____________HOME________________AUTHOR________________BOOK________________POETRY_______________LINKS___________

10/30/2012

Love is Playful



The sign of love is lila, playfulness. Real love feels light and playful, not heavy or dutiful. Another sign of love is the presence of the Master, whose breath is the breeze that keeps love's space so pure and clear. The tragedy of love is that it wakens as a vast blue sky, but through attachment and obsession we create heavy clouds. Be the sky, not the cloud.

10/28/2012

Veil

Wait a moment while I
turn on the world.
Now I see you.
My longing for your face
creates a chandelier of galaxies.
It is I who whisper, 'let there be light.'
Let there be mountains, forests, valleys
where your naked feet can taste
the green sting of dew.
Let there be markets, bistros, avenues,
billions of other eyes
set like tiny diamonds around yours.
Let the fabric of this silken cosmos
cover you lips, your cheeks, your brow.
But never let the starry dark hijab,
the veil of the mystery, conceal
your glance:
for that is the fire that makes me
create.

10/27/2012

Free Energy is Virtually Here


Every home, factory, store, barn and warehouse will be equipped a little pole holding a sphere of metal alloy about the size of a golf ball. This little ball will tap into the infinite supply of energy in Pure Space: the energy inherent in quantum fluctuations of the vacuum.

We currently know that there are infinite virtual photons and electrons in every point in empty space. All we need do is convert them from potential waves of mathematical probability into particles, which is the essential process of Creation.

The field described in this way by quantum physics is also the essence of consciousness. Every mystical experience in the world's religions describes this source: from Buddhist "emptiness" (sunya), to Yoga's "seedless" (nirbija) samadhi, to Jewish Kabbala's "radiant no-thing" (ain soph aur) to the "unknowing" of the Medieval Christian mystics.

Now it is time to convert quantum theory to practice: a technology of limitless, free, clean energy that will transform the world's economy.

10/24/2012

Al Queda Brother


Al Qaeda brother, Hamas sister, Arab enemy,
be my friend.
My blood is red like yours.
My wound does not heal either.
The towers have fallen into ash,
the villages are shattered, gutted like quail. 
Fathers entered the sidewalk at 90 miles per hour,
children's bones were removed by helicopter fire.
Now we must name each others holocausts. 
Let us take off every mask and blindfold
so that we may see more clearly
the shadows of our ancestors dancing in the flames.
If we cannot kiss each others faces,
or hold each others hands, or bind
each others gashes, at least let us taste the salt
on our cheeks and know how all oceans flow
into one.
Al Qaeda brother, Hamas sister, I call you friend.
Your blood is mine, the river
of Isaac and Ishmael flowing back into Abraham,
flowing back to the green oasis,
and the fountain of the Nameless.
Its gate is a place just left of the heart
where the rib is missing:
In you it leads to me, in me it leads to you.
We both believe in Mary's womb. 
That is why I share this secret of friendship:
Another womb floats within the silence of that one,
radiant darkness deeper than sorrow.
Friend, both of us have lived there.

10/23/2012

The Kiss


'There is another world, but it is in this one.' ~Paul Eluard

Here the Autumn sun sets, breaking its heart on the mountains, spilling gold down to the sea.

It is just before dawn there, halfway round the planet, where you sleep. As I sit for evening meditation here, I seem to see your head on its pillow. Your gentle smile is the soul rising to the top of you, like cream in a pitcher of fresh milk.

Do you know that I am there, visiting you, a moonlit mist around your face, deepening the wonder under you eyelids, drawing a sigh from your lips?

On those lips I place a tender kiss from another world. Yet surely, that other world is deeper inside this one than pollen in a lily. Someone more than I, for I am only a golden germ in the white petals of his radiance, sends his diamond fire into every atom of your body, whispering:

'Now, in this moment between waking and sleep, rest in Me. In this moment between time and eternity, before the burden of yesterday returns with tomorrow's dream, let us float together on a milk white sea of stars, neither in this world or the next, playing in jeweled waves of infinite possibility.'

Pulse of my heart, when you wake and go out, and sense some fragrant memory of that visitation, know that I am with you wherever you are. I am here to remind you that you were born to bless.

I am the laughter of the breeze, whispering in you hair, 'I love you.' I travel from star to star, writing poems about the kiss that is pressed forever on the imperishable splendor of your heart.

