and our beloved Nina Gitana
departed August 20, 2002 at 5:03 PM
body was not sick. It had become very
fragile from the work given to her,
the work was completed
|In the Taoist understanding
we die into this world and are born
| back into the
N i n a G i t a n a
Death: August 16, 1926
Birth: August 20,
A Hopi PrayerDo not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there
I do not sleep.
I am the soft stars that shine at
I am the thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn
When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting
of quiet birds in a circled flight.
I am the soft stars that
shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there.
I did not die.
In the 1950s Nina was living in New York City. One day when she
was visiting an art gallery a tall, very beautiful man walked up to her and
asked, "Are you a gypsy?" She replied, " I call myself one." (Gitana in Spanish
translates as "gypsy") Said he, "A gypsy is one who lives for love, who
considers the whole world her home, and who has no fear of the unknown."
In 1963 when Master Kirpal came to Wawasiki a group took a walk
to a large rock outcropping in the great meadow. As they were walking someone
asked Nina what does 'Gitana' mean. Before Nina could speak even a word, Master
Kirpal replied «Hymn of Life». And then years later In
India, when Nina entered the room where Master and Taiji were, Taiji greeted
her in a strong voice, «Gitanjali !»
Nina's whole life as we know it was Simran and
Bhajan, and this she conveyed to all of us through her action and her
To many of us, Love, Beauty, and Stillness are the
quintessense of who Nina is.
The first of the following quotes was said by her. The
other two she copied in her handwriting and had saved them among others.
To quote Nina : "Love is the expression of the
harmony of Naam. It is our attunement to Naam that opens us to Love. And it is
Simran that opens us to attunement."
"When Beauty shows itself, all the essences of life
converge in it as a center, and it therefore has as a tributary the entire
universe." -- Source unknown.
"The stillness in stillness is not real stillness. Only
when there is stillness in movement can the spiritual rhythm appear which
pervades heaven and earth." -- Taoist text.
Those of us serving here, at Wawasiki, also remember
her in this way:
A Taoist came and said she was a Taoist.
A Sufi came and said she was a Sufi.
An Ogalala Sioux came and said she was an Ogalala Sioux.
She lived the mystic heart of every school, in the still
center, around which each revolves.
These were some of Nina's favorite
From the Diamond Sutra:
Thus shall ye think of this fleeting world:
A star at
a bubble in a stream,
a flash of lightening in a summer cloud,
a flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream...
"This is a universe of light-at-rest from which two
opposed lights-of-motion appear to manifest the Idea which is eternally sealed
in light-at-rest." (Unknown source)
"The fictitious movement of energy in consciousness is
known as mind, and the expressions of mind, like the hissing of snakes, are
called thoughts and ideas." (Unknown source) Andre Michaux: "There
is no one self. There are no 10 selves. There is no Self. There are only
positions of equilibrium, one among thousands, continually possible, and always
"We recognize only one Law, the Law of Harmony, of
Perfect Equilibrium. (K.H.)
Alice in Wonderland: "I see nobody on the road,"
said Alice. "I wish I had such sight, " said the king fretfully. "To be able to
see Nobody, and at such a distance."
This is an excerpt from a letter written by Nina to a
Art of true living in which the mind and the body reflect the soul more and
more deeply is a high and elegant art. The words of Leonardo da Vinci to an
aspiring young artist hold true equally for the art of living and the art and
science of spirituality.
« If thou wouldst be an artist,
leave off all sadness and care save for thy art. Let thy soul be as a mirror,
reflecting all objects, all colors and movements, itself remaining unmoved and
Leonardo's advice is the essence of
interior solitude and seclusion, and also of meditation and true living
(meditation in action). It points to a synthesis, bringing stillness and action
together in an appropriate way.
We are leaving the Age of Separation and
entering the Age of Synthesis.
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Last updated : September 2, 2002.