Our Daily Breath

Good Sunday morning, creation's first day! I enter the Kingdom of Little Things. I find something very small to hold in my hand, a pebble, a feather, a berry. I cherish its mere mysterious Thingness.

Through my senses, I breathe the Little Thing's color, weight, shape, texture into my body. Then I breathe out gratitude. This is called 'living & breathing on earth.' It is the meditation that humans practice all day unaware. It requires neither church, nor temple, nor preisthood, nor scripture, nor belief. Just Awareness. Just some Awareness is needed to turn our daily breath, among little things, into worship.

The Warrior and the Pacifist

The Warrior and the Pacifist each have their role to play. Does one have the right to judge the other?

I would not count on the Warrior to make peace. Neither would I count on the Pacifist to defend my children from attack.

To claim that the world needs no warriors is the luxury of the well-protected. To claim that the world needs no pacifists is to starve for a vision.

Let those who love peace not condemn the warriors. True warriors do not choose our foreign policy. They choose to protect our children.

Rather let us condemn, with all the fury of God's righteousness, the powers and principalities, the rulers of the darkness of this world, the corporate profiteers and politicians, who never spent an hour in combat and whose children are too privileged to fight, yet who abuse and misuse our valiant soldiers for the purpose of mastering Third World resources, to line their own pockets with the wealth of empire.


After the collapse
of post-industrial corporate feudalism,
its imperial armies and global banks,
its hierarchies of priestly credit and debt,
all that is vast, abstract, untenably complex
will die into The Local
like a cluster of vines to the root.
We too, locating ourselves, will return
to the family farm of origin
and remember how to eat,
how to grow woolly well-muscled sheep
and uniquely delicious tomatoes,
discovering our hands for seed scattering,
for stone setting, for writing poems
on trees and caves; discovering
our feet again for grape crushing.
Later, by December fires, we will listen
to silence, we will learn to listen again,
energized by wind and water.
In a terrible and lovely antlered mask,
the village shaman will birth us in Springtime
and bless our old bones in Autumn,
preparing our Winter souls
for new bodies. A circle of friends,
chanting, drumming, dancing,
will bind us to our Creator,
as our Creator is bound
to this heart.

Take A Moment

Red begonias with burgundy pelts,
opulent, furry as otters
wriggling in November rain
through your vacuous eyes,
where a constant wind sucks inward
all light, to make a compost
of pure consciousness.
No need to stop time, just take
a moment for eternity.
Observe all day the back yard
sacraments, trans-substantiations,
a drowned mouse in the birdbath.
Nothing is ordinary, not even
a coke bottle in the black loam,
polished to a smooth green talisman
by the tumbling earth.
Rest in no space but your own
clarity, that which is never
a distraction. Let your tongue,
your nostrils, ears and eyes
become the angels
of revelation.

Why Meditate?

A friend asked me, 'Why bother to meditate?' This picture of my teacher is the answer. When I gaze into the eyes of the Beloved, I have no choice. Meditation happens.

'Then you have lost your freedom!' the intellectual replies. Intellect feels threatened by the Love that is beyond choice. Intellect feels alive only when it restlessly pinches itself with choosing, 'This is better than that, this is true and that is false.'

But as intellect comes to rest in the radiance of choiceless love, which is the choice that ends restless choosing, there is freedom. That freedom is meditation.

'Our hearts are ever restless till they come to rest in Thee.' -St. Augustine

(Thanks to Scotty Hague for the beautiful darshan picture.)

Power of Play

If your meditation doesn't 'work,' you must have turned it into a job.

Let meditation be play, the wave-play of awareness resting in its oceanic self. Meditation is the source of play, the primordial play of Silence.

This universe arises from nothing through Lila Shakti, the power of play. In Indian philosophy, there is no other cause for creation than divine playfulness. Unmanifest pure awareness spontaneously arises in waves of creative intelligence, which become particles of matter. This is the bubbling bliss of the Samadhi state in deep meditation.

