Rama Devi Nina Marshall

Rama Devi Nina Marshall

For over two decades, Nina has pursued her spiritual path living in an ashram in India and engaging in volunteer service for Amma's charitable activities.

Her poems, essays, articles and stories explore wide-ranging topics relating to mystic spirituality, meditation, mindfulness, unconditional love, compassion and service, the spiritual path, interfaith unity, divinity, devotion, nature, philosophy, and a holistic worldview.

In India, she is known as Rama Devi. She lives in Florida when not abroad and works as a freelance writing coach, editor and writer. Nina grew up in New York City, where she began her spiritual journey at age sixteen. She explores the teachings of all world religions, but has a special affinity for Eastern-flavored mysticism.
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  • Meditation in Action - a Flash-fiction Story-Poem (Haibun)
    A 'teaching story'. Originally written as a 50-word story contest entry, I decided to convert it to Haibun style writing, which combines poetry and prose. It usually has short phrases in narrative prose and at least one haiku commentary. This one has two.
  • Writing on the Web: Lessons I’ve Learned About the Value of Online Networking
    Tips for developing an online writing presence and gaining exposure on the web garnered from lessons learned in posting my writing online. Whether an artist or an entrepreneur, these tips provide key elements to support promoting writing online.
  • FAITH: Shine Like a Diamond
    Succinct poetic commentary inspired by the life of Meerabai, a great Bhakta (devotee) who coined this metaphor in her poetry.
  • Abecadarian Insights
    An abecadarian poem has each line start with a letter of the alphabet in order. This poem combines that style plus an ABC poem:L 5 lines, the first 4 in alphabetical order and the last one *free*. I've made it rhyme in multiple stanzas--my muse playing!
  • Tribute Ode to Maya Angelou
    A tribute ode for the phenomenal-woman-poet, Maya Angelou, who knows why the caged bird sings. RIP.
  • Poetry Dawns
    A short, reflective metaphorical write about the art of poetry.
  • Poetry's Meaning is Beyond Words
    A free verse ode to the revealed meaning between poetic lines. Like music, there is a non-verbal, mystical language (beyond words) inspired words have the power to deliver indirectly...
  • How to Respond to Anger With Love
    An essay and personal vignette on dealing with angry people and learning to respond, rather than react, to people's negative behavior.
  • Of Love Among Religions
    A 'love' poem about spiritual love that transcends all boundaries, inspired by my Guru Amma's pithy saying: "All religions are petals of one flower--the fragrance is the same."
  • Humble Gifts
    Just as a candle's flame is not diminished by replicating itself, a spiritual warrior offers everything for the sake of others. This poem explores that theme with the humble metaphor of a dandelion. A tanka poem has 31 syllable or less.
  • Quiescent Seeds
    Metaphorical, contemplative poem...
  • Important Lifestyle Changes to Treat Thyroid Disease and Adrenal Fatigue
    This article shares my personal journey in learning to cope with adrenal fatigue through alternative methods, including lifestyle and dietary changes, herbs, meditation, exercise. rest, relaxation and healing intention.
  • Intuition
    A single-word acrostic poem exploring INTUITION. An acrostic is where the first letter of each line spells out a word. I'm not a fan of this form but enjoy the challenge of the limitation and discipline involved in crafting single word acrostics.
  • Sage Friends
    Mirrored Nonet poem explores both ascent and compassionate descent along the spiritual path. Until we reach the roof, it helps to have a ladder. Once on the roof, the ladder is no longer required—but is still useful to help others climb.
  • In Faith, Pure Lucidity Shines
    Lately my muse finds amusement concocting poetic recipes that combine whimsy and serious philosophy. Light and deep...
  • Poetry's Potential
    Ode to poetry as music and word-alchemy altering awareness.
  • True Vision Sees Within
    A rhyme and meter story in a poem for children. Moral: Non-judgement.
  • Of Art and Divine Adoration
    This sonnet explores appreciation, admiration and adoration of a living Saint as an effective means to exalt one's inner awareness to a supreme height.
