12/31/2009

Love My New Apple Tab


I love my new Apple Tablet. It allows me to stick my hair in a tiny side jack and access my Avatar, and then I can watch my enormous Krishna blue body flying over the jungle of my mind and I really don't know or care whether I am the one watching or the one flying.

I love my new Apple Tab because it is a weight loss technology. F... Y..., Jenny Craig. I just access all the foods I don't allow myself to eat like old fashioned un-enlightened eggs and bacon and hashbrowns with gravy over biscuits side of ham and two chocolate chip waffles tobasco sauce on everything and horribly sweet foaming cappucinos spiked with dark rum and waitress hair, attaching electrodes to my ears from a tiny side jack on my tablet, the virtual tastes and smells induced while watching HD images of food as I slurp like Guy Fiori on Dinners, Drive-ins and Dives and all the time just sitting pristinely on my bed, doing nought, eating nought, staring at my lovely clean Apple Tab and foaming at the mouth...

'Fred, are you all right? Yo, Fred. What's going on in there?'

'It's all right. I'm just working on my new Apple Tab. Be out soon. Go away.'

I love my new Apple Tab because I can slide in pictures of myself at any age and watch Imax 3D memories of me come alive escaping from Sunday school wandering into the forest with Kirby my golden retriever all day at age seven until my parents send the fire department after me, yes, I feel virtual swamp mud between my toes and smell skunk cabbage vibrating through the appleware electrodes into my own brain's neuro-peptide transmitters. Uh oh, have to inject another 3 mm squirt of dopamine into the tiny side jack on my new Apple Tab. Did you know that it came with hypothalmic neuro-transmitters like adreno-corticotropin-self-
stimulation-mocca-grande-frappacino-caramal-lycurgic-hormone-grease?

Are these my bodily fluids or the bodily fluids of my new Apple Tab? Does it matter? Isn't America becoming a cyborg hybrid half-human half-silicon e-nation of unmanned remotely operated drones bombing the world and destroying the rain forests without anybody actually claiming responsibility for any of it? Congress and the White House too are full of unmanned drones remotely controlled by corporate lobbyists. So nobody is really real and I am not real but my new Apple Tab is real. There are wires behind my eyes, barely physical fiber-optic cottony threads connecting my body to computers everywhere and I will soon go wireless, body-less, soul-less.

I too have become an unmanned drone, operated by my new Apple Tab as a cat-lover is operated by her cat.

My legs are withering away. My ribs are showing. I have not left my smelly room in ten weeks. There are smears of spinal fluid on my walls. Or is it e-juice? Every few days my wife slides a syringe of neural transmitters under the door to reload my new brain, I mean Apple Tab. When I die, it won't matter. I will be flying on my terrible tamed Thanator, over the jungles of my virtual blue-green moon in the mind of James Cameron. I will appear in his next movie as a small lizard on a branch. And you will see me on your laptop, not as I Am but as I desired once to be in the wish fulfilling chitta-mani of my new Apple Tab dream-weaver, where all America goes to sleep.

Meanwhile, that other world, the real one, tumbles away into its three dimensions of messy, uncompromising, carbon-based, ineluctable mortality, where humans still dance and cry and work and honk at each other from cars.

12/30/2009

Stay

The past returns as the future, but the present is always new. Be hopeless. Drop the quest. Stay here. The whole path is just a breath, falling from the forehead to the heart. Let it be your first breath, your last. May you never be one moment old!

What Is?

Through the myth of the past and future, I seek security. But right now, I'm helpless and vulnerable. I can't predict the present moment. I can't remember the present moment. I can't believe in the present moment.


Yet has there ever been, or will there every be, any moment but the present? My intellect is worthless in this territory. Helpless and vulnerable. All I can do to survive this moment is fall down into the heart. And breathe.


In the mythic past and future, matter may have mass and density. But in this present instant, all the atoms in the cosmos are sparkling explosions of bliss. I am born in this perpetual instant of bliss. I am never one moment old.


It is so terrifying, so beautiful..

10 Ways To Awaken Peace Now



1. Enjoy the next breath with gratitude.

2. Take a walk in bare feet & actually touch the ground, feeling the earth with your sole.

3. Watch your worrying mind as a mother watches over her children.

4. No matter how much turbulence is happening around you, become aware of the stillness of space itself.

5. Gaze at the blue sky. See as far into that patch of blue as you can, toward the infinite vanishing point, until your eyes are relaxed and unfocused. Now close them and feel this same vastness inside you.

6. When you are with an angry person, look into their eyes for a few moments just as you looked into the blue sky. Pay absolutely no attention to what the person is saying.

7. Smile for no reason, as a physical exercise. Notice every muscles of your face relaxing, until you sense the face you had when you were a child. Close your eyes for a moment and feel that smile from within.

8. Look at a flower, a leaf, a little stone in your hand. Now take away the name, "flower," "leaf," "stone," and just look.

9. When your mind is filled with thoughts, close your eyes and feel these thoughts as physical sensations in your brain. Sink down into the physical sensation that arises before it becomes a word or mental picture. As these sensations dissolve into spacious silence, feel the space, the silence, in your body.

10. At any time, in any place, sitting, walking or lying still, let attention sink, breathing out, from your head to your heart. Feel sensations arising in your chest, whether comfortable or uncomfortable. Embrace these sensations without judgment, breathing through them. These sensations are your world, which arises from your heart. Enfold your own heart in compassion.

12/29/2009

Depression & Non-Dualism



There are two ways to handle depression. We can attempt to get rid of the depression. Or we can get rid of the person who is depressed.

Getting rid of the depression usually doesn't work. But the effort wastes a great deal of time and money on therapies that fail and drugs with devastating side effects. So if I can't get rid of my depression, why not just rid of "I"?

This doesn't require suicide. In fact, suicide is just another self-help technique. Self-help techniques only reinforce the "I" who needs help. After suicide, the "I" returns for another depressed lifetime, needing even more help.

Getting rid of "I" does't mean getting rid of life. Quite the contrary. Getting rid of "I" opens the lock that lets life in, life abundant and overflowing, life so vast no little "I" can hold it.

Consider that "depression" is simply the world, the world in its actual state: constantly disintegrating, emotionally confused, irrational, violent, and nearly always insane. In Christian language, it's the fallen world of Sin. In the language of India, it is the wheel of Samsara, whose nature is suffering. We try to carry this world in our heads, to make sense of it, to incorporate the world's madness into our identity as "I." But this is an impossible task that depresses even God. He tried to carry the world on his cross and it tore him to pieces.

But Jesus woke up. Resurrection happened when he let the world go. Infinite light flooded his darkness, and the flood of that light released countless souls from hell, from depression. His body felt weightless. He ascended. "My kingdom is not of this world," Jesus said.

Why should YOUR kingdom be this world? Why should you identify all this suffering as "I"? You are not this heaviness: you just carry it and call it MINE. The dark heavy cloud of the world moves THROUGH you, but it is not who you ARE.

A cloud moves through the sky, but the sky itself remains empty, limitless. Just so, you are not the clouds that form and dissolve in and around you. You are the sky, the pure space of Awareness. You can respond to depression by gently releasing your attention from the cloud, and becoming the clear space that contains it.

But "I" want a noble task to perform. "I" want some work to do on myself. "I" want to overcome depression. So "I" feel insulted when my depression is not validated, not recognized as a substantial reality. How dare you call "my" depression a cloud!

This is how "I" inflate when depression is taken personally, and owned as part of "me." When reality dawns, which simply means that Awareness happens, this "I" melts into spaciousness.

I'm not saying that depression isn't real. I'm saying that this cloud of moods, fears and desires is not really "me." There really isn't any "me" there for them to happen to. "I" am not ten thousand thoughts racing through the mind. If I see them racing, isn't there a still silent Seer? Otherwise, who would see that thoughts are racing? What is this space through which thoughts race? What is the nature of the Seer, in whose awareness a world of trouble arises and dissolves like a mirage, a cloud in emptiness?

