My Spiritual Evolution and Poetry
My early experiences lead me to embrace the truth with an open mind and grasp of whatever rang true to me. I was unmethodical, intuitive, and aimless in my search for material that helped me grow and vibrated within my consciousness.
One day out driving through Roxbury to Back Bay with a friend “Red,” I experienced a subtle tension within my chest—in the solar plexus. I asked Red if he would drive me to the Boston City Hospital so I could get a diagnosis or glimpse of my condition. We drove over to the City Hospital, but the tension within stopped. So I went with Red to the Prudential Center, where we met with another friend “Willie.” They were observing cars, not my interest, so I asked to remain in the car while they shopped in the local car dealers.
I stayed in Red’s car, passively observing the Prudential Building’s Tower when I felt an abrupt tension or twinge again from within similar to the earlier experience on the way to Boston City Hospital.
When Red and Willie returned, I asked to be driven home to my house on Dudley Street in Roxbury where I immediately went upstairs to my room and there I had an amazing epiphany while lying on my bed. This seemed to be the beginning of my mystic life. I read voluminously from that point on: Seers of the East, the classic Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill, Alan Watts, Colin Wilson, and Western thinkers and seers—explorations in consciousness.
I am dwelling on this because it seemed to be my connection to writing and poetry. I met a poet in New York City, who influenced me with his writing and prescience. That experience seemed to be the start of my interest in poetry. That’s what I wanted to do—write poems. So I began scribbling poetry in a little in cult diary I kept. But I saw that I lacked knowledge of the language—English. From that point on I studied the structure of English and read poetry to myself.
Then, leaving Manhattan, forgetting about poetry, I freelanced articles for a newspaper in Denver, but it wasn’t till I arrived in San Francisco that my interest in Poetry began anew. A new phase in my study and writing poetry. I was now writing a yoga column for The Good Times, a hippie newspaper in San Francisco. This process of writing continued through my schooling at the Cultural Integration Fellowship and California Institute of Asian Studies. I had the instinct for writing and it connected with my spiritual life.
Spiritual writing and Poetry were my life enterprises. Thus
In the shifting gleam of sunlight the sun
peered through a break in the clouds,
the incessant stream of light slowly changing
patterns of sun and shadow
The Pacific looked like green grass
as the immense quiet of empty country
accumulated on her
In the somewhat rarified air of the mountains
an exquisite work of nature
green willows drooped their branches into the river
Trees silver in their dead leaves, a blur
out in the pasture, were filled
with silver-white glints of sun and graceful
cypress trees grew in wild profusion
The Divine manifests on earth, evolves,
pervades cosmos, embraces all everywhere,
sustains all evolving in the very face
of the ascending sun
Clouds drifted like barges across the blue
The stellar garden shone above
Lying there in the grass and looking helplessly
into the star-strewn sky, the aspirants felt
close to the heartbeat of the universe
Stars glittered ice-cold through the trees
and gazing up at the heavens brought tears
of sad joy to their eyes that shined
coldly in the warm summer night
The misty atmosphere rolled and churned
around them, the mist beaded cold
on their cheeks in a light haze
An unbelievable full moon in the half-light,
casting odd shadows, shimmered like a thin white
wheel looking out from behind a tenuous cloud
They watched the moon, astonished, and moonlight
cascaded down and gentle moonbeams lit
the area with a mystical silence
The above illustrates how I became interested in poetry, and spiritual evolution.
I am the author of four books of poetry, the latest being Blue Images In Sunshine. My first three books are White Wind, Streams, and Flowers Of The Sun.
My other interests include East-West Philosophy, Mysticism, as well as Integral Yoga and Psychology. The tough times of the eighties forced me to work at gainful employment elsewhere (outside of Psychology and Counseling), and I had an adventurous time in the eighties working at different firms and finally got secure employment at the California Public Utilities Commission while pursuing my poetry and spiritual aspiration.
I have a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Psychology, love classical music and jazz. And along with guiding and teaching meditation, I have spiritual knowledge of inner integral living and integration, self-realisation and self-actualization. I am a perpetual poet and see myself writing and publishing inspired poetry in the coming years.
Early on I meditated on my chosen deity (Ista devata) Jesus. And left alone in my contemplation, I prayed as intense focus turned to meditation. I allowed my mind to still in Zen reflection, read, focused, and fused D.T. Suzuki, Alan Watts. I began to muse in cafes, penetrate meaning and stillness while allowing quiet to pervade. I thought about Zen masters, pondered amusing stories and had early Satori on the Charles River where I started living, embraced another rhythm, evolved with greater awareness.
I worked as a waiter and traveled to the Green Mountains in Pennsylvania, the White Mountains in New Hampshire, Boston, New York, Jersey City, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Boulder, the Rockies. I encountered The Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo at Field’s Bookstore in San Francisco, and felt inspired to read it. A major work in my spiritual evolution. Another book that influenced me was Founding The Life Divine by Morwenna Donnelly. A week later I found Cultural Integration Fellowship and my teacher Sri Haridas Chaudhuri, founder of the California Institute of Integral Studies (formerly California Institute of Asian Studies), who was an early professor selected by Sri Aurobindo to teach at the American Academy of Asian Studies, formed by Louis Gainsborough and Dr. Frederic Spiegelberg. Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri, Dr. Frederic Spiegelberg and Alan Watts had an audience that involved people like Kenneth Rexroth, Alan Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen and others in the San Francisco community.
Eight years later after much travel and exposure, and my early spiritual experiences, I enjoyed Dr. Chaudhuri’s dynamic lectures I learned about Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, and felt inspired learning about my inner Psychic opening and illumination on the esplanade along the Charles River and how Zen, though valuble, lacked an evolutionary dimension. Althouigh bohemian, I learned how to conduct my life as I dwelled on this seer, interpreted his ideas and eloquent expression. He became my illustrious guru Sri Hari and I garnered a sense of Self in unfolding light. From there I became very involved and inspired, writing poetry alone in San Francisco.
So this is how my spiritual life began and evolved, and how I developed poetic insight and my craft. Of course I am still emerging as a poet and spiritual being and writing from different levels personal, transpersonal, and integral experiences. Sri Aurobindo, The Mother, Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri along with others in poetry and personal as well as transpersonal and integral Self unfoldment have been an inspiration to me in my creativity and spiritual growth.