There are times when writing comes easy and I really enjoy it. I don't know that it's all worthwhile material to thrust out onto social media so I'll add it here and each person can choose whether to read it or not.

"In the beginning, there is only undifferentiated timeless potential, or Shiva/Shakti together. The first movement in creation is that of self-recognition. Shiva, turning to look at himself is Shakti, his I AM. Shakti is Shiva’s power to experience himself. Creation is said to begin at this instant of seeming separation of Shakti from Shiva. Seeming because they are inseparable, just as fire can never be separated from its heat."

~ Shakti Rising by Kavitcha M. Chinnaiyan, MD

Shakti is the force in which invites Shiva to turn around and see himself…

This has been my role through my whole life. Can I accept that this is my role? This is what I do? Who I am? Is this the role of many women?

For many relationships in my life, particularly with men, at first they appreciate this mirror that I present in front of them and they merge with the Love it is enveloped in. Yet then there comes a time in which it is too much and they rebel. Like they would rebel against their Mother, making her the enemy. When they do this they then see themselves as separate from the Love. The Love remains but it is no longer seen, felt, heard, acknowledged. Now the mirror is the enemy. Complete separation. Now the patriarchal foot must come down. Now she must remember who holds the power. Now she must be crushed. Now she must be shown how small, how far behind, how slow she is. Now she must feel she is damaged, wrong, lacking. But because we are in modern times it must be done covertly, almost innocently…sometimes unconsciously. But make no mistake, she will feel the wrath of the patriarch. She must know her place.

Yet this time there is nothing to crush. Nothing to stand on. She is rising. She knows now. She can see. She has no fear of the foot. She is the Power. The Power is Love. And Love Remains.

She, too, must look again at herself over and over again. Yet She is Love and Love sees no separation. This is Shakti. She perpetuates herself. There is acknowledgment but no possibility of separation.


oṃ tryámbakaṃ yajāmahe sughandhíṃ puṣṭivardhánam

urvārukam iva bandhánān mṛtyor mukṣīya māmṛtāt

"We sacrifice to Tryambaka the fragrant, increaser of prosperity.

Like a cucumber from its stem, might I be freed from death, not from deathlessness."

What more do you want? What more must I sacrifice to taste you? More than taste, to bleed you. How much more time must I spend alone without the unending comfort of my Beingness?

The cucumber will fall from the vine when ready.

Perfectly ripe.

How much more must I be? How much less must I be?

The Value of Human Life…My perspective as a US American living in India. May 2021

The crisis in India is really bringing light to the value placed on human life. I have lived and associated with mostly those in the middle to upper middle class here in India and have not been exposed much to the poorest of the poor. It’s not talked about in our conversations, and if I have brought it up it is often countered with a listing of the government programs in place and the willingness of the various religions to feed and clothe people. I often choose not to pursue the topic due to my own discomfort.

My understanding is that during the first wave of COVID the massive effect in places like Delhi and Mumbai, where slums house millions, so many people died that there was no way to accurately count them. Once the countable cases were somewhat managed because the middle class & above got their masks, were able to social distance and pump-up personal hygiene, victory was declared. But these considerations weren’t feasible for the poor. They can have 5, 10, 20 people living in an 8x8ft space where social distancing isn’t possible and getting someone to medical care is fraught with obstacles.

Now, almost as if Mother Nature is asking “Really? All that and you still don’t recognize the value of human life at every level?” the virus has returned and is hitting the middle class and higher. Hard. Healthy, young adults are not only getting sick but dying. In huge numbers. This loss of life is what brings the crisis to the front pages of local and international news now: The loss of life of those deemed worthy enough to count. Locals who can are understandably using their resources to attain the care and supplies by any means necessary. But even then, they aren’t able to save their loved ones. They too must watch in helplessness as their parents, spouses, and children suffer…just as the poor do.

But don’t think this is just the case in India. In the USA they were forced to look at their own disparities when those who work in the service industries were desperately relied upon to keep everyone’s lives going. Service people, in varying degrees according to the industry, are paid far less than most. So, the poor in the US were brought to the forefront with a spotlight on racism within the crisis as well. Appreciation was shown through claps and posts of gratitude, and minimal financial help from the government."

But has this pandemic caused enough disruption for people to truly learn to value human life at every turn? Doubtful. The political situation exemplifies how there is still lying and greed clinging for power with little to no regard for human lives on many levels.

I can’t speak much for the other countries because I haven’t experienced them at the level I am experiencing the US and India, but I’m guessing, in all its intelligence, Mother Nature is bringing to light much of the same everywhere.

