Dangerous Compassions

Ya Devi

ya devi

Gmorning.  A friend asked about the translation of Ya Devi.  I sang it in the video in yesterday’s post.  This site has the words of Ya Devi translated.

ya devi

There’s a video with someone singing it to a different tune than the one we used at the ashram near Sacramento.  Sounds cool too.


The sect I did for 20 years–I love it.  Mother God worshiped in the form of sleep, error, intelligence, hunger…  Sorry, but that’s flipping amazing.  Of course God is in those things.  I find her everywhere.

Christianity didn’t give that to me.  And paganism gave me freedom that I needed and need.  But Hinduism is a huge, huge trove of sparkling treasure.  I dive my hand in the treasure chest and find important things that nourish me, over and over.

When I listen to Ya Devi, I can almost smell incense, see beautiful colors, and feel a whole world that I feel pretty good in.  Always I’m grateful to the generous people who welcomed me to the Vedanta centers throughout California, but especially the Sacramento one.  It was a perfect refuge for a decade of quiet healing, and I learned so much there.

I learned things I could name, but mostly I learned ineffable things words couldn’t touch.

some things I learned that can be named
  1. Loquats are among the first fruits to ripen in summer.
  2. Don’t just start eating the fruits–make sure the first of the year has been offered.  Or just wait a while.
  3. The current foyer used to be the entire temple.
  4. Playing harmonium feels good.
  5. Mother worship is fully valid.
  6. Cancer can make someone’s bones break very easily.
  7. Vinca is an annoying plant.
  8. Religion can be a fun thing to build community around.
  9. Dodge drama by not enjoying it.  Gravitate to the fun, stable, creative, serene.  People who want to complain to you about other people–listen for a little while, smile, and don’t do that yourself.
  10. Hippies minus sexual freedom are different to talk to than regular hippies.
  11. Pushy, rude, and cranky people can still be very likable.
  12. Swami might make you ask a few times because initiating you.
  13. Lots about initiation really.  Bring flowers.
  14. Context–religions have things in common, like baby worship.  Christ worshiped as manger babe, compare with Krishna worshiped as butter thief.
  15. Peace water ceremonies, format of worship, the materials that are offered in worship, baby blessing ceremonies, Indian interfaithness,
  16. Bengali-style misogyny and how to mitigate it.
  17. How Bengali language feels in the mouth.
  18. Linguistic quirks of Bengali-style English.
  19. Ritual is meaningful.  Beauty and symbols can speak to parts of us that language can’t touch.
  20. A community can adore a leader, then hate the new leader.
  21. Peaceful people can be the angriest people in the world.
  22. I can be very skeptical about my own experiences of the light of God.
  23. You could think it was pointless to do spiritual practices day in and day out with a bunch of people 40 years older than you, but things might change inside of you that you don’t realize till much later.

I hope you’re getting what you need, dear reader.  Religion, not-religion, music, silence, sleep, hunger, delicious foods.  I love you.

Yesterday I was craving a nopales taco salad really bad.  So Ming bought one for me from that place we like in commercial center.  He asks for nopales instead of meat, and it’s no problem.

taco salad

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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