10/30/2013

Mystical Bride


Ten thousand voices murmuring inside you, declaiming, insisting, some angry, some full of tears, all falling silent at the Christ-whisper:

"Come rest in Me. I Am the mereness of your Being. I Am the Abundance that overflows when simply existing is enough. I Am your Christ-Self, more You than who you think you are. I am your long-patient lover, the Am who waits for I in the bridal chamber of the heart. Come, drink of my long-aged Wine. Recline at the feast of who you really are.

"The canopy I built for this wedding is the sky. The galaxies are chandeliers, hung low to glitter like a diamond tiara for you. Stars pour my light into your cup, singing, "Just as you are, just as you are!" Haven't you understood their language? Light comes from inside.

Now is the time to shatter your cup. Let me pour this transforming sweetness on your head, your brow, your lips, your chest. My ecstasy is that you are anointed as I am anointed, in the same stream, pour from the same Breath.

"What part of you will not gather under the Chuppah? Your blood, your breath, your desire? Your old story of being alone and apart from Me? I invite all of you to the wedding, the stumbling unmarried uncle of your doubt, the muttering spinster of your hesitation, the children of your uncertainty. Let them whirl with the best dancers and call for more wine!

"At this wedding, One becomes Two. That is the real Mystery. Oneness is too easy! This confusion of lips, hearts and names is divine inebriation, wildness of the best vintage. I have saved it for last, our twoness!

"Therefor, for the last time, shout this invitation to your shadow, lingering outside, afraid to pass through the door into light. Plead again just once to all the members of the court of your body who imagined themselves rejected and despised:

Come! You were betrothed to this Joy before your mother conceived you. There is no time to wonder how worthy you are. The music has begun. Your Beloved is mad with longing. Come this instant, or do not bother to exist!"

The Three Mary's


"There were three Mary's who traveled with Jesus..." ~Gnostic Gospel of Philip

In relation to Christ-Consciousness, every human soul is a Mary. The three Mary's of the Gospel represent three stages in our relationship with Divine Consciousness.

First, we nurture the infant Light within, like Mary the Mother of Jesus. We must tenderly care for the Light lest it be snuffed out by the cynicism and hopelessness of the world. 


Maturing in our  relationship with the Inner Light, we discover that the Christ is our personal Friend. Like Mary of Bethany, our soul is God's companion on the way. Hand in hand, we walk with God. 

Finally, friendship blossoms into divine yearning. The soul is now a Magdalene, transmuting all her energies and passions into Love.

The Light within us, as Lover, invites us to union in the Bridal Chamber of the heart. 

"In his Breath, we experience a new embrace; we are no longer in duality, but in unity.... All will be clothed in light when they enter into the mystery of this sacred embrace.... What is the Bridal Chamber, if not the place of trust and consciousness in the embrace?" ~Gnostic Gospel of Philip
The divine bathes not only the mind but the senses in the radiant nectar of Love. More and more, we perceive the spiritual potency in matter. Mother matter, "Mater," gives birth to the luminescence of the Christ. We see the earth lit from within, like a bride adorned. She is Shakti, Sophia, Shekinah, the energy of consciousness itself.

Let us offer not only every prayer, but every sensation, to the Light within. Let us immolate the world in the fire of Love, until this whole creation burns to no-thing in the flame that was kindled by a tiny spark from the center of the heart.

10/28/2013

Birth

"In the beginning..." If we understand these words, we do not say anything after them, certainly not anything in the past tense, such as "God created heaven and earth." The beginning never ended and has no duration. The beginning ever is, and none of us is even one moment old.

10/27/2013

The Economics of Consciousness

Life is not a pity party. Life is not an entitlement. No one owes me. If I am able-bodied and able-minded, no law, moral or civil, obligates anybody else to take care of me. I must learn to generate my own light, my own energy, my own happiness.

But I don't like hearing this. If I am on the left, I would rather hear that my problems are caused by the rich, by the military industrial complex, by Christians, or by "corporations" (even though the vast majority of corporations consist of one to ten people trying to start a small business.) And if I am on the right, my problems are caused by too much government, by immigrants, by Muslims, by gay people getting married. Each side blames its opposite, and this blame only fuels the polarity.

No one wants to hear the truth: my world does not change until I change from within. I need to handle my own pain, fear, and unhappiness... Which is why the most radical political act is to teach people how to meditate. Teach citizens to transcend the angry mind, chattering with self-pity. Teach them to connect with the silence of the heart. That silence is the source of light, the source of energy, the source of creation. That silence will transform a nation of whiners into a community of self-radiant creators.

Teach meditation, then teach students how to start a business. If you go to the best schools in the country, you'll learn reading, writing and arithmetic, then you'll spend a great deal of time in verbal gymnastics, reading thousands of pages that you are bound to forget. But you won't learn these two essential skills: how to meditate, and how to start your own business.

Help students become inwardly creative and outwardly productive, then they will be on the path to financial independence and sustainability. The society of the future will not be a society that depends on "alms for the poor," but a society of creative citizens who contribute their own energy and wealth to the nation. They will ask, "What can I give?" instead of "How much do I get?"