This Great Space enfolds every pain, even the pain of death. It's stillness surrounds every battle. The "I" is just one speck of the world-cloud that ever arises and dissolves in the Great Space of Awareness. The "I" can also dissolve.

But we don't allow this dissolving to happen. When the world's pain weighs upon us, we would rather play Jesus, or Bodhisattva. In our melodrama, which we've been playing for lifetimes, we take the world's pain personally. The suffering of all sentient beings becomes "mine." And when the world's pain is "mine," it becomes "me."

Somebody handed me this coat-check, so I claimed the coat, even though its not my coat. Its a seedy old garment that's been passed around on the streets for years. It belongs to no one and I don't have to wear it. But I choose to.

Can't we explore a new way to deal with depression, with the world's pain? Let's stop taking it personally. It's not who we are. It just feels like ours because we claim it as our identity. This claim on suffering is very ancient. It seems to be a birthright. We still cloak ourselves in the the Original Sin of our ancestors, passed down generation after generation. We medicalize it nowadays and call it depression. We believe we inherit it through our DNA. But its just an old story.

Depression is the Bodhisattva's Vow. Depression is the Via Dolorossa, the Way of the Cross. Though we're mostly non-believers now, we still carry the old rugged cross. So many saints thought they had to bear the world's suffering. They became us.

This is why depressed people are often very spiritual, creative artists, old souls, and cultural intuitives. The depressed are the canaries in the coal mine, registering atmospheric insanity in their bodies. But they are also the people who discover, after much suffering, a new Way.

The new Way is non-duality. Non-duality means dissolving the "I" so that no one is there to be depressed. Then the weight is no weight. It's just a cloud floating in air.

Become aware of your depression like a cloud in the sky of Awareness. Then relinquish the formation of an "I" who claims ownership. Refrain from calling the depression "mine."

When "I" arises, crying, "This is MY depression! This is happening to ME!" feel this "I" as a physical sensation in the brain. Watch "I" dissolve back into its neural synapse. Attend to the physical sensation instead of forming a word or mental picture. To defer the act of naming sensations that arise in the body requires no effort. In fact, it is a great relief to see that we don't need to attach "my" to any phenomena.

Only observe, as Awareness. This was Jesus' simple instruction to his disciples when he said, "Watch and pray." You will discover how restful this is, how healing, because Awareness doesn't have to name anything, and doesn't need an "I."

Prayerfully watch depression as the pain of the world registering in the body. You can even feel compassion for it.

A shift occurs....

Previously, "I" was a point contained in the heavy dark cloud. Now the point has melted away, and the cloud is contained in the Great Space of Awareness. Nothing was done to the depression. But Awareness has happened around it.

No work is done because Awareness is already there. What prevented us from knowing that Great Space was our clinging to the infinitesimal point of "I". The moment we let go of this point, we become aware, and there is an effortless explosion into Awareness, requiring no energy. In fact, energy increases a thousandfold. The mere shift of attention FROM A POINT IN SPACE TO SPACE ITSELF is an expansion that never ends and has no limit. No "I" remains to clutter or interrupt this spontaneous simultaneous instantaneous explosion of nothing into everything and everything into nothing.

Awareness allows and forgives. Awareness cannot judge, because there is no one there to judge or feel judged. Awareness only allows and forgives.

Have you forgiven the world for being a dark cloud that floats in Awareness? Forgiving lays the burden down. Forgiving ends the judgment. Forgiving allows depression to dissolve.

The world is a happening in Great Space. But no one is doing it, and it isn't happening to you. There is no "you" in Great Space to be depressed. There is only the possibility of embracing and healing the world by holding it in Awareness, as a mother holds her only child.

Poem to Turn the Year


The sun is buried here,
nursing loam with fibers of old light.
Until you are lost and sinking in green,

you won't find even a trillium seed.
Until you kneel among weeping cedars
you won't find the footprint
you made before birth.

Just ripen and fall.

Every stumble becomes
a path for your children.
No straight lines among stars:
only circles whirling, rhythms
of carbon and fire.
Disappear in This, too lost
to remember your name.
You'll hear a Mother calling,
"Be still as all is turning."
She'll offer you the breast
you've been too thirsty to notice.
Virescent nipples trembling
out of Winter's brown body,
streaming with the milk of bewilderment.
Sleep, traveler, like a ruined bulb
among these withered vines, your fire
composting in forgotten gods.
Remember moonbeams,
borrowed crystals of another light:
how she held you in her lap
and sang your memory full of heroes
at a hearth of yearning, in a house of bones.
You are not more or less
than the elegant poverty of her breathing.
Coming and going make no difference.
Who told you there is only one?
You have as many chances
as wafted thistle or wind-blown milkweed.
Who told you the path was narrow?
I tell you, there is no path.
Only wandering, discovery, return.

12/26/2009

Freedom from Truth

Your truth is a lie in relation to someone else's point of view. Their truth tastes like a lie to you. All truths are lies in relation to God, the absolute Truth. No one can express That: therefor God too is a lie.

Understanding this, be free of truth. Rejoice and play in the shoreless phantasmagoric ocean of lies! Respect my lie as you would have me respect yours. Honor every sincere and passionate viewpoint, not because it agrees with yours, but because it is true to its own lie.

12/25/2009

The Panther


Ruby-eyed Thanator of Navi moon,
sweet-breathed Leopard of Dante,
Jaguar of the West who swallows the sun,
totem of maidens who bear stars
in the dark womb of Art:
show me the way of the Goddess,
show me my truth and power,
what I was conceived for
in dawn's unutterable longing,
when the sleeping circle of Wisdom
sprang to life, feline and wild
as midsummer sun on salt waves
rolling over the sands of a planet just born
in the clarity of these awakened eyes,
eyes of Earth's and Air's daughter.
Because of You, I meet my end in my beginning,
the tail of the Panther in its own teeth.
Because of You, I am the cat-like infinite
possibility of Fire emerging from Night.
Because of You, all-devouring Wisdom,
I am bold to pray: devour all,
devour all that does not reveal me,
devour all that is not my song,
devour all that empowers not love,
devour all, devour all
but Beauty!

12/09/2009

Quaker Meeting


On Sunday morning I love
the priestless ceremony
of Quaker Meeting.
The minister is each of us, ordained
by the power of simplicity.
Silence is the sermon,
Presence the ritual,
Breathing out, the offering,
Breathing in, the Spirit's gift.
No one even has to say, 'Amen'.
The wood thrush said it at dawn,
waking the world to this
First Day.

12/05/2009

Krishna



They say the world is a mirage
compared to the samadhi void.
I say the void is a mirage
compared to Shyam,
who strolls through lusher gardens
than enlightenment,
where scholars and yogis
cannot pass the flaming sword
of the gate keeper.
His wine is love stored up
in a hidden wineskin,
the passion of emptiness,
the breast from whom
intellectuals never drink,
having forgotten how to weep
the transcendental tears
of longing,
which are the ordinary tears
of a hyacinth in December,
a crysalis congealed
in dreamless bewilderment,
a peacock wandering
alone in a cage of circles,
sad mirrored rainbow
that will not see the source
of its reflection
until the fan of knowledge
closes up into itself.
Come now, be as human as you can.
Through these tears
what is more inward than I
becomes visible,
deeper in the seed
than next Spring,
sweet beyond tasting,
flute music of silence,
body of emptiness,
love alone without an object,
consuming lover and beloved.
Krishna's not a symbol:
only stillness dancing.
Don't look for any meaning:
just have the affair.
Take the journey of one heart-beat
across the ocean of your blood
to blackness beyond stars;
collapse, return
to the brilliant vacuum
between one breath and another,
transforming your flesh
into dark matter like his,
sweet as a rain-laden cloud
exhausted by kirtan tears.
I only give you glimpses
of Krishna's vastness,
the trembling blue silence
of an eye that sees itself.
I only leave clues
about the scented bower
toward whose entrance
sinlessly naked you wander,
crazy enough to be invited
in.
He meets us all here,
even the crashers,
He the diamond-throated
feather-crowned outrageous
paramour we each
imagined was our own.
He whispers the secret name
only your lover could possibly know.
You thought it would just be
the two of you? Fool!
His gaze contains us all.
His body is the sky,
infused and ringing
with golden sub-nuclear bells,
the infinitesimal gods
of every possible world.
Govinda twines his limbs with yours,
yet there are countless ways
to make love: He is the madness
of pure Possibility.
How could one finger of his hand
not fondle all our hearts?
How could the intimate glance
of his omniscient eye
not torment every soul
into dissolving?
The one who asked you to this dance
invited every beggar.
Don't RSVP:
just be on your knees.
Bhakti is pulsation
of the darkest star
forming and unforming
dusty planets for the rendezvous
with every whirling soul.
Leave petty jealousy behind.
Real beauty, after all, is out of control.
Don't bother with convention
when you enter the jasmine-scented grove
on this particular world,
on this particular night,
created just for you.
To each bride,
Radha-Govind is the groom,
remaining somehow faithful
to One alone.
Now here is the secret:
each of us cries,
"I am the One!"

