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Jan. 24th, 2010

bi/fluid/pan

bialogue

Academic Bi: New International Mailing List/Yahoo Group

for the Discussion of and the Exchange of Information and Ideas about Topics related to Bisexual/Pansexual Theory, Queer Theory and the Academic Study of Bisexuality, Pansexuality, Fluidity, et. al.Collapse )


yes please DO X-Post


Mar. 10th, 2009

shivahood

Bija and mula mantras.

Hari OM!
I have some interesting in case of a mantras.
Is there a difference between bija-mantra and mula-mantra? And if there is, then what difference? How can it difference be used in practice?

Mar. 6th, 2009

shivahood

Different japa is for different mala , isn't?

Hari OM!
Hello! I have a question, need I some special malas for different Devatas? For example, should I perform japa of Ganesh-mantra at crystal mala
only and japa of Shiva-mantra at rudraksh only? Which rules are about it?

Feb. 23rd, 2009

Shanti

medusasowl

Maha Shivaratri '09

AUM NAMAH SHIVAYAH!

I thought this song and images were just lovely, and a good vid to post this year. :)



I also found this link, which not only tells the story of Shivaratri but explains the symbolism and metaphors. The rich symbolism of Sanatana Dharma appeals to me on so many levels.

I've always loved this quote as well, and it's all the more relevant this difficult year...

"The night of the rebel God Shivaratri is not a night to be slept over.One should try and be up through the night. It signifies being aware ofeverything you have and being grateful about it. Be grateful for the happiness which leads to growth, and also for sadness which gives a depth to life. This is the right way of observing Shivaratri." ~Sri Sri Ravishankar

Cut to make your flist a bit neater and not quite so long. :)Collapse )

I've almost finished the Tao of Physics finally as well. The next to last chapter about lost me, S-Matrix theory is pretty confusing, but the rest I've learned a lot from. I hope I retain much of what I've learned about particle physics though, it's utterly fascinating and so intertwined with my spiritual beliefs that it boggles the mind. I highly recommend this book! It really helps to better understand the idea of a dynamic and elegant universe and the illusion of matter/maya.

Shiva's Dance.

Dec. 30th, 2008

Rama and Hanuman

changeling_kit

I'm new to this community and have just recently discovered my love of Krishna amongst other Gods...

Now, hopefully this is a question that won't annoy everyone, but it is something that has been bugging me.
It may be menial, but it is bothersome to me none the less.

O.K., so I have the tendency to dress in a more masculine way, and being a female bi-sexual in a small town in the "bible belt" of america, it has caused me many problems with the "colorful" locals.

And since I have enough problems "offending" people who expect me to look a certain way, I really don't want to offend others that might take offense to something that is a cultural taboo that I was unaware of.

I assumed that this would be the most open minded and unjudgmental community to post this to, so here it is-

Is it considered a cultural no-no for women to wear Dhotis? Because I typically only see men wearing them, and the websites I visited looking to purchase one said that it is considered "the traditional Indian clothing of men".

I would really like to own one to wear when I practice yoga and do mantras, any advise? Or am I just being overly cautious?

Nov. 3rd, 2008

Baby Ganesh

medusasowl

Press Release about Prop 8 in California

Troy, Michigan—October 31, 2008—Navya Shastra, the international Hindu reform organization, urges California voters to reject Proposition 8, which would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry under state law.
The organization notes that Hinduism has never classified homosexuality as a sin against God. While some ancient law codes have spoken out against homosexual acts, the tradition has never called for the persecution of homosexuals. In fact, there is ample evidence that alternative lifestyles have been accepted throughout Hindu history. Several modern Hindu leaders have also spoken positively of gay rights, though disappointingly, a significant percentage of American Hindus remain uncomfortable with homosexuality. “According to the Hindu contemplative tradition, we are all manifestations of the one universal spirit, straight or gay, and worthy of the same respect and rights” said Jaishree Gopal, Navya Shastra Chairman, “we urge American Hindus in California to remember this central insight of their faith when they vote on November 4,” she added.

Jul. 25th, 2008

ronaroll

Somewhat rambling article on tantra

Some may find it interesting, however, as an invitation to investigate the topic further.

http://www.exoticindia.com/article/tantric/

An interesting attempt to deal with this topic from the perspective of contemporary Western scholarship is Hugh Urban's Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religion (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003).