As an economic system, "alms for the poor" don't work. Alms for the poor, welfare, food stamps, are just stop-gap measures. They can be given as temporary aids, but as permanent institutions they result in dependency. Alms and food stamps don't transform society because they don't transform people from within. Government handouts to banks that are too big to fail, agribusiness farm subsidies, and tax breaks for Exxon-Mobil or General Electric, are equally unhealthy forms of dependency.

We don't need to re-distribute energy, we need to generate energy. We don't need to re-distribute wealth, we need to generate wealth. Only then can we truly share it. Redistribution of income is just another name for entropy. The equal redistribution of energy and light in a thermodynamic system results in the heat-death of the system. So, the equal redistribution of wealth results in the heat-death of the economy.

An economy based on entitlements is destined for entropy. A functional economy should be a cooperative, not an entitlement. There's a big difference. Entitlement means you expect others to take care of you, whether you give anything back or not. Cooperative means you take out of the system what you need, because you put into it what you can. When people put nothing into a system, what entitles them to take anything out?

Marx's economy was not an entitlement but a cooperative: "to each according to their need, from each according to their ability." Our entitlement society seems to have forgotten the second half of Marx's wisdom. Again, "how much do I get?" must be balanced by, "what can I give?"

Meditate and radiate. Connect with the silence inside you. That divine silence is the very energy from which the Word of creation speaks, "Let there be light." Through the light within you, renew the world. Be productive. This is the real meaning of God's word to Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply." It is not only the wisdom of the Bible, but the self-luminous economics of the Buddha. The sutras record his final sermon:
"Beneath the sala trees at Kusinagara, in his last words to his disciples, the Buddha said: Make of yourself a light. Rely upon yourself. Do not depend upon anyone else."

Handling Addictive Craving


To overcome an addictive craving, do not struggle. Do not even think about it, entangling yourself with intentions and mental images. Simply repose in the body: in the specific area where the craving arises as desire, or subsides as fulfillment. Every desire and fulfillment of desire is accompanied by a sensation in the physiology.

Breathe through this area in your body. Rest at the source of the craving, observing it as energy in your cells and atoms, before it becomes an image in the mind.

Whether this sensation is painful, pleasant or simply numb, dissolve your awareness into it, without resistance or judgment. And as you breathe out, offer it all to the Master.

I know this not through my strength but through my weakness. I hope you might find it helpful.

Photo Credit

10/26/2013

Honey

God, the Guru, and the Self are One. Love, Lover, and Beloved are One. The Seer, the Seeing, and the Seen are One. This is Sat-Chit-Ananda: Being, Consciousness and Bliss.

Yet the bee seeks the garden, falls into the nectar-cup, stains his nose and feet with golden dust. He staggers out and returns to his cell, so laden with sweetness he can hardly fly. There he performs the silent secret work of turning pollen into honey.

If bee and flower, pollen and honey are One, if garden and cell, stillness and flight are One, why must the bee make such effort? So that One may vibrate, and the littlest creature delight in its offerings.

O Beauty, O Sweetness that is always already here, become a flower and tongue for Me!

10/25/2013

Politics 101 + 1

Our anger does not create action, only reaction: a reaction bound and defined by what made us angry. That is why the politics of anger never works, but only produces an endless repetition of shadow punches, left and right reacting to each other.

The source of creativity is the silence that transcends the cycle of reaction. To act in freedom, we first need to transcend the chatter of the angry mind. Imbibe the silence that is beyond karma, then act.

This is the formula given in Bhagavad Gita, 2:48: Yoga-stah, karu-karmani. "First establish the mind in the harmony of yoga, then perform action."

This is why teaching meditation is not an escape from politics, but a very radical form of politics.

10/24/2013

Polish the World

Polish the world with consciousness until ordinary things glisten with their true nature. Consciousness is the missing ingredient in our action and our activism. The world will only change when we change from within and pour Light into it.

A root meaning of the word "shaman" is "one who sees in the dark." We all have shamanic gifts. They are as inherent in our humanity as heartbeats and breathing. Now is the time when we awaken collectively to our shared shamanic power.

Your body has been purified already in the sweat lodge of your birth. It contains all the talismans you need for your shamanic journey. The robe of the deer priest is your flesh. Is the crown of your head not a white crystal, blending seven colors of the rainbow? Is the pulse in your brow not the eye of the prophet? The pituitary gland in your brain, is it not a medicine bag, filled with ancestral herbs? Your throat a flute that calls the animal guides and elementals, your chest a drum filled with thunder and silence, your heart a cup containing the nectar of healing, your solar plexus a shield of gold whose glow expands around you for protection, your navel a stem that leads to the inward flower whose petals are heavens of angelic vision and song. Some of you have sacred moon blood for cleansing every forest sanctuary for the dance.

In the past, religions have taught us to look for the light above or outside ourselves, to look toward the pope, priest, guru, savior. Likewise, political systems taught us to look toward government for our succor and salvation. Now is the time to shift to a completely different way of seeing spiritual power and authority. All power and authority are given to you! The Light you've been looking for is your own source and center.

Don't look for Light, look from Light. Be the seer in the dark. See in the dark by generating the power by which you see. Practice deep meditation, touch creation's silent source, then let there be Light.

"You are the Light of the world (Mat 5:14)." I didn't say that. The shaman Jesus did.


Recommended book, 'The Beauty of the Primitive.'