12/03/2009

The Village of Isthisall



In the village of Isthisall, in a hut under an apple tree, lived a peasant named John Wanderer. One night in a dream, he met an old woman who called him to a Great Adventure. He was delighted, as any of us would be, for we all secretly believe that a Great Adventure awaits us, if only the Call would come.

It's an old story, our story. A maiden has been captured by a dragon, who keeps her in a castle tower. There's a treasure in the dragon's cave, which you must pass by before you may enter the castle. The hero is called to free the maiden. The hero, of course, is you. And when you defeat the dragon, you possess the treasure and marry the maiden.


Now in John's dream, the crone gave him three talismans: secret tools of success for the Great Adventure. A magic shield of invisibility? A light saber? Winged sandals for flight? No, the tools in this story are even more powerful. They are our talismans too. John stuffed them in the belt under his tunic, but they were so light he soon forgot they were there! Perhaps your talismans are also stuffed in your shirt, so light you have forgotten them.

John set out on his journey. He began his journey with great enthusiasm. But as he grew more weary, hour after hour, day after day, he began to forget. He forgot the dream. He forgot the goal of his journey. He forgot the talismans in his tunic. And then one morning, as he took to the dusty road, he couldn't even remember the journey. From then on, he no longer called it a journey. He called it work.

These are the Three Great Forgettings. First we forget the Call. Then we forget the Destination. Finally, we even forget that we are on a Journey. Life becomes mere work.

Walking, walking, walking, John knew not whence or why.
One evening at sundown, he found himself in a lonely wood. Searching for a resting place, he spotted the flickering light of a campfire deep in the forest. He abandoned the road and plunged into the pathless wilderness until he came to the fire, where he found an old woman stirring a pot of stew in front of her hut.

She invited him to stay and rest. She fed him a bowlful
of herbs and mushrooms from her steaming pot. As he ate, he confessed his weary story. "I do not know where I am going, or why I walk this road. I do not know who called me to this journey. But I think I know you, old lady." He peered keenly at her wrinkled fire-lit face. "Haven't I seen you before?"

"It isn't me you should be looking at," she laughed. "Look inside your shirt!" Looking, he discovered the three ancient talismans, whereupon he remembered her. "The old woman in my dream!" he sighed.

"These talismans will help you remember," she instructed him. "Whenever you begin to forget, use them."

Perhaps you thought these talismans would be magical weapons for a battle against the Evil One? No, they are much more powerful than that! They are tools for remembering.
Through the use of the talismans, John remembered his Call, his Journey, the Dragon, the Maiden, and the Treasure. Then he slept peacefully, for he had a purpose.

At dawn, the old woman led him to the edge of the forest and pointed the way.
"There," she whispered, "is the goal of your journey. In that village across the meadow, by the old apple tree, you will find the dragon's lair, the castle, and the treasure you have been seeking."

"It cannot be!" he answered. "For that is no castle, but my own cottage under the apple tree in the village of Isthisall. No dragon lives there, nor any maiden. I must have traveled in a circle!"

"Is that so?" asked the crone.


On this bright morning, John ended his journey where it began. In fact, he was quite happy to come home, and so pleased to see his little cottage that it felt like a castle. He knelt down and kissed the ground. There he noticed a glittering jewel in the dust. "I have never looked here!" he exclaimed. He dug a little deeper, right at his own doorstep, and found other jewels. He uncovered a casket full of Treasure.


"You are not poor," said the Maiden who stood in the doorway, "and you never were."


John could not lift his face up to gaze at her, for he
was humbled. "Who are you, lovely lady?" he whispered. But he already knew. The light of remembrance was dawning. In her voice, he recognized his own soul, so long banished in exile.

For the rest of their days, John and the maiden dwelt in the village of Isthisall, which turned out to be a very magical place. But I'm sorry to say there is no final battle with a dragon in this story. For when remembrance dawns, the dragon simply vanishes. It was only the dragon of ignorance, dwelling in the shadow of doubt.

I hope that you will find something wonderful at your doorstep, just as John the Wanderer did; for treasure is your birthright. Every life is a life of abundance and adventure. And if you want to complete your journey right here, before you travel anywhere, remember the three talismans you received when you were born. You have been carrying them with you all along.

May I remind you what they are now? Your Breath, your Heart, and the Present Moment.

Whenever you find yourself in the gloom of forgetfulness, on the dusty road of work,
which is an endless circle leading from the past to the future, plunge into pathless wilderness of the Present Moment. Set your wandering mind on this Breath and let it lead you to the burning fire of your Heart. Soon you will enter a mansion, possess unspeakable treasures, and meet the Beloved, who is always waiting for you here, in the Kingdom of Isthisall.

12/02/2009

Streaming Live


Meditation means listening to the live-stream of Being without words. We seldom realize that, beneath our mind's chatter, there's a vibrant flow of silence that nourishes, heals and creates life. Dive into what makes flowers grow and birds sing.


In meditation, the only word that counts is the word that dissolves into silence. If you meditate with a mantra, let it go. If it's a real mantra, letting it go will open the flood-gate of Being.

There is no word that can help you understand God. Using words to understand God is like using cups to measure the ocean. If you want to experience the depth, you must throw your little cup into the waves, then dive in after it. There's no life guard on duty to save you, no life-preserver to keep on on the surface, no snorkel to breathe through. In other words: no savior, no religion to wrap yourself in, and no technique of meditation. Don't even cling to your breathing. Just tell yourself, "This is my last breath," and let that go too!

You won't survive. Only God survives.

God Lives Here Now

In heaven there’s a sign:

“This Space for Rent."

God lives here now.

He loves to walk barefoot on this dusty road

brushing the cheek of the child

who trots along beside him.

He reaches down to touch the contagious hand.

He pauses to fill the mad woman's eyes

with his eyes.

Their faces are mirrors leaning together,

hollow corridors of wonder.

We're all like that, just lead and emptiness,

polished by his glance.

He came here for this gazing.

What sparkled in the stars shines

inside us now.

Think I’m kidding? Try

this breath.


12/01/2009

The Metabank


Almost all you have is owned by a bank. Your car, your house, perhaps your furniture, your musical instrument, even your vacation: whatever you bought with a plastic card.

Don't worry, the rest of America is just like you. Banks even own the rich, because they too buy on credit. They just buy more expensive stuff. No one pays cash. Our economy is an empty bubble of debt. Every dollar is an IOU.

The bank that owns your home lent you the money because a bigger bank lent them the money. An even bigger bank owns that bank's debt. And so on in a Ponzi scheme of credit, a pyramid of debts with one single bank at the top, the Metabank. The Metabank controls the mega-banks that own the national banks that credit the local banks that rent us our houses, our cars, and our so-called "cash". The Metabank is an elite club of men who sit on the pyramid of global credit. The pyramid is made out of nothing, which means these men can fall further and harder than anyone. That is why, despite the fact that they own the whole pyramid, they are so grim. Their hearts are contracted and joyless.

