1/30/2011

Third Vision


In the old physics, nature abhors a vacuum. In the new physics, nature is born from the vacuum. In the physics of Vedanta, nature is the vacuum: virtual reality dancing in waves of emptiness.

1/28/2011

Between Breaths

Between the breath your pour out as a libation, and the breath you receive as a royal guest, there is a moment of stillness deeper than Time: rest there forever. This is the silence before God says, Let there be light, the source of stars and galaxies within you.

1/27/2011

God Child


"The child is father to the man." (William Wordsworth)

Childhood is not just our source, but our destiny.

From the earliest age we were taught to leave our childhood and "grow up." We were taught to name and separate things, distinguishing each creature from the womb-like matrix of the cosmic creator. We were taught to accumulate: a grade point average, a resume, a fortune, a list of merits, titles, and degrees.

In so doing, we developed the tool of mind, very useful in naming, counting, processing data. But we made the mistake of identifying the mind as our very self. We fell into a relative world that must be registered in credits and debts, ever mounting days and years. We lived by anxious addition. Now we must learn the art of subtraction. For we have fallen from the fatness of childhood's divine zero.

To become an adult is to acknowledge that our childhood will not be counted small. It was not a 1 to which we added more. It was and is the eternal cipher in whose empty space names, numbers dissolve like figures sketched in air. Childhood is the primal energy from which namarupa, name and form, arise. We never leave childhood behind. We only recover and redeem it, as the timeless undercurrent of now. This is why Jesus said, "You must be like a little child to enter the kingdom."

A mysterious trickle of golden joy arises from the depth of your Being, flowing toward world. Happiness does not come from the world, it comes from you. Such pure happiness demands no reciprocal action or moral worthiness. It need not be earned or deserved, only noticed. Uncreated and divine, pure happiness springs from the silent core of your heart.

You do not derive your happiness from others: you give your happiness to others. And the more you give, the more this mysterious fountain swells from within you. Whether others accept the happiness you give, or not, is none of your business. Your happiness has nothing to do with the world.

This golden current of pure happiness is your childhood - your portion of God's Grace.

Whenever you are weary, or confused by thoughts of unworthiness, simply sink from the mind into the heart. Place your attention on that faint Grace-full spring of warmth, the unstruck fountain of your childhood. Placing your effortless attention there, Way will open. The trickle of molten gold becomes a flood, bathing you in the true light of your eternal Being.

God dwells in you, ever newborn, not one moment old! God dwells in you as your childhood.

1/26/2011

Mother's Embrace



The root of suffering is to forget the ever present embrace of the Mother. Divine Mother's arms encircle every moment of our existence. Always, even in pain, every atom is enveloped by the space of her compassion. There is no turmoil or conflict where we cannot instantly remember Her, and rest in the stillness of the Mother's presence. Nothing else is so all-pervading, eternal and certain.

1/25/2011


Burn all the evidence.

Burn every creature in the fire of seeing.

Then burn the 'I' that sees.

Choose seeing over the seer.

Choose to see the universe as a puff of unspun cotton consumed in an instant by a spark of awareness.

Choose to see the sun in each sparkle on the sea, the trembling transparency of Beauty itself in each beautiful face.

Choose to see the mother in the womb of her child.

Choose to see no fragment of difference between the sky, the breath, and the dust of Adam.

Choose to see no ashes left at all, for this fire means business!

See the blinding light of the Creator, not above creation, but in the heart of the creature.

See the widening spiral of our galaxy in a single atom of your fingertip.

Count infinity in one photon, millions of stars in a mote of dust.

Hear the cause singing in the effect, and the effect singing in the cause.

Feel the risen flame in a fallen leaf, the risen Christ in a fallen soul.

Burn all evidence of creation, until there is nothing left but Creator.

"For our God is a consuming fire!"

1/24/2011

Etiquette


The People's Republic of China recently announced that Chinese schools will teach etiquette, including table manners, civil conversation, hospitality to foreigners, respect for parents and teachers.  LINK

The word "etiquette" was coined in the court of Louis XIV to describe signs in the palace garden admonishing guests to keep off the manicured grass.

