Sunday, August 2, 2020

SFTS Lodge Calendar of Online Events for August 2020

SFTS Lodge Altar


NOTE: In response to the global pandemic. The suspension of our weekly Friday evening public meetings continues. To help flatten the curve. And to set a meaningful example. Meanwhile, you can engage with us online, via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sftslodge/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/SFTSLodge)

SFTS Lodge Calendar of "Facebook Live" Events for August 2020
 
On Sunday, 8/16/20 at 6 p.m., join us online for "Aligning in the Multiverse" with Mary Power

On Sunday, 8/23/20 at 6 p.m., join us online for "Yoga Nidra" with John Paul (JPG Yoga)

To enjoy these two offerings, just come to https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge at the appointed hour on the designated day. It's all free and will be available to the public.

#NoReligionHigherThanTruth
#NoPowerGreaterThanLove
#TheCircleRemainsUnbroken
#Theosophy

SFTS Lodge Dharma Message (July, August, September 2020): "I take the path that ecstatic human beings have taken for centuries." - Three Ecstatic Poems from the Great Bhakti Saint Mirabai

A Painting of Meerabai
(Source: Clicked at Delhi Haat, Author: Onef9day, Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0)

Why Mira Can't Come Back to Her Old House

The colors of the Dark One have penetrated Mira's
body; all the other colors washed out.
Making love with the Dark One and eating little,
those are my pearls and my carnelians.
Meditation beads and the forehead streak,
these are my scarves and my rings.
That's enough feminine wiles for me.
My teacher taught me this.
Approve me or disapprove me: I praise
the Mountain Energy night and day.
I take the path that ecstatic human beings
have taken for centuries.
I don't steal money, I don't hit anyone.
What will you charge me with?
I have felt the swaying of the elephant's shoulders;
and now you want me to climb
on a jackass? Try to be serious.

Awake to the Name

To be born in a human body is rare,
Don't throw away the reward of your past good deeds.
Life passes in an instant— the leaf doesn't go
back to the branch.
The ocean of rebirth sweeps up all beings hard,
Pulls them into its cold-running, fierce, implacable currents.
Giridhara, your name is the raft, the one safe-passage over.
Take me quickly.
All the awake ones travel with Mira, singing the name.
She says with them: Get up, stop sleeping—
the days of a life are short.

In All My Lives

In all my lives you have been with me;
whether day or night I remember.
When you fall out of my sight, I am restless
day and night, burning.
I climb hilltops; I watch for signs of your return;
my eyes are swollen with tears.
The ocean of life— that's not genuine the ties
of family, the obligations to the world—
they're not genuine.
It is your beauty that makes me drunk.
Mira's Lord is the Great Dark Snake. That love
comes up from the ground of the heart.

-- Excerpted from "Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems" by Robert Bly and Jane Hirshfield

Here's a little background on Mirabai: "Perhaps the most remembered and quoted woman in India history is a sixteenth century poet, singer and saint called Mirabai, or Meera. Versions of her songs are sung today all over India, and she appears as a subject in films, books, dances, plays and paintings. Even Mohandas Gandhi promoted her, seeing Mira as a symbol of a woman who has the right to chose her own path, forsake a life of luxury, and in nonviolent resistance find liberation ... In the Bhakti tradition, one approached one's god through pure love, without any restrictions of caste, color, or gender. Many Bhakti followers gave up their worldly life and left their families to became wandering teachers or live together in like-minded communities. Their message usually was spread through deeply personal poems through which they conversed with their chosen God. Female devotees who aspired to live this life also had to give up their husbands and family. They had to live among people from a variety of castes, including those considered forbidden to them. In spite of what many felt were acts of subversive, some who overcame obstacles to follow their spiritual quests in time became respected and even revered. In 1516 Mirabai was married to Prince Bhoj Raj of the Rajput kingdom of Mewar, the most powerful Rajput state in the early 16th century. It's capital was Chittor. From the start Mira was a problem. She refused to worship her husband's family's goddess (devi), claiming that she already had offered herself to Lord Krishna and considered herself married to him. She refused the family's gifts of silks and jewels. She insisting on associating with the community of bhaktas. And when her husband died after only three short years, Mirabai refused to join him on his funeral pyre, a practice at the time expected of high caste Rajput widows. Instead she claimed that now she was free to devote herself completely to the worship of Krishna. Mira's devotional practices became increasingly intense. She often sang and danced herself into ecstasies, even in public places like temples. News about her spread all over India and she soon attracted a following of devotees from all social groups and castes ... -- Female Heroes of Asia, Women in World History: Mirabai (1498?-1546 C.E.)