A few of these men live in North America, a few in Europe, perhaps two or three in South America, one or two in the Middle East, one or two in China. I say "men" because, at that pinnacle of corporatism, you're not allowed to be female or black.

The Metabank is so elite, in fact, they can all sit in one room at a single conference table, which they do once a year in a place you and I could never locate on a map. It is not in New York, Paris, Hong Kong or Geneva. They refuse to meet in any nation, for that would place their meeting under the sovereignty of others, and they insist on being the world's only sovereign. So they meet at sea on a private yacht, more like a luxury liner. They own it. They own everything.

Would you like to attend their meeting now?

What do you think they are talking about? Are they friends? Do they laugh and joke together? Do they untie their neckties or un-stuff their ascots? Do they take their shoes off and put on sandals? Wear shorts? This is doubtful. These are the men who wear dark flannel suits even in the tropics.

Please visit them. They need, shall we say, your influence. Gaining physical proximity is out of the question. You can't get within five miles of their ship, either by air or by water or under the water. Their cruisers, jets, helicopters and skin-divers protect them: elite ex-special forces employed by a private security corporation whose name none of us will ever know.

But you can attend the conference by other means, and make a significant contribution....

You travel there through the portal in your own body. Descending through your breath, you ground your awareness in your chest, the area around your heart, which at the level of sub-nuclear particle physics is a powerful transmitter of high-frequency, quantum intelligence-waves that penetrate any material substance and travel any distance at a speed exceeding the velocity of light. Measurement has no meaning at this stratum of physics, so don't worry about the math. Instead, operate on the level of intuition.

Let your attention permeate the field of neurons around your heart, which you directly perceive as a cloud of tingling and warmth. But do not confine yourself to your body's outline. Centered in the heart, allow your awareness to expand beyond the limitations of the body-concept, the me-concept. Are there really any edges to "you" that cannot be dissolved into limitless space, the space of consciousness?

As you exhale from the heart-space, place your awareness on that ship, in that conference room, at that long mahogany table, where the Metabank is meeting. Become the space around the men who sit there. Become the air they breathe. The alveoli of their lungs inhale you. Choose to enter the breath of any one of these men and you will simultaneously influence all of them by mere intention. At this subtle end of the energy-spectrum, intention is all that exists. Intention vibrates prior to material form. Intention creates and moves the world.

Flow through the capillaries of the man's lungs into his veins. Follow the bloodstream to his brain. You are now in the cerebral cortex of a man on a ship somewhere in the sea on a beautiful gleaming green planet that floats in the silence of infinite space, which is the space of your own consciousness. You can go anywhere. But your intention is to be here.

You are the electricity flickering through the man's neurons. You are a sparkling coolness that spreads through every fold of his brain, bathing and refreshing each synapse in fluid neuro-transmitters that express, through crystal sub-atomic strings, the vectors of your intention. Your intention mingles with his desire and creates electrons, that transform molecules, that manifest thoughts, that motivate words, that move bodies, that change the world.

Here is the crucial stage of your experiment. Create wisely. What intention will you bring to this man's brain? With what passion will you inspire him?

Do you convey a secret envy, resentment of his wealth, fear of his power? In that case, you will impart to him your envy, your fear, your own sense of lack. Whatever you feel reflects from your consciousness to his. Feeling your lack, he contracts more tightly into his own possessiveness. He senses a need to do the very thing you judge of him, to impound the livelihood of others. Do you consider this meta-banker your "enemy"? The more you fear him, the more you cause him to fear. The more you resent his power, the more you cause him to resent others. The more you judge his greed, the greedier he becomes. By your judgment of his wealth, you simply widen the terrible abyss between those who have and those who have not. The rich and poor are polarized by dread of one another and driven by one fear: the fear of lack.

But perhaps you attempt to love and forgive this "enemy." You try to rise above fear and envy, to enfold this man with pity and compassion. You feel the pathos of his loneliness, his self-imposed weariness, the heaviness of his soul as he isolates himself with wealth, and weighs himself down with more capital than one man could possibly need. You are privy to his secret: he is depressed. These men are all depressed. They cling to money because they have no love.

Feeling all this, you attempt to practice empathy. But honorable as this attempt may be, your pathos only magnifies the man's pain. Feeling sorry for him, you enfold him with Buddhic compassion, yet this only deepens the ocean of world sorrow. Why? Because you hold the concept of "sorrow" in your heart even as you attempt to heal it. You reflect the man's mental state from the mirror of your consciousness back into his brain cells. This may feel like Christian sympathy, but if you focus on his spiritual emptiness, his soul grows bleaker.

Is there another way? Yes: the outrageous way, the mad and foolish way, or so it may seem. This way is seldom recorded in the annals of healing and prayer. It is the way of Joy.

You are Joy. What else could you be at this level of pure energy, where all is uncreated vibrant golden light? Now you will become, in him, the perfect Joy you already are.

Breathe Joy into each particle and nerve, each heartbeat and motion of this man. The power of your Joy stirs an imperceptible wave of intention in the depths of his body's energy-field. The wave of intention vibrates from consciousness into matter. When it reaches the surface of the man's awareness, your Joy manifests in his thought, word and deed. Suddenly, in a moment of lightness, he doesn't quite recognize himself. He forgets his train of thought: his cloudy mind dissolves into the clear blue sky of joyously simple Being. It last only for an instant. Only for flash of a trembling silence have you infused your meditation into his mind. But that instant becomes a seed that will blossom, little by little, into a transformed life.

The man now senses a shift from his head to his heart, quite literally, in the body. A wave of feeling he hasn't known since early childhood rolls up and breaks upon his face as a tear, a smile. He looks down, embarrassed, wondrously confused.

In that instant he remembers a time before he was oppressed and verbally abused by his hopeless father, who was also oppressed and abused by a hopeless father, through a heavy paternal chain of centuries linking men of power to children of privilege in the withering crossfire of their fathers' blood, until the only option and hope for any one of them was to hoard the wealth of nations behind the stark gray turreted walls of the skull in a treasury of incommunicable private doom.

Now, by the grace of infused Joy, that ancient chain melts into gold, a garland of golden petals scattering in the faint breeze of your intention. In this man's transforming moment, the past dissolves like a mirage that was never anything but the shimmering gateway to the omnipresent Now. Each man in that room feels a melting at the core, a lifting breeze in the heart, a strange familiar blessedness. They loosen their ties and find that they have lost interest in discussing wealth. One by one, they stand and stretch, using the excuse that it is time to relieve themselves.

Now they go out onto the deck to watch the sun set over an azure sea. They can't remember ever doing such a thing. In small groups of two or three, they gaze in silence, then begin to talk about the beauty around them in voices they hardly recognize as their own, for the sound emanates from a different part of the body, a place that has been opened with a sigh. Now, excited as children, they point at the whale spouting and breaching the waves. For the first time in decades they laugh from their bellies. They share themselves, and like the taste of it.

For years to come these men will find comfort in returning to this new sense of the heart, the faint thread of Joy you have woven into the tapestry of their feeling. They will return as to an inner compass, inexplicably moved from within to share outwardly. To share and to share themselves again and again. Out of that moment when you infused your Joy, they will create a new economic order. For the mightiest institutions are born from fragile openings of pure intuition. And real power is rooted in Joy. Joy never contracts, never isolates itself. Joy expands. That is why Joy is the power behind economic growth.

Through the imperceptible shift of consciousness they experienced on this gentle evening, these men will invent an economy of mutually assured abundance. An underlying safety-net of public service will provide every world citizen with basic rights to shelter, education, health-care and meaningful employment. Simultaneously, these thriving citizens will support thriving free markets that will soar above the safety-net of basic need to generate wealth and social diversity.

In mutually assured abundance, dualities of socialist-capitalist, left-right, public-private, dissolve in the light of fearlessness. We will regard Sharing, not as expenditure but investment, not as loss but gain, not as a duty but a means of generating the ultimate richness, Joy.