10/23/2013

Stuff



Every proton was forged in the belly of a sun. The atoms of our bodies are quite literally filled with star stuff. That is science. The space between our atoms is luminous and awake. That is meditation.

10/22/2013

Burning

I became free through striking my heart against the stone of this world until a spark arose. This tiny spark set my body on fire. My body ignited earth, wind, and water, until the stone itself was consumed by a widening ring of flames. Now I am a shining black circle that expands at an infinite velocity through emptiness, searching for you. When we meet, it all begins again, because this burning has no limit, no purpose, no meaning but to dance.

10/21/2013

Only to Be

Spiritual transformation never happens in a space of ideology, where the mind is distracted by a political, economic, or cultural agenda. Transformation happens in a space where the only intention is to Be.

10/19/2013

Revolution


I used to say, spirituality is joyful revolt. But there's no need for revolt. Only the marvelous silent explosion of stillness as you realize that all authority is an illusion. Even the authority of "self-control." The Self has no need for control. Awareness is its own discipline, indistinguishable from delight. There is no authority in the universe but your heart's freedom to love. This is why gentleness is the supreme power, and moonlight washes away knowledge.

One


There is only one Gospel: Earth is your mother, sky is your father. Your breath is the holy spirit, your body the holy child.

There is only one prophecy, and you are its fulfillment. There is only one God, the radiance of your heart. If there is any other religion, show me.

Through the sparkling of your eyes, through the song of your smile, through the fragrance of the words you leave unspoken, because they are your footsteps and your caresses, show me, show me!

Friend, there is only one scripture. You write it whenever you breathe in, and erase it when you breathe out. This breath, this moment, this body, the incarnation of God.

10/18/2013

This Is My Body


Do you inhabit your body? Or do you inhabit a concept about your body? A concept that was given to you years ago when you were a child, by the passing comment of an older kid, or a parent, a sibling, an aunt, a comment that for them meant nothing, but for you became a prophecy and a curse:

"Stop wiggling!"
"Fatty boy."
"You're too short to play basketball with us."
"You're even taller than the guys!"
"She used to be so cute, now she looks scrawny."
"See what you did, clumsy!"
"Looks more like a boy."
"Throws like a girl."
"Pudgy."
"Boney."
"Monkey."
"Eeeewe!"

And ever since then, when you walk into a roomful of people, or show up for an interview, or get seen, you are not whole, you are not warm.You are in exile, hovering outside your form in cold space, gray mind, entrapped in those words, caged in a concept about how you appear. You are prohibited from tasting the sacrament, the privilege of being on earth, golden and vibrant, dancing in the star-clustered galaxies of your marvelous flesh.

There is no time in the unconscious. A few words from childhood are being spoken now; and the way they made you feel so long ago, is a burn or a numbness you carry in every electron of this moment. Until you become conscious of them, and choose to let them go...

One of the most crucial inward events of your life, though it seems so insignificant to the world's standard of measurement, is the moment when you un-speak that little spell. Do it now. Breathe out a rolling wave of forgiveness, from the sky in your crown to the ground in the soles of your feet. Tumble back into your skin. Return to the Garden of your body. Inhabit every delicious liquid cell, every sparkling photon of your Radiance.

Can you say, "I am this body. I hug this body. I love this body just as it is"? Because if you cannot embrace your own flesh, who can you love?

Breathe yourself into your heart, like a spiral of majestic suns rolling into its center. Saturate your body with the love you are. Then breathe out light, through your arms and legs, through your forehead and tongue, your belly and fingertips, sex and toes. Fully dwell in the cosmos of your body. Be the gift.
_____________

This exercise and these words grew out of a course I am giving in 'The Sacred Body,' so I thought I'd share them here. Thanks for listening.

Marriage


 A healthy lasting marriage is really two marriages in one.

The husband is inwardly wedded to the divine feminine, the power of Shakti. The wife is inwardly wedded to the divine masculine, Lord Shiva. Marriage is not about the passionate quest of two halves for their "soul mates." It is a deep abiding partnership between whole human beings. How can I fulfill another person if I am only half full? To fill others, I must overflow.

In early Gnostic Christianity, the inward marriage of divine masculine and feminine energies took place in the heart center and was called "the sacrament of the Bridal Chamber."


Some modern authors have tried to turn the mystical symbolism of the inner marriage into a literal sexual affair. Such misinterpretations are as prevalent in the Indian tradition as in the West. Is the lila, or love play, between Krishna and the Gopis in the garden of Vrindavan a historical event in which a king has promiscuous sex with local cowherd girls? Of course not. It is the eternal love song of the soul and the Spirit, the heart's longing for union with God.

Is the love of Christ and Mary Magdalene a tantric sex ritual? Of course not. It is the Western version of the Radha Krishna story. These ancient symbols describe the marriage of dynamic forces within a whole human person, not the marriage of two separate bodies:
"Jesus said, When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one... then you will enter the kingdom." ~Gospel of Thomas
Obviously the purport of this passage is balance between Shiva and Shakti, Yin and Yang, Ha and Tha: the solar male and lunar female energies in Hatha Yoga. The passage describes an interior union, not an external act of romantic love-making.

