3 A.M. You Fall

"I have only one confidant, and that is the silence of night."
~Søren Kierkegaard
3 a.m. You fall into the groundless abyss of the heart. You are a wounded darkness gushing light. Winter invites you in, a breath of silence, whispering, "Don't mistake emptiness for lack. Emptiness is rich."

You are here to be a light stream. But a stream only flows when there is an opening, and opening is emptying. How can light stream through you if you are not dark and hollow, like a root going down into the earth?

Our culture has become clogged with its own desperate seeking for something, anything, a "thing" to fill our space. But our space is sacred in its hollowness, free of content.

We have turned our experience of "emptiness" and "loss" into negatives, associated with poverty and lack. But our inherent lightness, our essential freedom, bubbles out of what isn't there, not what is. Even physics points to this truth: matter is mothered by the vacuum. A particle arises from a wave of no-thing.

Jesus "Blessed are the poor in spirit." He was not speaking of material poverty, but the sparkling self-radiance of an inner joy that does not depend on having, but Being.

Embrace loss and generate wealth from the empty bowl of your heart. Embrace darkness and become a stream of light.


Beauty Alone

Is there not a secret relationship between beauty and aloneness? Beauty is the fragrance of solitude.
A lovely thing is utterly unique, a singularity set like a jewel at the center of its own energy field. Yet that impeccable aloneness is never lonely, because a beautiful creature is united, through the field of its beauty, with every awakened heart. Nor is your heart ever alone, even in solitude. For when you rest your gaze, your hearing, or any sense upon a thing of beauty, you become the whole field. You communicate that beauty everywhere, and uplift millions of souls.

Classless Yoga

Abandon every
program and routine.
There is no sequence
of postures.
Stand valiantly and
gently sway
in the breeze of your
own breath.
Let your body rise and fall,
circling slowly, a vast
starry firmament between
the ligaments of each bone,
muscles washed in
attention, moving
out of their ocean wheels,
galactic cells, Wordless
creations of the infinitesimal...
There are no instructions.
There is no book.
No, more slowly.
Go nowhere,
inventing themselves
from molten stillness.
Now it is you own dance.


The Re-Creation Story

You don't need to go to the Amazonian rain forest, beat a drum, rattle a tortoise shell, or take hallucinogenic herbs to be a shaman. Nor must you go to Tibet to learn the secrets of Tantra. You don't require a studio full of lithe blond 20-something models to practice Yoga either.

You were a shaman when you were six months old. Your throat was the rattle, your belly the drum, your joyful gurgling the incantation that invoked your animal familiars, a dog, a cat, a robin.

The sounds you heard in your body were tantric bija mantras, full of Mother Earth power, as you taught yourself the art of creation through the Word: "Yah!" "Hum!" "Phwat!" "Oooom!" "Bham!"

As a fetus tumbling through the womb, you achieved every healing posture, embodying all the constellations of the zodiac. And in your crib, rolling, stretching, curling, bouncing, you performed a complete sequence of Yoga asanas. Your wrists and fingers ceaselessly played secret mudras of Buddhic blessing.

The soft spot in the crown of your head drank in distant starlight. Each breath imbibed the spaciousness of galaxies. At the center of your ancient brain was a holy sepulcher, where you hid a medicine bundle called the pituitary gland. In a deep well nearby was a visionary crystal, your pineal gland, sending streams of sapphire wisdom through your forehead.

The glowing tendrils of your nerves did not stop at the edge of your body, because your body had no edges. They rooted in loam through the soles of your feet, tangling with the mycellium network. The vegus nerve entwining your backbone was a Tree of Life at the center of your Edenic flesh, its branches sparkling upward to your cortex, each twig and leaf a flame, returning your light to the stars. That fire did not burn: it created the world around you, through seeing...

And thus your nervous system was a Burning Bush, revealing the only commandment, "Love!" You required no tablets of stone, for this commandment inscribed itself in the marrow of each bone, writing the healing mantras of the Rig Veda in your ribosomes. All scriptures sprang from fruitful vines tangled in the trellis of your body.

One especially delicious fruit hung on that spinal tree: your heart - ripe and succulent as a pomegranate, containing thousands of celestial seed worlds, homes of devas, dakhinis, angel hosts and planetary gods, who waited to serve your most innocent desire.
And even now, is this pulsing orb of ruby nectar not cradled tenderly in the wings of the serpent Goddess, who gently winds and waltzes through you as inhalation and exhalation?

It was only in the mind of duality, which you acquired years later from lost and hungry priests, that there was ever a distinction between Eve and the Serpent. In your unfallen nature of original wonder, Eve and the Serpent have always been the same Mother, conversing with Herself in the garden you are.

Why not return to that innocence now by merely taking - nay, receiving - a single breath of Grace? The full moon of your beauty awaits you. Why not walk with her again through terrible holy flowers of creation, in the cool of the evening, and perpetual dawn?

Painting by Heather Watts


Political and Spiritual

Positive energy so easily grows weary and turns negative. That is why political practice must be supported by spiritual practice. Otherwise, evolution becomes devolution masked as revolution. Thus I share a Master's words...