Perhaps in old age, one or two of these men will dream back and consciously remember this lovely evening at sea, when you secretly suffused them with a new possibility, and your intention changed the world. For after their interlude out on deck, they go back to the conference table changed. They never quite recover their old passion for dominance. They are done with the tiresome work of convincing humanity that the paper in our pockets and the plastic cards in our wallets could ever represent anything more than our debt to a few sad lonely men. They are done with the work of pretending that what they possess is actually theirs. They are done with supposing the fantastic lie that this sacred land, swelling and rippling over the planet in a sea of green and brown, incalculably beautiful in hills and valleys, forests and meadows, could possibly ever be owned by anyone but God.

8/31/2009

Our Daily Breath

Good Sunday morning, creation's first day! I enter the Kingdom of Little Things. I find something very small to hold in my hand, a pebble, a feather, a berry. I cherish its mere mysterious Thingness.

Through my senses, I breathe the Little Thing's color, weight, shape, texture into my body. Then I breathe out gratitude. This is called 'living & breathing on earth.' It is the meditation that humans practice all day unaware. It requires neither church, nor temple, nor preisthood, nor scripture, nor belief. Just Awareness. Just some Awareness is needed to turn our daily breath, among little things, into worship.

The Warrior and the Pacifist

The Warrior and the Pacifist each have their role to play. Does one have the right to judge the other?


I would not count on the Warrior to make peace. Neither would I count on the Pacifist to defend my children from attack.


To claim that the world needs no warriors is the luxury of the well-protected. To claim that the world needs no pacifists is to starve for a vision.


Let those who love peace not condemn the warriors. True warriors do not choose our foreign policy. They choose to protect our children.


Rather let us condemn, with all the fury of God's righteousness, the powers and principalities, the rulers of the darkness of this world, the corporate profiteers and politicians, who never spent an hour in combat and whose children are too privileged to fight, yet who abuse and misuse our valiant soldiers for the purpose of mastering Third World resources, to line their own pockets with the wealth of empire.

Local


After the collapse
of post-industrial corporate feudalism,
its imperial armies and global banks,
its hierarchies of priestly credit and debt,
all that is vast, abstract, untenably complex
will die into The Local
like a cluster of vines to the root.
We too, locating ourselves, will return
to the family farm of origin
and remember how to eat,
how to grow woolly well-muscled sheep
and uniquely delicious tomatoes,
discovering our hands for seed scattering,
for stone setting, for writing poems
on trees and caves; discovering
our feet again for grape crushing.
Later, by December fires, we will listen
to silence, we will learn to listen again,
energized by wind and water.
In a terrible and lovely antlered mask,
the village shaman will birth us in Springtime
and bless our old bones in Autumn,
preparing our Winter souls
for new bodies. A circle of friends,
chanting, drumming, dancing,
will bind us to our Creator,
as our Creator is bound
to this heart.

Take A Moment


Red begonias with burgundy pelts,
opulent, furry as otters
wriggling in November rain
through your vacuous eyes,
where a constant wind sucks inward
all light, to make a compost
of pure consciousness.
No need to stop time, just take
a moment for eternity.
Observe all day the back yard
sacraments, trans-substantiations,
a drowned mouse in the birdbath.
Nothing is ordinary, not even
a coke bottle in the black loam,
polished to a smooth green talisman
by the tumbling earth.
Rest in no space but your own
clarity, that which is never
a distraction. Let your tongue,
your nostrils, ears and eyes
become the angels
of revelation.

Why Meditate?



A friend asked me, 'Why bother to meditate?' This picture of my teacher is the answer. When I gaze into the eyes of the Beloved, I have no choice. Meditation happens.

'Then you have lost your freedom!' the intellectual replies. Intellect feels threatened by the Love that is beyond choice. Intellect feels alive only when it restlessly pinches itself with choosing, 'This is better than that, this is true and that is false.'

But as intellect comes to rest in the radiance of choiceless love, which is the choice that ends restless choosing, there is freedom. That freedom is meditation.

'Our hearts are ever restless till they come to rest in Thee.' -St. Augustine

(Thanks to Scotty Hague for the beautiful darshan picture.)

Power of Play



If your meditation doesn't 'work,' you must have turned it into a job.


Let meditation be play, the wave-play of awareness resting in its oceanic self. Meditation is the source of play, the primordial play of Silence.


This universe arises from nothing through Lila Shakti, the power of play. In Indian philosophy, there is no other cause for creation than divine playfulness. Unmanifest pure awareness spontaneously arises in waves of creative intelligence, which become particles of matter. This is the bubbling bliss of the Samadhi state in deep meditation.


Quantum physics describes the same bubbling up of the vacuum in spontaneous creation, where 'virtual photons' and 'virtual electrons' vibrate out of silence, out of the zero at the source of all mathematical equations describing matter. Founder of quantum physics, Sir James Jeans, wrote that to modern science the universe appears less "like an enormous machine" and more "like an enormous thought." Cosmos arises where silent awareness percolates into Word, the Logos, and the Logos sings hosts of particles and galaxies.


In Hindu thought, the universe is the dream of Vishnu. But unlike us who are lost in the dream, Vishnu is awake even while dreaming, to witness and delight in the drama, the play.


The Bible gives its own version of this same creation story. "In the beginning when God was creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was formless and void... Then God said, Let there be light, and there was light. God saw the light, that it was good."

And God laughed with delight at what his Spirit had playfully created in the silence of deep meditation.

Sunday Morning


*
This beautiful stormy Sunday morning, I went outside and bowed down to a holly berry on the tip of a twig. In that instant I attained the supremely perfect absolute bliss of eternal liberation, but only for a moment - just for the instant my forehead touched the ground. Then I bowed down to a poodle, a cat, a woman, a dead mouse, and a cup of coffee.
Good morning.

I think that's the way to enlightenment. It's not some eternity outside of time or detached from creation. It's bowing down to every creature in the world, every particle of dust, every pair of eyes, moment after moment.

*
Joy and sorrow, anger and peace, sleep and waking come and go. But what never comes and goes, what remains constant amidst the arising and dissolving of all phenomenon and feeling, what underlies the universe, is a presence of perpetual wonder.

Therefor, I can be happy or sad, angry or forgiving, dreaming or waking, but I can never be bored. I have too many occasions for astonishment.

Passers By

I was walking down the sidewalk feeling rather low, worrying about work, about paying bills, about all my mistakes. Hearing a song, I looked up. Three carousers, their arms across each others shoulders, half danced and half stumbled toward me. I recognized them immediately: Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha.

Jesus said, "Hurry to the Tavern! Happy Hour is almost over. But while it lasts, everything is free."

Krishna said, "He's talking about the Tavern inside you."

Buddha said, "There is no Tavern. You're already drunk."

As they passed by, I became blessed with confusion, the music in their eyes, the sparkle of their laughter. I couldn't even remember what I was supposed to be worrying about.

What's Your Point?

You have a good point. I'm trying to make a point. Everyone has a point of view. But God is the vast space of intelligence without a point. God is pointless.

Twice a Day


In the tavern of my heart
I get drunk twice a day.
On the door there's a name
that turns all other words to laughter
but I can't pronounce it when I get like this
so I just point and dance.
I yell at people in the street:
"Don't go to work! Step inside,
drink this bewildering wine!
The tavern keeper won't bill you
till the end of time.
Then you can tell him, 'It's your fault:
your grace made me tipsy!'
Such wine is better than breast milk.
When nothing is left, you'll see your Beloved
gazing from the bottom of the cup.
This is the emptiness we all adore!"

Honor and Let Go



In this sacred season of turnings, I cannot let go of the past until I bow down to it. Whether I honor an old love or an old wound, I must bow down. In that very moment of surrender, I am free. As my forehead touches the earth, loss become a blessing that opens a way.

Is There A Safe Place?

Afghanistan is not a safe place. Fort Hood, Texas, is not a safe place. This hometown is not a safe place. The closet in the bedroom is not a safe place. The mind, full of doubt and desire, is not a safe place. There is only one safe place in the entire world: a heart surrendered to its song. Are you singing the song no one else can sing? Only this song brings peace.