  • Ode to Death and Deciduous Leaves
    An ode is not my usual style or voice in poetry, but I enjoyed writing this one because I love using nature imagery as subtle metaphors for the Infinite--serving as a metaphor for the link between the relative tangible world and the ultimate absolute.
  • Poem: Reflections on Faith's Tenacity
    A contemplative sonnet exploring the tenacity of true faith with a recipe combining serious reflection and whimsy...
  • Forest Laughter
    Whimsical quatrains exploring nature as a 'teacher'.
  • Dynamic Wisdom
    Contemplative three-lined poem (senryu-esque)
  • The Path of Non-dual Knowledge Vs the Path of Devotion
    This short essay explores the hidden unity between two seemingly opposite paths to ultimate Truth by contemplating the question of difference between a non-dualistic path of knowledge (Jnana) and a personal path of devotion to God or Guru (Bhakti).
  • Sūnyatā (शून्यता)
    This free verse poem explores the concept of Sūnyatā (Sanskrit: शून्यता) --which refers to both the inherent emptiness of phenomena and the vacuum of 'existing' as no 'self'. In Buddhism, it's also used to describe a mystical meditative state.
  • POEM: Interconnectivity
    A lune style poem consists of three lines with 5-3-5 syllables.
  • Haiku Poem (silver Orb Traces)
    A simple haiku--meant to be metaphorical for Sakshi Bhava. Haiku is a succinct Japanese poetry form using imagery from nature to convey a flash of insight (satori).
  • Nonverbal Reflections in Water
    Short contemplative poem: Sunlight on the river shines in the mind...
  • Silent Meditation
    This three lined poem about the inner light of meditation is in a style akin to haiku.
  • Universal Unity VS Interfaith Rivalry and Atheistic Opposition
    This essay explores how understanding our essential unity and communicating within a holistic paradigm rooted in unconditional love has the power to transform negativity and division around the globe and within the hearts of all.
  • Supreme Love
    Love is our true nature.
  • Of Art and In-Sight
    A sonnet exploring cosmic mystery.
  • Metaphorical Musings on Meditation
    This mystically-inspired sonnet metaphorically explores the art of meditation.
  • Caring for Creation
    An acrostic poem spells out a vertical message with the first letter of each line. With this one I aimed for brevity to make the potency of the message impacting--it's meant to be contemplated more deeply...
  • Ode to Amma
    Dedicated to Amma (www.amritapuri.org). This ode poem in the form of rhymed quatrains combines revisions of a previous sonnet with new phrasing and imagery added in. It's always fun to revise old works, like planting seeds from flowers in the garden...
  • Accepting Duality Invokes Unity
    Succinct Philosophical Aphorism--in the form of a LUNE poem (syllable count of 5-3-5, rhyming optional).
  • Divine Wit
    A senryu poem of gratitude, humor and devotion.
  • Kabbala Tree
    This tanka poem links mystic aspects of Jewish Kabbala with the Boddhisattvic quality of compassion of Buddhism.
  • Poem: Happiness is a Choice
    Senryu on sorrow. Senryu is a three-lined Japanese poetic style.
  • Eyes Cast Upon the Sun-glazed Sea
    Musings of mystical moods and music. Quatrains.
  • Contemplating Karma
    A poem contemplating Karma and Grace.
  • Inspirational People
    A short poem in praise of purely inspirational people...
  • Ironic Insight
    Contemplating simplicity--simply.
  • A Cleave Poem: Releasing and Relishing
    A cleave poem with philosophical pondering. It reads both horizontally and vertically.
  • Pragmatic Providence
    A spiritual observation
  • Secret Practices of Geniune Spirituality
    Ironic insights...
  • The Ironic Winding Road to Wisdom
    A short, aphoristic and contemplative poem.
  • Peace
    A single word acrostic with a message of peace for all.
  • Aspiration Vs Ambition
    A short free verse poem with spiritual and philosophical intent.
