11/27/2011

Teach Us


Teach us to be gentle, Four Leggeds. Teach us the Way of the Fur.

It is said that people of the land know this. But when we occupy our hearts, we are all indigenous people. Not one of us is not a native in the land of divine silence.

Saraswati


I yearned for the great mother's breast.
Saraswati, Saraswati!
By the grace of my own yearning
I heard music.
I became milk.

God Is Even Bigger Than Care


"To care, and not to care..." ~T. S. Eliot

I  count out the rhythm of my heartbeat. I work so hard to keep it regular, I sometimes forget to breathe. Monitoring my lungs, I painstakingly exchange oxygen and CO2 in every little alveoli. Meanwhile, I carefully maintain the electrical gradient between sodium and potassium ions in each cell of my body, watching over every membrane to let in nutrients and expel toxins with utmost vigilance. Whew! Concentrating on 700 trillion cells at once isn't easy. Not to mention manually spinning every quark in the nuclei of each atom. No wonder I forget my telephone number.

If all this sounds ridiculous, then how much more ridiculous to imagine that the Divine must pay attention to the details of creation, and to each of our little cries!

Your body simultaneously carries out quadrillions of complex operations without the slightest effort, and without the slightest demand for your attention. In the same way, the cosmic organism administers each jot and tittle of karma, each minute cause and effect from the galaxy to the electron, without God's concern. Divine awareness rests in freedom from care. God has something much more important to do - dancing in delightful bewilderment.

For the Divine, this is all just happening. Her wonder is like yours and mine, only bigger.

11/24/2011

Grateful


The sign of an awakened heart is gratitude. Why not give thanks for every atom of dust - seeing that the ocean gives thanks to the wave, the tree gives thanks to the seed, and the universe gives thanks to its smallest creature? She holds you in the palm of her hand, whispering, "We are so grateful! None of us could be complete if you were not you!"

11/21/2011

A Reason To Be Happy?


Upanishadic texts declare that the very nature of existence (Sat), is bliss (Ananda). In the Bible's opening verses, Creator rejoices in creation because it is all pure Goodness (Tov). Every particle of the universe is made out of Bliss, molded from Goodness. Utterly delightful is each atom of dust.

If we think we need a reason to be happy, do we not deny the gracious gift of life itself? Therefor, give thanks for the simple, immediate, ineluctable purity of mere being. A wet voluptuous fern in the midnight forest taught me this.

11/20/2011

Drink Here

On the cross Jesus cried, "I thirst." But He thirsted for Himself. We thirst for a drink from the fountain of light, so ravenous we forget that the fountain is who we are.

Kneel here and be a stranger no more. Bow down to this very Presence. It takes great humility to confess that you are God.

Imbibe what gushes at your feet, rushes up your body, overflows through your chest. Savor this breath. It is the river of eternity. Drink here.

11/13/2011

The Miracle of Knowing Less

 

I know less and less about anything but who I am. Empty and un-knowing, I gaze into the miracle of your eyes. I see petals falling from the Autumn rose: the naked center is so beautiful. I marvel at the engines of transparency in the wings of a dragonfly. Beyond understanding, I bow to every creature. When my forehead touches ground, the whole earth sings in silence, "You are the miracle!"

11/12/2011

A Heart Shift


The age of the Mediator is over. I have a standing invitation to enjoy immediate intimacy with the Radiance who created me.

I need no savior. I need no prophet or guru, no scripture, no sacrament or priest. In Saint Augustine's prescient words, "Deus intimeor intimo meo: God is more inward to me than I am to myself." All that is required is a graceful shift of attention to the center of my heart. Here, in the heart center, is a portal to infinite light. Why not start looking from this place instead of looking for this place?

A heart-shift is a sip of wine. A taste, a single breath-full is enough, with no need to hold or concentrate, no compulsion to stay. Instantaneous sips of grace, enjoyed throughout the day, bring more transformation than hours of rigorous formal discipline.

Here is the loveliest irony of all. I need not reject the Master I once thought I needed. When surrender happens in the heart, I am free for a more playful relationship with my Source. Liberated from the angst of seeking, I more joyfully taste the sacrament, delight in the scripture, dance in the savior's garden, walk with my guru on the pathless path.

This is why Jesus told his disciples, "I no longer call you servants; now I call you my friends."

Chocolate Is Not Vanilla

I took a non-dualist friend to an ice cream parlor on a hot day and said, "The treat's on me. Which flavor will you have?" The non-dualist said, "Chocolate, please." So I bought vanilla.

11/11/2011

Which Is I?

