All Hallow's

Celebrate wickedness. Dress up as your shadow. Hug the night. Eat waaaay too much candy. Redemption is only found through your opposite. That is why Moon and Sun make love, and God kisses your Body.

Halloween/Samhain Meditation

The veil between the worlds is thin,
Bright to dark the seasons turn,
Green Man's fire in the Jack O'Lantern,
Light above now shines within.

Come dance in the circle of Samhaim,*
Buds of Beltane burnished in frost.
Honor the Old Ones: nothing is lost.
Whatever you offer is born again.

(* Prounced SOW'n)

When I was a child, Halloween was my favorite holiday. I could never figure out why adults thought it was only for children. It wasn’t the costumes or the candy that intrigued me so much as the atmosphere of mystery combined with playfulness. Years later, I would encounter that same paradox in the dance of Radha Krishna, in Rumi’s poems and crazy Zen stories, in Sufi tales and in that fool for Christ, St. Francis of Assisi. But the profound secret that creation's mystery springs from divine playfulness was first revealed to me at Halloween.

The pranks of mischief night and playful logic of trick or treat I loved; even more, the contemplative silence after midnight when, too candy drunk to sleep, I sensed the very darkness alive with spirit. Whether the Holy Spirit or the tingling of a trillion sprites, I knew not. It didn’t matter. I apprehended a “cloud of witnesses” around me, and feasted on luminous darkness.

"Cloud of witnesses" is the New Testament's evocative term for the abiding presence of the saints. In more ancient cultures, they are "the ancestors." Honoring them is a profoundly important aspect of Samhain, which is why the Church chose this Pagan New Year's festival for the Feast of All Souls (October 31) and the Feast of All Saints (November 1).

Samhain is the turning point from the revelation of light to the mystery of darkness, the threshold where nature turns outside-in. The veil between spirit and matter is thin as a wisp. We sense a soul-world inside this world of matter. The Celts believed that, at this hour, spirits of all who died in the past year return to wish us farewell before commencing their final journey.

If our ancestors were troubled, we unconsciously carry their troubles today. Therefor, we need to reconcile those troubles with love-offerings, lighting a fire to burn away grievous memories and purify the heart. If our ancestors were joyful, we carry their joy today. We celebrate that joy with a fire of thanksgiving. Too often in the Christian West, we spurn the veneration of ancestor as ignorant or primitive. Yet we pay our therapist $150 an hour to heal us of ancestral wounds. We carry our ancestors in every strand of DNA, every habit of inattentive behavior.

Samhain is a time for tricks and laughter, yet a time for deep contemplative silence. It is the bitter sweet celebration of "Summer’s End," one derivation of the word, "samhain." Samhain on October 31 is the diametric opposite of Beltane on May 1, the Pagan celebration of Spring. Samhain is thanksgiving for harvest, sacrifice of the old, and return to silent Source. Samhain is maple leaf and pumpkin, apple and spider's web, little signs of the season transformed into mythic powers, offered in the hearth of mindfulness. Write a prayer on a leaf for someone recently lost. Bind a thread around your wrist to represent a relationship that has bound you, but is now ready to be gracefully let go, so that you can move on. Offer that leaf or that thread in the bonfire of Samhain.

The origin of the word “bonfire” is the "bone fire" of Samhain, where the weak and old of the flock were culled, so that the strong would survive the Winter. This sacrifice was offered, not with the heartless industry of modern agribusiness,
but in reverence for the continuity of life. Today we may not sacrifice sheep and heifers, but we can still make a harvest alter or a bonfire, offering prayers and intentions.

Over the hills of Britain on the Eve of All Souls, the bonfires blazed, as in the marvelous opening of Thomas Hardy’s
Return of the Native. Citizens lit brands from the village bonfire and took them home to kindle their own hearths. Those hearth-coals smoldered through the coming year, each home nurtured by the original light of Samhain.

It's the turning of the year from bright half to dark. For six months, angels and elemental nature sprites have outwardly busied themselves with greening, blossoming, bearing fruit. Now the cycle turns from manifestation to silence, Summer's riot to the Winter-space of contemplation. Energy sinks inward, leaf to seed. Matter itself is enlivened with a concentrated force as creation gently implodes. Stumps, crystals, soil itself, glow with an inward light. You cannot understand Samhain unless you hold all matter sacred. It's all about the Incarnation....

So in this season, many of us experience a quickening of our inner life. Nature wanes stark, but consciousness ignites. In the Church's liturgical year, Advent begins, heralding Winter Solstice and Yule. The embryonic soul leaps inside the mother, matter. Christmas means birth of Christ, not just in a moment of historical time, but in the womb of nature. Christmas/Yule follows Samhain in the eternal cycle of the cosmic year.

Jesus prayed that God's kingdom might manifest
"on earth as in heaven." Thus the Lord's Prayer is  Earth-centered. In Celtic worship, the same law is expressed: "As above so below." When full present with us on Earth, Jesus embodies the Green Man: the ever self-sacrificing, dying, resurrecting Cernunnos, who accompanies the Great Mother through the cosmic cycle. 

The historical Jesus preferred flowering fields and wild places to urban centers. The people of the country side, the pagani, understood him. The people of the city resented and killed him. Jesus drew his mystic metaphors from nature: sheep folds, lillies of the field, seeds scattered in soil. Yet the Church enclosed his wild incantatory Spirit in walled temples and bookish rules. They took the spell out of his Godspell. 

"A blessing upon your home, a blessing upon your hearth, upon your newly-kindled fire. A blessing upon your journey, your going out and coming home. A blessing upon your face, and all who meet you. May She, for whom to love and to be are one, keep you in the way of her children!"

