2/24/2014

You Are Most Beautiful


Friend, no need to cling to the petals. You are the jewel at the center of the blossom. Your integrity outshines the world around you, as the sun outshines a thousand candles. You are more magnificent than any experience you could ever have. There is no object more beautiful than the subject who perceives it. Repose in the divinity of your own awareness. Then breathe your beauty into the world.

2/22/2014

Amahoro: Instructions for Living & Dying


Instructions for living are instructions for dying; 
instructions for dying are instructions for breathing.
 

The most exquisite meditation only lasts a moment; 
we are made of moments, some never-ending.

It is beyond instruction, a pearl of sun in morning mist, 
the merest grace of palliative care;

not in the ashram, zendo or yoga studio, 
but on the death bed, or in the crisis of the ordinary heart;

the gossamer inevitable transition from breath to breath, 
when we need a friend to say:
                       
"The argument between you and you is over; 

why not sink from the forehead to the chest?"
                             
"The mind has done enough complaining: 

now it's time to place attention here, where the pain is."
                             
"This dizziness is disconnection from the ground; 

feel the way your soles touch the earth."
                             
"Plant your feet in the Mother, 

breathe through your roots."
                            
"Your ribcage burns: no need to call it 'anger';

let this violet pool of sensation draw you home."
                            
"Fall through the ache into silence; 

a great compassion is here to catch you."
                            
"
In your belly is a door, the hollow place of grief and loss; 
step through, I will go with you."
                            
"This exhalation is a well;

there is sweet water at the bottom."
                            
"Why insist on being small? 

Fear is just a passing chill on the back of your neck."
                            
"Isn't it time to honor how spacious you are? 

Let the crown of your head become the sky."
                            
"It's your choice, name this moment:

Beauty or Death?"
                            
The greatest instruction is not to say anything.
 
Let your eyes pour their cups into hers. 

Breathe the rhythm of her breast.
Let silence administer the unction.

In the greenest forest, fellow ferns unravel their fingers, 
offering wondrous seeds on the first Spring day.

The sun is a pearl in morning mist.
All things are shrouded in Grace.
 _____________________

*Amahoro is an African greeting and blessing used in Burundi and Rwanda, meaning, 'Peace to you.' This poem was inspired by the beautiful work of Amahoro House

Whole


Why do our colleges teach astronomy, physiology, and earth science as separate disciplines?

This human body is filled with stars and embedded in a sacred garden. Healing practice in the body is healing agriculture in the field. This body does not hear the music of the spheres: it is the music of the spheres.

The body holds heavenly worlds in the womb, belly, heart, throat, brow and crown. Archangels descend on the stairway of the spine. The whirling of the zodiac spins each atom of our flesh. To imagine that this nervous system is separate from the sun and moon, the mushroom and dolphin, the mountain and cloud, or the dancing of the galaxy, is as ignorant as throwing out my trash and pretending that it won't come back to me in every breath of wind or cup of water.

The purpose of education is to teach wholeness.

2/21/2014

Lila


What makes God happy? The fun of watching the play...

God is in fact the bliss of our omnipresent consciousness, silently witnessing all that arises and dissolves in its own intimate space, like a waking dream.

It is marvelous, it is endless astonishment, to watch humans succeed and fail, "triumph over adversity," gain wealth, lose it all, then struggle to "attain enlightenment," busily acting out their tragicomedy when, in truth, nothing actually happens, nothing is gained or lost, all is but an appearance of becoming, a phantasy of motion, in the mirage of boundless stillness.

Truly sublime this is to behold! What makes it especially exquisite is that each of us appears to take our own form, to play our own part in this brilliant melodrama, when the reality is, we are all God witnessing the play of our own consciousness, the lila, the cosmic cartoon.

Living Flame


"O living flame of love
that tenderly wounds my soul
in its deepest center! Since
now you are not oppressive,
now consummate! if it be your will:
tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!

... How gently and lovingly
you wake in my heart,
where in secret you dwell alone;
and in your sweet breathing,
filled with good and glory,
how tenderly you swell my heart with love."


~St. John of the Cross, 'Living Flame of Love' 

Never underestimate the Christian mystics and their pathless path. Christian mysticism combines non-dualism and bhakti, the Zen of the "Via Negativa" with the rapture of union in the Bridal Chamber of the heart.

 Christian mystics called their wayless path, "Via Negativa: the Negative Way." Vedantins called it "Netti Netti: Not This, Not This." Buddhists called it "Sunya: emptiness." Yet in the Christian tradition we also find the nuptial mysticism of the soul's love affair with Christ. The love of Jesus for Mary Magdalene in the Easter garden is a reflection of the love of Krishna for Radha in the garden of Vrindavan. The "Bridal Chamber" was a sacrament referenced in the Gnostic Gospel of Philip, 2nd C., uniting Christ and the soul in the heart. Few traditions so gracefully combine "apophatic mysticism" (literally "without images") and "cataphatic mysticism" ("with images"), the empty mind with the overflowing heart. 