"Let us chant Om
and feel that vibration in our body.
Om means peace.
Let peace pervade every cell of our body.
The meaning of Om is love.
Let love pervade every cell of our body.
Om means light and wisdom.
Let light and wisdom permeate our whole being.
Om indicates our origin,
and Om indicates our final destination.
Remember your origin and destination.
Om. Peace. Peace. Peace."
~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar



We don't say that this cartoon isn't real, but that it is only a momentary ripple on the surface of this ocean - the still, silent, unfathomable sea of consciousness.
What happens when your finger writes letters on water? How deeply do they gash the sea? This world is a cartoon written in disappearing letters on the thinnest surface of our awareness. Don't worry so much about the cartoon; just deepen yourself.
The cartoon may appear noisy, frenetic, horrifying, painful; at other times it may appear silly, comical, poignant or lovely. But the story lines of the cartoon don't penetrate the depths of our true nature, which is silence.
The problem is not the cartoon. It's mad and fleeting forms will continue to come and go, no matter what we do. We reach into the cartoon for brief moments and try to change something. But we are reaching into the field of change itself. The moment we attempt to change anything, it has already changed. Why change what is already changing?
The real problem is, we have lost the ability to fathom what doesn't change: the very depth of our own consciousness. We have forgotten how to repose in the groundless ocean of the Self. Hypnotized by the cartoon, we forget who we are. Like children at a movie, we get frightened because we think the flickering images on the formless white screen are real. 
This is why meditation should be the first step in dealing with the world's "problems." When we open to the vast radiant silence of our own Being, the flickering images of the world do not overwhelm us. We can deal with them as "situations," not "problems."
You don't have to deny the existence of the world. Of course it is "real," but only in a relative sense. That wavering mirage of birth and death - yes, even your own birth and your own death - is not an obstacle. It is not even a solid substance. It is a fluid cartoon on the thinnest surface of the Real.
99.99999% of "reality" is within you, and it is never a problem at all. It is silence, it is stillness, it is the fullness of Being. The perfect fullness that cannot be grasped or sought, neither held by memory, nor explained by intellect, is nearer than any search for it. It is who you already are before the search begins. God need not be sought, only awakened.
When you repose in the unfathomable peace of your own existence, your peace resonates in others. This work of resonance, from inner core to outer world, from Self to other, you accomplish not by doing, but Being. And yet this work achieves more transformation in humanity than all your efforts to change the cartoon that you call "the world."


Shatter and Dance

We need a quantum threshold of collective awareness
focusing not on the negative energy of imminent collapse
in both the Republican and Democratic Parties,
but on the phoenix of positive fire that bursts and
births even now from the ashes to incarnate the new
American community of the heart where schools
will be gardens and political solutions will overflow
from meditation, body-whirling, breath song
as hierarchies shatter into local shamanic rings
and how do you know that inside the drum there isn't
ancient sunlight waiting for your belly to dance?

Art by Julie Hoyle


Curling Up

When she needs the deepest love, my cat knows how to perform the Great Curling Up Mudra. This is the first and last Yoga asana. Needing to go home to her creator, she curls up with herself. Depressed or dis-eased, she finds a quiet, wild, solitary spot and curves back into her wound, practicing the purring pranayam, which is an exhalation of perfect trust in her loss.
If you don't know the Great Curling Up Mudra, learn it from your fur. Feel your skin with your skin. Occupy your body. If you cannot curl up in a life-giving way with your own body, how will you ever be able to curl up with a lover, with the flowers and trees around you, with this voluptuous planet?
All the medicine you will ever need arises from the furry radiant emptiness that is your true form, and healing joy is the nature of this very breath.
Bow down to your cat for teaching you The Great Curling Up Mudra. It is so powerful you only need to practice for a little while. Then you are ready to resume your feral wandering through the darkness, hunting rodents just for fun.


The Master Is Within

We have no need for a teacher who says, "I am the guru." Such teachers come by the dozens. But we have every need for a teacher who says, "The Master is inside you, nearer than your soul. I am here just to show you a way that leads to the Master within. Come by means of this breath, and the gentle whisper of the Word. You will drink from your own Cup of immortality, and taste the Amrit of your own bliss, the only true peace for this world. Then decide for yourself whether to call this Radiance I or Thou."
Jai Guru Dev


No Thing

The answer to our deepest question is never a thing. An idea is a thing. A belief is a thing. The mind itself is a thing, as much as a lump of soil or an emerald. But no thing can ever satisfy our yearning for the infinite. We are really searching for nothing.

Moses asked to know God's name. The name of a thing. God told Moses that the only name of God is I AM. Not "I am this" or "I am that." Just I AM without an object, without a predicate noun. God's verb has no object. I AM means, "I am no thing."

When we let objects, thoughts, memories, desires, pass through naked awareness without grasping them as knowledge, when we let the subject simply be without an object, that is pure meditation.
Then the subject radiates its own un-created light. To know, without knowing any thing, is to know God.

Art: Moses and the Burning Bush by Marc Chagall



Petals and thorns
have no sweetness.
Rest here instead,
where bee's feet
get sticky.
Step off the wheel
into its center.
Find the pollen
of stillness.



Say Yes to what Is in this moment. Saying Yes opens you up to a power that heals the earth more than any No, even if your No is "right."
Yes springs from a place that is beyond right and wrong. Yes rises like nectar from the roots of an ecstasy beyond the mind.
Say Yes to this moment and all the planets for a radius of a thousand light-years around you taste the sweetness of your sap.
Do you want to change the future? Drown completely in the ocean of Yes and disappear in this Now.
Even God will be intoxicated by your next breath.