My Burden Is Light



Some people think they can HAVE it all. Very few know that they can BE it all.

Why limit yourself to an infinitesimal "i"? Nothing is heavier than this little "i" trying to possess everything. Let the "i" dissolve into "Am," and the weight is gone. i don't have to carry anything because I Am everything. This is what Christ-Consciousness meant when he said, "My yoke is easy, my burden is light."

At this very moment, there are countless conscious beings who are more miserable and afraid than you are, and countless conscious beings who are more joyful and enlightened. Yet they are all You, for You are consciousness itself: clear, self-luminous, unlimited space containing all others, all worlds of hell and heaven, in addition to this tiny reference point you call "i." Thus you have immediate access to the suffering and the ecstasy of the entire cosmos.

You can breathe in the darkness of this and many other worlds, tenderly holding their pain in your heart, for your silent heart is a space wider than any suffering. The weariness you enfold in that space is not just your personal weariness; it is the weariness of all sentient beings. In your heart, embrace all suffering without fear. Transmute that weight into the weightless pure luminosity You Are. Then breathe out Compassion through every cell of your body.

Likewise, You can breathe in the radiance of the sun, the stars, the brilliance of creation's first day, the splendor of myriad celestial kingdoms. For they are all waves and bubbles of the one oceanic being You Are. Breathe perfect Light into the crystal Christ-All center of your heart. Be utterly and finally illumined this instant. Now, breathe out Beauty through every cell of your body.

It's no fun being separate when you can be All, when you can be part of the bright Cloud of Witnesses, the Communion of Saints, that envelopes the earth.

Happy All Saints Day!
November 1, 2009

Coming Out As God



For a long time, I've been harboring doubts about my humanity. After deep soul searching, I've figured out who I really am. I've decided to come out of the closet and share my true human identity. I am God.

Don't be shocked. There are more of us in your life than you ever imagined. We're your brothers and sisters, your sons and daughters, even your parents. Some say as many as one out of every ten human beings is God. I think it's more. I think there's God in all of us.

Just because I'm God doesn't make me any less human than you. I will no longer hide my divinity under feelings of shame, inferiority, and sin. I will celebrate being me, fully human and fully divine, just like my brother, Jesus.

On the surface, I may get confused and unhappy now and then, but deep down inside, where it counts, I know who I am. I Am. I Am Being. I Am God.

Are you sure you aren't God too?

8/30/2009

The Way of the Wizard

Wizards utilize the power of uncertainty. When we are unsure, we often seek certainty in the mind and become limited by our beliefs. But wizards regard the Uncertain as a deep ocean of Possibility: an opportunity to sink from the mind into the heart. There, in the heart's core-silence, wizards operate through pure intuition, free from the bondage of thought and belief.

We are all wizards.

The Human


The world is a theater of mirrors, all wildly tossing one image from emptiness to emptiness, in a sea of clarity. That is how God dances, remaining motionless, and the One expresses multitudes. Souls, devas, angels and demons: all reflections of the same divine Likeness, many from one for the sake of love.

Almighty Father casts his reflection in the mirror of his own consciousness: that image is Mother Divine. The Mother reflects herself in the mirror her own consciousness: that image is the Creator. Every soul is the image of another, cast in consciousness, spilling through spaces of infinite possibility down stairways of reflection, until a brilliant beam awakens as You, staring every which way and wondering, "Who am I?" Don't you remember now? You are the original Light.

Great Mother, Creatrix and Theotokos, gives birth to souls, angels, Avatars and Bodhisattvas in the multiversal unfolding lotus of light, petals within petals, all born from one Seed, all finished and perfected in the very same Seed where they are born. That Eternal Seed is both beginning and end.

Dante described this cosmic lotus as the 'Heavenly Rose' of his Paradisio: a flower containing the hierarchy of angels, saints and liberated souls terraced in radiant rainbow shades of white light, tones of celestial harmony, tiers of bliss, up-spilling toward one center, a luminous cruciform stamen, shape of the human body, arms outstretched to embrace creation, welcoming all sentient beings into the Sacred Heart.

It matters not whether we call this form the Mystical Body of Christ, the Adam Kadmon of Jewish Kabbala, or Krishna, the transcendental form of the formless. They reveal one and the same secret:

As divinity illuminates the
inmost core of the human heart, so Humanity illuminates the inmost core of the Divine. This is the double reflection of God and Man, the meaning of our creation "in the image and likeness of God."

Never doubt that God has become You so that You can become God.


No Need



The ocean is the waves. The waves are the ocean. The one has no need to become two. It is already two. The two have no need to become one. They are already one.

To dwell in this No-Need, just seeing how the other is already yourself, is enlightenment without practice.

Where's the Should?


"He who expects nothing enjoys everything," said St. Francis of Assisi.

When the world doesn't meet our expectations, is the problem in the world or the mind? Our mind imposes expectations on the present moment from the storehouse of past impressions. We pick the best of the past and project it as "hope." When experience conforms to our hope, we call it "good." When it doesn't, we call it "bad." Granting authority to the past, we live in a constant conflict between the way the world is and the way we remember it. This is suffering: the conflict between the present and the past, between what Is and what Should be.

Suffering is irresponsible: a failure to respond. Suffering happens when we get so stuck in how it should be that we can't respond to how it is. Pain, of course, is inevitable. But suffering is a choice: a choice to prefer the past.

When we drop our expectations, what happens? We eliminate suffering before it arises. We relieve the tension between past and present. We become instantly alert, energetic, and sensible. We acquire response-ability for the Now.

Do I have enough courage to renounce the authority of the past, with its Should?

Have you ever wondered where Should comes from? I may feel that it comes from inside, but how did it get there? Fear of someone outside drove that Should deep within me, until I thought it must be my own voice and my guide. But the true guide, deeper than thinking, at the very source of mind, is not the voice of Should but the voice of silence. There is no Should in silence.

The silence of awareness is there before a single word arises. True guidance is voiceless. I know that I make the right decision, not because I hear a voice saying "thou shalt" or "thou shalt not," but because I feel a centering, a release of tension in the heart, the warmth of inward home-coming.

Real renunciation means dropping the Should, so that we may live in what St. Francis called "perfect joy." Renunciation isn't wearing a robe or living in a cave, but opening our hearts to the naked miraculous terrible ecstatic world that Is, just as it Is, without any expectations, without any ground to stand on but Now.

Ano Raniyan


Stunning new Hubble telescope images give us hope. Just to gaze at them is health insurance.

Is this vast space out there, or is it in here? Perhaps this is the trail of a quark in the nucleus of an atom at the tip of a neuron in your brain as you gaze at this very image and form a thought about it now. Why not?

"O Nature and O soul of man!" writes Melville in Moby Dick, "how far beyond all utterance are your linked analogies! Not the smallest atom stirs or lives on matter, but has its cunning duplicate in mind." So declare the Upanishads of ancient India, "Ano raniyan mahato mahiyan: One atom of the smallest is greater than the greatest." The empty space between electrons firing neuropeptides through a synapse in your hypothalamus enfolds golden galaxies of starry intelligent virtual light. You make the universe conscious. You are the miracle. You are God's body, born to manifest a uniquely unfolding image of the total creation.

Don't you remember? Who taught you otherwise? To conceive of yourself as anything less is the original sin.

Parenting



Unconditional Love contains both Yes and No.


Parenting is tricky. For years I thought I was in an advanced state of Buddhic non-attachment. Now I realize my parents put me in time-out and I'm still there. On the other hand, the children of blissed-out New Agers I know are mostly brats. And they're all named Ananda, which is depressing. Is the boy pictured here in time-out? Or is he a child of the New Age, whose parents allow him to urinate in my living room?

It really doesn't matter. However we parent them, our children turn out to be who they are. They manage to survive us, and they survive every new theory of parenting pretty much unscathed. So stop worrying about parenting and just be YOU with your kids. If your child is really a beam of God's light - and I hope you believe your child is a beam of God, or why bother to have a child at all? - then how can you diminish God in any way by sticking Her in a corner? Maybe God is a brat who needs a little discipline now and then, just as a jewel needs polishing to bring out the radiance.

