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

Edge


A Word that leads to the edge
of language, whispering,
Leap!

A sigh on the edge of the heart
wondering, What if
there is no ground?

What if this all happens in free-fall
and there will never be
anything to stand on?

What if we stepped off the edge
of the heart into silence,
this mysterious glow?

Don't you think the twig of plum
would burst it's purple vein of sap
without us?

Don't you think the eye unsheathed
like a scimitar would cut
to the naked bone of things?

Things that until now
only the deer and cougar could see:
the pulse and flow

Of luminous blood in soft bodies
who do not know
they are food.

The mist of wisdom swirling
in the newborn's breath
as a cry of forgetfulness.

The Eye of the cougar staring back
from the forest
inside.

Does AM Need An I?

I Am. Does the verb need a noun? Does Am need I? Why?

To this question, one friend answered: "Yes, because you need an observer. We give am/existance agency."

To which another replied: "No! You don't need an observer. The identification of pure consciousness with mind creates an
I and this is confounded with consciousness. When the identification ceases, then there is pure consciousness but no self. Everything - objects, thoughts, feelings - is still there, but there is no I that claims it for itself. There is witnessing, but no witness. For example, we say, 'It is raining.' But what is the it that is doing the raining? There is no it that rains. Just, raining. So it is with us!"

Are not both of these answers brilliant? I would say, both are right!

Existence celebrates existence by observing its Self, delight in its Self, and thus producing an
I to see with. The problem is not this glorious Self-observation, when One dances as Two and a momentary I is produced. The problem comes when this I attempts to give itself duration, to fix itself as a permanent construct, separate from the original existence. When we insist on being a permanent I, separate from the whole existence, our suffering begins. We are haunted by a constant sense that something is wrong, something is broken: for we have broken ourselves off from existence.

Can we let each momentary
I be like a snowflake, uniquely appearing yet instantly dissolving? Can we be like a sparkle of light on the ocean waves, dancing for a moment, then dissolving into the radiance of the sun?
I am never one moment old. I keep dissolving my spark back into the sun. Yet the sun keeps dancing, generating new sparkles of I. There is absolutely no difference between creation and destruction. This is Shiva's grace. Shiva sparkles as I, his Shakti, his dancing partner. Shiva becomes me for an instant, just to recognize Himself through another. This dance of Self-recognition is bliss, ananda.

Bliss is eternal, and it only lasts an instant.

I or Am?


What do I mean when I say, I AM? Why two words and not one? Is the 'I' distinct from AM?

'I' am the crucified martyred hero of this melodrama. But AM is the chorus of life itself. In classical drama, the chorus observes the action, reflecting wisdom from the experience of the separate 'I.' For 'I,' the story tragedy. But for AM, the same story is comedy.

For the Greeks, tragedy meant a story ending in destruction and death. So in the story of 'I,' the separate ego, each moment seems shadowed with foreboding. Comedy, on the other hand, meant a story that turns out well, despite occasional moments of darkness and despair.

When 'I' experience this story as 'mine,' there is a continual feeling that, 'This is not going well: something bad is about to happen.' But through this very same drama, the comic AM can sense the abiding felicity of love. Love knows without without rationalizing, 'All will be well.' Some of Shakespeare's greatest comedies are filled with tragic plot elements, yet all's well that ends well. Dante called his dark awful journey to God through hell and purgatory, 'The Divine Comedy.' Agtha Christy expressed the comic spirit when she wrote: 'I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.'

Is your life comic or tragic? Are your days pervaded by a brooding sense that something is wrong? Or do you sense through it all the hidden message that Christ whispered to the 14th Century English mystic, Dame Julien of Norwich: 'Sin is necessary. But all will be well, and all will be well, and every manner of thing will be well'?

Einstein said there is one fundamental question for humanity: 'Is the universe a friendly place?' Martin Luther King believed that, despite all the tragedies of being black in America, 'The arc of the moral universe tends toward justice.'