Peace,

R

May. 30th, 2008

ronaroll

Introduction

Om Namah Shivaya

Thank you, medusaowl, for starting this group. I found this group yesterday and have read through the previous posts and comments. I am particularly impressed with spiritofnow's comments and background.

I'm a 45 y.o. WM in a 23-year relationship with a 44 y.o. WM. I was raised Roman Catholic but began to feel uncomfortable with that religious identity at about the same time that I began to come out in college. I have consciously been on a search that has combined psychology and spirituality ever since that time.

Beginning in 1985, I began attending psychic groups and was introduced to A Course in Miracles, other channeled teachings, and the writings of Ken Keyes (The Handbook to Higher Consciousness). Through a friend of the friend who introduced me to the Course I first heard of Sufism. From that point on I became interested in spiritual paths that had historical and cultural roots that seemed to reach deeper than the New Age ideas I had been exposed to up to that point. I became interested in Sufism, Gnosticism, and Hindu mysticism.

My first social contact with a mystical tradition came in 1992, when I met the Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order and was initiated by him. I tried to build an Islamic foundation to my spiritual practice, with limited success. Later that same year, I read Mark Thompson's Gay Spirit and learned that Christopher Isherwood (author of the Berlin Stories that formed the basis for the show and film Cabaret) had been a disciple of Swami Prabhavananda of the Ramakrishna Order in Hollywood. I was intrigued to learn that Ramakrishna had been a Bengali saint who sometimes dressed in women's clothing as part of his religious ceremonies and who seemed to show quite a bit of favor toward his male disciples. It also turned out that an American Sufi shaykh named Lex Hixon had just published a book on Ramakrishna that same year. From that time forward I continued to practice Sufism, but my heart was also drawn toward Ramakrishna. I visited the Ramakrishna Center in NYC and the swami there was very welcoming to me, but I couldn't quite find the intensity of devotion and ecstasy there that I had found in the Sufi order. A couple of years later I met Lex Hixon at the Sufi mosque where he was shaykh and I discussed my spiritual background and my interest in Ramakrishna with him. 

I relocated in 1996 and, in early 1998 I began to go online from home for the first time. I discovered the emerging presence of gay Muslims online at that time and eventually met a young gay Muslim of Indian descent in the city in which I was living. I began to attend prayers with him at the mosque and at the university where he attended. It was a pretty intense experience, and I gradually came to love it. A couple of years later I met a Sufi teacher who had been a student of Lex Hixon and attended zikrs (Sufi ceremonies) regularly at his home. It was the first time I had really become integrated into a spiritual community where I felt comfortable being out. I also co-founded a Yahoo group for GLBTQ Sufis. Through my gay Muslim friend I became involved in Al-Fatiha, an organization for GLBTQ Muslims.

In 2002 I relocated again and, although I tried to maintain my ties to Sufism and (mainstream) Islam, I found it more difficult to do than I had anticipated. In 2003 I met a gay devotee of Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi) and immediately entered into prolonged states of profound spiritual and personal insight. I met Amma that summer and had a really profound experience. I maintained my Sufi practices for another year, but received a mantra from Amma in the summer of 2004 and established daily spiritual practices within the Divine Mother tradition. Since then I have joined a local satsang and have gone through some ups and downs with other gay devotee friends.

My partner has been to see Amma in 2006 and 2007, and this year we will attend one of her retreats together for the first time. He was raised Protestant, but entered the Catholic church as an adult in 2002 and has been very active in a local Franciscan parish that is known for its gay and lesbian ministries. He has also been involved in servant leadership and has recently completed an internship in spiritual direction.

I seem to need a social and emotional component to my spirituality in order for it to achieve the fullness of expression that I look for. But I''m a professional academic and I have a need for an active intellectual life as well. I often feel frustrated with devotees who seem to plateau at a certain level in their practice, but don't seem interested in trying to integrate their spirituality as deeply into their lives as I try to do. Either that, or their devotional practices and attitudes seem to constitute a lifestyle unto themselves, but without the continuing philosophical and psychological inquiry that I'm drawn to. I would love to have more spiritual friends to hang out with and to have long, deep conversations with. :-) My most recent friend, however, is busy with his work these days, so we don't see each other as much as we used to. He's also planning to move across the country before long. I love him very much, and I'll miss him when he goes, but I feel that now is a good time to be open to beginning new friendships.

