April 3rd, 2012

Hu design

Routledge Colloquial Slovak

I decided to try to learn a little bit of Slovak and found out online that Routledge had recently revised the Slovak book and audio from its Colloquial series. It's very British. I like the main English speaker's accent, as it reminds of me of having been in London last April. Among the Slovak speakers are a man and a woman who sound almost unnaturally clear, as if they have had acting training, but there is also a man who is quite nasal and sounds more like a typical native speaker (kind of like the people in the Morena video).

When I was a kid, in about 6th grade, I saw the film Dr. Zhivago. It blew me away. I became fascinated with the Cyrllic alphabet and began trying to teach myself some Russian. I had not yet begun to study a foreign language in school, and I found the descriptions and examples of Russian grammar to be somewhat forbidding. Once I began to study French in school the next year I was able to better understand the necessity of learning grammar along with vocabulary, and continued studying some Russian on my own, until my interests turned to other things. What I find interesting as I begin to study Slovak (which, of course, is one of the Slavic languages that uses the Latin alphabet) is that, when I listen to it or read it aloud, the Cyrllic forms of words that are common with or similar to Russian will pop into my mind involuntarily. It's interesting that that stuff is still there from some 35-40 years ago.


Om Kreem Kalyai Namaha,

okm
Hu design

Name Change

So, I changed the name of my LJ account (again).

After a time of trying to lighten up the atmosphere from what it had been, I decided that I missed the Kali yantra I had had previously, and I missed the enfolding presence of the deep, rich Tantric color scheme.

Connected with this change is something I read in Yogic Secrets of the Dark Goddess by Shambhavi Chopra, who is now the closest associate of American Hindu David Frawley. Her book consists of a series of reflections, each about 3-4 pages in length. One that struck me the other night had to do with reciting the Gayatri Mantra at sunset. In this reflection she discussed the interweaving of Vedic and non-Vedic (Tantric) traditions through the Gayatri Mantra and reflection on Kali.

This inspired me to try to attune consciously once again the daily motions of the sun in my spiritual practices. I realized that, while my usual practices require me to take breaks from my other activities, the Gayatri Mantra and the Kali Gayatri are both very short. If I refreshed my memory of the Gaytri Mantra and committed the Kali Gayatri to memory, I would have a way of marking transitional points in the day (kind of like with salat) in a manageable way. Last night I found a simple Windows application that allows me to track these times easily.

In my poking around online, seeking different versions of the Kali Gayatri, I came across two Kali Mandirs in California (other than the Laguna Beach one, of which I was already aware). One in particular is very feminist and very open to Western nature-based traditions.


Om Kreem Kalyai Namaha,

okm