Of course, there are moments when, 'Something is wrong,' and we need to act. Those moments arise, not as curses, not as obstacles, but as situations that evoke our creativity and care. But if our life is pervaded with this sense that, 'Something is wrong,' even when we have much to be thankful for, then the 'I' is at work, turning the blessing of life into its own dark melodrama. And the ego accomplishes this dark magic through one simple device: thinking. The very thought that this wholeness, this total existence, happens to an 'I,' and it is 'My' existence, creates separation from the wholeness, separation from the totality. And this separateness is an all-pervading sense of alienation, of 'sin,' of something terribly wrong that 'I' have done, or you have done to 'me.'

Yet at any moment, no matter how dire the occasion, 'I' have the freedom to rest as AM, to become the wholeness of Being, whose nature is love. This, in the end, is my only freedom: to regard the arc of my story as tragedy or comedy.

Hence the great testimonies of spiritual liberation often come from prisons rather than mansions and meadows. In prison, the prisoner loses every freedom, every choice, but Awareness. St. Paul, George Fox (the first Quaker), Dostoevsky, Solschenizyn, Gandhi, Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King: all realized freedom in the prison cell, communicating their expanded vision from physical confinement. This is the meaning of the Cross: Jesus crucified, Christ-Consciousness freed.

Radical as it may sound, there is no other freedom. All relative freedoms - political, economic, psychological - are conditioned and temporal. Conditional freedom can disappear in the twinkling of an eye. The earthquake, the terrorist bomb, the cancer, may befall me any time. But in the moment of terror for this 'I,' even at the hour of my death, AM is possible....

The reader may protest. The reader may be quite angry: 'Don't intellectualize human suffering with such metaphysics!'

But the choice to rest as Awareness, is not an act of the intellect or a metaphysical luxury, because it is an act of Being, not thought. To rest as Awareness, even in the moment of terror, is our final defense against terrorism. It is the soul's ultimate survival skill: liberating the fearful little 'I' into the abiding presence and ever-expanding power of AM.

This is the only survival skill that finally works, even at the moment death.

Wave

A wave is coming. Don't be afraid. It washes away the past. It changes the old into the new, brittle light to deep darkness, deep darkness into splendor.

A wave is coming. Don't be afraid. It demolishes governments, sweeps away debts, levels men and women. Don't be afraid. All that is left is sisterhood, brotherhood, children of the Great Mother.

A wave is coming. Don't be afraid. It destroys corporations, bureaucracies, parties both Left and Right. A wave is coming, dissolving ideology. It knocks down synagogues, churches, mosques; obliterates towers, hierarchies, priesthoods. Don't be afraid.

A wave is coming, drowning princes in their chariots, stripping away the generals' power, tumbling and polishing tanks and bombs like pieces of amber, until they sparkle in the sun like ancient plough shares, pruning hooks.

Don't be afraid. We will stand naked under streams of purifying water. We will be baptized in awareness. A wave is coming.

A cleansing wave engulfs the world, hitting hard the hard heart to soften and heal. This wave, now - don't be afraid. This is the wave of love.

Om Prema Sai.

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!

Reclaiming Our Light



I am the final spiritual authority in my life. A God, Guru or Scripture only has authority over my mind because I consent to believe. The believer is the only person who can bestow power and authority to the belief.

As I project my shadow on another to make him my enemy, so I project my divinity on another to make him my Master. No holy book is holy until the reader imparts the aura of holiness to its words. A Jew venerates the Torah, regarding the Qu'ran as paper and ink. Yet the Muslim sees God in every letter of that same Qu'ran. A Christian sees divinity in the form of Jesus, a Hindu in the form of Krishna. Yet both experience exactly the same inner light. God reigns over the heart by the consent of the governed. Spirituality is democracy, not monarchy.

Jesus was crucified not just for declaring, "I am the light of the world," but for declaring, "YOU are the light of the world." What sort of world will this be when we reclaim our own light, instead of giving it away to old men and old books?