Christian mystics knew how to be Nothing, how to be One, and how to be Two for the sake of love. They knew how to die with Jesus at the center of the cross of paradox, in order to be reborn with each Spirit-Breath of now.

2/19/2014

In the EarthHome Tribe


                                    Warli tribal art of India

Economy: from the Greek "ecos" (home) and "nomos" (law). Law of the Home. But in the EarthHome tribe, there is no Economy as we know it. The Law of the EarthHome tribe is sustainability. The Economy of our civilization is unsustainable.

In the EarthHome tribe, Money does not exist. There are no jobs and no unemployment. In the EarthHome tribe, everyone works and plays to sustain community. There are no banks, pension plans, or savings accounts. Community is the bank, the pension, and the trust. There is no wealth or poverty. Community is wealth, all shared, all received. In the EarthHome tribe, there is no waste because everything is used, no private capital, because everything is given. This is the way of the great Mother.

One day, a stranger comes. A man from the Corporation arrives in the garden of the EarthHome tribe. He brings Money and says, "I am from the Empire, a better place than this. I will give you a real job. I will pay you. You can put this Money in a stock market. Then you will have more of it than the unemployed, who are lazy. With Money, you wont be lazy anymore."

He gives the promises of the Corporation to the EarthHome tribe. He won't keep any of the promises. He will make them serfs on his global plantation. But he doesn't tell them that.

"You have underground treasures," he says, "but you are too ignorant to use them. You have copper, zinc and coal. You have petroleum, the black blood of the earth. I will make you miners, drillers and drivers. I will give you guns and make you soldiers. I will put you to Work and you will no longer be lazy. I will give you Money."

This is how Wealth and Poverty are born, the illegitimate children of Money and Empire. This is how we forget the Law of the Home, and become slaves of the Economy.

2/18/2014

A Worthy Intention


Through quantum physics, we know that empty space is not empty, but super-abundantly overflowing with virtual energy. Through deep meditation, we experience that empty space is not empty, but super-abundantly overflowing with bliss. This removes the fear of lack and the culture of greed, with profound economic consequences. Let us unfold the energy of emptiness and the bliss of silence. It is a worthy intention, both for religion and science.

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पुर्णमुदच्यते
पूर्णश्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

'Om. That absolute unmanifest Being is full,
this relative manifest creation is also full.
Removing this fullness from that fullness,
only fullness remains. Om shanti, shanti, shantih'.
~Isa Upanishad

2/17/2014

The Pebble, the Jewel

I keep remembering that I am the very image of God, yet that image is a shattered mirror. Who dropped it? Not God. Must have been me. Sin is very real, yet our nature is divine love.

There is a Jewish parable from the Talmud I have always appreciated. A Rabbi carried a jewel in one pocket and a pebble in the other. He said, "This jewel is to remind me that I am the image of God, and this stone is to remind me that 'I am a worm, and not even a man' (Psalm 22.6). Whenever I feel pride I touch the pebble. Whenever I feel weak I touch the jewel."

Dear friend, let us dwell in paradox.

2/16/2014

Safety

What is real security? Risking everything on what you love. What is true safety? The adventure that leaves your brain speechless, your heart burning. What is the journey? Every breath.

All that remains is a silence at your core. Once it was muscle, pumping blood and time. You still call it "your heart" but now it is an emptiness that holds galaxies, as a seed holds a tree, as a wave holds the ocean in the grasp of surrender, as open lips hold every poem in a silent O of astonishment.

Abandon yourself, then become what is lost.

2/12/2014

Gift



If I claim to have a cure for your suffering, a Gospel to enlighten you, I confirm your lack & inadequacy. I proclaim you incomplete & separate from Life. This is not service. True service is reminding you who you Are. True service is showing you the Divine Radiance in your breath, the star-strewn boundless love in each atom of your body. True service is an invitation to dance with your own Being.

Poetry Collage Cards



 
My writings have been made into collage cards by Rashani Rea.
Click pictures for larger view. To see others, link HERE.

2/06/2014

After It Happens


"May the vacuum be with you..." ~Nassim Haramein 

After it happens, everything is just the same, but weightless. Absolutely weightless. Whatever exists as form, matter or content no longer has any substance: one sees it simply flower from the heart of the void.

The vacuum is a cornucopia. This is as true in modern physics as in ancient mysticism. Whatever happens, whatever appears, is revelation - whether it's a heavenly sunset over the sea, or an abandoned lot filled with rusty chassis and a lonely dandelion. Even a dog turd on the sidewalk is a revelation of Supreme Beauty.