Thursday, June 18, 2020

SFTS Lodge Calendar of Online Events for July 2020

 


Altar. SFTS Lodge.

NOTE: In response to the global pandemic. The suspension of our weekly Friday evening public meetings continues. To help flatten the curve. And to set a meaningful example. Meanwhile, you can engage with us online, via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sftslodge/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/SFTSLodge)

SFTS Lodge Calendar of "Facebook Live" Events for July 2020
 
On Sunday, 7/12/20 at 6 p.m., join us online for "Discerning Truth in Times of Uncertainty" with Ankke Orryn

On Sunday, 7/19/20 at 6 p.m., join us online for "Yoga Nidra" with John Paul (JPG Yoga)

To enjoy these two offerings, just come to https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge at the appointed hour on the designated day. It's all free and will be available to the public.

#NoReligionHigherThanTruth
#NoPowerGreaterThanLove
#TheCircleRemainsUnbroken
#Theosophy

Saturday, June 6, 2020

SFTS Lodge Calendar of Online Events for June 2020

 
NOTE: In response to the global pandemic. The suspension of our weekly Friday evening public meetings continues. To help flatten the curve. And to set a meaningful example. Meanwhile, you can engage with us online, via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sftslodge/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/SFTSLodge).

SFTS Lodge Calendar of "Facebook Live" Events for June 2020
 
On Sunday, 6/14/20 at 6 p.m., join us online for Shamanic Reiki Meditation with Marjory Mejia

On Sunday, 6/21/20 at 6 p.m., join us online for Yoga Nidra with John Paul (JPG Yoga)

To enjoy these two offerings, just come to https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge at the appointed hour on the designated day. It's all free and will be available to the public.

#NoReligionHigherThanTruth
#NoPowerGreaterThanLove
#TheCircleRemainsUnbroken
#Theosophy


Sunday, May 10, 2020

SFTS Lodge Dharma Message (April-May-June 2020): "This is the magic that each one of us has within us."

 

[Excerpted from Joe Miller in "Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller," Edited with An Introduction by Richard Power, Foreword by Coleman Barks, p. 79-80.]

Be Who You Are

I'm going to talk at random. I always do. Because it is the only way I seem to be able to talk. I sort of throw everything to the wind and try to take it from the intuition and pure love.
Pure love is the main thing. Love without the possessiveness. Can you feel that love? Can you touch that impersonal, yet highly personal love? You can't be impersonal unless you're personal! And when you're personal, you're impersonal Because when you're stingy, you're trying to keep it all for yourself. You don't have to do that. It's got to be universal love. Sooner or later, we'll all realize the whole world is one family, one beautiful family. That's the wonderful part of life.
If you don't shut off the thoughts that you have running wild in your mind, you can't meditate and you can't be at peace with yourself.
Now there are other times when you touch this MIND, suppose you go to the theater and you hear music that's so wonderful that it lifts you right out of yourself. You ain't even thinking of who you are, you've become drunk on the music and you are right into the music and it's beautiful. That's what we want, the BEAUTY, the HARMONY within.
Another time your lower mind will shut off is when someone WHACKS you unexpectedly. They utilize that a lot in Zen. Then, for a minute, the guy has clearness of MIND. "What did ya hit me for?" He's there, he don't know it but he has turned this thinking off. Then, if he wished, he could turn to the heart and the heart would tell him something.
Or, another example, let's say you go to a show and you really get tickled. You start laughing, then the jokes get better and you're going, "WOW! Hilarious." Well, when you're at the top of your laughter, arc you thinking about anything?
Can you just turn it off? Try it sometime. Turn “off your thinking. Usually, you can't turn it off. You say, "It just keeps on going." Well, it does keep on going, if you let it. But the programmer for your computer is in the heart, and you can turn off all that software anytime you want. You're the only one who can do it.
BE WHO YOU ARE. Be. Feel your at-oneness with that I AM within you.
It's not something that you can get if you go someplace where someone says, "Well, if you lay down fifteen dollars and you stay here for a couple of weeks, I’ll teach it to you." They can't. Nobody but you can bring you out of it. This is part of the New Age! You're not going out to temples of religions of the past, you're going into the temple of the Living GOD-yourself! We are all Gods in the making.
I say these things to people. Why? Not because you'll dig it now. The chances are ten to one that you'll say, "Oh, that crazy old coot with the fuzzy “muff don't mean anything." But sometime when you are in a bind, maybe five years from now, maybe ten years from now, you'll reach back inside and that'll pop out. I'm placing it in your computers for that purpose, to use when needed.
We've all met before or we wouldn't be here now. We wouldn't be here in this room together. There wouldn't be enough people to come up and fill this room and listen to me if there wasn't some connection. All I'm trying to do is give you the benefit of what I have dug in this life.
You've read this and you've read that and you've read the other, but you have to have an experience before it's real to you.
We're probably living in the most materialistic time the world has ever known-everything is only measured by the THINGS that are here. But we're not our bodies, our lower minds or our feelings, we're not that. We are sparks of Immortality, something that you can't describe. You can give an idea of what happens with it, but you can't show a picture of it. And you don't see it when you come to it. You just feel such a vast relief that, "Ah, this is what I have been looking for all my life," that peace that passeth all understanding.
I know I'm NOTHING, no-thing, no-thing, not me, not me. I'm just a wild-assed spark of the Infinite functioning in the Finite! I can turn it on or turn it off any damn time I want to. I could drag you through a pool of sad-sack stories and have you crying tears as big as horse-turds. This is the magic that each one of us has within us.
My viewpoint is that you surrender yourself to your deeper spiritual SELF. And BE that spiritual SELF. BE WHO YOU ARE. And that's who you are! You're all GOD. You're carrying around the GENERATOR of FORCE within you. Use it. That's what you got it for. You just needed some silly-billy like me to come along and mention it to you.
It doesn't matter if I ever see any of you people again, you won't forget that reality within you. Because you haven't heard this from a famous minister that's a member of the Hierarchy, I'm just a jerk ....