I love my Guru. I love my scripture. I love Christ. But I am weened.

I no longer cling to the Master out of desperate need for a surrogate parent. Clinging destroys devotion. I have learned that the radiance of one Self enfolds both I and Thou. Reclaiming the light of my own divinity liberates the Guru to be my friend, liberates the scripture to be my love song, liberates God to be my Beloved.

And where do I find the Beloved?

The Beloved is not just the Avatar or the Guru. The Beloved is this ordinary person who is suddenly extraordinary because our eyes truly meet, this animal I encounter in the ancient forest, this tree who grows outside my window, whispering of Spring. I meet the Beloved wherever I may be, because I Am the the Beloved. The other is my sacred reflection.

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..

Who Is the Beloved?

The Beloved is not just God or Guru. The Beloved is the ordinary person who is suddenly extraordinary because your eyes truly meet, this animal you encounter in the forest, this tree growing outside your window, whispering of Spring. You meet the Beloved wherever you may be, because you are the Beloved. The Other is your sacred reflection.


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.

8 Principles of Eco-Spirituality


These are some major shifts in consciousness that define the dawning Earth-centered religion of the Great Mother. These eight principles will already be familiar to Native Americans and other tribal cultures, to Wiccans, Neo-Pagans, Yogis, Goddess devotees, and to progressive Jews and Christians who incorporate these themes into their religious practice. In fact, these principles were found in the early days of the Church and Jewish tribal religion.

When Jesus prayed, "On Earth as in Heaven," he was chanting an Earth-centered prayer. When he enacted his central sacrament, he invited his disciples to find God in bread and fruit. Jesus gave the bread and wine to his disciples, saying, "This is my body." Can't get more organic, more body-conscious, more Earth-centered than that!

1) The Mother aspect of God is magnified. Male prophets and 'avatars' like Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad, are all her sons. She is their womb, the silence, the emptiness, the fertile darkness, that generates the light of the cosmos. She is the dark empty center of every galaxy and every atom. Mystics experience her within as pure consciousness, the thought-free space from which thoughts arise. Physicists call her the zero-point, the vacuum state, from which particles of matter arise as vibrations of silence.

2) The Circle of equality replaces the pyramid of hierarchy. The Circle is zero, empty yet full, the null mathematical set that generates infinity. The Circle is the womb. Pyramids point skyward, beyond themselves, but the Circle refers to its own center. The Circle is a form of political organization that dispels the pyramid of patriarchal hierarchy. In the Circle, all points are equidistant from the center. All members of the Circle are equal.

3) The Body is the temple of worship. The body is not an obstacle on the path, but the path itself. Worship is not an out-of-body experience but an integration of cosmic awareness with the human form on Earth. The organs in the body are portals to spiritual realms. The goal is not a world beyond the body. The goal is to explore worlds of the Gods within the body. The techniques of Yoga are the means of worship. Bodily functions are sacramental. To breathe is to pray. To eat is to sacrifice. To serve the bodies of others -- those who are sick, or hungry, or poor -- is to serve God.

4) Earth replaces Heaven as the focus of ceremony. We do not call light down from above, but inspire the heart to illuminate matter. Ritual no longer implores help from beings in higher worlds, but irradiates the Earth with the divine energy, the Shakti, who indwells our own nervous systems. Through our ceremonies we do not ask a third party to bless the world. Our own innate divinity blesses and heals the mineral, vegetable, animal, and angelic life of this planet.

5) Matter is not separate from Spirit. Spirit is now cognised as the radiance of Matter, the conscious life of sub-nuclear forces impelling the evolution of bodies from within.

6) Sound replaces written word as the vehicle of sacred Wisdom. Words of scripture are no longer revered for their intellectual content, but for their sound-vibration (shabda). Ceremonies center not on readings, but chantings. Sound itself is regarded as a form of divinity, a means of healing, and a pathway of return to the source of creation in silence. We regard the universe, not as a solid material structure, but as a living symphony.

