The Naked Voice of the Feminine
“Jen Sundeen is dancing and singing, along with Lalla,
to the same wisdom, the same joy…” ~ Coleman Barks
“Lalla’s timeless words reach out to us from across the centuries, lovingly taking our hands and leading us across a bridge of spiritual realization into a new era of awareness.”
The ancient teachings of the beloved Kashmiri mystic Lalla reemerge at the most necessary of times. Amidst human conflict, disconnection, and the turbulent waters of our modern world, Mother Earth is urging us to shift how we live upon our planet. Indeed, an awakening in human consciousness is desperately needed today.
This collection of 109 verses has been translated and reinterpreted by Jennifer Sundeen. The short poems provide a series of instructions for how to live in and love our bodies, our souls, this earth, and the universe. They are words of freedom, of strength, and of escaping that which does not serve love. Lalla arrives to us 700 years later, full of courage, as the true embodiment of a woman without shame or objectification…the naked voice of the Feminine.
Embracing all genders and cultures, Lalla’s words may be the beacon of hope for which we are all searching, a light that can guide us safely ashore and back home to our hearts, where infinite oceans of love, peace, reverence and freedom reside.
Lalla Unveiled is due for release November 8, 2019
by 2nd Tier Publishing, Wimberley Texas.
Find out what others are saying about Jen’s upcoming translations of
Lalla Unveiled: The Naked Voice of the Feminine
“What mysterious power of attraction leads a modern woman to the precious words of Lalla – a Kashmiri mystic who lived in the early fourteenth century – and devote herself to the painstaking task of translating her exquisite verses, miraculously preserved through 700 years, for a modern audience? And what more auspicious moment to offer them to the world than at this time when Kashmir is torn asunder by opposing forces that, in their quest to control this sacred land, have lost all awareness of a deeper reality?
Jenny Sundeen’s sensitive and beautiful translation of Lalla’s poems lead us from her uncomprehending pain and suffering through the dawning of insight and wisdom to the rapture of discovering that she is one with All that is. At a time when the world is following a path that is leading us to our ultimate destruction, this precious book with its wonderful, illuminating Preface takes us into another dimension of experience and the revelation of who, in truth, we are.”
~ Anne Baring PhD, author of The Dream of the Cosmos
“What happened to Lalla right before she left her husband’s family and joined her new community? What happened to Lalla that gave the medieval world a cause to revere and remember her wisdom? In this world that, even today–especially today–vilifies strong, wise women as provocative, evil, unwieldy, unworthy, laughable, irritating, or, if they’re lucky, invisible.
Jen, Lalla has been waiting for you. She has been peeking around the corner for years. She was waiting for the right moment, the right introduction. When injustices are righted and transformed into power. We are so lucky that you have shared her voice with us. With new mouths and new ears, the message multiplies. To have a woman, 750+ years old, remind us of truths that we had always known but half-forgotten, out of necessity, is magical.
Thank you for sharing Lalla with us. The world needs Lalla now. We need Lalla now. I need Lalla now. She’s here in many forms. We must support her.”
~ Sarah Widing, River Conservationist and Co-Founder of The Lalla Project
About the Author (SHORT BIO)
A resident of Harvard, Massachusetts, Jennifer Sundeen is a spiritual teacher, healer, writer, activist, community architect, nature lover, and the mother of three daughters. She is the founder of several organizations that support girls, women, spirituality and the earth including The Durga Studio, Durga’s Red Tent, The Lalla Project, and The Harvard Farmer’s Market. Over a decade ago, she launched Goddess Pilgrimages, a travel company for women dedicated to exploring sacred sites of the Divine Feminine across the world. If she isn’t amongst the ruins of ancient temples or exploring hidden caves, she can be found back home in the woods of New England, hiking with her dog Harley and hanging with the trees.
About the Author (FULL BIO)
A resident of Harvard, Massachusetts, Jennifer Sundeen is a yoga instructor, spiritual teacher, healer, poet, activist, community architect, and the mother of three daughters. She is the founder of several organizations that support girls, women, spirituality and the earth including The Durga Studio, Durga’s Red Tent, Goddess Pilgrimages, The Lalla Project, and The Harvard Farmer’s Market.
