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#1550 - Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - Editor: Joyce (Know_Mystery)
Medium and Dimensions:
FROM JAN HAAG's NOTES ON KALACHAKRA: "The central design in KALACHAKRA is an adaptation of The All Powerful Ten Symbol associated with the Kalachakra Initiation of Tibetan Buddhism.
In 1988 I attended H.E. Chogye Trichen Rimpoche's offering of the Initiation in Bodhnath, Nepal. It was also offered by the Dalai Lama in America in 1989. The Kalachakra is the highest initiation in Tibetan Buddhism.
Among other things, The All Powerful Ten Symbol relates to "good fortune," "world peace," and the "relationship of the microcosm to the macrocosm." It uses traditional Tibetan colors. These colors are also used as symbolic "colors of the world" in many other cultures.
In Sanskrit, each syllable is a mantra. Tibetan writing was derived originally from Devanagari -- the script in which Sanskrit is usually written. The All Powerful Ten Symbol is written in Lentsa, a decorative script in which the syllables, so to speak, have come "half way back" from Tibetan to Sanskrit.
about sixteen months of intense work stitching this
mantra, I noticed that each of the colored
"ribbons" (verticals) IS
its syllable: i.e, reading from the right, the blue is
Sanskrit "ha" in Devanagari, (it can also be
construed as "Ma"); the green, "ksa;"
the reds, "ra;" the yellow, "la;" the
white, "va;" and the blacks, "ya."
Although each syllable is extremely elongated and
stylized, its Sanskrit form is still clearly discernable.
Each ribbon is a syllable and a mantra. In addition, the
entire symbol is a mantra composed of seven letters and
the three symbols of sun, moon and flame."
[Read more about THE KALACHAKRA at: http://janhaag.com/NP13Kala.html ]
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Jan Haag is an accomplished poet, textile artist, writer and painter. Additionally, Haag's background includes acting, dancing and directing. As former Director of National Productions Programs for the American Film Institute, she administered the Independent Filmmaker Program, the Academy Internship Programs and founded AFI's Directing Workshop for Women.
Her original needlepoints have been shown in solo exhibitions in California and most recently at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Her paintings have been sold in galleries, at art festivals and in museum shops. She's written some 2,300 poems, as well as novels, plays and film scripts. A major portion of her work is posted on her website: janhaag.com. Her volunteer work has ranged from teaching English to Thai monks in Auburn to micropaleontology help at the Burke Museum and, at present, help in the University of Washington's greenhouses. [This brief biographical extract was excerpted from an online feature written by Dawn Gothro of Historical Seattle which originally appeared on the Historical Seattle website: http://www.cityofseattle.net/commnty/histsea/projects/artistprofiles.htm ]
Says Haag: "I seem to have an unending desire to turn the world into words. I am after the masterwork, like any artist/poet, but I am also after the truth of "fleeting life," that which happens each day. Spontaneity and Control are the essence of art, but not everything has to be a masterpiece, some minor poetry can inspire greatly. My steadiest passion is to find subjects, texts and teachers who look upon the world as a whole. I feel we must study, know, be interested in and love the whole world, the whole universe, all peoples, plants, rocks, creatures and spy out their interrelationships if we are to survive." [This quotation is excerpted from an online interview "Working on the Human Soul" by Paula Marie Bentley at http://www.sol-magazine.org/ in the Sol Spotlight, July 2002 Issue. See also http://pages.prodigy.net/sol.magazine/onweb.htm#jan02 for a review of Haag's website, janhaag.com: "By Jan Haag, Poetic Forms & More" by Craig Tigerman]
For more information about Haag's background see: http://janhaag.com/JHbio.html
The main link to Haag's Poetry is http://janhaag.com/POpoetry.html
The main link to Haag's Textile Art is: http://janhaag.com/NPtextileart.html
[Editor's Note: Today's issue of the NDHighlights features the poetry and textile art of Jan Haag. Presented here are the first 18 poems from Haag's luminous series of 101 poems INSPIRED BY NISARGARDATTA, interspersed with selections of her exquisite needlepoint art. More information on the INSPIRED BY NISARGARDATTA poems is available at janhaag.com/PONis.html . The vivid colors of Haag's textiles are shown to best advantage on her website at http://janhaag.com/NPtextileart.html . Jan Haag may be contacted by email: [email protected] All the poetry and artworks presented in this issue of the NDHighlights are the work of Jan Haag, republished with her permission from her website janhaag.com . All works along with related prose (except where noted) are under individual copyright © by Jan Haag and janhaag.com 2003, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. I am grateful for her generosity in sharing them... joyce]
INSPIRED BY NISARGADATTA
by Jan Haag
A selection from a Series of 101 Poems and 5 Entr'actes
All Chapter Titles (#01 through #101), quotations and page numbers are cited from: "I Am That, Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, " recorded and translated by Maurice Frydman, edited by Sudhakar S. Dikshit, The Acorn Press, Durham, N.C., 1999
Twenty years ago A.M. gave me a copy of I AM THAT, Sri Nisargadatta's satsangs. It continues to be one of the most important spiritual books to come into my life. It contains my favorite of all sentences in spiritual literature: "The silence after a lifetime of silence and the silence after a lifetime of talking is the same silence."