Quantum physics describes the same bubbling up of the vacuum in spontaneous creation, where 'virtual photons' and 'virtual electrons' vibrate out of silence, out of the zero at the source of all mathematical equations describing matter. Founder of quantum physics, Sir James Jeans, wrote that to modern science the universe appears less "like an enormous machine" and more "like an enormous thought." Cosmos arises where silent awareness percolates into Word, the Logos, and the Logos sings hosts of particles and galaxies.

In Hindu thought, the universe is the dream of Vishnu. But unlike us who are lost in the dream, Vishnu is awake even while dreaming, to witness and delight in the drama, the play.

The Bible gives its own version of this same creation story. "In the beginning when God was creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was formless and void... Then God said, Let there be light, and there was light. God saw the light, that it was good."

And God laughed with delight at what his Spirit had playfully created in the silence of deep meditation.

Passers By

I was walking down the sidewalk feeling rather low, worrying about work, about paying bills, about all my mistakes. Hearing a song, I looked up. Three carousers, their arms across each others shoulders, half danced and half stumbled toward me. I recognized them immediately: Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha.

Jesus said, "Hurry to the Tavern! Happy Hour is almost over. But while it lasts, everything is free."

Krishna said, "He's talking about the Tavern inside you."

Buddha said, "There is no Tavern. You're already drunk."

As they passed by, I became blessed with confusion, the music in their eyes, the sparkle of their laughter. I couldn't even remember what I was supposed to be worrying about.

What's Your Point?

You have a good point. I'm trying to make a point. Everyone has a point of view. But God is the vast space of intelligence without a point. God is pointless.

Twice a Day

In the tavern of my heart
I get drunk twice a day.
On the door there's a name
that turns all other words to laughter
but I can't pronounce it when I get like this
so I just point and dance.
I yell at people in the street:
"Don't go to work! Step inside,
drink this bewildering wine!
The tavern keeper won't bill you
till the end of time.
Then you can tell him, 'It's your fault:
your grace made me tipsy!'
Such wine is better than breast milk.
When nothing is left, you'll see your Beloved
gazing from the bottom of the cup.
This is the emptiness we all adore!"

Honor and Let Go

In this sacred season of turnings, I cannot let go of the past until I bow down to it. Whether I honor an old love or an old wound, I must bow down. In that very moment of surrender, I am free. As my forehead touches the earth, loss become a blessing that opens a way.

Is There A Safe Place?

Afghanistan is not a safe place. Fort Hood, Texas, is not a safe place. This hometown is not a safe place. The closet in the bedroom is not a safe place. The mind, full of doubt and desire, is not a safe place. There is only one safe place in the entire world: a heart surrendered to its song. Are you singing the song no one else can sing? Only this song brings peace.

Coming Out As God

For a long time, I've been harboring doubts about my humanity. After deep soul searching, I've figured out who I really am. I've decided to come out of the closet and share my true human identity. I am God.

Don't be shocked. There are more of us in your life than you ever imagined. We're your brothers and sisters, your sons and daughters, even your parents. Some say as many as one out of every ten human beings is God. I think it's more. I think there's God in all of us.

Just because I'm God doesn't make me any less human than you. I will no longer hide my divinity under feelings of shame, inferiority, and sin. I will celebrate being me, fully human and fully divine, just like my brother, Jesus.

On the surface, I may get confused and unhappy now and then, but deep down inside, where it counts, I know who I am. I Am. I Am Being. I Am God.

Are you sure you aren't God too?

The Way of the Wizard

Wizards utilize the power of uncertainty. When we are unsure, we often seek certainty in the mind and become limited by our beliefs. But wizards regard the Uncertain as a deep ocean of Possibility: an opportunity to sink from the mind into the heart. There, in the heart's core-silence, wizards operate through pure intuition, free from the bondage of thought and belief.