My Guru Maharshi Mahesh used to say, "Mother is at home." It was one of his favorite expressions. It means that, no matter what happens, Mother is here and things work out just as they need to. To experience how deeply Mother is at home, WE need to be at Om. We need to be at rest in the Source. Then we can parent by just Being.

Don't fret about the when and how of parenting. There's no script. When Anna and I had our first child, people gave us all the latest parenting books. They made us neurotic. So we threw them away and embarked on the wondrous adventure of being unique parents to our own unique child. Which we already were.

The only parenting book worth reading is the one written in your heart, the one that is about your child and no one else's. And please don't practice Unconditional Love: not in my house. We had good friends who came to visit us with their toddler. They were playing Jesus-parent. The kid wandered around knocking over porcelain vases, dropping glasses of juice on our rug, and spreading grape jelly fingerprints on the living room walls, while mom sat there smiling blissfully. But her bliss was artificial: it was not in harmony with the environment. Real bliss would have said "No!"

Unconditional love contains both Yes and No. Unconditional love is not a practice. It is a state of Being that encompasses whatever practice is needed in the moment. Such love includes hugs and kisses, reprimands and regulations, or appropriate discipline. Love is like the clear pure space that contains the clouds, which come and go within it. Space remains still, but the clouds can get stormy.

You can BE unconditional love, but you cannot DO it. Why? Because all doing is conditioned and relative to what has already been done. Doing is the field of karma. Unconditional love is completely separate from karma. This is why Jesus taught, "My kingdom is not of this world." And, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." This sounds like a total cop-out until you discover that there are two realms: the absolute and the relative, the Purusha (or universal soul) and Prakriti (or nature). Prakriti is the mirage, Purusha is the still space in which the mirage dances. They are ultimately one, but in our daily experience, they are separate.

Unconditional love is always at rest in the silence of the Parusha. But Prakriti is an endless churning storm of conditioning, karmic action and reaction. What's this have to do with parenting? Well, it turns out that parenting is an advanced school for learning these truths: much more advanced than sitting in a cave in the Himalayas and meditating all day! The enlightened parent surrounds her child with pure Being. Yet simultaneously she performs the action appropriate to the occasion. The parent learns to BE unconditional love while DOING conditional karma. She does not confuse being with doing. For if one makes that mistake, either love diminishes or action is ineffective.

But, hell, we're not enlightened! We make mistakes all the time. The realm of karma IS the realm of mistakes. The truth is, if Mother is at Om in your heart, what happens in the realm of karma doesn't really matter. It's bound to happen. So let Heather have a frigging Hostess Twinkie once in awhile. Or stick her in the corner for two minutes. And don't worry if she hears somebody yell, "Fuck!" The field of karma is never the field of perfection. Perfection lies only within the heart, where Mother is at Om.

Your child will remember your little mistakes and laugh about them some day. How often my daughters tell me, "Dad, you were so worried about insanely small stuff. We thought you were stupid. But we knew one thing: no matter how many stupid things you did, you loved us."

I was a klutz, but my kids turned out to be perfectly who they are. Children are the most adaptable forgiving unstuck graceful beings on earth. THEY DON'T NEED OUR PERFECTION. And I guarantee you, whoever you want your child to be, your child will be somebody else.

Just be at home in the heart, Mother. Just be at Om, Father. Who cares if you mess up now and then? It's called humanity. Your children will forgive you. All that really matters is, YOU WERE THERE.

Give yourself some credit for just showing up. Give yourself credit for just Being.

Dropping Mythology



When I question my assumptions, I glimpse my mythology. When I see through my mythology, which is all about getting the past "right" by repeating it in the future, I let my story dissolve like mist in the clear air of the present moment.

This is "viveka," discrimination. Viveka leads to freedom, freedom to dwell in presence, freedom to drop every story about a tragic or heroic "me" from the past who will return. Then who is left to be offended, avenged, forgiven or redeemed? Who needs to be saved? From what?

Happier Than Thou


Happiness happens. When it happens, I can be happy. When it doesn't, I can just be.

Being happy and being sad are two flavors of the same being. Why insist on being happy? Insist on being.

The irony is, being sad is happier than needing to be happy. Being is fullness. Needing is lack.

In the competitive marketplace of New Age spirituality, happiness sells. Has "happier than thou" replaced "holier than thou"? Permanent happiness is an emotional flat-line invented by pharmaceutical corporations. Whoever said you shouldn't have mood swings? Moods have phases like the moon. Let them come and go: they're not who you really are. Behind moon changes, a changeless sun. So, behind mental or emotional states, a stillness that has nothing to do with happy or sad. It is your core-silence, the silent stillness of Being. Give yourself a break from the labor of maintaining a happy-face. Once in awhile, disobey New Age doctrine. Have M&M's for breakfast, and embrace whatever mood swings your way.

Why is happiness the indicator of spirituality, any more than courage, intelligence, psychic ability, or a positive ratio of muscle mass to body fat? Making any one factor the test of enlightenment is a desperate escape from the final truth that life is simply as it is. Sometimes you feel happy, sometimes sad. So what? Why get stuck in the task of making it all feel the same?

Deeply spiritual souls can struggle with chronic depression. If you're one of them, it's rather insulting to be told you should always be happy. Vapid materialists can be chronically cheerful. Maybe it's in their designer genes.

Genius knows loneliness as well as inspiration. The world's greatest artists sometimes sense the nameless grief. Israel's prophets felt the suffering of multitudes. Jesus was "a man of sorrows." Yet moments of sorrow did not prevent him from bestowing the heart's deepest peace upon his friends.

If we are too blissed-out to feel the ache of Iraq and Afghanistan, the pangs of Dharfur, the groan of oceans stressed, threatened streams, burning skies, cries of earth, and "the still sad music of humanity," then we are using a false happiness to numb the heart. This is not real ananda, real bliss. Real ananda breathes the world in, breaks the heart open, and breathes out compassion.

While Walking


The following practices will stop the mind while you take a walk, delivering attention from the artificial world of thought into the Radiance of immediate perception.
When we walk in Grace we don't practice anything. But the egoic mind wants to take over and DO something. We yearn to walk in Grace, and we know how vain it is to practice any "technique." But what should we do about this mind that keeps getting in the way?
We trick it. We trick this ego by giving it exactly what it wants: something to do. Offer the mind something which short-circuits its thinking and annihilates its effort. Then the mind is dumb-struck, thoughtless, and capable of only one thing: observing. These practices are given simply to sabotage our ambition, to stop our thinking so that we can notice what is.
Every spiritual practice, ritual, or meditation is only this: an act of sabotage. Spiritual practices have one purpose: to stop the mind. There is no other value to any religious technique whatsoever.
Between the eye and the earth, thought throws up its gray world of distraction. God is only real, as experience, when there is no thought of "God." In the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, Jesus says, "The kingdom of heaven is poured out all over the earth, but men do not see it." If you stop thinking, you will see the face of Christ in the swirling pond-water of a disappearing tadpole, or in the wing of the moth you mistook a moment ago for a withered pod.
Short-circuit thinking and awaken to a world that doesn't depend on the vanity of our speculation. Let the landscape settle back into its miracle, revealing the Kingdom which has always been right here.
1. Place
Find a place near your home or work where you can walk among green plants, useless rocks, still water, dripping rain or running stream. Suppose we say that it is the responsibility of each citizen to connect with such a place for walking. This would be the first rule of a healthy civilization.
2. Moving Stillness
Have you ever noticed pure space? Not the objects in space, but space itself? Pure space cannot be noticed by eye or ear: it is noticed by committing an intentional act of naked awareness. Often this happens when we travel to the great plains or the desert: we notice space as space, and it is breath-taking. But confined to the cubicles of our daily work, and the smaller cubicles of thought, we lose all sense of spaciousness. Yet we can practice spaciousness while taking a walk. Then we can bring some of that spacious, boundless quality back to our work place, and our relationships.
Anger, fear and envy require some inner space in which to be seen, to dissipate and to dissolve. Inner spaciousness is the setting of forgiveness. Where will we acquire that inward space?
Walk in wild places. Walk slowly. Become aware of the space around you as an immense sea of living force, more substantial than the objects it contains. This is a shift of foreground-background. Space becomes foreground, the things in space, background.
Now become aware of the movement of your body into the stillness of space. You are not entering space: space is drawing you, opening a way for your body to fill it. Depth of space welcomes you by expanding. It is not your effort that moves you, but the expansion of space that pulls you into its silent vacuum... This is motionless walking.