7) You are your highest spiritual authority. There is now a profound shift in the concept of authority. World-wide religious authorities vanish. Earth empowers her citizens to form local worship circles, appointing the local shaman as worship leader. The power of the local shaman is sufficient to the circle. No appeal to a national or world institution is required. Any member of the Circle can function as shaman. We outgrow the adulation of international gurus, priestly authorities and popes, which is rooted in the need for a surrogate mommy or daddy. In the coming age, we no longer experience our spiritual path as a deepening surrender to a guru, but a deepening relationship with our own inner divinity.

8) The Guru is within. The external guru, in the form of another person, is someone who ignites the fire of the guru within. We honor special inspiring teachers, but as our Inner Light grows and overflows, we begin to see everyone we meet as a teacher, and every encounter with another living being as the occasion for awakening. We revere the same God in others that we worship in ourselves.

I am God evolving into a human being. So are you. Our spiritual practice is simply to remind each other of who we really are.

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 Christmas Dead

(For Those Who Don't Always Find It Merry)

Christmas dinner: a sumptuous and glittering affair! A handful of the living gathered at the table with a hundred hungry ghosts, the family ancestors. As the living pass giblet gravy to one another, the dead pass the living to one another, until all are devoured.

Christmas has deep inner significance, but it often degenerates into an occasion for the living to celebrate the rituals of the dead, who do not feed on our flesh but on our emotional bodies.

As you sit down to the feast, remember, you don't have to be your mother. You don't have to propitiate your father. You don't have to make offerings, or become one, to your granny or grandpa. There are none on earth more childish, self-centered, and petulant than the dead. You are not here to cater to their inner whining. You are absolved from any priest-like duty to re-enact the ceremonies of their guilt and sorrow. If you choose to be free, you are absolutely free now, free of the past.

So when you feel the shadow fall upon you, lay down your napkin and stand up. Escort the shadow to the door and open it widely. Say in a loud stern voice, "I regret to inform you that this is my home, not yours. You had your chance in this world. This chance is mine. Please go."

Now firmly shut the door and return to your supper. Sit down in your one brief glorious body of densely perfected light, and using your own voice, say, "Pass the cranberry sauce, darling."

You will find that this voice is finally not that of a child, but an adult. The children are gone. The hungry ghosts, the ghosts of Christmas past, are departed.

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!

12/12/2009

Root


Paul Heussenstamm, Mandala Art


A white swan
settles on the still lake
of my heart
seeking the seed
of your Name...

Shivo'ham!

The luminous blossom
containing the seed
floats here,
but its long sinuous stem
springs from black mud
there
at the bottom.

Every beauty, every radiance
is rooted
in the Dark.

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.

12/08/2009

Grace Needs No Practice

(Originally published in the Quaker journal, 'What Canst Thou Say')

The wings of contemplation anoint me in moments of grace, when I have no intention to meditate. Only then do I understand all those instructions I received from meditation masters! I oame to realize something so liberating, yet so threatening to us spiritual practitioners:

Our bodies were initiated into the deepest path the moment we were born. We are permitted to taste and see the Lord's sweetness right here, in the anonymous sacraments of the commonplace, through our eyes, ears, nostrils, tongue and every flesh-thrill. But are we ready to live the incarnation of wonder?

I awake at dawn. For a few moments, before this mind, like the rustle of yesterday's newspaper, begins its habit of chatter, I am just awake: without thinking... I listen to the faintest sounds, and beyond them, to the throbbing depths of pure silence. I follow that throb to the horizon of hearing. When I am truly listening, there is no place but the present moment, and therefor no time. Then a robin troubles the universe...

Dawn's half-lit silence,
changed by the first robin's song
to deeper silence.

Nothing prevents me from doing this meditation each morning but one thing: the concept of "doing meditation."

