The Lalla Project

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The Lalla Project
Contribution: $35
September 19, 2015   7:00 PM




Dance, Lalla, with nothing on but air
Sing, Lalla, wearing the sky
Look at this glowing day!
What clothes could be more beautiful?
Or more sacred… ~ Lalla

 

            The 14th century Kashmiri mystic, saint, poetess, and prophet has been known by many names through the centuries: Grandmother Darling, Lal Ded, Lalleswari, Yogin, Grandmother Womb, Mother of Bhakti, and affectionately, simply as Lalla.  Her ancient tale is not unlike the stories of millions of girls today, of a twelve-year-old child bride forced into marriage and abused by her husband and his family.  Lalla eventually freed herself and spent the rest of her remarkable life wandering and singing her poems in celebration of the Divine Love she found within.
            This collection of Lalla’s spoken poetry is interpreted from Coleman Bark’s exquisite translation Naked Song and supported on cello by the amazing Robert Bethel.  Known as vakhs, her verses are not only a transformative meditation but also a series of instructions that teach us how to live in and love our bodies, our souls, this earth, and the universe. They are the words of freedom, of strength, of escaping that which does not serve love, a shedding of culture and society’s expectations, a merging with all that is light and love and joy within us. She arrives to us 700 years later embracing all genders and cultures, full of courage, as the true embodiment of a woman without shame or objectification…the naked voice of the Feminine.
            Lalla’s poetry celebrates the greater ‘something’ that permeates all things seen and unseen ~ the Great Mystery. Some call this Goddess, some call this God, or Shakti, Shiva, Buddha, or Great Spirit.  For some this unnameable energy means nature, consciousness, divine intelligence, earth, light, love.  Her verses offer us the opportunity to find, define and unite with our own inner Truth. According to Lalla, when that merging occurs, joy and freedom are born.
            These poems transcend time, culture, and place; yet they reemerge at the most perfect and necessary time. They are songs of awareness, of the knowing that there is no difference between the individual Self and the Universal Self, no difference between us, the Earth, and all Her inhabitants. The purpose of human life is to realize this and to live each day with this awareness.  Some might call this enlightenment.
            The listener will be bathed in the sensual: The touch of the moons, waterfalls, a nursing child, and making love in a jasmine garden.  This selection of poems convey the stages of Lalla’s budding awakening:  Initially the murkiness of isolation and a desperate search for connection, then the first taste of revelation comes, and ultimately we see the sacred merging, the absolute knowing I AM THAT, and her songs become the fullest blossoming of that knowing.
            For Lalla, the path toward union is found in the space in between the breath, between the inhalation and the exhalation, where the two sacred rivers meet in the heart space and sing in naked truth.
So Hum. May you dance in freedom always.
js
 
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            A child bride and victim of abuse herself in a time where freedom was almost unheard of for women, Lalla is the voice and the hope for all who are silenced or who do not know yet how to find the words for their pain. Many of these silent cries come from the 70 million child brides of today, but also from the countless people of every age across the globe who have been victims of exploitation and abuse. 
            The Lalla Project believes that love is our birthright, and that no living being should have to experience the physical and emotional pain that is at the core of our global crisis.
            It is our mission and hope that Lalla’s poetry can give every one of us ~ children, adults, men, women, boys, and girls ~  permission to honor and love ourselves.  Lalla is proof that the victims of exploitation and abuse of all kinds can find honor in the shame, love in the hate, hope in the despair, and freedom in the fear. Male or female, we all begin within the Mother, and it is within the Mother that the change can begin.
            With your purchase of Lalla Unveiled, change has already begun. A portion of the proceeds of thelallaproject.org helps to fund organizations that support the protection and freedom of all people including:     
 
 Girls not Brides      The International Center for Research of Women       Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network  
 
            To find out more about Lalla’s extraordinary life, to read her inspirational poetry, or to find more information on how you can help support our vision, visit www.thelallaproject.org‘s website coming soon!