  • The View Within
    Metaphorical blank verse exploring theme threads of mystic spirituality, impermanence and the interior spiritual view. I've used similar nature imagery in many of my poems. Here,I combine them as tangential aspects under the one main metaphor of a Geode.
  • Poem: Perspective of a Panoramic View
    Philosophical sonnet braiding together multiple spiritual themes on threads of impermanence.
  • Groundbreaking Solutions to Sustainability
    Ron Finley's extraordinary urban gardens plant seeds of innovative thinking that generate powerful ideas with potential to transform communities and lives across the globe.
  • Conscientiousness & Common Sense
    Acrostic poem based on a Native American Proverb: A frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.”
  • We're All One
    A short philosophical poem playing with a favorite Vedic Metaphor. (Wave=Jiva; Ocean=Paramatma)
  • Faith and Falls
    A reflective poem about faith, falls and redemption.
  • Fire Owns No Form
    Philosophical pondering based on Vedic Metaphor of fire for spirit.
  • Personal Vignette on Unity
    A true story about awakening awareness of the common humanity and values shared between vastly diverse cultures.
  • Equipoise
    A short, Nonet style poem with philosophical overtones.
  • Poem: Ganges Sangam
    A succinct senryu style poem referencing the sacred river Ganges in India.
  • Free Verse Poem: A Glimpse Beyond
    This free verse poem stems from glimpses of unqualified unity (via meditation) that cannot be described (only alluded to). Advaita Vedanta is a Sanskrit term that literally means: "The non-dual end of knowledge".
  • Short Poem: Tanka (radiant Sunbeams)
    A short tanka poem with nature metaphors revealing optimism as the light of God.
  • Personal Vignette on Faith
    How does faith influence our lives? A personal vignette relating to a compelling experience born of faith.
  • Short Story: Imagination's Garden
    This short story explores the power of the mind to transcend challenging circumstances with the resilience of the human spirit. The style combines devices of poetry in prose
  • Poem: Broken Heart's Ironic Blessings
    This free verse poem contemplates quotes from Khalil Gibran as my muse explores how compassion can become the sweet fruit of a hurt heart.
  • How Do We Cultivate Positive Thinking?
    How do we cultivate positive thinking? Part one of this article shares some spiritual perspectives. Part two will explore practices, practical application and the energy of intent.
  • Self-help Article: How to Cultivate Positive Thinking
    How do we cultivate positive thinking? Part one of this article shared some spiritual perspectives. Part two explores practices, practical application and the energy of intent.
  • Globalization and Culture
    Ideas on overcoming cross-cultural conflicts to cultivate inter-cultural communication through mutual respect and tolerance of diversity as well as awareness of underlying unity.
  • Poem: (Sonnet) Divine Inbox
    More fun with modern metaphor in this philosophical yet whimsical sonnet exploring the symbiotic themes of Prayer and Grace.
  • Blank Verse Poem: Metamorphosis
    This metaphorical blank verse (Shakespearean style - metered but not rhymed) stems from my concern for people who suffer from depression. It is meant to be read aloud -- a musical remedy.
  • Obama
    A one-word acrostic tribute to Obama.
  • Sandy Stormed Through New York City (Poetic Response)
    Sandy stormed through New York City and elsewhere with fury and destructiveness. This poem explores the 'internal' impact of this event.
  • Poem: Spiritual Solution
    Poem: Metaphorical free verse on spiritual surrender.
  • Forgiveness - Poetic Perspectives
    Forgiveness embodies unconditional love, compassion, mercy, patience and generosity. This short free verse poem expresses the theme in philosophical poetic style.
  • Nirvana
    Nonet exploring Nirvana with modern metaphor.
  • Guru's Grace - My Amazing Amma
    A Westerner's account of one of numerous wonderful experiences while living in an Indian Ashram with my Spiritual Guru, Amma.
  • The Tale of the Friendly Old Whale
    Rhymed story in a poem about a girl, a whale and humanity's need to increase compassion.
  • I Don't Mind
    Didactic philosophical pondering on the freedom to choose how we respond to life. A suite of Quatrain stanzas with ABAB rhyme scheme.