Should our schools teach etiquette? Is etiquette Chinese? European? Old fashioned? Elitist? Or is etiquette part of a primordial human ethic that transcends class, politics, and culture?

Martin Luther King wrote, "Treat everyone, friend and foe alike, with the ordinary rules of courtesy." Do Americans agree on any "ordinary rules of courtesy"? Or has it become more important for us to be right than to be courteous?

Ecologist and poet Gary Snyder speaks of  "the etiquette of the wild." There is a fundamental harmony in the order of nature which we must respect, for we are part of it. We are guests of the earth.

Etiquette really begins in humanity’s earliest societies as the law of hospitality. The Epistle to the Hebrews 13:2, advises, "Be sure to show hospitality to strangers, for you may be entertaining angels unaware." In the Odyssey, Homer extols hospitality, for the stranger we entertain may be a god in disguise.

Perhaps there is only one rule of etiquette, containing all others: Wherever you are,
welcome each person you meet as an honored guest in the home of the present moment.

1/19/2011

Rose Question


The soul said, "The physical heart is a spiritual organ."
The body said, "The spiritual heart is a physical organ."
Mirza Ghalib said, "The rose led us to our eyes."
I said, "Close these eyes and bury your nostrils in the rose: are you a soul or a 
body? 

1/16/2011

Eywa's Song


"The valley spirit never dies. Ever creative, she is veiled in mist, there and not there. Call her the Great Mother." - Laotzu

Enough of the mountain top,
enough of rapture and ascension.
No more higher states or steps to heaven,
No more gravity-defying Yoga postures,
risen Lords, Ascended Masters, OBE's:
The DOW that rises must fall.
The ever expanding GNP is unsustainable.
No more climbing the corporate ladder to beatitude.
Gazing at the sun will melt your eyes.
The Himalayan cave makes you so high
you forget how to breathe down here
where we mussel our pearls and hum
like beautiful uncoiling snails
at the bottom of the green water.
Now it is time to descend
through the mist into the valley
of effortless delight in our particulars,
a path of resting and return,
a sinking toward the mud-caked seed,
gracefully planting our whole confusion
in the belly of darkness.
Let us go down now and awaken
the juice in gnarly roots.
Then we will gush up again,
not into heaven, but Earth.

1/15/2011

Reflection

When I dream of serving God, God fulfills my dream. Which is servant and which is master?

God has given me the sublime gift of God's own image, placing it in the center of my soul. That is why God serves me when I serve God, for God sees God when God looks at the secret depth of my soul, which I myself do not see, because it is deeper in me than I. 

This is why, if God's dream for me and my dream for God would be fulfilled, I must never belittle myself by thinking my soul less than a pure reflection of divine Radiance. 

If I have any theology, this is all there is to it.

1/14/2011

Real Housewives of Heaven


I'd love to see a reality show for lithesome enlightened secretly lonesome yogis, those ghostlike New Age Ken and Barbie dolls who haunt astanga studios, demonstrating perfect asanas and sex with the sky; yet who inwardly yearn to be plump, omnivorous and jovial, to strike up relationships in cafes with buxom waitresses and construction workers, and some day, God willing, just lay back and bathe in the benediction of the ordinary, exquisite in their age spots, wrinkled and tummied by the yoga of imperfection.

It's OK to get old, you know. Its' OK to turn 40, or 50, or even more. It's OK to skip one or two steps, to slouch a little in your pose, to listen to the kinder teacher in the center of your spine whisper, "Like this," and fail your way down to the perfect breath, that is always the breath of Now.

1/13/2011

Shift

"The soul's ability to nourish itself lies in the heart." (Aristotle)
"Let your mind descend into the heart." ('Philocalia')

When we filter awareness through the neurology of the brain, we are separate beings, and loneliness is possible; but when awareness radiates through the neurology of the heart, we vibrate in the resonant field of the cosmos, where it is impossible to be alone. This shift from brain centered to heart centered humanity is our future, but it only happens in the now.

