Jun 18 2012

Dorothy Walters – If You Want

Published by at 9:09 am under Poetry

If You Want
by Dorothy Walters

If you want to feel
the sweet light
flow over your body,
then give yourself to light.

If you want
to taste the secret honey,
you must allow your throat
to open.

Moth to candle,
straw to flame,
you are nothing but
materials for burning.

— from The Ley Lines of the Soul: Poems of Ecstasy and Ascension, by Dorothy Walters


/ Photo by Jeff Hunter /

Dorothy Walters is always a favorite with the Poetry Chaikhana. Like honey, this brief poem of ecstasy restores and satisfies, all with a sweet golden touch. Her new book Ley Lines of the Soul is a collection of “poems of ecstasy” by one who has lived for years with the sacred Kundalini experience. Rich material to explore here…

These images, light and honey, appear so often in the poetry and writing of mystics…

If you want to feel
the sweet light
flow over your body,
then give yourself to light.

Light imagery is used so often in sacred writings that it is easy to assume it is just one more airy spiritual metaphor, but there is a reason all traditions speak of light. Often, mystics in ecstatic states describe an awareness of light that is brighter than a sunny afternoon. This light is perceived as being a living radiance that permeates everything, everywhere, always. This light is immediately understood to be the true source of all things, the foundation on which the physicality of the material world is built.

This light is not merely a visual phenomenon, either; it is tactile, permeating, embracing, profoundly soothing, revitalizing, healing. Many experience the sense of being bathed in this light, feeling it “flow over your body.”

But how do we come to experience it? It is not something we acquire. It is not something we hold. It is not even something, properly speaking, that we “experience.” It is much too big to be contained by the individual. We can, however, participate in its radiance. We give ourselves to the light.

If you want
to taste the secret honey,
you must allow your throat
to open.

Sweetness too is often used in language of mystics. Not merely sweetness, but a sweet, vivifying liquid: honey, wine, milk, nectar… Again, this is not merely poetic metaphor; it is real. A subtle, though tangible, flowing substance is experienced as an ethereal sweetness upon the palette and in the back of the throat during some states of deep ecstasy.

In India this is often called amrita, in the Mediterranean mystery traditions it was called ambrosia.

But how do we taste this sweet nectar? We must open to our capacity for sweetness.

Moth to candle,
straw to flame,
you are nothing but
materials for burning.

These final lines can be troubling or supremely reassuring. They seem to evoke an image of self-sacrifice; worse: wanton self-destruction. So why then do we instinctively breathe easier reading these lines? The poem, up to this point, has been reminding us that we don’t get the greatest gifts, we give ourselves to them instead. There is a terrible burden in constantly trying to buttress the petty self with experiences and acquisitions, when what we so want in our heart of hearts is to yield and open to our true radiant nature. The myriad ways we’ve learned to define and insulate ourselves, they do serve a purpose, however — as fuel for that holy fire of self-liberation.






Dorothy Walters

US (1928 – )
Secular or Eclectic

Dorothy Walters is a retired university professor who, at age 53, experienced a dramatic Kundalini awakening which, as she says, completely transformed her life. She had no guru or teacher to guide her through this process, navigating through the new world that opened itself to her by following inner guidance and instinct.

She wrote of her Kundalini initiation in Unmasking the Rose. She has several collections of poetry, including Ley Lines of the Soul, Marrow of the Flame, and A Cloth of Fine Gold. She also contributed to Kundalini Rising: Exploring the Energy of Awakening.

Ms. Walters lives and writes in Colorado.

More poetry by Dorothy Walters

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Dorothy Walters – If You Want”

  1. Michael K'shatria Youngon 18 Jun 2012 at 10:38 am

    Ivan, I wanted to congratulate you on your book, Real Thirst, which I gifted to myself for Father’s Day. It arrived on Sat. and I drank deeply of it on Sun., the actual day of fathers.
    While it slaked my thirst, temporarily, it made me thirsty for more. Especially with the translations, the introductions or background materials were longer than the poems.
    Sort of like receiving a large box full of tiny treasures. It left me wanting more, which is not a bad thing. Looking forward to the next.

  2. prema kayeon 18 Jun 2012 at 2:56 pm

    dear ivan,

    very glad you took out those annoying categories before the poem! i’m so happy for poetry chaikhana in my life that i didn’t want to seem ungrateful by sending you my criticism!

    you are magnificent; unending thanks for your labors!

    love, prema

  3. Eveon 18 Jun 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Thanks so much for the graceful old format!
    With appreciation,
    Eve

  4. jim carlinon 18 Jun 2012 at 7:29 pm

    “isn’t it funny how bears love honey
    ho ho ho i wonder why it’s so”
    winnie the pooh-pooh bear

  5. R.K.Singhon 19 Jun 2012 at 4:24 am

    Dorothy Walters writes with the flame of a Kabir in her consciousness. There is so much in her poetry to enlighten us in this century.

  6. Sueon 19 Jun 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Thanks, that is totally what I wanted to know.
    Returning to this format a delightful surprise.
    Meeting Dorothy Walters a sweet gift.

  7. Samir Baraion 12 Jul 2012 at 11:44 am

    I’ve recently started a site, and the information you offer on this site has helped me greatly. Also it has excellent and very informative. After going through this great content i came to know lots of things which will help me to enrich my knowledge.

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