Will we learn this time that all human life is valuable regardless of wealth, contribution or intelligence? (Make no mistake, I believe in one’s right to choose to die, a woman’s right to make decisions for herself, and the value of all sentient beings. In this article I am talking about the general duty of care towards humans being able to live day to day.)

In India you basically either have a servant or you are a servant. To me having help is such a privilege. I work to establish a relationship with the women who come to my house. I consider them part of my family coming every day. I care about their health, how their families are and their general well-being. I do my best to work along side them and gain their trust. I have witnessed locals who came over sometimes not even making eye contact with the help or randomly ordering them to do something.

There are similarities in the US. Those who do cleaning, garbage disposal or jobs considered to be “menial” are treated as “less than” at every level by customers, government, media, etc. I believe this is a bias holdover, unconscious to some, from our slave history.

In both countries, education seems to be one of the key factors in how you will be treated. In the US, those doing certain service jobs tend to be those who have less traditional education, so they aren’t considered as “valued” as professionals. In India, if you don’t have a master’s degree minimally then you’re not considered that well-educated and therefore your words and opinions don’t hold much weight, or more so, if there is a person in the room with an advanced degree, their opinion is given more weight regardless of the subject at hand.

Yet the US just went through a year in which the service industry (behind the medical industry) was the most valuable…but they aren’t being paid a livable wage. In India, families were filled with stress when their help wasn’t allowed to come to work during lockdown, yet they are still not allowed to eat at the same table the family eats at.

I’ve been thinking a lot about two women here in Pondicherry. They both greet people outside of this specific café with bags or bracelets to sell. I’ve never bought from them. I smile at them but tell them no thank you. Sometimes they are very persistent, once even grabbing my arm as I turned away. I got irritated and demanded she leave me alone. I’ve felt horrible about it ever since. I think about them every day now, wondering if they are okay. The café is closed, and no one is out so there is no sign of them.

Some believe there is a “culling” taking place at a metaphysical level in order to raise the consciousness of the planet. Some believe it is a deliberate attempt by a group of humans/beings to gain ultimate power. To me, the biggest topic that stands out is the recognition of the playing field between all classes being brought to equal standing. This could only be done by a Higher Intelligence. The question is – Will we keep our eyes open to see the devastation of who we’ve become as humans? Will we look at how we determine who is valuable enough to make sure they can eat, have clean water, who has the opportunity to be educated, who has the opportunity to work and be paid properly for doing so?

Life needs myriad roles filled. When it comes to the value of human life, should wealth, education or the role they play matter in whether or not they are cared for in health, wealth and the pursuit of a fulfilled life by the collective? Are we willing to wake up and look at ourselves in the mirror yet? Are we willing to admit that we don’t truly walk our talk when it comes to valuing life? You. Me. Every one of us. Are we willing to put aside things like “that’s just the way it is,” shrug our shoulders and walk the other way, and instead say “this isn’t right, this person’s life matters as much as mine” and then actually act on that? I think strides are being made in some circles. I’m going to place myself in one of those.

If you’d like to contribute to India in some way resources are listed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10ca5YH5YUtp7Qe63sVNX1SlepQcvzc4RCwLhMBvTJyE/edit?fbclid=IwAR3M4v5wU3Bs5rbxVLeiOc21cuRtD11EGdPHgG9YdnuZBmBz5lD_IhRSx30

Please do your own research before choosing an organization to donate to.

photo: Jaime Top


One thing I miss about having a “permanent” home (meaning somewhere in the USA) is my collection of books. When I left NYC I bequeathed my nephews with a pretty large collection, most of them around spirituality, psychology, self-help, with a good dose of fiction and nonfiction as well. They probably learned more about me through that collection than they had in the 20+ years of their lives. Maybe more than they cared to learn.

I loved having books in every room. I found it comforting in some way, held in the realm of so many possibilities. I didn’t read all of them but I liked the potential.

I probably read the most during my employment at The New Yorker magazine, having access to so much selection. I loved to be able to talk to people about recent publications and to hear other's experience of reading. I would collect all the different sized books with colorful binds and arrange them in my apartment so other people would catch glimpses when they visited.

When I moved to Bali I began to read less and less, until there was a period in which I don’t think I read anything larger than an online article for over a year. I was so consumed with my internal world and all the changes happening within that the external world didn’t hold much interest to me. Eventually though I began to long for some of my old books as I began to teach more and more. Some of those books were crucial to my learning and I wanted to share that information. I started to order ebooks out of convenience, but was never able to throw myself into reading off my ipad, phone or computer. So, I would pick up a hardcover book every now and then, until once again I had a good little stash in Bali. With another move I left the stash with a friend…just in case I returned. It’s been 4 years and it doesn’t feel like there is a return to Bali in the near future, so here I am again, purchasing book by book, restocking some old and adding some new.