In terms of deities, I have been most drawn to Kali, and also to Shiva. In terms of my spiritual/philosophical orientation, the most appropriate label would be tantric. I need to qualify that, because I'm not drawn toward specifically sexual techniques or "magick" as part of my practice. But I am definitely drawn toward a wide range of moods and toward intense, palpable energetic states.

I enjoy reading both traditional spiritual material and material that helps me to synthesize my various interests. Lately I've been reading some teachings of Amma, contained in a series entitled Upadeshamritam, a book on the Lalita Sahasranama (Thousand Names of the Divine Mother), and the Qur'an. I've also been drawn to the writings of the contemporary thinker Peter Wilberg, whose work may be found at www.thenewyoga.org as well as other places that may be linked to from that site. His work provides some keys that are opening up subtle understandings of many facets of my spiritual practice and life in general.

So, that's a bit about how I went from being a gay ex-Catholic to being a gay Hindu. I look forward to reading more here. Anyone who is interested in my personal blog, please join my LJ friends list. I'm in Connecticut and would enjoy meeting others who are in the area.

Om Amriteshwaryai Namaha (that's Amma's mantra),

Ron

Mar. 9th, 2008

Ardhanari Naga

medusasowl

Dharma of the Third Sex

I just started reading Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex. Understanding Homosexuality, Transgender Identity, and Intersex conditions through Hinduism finally (among all the other things I'm reading, I've got a head full right now! :P). I'm only in chapter 3 and already there's a lot of wonderful thought provoking stuff. I'd already read the info on the GALVA website (which has changed a lot since I last took a look) but there's a lot more in the book already. I'm not Vaishnava myself, but I think both the information on this website and in this book are incredibly valuable for GLBT Hindus of any sect (or lack thereof) and their families to look into.

One of the many things that has struck me so far is the discussion of a person's nature. So often, people who are fearful and ignorant of GLBT people argue that we are "unnatural" or that it is "against nature" or adharmic. Those of us who pay attention to nature, such as in the rest of the animal kingdom and within ourselves, know better. The Rishis of the Vedas are often referred to as Spiritual Scientists - closely studying and observing nature and how it reflects divinity and vice versa. GLBT people have always existed and are a natural part of the world. The Ancient Vedic world recognized this, and we were recognized as having our own dharma and roles.

Anyway, the gist of this is already covered on the website's FAQ and in the book, and I'll resist the temptation to copy it all down here. But back to the "natural" vs "unnatural" I was intrigued by how the book describes the ancient Vedic take on sinful homosexual behavior and appropriate homosexual behavior. For example:

If two men of the First Sex (straight male) engage in gay sex out of convenience (for example, in prison) it is considered adharmic and wrong because it is against their nature.

Similarly, if a man of the Third Sex (in this case, the gay male grouping of Third Sex individuals) marries and sleeps with a woman in order to be perceived as "normal" and to have children, that too as adharmic because it is against his nature.

As my favorite quote from the Gita says "It is better to follow your own path imperfectly than someone else's path perfectly." We were once recognized as having our own dharma, our own paths, and being productive members of society despite our not being reproductive.

My partner and I were discussing this, and wondered if perhaps part of what breeds prejudice against the Third Sex is not just that our being different, but perhaps that people see or hear about the unnatural and uncomfortable vibes of heterosexual "merely convenient" sex in the first example, and confuse them with the more natural Third Sex relationships. There's tons tons more, and again I'm only on the third chapter, but lots of food for thought already!

Mar. 5th, 2008

Ardhanari Naga

medusasowl

Shivaratri

The Night of Shiva is upon us again, and I'm planning to spend the day fasting, meditating, reading spiritual works, and basically contemplating all that is Lord Shiva. I can't exactly fast fast, I get sick and really dizzy, but I'll only be having some fruit and juice tomorrow. Whether you celebrate or not, I hope that you have a blessed and enlightening Shivaratri. It's a good day to think about all we have to be grateful for, and all we have learned and have yet to learn about ourselves and the Universe. To be humble, deep in thought and love for the world.

"The night of the rebel God Shivaratri is not a night to be slept over. One should try and be up through the night. It signifies being aware of everything you have and being grateful about it. Be grateful for the happiness which leads to growth, and also for sadness which gives a depth to life. This is the right way of observing Shivaratri." ~Sri Sri Ravishankar



I am not detachment nor salvation,
Nor anything reached by the senses;
I am behold all thought and form.
I am everywhere, and nowhere at all-
I am Consciousness and Bliss.