We are all wizards.

The Human

The world is a theater of mirrors, all wildly tossing one image from emptiness to emptiness, in a sea of clarity. That is how God dances, remaining motionless, and the One expresses multitudes. Souls, devas, angels and demons: all reflections of the same divine Likeness, many from one for the sake of love.

Almighty Father casts his reflection in the mirror of his own consciousness: that image is Mother Divine. The Mother reflects herself in the mirror her own consciousness: that image is the Creator. Every soul is the image of another, cast in consciousness, spilling through spaces of infinite possibility down stairways of reflection, until a brilliant beam awakens as You, staring every which way and wondering, "Who am I?" Don't you remember now? You are the original Light.

Great Mother, Creatrix and Theotokos, gives birth to souls, angels, Avatars and Bodhisattvas in the multiversal unfolding lotus of light, petals within petals, all born from one Seed, all finished and perfected in the very same Seed where they are born. That Eternal Seed is both beginning and end.

Dante described this cosmic lotus as the 'Heavenly Rose' of his Paradisio: a flower containing the hierarchy of angels, saints and liberated souls terraced in radiant rainbow shades of white light, tones of celestial harmony, tiers of bliss, up-spilling toward one center, a luminous cruciform stamen, shape of the human body, arms outstretched to embrace creation, welcoming all sentient beings into the Sacred Heart.

It matters not whether we call this form the Mystical Body of Christ, the Adam Kadmon of Jewish Kabbala, or Krishna, the transcendental form of the formless. They reveal one and the same secret:

As divinity illuminates the
inmost core of the human heart, so Humanity illuminates the inmost core of the Divine. This is the double reflection of God and Man, the meaning of our creation "in the image and likeness of God."

Never doubt that God has become You so that You can become God.

No Need

The ocean is the waves. The waves are the ocean. The one has no need to become two. It is already two. The two have no need to become one. They are already one.

To dwell in this No-Need, just seeing how the other is already yourself, is enlightenment without practice.

Where's the Should?

"He who expects nothing enjoys everything," said St. Francis of Assisi.

When the world doesn't meet our expectations, is the problem in the world or the mind? Our mind imposes expectations on the present moment from the storehouse of past impressions. We pick the best of the past and project it as "hope." When experience conforms to our hope, we call it "good." When it doesn't, we call it "bad." Granting authority to the past, we live in a constant conflict between the way the world is and the way we remember it. This is suffering: the conflict between the present and the past, between what Is and what Should be.

Suffering is irresponsible: a failure to respond. Suffering happens when we get so stuck in how it should be that we can't respond to how it is. Pain, of course, is inevitable. But suffering is a choice: a choice to prefer the past.

When we drop our expectations, what happens? We eliminate suffering before it arises. We relieve the tension between past and present. We become instantly alert, energetic, and sensible. We acquire response-ability for the Now.

Do I have enough courage to renounce the authority of the past, with its Should?

Have you ever wondered where Should comes from? I may feel that it comes from inside, but how did it get there? Fear of someone outside drove that Should deep within me, until I thought it must be my own voice and my guide. But the true guide, deeper than thinking, at the very source of mind, is not the voice of Should but the voice of silence. There is no Should in silence.

The silence of awareness is there before a single word arises. True guidance is voiceless. I know that I make the right decision, not because I hear a voice saying "thou shalt" or "thou shalt not," but because I feel a centering, a release of tension in the heart, the warmth of inward home-coming.

Real renunciation means dropping the Should, so that we may live in what St. Francis called "perfect joy." Renunciation isn't wearing a robe or living in a cave, but opening our hearts to the naked miraculous terrible ecstatic world that Is, just as it Is, without any expectations, without any ground to stand on but Now.

Ano Raniyan

Stunning new Hubble telescope images give us hope. Just to gaze at them is health insurance.