Distance


The shortest distance between two protons is the void.
The shortest distance between two stars is the void.
The shortest distance between birth and death, God and the soul, 

between my heart and your heart, is the void.
In the void there is no distance.
'Distance' is the dream you keep inside you like a family secret.
Now, apple blossoms burst from my lips.

Flowering corpses no longer sleep.
Raindrops each contain the sun.
The cat opens her eye and the whole universe trembles.
Your soul and the boundless sky are one star-clustered emptiness.
In a millisecond the sound of an atom sings the whole Koran.
Why go on pretending you're not surrounded by miracles?

Only what is indecipherable is worth tasting.
The bread of Jesus is not on the menu, 
yet you smell it baking while you're still asleep
and it slowly awakens you to the feast of ordinary things.
If you don't say Yes to the world this very moment,
you are doomed to unending doubt.

Original Grace


Have you mistaken the grace of a guru or a savior for the Original Grace within you?

The grace of a master is helpful, but it is only a secondary grace, a reflection of your true nature. The master's grace is like a flame that lights your candle, so that you can burn for yourself. The master's grace is like a jumper-cable that helps your engine start, so that you can charge your own battery.

Grace is your very nature. It flows not down from above, but wells up from within, like a tear.

Original Grace springs like a fountain from beneath your breastbone, spontaneously drawing attention inward, from the scattered mind to the silent vortex of the heart. Original Grace can be defined as the tendency of awareness to settle into its own wonderful essence, if we will only let it.

For thousands of years, disciples sought inner peace through concentration and thought-control. Such strenuous techniques are like trying to replace one mirage with another. But there is a more graceful way: just see the mirage as a mirage in empty space. We do not settle into silence by trying to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts: we embrace the emptiness of all thoughts.

Instead of working so hard to choose one thought over another, be choicelessly aware. The Truth will set you free: the mirage of mind is the empty liberated space that contains it. Thoughts are bubbles of the silence out of which they arise.

Mental effort and concentration only swell the identity of the do-er. Resistance only strengthens what we resist.

When we taste something delicious, or behold something beautiful, do we have to concentrate on it? Of course not. Beauty stuns the mind into silence. So graceful meditation effortlessly draws the heart into quietness with a spark of inner beauty. That spark is who you are. Gaze upon yourself in the mirror of the Master.

Jai Guru Dev
_____________________________________

Painting by Debra Sisson  

Gift

 

Every child is gifted. As we grow, we don't lose our gifts, we lose our gratitude. Teaching our children to read, to write, to do math and science is not enough. Let us also teach our children sacraments of awareness to refresh the wonder of their gratitude. Reward them for noticing miracles.

Autumn Now


I am sitting here, you are sitting beside me.
God is here, the Goddess as well, 

the way the sun reposes softly 
in a white majestic cloud.
Flavored by the sea, breezes come and
go, 

laden with memory.
Children are laughing here.
Couples are strolling hand in hand, 

moved by the sadness of time.
Heads rest on the shoulders of dear friends 

like falling leaves.
Everything whispers, "I love you."

10/21/2012

Beat in Me Heart


Beat in me, heart, you know who you are:
a river flowing toward the sea,
in the night of my body, a trembling star,
Mary, the Magdalene in me.
Ascend into flesh, fallen splendor above.
Pulse of stillness, you are Love.

10/20/2012

For Lebanon, and for the Earth


Peace to your land.
Spend some time in a garden,
by a fountain, gently
shoring up oceans in yourself
against the coming night.
Gaze into a flower and listen to water.

Be brave enough to do
nothing but that for awhile.
Take off your shoes and let your
feet caress the soil.
Say, "Now breath, enter earth."
Root deeper with each exhalation.
Smile.
Smile as night comes, for you are light.
You also grow here
with your astonishing blossom of joy.

In Love


In love there is no distance or duration.
I am still drowning in the wild sweetness
of your smile.
Even if you forget, I do not forget.
I know that you entered the place in me
where breath disappears into never ending sky.
I entered the place in you
where the heart falls into an abyss of warmth.
We kissed the imperishable splendor.
One moment of love is eternal summer
where our fingertips still dance in each others palms
as we walk by the goldfish pool,
your head at rest on my shoulder.
Suppose the stars I visit all night long,
reciting poems to hungry creatures of fire,
are entangled in the fragrance of your hair,
entwined in that very briefness?
Would you not also say love burns
the past and future to nothing?