According to the science of Yoga, the male energy spirals down the spine through a nada, a subtle nerve channel called the Pingala, meeting the feminine energy spiraling upward through the Ida. They form a double helix. Male and female, sacred sky and holy ground, converge in the human heart. Our body is the lightning rod linking earth and stars. Solar Male unites with Mother Earth in Hridaya, the heart center. Hrid is the Sanskrit root of the English word heart.


This union of down-pointing and up-pointing flames is symbolized as two inter-penetrating triangles, forming a six-pointed star. Interestingly, this symbol of union, the Star of David, is found in both Jewish and Indian tradition. The Kabbala visualizes the union in the heart as Tifereth, meaning Beauty. Tifeteth integrates the energy of all worlds, the Sephiroth, in the cosmic human form. Similarly, the texts and yantras of Yoga use precisely the same six-pointed star as the symbol of the heart.


Lacking an internal balance of male and female in our own hearts, our outer sexual relations are tantalizing but fruitless quests for a wholeness that is only realized within. Thus the Gnostic Gospel of Philip declares of male and female:
"Through their sacred embrace, we are invited into the interior. As long as this is hidden, unhappiness prevails..."
Christ celebrates this "sacred embrace" of male and female in the heart's Bridal Chamber. The Gospel of Philip says:
"In his Breath, we experience a new embrace: we are no longer in duality, but in unity... All will be clothed in light when they enter into the mystery of this sacred embrace.... What is the bridal chamber if not the place of trust and consciousness in the embrace? It is a symbol of Union, beyond all forms of possession. Here is where the veil is torn from top to bottom; here is where some arise and awaken." *
So marriage is an outward sacrament and sign of an inward mystery. There is no evidence in early Christianity that this "embrace" was a tantric sex ritual. At the same time, there was no calling to become a monk. Monasticism was a later development.

From the Gnostic Gospels it is clear that both men and women were called to interior union, and they helped each other to its fulfillment as partners in the state of marriage.
 __________

* 'The Gospel of Philip: Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the Gnosis of Sacred Union,' J. Leloup, Inner Traditions, 2004 (Leloup is a French scholar whose translation is excellent, though I don't always agree with his interpretation).

10/17/2013

Everlasting Kiss

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is sweeter than wine. ~Song of Songs
There is some kiss we all want, the kiss of spirit upon the body. ~Rumi
Jesus loved Mary Magdalene more than all the disciples, and often used to kiss her on the mouth. ~Gnostic Gospel of Philip
But this is the deeper kiss of the soul and God, an interior kiss that moves the wheel of stars, and turns the world from the stillness of its melting center.

Even when our bodies kiss, why do we close our eyes as lips meet? Because, for a brief instant, twoness vanishes in a dark sweet void, neither your I nor mine, but one Am. 


That moment is a hint, a shadow, a metaphor of the everlasting kiss, where consciousness becomes perfectly intimate with its Self.
 
By all means, go on seeking lovers, lifetime after lifetime, fleeting affair after fleeting affair, until the yearning of I and Thou becomes the wedding of I and Am. 
In Christ's Breath, we experience a new embrace; we are no longer in duality, but in unity...
All those who practice the sacred embrace will kindle the light; they will not beget as people do in ordinary marriages... 

All will be clothed in light when they enter into the mystery of this sacred embrace...

What is the bridal chamber, if not the place of trust and consciousness in the embrace? It is an icon of Union, beyond all forms of possession:

Here is where the veil is torn from top to bottom; here is where some arise and awaken.
~Gnostic Gospel of Philip, Nag Hammadi Library
 

Ode to Bullshit


Glory be to bullshit, that from which blossoms grow, that to which all food returns. I sing the hymn of universal Bullshit.

1% of a seed is the flower, 99% is manure. 1% of a flower is the seed, 99% is manure. And so it goes, all the way up to the galaxies, the green pastures of heaven. I only know this: there's a pretty big Bull up there.

Why are you always right and I'm always wrong? Why am I always right and you're always wrong? Both of us wallow in bullshit.

The orchids and poppies of religious dogma spring from enormous steaming piles of bullshit. The political ideology of the Right is bullshit. The political ideology of the Left is bullshit. The melodrama of the PHD is sparkling bullshit. The latest scientific theory is the flowering of bullshit. The neuro-meta-bio-physics of the most recent article I have read: pure bullshit.

No one has ever seen a theory. Yet we each cling to the theory that appeals most to our insatiable appetite for the self-deluding fragrance of bullshit.

No one has ever seen a quark or an eleven-dimensional 'string.' Quantum physics is a charmed lily growing in bullshit.

No one knows what distant stars and galaxies are, or if they even exist, because all we ever see is a smudge of light millions of years in the past. Who knows but that the stars are dancing archers, scorpions, rams and bulls, each constellation dumping its luminous offal onto the earth?

Astronomy is bullshit. Astrology is bullshit. The night sky is deep bullshit. Rejoice. Wallow.

If you swallowed a pill of bullshit, it would cure you 50% of the time. Ayur Veda, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Aromatherapy and Crystal Healing: all based solidly on theories of bullshit.

The pharmaceutical industry thrives on the laboratory science of bullshit. When I listen to TV ads for prescription drugs, I can't tell whether they're trying to cure me or kill me. 