Is this vast space out there, or is it in here? Perhaps this is the trail of a quark in the nucleus of an atom at the tip of a neuron in your brain as you gaze at this very image and form a thought about it now. Why not?

"O Nature and O soul of man!" writes Melville in Moby Dick, "how far beyond all utterance are your linked analogies! Not the smallest atom stirs or lives on matter, but has its cunning duplicate in mind." So declare the Upanishads of ancient India, "Ano raniyan mahato mahiyan: One atom of the smallest is greater than the greatest." The empty space between electrons firing neuropeptides through a synapse in your hypothalamus enfolds golden galaxies of starry intelligent virtual light. You make the universe conscious. You are the miracle. You are God's body, born to manifest a uniquely unfolding image of the total creation.

Don't you remember? Who taught you otherwise? To conceive of yourself as anything less is the original sin.


Unconditional Love contains both Yes and No.

Parenting is tricky. For years I thought I was in an advanced state of Buddhic non-attachment. Now I realize my parents put me in time-out and I'm still there. On the other hand, the children of blissed-out New Agers I know are mostly brats. And they're all named Ananda, which is depressing. Is the boy pictured here in time-out? Or is he a child of the New Age, whose parents allow him to urinate in my living room?

It really doesn't matter. However we parent them, our children turn out to be who they are. They manage to survive us, and they survive every new theory of parenting pretty much unscathed. So stop worrying about parenting and just be YOU with your kids. If your child is really a beam of God's light - and I hope you believe your child is a beam of God, or why bother to have a child at all? - then how can you diminish God in any way by sticking Her in a corner? Maybe God is a brat who needs a little discipline now and then, just as a jewel needs polishing to bring out the radiance.

My Guru Maharshi Mahesh used to say, "Mother is at home." It was one of his favorite expressions. It means that, no matter what happens, Mother is here and things work out just as they need to. To experience how deeply Mother is at home, WE need to be at Om. We need to be at rest in the Source. Then we can parent by just Being.

Don't fret about the when and how of parenting. There's no script. When Anna and I had our first child, people gave us all the latest parenting books. They made us neurotic. So we threw them away and embarked on the wondrous adventure of being unique parents to our own unique child. Which we already were.

The only parenting book worth reading is the one written in your heart, the one that is about your child and no one else's. And please don't practice Unconditional Love: not in my house. We had good friends who came to visit us with their toddler. They were playing Jesus-parent. The kid wandered around knocking over porcelain vases, dropping glasses of juice on our rug, and spreading grape jelly fingerprints on the living room walls, while mom sat there smiling blissfully. But her bliss was artificial: it was not in harmony with the environment. Real bliss would have said "No!"

Unconditional love contains both Yes and No. Unconditional love is not a practice. It is a state of Being that encompasses whatever practice is needed in the moment. Such love includes hugs and kisses, reprimands and regulations, or appropriate discipline. Love is like the clear pure space that contains the clouds, which come and go within it. Space remains still, but the clouds can get stormy.

You can BE unconditional love, but you cannot DO it. Why? Because all doing is conditioned and relative to what has already been done. Doing is the field of karma. Unconditional love is completely separate from karma. This is why Jesus taught, "My kingdom is not of this world." And, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." This sounds like a total cop-out until you discover that there are two realms: the absolute and the relative, the Purusha (or universal soul) and Prakriti (or nature). Prakriti is the mirage, Purusha is the still space in which the mirage dances. They are ultimately one, but in our daily experience, they are separate.

Unconditional love is always at rest in the silence of the Parusha. But Prakriti is an endless churning storm of conditioning, karmic action and reaction. What's this have to do with parenting? Well, it turns out that parenting is an advanced school for learning these truths: much more advanced than sitting in a cave in the Himalayas and meditating all day! The enlightened parent surrounds her child with pure Being. Yet simultaneously she performs the action appropriate to the occasion. The parent learns to BE unconditional love while DOING conditional karma. She does not confuse being with doing. For if one makes that mistake, either love diminishes or action is ineffective.