Photo: carp pond, Volunteer Park, Seattle, by Prima Seadiva

10/19/2012

Quiet

I got so quiet
when the breath stopped.
When the breath stopped
"I" stopped.
I got so quiet
when your name dissolved

in the place where
the breath stopped
and the world had not yet 
been born.
Some call it emptiness,
the silence so full, so full
of your nameless passion!
Meet me there, my only love,
in the breathless garden
that neither of us
ever really left.

10/18/2012

Word


Life is a mystery not to be understood but lived. Thus, great words do not convey understanding: they convey life itself.

And there is one word that bursts with infinite life when you plant it in the ground of inner silence. This is the word that Shiva whispered to Shakti, Christ to Mary Magdalene, Adonoi to his Shekinah at the world's creation.

This word is the mantra, the divine name. Nothing is more precious than the vibrant energy of God's name. Find it where deep calls to deep in the space of your heart, in brilliant darkness, in the no-thing where breath pours into the breathless.

The one who whispers that Word is the supreme Lord, and the stream of whisper-nectar is Mother Divine, from whose radiance every atom of this universe is formed.

Whisperer, sound and listener seem to be three, but are revealed as one through your astonishment.

The Unwanted


It's a very strange planet.
All over the earth, millions of people having sex
and trying not to have babies.
You hear the weeping of unwanted children,
but do you hear the cries from heaven
of those who long to be born?
What mad farmer tills the soil and plants the seed,
then labors to kill it before it sprouts,
or if it does, rips it from the ground?
Meanwhile in her room over the piazza,
a woman sits among lengthening shadows
gazing into the sunset, wondering
of she will ever be mother?

10/17/2012

In Love


Everybody seems to be having conversations with God. So I had one.

"God," I said, "I only have one question. Why did you create the universe?"

"I don't remember," God replied. "Does it matter?" 

I wouldn't take this for an answer, so I pressed Him on it. "Scriptures declare that you spoke creation in a Word. Doesn't your Word mean anything?"

God thought about this for a moment, then replied, "No. I was just humming."

I demanded an explanation. God said, "Just humming a melody for my Beloved. She inspires all that I do, and She has been my delight from the beginning. At the world's creation, I stroked her dark hair as She lay her head against my shoulder. We were sitting on a bench in the park."

"Who is She? What is her name?" 

I'm not even sure. Sophia? Shakti? Ishq'Il Haqq? Danu, Mother of the faery people, Tuatha de Danaan? I only know, She is my silence."

"But Lord," I replied, "philosophers and scientists all search for a reason. Is there no reason behind your creation?"

"None at all," said the Creator. "I'm in love. Therefor I dance and play."

10/16/2012

Body


Become aware of your body.

Feel the gesture of your body in space, just as it is, each sensation. Swim among billions of cells. Bathe in quadrillions of sparkling atoms. Sink more deeply into the ocean of your body with each breath. No doing, only awareness.

If you climbed the wildest mountain, visited the furthest galaxy, fathomed the depths of all seas, you would embark on no greater journey, nobler adventure, or deeper mystery than your body. Nothing is more sacred. Your body contains the secret treasures of heaven. Ascent to the higher worlds is descent into your body.

Hope

There is no hope for the future. The future is doomed because it doesn't exist and never will. But there is great hope for this moment. Yes, there is every possibility of Presence.

Awake at 4 AM


Being awake is not a feeling.
Being awake is not a thought.
Being awake is the burning away
of past and future,
this scattering of apples in October rain.
Perish into the Mother.

10/15/2012

Mountain Said


Mountain said to the cloud,
"I need your softness."
Cloud said to the mountain,
"I need your firmness."
Their need engendered a raindrop
in which lovers see countless worlds
if they climb high enough
searching for one small thing.

Photo: Located in eastern China's Jiangxi Province, Sanqing Mountain was regarded as a sacred place for Taoists during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It is now an ideal breeding place for giant pandas.

You Could Have Surrendered


You could have surrendered long before now,
but you thought you needed to do something
called 'faith.'
Carefully observe last summer's roses,
how each petal crinkles and singes
in a flame of transparency

where wings of beauty enter the world
through windows of death.
Like that, the burning you wanted
started before you started
wanting.
Now, just drown in the unseen.
Call it Autumn.

The Discipline


The discipline
of the thirsty rose
is thirst.

10/14/2012

Called


We are called to form the beloved community in the present moment, for it is not a community of the future or the past.