And don't forget Yoga, O blessed numberless schools of bullshit! 'Hot' bullshit, 'constant flow' bullshit, 'integral' bullshit, 'kundalini' bullshit: all sleek artfully tanned tank-topped bodies covered with the balm of bullshit!

The thousand-petalled lotus in the brain grows in a skull full of bullshit. Matter is bullshit, Spirit is the odor of bullshit.

Rejoice when you finally comprehend that there is nothing to seek because Truth is bullshit, and bullshit shall set you free. 

What if Creationists sat down in a pile of bullshit with Evolutionary Biologists? The Creationists might declare, 'Our attempt to understand the laws of science through the first chapter of Genesis is total bullshit.' The Biologists might then confess, 'The Big Bang, Thermodynamics, Darwin's theory, it's all bullshit: we really have no idea where the universe came from.' Wouldn't they all be more awake?

What if Israelis sat down in a pile of bullshit with Palestinians? The Israelis might admit, 'Those old stories about burning bushes, parting seas, the promised land: they're wonderful stories if you're a Jew, but they're all bullshit if you're a Canaanite.' Then the Palestinians could fess up, 'Those theories about Jews running the world's banks and Zionist American plots to take over the world: they sound fine if you're a Palestinian, but they're all bullshit.' Wouldn't they all breathe easier?

And what about those piles of corporate excrement on Wall Street? The only thing that trickles down from the rich to the poor is bullshit.

There are two kinds of people: the enlightened and the ignorant. The ignorant think there is a precious jewel buried in the bullshit. The enlightened are free because they know it's all bullshit.

Non-dualism, fundamentalism, catholicism, protestantism, atheism, buddhism, darwinism and spelling self with a capital 'S': all bullshit!

Imitating your Indian guru by nodding your head from side to side: Bullshit!

Taking Jesus to be your imaginary friend, taking Krishna to be your imaginary friend, or imagining that you have no imaginary friend: all bullshit! Just do what you love!

Join a mega-church led by a bishop in diamond rings who drives a Cadillac and preaches damnation to gay people while seducing teen age boys, or live without any spiritual community at all: either way, it's bullshit. Just do what you love!

Accepting that the mind is full of bullshit is the deepest meditation. Only then can you laugh, flush, and be empty. Just do what you love!

This is the only truth, and even This is bullshit.

Relax. Wallow. There's a pretty big Bull up there.

10/16/2013

Stumble into Grace


Walking meditation is a little too careful for me. I prefer stumbling. Stumbling is how my body discovers the next step of the dance, which I could never learn otherwise. And when I Fall, there's even a possibility of learning to fly. So forgive me if I have gotten lost, gone off-trail, or veered from the path. That is where I find Grace.

Point to the Sky




When I try to put a concept around the blue sky of my heart, I kill wonder, and destroy the very basis of creativity. Why do I need a concept?

Words are pointers. When we get stuck in the word, the pointer, it becomes a concept. Then we build a belief system. Our belief is "right" and someone else's is "wrong." There is conflict.

World conflict does not arise because some people have the right beliefs and some have the wrong ones. World conflict is the inevitable result of having any belief system at all.

Those who destroy our civilization are people who preach out of very entrenched belief systems, whether of the Right or the Left, this religion or that religion. When they meet, they do not meet in the present moment, with silent, receptive, compassionate minds. They meet as clashing cymbals of belief. They do not listen, they just point.

We can use words in a completely different way. We can use words to point to the present moment, then let them go. Good words always point to Presence, and liberate language from concepts. Good words lead to silence.

For the peace of the world, let us abandon our concepts and use words to awaken the clarity of the empty sky. Thank you for listening.

10/14/2013

Body Prayer

              Cybele, Earth Goddess

It's OK to pray to the Divine. But be sure that, once in a while, you pray to your body...

"O my Body, forgive me! I listened to almost everyone but you. I need to spend more quiet time with you, just hearing your voice. Perhaps it is only the sound of your heart, or your breathing, or the secret thunder of your underground rivers of blood. But those are the voices of true prophecy, those are the heavenly messengers, nearer to me than my own name.

"O dear Body, I remember when we were very very young, there didn't seem to be two of us. I was you and you were I. Your rolls and buns and loaves of pudginess were scrumptious. Your nakedness was like a peach, you were tasty as wild oxalia, mushrooms on the forest floor. Your compost was sweet and strong, a mixture of lilies and poo. You could do yoga just rolling in your crib and burping. You taught many wise old people to laugh and to surrender, and never charged them an initiation fee.

"I just wanted you to know that I deeply appreciate all the things you do for me, even while I am sleeping. You sustain me, breathe me, beat my heart, digest my food, expel toxins and disease, and do I ever say thank you? I'm sorry. Forgive me. I love you.

"I'm done with the anorexic Bennaton model, I'm done with men's robot abdomens and steel-armored hearts, I'm done with glossy hatha-tantra studio models in yoga fashion mags, pretending that spirituality has anything to do with exotic asanas that nobody ever really performs, I'm done with smoothie herbal concoctions that few humans have the luxury to cultivate, let alone whip up in high-tech juicers and magic bullet blenders. Now I return to you, my Body, just as you are.