But, hell, we're not enlightened! We make mistakes all the time. The realm of karma IS the realm of mistakes. The truth is, if Mother is at Om in your heart, what happens in the realm of karma doesn't really matter. It's bound to happen. So let Heather have a frigging Hostess Twinkie once in awhile. Or stick her in the corner for two minutes. And don't worry if she hears somebody yell, "Fuck!" The field of karma is never the field of perfection. Perfection lies only within the heart, where Mother is at Om.

Your child will remember your little mistakes and laugh about them some day. How often my daughters tell me, "Dad, you were so worried about insanely small stuff. We thought you were stupid. But we knew one thing: no matter how many stupid things you did, you loved us."

I was a klutz, but my kids turned out to be perfectly who they are. Children are the most adaptable forgiving unstuck graceful beings on earth. THEY DON'T NEED OUR PERFECTION. And I guarantee you, whoever you want your child to be, your child will be somebody else.

Just be at home in the heart, Mother. Just be at Om, Father. Who cares if you mess up now and then? It's called humanity. Your children will forgive you. All that really matters is, YOU WERE THERE.

Give yourself some credit for just showing up. Give yourself credit for just Being.

Dropping Mythology

When I question my assumptions, I glimpse my mythology. When I see through my mythology, which is all about getting the past "right" by repeating it in the future, I let my story dissolve like mist in the clear air of the present moment.

This is "viveka," discrimination. Viveka leads to freedom, freedom to dwell in presence, freedom to drop every story about a tragic or heroic "me" from the past who will return. Then who is left to be offended, avenged, forgiven or redeemed? Who needs to be saved? From what?


Baruk etah Adonai h'Olam! Blessed are you, Lord of all Creation!

What audacious blessing from the Hebrew Prayer Book is this? We do not ask for God's blessing. We bless Him from whom all blessings flow! What creature has been blessed deeply enough to bless the Creator?

The lion cannot do it, the orchid cannot do it, the sun cannot do it, nor the galaxy; creatures mightier and more lovely than Man, but with no voice of praise! Only one small otherwise worthless creature can do this thing, can bless the Blessed One.

Ever creature has a purpose. The lilac's purpose is releasing fragrance and seed, the lioness hunts to feed her cubs, the cloud brings rain to fields of wheat. But what is the purpose of a woman and a man?

We cannot bring rain. We hunt not nearly so well as the lion. We release no lilac fragrance, nor till a garden as well as a worm. So inept we are at the tasks of other creatures, that we employ their skills and strengths to sustain us. We took the power of the ox, the swiftness of the horse, the warmth of sheep's wool, the oil of whales to light our lamps, the feather of a bird for our arrow's flight. But there was a single task that these creatures could not do; a task which no mountain, or cloud, or star could accomplish: to be aware!

Only to be aware is the priestly function of the human creature. Humans are priests who perform the function of awareness on behalf of all creation. Only we, inept at every other task, become empty vessels of awareness, filled with gratitude for the gifts of God. To perceive things, just as they are, and offer them back in moments of thanksgiving: this is the task you have given me, O Lord. This is my purpose, O God, my only purpose.

The sudden sight of the moon slipping from a cloud, the glistening of a raindrop on the violet's tip, the bell of a wood-thrush, the silken touch of morning breeze: these are your offerings to me, that I may make them offerings to You, in the holy sacrament of perception. I gaze upon the violet, I enter the lingering echo of the thrush. In the fiery silence of my pure attention, the world is abstracted to its Maker, creatureliness dissolves, matter turns to Spirit, thingness of flower to no-thingness of God. Consciousness in me completes your creation, O Lord, returns your out-pouring Word as my word of praise. Were I not grateful, all creation would yet be still-born, a broken circle, a circuit shorted out.

Whatever else I do for work, my real vocation is looking, listening, touching the world, consuming its forms in the formless radiance of awareness.