We are called to form the beloved community in the midst of loss and uncertainty, when nothing is finished.

We are called to gather here and join hands in a circle at the end of time, which is always now, because we are the eternal survivors.

We are called to nourish one another, not with what the world calls wealth, but with the abundance of laughter and tears, and silent jewels of listening.

We are called to form the beloved community in the midst of darkness, because we are the light.

A Note On Eros and Mystical Love Poetry


The mystical poetry of all major religions shares a common purpose and vocabulary of metaphors, and many of the metaphors are sexual.

I dare not criticize scholars more erudite than I, but it is wrong to use the word 'erotic' to describe this tradition of mystical love poetry.

Rumi uses 'wine' to represent a divine inebriation that has nothing to do with alcohol. In the same way, such poets use images of sexual love to describe a love that the senses can never grasp.

'Eros', from the Greek, refers to passion for an object. But divine love is passion for the subject, the eternal Self.

Thus Jesus uses another word for love, 'agape,' different from either 'eros' (erotic love) or 'philios' (family love).

The poems of Jnaneswar, Jayadev, Mirabai and Lala in India; Rumi, Hafiz, Rabia and such Sufi masters in Islam; St. John of the Cross, St. Theresa of Avila and the Christian mystics, are not erotic. They are beads of 'agape,' threaded on one golden string of symbolic language across centuries and continents.

The purpose of erotic literature is to arouse sensuality in the lower chakras; this is not bad or good, it's just what happens. But the purpose of mystical love poetry is to awaken the heart, a more refined energy.

Mystical love poetry cultivates inwardness; erotic poetry cultivates outwardness.

Eros engenders sensuality; mystical love engenders the delicate relationship of awareness with its Source.

Poems of mystical love unveil the naked beauty of the Beloved beyond touch, fragrance and sound. For we only know the Beloved through a transcendental fire, not a fire that burns, but a soul-centering flame.

Please do not let any scholar diminish the dignity of this holy tradition by telling you that the poetry of mystical love is 'erotic,' when it transcends the erotic as the moon transcends its reflection in a still forest pool.

10/13/2012

Trials


At least 100 times a day
you put your heart on trial for the same crime.
But when you stand before the judge
he cannot name a law that was broken.
"You're guilty anyway!" he shouts.
Nodding vigorously, you answer, "Yes I am, yes I am!"
Friend, you need a defender
who can get this case thrown out of court.
A tricky advocate like Jesus,
a mellifluous lawyer like Krishna, wearing bling,
or a mad naked poetess to plead your case,
like Lalladev.
Then you'll walk out of prison free.
The light that dawns on your face
will shine from inside you.
Gardens will turn green again.
And the drowsiest flower will gaze up and whisper,
"See? Nothing was ever wrong."

Artwork by Paul Heussenstamm

10/12/2012

A Source


Something about the universe
wants to be a person.
Atoms, snails, trees, stars,
all spiraling inward.
Even space is awake,
longing to contain you.
You are like a thirsty minnow
swimming in the sea,
and the sea like a minnow
swimming in that minnow's thirst.
God bends with every flower
toward a source greater than light.
Isn't it You?

In My Body

'The entire universe is condensed in the body
and the entire body in the heart.'  ~Ramana Maharshi
Arunachala, Rishikesh and Vrindaban are in my body.
The source of the Ganges is a lump in my throat,
where a stream of laughter breaks into tears.
My eyes are sacred lakes high in the Andes.
There's a mesa in New Mexico where earth
gives birth to tribes: it is my navel.
From the crown of my head to the tip of my spine
stretches the desert where Jesus and Elijah
wander, refusing food and water.
But when they get thirsty, I show them a fountain
of prophecy that gushes from my ribcage. 
Now I will guide you to a secret place:
the cave of my heart where the archangel whispers,
"Iqra! Recite these poems."

10/11/2012

Matins


The way Mary's heart contains his love, a grail,
the way stars fall through the void, appearing motionless,
the way a wound heals by remaining open,
the way 'flight' can mean our fear, or our longing,
the way I drink it to the bottom, then drink the emptiness:
morning prayer.

10/10/2012

A Bore


My friends find me a bore now;
in every conversation
I change the subject to You.
I don't go to the tavern anymore;
from the rising of the sun,
I am already intoxicated.