"I've wasted years pumping you into iron in front of 24-Hour Fitness mirrors. It would take a medieval torture chamber to achieve a Barbie body of actual human flesh. But I bought into the American culture of body-image perfection, which is an addiction no less than any drug. I purged, pumped, ripped, sculpted, starved, wasted and detoxed you. I turned you into a grass-fed free-range gluten-free organic Olympian god. I punished you in the kitchen and the gym, I abused you with shoes and belts and designer clothes; and in a thousand unconscious acts of not dwelling, not reposing, not luxuriating in the sprawling garden of your wild and glorious flesh, I proclaimed, 'I am not my body!' - when in fact, I am nothing else...

"Dear Body, forgive me for being this crazy voice in your head. No wonder you felt like wearing a tin-foil helmet to protect you from the alien rays of your own mind! Yes, it was I who  bombarded you with messages from space like "you're too fat," "you have zits," "you smell human," "your penis is too short," "you tits are sagging," "your butt is too big," "you're over 30 and your done," "why can't you run the marathon like everybody else?" "why can't you do the crane pose, the lotus headstand, the forearm standing scorpion, the eight-angle ashravakrasana, you little yoga wimp"? Dear Body, I made you crush at least two vertebrae in your neck playing football. I forced you to have sex when you didn't really want to, with people you didn't even know. And I whispered confusing hints that the color of your skin mattered, and you would somehow have to always be sixteen.

"I even prevented you from breathing, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, because I thought you needed to suck in your belly and puff up your chest and tighten your ass and walk like John Wayne or Grace Kelly.

"But all the time, you were gazing up from the cradle of your bones, from your warm golden comforter of belly fat, from the satin pillow of your cheeks, waiting for me to remember you, to speak your name, to put my arms around you and gently hold you, O my Body, pressed out and overflowing with the juice of my ancestors, surging with the salty ocean blood of every animal who ever walked on four legs, slithered, swam, or flew on wings: yet I would not, because I thought that I was someone else!

"So I'm praying to you now, dear Body, forgive me. I'm praying for the grace of your warmth, your softness, your pulsation, your swelling up and sinking down. I'm praying for your sacramental weight, whatever it is, reminding me that you are full and present like food, bound to the earthen breast, the mother ground, you are ripe with the miracle of her gravity, you are the luminosity of dark matter, you are the sacred rite of walking, standing, sitting, lying still; you are the ritual of aging, the slow beauty of dying, giving your petals, your pollen and fragrance away. You are the never-ending offering of breath...

"Bless me, O my Body, with the whole sky in every inhalation. Bless me with the green nectar of returning seasons in each out-breathing of my heart.


"For now I know that all possible worlds, all heavenly mansions exist in the architecture of your molecules. I know that every electron of your darkest marrow contains the boundless light that created the universe. I know that you are a cosmos of infinitesimal divine Words and sub-atomic Logoi, created so that Gods and Goddesess might find a dwelling place on earth. I know that the space beyond the galaxies is the space between your atoms. I know that you, my Body, are the body of Christ. I know that your breath is the breath of the Buddha. I know that your heartbeat is the sound of Krishna dancing in the moonlit garden of Vrindavan.

"Dear Body, I love you. I surrender to you. I Am you. Therefor, bowing down to the lotus feet of my Body, I curl up and sleep like a God, so that I may rise and walk tomorrow like a river, sit like a mountain, move like a cloud, and sparkle like the endless sky."

Wonder Yoga


Practice the Yoga of astonishment. Yoga not just twisting the body, holding the breath, or chanting mantras, but a state of wonder that softens and melts perception, like butter into ghee. I create duality and ignorance when I try to put a concept around my wonder. Do I need a concept? Being without a concept is Yoga.

10/13/2013

Get Down


We look around our culture with a sense of desolation and loss. We sometimes think we need to escape into the ancient forest, or go live in an indigenous tribal village, which of course lasts about as long as a nice vacation; then we drag ourselves back to the suburbs.

We long for the miraculous, the luminous, the pure, the spontaneous, the wild... sometimes so much so that we drown our longing in temporary addictive fixes and highs.

Yet the glory of the miraculous is all around us. The radiance of the miraculous is within us. The substance of the miraculous is what we're made of. We just don't get down into the Small enough to see it.

Get down into the Small. Then you find that a single electron is surrounded by a photon-cloud where every particle has an energy charge of infinity. This is literally true, the real truth about Mater, Mother-Matter.

Her dance dissolves and re-creates itself each instant, virtual particles vibrating out of the vacuum. You can't capture that energy: it runs through the fingers of Now. And since you can't hold it, you just have to Be it.

According to Bell's Theorum (1962) now experimentally verified by high energy particle colliders, every sub-nuclear particle is, at the base of its wave, the same silent zero-point energy as every other particle in the field. As Darwin said, "We are all netted together," but this is true at the quantum level in a profounder way than he realized. One of the first quantum physicists, Sir Arthur Eddington wrote, "When the electron vibrates, the whole universe shakes." So isn't every subtle particle, every tiny building block of matter, a miracle?

You don't have to travel out of your body or attain "higher worlds" to find the infinity of your being. Just sink into what you already are, repose in your atoms, dissolve into the continuum of wholeness where a difference between mind and matter, what you want and who you are, does not arise.


