Hanne Blank's commentary on an article in the NY Times about the first penis transplant here in America. i agree - there is so much to think about here. here's the link should you want to read it first.
This is fascinating to me, and the kind of issue that makes me happy I am training as a bioethicist while I do my Ph.D. in history. I have so many questions. SO MANY.
"Dr. Dicken Ko, a team leader and the director of the hospital’s regional urology program, said the team had not planned a set number of transplants. Instead, he said, the hospital would evaluate candidates one at a time and decide whether to allow surgery. For now, he said, the transplants will be limited to cancer and trauma patients, and will not be offered to transgender people."
This part, though, is not really one of them. Although it is of course disappointing in some ways, from a surgical perspective it also makes sense: connecting a donor penis to a body where the relevant nerves, ducts, and vascular apparatus would not need to be relocated as well as attached to a donor organ is going to be a much less complicated and likely much more successful surgery. As the techniques and clinical protocols get worked out, this is an eminently reasonable decision. Transplant surgeries can be tricky at the best of times and there are often quite a few failures along the way to figuring out how to do a particular kind of transplant successfully. Having a surgery become better understood and learning what makes it optimally successful -- as well as simply removing it from the "experimental" category -- increases the chances that these surgeries will be considered safe enough and effective enough to be offered more broadly and in more/different medical contexts.
I am, as usual, sighing at the repeated assertion that for male-identified people, not having a penis means that "intimacy" is "out of the picture." Someday perhaps the world will wake up to the fact that sexual activity, even for people with factory-original penises, does not wholly consist of doing a thing with the penis. Also that "intimacy" and "sexual activity" are not the same things, although there is sometimes some overlap between them if visualized as a Venn diagram.
Also and as usual, I am fascinated by the racial politics of transplantation... one of the criteria for a donor in this case, as with most of the externally viewable body part transplants I've ever read about, was that the donor penis have "the right blood type and skin tone." The cosmetics of transplant surgeries ain't just cosmetic, y'all, especially when we're in the USA and we're talking about penises. - Hanne Blank
I don't think awakened women are designed to sit still in meditation.
I really don't.
We have too much Shakti moving through us to sit still. We feel the earth's heart beat. We are aware of the slight nuances shifting in the cosmos.
The only way for us to meditate is through movement. The slight rocking of our pelvis. Moving our hips in figure 8s. Focusing on our belly while placing our hands our hearts.
Noticing the Earths kundalini energy rise through our feet and surrendering into the rhythms. To move based on her current.
That's our meditation.
Otherwise, our mind will never be able to be still. Because our thoughts are everyone's thoughts.
The oracles of the world don't have the luxury to just breathe in peace and silence.
We're feeling the world break open, right now. We're watching between the veils as the paradigm shift is constructing a new way.
And chaos always proceeds order.
With that I say, Dance with me. Move your body and meditate on the emotions that rise through your body, as you feel parts of yourself you've never been asked to feel.
- Aurora Rae
In many parts of this world water is
Scarce and precious.
People sometimes have to walk
A great distance
Then carry heavy jugs upon their
Because of our wisdom, we will travel
Far for love.
All movement is a sign of
Most speaking really says
"I am hungry to know you."
Every desire of your body is holy;
Every desire of your body is
Why wait until you are dying
To discover that divine
Let us not forget the downward journey, into the lower chakras, into the darkness, into the body, into sexuality, into relationship, into family, and into the earth. So often, even if in subtle and unconscious ways, the spiritual journey becomes exclusively identified with the upward, the light, and the transcendent. We want to ascend in a rush to leave behind the very messy, chaotic, untamed, unresolvable, out of control world of feelings, sensations, emotions, and of the somatic mandala altogether.
Some are reframing the sacred journey not so much around how to get from ‘here’ to ‘there,’ but how to fully be Here. Not so much about traveling from ‘lower to higher,’ from human to divine, or from questions to answers. Not so organized around landing in some constructed, safe, resting place of certainty and bliss, free from the uncontrollable, wild, undomesticated movement of love. Not how do I become less vulnerable, but how do I dedicate my life to the embodiment of unbearable vulnerability in all its forms.
Rather, they are aware of a call to offer this muddy body, these feelings, these emotions, this imagination, this erupting creativity that is the human being as a vessel through which reorienting love can finally come pouring through the relative. Not ‘how do I get to the absolute,’ but how do I become transparent to the always, already revelations of the absolute in the raging world of time and space. Here. Now.
Love is whole and it can only know itself through totality. It will never be satisfied with a partial vehicle through which it can emerge. It is longing for the union of the ascending and descending currents which have been placed inside your holy nervous system.
There is no state of consciousness other than this one right here, right now. Dare to honor *this* one, the one that has been given, as a pure expression of primordial wholeness. There is no ‘better’ or ‘more spiritual’ state coming tomorrow. There is no kingdom of heaven arriving soon. There no love waiting around the corner. There is no grace that comes in the future.
The only grace that could ever be is taking form right now as the translucence of the sensual world, as your arms when you hold another, as your lips as you speak kindness, and as the wisdom field of the somatic landscape. The miracle has already occurred. Gaze into the mirror of your own heart and you will see.
Click here to find out more...
Kali Ma, splendorous mother of truth,
tear out the heaps of replica spiritual plastic
cluttering the cathedral of my Being.
Wash away these masks gone stale and drench me in the rain of the real.
My soul is nauseous from binging on the fancy drinks offered on every street corner,
in my denial of what I am made of, I have been turning my back on
the nectar of you gushing through my veins.
In my fear of you I have kept my breath shallow; I have kept my ecstasies under control,
my intimacies safe. I’ve tried the route of fixing myself, or spiritualizing myself,
of trying to build up a more “goddessy”, “juicy” “shaktified” version
of this little soap opera I have taken myself to be.
Undress me Ma, how exhausted I am trying to make these hand-me-down clothes fit.
Make a glorious bonfire of it all,
and let me walk naked, like you, into the risk of being.
secret garden dress by Chotronette,
a design duo comprised of Silvia Chiteala and Laura Cazacu,
based in Iasi, Romania.
Anandalila is a tantric hatha yoga teacher and moksha magick practitioner. When she is not on the mat, she enjoys reading, writing, music, birdwatching, and, of course, chocolate.