On a work day afternoon, overloaded with busy projects, I take a short walk in the park. I glance up at the cloudless blue sky. How often have I looked at it: so available, costing nothing! Yet now, in a moment of grace, this blue-sky-gazing becomes profound meditation. Usually the sky is the backround of my thoughts. This time, I let thoughts fade into the backround of the sky. I don't suppress thoughts: I just attend to the marvelous blue, using the common gift of sight as my spiritual path. Intensely aware of the quality of that blue, the quality of boundlessness, the quality of radiant emptiness, I gaze until I pass through the vanishing point, these eyes completely untangled from objects. I am acutely aware, but unfocused on any thing. Hundreds of timy muscles relax in my face. The gentle smile I had when I was a sleeping infant returns to this old body. Then I close my eyes and discover.... the same vastness inside.

Sapphire emptiness:
I look at the deep sky,
yet gaze into my heart.

All my life, I've been climbing: toward higher states and higher status, pay raise, upward mobility, uplifting thoughts, up-scale neighborhood, higher standards, higher grades, higher tax brackets, looking for cloud nine, the risen life! No wonder I'm weary, always fighting gravity. But tonight I'll lie down, spread-eagled in the cool grass, gazing at the faint and distant unattainable stars. I could worry about tomorrow. What time do I have to get UP? Or, if I choose, I can take no thought for tomorrow. Just get down and stay here awhile, committing the great American sin: doing nothing.

My thoughts dissolve into mere sensations of the brain as I shift my attention to my body, its weight, the touch of the ground under me. Suddenly, a revelation: why did I never understand this before? I don't need to experience my body as "weight." I can sense it as a moving wave in the field of gravity. My body is a ripple in a vast swell of force that rolls across the ocean of the cosmos. I am awash in those star-waves, and they are part of me. They too are ripples in the same oceanic current. Earth's billow gathers me in, enfolds me in the curve of care, carries my body toward perpetual here-ness. Where does my flesh end and her's begin? As a suckling infant surrenders to its mother's breast after a fit of crying, I give myself to gravity. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust..." How strange that we save those words for our funerals...

I've stood up so long.
Now, star-dazed in the moist grass,
I am so fallen!

12/07/2009

The Other Church


The Savior says, "I am the Light." The Guru says, "You are the light." Which one will you follow? Why?

Both of them are right. It's just a matter of what you want. If you merely want salvation from the consequences of your past deeds, you follow the Savior. If you want to be filled with divine radiance, you follow the Guru.

Many know that Jesus said, "I am the Light." Few remember that Jesus said, "You are the Light." He was both a Savior and a Guru. Many came to him for salvation. A few came for enlightenment.

After Jesus was crucified, the church of the Savior attracted multitudes through a doctrine of salvation mixed with fear. "Join us and get saved. If you don't join us, you'll be punished in hell forever." But the church of the Guru attracted only a small group of seekers. This other church did not teach the fear of hell below, but the kingdom of heaven within.

The church of the Savior condemned and persecuted the church of the Guru. For nearly two thousand years, this other Church disappeared from the mainstream of history.

Now, in this age of enlightenment, the other church has returned. Many more are attracted to it than before. In fact, the church of the Guru, and not the church of the Savior, will define Christianity for the coming age.

Where is this other Church? You're in it now. It has no walls, no creeds, no hierarchy, no hell. It's sole mission is to awaken the Light of Christ in you.

12/06/2009

Joyful Atonement


We usually associate atonement with pain. But true atonement is joyful. In fact, atonement is joy itself. To understand this, we need to be clear about the original sin which demands atonement, the two-ness that requires at-0ne-ment through Joy.

Our original sin is a violent act of division at the heart of creation. We commit this violence in our very conception of reality. We divide subject from object, making two out of one. The atonement for this sin is Joy. Only Joy can at-one.