After it happens, whatever arises in the field of perception is all the more poignant because so ordinary. When all is commonplace, all is miraculous. There is no need for judgment or comparison. Emptiness is the true democracy.

Seeing the bounty of the infinite overflow from the glance of the waitress in an all-night diner, is no less meaningful than gazing at angels with harps on a golden stairway to heaven. How utterly liberated we are from the need to photo-shop our reality, when there is nothing "better" or "worse" or more "holy." Whatever happens is the Last Judgment. Wherever we are, we have returned to the Garden.

Bliss is not happiness, for then "it" would be something. Bliss is it-less freedom. Liberation is not an attainment, but an abysmal and unconditional loss.

This is the real meaning of the Cross in Christian mysticism. The absolute devastation of Jesus' death is the portal to his resurrection. The two poles of the paradox must not be divided into chronological "events." Descent into the tomb is simultaneous with resurrection on Easter morning, just as the seed of the prolific banyan tree is utterly hollow.

In paradox, opposites are inseparable. From the "i" perspective, liberation is crucifixion: the devastating loss of my story, my achievement, my accumulated resume of merit. My personal history is over. There are no survivors.

Yet simultaneous with this cruci-fiction is the revelation of it-less radiance, an unbounded space that refuses to be informed by anything. The loss of "me" is the blossoming of eternity. What remains is lightness of heart without a center.

Some wish to cling to the notion that "i" get to keep a little mask, a thin veil to wear in times of crisis: like an insurance policy in case of a catastrophe. This is only a fantasy, another construct of the mind that must be crucified. For liberation is catastrophe. Without catastrophe there is no liberation. Even the thinnest veil must dissolve. Even the subtlest layer of "me" is a mirage.

This catastrophe is represented by the death of Jesus. He cries, "Father, father, why have you forsaken me," to express the liberating depths of his loss. As the deepest veil of "me" dissolves, so does the divine "Other" reflected by that "me" in the mirror of duality. Liberation is the death of me and my God, yet the birth of eternal radiance.

Throughout Christian history, the ignorant have murdered this paradox, either by portraying the cruci-fiction and liberation of the "me" as joyful sweetness, or by portraying it as neurotic self-destruction. In fact, there is no taste of "sweet" and "joyful," because there is no one left to taste it. And there is no suffering, because there is no one left to suffer. Radiance is not even an experience, because there is no experiencer. If you knock on this, it will never open, because there is no door.

In the Cross is a hollow and empty point where opposites converge: the hub of Laotzu's wagon wheel; the Buddhist enzo, or "empty circle"; the vacuum of quantum physics. Yet all of creation resonates out of that vacuum. Emptiness is vibrant with the fullness of life, bombarding nobody from all directions with love.

True mystics refuse to murder the paradox.

2/03/2014

Game

         Richard Sherman, Secretary of Defense

Its all a game. Sports, politics, art, saving the world, getting enlightened, creating a universe - all a game. It doesn't matter which game you play, as long as you play it with your heart. Play your game 100%, but surround it with a huge smile. And please, don't be one of those serious fools who believe that their game is the only one that is 'real.'

Hamsa


Fill your mind with moonlight,
pearl it in a breath,
enter the forest of Hamsa wild.

Why not become the place where restless lovers
touch and find quietness?
There's a deer park in the heart.

Two flames mingle, fiery and cool,
serpents entwined on a blossoming tree.
Breath marries breath.

Seven emeralds drop into golden stillness,
leaving not a ripple.
The passion the Sun feels toward the Moon

is your blood pulse, full and empty.
A swan alights and kisses a swan
on mirror waters.

We call it prayer.

If you bear this love with pangs of longing, 
this love will give birth to you.

Painting of Guru Dev and the Hamsa Swan by Frank W. Lotz. This painting contains profound mysteries. The Guru Dev watches over the process of meditation, as the inner Witness of the heart. In the garden of meditation, the swan settles on a lake. In Sanskrit, 'Hamsa' means 'swan,' but it also means 'soul.' Hamsa is the sound of the breath: 'aham-sa,' 'I am He, the divine.' Where inbreath and outbreath merge, there is silence, and the still ocean of samadhi, transcendental consciousness. This process is natural and spontaneous in the practice of Transcendental Meditation, which Frank has taught for many years. Thank you, Frank. Jai Guru Dev.


This lovely painting also contains a haunting resonance with Psalm 42: "As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul longs for You, O God." The deer too is a very ancient symbol of the heart longing for God. In fact the King James Bible uses the word "hart" for deer, an old English word. Is that Adi Shankara sitting in meditation further back in the forest, origin of the Shankaracharya tradition?