  • Precious Role of My Guru
    A free verse poem with a whimsical, modern metaphor for the Guru's Grace, which cannot be found on Google!
  • Inspirational Silences
    I believe silence is the core of music, and music is the core of silence. This ABC styled poem weaves themes of music, nature and silence.
  • Fire Under Water
    A short Sci-Fi story based on artwork. The artwork showed a planet with a red river, a huge moon, and a bunch of structures. This is 'out of the box' for me...exploring what my muse might do...hope you enjoy.
  • Hear Earth's Cries
    A pantoum poem in didactic flavor urging us to heed our responsibility as stewards of planet Earth.
  • Mysterious Knock Behind the Lock
    A spontaneous fictional story penned for a creative writing prompt which required a story set in a summar cottage rental with a locked door - to find what's behind the door and how it affects the protagonist.
  • Removing the Spectacles of Scepticism
    A 'poetic essay' on faith and scepticism in a series of four senryu in didactic tone.
  • Unselfish Faith
    Succinct commentary-prayer on Faith in three lines.
  • Politics: Polite-Ethics?
    Senryu is an ancient three-lined japanese-style poem, often ironic or satirical in nature. This is a word-play commentary on the word: politics, with a pun-ish angle using words that phonetically resemble it.
  • Glints of Truth
    A five-lined, metaphorical Tanka poem based on a painting by Nicholas Roerich, paired with a commentary senryu.
  • Evolutionary Spirituality
    A philosophical essay on Unity, Science and Spirituality, exploring the insights of the physicist David Bohm, Albert Einstein, and wise masters of the East.
  • Everyone Has a Spark
    A flash fiction story. Flash fiction is like the haiku or prose. It conveys a complete and impacting story in which every word is absolutely essential. This was written for a contest entry -the subject is: Insanity
  • Spiritual Traveler
    A Triolet is a French Medieval poetic form with the rhyme scheme ABaAabAB. Often all lines are in iambic tetrameter: The 1st, 4th and 7th lines are identical, as are the 2nd and final lines. Repetition is used to give a sense of musical cadence.
  • Nature is Nutrition
    Reflective quatrains exploring how time in nature can serves as spiritual nutrition, especially for those in urban environments.
  • The Path
    This sonnet metaphorically explores the relationship between the devotee and the divine and how the path of devotion (Bhakti) ultimately leads from relative duality to Absolute Unity.
  • Igniting Insight Within
    Blazing Colorado wildfires not only scorch the land, they torch our concepts of security ignite compassion and nudge awareness to the inner core.
  • Radiant Twilight in Joshua Tree
    A free verse poem about a night in Joshua Tree National Park.
  • Seeds Break Open
    A short nonet poem about the transformational nature of problems, the power of perspective and an optimistic point of view towards trials and obstacles.
  • Compassion is the Noblest Key
    A triolet poem on compassion. A triolet is a poem of eight lines written in iambic tetrameter with a rhyme scheme of abaaabab. The fourth and seventh lines are the same exact line as the first. The eighth line is the same exact line as the second.
  • Mandela's Gift
    A four-lined tribute to the power of compassion that blossoms from roots of suffering.
  • Mystical Poetry
    A succinct poetic style (ABC poem) in alliterative tribute to the mystical poets Rumi and Hafiz.
  • Paradoxical Polarity
    A sonnet exploring the paradoxical relationship between suffering and bliss.
  • The Power of a Solitary Tree
    Through the metaphor of a solitary tree growing on top of a mountain, this poem explores the powerful impact of sacrifices made by solitary souls (like Gandhi, Mandela) who face extraordinary circumstances.
  • Gratitude
    Part Six in a crown of seven heroic sonnets - each part is linked along the stages of the spiritual path and is written from the point of view of the disciple addressing the spiritual Master.
  • Continuing
    Part Seven in a crown of seven heroic sonnets - each part is linked along the stages of the spiritual path and is written from the point of view of the disciple addressing the spiritual Master.
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