This is the secret of your love, the secret of your humbleness, O God. I am not blessed without You: yet You are not blessed without Me! Breathing in, behold, I am blessed. Breathing out, behold, I bless You.

Soldier's Body

The bed is soft, gentle is her sleeping hand,
The old cat bundled and purring at our feet.
I had almost entered the memory, my soul
drifting toward another birth, forgetting how
far from home I fall, my face among small flowers
that worry down my cheek like child fingers, only
child of ours. A dark pool widens in the grass
under my belly. Cannon fire, numb and muffled
through the golden mist of equanimity
where past and present mingle in some final
chemistry of silence. Do not call it death:
it is too familiar, opening like her hand
asleep in mine. A voice, 'well done, rest now, soldier,'
speaks from the stillness that enfolds all battles,
calling me back to the field where I have fallen
so often before, refrain in a melody
of bones, soldier's body among blue flowers.

Peaks and Valleys

Are not the shadowed valleys of my soul permeated by the same bliss as the mountain top? I love to walk through misty lowlands as much as to sit in the sun. The relentless optimism of those who insist that I must always be happy is a subtle form of oppression.

Don't insist that every moment be a peak. Embrace dark valleys as legitimate spaces in the landscape of your wholeness. The best deal is to settle for who you are in this moment, with all your rough edges and unresolved emotions.

When happiness happens, be happy. When it doesn't, don't search. The moment you give up the search and allow yourself to be, just as you are, peace arises. Everything comes to rest in the present moment.

Your Own Love Affair

"Why should not we also enjoy an original relationship with the universe?" (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 'Nature,' 1836)

Spirituality is not imitation. If we pattern our soul on any other - whether Jesus, or the Guru, or our favorite hero - we may feel safe, but we will miss our own personal love-affair with the Infinite.

Love and Self

My love surrounds you. But that is no concern of yours. I love you for my own sake. Your love surrounds me. But that is no concern of mine. You love me for your own sake. Knowing this, our love remains unconditional. Forgetting this, our love slips into attachment.

Love is divinely Self-centered. Every wave of love arises in the ocean of the Self, and returns to the ocean of the Self, to delight the Self alone, who is both "me" and "other."

Many of us cling to the myth of "selflessness." But there is no selfless love. We only have two choices: love in passion, or love in dispassion. We either love the other as an other, or love the other as our Self.

This is why Jesus said the greatest commandment, equal with loving God, is "to love thy neighbor as thy Self." If we could handle this truth, we could avoid much pain in relationships.

The Eye

O God, I looked for you there, and could not find you. I found you here, where the radiance of seeing outshines what is seen, where the mystery of loving dissolves what is loved, where Being drowns all beings, and joy springs up without a cause. As an Other I sought you, but I found you as my Self.


'Woman Pouring Milk': George Thiaru, Kenya, d. 1962

The Mother pours her milk, which is the self-effulgent glow of silence, into the chalice of my heart, where it spills into every cell of my body, into my senses, and through them into the world. I offer the chalice back up to her. This never ending stream of offering is my breath.

Day and night, O my body, pay attention to the luminous circle of inhalation and exhalation! Be nourished at the divine breast. Receiving this unbroken white stream of living silence, I can never lack. From the aperture at the crown of my head, through the hollow stem of my spine, to the golden bowl of my heart, what am I but an emptiness to be filled by the Mother's radiance? And how can the Mother bless the earth without my breathing?

Breathe in silence, breathe out compassion. Breathe in light, breathe out healing. Breathe in joy, breathe out creation.

Some call it Shakti. Some call it Holy Spirit. And some call it Chi. I call it the milk of the great Mother. Let this glittering current of eternity bear me away: it is my own breath. The more I embrace, breathing in, the more the Mother pours into the world, breathing out. Let the uncreated silence at my core be so open, that I welcome the pain of all creatures, and drown in the sacramental flood of ordinary things. A bee lands on a tiny blue flower: a gesture of impish delight on God's perfect face. A patch of sunlight illuminates the fur of a lounging cat: I am in love.