Pathless We Are There

Truth is revealed wherever there is innocence, humility and wonder. Pathless, we are there. I am pollen on the stamen of the Truth Flower. So are you. Even the Master is a mote of golden dust. We're all dissolving in a honey drop. Don't try to find a formal Way to this place, or you'll turn the sweet wine sour. Just let ten thousand petals of your rainbow open in all directions at once.


Rapt Inside

Unity whispers "Om," and the thrilling energy of that whisper vibrates as Two, inhalation and exhalation, the syllables of "So'Ham."

When Om vibrates as So'Ham, the sinuous seductive play of duality flowers everywhere: Lover and Beloved, God and the Soul, Shiva and Shakti, Christ and Magdalene, Heaven and Earth, inner and outer.

In the garden paradise of this human body, there appear two serpents of the Caduceus, "Ha" and "Tha," the solar and lunar forces in us, spiraling up through the blossoms of the spine. Thus we have the love-play of "Hatha" Yoga, as these two energy serpents gently undulate up the Tree of Life.

Whether I look to modern physics or ancient scripture, I see the cosmic cornucopia pour forth from the singularity of a sacred Void, just as a mirage appears to move in still desert air. And I delight to discover the "lila," the playfulness of creation, neither in oneness or twoness, but in their mutual piquancy, the shimmer of stillness in the hollow of my eye, tongue, ear, nostrils, and pores of my flesh. Through the grace of creative playfulness in the streams of "So'Ham," I am the incarnation of emptiness.

When I weary with two much of this whirled, I am invited to merge again in the womb between the breaths, where "deep cries to deep" (Psalm 42:7). Here the Bija mantras kiss in a wave of dissolving sapphire. This is the womb of light between "Ham" and "So," between "Ya" and "Hum" in the Hebrew divine name, between "I" and "Thou" in the silence of mystical prayer. Here also is the quantum vacuum, where no particle of the world has arisen, and God has not yet said, "Let there be light."

This is the secret chamber of the heart, where Jesus invites us to join him in meditation: "When you pray, enter into your inner closet, and when you have shut thy door, pray to your Father who is in secret." (Mat 6:6) To enter this space of the heart is to enter the Bridal Chamber, exalted by early Christian Gnostics as the deepest of all sacraments. Here Lover and Beloved kiss, and from their kiss creation arises, both "the heavens" and "earth," which is to say, both consciousness and the world.

O seeker, this entire cosmos vibrates from the quiet soft groundless night in your chest. The sun will rises there. This world is consciousness, delicately negotiated by all of us together out of quantum chaos. God's greatest gift not this creation, but making us its co-creators. Our hearts have a deep responsibility to love. Yes, creation is a gift. Each breath is a gift. And you are the gift rapt inside the gift.

What do the great wisdom traditions say about this?

"The kingdom of heaven is within you." ~Master Jesus

"In the beginning, there arose a division in the supreme Consciousness, and the infinite apparently became the observer and the observed." ~Yoga Vashista III, 110, 15

"In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was formless and void, darkness was over the deep; there was just God's spirit breathing over the waters."
~Genesis 1

"By resting awareness in the space in the heart, between the descending and ascending breaths, one experiences Bhairava, the source of creation." ~Vijnana Bhairava

Jai Guru Dev 

Thought Waves

Thoughts are waves in the ocean of silence. Awareness is always transparent and clear, no matter how many thoughts arise, sparkle, and dissolve. Every wave is made of crystal stillness at play. The problem arises when I try to hold on to a thought. Then its wave freezes into a solid particle, takes on mass and becomes a point of view, a belief.  

Mind is weightless. But when I believe, my mind gets very heavy. And when I have a strong opinion, I sink. 

But when I am free from all beliefs, I can allow myriad viewpoints to dance like waves in the crystal sea of pure consciousness. Then I can love. I can love you as you, no matter what you believe. This is real non-violence. 

Non-violence begins with awareness free from belief, awareness that doesn't clinging to thoughts. Love is possible when being present is more important than having a form.

It only took me seven million years to abandon my beliefs 
and dance in these sparkling waves. I don't care if you don't 
believe me. I love you.


A Smile

Some people are always outraged about some political issue. They are so in love with their anger that they wouldn't know who they were without it. They believe that their outrage and protest change the world, but are they not simply making it an angrier place?

They need to see your smile. They need evidence of happiness. Your smile is a seed that falls into their heart. That seed may not spring up for ten thousand lifetimes. But when it does, it will change their world completely.

Your smile arises from the same silent hollow in the core of your chest where your breath is born. As your breath is not yours, but a gift, so a smile from the depths of the heart is not yours, but a gift, a stream that bathes you, flowing from the light of eternity. Breath is the essence of your body. A smile is the essence of your soul.


Phi & the Wonder of Proportion

All is proportion. That is why the black hole at the center of a proton contains the total information of the universe, and your body is made out of distant galaxies. If you doubt this, even your doubt is filled with stars whose radiance is still traveling toward you. But don't take my word for it, just observe the hollow space in your own eye, and you will pass through light-years in a glance of self-awareness.
"There exists a fantastic Phi relationship between the Equilateral Triangle and the Circle that goes around it: Insert an equilateral triangle inside a circle, add a line at the midpoint of the two sides and extend that line to the circle. The ratio of AG to AB is Phi.

"This only goes to show that Phi or the ubiquitous Golden Measure exists in all shapes, in all dimensions, in all forms. Since the Triangle has a Phi relationship, then the Jewish Star of David must contain this Phi-ness, so must the 3-dim form of the triangle: the Tetrahedron, which is the basic building block of all atomic structure. Thus Phi (1:1.618033) is in all things.

"It is also scale-invariant, meaning that Phi exists in the infinitely small atomic worlds or the infinitely large galactic worlds. Yet its starting point was the humble triangle, the first 2-dim form that God could create." ~Nassim Haramein