"If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing." (Marc Chagall)
______
Painting by Dirk Joseph, 'The Deepest See'

1/09/2011

Hang Around


Hang around on this planet long enough and the things they said were good turn out to be carcinogenic, the things they said were bad turn out to have healing properties. Forget other people's judgments about good and bad. Just be natural. Be yourself.

Look from There

 
There's a stillness at the center of the heart, a space where we have no enemy, no fear, no need to blame. Whether we name it Bodhichitta, Christ-Consciousness, or Shiv-ananda-lahira doesn't matter. What matters is to dwell there when we look into the eyes of the aggressor. That is real power. That is healing. That is peace.  

 O Destroyer, give me Life. How can I sleep when you are awake? Before the sunrise, before the first cry of the Wintering sparrow, shatter every image of yourself in me. Let me breathe only you.

1/08/2011

Thought and Awareness

The spiritual path begins and ends with the distinction between thought and awareness. One person stuffs the intellect with ideology and argument, yet is utterly unaware. Another empties the mind of every thought and tastes awareness, radiant and vast as the sky. This is a mystery to the intelligent, but plain as day to us fools.

1/06/2011

Silhouette


Red buds, black twigs laced against Winter sky: soften gaze and look beyond. Twigs of past and future, worry and regret, etched against inner silence: soften gaze and become the vastness between thoughts. Can the void get tangled in branches? Can the Self get tangled in mind?

1/03/2011

Friends


"No longer do I call you servants... but now I have called you friends." (John 15:15)

Wandering through the Winter forest, I came upon God sitting in the moss under a cedar, weeping, palms pressed over ears to drown out the din of human prayer.

I sat down and put my arm around God's shoulders. "I'm sorry," I said. "I hope I'm not disturbing you."

"I'm so tired," God replied, "and nearly deaf! So many beggars asking me for things, things, things, but not one Friend asking me for me. "

"I didn't know God needed friends," I said.

God replied, "Disciples want my discipline. Worshipers want my attention. But friends just want to hang out. I have billions of disciples and devotees, but not many friends."

"I can be your friend," I said. "Let's hang out here awhile."

"All right," God answered.

So we sat on the mossy cedar roots, gazing into wondrous layers of green on green in the deep and ancient forest. Then I said, "God, thank you for creating all this."

"Actually," God said, "I didn't create any of it."

"O?" I said.

"I just let it happen," God said. "It's more interesting that way, never knowing what comes next."

"O," I said.

And God replied, "I like that. That's a good prayer."

"What?" I asked.

"O," God said. "The sound you made, just that one little O."

"O is enough?" I asked.

"O is all I need," God said. "They're always whining, O Jesus do this, O Jehovah do that, O Allah give me this, O Lord take it away. No one just says, O."

So we both whispered O a few times, until its echo dissolved into zeros of silence inside us. God and I sat together for an hour in that empty O as shadows lengthened, spilling their darkness among the ferns. Evening stole over the fir and cedar and hemlock. Night came.

"I have to go," I told God. "But I'll come back and meet you here, if you want to hang out."

"I'll be here," God said. "Just make me one promise."

"All right," I said.

"Promise not to ask me for anything."

"Deal," I said. "Now you make me one promise."

"All right," God said.

"Don't give me any rules to follow."

"Deal," God said.

We turned, each to our own way, and wandered home. 

1/02/2011

River of Giving: The Mother's Blessing


"Children of One Mother, until now you have been willing to seek spiritual blessings from a source within you. But in seeking material supply, you refuse to go to the same inner source.

"You have inherited an age-old prejudice for Spirit over Matter. You believe that earthly abundance is tainted, less worthy than spiritual light. Therefor, you have not asked for your material needs with the same pure heart that asks for spiritual blessings. You have imposed your disdain for matter and money as a thought-form over all your work, with the result that you work more and more, yet nothing seems to be working!

