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Featured Poet: Dorothy Walters

We are launching a new series this spring with poets whose work we love and want to feature!

Our next poet is Dorothy Walters whose work is deeply inspired by sacred ecstasy and “the Beloved Within.”  You can hear Dorothy reading her poem “The Transition” below and read more about the connections she makes between poetry and the sacred.


“What you seek was seeking you.”

How is it
that when I was
looking for You,
You were seeking me also?

Silently You watched and waited.
Sometimes gave me
a brief glimpse
or taste
of who You were,
like a shy deer in the forest
that vanishes when
you turn to look.

And so I roamed,
looking here and there,
gazing at the hieroglyphs on trees
or peering into the throats of flowers for secret revelations,
listening to the waves
pounding the shore for messages,
examining books and stars,
seeking essence.

Finally I gave up my searching,
surrendered my deep desire
to stillness.
And then You gave me a kiss
that lasted forever.

Themes of Her Work

My themes today are a continuation and refinement of those I have long dealt with: the sacred journey, the ecstatic moments, the infusion of divine energies within the self.  Sometimes I write ecstasy poems, sometimes those that are more reflective.  All proceed directly from source, the unseen mystery that infuses directs our lives.  We sense rather than see this presence, and proceed in  partnership with it to “bring the gift back home.”

I believe we are now undergoing worldwide spiritual transformation, even in the midst of outer chaos, and that poetry has a major role to play in this evolutionary shift of the human into a new creation.

Who I Am

I am neither Moslem
nor Jew.
Buddha does not tie my feet.
I gave up being a Protestant long ago.

Too wild for the Taoists,
too tame for the Tantrics,
neither breathing
nor transfixed
nor saying magic words.

Yet for years I yearned,
followed formulas in ancient texts,
listened to the saints
and philosophers
seeking wisdom.

Finally I gave up searching,
stood very still
and fell
into who I am.

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Poetry and the Sacred

For me, poetry itself is sacred practice, whether writing or reading the verses of another (such as Rumi, Hafiz, or Kabir.)  These two phenomena are so intermingled that it is difficult to speak of them separately. I had a major Kundalini awakening in 1981 at the age of 53.  I was thrown immediately into a state of intense ecstasy (somatic, visceral), an experience I had no word for at the time.  This experience felt like what one person described as “God moving through your body.” This process of connecting with divine energy has continued to this day, but in a much more subtle and gentle form.   I think of this recurrent presence as “the Beloved Within.”

My poetry and other writings stem from the ongoing unfolding of Kundalini within my subtle/physical body. I feel that my poems are transmitted rather than simply crafted (though I do have a lifelong commitment to language and its expression.)

My poems arrive swiftly, often spontaneously, when the inner voice speaks.  I feel blessed to have been allowed to serve as the vessel for this higher source.

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Kundalini, The Life Force

What you must know
is this:
it will not come
as a thought
or a concept
or an experiment
in a laboratory.

It will not be an extension
of all that has been proved
by wise men
in tomes and bound volumes
for centuries before.

It will happen
within what you call
your body.
You will not know
where your flesh ends
and a feeling comes that is
both outside and inside,
a realization arriving
as an experience,
a happening
you have no words to describe.

Of course, you can try.
You can speak of it
as rapture, as ecstasy,
as a flowing field of bliss.

But once it happens,
your will recognize it
as that which unites all
and of which you are an
indivisible part.

Drop to ocean,
cells to body,
the nameless you to

About Dorothy

Dorothy Walters grew up loving the world of books and the language they contained.  She took a PhD in English and American literature and spent her long professional life teaching university classes in both classical and contemporary literature in English.  She helped to found one of the earlier women’s studies programs  in the U. S. and directed this program for many years.  In 1981 she experienced spontaneous Kundalini awakening, an event that transformed her life.  She now writes about and counsels others on the topic of Kundalini, which she views as the key factor animating current spiritual awakenings across the globe.

To see her on Youtube, go to:

Dorothy Walters and Andrew Harvey Discuss Kundalini
Dorothy Walters Andrew Harvey Interviews Dorothy Walters “Mystic Poet”
Dorothy Walters and Andrew Harvey Read “Some Kiss We Want”

Connect with Dorothy:
Facebook (Dorothy Walters)

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Order Dorothy Walters‘ Books

The Kundalini Poems: Reflections of Radiance and Joy

Marrow of Flame: Poems of the Spiritual Journey

The Ley Lines of the Soul: Poems of Ecstasy and Ascension

Some Kiss We Want: New and Selected Poems

(using the Amazon links above help to support the Abbey scholarship fund at no additional cost to you)

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Dreaming of Stones

Christine Valters Paintner‘s new collection of poems Dreaming of Stones has just been published by Paraclete Press.

The poems in Dreaming of Stones are about what endures: hope and desire, changing seasons, wild places, love, and the wisdom of mystics. Inspired by the poet’s time living in Ireland these readings invite you into deeper ways of seeing the world. They have an incantational quality. Drawing on her commitment as a Benedictine oblate, the poems arise out of a practice of sitting in silence and lectio divina, in which life becomes the holy text.

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