Friday, May 8, 2020

White Lotus Day, May 8, 2020




Annually, on May 8th, Theosophists world-wide celebrate White Lotus Day. To honor the passing of the great occultist H.P. Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society.

But in 2020, in the throes of pandemic, we are sheltered in place, to flatten the curve (and thereby demonstrate the power of the oneness of all life). So we will not be meeting in the physical space of the Lodge tonight.

Nevertheless, our etheric circle is strong. From this blessed, unbroken circle, love, courage, healing, sanity are radiating, inward, outward, and in all four directions. We will meet again. In the flesh.
Meanwhile, here are three powerful, personal reflections on the life and work of H.P. Blavatsky, from three other larger than life beings:

Annie Besant: And we, who lived around her, who in closest intimacy watched her day after day, we bear witness to the unselfish beauty of her life, the nobility of her character, and we lay at her feet our most reverent gratitude for knowledge gained, lives purified, strength developed.

Albert Einstein: Mme Blavatsky is a bit wild and somewhat irrational and speaks as if she were the Oracle of Delphi. But I will admit that I find some interesting observations in her book which was published as you know, back in 1888, at a time when physics and science were in their swaddling clothes... I'm astonished how much in keeping it is with modern Physics... There are many other significant statements of hers which I find interesting, but for which i have no time to discuss now.

Henry S. Olcott: She was a splendid pianist, playing with a touch and expression that were simply superb. Her hands were models—ideal and actual—for a sculptor and never seen to such advantage as when flying over the keyboard to find its magical melodies... There were times when she was occupied by one of the Mahâtmas, when her playing was indescribably grand. She would sit in the dusk sometimes, with nobody else in the room beside myself, and strike from the sweet-toned instrument improvisations that might well make one fancy he was listening to the Gandhâvas, or heavenly choristers. It was the harmony of heaven...

 References: 

Annie Besant, "An Autobiography," Chapter XIV

"I Visit Professor Einstein" by Jack Brown published in Ojai Valley News,(28 September 1983),

Henry Steel Olcott, Character Sketch of Madam Blavatsky, "Old Diary Leaves," Volume One, (1895)

 "Great Song" is available for Kindle via Amazon.com


Friday, March 13, 2020

SFTS Lodge Suspends Public Meetings Until Further Notice in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

SFTS Lodge Altar, March 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Both Govenor Gavin Newsome and Mayor London Breed have declared a state of emergency. 

The San Francisco Lodge of the Theosophical Society will be suspending public meetings until further notice. During this period, we will continue working on a major archive project, and maintain our online presence, including occasional broadcasts via FB Live.

We are taking this action to contribute to what experts call "the flattening of the curve" in terms of the spread of COVID-19, and also to protect the life of the Lodge itself. 

We have been in existence since 1901, and we intend to continue far on into the future. Throughout the course of our long history we have endured world wars, natural catastrophes, economic collapses and other collective challenges. This is just latest. 

We're not going anywhere. We're here and we will be here. 

Stay tuned to this frequency for further updates in the nights and weeks ahead. 

"Only through the orchid door of the heart, and the violet flame therein, can you place your feet on the rainbow bridge that leads to the city of the Golden Gate, and the shrine of clear light therein!" 

-- Blessings, SFTS Lodge

 #noreligionhigherthantruth #nopowergreaterthanlove #notacaravanofdespair