I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

-Shankaracharya

AUM Namah Shivaya!

Feb. 21st, 2008

Alley

polarbear1986

Sri Ganesha...

I just went to look at a site that, I believe, someone in one of these three communities directed me to about all the aspects of Sri Ganesha. And when I did, I realized that all of my bookmarks have disappeared. I believe it was an online copy of a book, or possibly a thesis. The main part I was looking for today was a list of sorts that named all the aspects of Ganesha and a physical description of each, as well as the specific attribute associated with that aspect. I know this is incredibly vague, but if anyone could help, I'd appreciate it greatly.

x-posted to glbt_hindus, hindus, and sanatana_dharma

Jan. 24th, 2008

Be the Change

medusasowl

Compassion in strange places.

Upon hearing about Phelps planning to picket Heath Ledger's funeral on account of Brokeback Mountain, I found myself feeling sorry for the whole Westboro Baptist Church lot. What a miserable state you have to be in to feel like you need all that hate. To be so drawn to the idea of a hateful vengeful god. It's sad. I used to feel more anger towards them, but lately... I've been thinking about how people are drawn to manifestations/perceptions/personifications of God that they feel like they need most. That they can most relate to. What a tragic thing to cling to what the Phelps family do, actively seeking hatred and promoting ignorance. To need that hatred like a child needs their favorite blanket.

What they're doing is still inexcusable, but I genuinely feel sorry for them and pray for the children growing up in that kind of state of mind. I'm sure good old Fred would laugh and spit in disgust to know a lesbian Hindu would pray for his family, but I think it's important to be compassionate and loving even in the face of such hatred. It keeps me centered, and I'm grateful to be feeling this way... though I'm still terribly sad for both the Phelps and the mourning families they harass. It's a dreadful situation.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share this realization. I surprised myself in not going straight for anger like I used to.

Nov. 10th, 2007

Baby Ganesh

medusasowl

A little late

Oops, I can't believe I forgot to post this over here on the first day of Diwali!



May this Diwali bring you prosperity, good luck, and peace! <3
Tags:

Sep. 24th, 2007

Gay is NOT an insult

medusasowl

Will time make man more wise

My partner and I are amazed... and very moved. He gets it. He really gets it... I hope to see many more politicians have this change of heart...



My partner wrote him a letter after seeing this, she said I could share as well.

"Mayor Sanders,

I am not one of your constituents. I live in Phoenix, AZ with my partner of 6 years. However, it was necessary to thank you for your courage in doing the right thing. I'd begun to give up hope that any politician would ever understand, but then I watched your speech on YouTube. Your summary of the issue was so beautiful and perfect that I can't stop crying for happiness.

Thank you for giving me back the hope I'd lost."


X-posted to glbt_hindus, gaymafia, and gay_monogamy

Sep. 20th, 2007

Baby Ganesh

medusasowl

Community Notice

Just in case anyone who follows lj_biz may have been concerned about this, I've already opted glbt_hindus out of it. Just a note from your friendly neighborhood moderator. ^_^

Namaste-ji!

Sep. 15th, 2007

Alley

polarbear1986

Coincidence? I Think Not...

This is an edit from my personal journal.

I've posted here before about my connection to Ganesha, but the oddest thing happened today. Well, yesterday, as it's well after midnight now. I went to Green Earth (one of the local Pagany type stores) today with Jason (my best friend) and was looking around as I've been meaning to get a small cauldron and a statue of Shiva for my Fire altar. Jason calls my attention to these pendants with the Celtic zodiac on them. I've seen similar things before, but I decide to look at all the other pendants and found one that I really liked of Ganesha. It's a standing Ganesha on a lotus in full color backed with a silver plate that has an Ohm pressed into it. So, I'm all excited and put it on and go about my day. I get home and I check LJ and see the post right before this one about Ganesh Chaturhi. I read that it is tradition to bring home a clay image of Ganesha the day before the celebration begins. Now, I know it's not clay, but I can't help but think that this was a sign. I've been debating and struggling as to whether or not I think Ganesha is my Patron diety. I really feel like he is and this was a sign. Of all the days that this could happen. And it wasn't even my idea to go to Green Earth today. Jason thinks I'm an idiot, but I've never been one to believe in coincidence. I think I'm going to do some more research and try and do a personal pujah to Ganesha and see how it goes. Anyway, I just thought I'd share.