I don't need wilderness;
the dandelion in a sidewalk crack
bewilders me enough.
I must be getting young.

10/09/2012

To The World

To the world, what are you? You are the fire in your belly. You are the radiance of your body, the way it moves, the way it reclines upon its own sweet bones. You are presence, energy, light. But you are not the words in your head. The world does not hear, or care about, the words in your head.

The Garden of No Restraint


This is the garden of no restraint.
Either get drunk or die thirsty.
The wine is bewildering love.
The cup is how Mary 
contains it in her heart.
Jesus wants you to know,
you've been sober too long.

10/08/2012

Your Note

"To sing is the work of a lover." ~St. Augustine

Breathing out, sink into the groundless silence at the center of your heart. Breathing in, listen to the sound stream that creates you. Hear the note that sings your being.

You are part of the great chorus and your note is unique. The cosmos could not resolve its chord into harmony without you. It is time for you to meditate deeply and experience your own tone, your own inner current of divine music, for that will reveal your destiny.

Extremely Hard And Very Easy


'Love comes with a knife, not some shy question.' ~Rumi

Joyfully surrender
everything but the blade
that passes through your neck.
Now, even that brilliance.
The art of happiness has no practitioner.
The world turns out to be
just what it is
no matter how much you improve it.

A blossoming weed,
crystals of dew on dog shit,
a pearled spider web blooming at night
between two ruined roses.
So many things to be ignorant of:
only one thing to know.
Stay
right where you are
but never
stop.
Learn from the buzzing one
how to steal honey
and leave the flower.

10/04/2012

The Fix

And what if there is nothing wrong?

Out of our deep sense that "something is wrong," we are anxious to "fix" the world. The injustice, violence, and oppression that we see outrages us.

Yet our very judgment that "something is wrong" and we must "fix" it, creates distance and tension between our Self and our environment.

The irony is that when we embrace the world, just as it is, without trying to fix or change anything, separateness melts away, tension is released, and we see creation bathed in the light of grace.

That is when we become a healing presence, simply by being here. In the glow of our unconditional love, whatever needs fixing feels permission to heal itself.

10/03/2012

Mandalas of Eternity


Be a thread of dissolving bubbles on a sea of presence.

Use the gift of thought to plan your past and remember your future. Mind is creative and playful as long it doesn't get stuck.

String each Now into the story you enjoy, but never forget that no actual thread links them. The timeline is purely imaginary.

And when you develop the art of getting "unstuck in time," like Billy Pilgrim, you can gaze into any Now you choose:

From the marvelous matriarchal cities of ancient Mycaea, to the destined ascent of our species into self-luminous mandalas of eternity:

Each of us a celestial rose, whose petals are every other; each a blossom of the seed that was there from the beginning, in the center of the heart.

Bound to Your Breath


Because I am bound to your breath
I am free to roam the universe
like wind knocking down ripe fruit.
Because you have anointed me
I end my pilgrimage: with every step,
I arrive on a sacred world.
You become the infinitesimal star 
too distant to see in the night of my heart.
Yet you do to creation what a spark does 
to a cartload of dry cotton.
It happens in an instant 
when I remember your Name:
all creatures catch fire.
If there is another word for love
I will run naked through the streets
setting it on the tip of every tongue,
shouting, "Taste and see!"

10/02/2012

A Master's Words

"First connect to your Self. When you go deep inside, let go of all anxiety, and know that you are loved by the universe. Air loves you, earth loves you, space loves you, sun and moon love you. So you are surrounded by that energy, so much energy of love, and you will just melt in meditation.

"And that is what gives you inner strength, when you feel so solid, child-like again, free from inhibitions, free from worries, doing naturally. All these wonderful qualities just blossom in you, because they are already there!"

~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Oct 23, 2011

First Draft


You were created in one breath,
rough, inspired and whole.
Just be that. First draft.
Don't edit the Word of creation.
Don't try to make it rhyme. 

The form, the sound, even
the meaning is not important.
What gives this Word life
is the breath inside,
which was never yours to begin with.
I learned this from the Goddess
who whispered my soul.

10/01/2012

Autumn Crocuses


Every step I take on earth,
a pilgrimage to the burial shrine 
of my dearest Friend.
A gift for me, these Autumn crocuses

are just to say, "I am not here.
I have risen. 
I too am gone on pilgrimage, 
searching for you."
 _______

I took this picture at Fort Steilacoom Park in WA State.

