Breathing in, I grieve our fallen warriors;
breathing out, I remember that the present moment
heals all wounds.

Breathing in the cries of village children terrified
by American soldiers, I know these soldiers are all me;
breathing out flowers on their mothers' graves.

Breathing in the burning greed of the arms merchant,
I know that it is my own greed;
breathing out forgiveness, I let go of blame.

Breathing in, my chest hardens into stone;
breathing out, the stone breaks like a loaf of bread,
and becomes a heart.

Breathing in the fear and insecurity of the world leader,
the secret loneliness of the military officer;
breathing out the clarity and boldness of the peace-maker.

Breathing in through the jammed cartridge case of my ribcage;
breathing out, each round becomes a heartbeat.

Breathing in the sorrow of soldiers, I remember
that they are my family;
breathing out the courage of those who refuse to bear arms,
I remember that they are my heroes.

Breathing in the night of war, I hug my own darkness;
breathing out, I listen, and if one bird sings at dawn,
it is proof of God's love.

Breathing in the light of the golden sun;
breathing out, I know that I am awake.

I breathe the first day of creation;
I vow to live in peace.

Photo: Vietnam Memorial, by Michael Holahan

Sacred Loss

We flee from our experience of loss instead of tasting its essence. We stuff our emptiness with sensation and belief, creating addiction and ideology.

What if we had the courage to descend into the vacuum of our loss, and imbibe its bittersweet fullness? At the center of a galaxy, the black hole consumes and destroys; yet the same void spawns new stars. In the heart of loss is a counterforce of creativity.

Loss is divine darkness. Loss is the mother of emanation. When we surrender to loss, we regenerate.

After all, what isn't lost? Our yesterdays, with everyone and everything in them, are lost. Even a moment ago is lost forever. Our stories are the ruins of a Presence that has moved on. The past is an idol, molded of mere thought, devoid of sentience.

Yet precisely because of this blessed loss, we are free. We are pure. Not as thought or belief, but as Awareness. No matter what our past has been, we awaken in this moment untainted, utterly fresh. Loss is the holy ground of possibility.

"The new creation has come: what's old is gone, what's new is here!" ~2 Corinthians 5:17

Engraving, William Blake, 'The Song of Los' 
Collage of my words by Rashani Réa (click to enlarge)

If You Want Peace, Just Refrain From Being Right

In the actual world, conflict does not exist. There is just a perfect ocean of energy, flowing in waves, dissolving and recreating forms, un-caused and absolutely one. This motionless unbounded whole dances in itself for the sake of play. Where is the possibility of conflict?

This mind creates conflict, superimposing duality onto wholeness. Why? Because mind sustains itself on opposition. Mind feels alive when it is judging, protesting, struggling "against." To be free of conflict would destroy our belief system, our mental interpretation of the world. Every belief needs duality, needs a "wrong" against which it can be "right."

Therefor, if you want peace, don't solidify a permanent belief in anything. Just refrain from being right.

Plunge naked into the sea of energy without an interpretation. Flow through the present moment as a wave of exhilaration, a sparkling current of Shakti. Freed from all opinions, live in perfect agreement. Say yes to everyone. Be a newborn child, a wayfaring fool, a breeze in the sky, a tree dwelling deep in the forest, even when doing business in the market.

As our mind becomes empty, we perceive all as a dance of stillness, and conflict dissolves by itself. Liberated from belief, how could we possibly wish harm to any creature?

"This sounds dangerous!" 

Yes, awakening is very risky. Nostrils flare, a panther sensing the wind. Spine rises, undulating like a cobra. Heart unfolds, a magnolia releasing a fragrance of inebriation. Become response-able. Perform the most dangerous and wonderful act: to believe in nothing.

Lost in the green woods,
I forget both war and peace,
Listening to a thrush.