"If your work in the world is accompanied by an unspoken thought that says, 'Matter is unworthy: only Spirit is good,' then that is your prayer. Despite all your effort, you undermine your work by a subliminal intention to devalue the created world.

"Do not divide my blessing! If you want the fullness of Mother Divine's grace, this misunderstanding must change. From now on, see all abundance, including earthly wealth, overflowing from the same Inward Source.

In the economy of the Great Mother there are no wages, no labor and management, no credit and debt. My river of giving is not a two-way current, but a single unbroken stream, pressed out and overflowing. The individual soul does not make a deal with the universal Mother. My love is not a business.

"Then where does the river of giving arise? In the earth? The heavens? On Wall Street? In the World Bank? No, the Source of my river is the core of your own heart, where Divine Mother silently dwells inside you. Thus when you pray, pray not that my riches flow to you, but through you, from the fountain of grace at the center of your being!

"Keep the stream constantly flowing. Have you not seen that my hand is never closed? I cannot hold or keep. Why then should you? You are graced with what you give. But if you close your hand, claiming, this wealth is mine, flow stops.

"Letting go is wealth. Keeping is poverty.

"Is this not also the teaching of my Son, Jesus? 'To those who have, even more abundance will be given; but for those who cling to their lack, even the little that they have will be taken away.' (Matthew 13:12)

"Visualize material and spiritual blessing as a single current of energy radiating from your heart. Heart means heart, quite literally. As your heart pours out my river of giving, ask for nothing in return from any external source. Express only gratitude, never lack. You will be graced by the abundance that courses from within you to others: this is your Mother's promise! How do you think Jesus fed a multitude with a few loaves of bread? It is not a miracle, but the economics of enlightenment, replacing the old world order that quickly passes away.

Now when you pray, pray like this:


"Let my heart be your fountain, Mother. Let abundance flow not to me, but through me. May I be your channel of beauty and prosperity, to make others prosperous and beautiful. From the lotus of your dwelling place in the realm of silence at the center of my heart, pour forth a perpetual stream, in which the sparkle of the Spirit and the jewel of Holy Matter are one radiance. Use me, Mother, to fill the earth with your grace." 
_________________

A 'channeled' message from the Mother? No. Don't look for any 'channeling' from me. I would not be so presumptuous, and I don't think it's healthy to turn over one's conscious mind to another. Yet the Mother certainly has been communicating this message - silently, wordlessly, but with unmistakable conviction - to my heart. The words are only my attempt to translate her will, without bringing my literary or autobiographical  'I' into the text.

1/01/2011

My Shocking Prediction for the Year 2011

In the great sweep of cosmic history, absolutely nothing significant will happen in the coming year, as nothing significant happened in the past year.

For a few brave people, however, the end of the Mayan calender will come. In fact, the end of time will come, as it always comes, for a few brave people who wake up in the present moment and say, 'To hell with the future.' It is then, if we are brave, that we notice the unique and special gifts that every person shares with the world, and the marvelous things that our neighbors are doing in this life, today.

Most of us, though, will repeat the same old fears and fantasies in our heads, regretting what can't be undone, anticipating what will most likely never happen, always with a sense that something either (a) other-worldly or (b) disastrous approaches, depending on the melodrama that each little "I" plays over and over in its thoughts, while in the terrible sweet suchness of the actual world, true sacraments of beauty and goodness blossom all around us, unnoticed in the radiance of the ordinary - not the least miraculous of which is this breath, this very breath received by grace perpetually now, from a cool and healing spring of mysterious Presence that is, for most, an ever missed opportunity to finally be done with fear, with care and weariness, and merely bravely wondrously Be.

Therefor I resolve this year to quit paying attention to the shadow-theater of the past and future, which only exists in my head, and to notice the colors of the world, the tiny rites and ceremonies of the insignificant: to notice a crocus blossoming in snow, the screech of a molting eagle over the estuary, a maidenhair fern unfolding its delicate green galaxy in a sun-gold patch of forest, and the changing seasons of light in my neighbor's eye.