Shhh...


Shhhh.... this is a secret.
The Divine Friend
is your own heart.
I only tell you this
because ages ago you promised
to keep it.
Remember?

A Flower of Not Pretending


Merely to be is perfect joy.
That is why flowers are speechless.
Each petal tells the ancient secret:
creation is Wordless. 
You could be a wild iris, seeded by stray wind,
bursting by a ruined fence beyond the empty barn,
where pigeons startle and flash in dusty sunbeams
stuttered through chinks of warped cedar.
Don't try to understand.
The passion in the fragrance of evening shadows
is all that matters, boding good rain.
You pretend too much to understand.
You put love in your eyes and pretend to care,
pretend not to be afraid, not to be alone
in a roomful of clinking glass strangers.
Have you met the real Friend?
There is a gaze through whom emptiness spills
from mirror to mirror its useless beauty
in silent golden streams of not pretending.
Droop if need be at day's end.
Feign nothing.
Trellised on a ruined fence,
bend under graces of weightless sky,
entwined with every weed of revelation.
Flower without trying
and be wild.

Forest Song


The full moon pulls the tides of our body
even when we are not gazing, or awake.
Yes, there is a song in the forest, 
even when we are not there. 
Our future depends on hearing it
wherever we are.

The Golden Fire


Nisargadatta says, there is no external behavior 
or sign that one is your Guru. 
"Your only proof is in yourself: 
if you find that you turn to gold, then you know 
you have touched the Philosopher's Stone."
Wherever you are, in whatever work
you do, 
the instant you turn your awareness inward 
to touch the Master, a golden dawn 
illuminates your empty heart sky, 
each candle nerve in the star-clustered chandelier 
of your brain suddenly bursts into flame, 
the melted ghee of surrender drips down 
from your forehead to your chest.
You need no image of the Master's face or 
repetition of his name, only an un-whispered 
touch of remembrance, a Presence-spark, 
to ignite the all-destroying sweet ananda-fire 
into which you are offered and poured.
This is not the pouring of a Spirit into you, 
but the pouring of your self into the un-selved 
chalice of the Beloved, where you vanish 
toward the pointless Radiance in the bottom 
of your heart, which overflows with emptiness
and a silence more tangible than flesh.
This is how your earthly Master becomes a heavenly fire.

The Only Ritual


The only ritual that matters anymore
is to press this unknown flower between our hearts
until we drown in the crushed fragrance that rises
from the fissure between yearning and delight,
the undulating hairline fault in the diamond,
a path for us who are made of light, leading
out of form and perfection, into namelessness.
It may be a rose, this flower, or it may be God.
But I will never know the way back to the garden
where I stole it for you, like fire.

Lies

As soon as I speak your name, I lie.
And if I call you Nameless, I lie.
If I say Thou I lie, if I say Me I lie.
And if I say One, it is almost the greatest lie.
But Two is the mother of lies.
Let my lies reveal the truth.
Let my lies reveal the tiny blue violet of your face
blossoming through the dark crevice,
splitting the stone.
Let my lies reveal the warm brown hills
and valleys of your body.
Let my lies reveal the flash of your smile
in the warrior's sword, and the scent of your touch
in the breast-bundled softness of an infant's lips.
Let my lies be the eyes of God gazing on creation.
Shiva, Shiva, Shiva! This world of lies!
This poem of lies!

Shatter


Dharma Gaia card designed by Rashani Rea, using my poem. (Click to enlarge)

There's a Stillness...


Click picture to further enlarge. Graphics by Rashani.

Honor Your Body


Jesus is no ghost.
He mingles mud and spit to heal.
His lips brush your fevered cheeks
whispering, "arise."
Sakyamuni's whole life
is an earth-touching gesture,
his four dignities - to walk, to stand, 

to sit, and to lie in repose like a stone 
at the bottom of the river of breath.
When Krishna dances he leaves footprints 

overflowing with dew and perfume.
He drives real women crazy.
Don't be an angel, you have bones,
you have stinging tears.
The way to transcend your body 

is to honor your body.
Honor the mushroom-laden loam 

in your marrow.
Honor the ocean in a skin cell.

Honor the sky in each atom.
Honor the sunlight sparkling in your nerves.
Honor the luminous curve of matter
whose horizon is the touch of a human hand.
Every particle of flesh is a gateway
to the Radiance beyond.

Serve and Be Near




Serve and be near.