Every moment, mental chatter arises and dissolves. Yet the boundless Silence in which this Mind chatters has been here forever, and will be here forever more. Which do I identify as me: the Mind or the Silence that contains it? This is the only decision that really matters.

11/10/2011

Mater

Ever thickening mirage of interwoven mythologies, corruscations of I upon Ithe names of gods contending with gods, of thoughts the thoughts of thoughts, the mother's body of momentary splendors, virtual galaxies enwombed in perpetual darkness, diamonds of thisness not yet "this'd" by a word or a kiss of possibility, unspoken, dreamless, waking sleep: what Mater Matter is made of.

11/09/2011

Blessed Are the Uncertain

"Δp × Δx = h"  ~Werner Heisenberg
"Dwell in possibility"  ~Emily Dickenson

Blessed are you when you are uncertain.

Uncertainty is quite different from doubt. Anyone can doubt, but it takes a very courageous person to be uncertain, and to stay there, dwelling in the positive energizing force-field of uncertainty.

Uncertainty expands the space of what is possible. A doubter cannot tolerate possibility, and so becomes a true believer. But one who rests in uncertainty refuses to cling to any belief. Uncertainty is the secret force within the artist, the poet, the improviser, the creator. The electron's uncertainty in time and space  is the spirit in matter, the lightness in creation.

Nobel Physicist Richard Feynman said, "It's more interesting to live by Not Knowing than to live by knowing what might not be true."


Feynman's language, by chance of course, resonates with the radical Christian mystical tradition of "Unknowing":

"But now you will ask me 'How am I to think of God, and what is God?' and I cannot answer you except to say 'I do not know!' For with this question you have brought me into the same divine darkness, the cloud of unknowing, where I want you to be!" (The Cloud of Unknowing, 14th C.)

"Do thou, in the diligent exercise of mystical contemplation, leave behind the senses and the operations of the intellect, and all things sensible and intellectual, and all things in the world of being and non-being, that you may arise by Unknowing towards the union, as far as is attainable, with Him who transcends all being and all knowledge. For by the unceasing and absolute renunciation of yourself and of all things, you may be borne on high, into the super-essential radiance of the Divine Darkness." (Dionysius the Areopogite, 5th C.)


Blessed are you when you are uncertain. Maybe.

God Is Surprised



Nature abhors straight lines and corners. She is all curve and asymptote. She loves the random beauty of chaos, preferring spontaneity to a plan. She sows a handful of seed laws, then marvels at their tangled weaving. God loves not the destination but the dance.

Walking through a rain forest, Darwin wrote, “Twiners entwining twiners, beautiful lepidoptera, silence, hosanna!” He marveled that infinite diversity could spring from a power “originally breathed into a few forms, or into one” - words expressing reverence as surely as any Lutheran hymn. Darwin didn’t reject the Lord of the Dance, but the all-controlling Victorian Father.

We’re dancers, not robots, created in the image of divine Uncertainty, to celebrate the whirl, stumble and recovery of bodies at play. The orbit of planets and the waltz of galaxies are liberated from pre-determination because, in the microcosm, the motion of photons is random. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, the refusal of a particle to be fixed in mass and location at the same moment, expresses divine freedom. Certainty is for machines. God’s love sets us free to be uncertain. God so loved the world that She granted us the gift of playfulness. God wants us to dance!

I delight in my children because I have no idea what they will do next. If I am not surprised, I am not delighted. If I am not delighted, I cannot love. God too is a loving parent with no idea what we will do.  God is eternally surprised.

11/08/2011

Blameless


If you think the world is unfair, just imagine how much more rotten it would be if you had no one to blame.

Blaming brings us consolation in the midst of chaos, the consolation of pretending that someone is really in control. Blaming feels good because it assures us that there must be a few bad guys up in a sky scraper smoking cigars and oppressing us. If we could just string them from the lamp posts, the shattered crystal of our perfectly imagined world would magically recompose itself with the ping of a marvelous chime.

Blame is fantasy. We grew up and abandoned our imaginary friends, but we never stopped imagining scape goats. The real division between us is not money, religion, class or politics, but blame.

No one is to blame. Blame is an illusory link of causation formed out of ignorance through maya. Blame solves no problems

Our ultimate defense against impending chaos is the infantile fantasy that somebody is doing it to us. But what if no one is doing it, and things are just out of control, and the fat cat up in the sky scraper has no more power over the chaos than a white-bearded God in the clouds?

What if the world just runs down the old thermodynamic slope, and all of us, rich or poor, Tea Party Republican or Wall Street Occupier, share exactly the same fate: to commingle and shmooze in the glutinous broth of entropy?

