers to a spiritual gathering, similar to a Bible study.

Yinqiao Jiedu Wan

for the common cold

Yinqiao Jiedu Wan, pronounced jin-chow-jai-du-wan, is an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The ace of swords

in the House of Passion

Willpower embodied

in the House of Action

The above 4 lines reference an astrological tarot card reading given to the author by the astrologer and mystic iconographer Walker Fee.

The House of Passion and the House of Action refer to the 12 houses of astrology.

Dissolving fear

with the Law of Attraction

with 10 days of noble silence

with Self-Reliance with

1. The technique of Vipassana Meditation is taught in 10-day residential courses. Students are required to commit to a code of disciplines that includes the practice of noble silence: silence of body, speech and mind. In addition to silencing all speech and sound, reading and writing, gestures, eye-contact, and physical exercise are all forbidden. [The poet completed this course in April 2019. The story of her experience will be published soon, join the mailing list to be the first to read it!]

2. Self-Reliance is an essay written by American transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1841. It encourages individuals to "breathe new life into the old forms of their religion," specifically through spending more time reflecting on one's self.

Black obsidian

amulets

Intuitive heal

me with my

white feathered

tress

Native Americans believed that every bird species had its own character traits that could be transmitted to humans through the feathers. Within that culture, to receive a feather, an individual first had to go in front of their tribal court. Feathers were only awarded for acts of courage.

In modern-day America, the use of feathers for fashion represents a more general connection to nature. This use, however, may be seen as form of cultural appropriation.

Reciting Clair de Lune

and the Arabesques

Leaves of Grass

Basic kindness

1. Claude Debussy was a French composer from the Impressionist era. He once said, "The music I desire must be supple enough to adapt itself to the lyrical effusions of the soul and the fantasy of dreams." Clair de Lune and Arabesques No. 1 & 2 are famous among his pieces. [The poet plays these on the piano.]

2. Leaves of Grass is a collection of poetry by the American poet Walt Whitman. It deals with themes of self, God, and spirituality.

Rest.

Hang a mirror in the east

to keep your Chi glitch-free

Go gluten-free

Dairy-free

Tree-nut free

In Feng Shui, the Chinese “art of placement,” (like that of furniture and objects around the house,) chi is the term for life force energy.

These lines are all recommendations for purifying yourself, including taking caution in not only in how you nourish yourself but also in how you perceive yourself (in the mirror.)

Don’t fuck with me

I’ve learned to let go

At my DIY shrine

A Maneki-neko

1. A D.I.Y. shrine is a Do It Yourself shrine. It is common for New Age spiritualists to create a "sacred space" in their homes where they keep precious objects and mementos.

2. The Maneki-neko is a common Japanese figurine (charm, talisman) of a cat, believed to bring good luck to the owner.

Buddha and a few pretty shells

from that nice day at the beach

A silver ankh

or eye of Horus

adorns one of me

I’m polymorphous

The ankh is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph most commonly used to represent the word for "life" and, by extension, is a symbol of life itself.

The Eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, power, and health.

I've studied the torus

the ouroboros

strips of Möbius and

other Strange Loops

1. In simple geometry, a torus is the shape of a donut: the shape that forms when you roll a sphere around the line of a circle.

The Three-Torus Model of the Universe posits that the shape of the universe is a three-dimensional torus (below). Magnetic fields (like the one around the Earth, and the one around your body,) also form these toroidal shapes.

2. The ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. It is often interpreted as a symbol for eternal, cyclic renewal or the cycle of life, death and rebirth.

3. A Möbius strip is, like the torus, a shape some theorize may share similar properties to the shape of the universe. It is a surface with only one side (when embedded in three-dimensional Euclidean space).

If you move your finger along the full length of a Möbius strip, you will return to your starting point having traversed both sides of the paper without ever crossing an edge, giving the Möbius strip the mathematical property of being "unorientable."

[You can easily make a Möbius strip with a piece of paper and tape.]

