Saturday, July 1, 2017



(Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley, CA, 2015)

I’ve never forgotten Leza Lowitz’s poetry book Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold By (2000) for connecting poetry to yoga and vice-versa. So I was not surprised that Lowitz also connected her latest book, a memoir about how she came to adopt her son, to her yoga practice. In doing so, she’s created something unique, especially as an adoption story. Reader, I adopted a child about eight years ago and as part of that process have read what feels like a million adoption stories—through books (memoir and not), online, blogs, etc.  Trust me: when I say Here Comes the Sun is a uniquely told adoption story.

That uniqueness is presented through the book’s subtitle: A Journey to Adoption in 8 Chakras.  Here, it’s useful to explain chakras, specifically the author’s view and how she applied it to her story:

This is not a story about navigating the ins and outs of adoption in a foreign country. It is about navigating the ins and outs of my own body and spirit to heal, and to arrive at a place where motherhood could become a possibility. I’ve taken the chakra system as a metaphor and roadmap for personal growth and transformation, charting the movement from “me” to “we.”

The word chakra comes from the Sanskrit root car “to move.” It also means “wheel,” “circle,” “center,” “disc,” “sphere.” In this system, there are seven major wheels of energy in the human body. The body has a central channel of subtle energy, the sush- umna nadi, which runs inside the spine, and two other channels of energy running to the right of the spine (pingala nadi) and on the left (ida nadi). Six chakras are located at the points where these channels intersect with the central channel. The seventh chakra is at the crown of the head. The eighth chakra is believed to be our auric field.

Each chakra has a particular consciousness and function. It regulates, distributes, and balances the energy and nerve functions of its location.

For example, the chakra for the first chapter, “Muladhara” is described—each chakra is described before the ensuing memoir—as “the center of physical and material existence, health, survival…. When the first chakra is balanced, we feel grounded, stable, secure, connected to our bodies and able to stand on our own two feet. We are able to survive and thrive.”  The memoir then continues on to describe Lowitz’s days of first meeting Shogo who becomes her husband and father of her son—a beautifully described evolution of a relationship where the roots of healthy stability are presented, befitting the life the two would create together.

Similarly, the eighth and last chakra, “Soul Star,” is offered as “transpersonal chakra, that links the soul/spirit to matter and to its true essence. The eighth chakra takes us beyond personality-based consciousness and into higher transpersonal awareness.” This chakra’s chapter is the last in the book and is where Lowitz can describe concludes from the travails of her journey:

I know I’m finally free to embrace the ma, the mother within. I open my arms wide, offering up all that I am.

As Lowitz put it in the beginning of her book, Here Comes the Sun is not a story about the ins or outs of adoption or the type of adoption account that might help others interested in adoption. What makes the reader then interested in her life is that she wrote it so well. The book is a page-turner, with passages often lyrical and always up to the complexities and difficulties of her topics.

I’ll end with an excerpt:

The Boy

In December, the CGC calls about a waiting boy. They ask if we’re interested in adopting him.
     We say “yes.”

     They say they’ll get back to us, but they don’t.

     We wait some more.
I ask Shogo to call them, and he does. They say they’ve placed the child with another family. They explain that many young couples are waiting to adopt; emphasis on the “young.”
     Of course, I’m happy that the children have found families, but this feels like too much to endure—the waiting, the hope, the letdown—after so many years. My fierce optimism has begun to wane.
     If they rank couples by age, we’re always going to be on the top end of that scale.
     I tell Shogo that I don’t want to go through this every month and that we should apply at another agency that doesn’t rank according to age.
     He agrees. But is there such a thing? The private agencies are expensive and take years—often without any guarantee of a placement after a long wait and more uncertainty.
     We make a promise: we’ll try to keep our heads above water and our hearts above despair.
     I try to hold onto that promise, try to see the glass as half-full, but I haven’t heard the child’s voice for a while.
     I shake out my yoga mat and go through my practice. Arms over head, gathering up the light of the sun, bringing prana and hope back in. Bringing in light. I find power in the Warrior Pose, stillness in balancing postures like Half-Moon. I waver but I hold my ground. I open my heart in backbends, then stretch and I twist. I invert, letting my world turn upside down yet again. The blood rushes to my head, clearing my mind.
     When it comes time for Corpse Pose, a posture of deep letting go into the earth, I lie down on the ground, arms out by my side, palms up in surrender, and I rest.
     How deeply can I let go? How much more can I surrender?
     I feel the contours of my body start to dissolve, then disappear. It’s as if I am no longer a body. There is no me. There is no earth. Only a shimmering field of energy. I ride its waves.
     After some time, I wiggle my fingers and toes and come out of the pose. Then I sit down to meditate. I watch my breath. And then the breath too, disappears. It’s no longer me breathing. I feel myself, being breathed. The breath flows through me. I’m a conduit. A vessel for this energy, this life force, this light.
     This time, instead of waiting for my child’s voice to come to me, I speak directly to my child.
     Hold on, I say, we’re coming.


Eileen Tabios is the editor of Galatea ResurrectsHer 2017 poetry releases include two books, two booklets and six poetry chaps. The latter includes a new fundraising chap, MARAWI, co-authored with Albert Alejo. Forthcoming later this fall is a new poetry collection, MANHATTAN: An Archaeology (Paloma Press). She does not let her books be reviewed by Galatea Resurrects because she's its editor, but she is pleased to point you elsewhere for a recent review of her work: M. Earl Smith reviews Excavating the Filipino In Me for The FilAm Magazine!  More info about her work at

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