Award-winning writer Lali A. Love, who typically writes “visionary fantasy and metaphysical thrillers,” has written an engaging and soul-provoking collection of poems on a number of spiritual and metaphysical themes, each of which is accompanied by a quote from a well-known writer, philosopher, thinker, or spiritualist. In addition to her writing, Love is an “intuitive, alchemist, and energy healer.”
First, the title. Ananda is a Sanskrit word for “extreme happiness” or, as comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell defined it, “bliss.” He was known for promoting the idea of “Follow your bliss,” or Sat chit ananda.
The quotes that open the collection and accompany each poem are far-ranging, coming from the likes of Albert Einstein, Edgar Allen Poe, Carl Jung, Rumi, Swami Vivekanada, Marie Curie, and Joe Dispenza.
The poems themselves are equally far-ranging. The first, “The Rise,” explores other dimensions and magical realms. The next poem, “Loving Fearlessly,” evokes archetypes with its line, “Healing your childhood wounds.”
Advice for how to do so comes in a later poem, “Metamorphosis,” which opens:
I AM star dust plucked from the Cosmos,
Consciously transforming the realms of my bounds.
As I illuminate my divinity to heal old wounds,
For those who desire some science—specifically quantum physics—in their spirituality (as I do), Love tells us, in a poem called “Currency of Life,” to “Be mindful of the electrons circling your quantum field,/For every action has an equal and opposite impact to yield.” Moving to neuroscience in “The Subconscious Mind,” she writes, “Fear Everything and Run, says the mind./A recording that plays a continuous loop over time.” Once those old loops are replaced with healthier thoughts, one can move to “Manifestation”:
Let’s untangle the web of old conditioning,
Deconstructing the waves of patterns,
belief systems decommissioning.
She returns to neuroscience later, in the poem “An Intelligent Machine,” referring to the brain.
As we reach the halfway point, Love begins to incorporate more complex and multilayered spiritual ideas and practices. In “Dimensions of the Heart” she breaks down perceptions in 3D, 4D, and 5D space.
One cannot progress on the path of spirituality without the heart and imagination of an artist, which Love covers next:
Once you awaken your inner artist from this illusion
Realize that your Soul is complete and iridescent,
Brilliantly gleaming with immaculate perfection.
She also covers synchronicity, providing an elegant definition to a complex and misunderstood phenomenon: “Gifting us signs from a cosmic place.”
It is increasingly understood that being conscious of synchronicity in our lives is a key early step on the path to Spirit and Bliss. Following this thread, Love offers a pair of poems titled “Conscious Co-Creation” and “Echo” about the art of aligning our vibration with that of the Universe.
The last third of Ananda is a series of poems defining and exploring the seven chakras, or major energy centers of the body, which include the solar plexus, heart, throat, and the pineal gland or third eye (or, in Sanskrit, ajna). Color, location, and characteristics are all evoked.
I want to end this review by pointing out that Love has been a member of the Twitter Writing Community (TWC) since April 2019, coinciding, it seems, with the publication of her first novel. I have been very engaged with the TWC since November of that year and agree with her assessment that it is a nurturing and inspiring way to connect with fellow writers (as well as publishers, agents, graphic designers, editors, cover illustrators, and others linked to the business of publishing). It is good to see TWC writers including their experiences with this community in their published works and I encourage writers at all levels to join with and explore the benefits of the TWC.
TITLE: Ananda: Poetry for the Soul
AUTHOR: Lali A. Love