2/02/2014

"I"

Inventing an "i"
Once we experienced our bodies as this whole energy field. There were no edges, no difference between flesh and spirit, inward and outward, I and Thou. We loved Us. No-one was left out. The only problem was, this wholeness was so overwhelming that we were barely able to negotiate getting a single spoonful of oatmeal into our mouths.

Somewhere around the age of five, in order to save our consciousness from overwhelming wholeness, there arose a dream of separation. This wave of separation invented a little "i." But the little "i" became more than a useful shield of protection. It became a melodrama, a story of exile and suffering. The story of "i" explained my sense of "fall" from the garden of bliss, from the energy field of allness. "i" was alienated from "God," because the very invention of a separate "i" was also the invention of a separate deity. "i" of course, was to blame for this fall. "i" was a sinner.

My dream of separation generated a world of opposites populated with "others"- strangers, foreigners, enemies - like a fairy tale about a lost child in a forest populated by goblins and trolls. Of course the "others" were all ghosts in a mirage, for what created them was the ghost of "me."

Because the story of "i" was more like a nightmare than a fairy tale, after many life-times of fear and desire "i" experienced a conversion. "i" found religion, and decided to walk the "path" toward salvation.

Inventing a "Path"
The spiritual path only reinforced the existence of the separate "i", because it gave me heroic work to perform. Being a "sinner" who constantly seeks salvation requires the biggest ego of all. "i" adopt all sorts of strategies - prayer, meditation, rituals, good deeds, self-flagellation, alms for the poor, political angst over reforming the world. But the path of ascent, reformation and return is also a dream.

Since there is no "i," there cannot be a path of self-transformation into someone selfless and enlightened. Any attempt to better myself only solidifies the delusion that there is an "i" to better. That is why, the more "i" seek God, the more neurotic and narcissistic "i" become.

Eventually, "i" just become weary of my story about seeking. The search drops away. The veil thins and "i" begin to sense the whole, frightening, sublimely beautiful, terrifying truth: there was never any separation, never any exile. Life merely happens, not as "my" life, but as the total energy of the cosmos without any "me" in it.

All arises in one marvelous, perpetual and incomprehensible explosion of golden energy, a continuum of consciousness where inner-outer, soul-body, even subject-object have no meaning. There is a Greek New Testament term for this experience: "Panta hen Panta: All in All." To embrace the All just as it is, without the least separation from it, is Love. Love is the universe arising to hug itself as nobody.


Grace
Though there's absolutely no path, the withering away of the search may be hastened by sitting in the presence of one whose "i" has already vanished. One who has been "crucified" loses every remnant of a "me." In his eyes we gaze and see no-one but a boundless abyss of stars swirling out of no-thing. Such a one can burn away our seeking through mere Presence. That mere Presence is Grace.

i asked my teacher, "Who are you? Really, are you the Sat-Guru? Are you the Avatar? Are you the re-appearance of the Christ?" Yes, those are extremely stupid questions. But it is the absurd questions that lead to the deepest answers. You see, i had heard devotees saying these silly things about the teacher.

In every ashram or spiritual movement, there are needy folks looking for a surrogate mommy or daddy, imagining the guru to be Jesus or Krishna... Which of course is the very root of religion. Religion is the need for a supreme Other, is it not? Religion is the ultimate separation. Nothing reinforces our separateness like believing in a supreme Other.

Finally weary of the search, i was ready to root out this problem right there, confronting both the guru and the devoted little me with the question: "Are you the Sat-Guru, the Avatar, the re-appearance of the Christ?"

He gazed from those unfathomable wells of sparkling blackness, womb of galaxies, and said, "No, no, no, i am Nobody." And he meant it.

After a little while, still gazing into his face, i said, "But you have something we all want, and i want it too."

He replied, "No, i haven't got it. i have lost it. You're still carrying it."

It took many years for this to percolate into my experience, and wither me away. But at that moment i realized that he was truly my guru, because he was pathless, he was Nobody. And whatever "liberation" may be, nothing is gained. It is not an attainment, but a loss. From "my" point of view, a profoundly devastating loss. But for the All, a marvelous, expansive, and radiant annihilation.

"The one who seeks his life will lose it, but the one who loses his life will find it." ~Master Jesus (Luke 17:33)

2/01/2014

Here


Even the gods must be born on earth as human beings in order to gain liberation on the cross of paradox, centered between the opposites. This is not possible in heaven, in the bondage of the golden chains of delight.

Remember how bored you were in paradise? The blissful continuum provided no contrast to itself. You sank into sweet drowsiness, at the banquet of the gods. Then you bowed at the throne of the One and said, "There must be something more. Surprise me!" So here you are, each moment filled with love and pain.

(Painting: 'Banquet of the God,' Hendrick deClerck, b.1750)