Devotion is not measured by physical closeness to the Master, but by the degree of surrender in the heart. Wherever we are, a thousand miles away, we can serve and be near.

If I "serve humanity," I may soon burn out with disappointment. But let me serve the Guru Tattva dwelling in each heart, the Divine Seed. Let me serve the infinite possibility of Love planted in all finite creatures. That is service to the Master.

Is one form of service superior to another? It is neither whom nor how we serve that makes our service pure, but the depth of our faith in the heart. The social activist uplifts the poor and homeless. Mother serves by raising her child. How can one be better than the other?

One protests injustice or marches for peace. Another rescues and heals abused animals. A student serves by learning human values. A blacksmith shoes the horse. A merchant expands business, providing jobs. An artist creates pictures, poems and music to heal the world. A soldier serves by protecting.

One of the deepest forms of vanity is to imagine that one's own way of service is better, or that one is really saving the earth, saving humanity. The earth is impermanent; it cannot be saved. Humanity cannot be saved. What dissolves cannot be saved, whether it vanishes in a moment or in ten million years. What is saved is eternal Awareness of the divine.

When we practice meditation, for a little while we relinquish all belief, all anxiety, all memory, every form of 'I,' and we dissolve into boundless Love. Even a moment of that transcendence sends a purifying thrill of beauty through the whole creation. This too is of great service.

Serve and be near, wherever you are. Jai Guru Dev.

The Sentence


I was sentenced to life in prison. They shut me in a small cell.

Outraged by the injustice, I kept shouting, "let me out! I want to be free!" But the louder I shouted the smaller the cell became, until it was an infinitesimal particle, tinier than an atom.


Finally, I shut up and collapsed. Immediately, as I sank to my knees, the walls disappeared and I could see the stars. I went on collapsing for a long long time, sinking into a black hole of unbounded tininess, and relinquishing all yearning to be anywhere else.

Then I heard the voices and rattling keys of my judges and jailers. "We have come to tell you that all charges have been dropped," they announced. "You are free." But they were astonished to find the door to my cell wide open.

"I know," I said. "You never really locked the door."

When they examined my dwelling place, they all cried, "Marvelous! There's a mansion for each of us here!"

"Come," I said, "judge, jury, criminal and executioner. If you want to live with me, just give up seeing any difference between one who forgives and one who is forgiven."

So they brought their wives and sisters, cousins and clansmen. They brought armies of ancestors, rich and poor, priests and heretics from every religion. They brought planets, suns and galaxies. We all dressed up in the star-clustered gowns of space itself, and feasted in my infinitesimal Palace of Surrender, on whose wide open gate someone painted:

"Enter Now, You Who Were Always Here!"



Painting: 'Jacob's Ladder,' William Blake, 1800

One Word

There is only one word.

It begins in astonishment at the back of your throat and ends in breathless pressed lips, closed eyes;

A single syllable containing every sound in the alphabet, every language from infancy till death;


The lover’s sigh, uncertain laughter, the stunned gargle of soldier’s blood.

All other words are echoes, reverberating in canyons of silence.

If you would be a poet, keep trying to pronounce it, even if it kills you.

Be like a thief fleeing from the royal garden, attempting to breathe through a mouth stuffed with stolen figs.

Even if the King himself runs after you, shouting, "Wait, you're welcome here, our fruit is yours!" –

Keep fleeing into the wilderness, until you can sing the Beloved’s name.

Cry of the Body


You are not a deva trapped in a body; your body is made of devas dancing before the sun. 

At the center of every atom is the ecstatic cry, "I Am the bread of life, I Am the song of flesh!"

From the abysmal core of the oldest star-cast proton rings a canticle of light, the very pulsation of the dark. 


Overflowing with reverberations of emptiness, each tremor of silence an angel, you are an instrument of hollows and humming strings. 

Humanity is music; if you insist, "I am not this body," I will insist that you dance and sing!

Painting: Angels Dancing Before the Sun, Giovanni Paolo, 1482

More Lightly


Be a fallen petal. Float more lightly on the stream. We cannot speed the current or change its course. We are not in this world to alter it, but to bless it with awareness.

Why try so hard to make a difference? Trying makes us heavier, without affecting the stream at all. Trying makes us sink. But if we are light and free as a fallen petal, floating in our true nature, our very lightness, our simple presence, allows the world to happen fresh and clear.
 