Recently, while recommending it to someone, I thought to re-read it. I borrowed a copy from the public library. I still had trouble absorbing it. However, to slow my reading down -- having not long ago edited some books for another spiritual teacher -- I decided to go through it with the same thoroughness I would give to it if I were to edit it. Thus, I have read it at the rate of one chapter a day and, after each day's reading, I have written a poem -- the poem simply came after the reading. Therefore, in whatever way at whatever rate inspiration seeps through, these poems are "inspired" by Nisargadatta.
I AM THAT turned out to be a popular book at the library. I was not able to renew it. It took some days to decide to buy and find a new copy (I've owned and given it away many times). Thus the poems are divided into sections of eighteen poems -- because it was at poem #18 that the book became due at the library.
In addition, I have adopted that first enforced pause into the form of this series and have written Entre'acts between each 18 poem section -- poems about whatever ensorceled me at that moment.
This particular series/ascesis/practice is one more step in the process of educating my soul. Nisargadatta speaks to the Western Soul perhaps more than other Eastern spiritual teachers I have read, because a lot of Westerners asked him a lot of Western question. I have not, so far, come across my favorite sentence again.
FROM JAN HAAG'S NOTES ON I CHING: "The design for this pillow was inspired by a traditional layout of the I Ching. The pattern is composed of the sixty-four Kua from this ancient Chinese book of divination -- sometimes called the Book of Changes. Each Kua consists of broken and solid lines in sets of six.
The pattern begins at the upper left with all broken lines and runs horizontally to the bottom right where all the lines are solid. To the ancient Chinese the Kua represented possibilities in life. The interpretation of these Kua, the sequences of changing lines, etc. often illuminated a course of action..." [Republished from janhaag.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]
[Read more about the I CHING needlepoint at: http://janhaag.com/NP01iching.html ]
#01 The Sense of 'I am'
"... the timeless and spaceless possibility of all experience." Nisargadatta, p. 3*
I don't feel ready to write
I Am is the contemplation --
like a luminous arrow created
by the after image of staring
out the window into the limitless
blue with clouds which exist no more
than my illusions, all body-attached.
But the limitlessness, the blueness --
ah even the blueness is an illusion
Only the limitlessness,
The caw of the crow falls into the void.
Neti neti, I am neither this nor that.
Republished from janhaag.com, http://janhaag.com/PONis.html#01
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
#02 Obsession with the Body
"... I am nothing but myself..." Nisargadatta, p.4
I lie in my bed defining
but myself hearing the wind
howling its emptiness round my
eyrie. That is too much content,
says Nisargadatta, too much, says the wind.
The sky without the blue,
the crow without the caw,
the concept without the thought, the bemusement
of the "real" --
Climb on the comfort of warmth, high beyond
the southern curve's shadow of the Cascades, declining.
Republished from janhaag.com, http://janhaag.com/PONis.html#02
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
#03 The Living Present
"Mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it." Nisargadatta, p.8
That quote is the kind that turns
my cynical mind to jelly.
Yet, maybe I am not
so far from it: Think of the tears
that start at a cat's sudden death,
or a mother's death, no
matter how old, the mother
or the daughter. The heart leaps across
the rationalizing abyss,
no reason, no discernible reason. All that lives
must die, even reasonable Hamlet wept between soliloquies.
Republished from janhaag.com, http://janhaag.com/PONis.html#03
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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