The violence is in the division, not the appearance, of subject and object. The appearance of two in one is delightful. Appearance of two is the dance of one. Duality is lila, playfulness of God. In each moment, even as the dance of subject and object appears, the two collapse into each others arms and dissolve into bliss, ananda. This perpetual dissolving of appearance into the reality can recharge our consciousness in every perception, regardless of its relative beauty or ugliness. What generates bliss is not the metaphysical meaning that our mind super-imposes on the event, but the physics of perception itself. For subject and object are both permeated by one continuum, which is pure consciousness. To experience this continuum in the midst of the dance is bliss.

Sir Arthur Eddington, founder of quantum physics, wrote: All through the physical world runs that unknown content which must surely be the stuff of our own consciousness. To make this an actual experience, we must focus the blur of two into one, dissolving the duality of soul-body, spirit-matter, creator-creation.
Less mind, more awareness. The problem is not the world, but the superimposition of our mind upon the world: our fears, beliefs and expectations. The art of perception lies in clearing the double-vision that separates the seer from the seen, so that we may experience the radiance of the ordinary. One needs no belief who sees God at the tip of a fern, incandescing the dewdrop.

An objection may occur: "Isn't it rather passive to dwell in pure perception without desiring change?" No, pure perception is a transformational sacrament, the sacrament of the commonplace. Nothing changes the world like seeing it as it is.

If two waves dance on the sea, we do not conclude that there are two oceans. Yet that is precisely how most of us interpret our perception of the world. We insist on a Self and a Not-Self. But our creator never intended the playful appearance of two to overshadow God's underlying unity. Failure to perceive the ocean beneath the waves is our fall into original sin, and the source of our sorrows. And our tenacious assumptions about this duality become the dogmas of our religion. True believers fight and kill to defend their double-vision. So the vertical double-vision of Self and Not-Self underlies all horizontal dualities that divide race, class, religion and nationality.

Once we insist that the division of subject and object is real, that primordial fault-line ripples through the mirror of our consciousness in an ever-widening fracture that blurs every relationship with division. The world's problems can never be solved by political action, but only by an act of consciousness. For the world's problems arise through a rupture in consciousness itself.

The eye is the light of the body. If your eye is single, your whole body will be filled with light. Thus Jesus confirmed that the solution to our world's suffering lies in restoring our vision. The healing of ruptured reality is Joy. Joy is the atonement for the sin of double-vision. Joy restores unity by collapsing subject and object, through every perception, into a moment of bliss.

Joy is the marriage of spirit and matter. Joy releases the tension in creation's heart, where world-conflict first begins. Joy is the reunion of the Seer and the Seen in that radiance where they both arise as waves of pure awareness.

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

Gods


"Yet dost thou, darker half, rock me with a prouder, if a darker faith. All thy unnamable imminglings float beneath me here; I am buoyed by breaths of once living things..." (Herman Melville, 'Moby Dick')

Beneath the fastidious doctrines of theology, the glib abstractions of non-dualism, and the blissful metaphysics of the New Age, under all our platitudes about the One, run ancient veins of myth and ritual, hidden caverns within us, where gods and goddesses still sport and contend, sacrifice and sing, die and rise as pulses of our inspiration, muses of our poetry and art, passions of our dance.

The irony is, when we read them literally as historical personalities, the gods are dead. But when we embrace them in the bio-physics of our primitive brains, they live. They dwell on the threshold between matter and consciousness, feeding us with nectar, ripening us until we are juicy. Without the gods, God would be pale.

If we acknowledge the gods inside us, we cannot claim to be exactly One. Yet if we claim to be exactly One, the gods drive us mad. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus warns, "Bring forth what is within you, and what you bring forth will save you. Do not bring forth what is within you, and what you do not bring forth will destroy you." He was talking about them. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living gods. Or a wonderful thing.

Any man has less to fear from a conscious Jezebel than from an unconscious Kali. Any woman has less to fear from a warrior, who knowingly chooses the way of the warrior, than from a soft and gentle man unwittingly possessed by a wrathful deity.