4. In his book I Am A Strange Loop, Douglas Hofstader argues that the phenomenon of self-awareness can be explained by an abstract model based on symbols and self-referential "loops."

The life and work of Carl Jung

in a graphic novel

Celtic runes

Aristotle

1. In the words of author Gary Lachmann, "More than anyone else in the 20th century, the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung is responsible for our wide, grassroots interest in what we can call 'inner directed spirituality.'"

2. Runes are an alphabetic script used by the peoples of Northern Europe between the 1st century c.e. and the Middle Ages. In addition to their use as a written alphabet, they also served as a system of symbols used for magic and divination, still studied today.

The present tense

Frankincense

Sandalwood

and myrrh

1. Studying "the present tense" refers to the practice of being present, often called mindfulness, and "The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" by Eckhart Tolle.

2. Essential oils and burning incense have always had enormous role in religious and cultural practices around the world. Many people believe they possess healing properties. These lines also allude to the gifts the Three Wise Men brought to baby Jesus in the manger. The synecdoche may represent Christian mythology.

The cottonmouth toffee liqueur

lectures of Alan Watts over

Tibetan singing bowls

and binaural beats

1. Alan Watts was a famously charismatic British philosopher and speaker who interpreted Eastern philosophies for the West. Though he fell to alcoholism later in life, and many speculate it killed him, he remains immensely popular to this day, with his signature, butterscotchy voice often engineered against music for meditation. [The author even made such a track herself.]

2. The musical objects often referred to as "Tibetan singing bowls," and marketed as Tibetan ritual instruments, are neither Tibetan nor ritual in origin. Popular in the West, their relaxing sounds are often attributed with healing powers and/or the ability to create an altered state in the listener.

3. Binaural beats are an auditory illusion created by playing a different tone in each ear, using headphones. Some people claim that this auditory experience can therapeutically shift the listener's brainwaves to produce a state of calm-focus.

And endless lists

can’t leave out

Gödel's incompleteness theorems

Two-for-one moon sign calculations

Positive affirmations

Kundalini aspirations

Gratitude journaling and

Drugs!

1. Kurt Gödel was a mathematician whose two theorems proved that to find a complete and consistent set of axioms for all mathematics is impossible. Essentially, these theorems reveal the limits of logic.

2. In astrology, a person's "moon sign" is the zodiac occupied by the moon at the time of birth.

3. Kundalini is a Sanskrit word meaning "coiled snake." In Hinduism, it refers to a divine energy located at the base of the spine. Cultivating and awakening this energy, through tantric practice, uncoils the "snake" upwards and leads to spiritual liberation.

4. Gratitude journaling is the process of writing down statements of gratitude for the blessings in your life. It is scientifically proven to improve a person's mood.

Ayahuasca Supernova

is the actual name of

my friend’s Shiba Inu

for God’s or fuck’s sake

1. Ayahuasca is a South American entheogenic brew made from plants. It is traditionally used in spiritual ceremonies among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, though has become more common among Westerners.

People who consume Ayahuasca report having mystical or religious experiences and spiritual awakenings, containing revelations regarding their purpose on earth, the true nature of the universe, and awareness of higher spiritual dimensions and/or or extra-dimensional beings who can act as guides or healers.

2. A Shiba Inu is a breed of dog.

We will try anything to feel

communion with the Divine!

But then this morning

still asleep

you roll on top of me

with that smooth warm

skin and without thinking

without trying

without wanting

anything

I moan mmmm

Tu cuerpo es divino.

Tu cuerpo es divino is Spanish for "Your body is divine."

[The poet and her husband are a bilingual couple.]

Final Words from the Author:

This poem ultimately states that you are divine just as you are. If you want to achieve communion with divine, just be. You already are. It's done.

This idea is in harmony with Zen philosophy.

"Cut & Paste: Zen" is another publication of mine which combines clippings of text written by Zen philosopher D.T. Suzuki, with visual collage art made by me. You can read and view that full work here.

Photo of Cassandra Darling taken by fellow poet Joanna Crowell, Charleston, SC, USA, 2013.

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