Over the past 20 years, Jen has tried to find as many ways possible to celebrate the Divine Feminine; she is committed to bringing awareness to this aspect of our consciousness in order to heal our Earth and Ourselves, so very necessary in our current day and time. She leads workshops, events, readings and sacred journeys nationally and across the globe.
In November of 2019, Jennifer will be releasing her publication Lalla Unveiled: The Naked Voice of the Feminine, her recent translations of the ancient Kashmiri poetess and healer Lalla. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Earth Ministry.
Jennifer is dedicated to imparting her yogic philosophy to everyone: To find connections with all people, to cherish the earth, to live healthy lifestyles, to find beauty in the everyday moments, to rediscover the rhythms of the universe, to find the divine being that resides in all of us, and to shine who we truly are.
Appearances & Workshops
Jen Sundeen has had the wonderful opportunity to share the poetry and wisdom of the ancient Kashmiri poet Lalla, and the struggles and triumphs of the Feminine, throughout New England and beyond. Often accompanied by live music, she gives live readings as well as transformative movement and meditation workshops that are supported by Lalla’s poetry. She is excited to share the release of Lalla Unveiled with you! Please contact her if your yoga studio, spiritual group, book club, college, or special interest group would like to find out more about Lalla’s poetry and Jen’s unique and personal perspective.
Jen has also spent the past two decades teaching women’s empowerment workshops, weekend and week-long immersions in the Divine Feminine, Teen Goddess workshops, yoga/mythology/philosophy workshops, and creating Red Tent gatherings across the country. She would love to offer a workshop or event in your area! These can be tailored to your needs, budget and time-frame.
In addition, she leads Pilgrimages to sacred sites of the Divine Feminine across the globe. She is happy to coordinate an exceptional experience for you, whether it be an individual journey, a private group or family tour, or perhaps you might join her Tribe on their next annual and unforgettable Goddess excursion! There truly is nothing on earth quite like Jen’s Goddess Pilgrimages!
Lalla Poetry Readings with Live Music
Women’s Empowerment Workshops
Teen Goddess Workshops
Red Tent Gatherings
Day, Weekend & Week Immersions
Jen offers discounted Skype sessions, primarily question and answer sessions, about Lalla for book clubs, women’s advocacy groups, spiritual groups, churches, libraries, etc. Sessions can be individually tailored to suit your needs.
RECENT WORKSHOPS/LIVE READINGS
Find out what others are saying about
Jen Sundeen’s Live Readings, Workshops and Pilgrimages:
“Jen is a gifted yoga teacher who brings to her teaching brilliant storytelling, mythology, history, and a balanced dose of spirituality and mysticism. Add that to a never-ending amount of creativity, energy, and sense of adventure, topped with a passion for human rights, especially for women and children. Added together this is a recipe for unparalleled journeys that will enlighten, enrich, and nourish the soul.”
~ Julie Sennott
“Jen offers so much more than yoga, she pours her heart and soul into her life’s work and nurtures the soul. Jen’s dedication and passion for what she does shows in all aspects of her work and creates the ultimate experience. Whether you take a class, go on a retreat or attend a Red Tent event, you will be nourished in the most tender experience and will find yourself yearning for more.”
~ Roxana Trabulsi
“For the ten years I’ve known her, as a student, as a collaborator, and as a friend, Jen always over-delivers, enriching every interaction with her knowledge, expertise, curiosity and unwavering passion and energy. To call hers a “yoga class” is like calling the Bible a “book.” The Goddess Pilgrimages are true journeys of wonder, history, self-discovery and appreciation of the feminine divine within. To each endeavor, Jen invests her heart and soul, leaving the participant forever changed and inspired.”
~ Kelly Fitzsimmons
If you are interested in booking Jen for a live poetry reading of Lalla Unveiled, a Women or Teen Empowerment workshop, a Red Tent gathering, or would like to learn more about her global Goddess Pilgrimages, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What made you decide to translate Lalla, the ancient Kashmiri poet? We have so few words from our ancient grandmothers; their wisdom has been buried or destroyed through millennia of patriarchal domination. Finding Lalla, and realizing that her wisdom of interconnectedness and reverence is so necessary today, led to a deep yearning to bring her teachings out into the wider world.