To appease unconscious gods, our ancestors once burned food and animal offerings on an alter. In today's more psychological terms, we appease our presiding deities by simply inviting the unconscious into awareness. When we welcome our gods, we release their message and their energy; they become useful forces in our lives. Our conscious embrace of long repressed gods immediately transforms demons into angels, integrating their gleaming faces into our personality. This work is heroic, priestly, and wise. It unites karma, bhakti, and jnana yoga.

The fathers of the Church knew all about this inner work of embracing old gods into the new self. To tap the wellsprings of human imagination, they built their great cathedrals on sites of pagan worship, embracing ancient goddesses like Brigid as saints, with all their miraculous stories. Their transparent ruse turned the feast of Mithras, on December 25, into Christmas, and the feast of Aphrodite into St. Valentine's day. Almost every Christian symbol originates in pagan cults, from cross to Christmas tree, from bread and wine to the beasts of the Apocalypse.

To tap the wellsprings of human imagination, the Church built its great cathedrals on sites of pagan worship, embracing ancient goddesses like Brigid as saints, with all their miraculous stories. In a transparent ruse, the Church turned the feast of Mithras, on December 25, into Christmas, and the feast of Aphrodite into St. Valentine's day! Almost every Christian symbol originates in pagan god or goddess cults, from cross to Christmas tree, from bread and wine to the beasts of the Apocalypse.

The gods are embedded in the very first verse of the Bible. When earth is created from "tohu wa bohu," the formless void, the creator is named "Elohim." This is the word for "God" throughout the Hebrew Bible. But the actual word for God in Hebrew is "El." "Elohim" is plural. The literal translation of the Bible's opening words is: "In the beginning, GODS created the heavens and the earth." No Bible scholar will deny this. They just won't talk about it.

Yes, the gods are the builders of the earth. As they dwell in our souls, they also dwell in the heart of matter. Hold a rock in your hand and look into it deeply. Through hard stone, gods and goddesses are dancing. Electrons shimmer in the vast sub-nuclear void, whirled by the very devas, those shining intelligences named in the ancient Vedas, who wheel the constellations through inter-stellar space, self-organizing their glittering temple architecture from waves of pure mathematical probability, building matter's mirage from no-thing, from asymptotes, from algebraic equations spinning toward symmetry to solve themselves. Quantum physics confirms that this stone is but radiant intelligence, a theater of luminous contending logoi, the play of the gods.

We humans flee into the safety of Reason, the dogmas of Religion, and the by-gone mechanics of old Newton, because reality is much too magical.

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.

Whirl



Don't be a star, be darkness.
Don't polish your cup, become wine.

Take these old commandment bones
and stuff them with ambiguous marrow.

Take these withered creeds
and soak them in the nectar of uncertainty.

Then you can eat again, making soup
out of holy things.

Be a question mark, in the shape of God's backbone:
a serpent dancing on its head.

Now the Bible is closed, a box of echoes.
It once was a lyre in the breeze:

A map for wandering voices,
leading their songs home to silence.

You could have remembered the end of your journey
before you even started

If you had not fasted from the sweetness
of what was never forbidden.

Don't be the sun, the center of light.
Contain. Be night. Leave everything.

All noble slowly turning creatures,
even galaxies,

Happen inside you
beyond control.

They whirl, enselved
on the axis of your silence.

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.

Parable of the Bee



Are you the bee who approaches a rose bush and sees only thorns? Then you will never settle on a flower long enough to taste its nectar.

Are you the bee who tiptoes past the thorn to penetrate the blossom, and drinks and drinks the nectar of devotion, and never leaves the rim of the rose's cup? Then you will cling to the Guru, but you will never make your own honey.

Are you the bee who drinks all the nectar you can, until you are perfectly wisely drunk, then staggers out of the rose to leap into the sun? You will fly home, your wings and feet so clustered with pollen you barely lift yourself. But flying strengthens you. You will turn that pollen into honey for your friends, the way a crushed grape turns itself to wine. The world will drink you. New buds spring up wherever you alight.

Now which bee does the rose love best?