Sep. 14th, 2007

Baby Ganesh

medusasowl

Happy Birthday Sri Ganapati!

This year, the first day of Ganesh Chaturhi falls on the 15th of Sept. And as such, I want to do a Ganesha post like I did for Shiva on Shivaratri on my personal journal. I'm pretty sleep deprived and groggy, but I'm going to give it a go! I wish I could do him more justice, but I'm just very out of it, life has been busy! I've included a good number of informative links to fill in what I may have missed.

Ganesh is the most popular of Hindu deities, the remover of obstacles, lord of intellect, language, and the arts, the elephant headed god of beginnings. Everything in Hinduism is a wealth of symbolism and metaphor in layers upon layers, and Sri Yashvasin is no exception. Here is a VERY simplified symbol map of Ganesha.. And actually a number of these can be debated, as there's a lot more to it then listed here. For example his mouse/rat vehicle is often viewed not simply as Desire, but also to symbolize the ability of the intellect to exist in even the most secret of places within.

Read more...Collapse )

X-posted to om_namah_sivaya & glbt_hindus

Jun. 17th, 2007

atman

spiritofnow

Seth's Views on Sexuality

I'm not sure if people here are familiar with the channeled teachings of Seth written by Jane Roberts. I'm normally very skeptical of channeling (what with the Ramtha and Mafu cults around) but occasionally, channeled teachings contain a great deal of wisdom. The Seth material falls into this category. On my blog, I recently posted an excerpt from a Seth book entitled The Nature of the Psyche, on gender and sexuality. In this Seth argues very convincingly that the human species is basically bisexual and that if we could accept this inherent pan-erotic potential in ourselves, we would be able to progress better spiritually. My post is located here.

Let me know what you all think!

May. 22nd, 2007

atman

spiritofnow

Gender/Sexuality

Two posts I wrote that I'd like some feedback on (warning -- both are kind of long):Thanks!

Edit: A newer post I made recently: Islam and Homosexuality. Let me know what you all think.

May. 8th, 2007

atman

spiritofnow

'Gay' Spirituality

Okay, just to start some discussion...I don't want to provoke or offend anyone, the conclusions I have arrived at are just a result of my own personal experiences and I am always open to changing them.

I recently wrote a post on 'gay' spirituality, which you can read on my Wordpress blog here.

From the point of view of actually healing from homophobia, I have found that it has been very important for me to work on detaching from the label 'gay' or 'queer' altogether, and not make that a primary focus of my life or something to construct an identity around. Eckhart Tolle, who I always quote a lot on this topic, writes:
As you approach adulthood, uncertainty about your sexuality followed by the realization that you are “different” from others may force you to disidentify from socially conditioned patterns of thought and behaviour. This will automatically raise your level of consciousness above that of the unconscious majority, whose members unquestioningly take on board all inherited patterns. In that respect, being gay can be a help. Being an outsider to some extent, someone who “does not fit in” with others or is rejected by them for whatever reason makes life difficult, but it also places you at an advantage as far as enlightenment is concerned. It takes you out of unconsciousness almost by force.

On the other hand, if you develop a sense of identity based on your gayness, you have escaped one trap only to fall into another. You will play roles and games dictated by a mental image you have of yourself as gay. You will become unconscious. You will become unreal. Underneath your ego mask, you will become very unhappy. If this happens to you, being gay will have become a hindrance. But you always get another chance, of course. Acute unhappiness can be a great awakener.

In other words, I consider 'gay' or 'queer' to be just another set of limiting human identities that obstruct our growth into Spirit. I don't mean that these identities are "bad" -- they help us, but they also keep the Ultimate hidden from us. These labels cannot be released by force, by some sort of external pressure, but are undeniably going to be transcended the minute we start to feel the inner spiritual impulse. "Ego is the helper, ego is the bar," writes Sri Aurobindo. For our own healing and wholeness, and so that we can better help others dealing with similar pain, and address the concerns of those who are bothered by our non-normative relationships, this sort of detachment from labels seems really important.

Does anyone else feel similarly? I have found that ever since my gender performance and sexuality have stopped being center stage in my life I have calmed down considerably and I react much less to people who are harsh or critical of my lifestyle.

May. 7th, 2007

Alley

polarbear1986

A question about Ganesha and a little more of my background

Ganesha, Struggles, and TattoosCollapse )

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