Maybe bankers and stock brokers are just average dudes who happened to find those jobs because they were too dumb to get into medical school. Maybe they have no more actual power than the angry 99% camped out on the sidewalk below, eating other people's bread and using other people's plumbing. Maybe we're all freeloading off this planet, and none of us have any idea how to thank her for her bounty or restore what we have wasted.

What if it's not Obama's fault? What if it's not Mitt Romney's fault? What if its not the fault of the Federal Reserve or the Pentagon? What if those guys are just as confused about what's going on as you and I? What if the folks in the White House and Congress and Wall Street are all just winging it, without any conspiracy?

Maybe we're not totally screwed because liberals have kicked God out of schools, or because gay people get married, or because George Bush was an idiot. Maybe we're just screwed, and its nobody's fault.

Are Muslims to blame? Or Pagans? Or the Caterpillar Corporation? Nope. Not their fault. Is TV to blame for making our children stupid? Nope. Our children are just naturally stupid, but its not their fault.

And don't blame Adderall or Prozac. They just re-arrange a few atoms in an already doomed brain-full of Cocoa Puffs and Spaghetti-O's. Atoms are over-rated. Chemicals are blind. You can't blame all this on a few molecules.

Don't blame Dick Cheney either. He's just following his nature. Blame nature then? No, global warming is not to blame. CO2 is not to blame. And humans? Humans are part of nature, which means that whatever we do is natural. So how can you say humans are to blame? Then who in hell are you going to blame, the devil?

The real problem is that fundamentalist Christian lobbyists team up with Israeli infiltrators to pervert the Constitution and launch World War III against Iran... Right. That's just blame on steroids. The folks in Congress, Israel, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are just like you and me: husks of chaff driven by a fickle wind of indiscriminate chance, blameless.

The devil is not to blame. Sin is not to blame. You are not to blame. I am not to blame. Jesus gave too little too late, but he is not to blame. At least he tried.


There is no one left to blame. Are you OK with that?

So now that we've exhausted our blame, can we open our arms? Wider. After all, there's no one to reject any more. Hug everything.

With sad, sweet purposeless compassion, certain that we save no one, not even ourselves, weeping a gift of tears for the run-down universe just as it is, hug everything. Breathe in the whole pain, blameless, unblaming.

And then, please, consider the possibility that we might survive. A few more years anyway. Or a few thousand. Whatever. Especially if we give up this bitterness, this blame, just as Jesus did when he spread his arms and embraced the world, whispering, "Forgive them, father, they are total idiots. They have no idea what they're doing."

Yeah, we survive. There might even be time for laughter.

11/03/2011

Occupy Your Heart

All rich people are oppressors, just as all poor people are lazy.
All cops are fascists, just as all protesters are anarchists.
All bankers are criminals, just as all occupiers are hippies.
Corporations are instruments of imperialism,
just as labor unions are instruments of Stalinism.
Soldiers are baby killers, just as peace activists are terrorists.

One good stereotype deserves another.
Does it have to be us against them?
Let's look a little deeper now, behind the masks.

The money that supports your Americore grant was given
by a rich philanthropist who deeply admires
your work with the poor.
Village compasinos earning eighteen dollars a week
picked this coffee, the grapes in your wine,
and nearly everything you ate today.
The policeman who came to your door when you called 911
is a member of the 99%;
his job is threatened by state budget cuts.
The one holding that protest sign is a grandmother
and a retired science teacher.
That banker wears blue jeans and just made a micro-loan
to this once-homeless single mom
so she could start a pet-grooming business;
but the credit union he founded is closing
and now he can’t sleep nights.
This Wall Street occupier in the pup tent
is an Afghanistan War vet who can’t find a job.
That corporate executive would gladly hire you
if you had majored in engineering;
he manufactures solar panels to liberate you
from fossil fuels.
This union worker will take pay and pension cuts
if you promise to keep his job in America.
That Army officer will return to Afghanistan
for a fourth tour of duty
to protect school girls from men trying
to throw acid in their faces.
This peace activist used to be a Black Panther,
then he lost an arm in Viet Nam serving his country;
now he owns a successful business manufacturing
gourmet Barbecue Sauce.

Let all of them, and all of us, sit down together
at the roots of an enormous oak tree,
with no leaders, no PHD's, no political parties,
and just talk, just listen, just open up and
occupy our hearts.
When can we meet? Where is the tree?

11/01/2011

Important Virus Alert!

Beware the Viral Luminosity of the Heart
If you get a message in your heart that says, "Open Me, I Am Infinite Light," don't open it! It is a virus that will erase all the doubts and fears that have kept you safe in the illusion that you are finite, that you only exist as this body, that you are a weak fallen creature of lack, that anyone other than you is responsible for your happiness. This virus is extremely dangerous. It is God.