In the words of Buddhist meditation master Thich Naht Hanh, "We can get enlightened, we can get liberated, just by looking deeply into our body."
 

Simply be aware of your body as the glory of countless photons. Infinitesimal divine sparks overflow from every point in your flesh. You are made of pure golden light bubbling out of unbounded silence. That is a fact. Be inebriated with your natural abundance, and be filled with gratitude. This state of wonder is the real Yoga, the real wealth. Human culture could be so just and joyful if people would simply rest in the grace and prosperity of their own bodies.

No political or economic system will end our greed and exploitation of one another. The system changes when people change - when we change into ourselves!

Being the energy we are is so innately blissful that it reduces wants to needs, spontaneously unfolding a simple sustainable lifestyle. Therefor, the political solution is a spiritual solution, and the spirit is the body. Selah.
 

The bliss of being the energy you are, is not an esoteric technique. It requires no effort or faith, no affirmation or visualization: just an awakened surrender to Isness.

Surrounded by miracles, composed of miracles, you dance with the miraculous now, whether you sleep or wake, whether you know it or not. So why not just KNOW IT?

Chaos is descending into chaos. So what? Let Mother Kali boogie and don't worry. She whirls in harmony, her harmony is your embodiment, and even when you experience her dance as a stumble or a Fall, you free-fall through the space where everything is always all right, the space of Shiva, the pure space of boundless compassion. There is no need for the mind to create duality by putting a concept around its astonishment. Why do you need a concept?

The Divine wears you, adorns the dance in sparkling beads of your own flesh, and loves to show you off. You are God's bling.

10/12/2013

Crunch


The instant my teeth crunch into a slather-tart juice-squirting Stayman Winesap apple ripe picked or fallen from a family orchard in October, I am neither liberal nor conservative, young nor old, enlightened or ignorant, masculine or feminine, before or after: I am merely a tongue of joy for the living Earth.

To Divine Mother



O Mother Lalita, this is all your play, to bring tears and laughter like raindrops and sunbeams out of boundless emptiness. Therefore I surrender to your formless Beauty, without beginning or end, for you pervade everything like the sky, and you are, finally, the blue radiance of my own pure Consciousness. Thank you, Mother, for this breath of dawn.

10/11/2013

Taste


Isn't it time to pour all the stars and planets into the cauldron of your heart, mix them with the pain and anger of humanity, add rare pungent mushrooms from deep in the smoking compost pile, and drink, drink, drink, until every story they told you is forgotten in the fire of your astonishment? This taste has no name.

Chant Om


Chanting Om, let Earth's blue-green jewel float in the ocean of your heart as you hum the silence that resonates from every particle of your flesh into every other body on the planet, and into the space between the stars. This sound in your heart whirls galaxies. Why not create harmony throughout all the spheres that contain you? This is the ancient way, as above so below, on earth as it is in heaven. Peace.
 
"When the electron vibrates, the whole universe shakes." ~Sir Arthur Eddington, founder of Quantum mechanics and president of the Royal Academy of Science, also a Quaker.

"Adau Bhagavan shabdha rasahih." ~Vedic shruti ("In the beginning, the Lord manifests all through a stream of sound.")


Photo: Black Butte, Oregon, at dawn

10/10/2013

True Guru

A true guru does not say "I am the light" but "You are the light." A true guru does not say "bow down to my feet" but "stand on your own feet, wherever you walk I am with you."

A true guru does not say "I am the goal" but "I am the door." You won't get stuck in a real guru. You won't turn the guru into a surrogate mommy or daddy.

Pass through the guru-door into your Self. The guru will help you transcend the guru. That is the guru's greatest joy. Then you will carry the fragrance of the guru everywhere.

10/09/2013

Come Up For Air


Come up for air.

You will never convince me that the attempted coup now crippling our government has anything to do with 'Obamacare' or the budget. It was organized by a gang of white southern politicians who represent the darkest side of the American psyche. This sabotage of the American spirit is the final drama in a racist sub-text that has murmured through American politics for six years. Does anyone really believe this would be happening if the president was a white man?

Humans are not motivated by politics or economics: those are superficial intellectual constructs, mere afterthoughts. The real motivation comes either from the awakened heart, or from primal unconscious energies of ancient fear, tangled deep in the body-soul.

We choose our love, or we choose our terror. And our terror almost always manifests as racism, sexism, or tribalism. We don't want to expose these energies to the clear air, so we mask them with religious, political or economic concepts.

How crucial it is for all of us, right here and now, to practice deeply: to enter the caverns of our body-soul with a healing Breath, to touch with light and caress with awakened clarity those dark karmic energies we all carry from the past.

Political and economic debate will not solve this problem. It is rooted in the shadows of our body-soul, and the roots intertwine in one collective organism of national consciousness. Thus we meditate not just for our own healing, but for others, including our 'enemies,' perhaps for them most of all.

When we toss our little mind like a pebble into the pool of love, we not only ripple outward to embrace other citizens on earth, we ripple inward to embrace our ancestors. We bathe the pain of past generations with every breath of forgiveness. And when those dark energies sigh, exhale, untangle, dissolve, no longer blocking the flow of our compassion, the heart opens.

Golden beams, sparkling water, blue sky.