Let the movements of your body rise and fall in stillness. Observe motion in stillness and stillness in motion. Is there an edge between your movement and the still space around you? Notice the threshold where stillness trembles into motion, and motion settles into repose. This is the threshold where you float on God's breath. You are a secret wave rolling through the silence of the sea. You no longer move yourself: you are moved by Grace.
3. Divine Space
There is an ancient Tibetan saying, "Emptiness engenders compassion." Have you ever considered that what we call "God" is not "above" or "within," but present in space around you? Have you ever considered that space may be conscious? Why limit yourself by assuming otherwise? When you were a child, it was the most natural thing in the world to assume that the space around you was the mind of God. Have you considered that the objective world of things may exist simply to make us aware of the space around them, so that we may awaken to the Presence of the Divine?
Walk slowly into stillness. As you become conscious of space, allow space to be conscious of you, enfolding you in its care. Let space envelope your body as a sea of living compassion. This experience is available without the slightest religious belief or intellectual analysis. All you need to do is agree to become aware.
Now see the stones on your path, the weeds, trees, children, clouds, all bathed and submerged in the translucent waters of divine love, the living power of space.
4. Hearing Silence
Just as you shifted your attention from objects in space to space itself, you can shift your attention from sounds to silence. Become aware of silence, not by resisting noises but by hearing them. Hear the subtlest, the most distant sounds. Hear the quietness between one bird's chirp and the next. A single thrush's cry can clear the weather of your thoughts. A cricket can dispel the mind. When you are really listening to that cricket, you cannot be anywhere else but here, now. There can be no time past or future when there is a cricket.
Allow a foreground-background shift in your listening. Let sounds become backround as silence condenses into the primary texture of your sensation. You can hear the silence even while threads of sound arise and dissolve within it.
This too, a threshold: between sound and silence, where a constant subliminal song arises from the elements, the wind, the rain, the earth. The song is there even in the distant swish of city traffic. Beneath each creature-melody, a basso continuo. Hear that silence and you are in the beginning, at the first moment of creation, where the world is spoken from silence.

5. One Color
Become aware of a single color. Choose a color, any color. As you walk, see the vibrancy of that one color, its infinite variety, all around you. Notice that color in trunk bark, clouds on water, swathes of field weed. Be Van Gogh on a country road outside of Arles, finding purple in a stone, or pink in cow manure, blue in the summer wheat. This exercise will sharpen your spiritual eye. As Jesus taught, "The eye is the light of your body. When your eye is single, your whole body is full of light!"
When you walk in the forest, try this exercise with the color green. How many shades of green do you see? You'll be stunned as you wander through the dimensions, the corridors, the cathedral vaults of green. In the 10th Century, Hildegaard of Bingen described the Holy Spirit as "greening power." As she walked in deep forests along the river Rhine, she saw God all around her.


6. One Thing
A Sufi proverb says, "The fools! They ask for miracles when they are surrounded by nothing else!" There is no greater miracle than a Thing. Any Thing. How does it emerge from space? How do quadrillions of sub-nuclear particles maintain its form? Was it created in the past? Or is it created now, as a continuous particle-stream emitted from the vacuum of space? If the Thing was created in the past, what living energy makes it continue to be present? If the Thing is created now, it must be alive with the breath of its creator, even if it is a stone. Ask these questions about any Thing you look at or hold in your hand. Perhaps it is the smallest flower, or a smooth pebble.
In his journal, painter Andrew Wyeth writes: "I can never get close enough to an object, or inside of it enough." Quantum physics reveals an inner world of resonant frequencies underlying the world of apparently inanimate objects. No thing is inanimate. The pebble is a cosmos. Stupendous energies burst and dissolve in it's atoms. Every proton was fashioned in a star. I told a kindergarten child that a stone is alive. When she told her teacher, the child got in trouble. I don't think the teacher was alive.
Every atom of this pebble vibrates with the same architectural intelligence that designed our galaxy. In scale, the atom contains shimmering light-years of consciousness. Medieval theologians understood this. Pondering the "quidity," the "whatness" of a Thing, they saw angels dancing in a neutron. We joke about it. We are blind.
James Joyce wrote of "the ineluctable modality of the visible." The world ripples with miracle in the suchness of Things as they are. A robin's egg contains the sky. A thistle is filled with the stuff of suns. Every toddlers knows that leaves are shot with golden photons of Apollo. See like Issa, the Japanese haiku master: the whole earth is yours the moment you enter a dewdrop. If you can't find God in the wing of a gnat, you will never find God in heaven. Take a walk and look at a Thing.
In your primary attention, observe the space around the Thing, the Thing itself only in periphery. Let empty space solidify into consciousness. See the Thing bathed in living awareness. You are not only observing your own awareness of the Thing; you are observing God's awareness of creation.
Gradually allow your attention to shift back to the edge of the Thing in space. Observe that edge dissolve into atoms of air. Can you observe that there are really no boundaries? Mathematicians tell us that objects don't end at their apparent edges: they infuse through fractal geometry the air around them, extending to infinity. Zeno was right: there's a never-ending distance between the hand and the Thing it tries to touch. Our fingers are asymptotes. "If the doors of perception were open, we would see all things as they are: infinite." (William Blake)
As you observe this liminal threshold between the Thing and the space around it, let your gaze soften. Become aware of the aureole around the edges of the Thing, just as you might see a glow around a flame. Move your gaze to the object, then back to the space around it, until your attention settles in the radiant vibrancy between them. You are exploring the realm where Spirit becomes matter. You are perceiving the breath of God at work in creation.
Don't concern yourself whether this aura is objectively "real" or just a "trick" of the eye. Such questions will only invite your mind to chatter. Instead, silently observe the creative spiritual shimmer at the threshold of Thingness.
Practice this for a minute or two, then resume your walk. As you familiarize yourself with this mode of seeing, it begins to happen spontaneously while walking. Eventually, it happens in the crowded market place. Now you are ready to look at people!
7. Seeing People
As Blake wrote: "We are set on earth a little space to learn to bear the beams of love."
While sitting in a doctor's waiting room, or on a subway, or walking in a busy market, observe a Person just as you observed a Thing. You have seen the living energy of a flower, a leaf, a stone in the woods. What does the living energy of a Person look like? Even if the Person seems hostile, strange, threatening, observe the space around them. Gradually shift your attention to that threshold between form and space, at the periphery of the Person's face. See the lively edge around the Person's head, the shimmer of life between their body and the space that enfolds it. After practicing this for a few moments, shift your gaze gently to the Person's face.
You will see that face in a new way, bathed by an inner light. You will see, glowing through the outer form, the inwardness that makes that Thing a person. You will see something of the child who once inhabited that form, glimmering beneath layers of regret, etchings of sorrow. The empty space of your awareness will enfold that Person's face in spontaneous compassion. You will know that Person as perfect, right in this moment.
Even if, especially if, you are in a difficult relationship, and the other person is angry or afflicted, practice this gazing. You don't need to listen to what the Person is saying. At that moment of tension, what they say doesn't matter anyway. Just embrace their countenance with awareness, God's awareness. Let the motion of their anger and pain be enfolded by the stillness of pure space. You will not only save your mind from entanglement: you will soften and illuminate the their world. This is how to deal with another person's anger: as you would deal with a flower in the silence of the forest.