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Everything Starts With A Seed

(From the editor: Today is the three year anniversary of the launching of this poetry project! Since then we have published nearly 1000 poems from hundreds of women from all over the world and produced two books: 'Journey of the Heart: An Anthology of Spiritual poetry by Women' and 'Where Journeys Meet: The Voice of Women's Poetry'. Below is the first blog I ever wrote. At the time, I never imagined this project would grow into such a sweet and thriving sisterhood, from which so much inspiration has emerged! I am grateful and amazed at how -with just a heartfelt intention- a little seed grew into something so beautiful and unexpected. My heartfelt gratitude and love to all of you who made this possible.) 

Ever since I was a child I’ve cultivated a deep appreciation for poetry...

My mother awoke this love in me when I was very young. She read poetry to me aloud and always encouraged me to express myself through art or poems. She even taught me to memorize poems and made voice recordings of me reciting poetry starting at the tender age of two!

My beautiful mother, who studied poetry at Vassar, taught me that poems are like passages to our inner selves, mirrors of our thoughts, vehicles that move emotional depths to the surface. Poetic expressions, with their creative use of language and metaphor, can swiftly reach into psychological corners that prose may not. 

A singular poem can transport and transform us in most unexpected ways. And a singular poem shared, can similarly touch and transform the lives of others.

This poetic sharing is, in essence, an exercise of our hearts, as it contains the potential to link us together in most unexpected ways. It is what we refer to in the bhakti-yoga tradition as sangha: the uniting with those we find spiritually uplifting. And it often involves poetry; either as the lyrical poetry of songs, or as the luxurious Sanskrit verses that decorate yoga texts.

The ancients knew how to use poetry -in combination with sound and rhythm- to stir the human heart and arouse divine consciousness.

I begin this poetry blog today in honor of that ancient, yogic tradition, as an open space in which to facilitate inspiring connections between female hearts. I picked this day in particular, because it celebrates Radharani, who is known in bhakti-yoga circles as the supreme kavirani, or poet.

 According to yoga philosophy, Radha is also the Supreme Divine Feminine, and we all imbibe her energies at our core.

 It is this naturally poetic core that I invite women to come in touch with in this blog space, as we express ourselves freely, without judgment, and ride on the spontaneous waves of our heart’s poetic outpours.

Over the course of my own life I have found myself through either the writing or reading of poetry countless of times.

Poetry has functioned as a reliable companion I could always draw strength from. It has been my warm pillow on many lonely nights and wrapped me like a soft comforter each time I felt hope disintegrating. 

Through composing poetry I was able to see the landscape of my heart and psyche clearly: with all its peaks and valleys, volcanoes and caves. I used poetry as a tool of introspection and transformation.

 And I’ve used poetry as an effective tool of excavation for all those parts of myself I knew I needed to free. I’ve also been very blessed to have friends who have developed a rich relationship with writing poetry themselves.

Through pouring out my own fears and insecurities, hopes and dreams, joys and sorrows, pleasures and pains into my poetry, I’ve found I am able to embrace every part of my journey more completely, whatever it may be. For it is through the uninhibited expression built into the process of composing a poem that all judgments dissolve, and suddenly you realize you stand before new versions of yourself. And along with those new perspectives come exciting, new possibilities.

I’d like this blog to grow into a space that cultivates endless possibilities and broad views, and leaves the reader with an uplifted spirit.

I have found that when we share poetic visions of ourselves with others, the possibilities expand even further. Over the years, as I ingested the poetry of others, I experienced a sense of feeling understood, of solidarity, of belonging to the whole universe of human experiences, not much different from my own. I related to familiar sentiments and recognized emotions in ways that delivered comfort and helped me feel like a valuable part of a whole.

For poetry links us to each other, like nourishing fruits growing on the same branch.

This blog is intended to water those links we women on a spiritual path share, and explore what they taste like in celebration of the wide variety of flavors within us. I hope old friends and new will join me here to map out the passages to our inner selves, and trace little paths to what inspires us most in life, as I have found that there is something magical that happens when poetry is shared between friends.

I’d like to invite all of you daughters, and mothers, and grandmothers to contribute to this collection of poems by female voices, in the ways that most inspire you. I’d like to create a poetic tapestry of our combined voices, and leave a record of our journeys for future generations!

May we illuminate our personal journeys to learn from one another’s struggles, uncover spiritual meaning in apparent trivialities and delight in the discovery that we aren’t alone after all.  

We are all connected. We are all part of a greater spiritual sangha. And within each of our voices, lives a kavirani, a poetess.

 Let the kaviranis all emerge here, and tell of what it means to be a woman on a spiritual path, through heartfelt immersion into poetry.

  I invite you to contribute either by sharing a poem of your own, or by submitting one that moves you by another female poet. (If you pick the latter, please include a little introduction telling us how and why the poem speaks to you.) All entries will also be accompanied by a short bio and photograph of the poet.

I greatly look forward to hearing from you. Please click here to submit your poetic offering. Thank you so very much! 


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