There’s a café in Pondicherry - Cafe desArtes, that I’ve been frequenting. It has the vibe that I have been wanting…a place where I can sit for a few hours, not in the way of anyone, have some good coffee and write on my computer. I often sit near this pictured bookcase and stare across looking at the titles, wondering how each one got there; fiction, nonfiction, history, architecture, gardening…so many different genres. Others come up to the shelf and peruse, mostly not touching anything but just looking. Books are magnetic with mystery, history, fantasy, reminding us of just how incredibly creative and inspiring humans can be when they want to be.

Space. march 2021

For at least probably the last decade of my life, whenever I’m looking for a new home to live in for awhile, there are a couple of important characteristics to me: light and space/openness. It doesn’t have to be a huge space but whatever the space is it should be open. Although I appreciate the characteristics of older houses that have lots of small rooms, for me I need to feel like I have space to fully breath, to allow my self to fully spread out. I don't have a lot of things, it's just an energetic spread. The Universe always complies, even when everyone around me says I’ll never find a space like that in the area I am looking at.

I think I am drawn to the ocean for the same reason…when I’m in the ocean, or even when I’m just sitting at the ocean, I feel like I can fully exhale. It’s not even a conscious “letting go”, but an organic release that happens. One time, when I used to channel, I asked about this and the information I received was that the ocean is the one place where the energetic field can fully release and not get caught up in other energies, while also being purified. That made sense to me. It’s rare anyone walks out of the ocean saying it felt horrible…it’s always a big “ahhhh, that felt great!”.

I’m also a bit of a neat freak. Not compulsively so, and I don’t believe it’s about control. To me, a clean orderly house helps keep my mind clean and orderly. Chaotic messy space = chaotic messy mind. If I am feeling a bit ungrounded or confused, I naturally look around my house to see if I can clean or straighten things. I’m not really a linear thinker so I think having order helps me to stay grounded and focused. If I were to really just let myself go with the flow of my mind, I would probably be considered attention-deficit as I can easily start multiple things at once, but I’ve learned over the years that I do much better if I can keep myself focused.

It’s about finding balance energetically…I think naturally energetically I am much more formless, free flowing - more propelled by what we deem as feminine qualities if I am to use that term, and it’s important to find the right balance of structure, routine and order – more masculine qualities, if I am to fully express myself. Otherwise, I end up feeling frustrated because I don’t finish things, or because it’s too mechanical and not from my heart. So the balance, the union…not 50/50 at all times, but a manageable balance that allows flow in a beneficial way.

52 solar returns, february 2021

This week marks the end of my 52nd year around the sun and the beginning of my 53rd. I think most of us who are getting “older” will agree that aging is a very odd process. The body ages to varying degrees and aspects of the mind change, but attitude/personality seems to remain at a certain younger age. For me, I “feel” about 42. So, it is always a bit jarring when people reflect back to me my older status with greetings like “Ma’am” or when I see pictures of myself and it is obvious that I am no longer a young woman. It’s just a rite of passage and I feel quite accepting of it, and yet still find myself feeling slightly puzzled by it all. As I begin to pack my home of the past 3 years, I feel very strongly that I am beginning a new chapter, not just in location but also in embodiment of Jana. As of Feb. 28th, at 52 years old and after almost a full year of solitude, I emerge healthy, clear-minded and strong. On March 1st I will relocate to Pondicherry, India to be closer to the ocean that calls me so strongly. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve done a “site visit” to a place that I am considering moving to – after multiple interstate moves in the US and 2 international moves – and the first time I will be bringing along more than just 2 suitcases. I actually own some furnitureThis move or at least the prep of it thus far has been quite smooth. Who knew a bit of planning could make things so much easier!In my younger years I moved hoping I would find something “more” somewhere else, running away from whatever seemed to haunt me at the time. When I left the US in 2012, I wasn’t running away from anything, it was more of a running towards something. It’s as if I could hear a calling in the distance. I wasn’t connected to Bali in any way and had zero expectations. This allowed for tremendous growth. When I moved to India in 2018 it was more of an inner calling that I heard and for some reason it is upon this land that I am able to answer that call. So here I am, 52 years of inhabitation on this earthly realm as Jana Elizabeth Johnson. The continuation of Life and all it reveals on a daily basis is my path. I had these pictures done a couple of weeks ago in Auroville, near Pondicherry on my last site visit. They are part of the energetic force I feel supporting me into this new chapter.Blessings of gratitude, appreciation and love from my heart to yours, with a special shout out to my family who ushered me into this life to be the woman I am today.