You are a blessing just as you are. To embrace your own blessedness truly changes the world. Then your action overflows as being rather than doing.

Jai Guru Dev
___________
Photo by Martin Rubli, http://www.rubli.info/

सो ऽहम् (So Ham)


The moment I awake
this breath is something like
a fountain of beauty,
bread that feeds my heart,
wine poured out,
and already

I have been completely
nourished

Still


Even before you breathed,
you were bathed in love.
Is it any different now?
Not even an inhalation,
and the Mother is with you.

Sink


Swimmers in water come up for air.
I swim in God without a prayer.
I won't even come up for fire.
What Moses spoke and Buddha said
can't overcome my current of desire.

Memory throws me hope, a thread.
The tongue clings to an "O!"
But this heart yearns to drown,
refusing all light from above.
Others reach up, but I sink down.
My grace is letting go
in the fathomless dark abyss of love.

Tipsy Lover


Words have served their purpose.
It is time for wine.
Wine of trees and stars.
Wine of sleeping birds
cradled in holly.
Wine of burgundy night.
Even darker wine
of silence.
Listen for moonlight
in the modest sigh of pines.
Walk nowhere for hours,
amazed by duration,
the ever-expanding moment,
the sparkling in the hollow
of your heart.
Come back tipsy, lover.
Do not speak of what
or whom
you have known.

Be A Wanderer


 'Be a wanderer.' ~Jesus, Gnostic Gospel of Thomas

This whirling heart is wilderness, a chaos
of blossoming. Wander here like Jesus
til you're good and lost, then take off your shoes
and call it home. With every barefoot step,
the earth says, "welcome."You never even get
close to where you were going.
The only consolation is to throw away your map
and start dancing right where you are:
naked, arms outstretched toward sunset,
praying without words, without names
for the stars that arrive one by one like
honored guests. Dust is your sacrament now.
Taste immortality between your toes.
Linger, but do not stay.

Ode to Hands


I honor your hands, those skillful bones, tendons,
knuckles and fingers: you awe me, tool-holder!
I bow down to you, my own hands inept,
little accomplishing, hardly able to fold themselves.
You who tie knots and make shelters, you
who reach into the blood of birth and turn
the breached foal's head in the womb of the mare;
woodcarver, carpenter, thrower of pots,
blacksmith, diamond cutter, pruner of fruit trees;
you who swing bats or sink three pointers,
loaf kneader, roller of noodles, whirler of pizza dough;
calligrapher allowing clouds, expressing mountain
and bamboo in wrists and fingertips, I honor you!
Squirting milk into a bucket from the goat's teat,
or fingering the Uileann pipes as you gaze inward
at the eyes of Danu, Mother of green Eirre; 
you, lonely cosmetician with your palette of faces, 
I do not forget, nor you foot maseuse, nor plumber,
chiropractor, nurse, laying hands on the sick at midnight
unknown to the doctor; you the surgeon as well,
you, the veterinarian who operates on puppies;
I do not forget the engineer in the ribcage of the ship,
or the navigator by stars in oceanic night
on the bridge with his sextant and compass.
I honor the greaser and breaker of rusted bolts, you,
mechanic changing my mother's tire on the highway;
you who lay brick walls in a straight line, who play
steel stringed guitar with tough delicate fingers;
poodle groomer, binder of wounds on the battlefield!
I honor your hands, sword-wielder, marksman,
backhoe driver, shaker of the shaman's rattle at the moon.
I honor the deft diaper changer and the mixer of cocktails;
the Ayurvedic pulse-reader, the miner with infernal drill;
distiller of barley malt, brewer, grafter of grape vines;
you who bless tinctures and ointments, crushing flowers
into homeopathic salve, all of you equally adept.
I honor the handyman and midwife, the builder of campfires,
mudra-weaver in your mountain shrine, you, love-maker. 
With my hands that make nothing, I offer you this poem.

Stone

-->

"The Lord is my rock." ~Psalm 18

"Brothers, my peace is in my aloneness. My Beloved is alone with me there, always."
~Rabia al-Adawiyya

In your garden there’s a stone
more ancient than the forest.
There's a proton in your bone
as old as any star.

What’s nearer than the nearest
is further than the far,
yet stays, unseen, and cannot go,
the ancient one you are;

Gone, gone, beyond gone,
rippled stillness in the flow,
whispered silence in the song,
the Friend who’s here when you’re alone.