10/07/2013

Presence

 

A living master transforms us, not because of what they think or say or do, but because of the light that shines from their heart. This light is beyond thought, and it enters our being at a level that has nothing to do with believing.

We may sit in an auditorium and listen to them speak. Afterward, a friend asks us what they said, what their thinking is on a certain subject. But we have no answer. We can't even remember. And it doesn't matter. Or if we try to tell them, it sounds empty, like the rustle of old newspapers: because what we received came directly from Being, not from thought or speech. The words were just an occasion for a deeper transmission, a stream of nectar poured from one heart into another, until the cup is shattered and there is only one ocean of love.

If we are truly fortunate, we meet a being whose silent radiance is so palpable that they do not have to speak at all. They don't do anything but sit with us, and gaze into our eyes. And that suffices. That gaze contains more knowledge and virtue than all the books, lecture notes and lab reports in all the world's universities. Because the energy field of the heart's silence is 10,000 times more powerful than any ideas.

And the time now dawns on earth when each of us is this gaze for one another...

10/04/2013

The Gift of Human Incarnation

"Blessed is this human birth. Even the dwellers in heaven desire this birth." ~Srimad Bhagavatam 11.13

"Glorify God in your body." ~1 Cor. 6:20

What if the vibration of every photon in our flesh was a mantra, a sacred song? What if we could return to the source of creation, and meet the silent Singer, through any humble tiny particle in our body, simply by bathing one electron in a conscious breath? Then we would know what it is to be  human, living in a body on earth.

Meditate for America

At no time in recent history has it been more important to bring awareness back to the source of creation. We can return to the source through our sacred body, through every atom. We can return to the stillness at the center of the finest particle, for every particle in creation vibrates out of the silence at creation's source. Therefor you can center in the Divine through any humble tiny particle of your flesh. And in doing so, you will spread a vibrational mantle of blessing over the entire earth.

At present, we are seeing what happens when a nation is run by a government where our representatives do not practice meditation. They do not act from the power of inner silence: they act from the haze of alcohol and the stupor of anger, which go hand in hand.

Our representatives do not need our spite, but our pity and our healing love. Especially those who are so afraid, so stressed, so confused, that they sabotage our economy in their infant cry of lack. Here is a meditation for America tonight. We did this meditation at Common Bread, Evergreen College, and you can do it too, simply using the pranava mantra, Om, as a vehicle for bathing yourself, the nation, and the world in consciousness.

Remember, when consciousness vibrates at the subtlest level of energy, it is pure love.

Chanting Om through every cell of your body, let your atoms and all the subtle particles repose in harmony. Rest in the silence that was here before God said, let there be light. Hearing Om throughout your body, surrender every cell, every atom. You are Love...

Chant Om again, becoming aware of the people in our government in Washington DC, and all those Americans who suffer because of our dysfunctional government. Soothe them and enfold them with Om in the depth of your heart. In your heart is a Radiance that extends inward to embrace other hearts, and expands outward over all creatures. Let your frustrations dissolve into Om, blessing the very people who anger you. You are they and they are you...

Now chant Om again, enfolding the whole planet in this sound stream. Let the green jewel of the earth float in the ocean of your heart. Bathe her in love...

This is not imagined. It is the vibrant power at the finest level of Being, where every particle is connected in one unified field.

According to Bell's Theorum, 1962, all particles inter-act through the quantum wave-field. Or in the prophetic words of physicist Arthur Eddington, president of the British Academy of Science and founder of quantum mechanics: "When the electron vibrates, the whole universe shakes."

Use this principle in meditation to resonate greater harmony and unity throughout the field of national consciousness.

"Adau Bhagavan shabdha rasahih: In the beginning, the Lord created the universe through a stream of Sound." ~Vedic Shruti

"In the beginning was the Word... and all things were created through the Word." Gospel of John

"OM is the imperishable sound, the eternal Word. OM is the Universe. All that ever has been, all that is, and all that will be, is created through the sound of OM. Likewise, all else that exists beyond the bounds of time, that too is OM. " ~Mandukya Upanishad

Om shantih, shantih, shantih.

10/03/2013

A New Kind of Breath

There is a breath that fills your blood with stars. Enormous suns and galaxies spill through the soft spot in your skull, where infancy never quite healed. Spiraling behind your eyes, the zodiac of perfect night: luminous worlds drip down the back of your throat, the nectar that oozed before God said, Let there be light. 

Whether you name this inbreath "Ya" and the outbreath "Hum," the sacred name in Hebrew; or the inbreath "So" and the outbreath "Ham," the most sacred mantra in Vedanta tradition, the name of God is the sound of the breath. Your belly fills up with constellations, heavens swirl through your sex. Rooted in your muddy toes, the chthonic old gods of the earth swim up your spine, searching for the egg in your heart.


Breathe like the mirror of a mountain lake and you'll need no other love, for the night herself is love, gemmed in you as reflection, veiled in silence, whose gaze arrests your desire like a stab of diamonds in the wounded emptiness behind your eye. 

Breathe like this. Your lips will utter no more sounds like "I" and "Thou." Nakedness your jewelry now, tears replacing language; Bibles, Qu'rans, Vedas consumed in the smoke of your last sigh. And before the next breath enters your body, pulsations in your sparkling darkness sing the names of every star.