How did you translate her? Do you speak Kashmiri? I actually don’t speak Kashmiri at all! In order to translate Lalla’s poetry, I worked word for word using Grierson’s 1920 Kashmiri-to-English dictionary…and then did it all over again to make sure I was on track! But having spent most of my life immersed in meditation and the teachings of yogic philosophy, I understood the essence of her poems, so translating them actually seemed natural and easy.
Why is Lalla Unveiled pertinent today? It has been over 700 years since Lalla sang her “songs” about divine love and freedom, and yet her words have probably as much import today as they did then. We are living in a time of global conflict, potentially catastrophic climate issues, and a complete disconnect toward our earth and each other. Lalla teaches us how to find that connection ~ and reverence ~ for ourselves, for each other, and for all living things. When you find that divine connection, it is literally
impossible to harm another person or anything on earth; it radically shifts how you walk upon the planet. Lalla’s wisdom could be the answer we are all seeking.
Who are your heroes? Honestly, I feel like most of the women I encounter each and every day are my heroes – or shall I say sheroes! Almost every single one of us has been through hell at some point in our lives, and we are still here, persevering… living and laughing and loving. When I teach or speak in front of a group of women, I am always in awe of the courage, strength and beauty looking back at me! I do count Gloria Steinem on my shero list, who taught me about the importance of activism and deep listening; also my mother, who showed me that everything we need to survive in this sometimes harsh world is right here inside of us.
Almost all of your work centers around girls and women. Where does this passion for the Feminine come from? I feel like I have always felt the plight of women in my very bones – from our ancestral grandmothers to the women of the world today. After giving birth to three daughters, I passionately (and at times fiercely) began to work towards ushering forth a world in which they could be free, a world where they could be treated with respect, dignity, equality and honor. It has been 24 years since my
first daughter was born and I am still at it; in truth it is harder today than ever before. But I will keep working towards this equality and freedom for as long as I am alive ~ for the sake of my daughters and the future daughters of the world.
What do you hope to accomplish with publishing Lalla Unveiled? I hope to have the gift of introducing her to all who are ready or willing to listen ~ to those who are ready to dive deep into the Great Mystery that is the very essence and fabric of everything in existence. It would be amazing to hear Lalla’s wisdom come off the tongues of people across the world as it once did amongst the people of Kashmir. If and when that day comes, the world will surely know peace.
A lot of your offerings are steeped in mythology. Why is this important? Along the lines of Joseph Campbell, I believe mythology is society’s dream, a way of finding harmony with each other and the universe; myths add color and richness to our everyday lives, and are a kind of guiding light. There are ancient teachings and ways of being that are inherent in mythologies from all cultures. Right now we don’t have a mythology to help us navigate our difficult world. As we become more and more of a global society, I believe we need a new world mythology to help us, a compass to guide us into a new era. Remembering and sharing the old myths might help us in the formation of a new one.
What is next for you? In addition to sharing Lalla’s exquisite teachings, I have begun my next writing project which pertains to the Cosmic Mother and the importance of visiting her sacred sites. I want to dive even more deeply into the mythology of the Divine Feminine across the world and throughout time; we have much to learn from our ancestors and their understanding of the energies that helped us live in harmony with Nature and each other. I am also looking forward to meeting and connecting with new groups of women and men ~ through my travels and workshops ~ who are helping to usher forth a new era of connection and reverence. There are many out there already doing the work. When we gather, we create ripples of change that spread outward….and together, perhaps we might build a bridge to a new, beautiful and interconnected global civilization.
10 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT JEN SUNDEEN:
- Born in Fort Smith, Arkansas
- She was once an elementary school teacher
- One of her best friends in childhood was a giant beech tree
- Loves music, sunsets, going barefoot
- She plays a mean air guitar
- The ocean has her heart
- She still climbs trees
- Vegetarian for over 30 years
- Coffee, wine, cheese, truffles…
- She adores the thrill of take-off, when the plane is traveling at 175 mph
Listen to a Sample of Jen reading Lalla here
Contact info & links
Phone: (978) 790-4429
For more information about Jennifer Sundeen or to schedule a live Lalla reading, an interview, a workshop, immersion or event, please send an email to email@example.com