Pausing in the grocery store, I see the eyes of the woman at the cash register. She works two shifts, serving me day and night with no complaint, yet I've never asked her name. Now I look into her eyes. Breathing her weariness in, I dissolve and adore. Breathing out, I anoint her body with gratitude.

I see mourners at a funeral. and my breath passes over with the shadow of the dead. I go with him awhile into darkness, a wickless flame on his path.

I see the homeless lady who lives in a cardboard box. People give her money, but she always returns to her cardboard home in the street. What more can be done? Breathe the Mother's grace upon her. Breathe for her the peace she will not breathe. Breathe her clenched fist into a palm. Breathe her heart open.

I see the salmon leap the ladder at the weir. The struggling chum's last quiver of hope suspended against the stream, he falls back and is not seen on the surface again. There is a silence where my breath goes, before the next breath. In this silence I receive the dying, I gather the unborn.

The world is sacred, but only in potential. An offering laid upon an alter, earth awaits the blessing of human breath, consecrated by awareness. This is no romance. I evoke what Is, the prayer of the world already spoken, the exquisite ordinary. With each breath, I de-romanticize ideal to real, affirming the miracle of the commonplace. Thank you, Mother, for the dirt on the bottom of this shoe, its dark sweet molecules of the dead and the living, suspended in the radiance of Seeing.

God isn't Interested in Guilt

A woman I know went on retreat at a Catholic convent. After spending nearly an hour lamenting all her sins to a patient old nun named Margaret, Sister Margaret stood up, patted her on the shoulder and said, "Sweetie, God isn't interested in your guilt."

God is interested in our joy, not our sin. Real faith is delight. We approach our Creator the more we delight in the ordinary miracles of creation, and God is always nearer to us than we are to God. Fear of hell won't bring us one inch closer to heaven. How many more centuries will we spend in gloomy angst about this petty little thing, the soul? The soul is not eternal. At best, it only lasts an instant!

The soul, as an independent 'I', perpetuates itself through worry. As soon as I give up worrying about my own salvation, my soul dissolves.

Yet when I delight in God's presence, I am God's Self-delight, and I am eternal. One pure instant of delight burns up countless centuries of sin, like a spark in an attic full of old newspapers.

Why wait? Burn up now! Be the spark of delight who is never more that one moment old!


I am simplistic. I can't imagine anything I'd rather be accused of than reducing life to great simplicities!

When modern astro-physics declares the origin of the cosmos to be a mathematical singularity, that is simplistic, but I get it. When Gandhi says, God has no religion, that is simplistic, but I get it. When Jesus says, Let your yes be yes and your no be no, that is simplistic, but I get it. When St. John writes, God is love, that is simplistic, but I get it. When the Upanishads affirm, Om Tat Sat: Everything is God, that is simplistic, but I get it.

What I don't get is why so many people hide behind complex arguments, and drape themselves in mind.

Don't Worry

How can you see an angel in heaven if you don't know how to look at an apple blossom?

"Take no thought for your life, for what ye shall eat, or what ye shall wear, or for your body; for who among you by worrying can add one inch to your stature?"

Jesus spoke the complete Gospel in these simple words from the Sermon on the Mount. The Greek imperative "mei merimnate" means "don't worry." The King James version of the Bible eloquently translates this as "take no thought." Not to worry is freedom from thought.

"Don't worry" is precisely what Lord Krishna tells Arjuna in the last chapter of the Bhagavad Gita: "ma suchoh" in Sanskrit. "Abandon all religious duties and simply surrender to Me. My grace will deliver you from all your sins. Don't worry."

At any moment of our life, we have two choices: this now, or a cloud of worries. We shroud the reality of this now in thoughts, a gray mental cloud containing the future and the past, regret and anxiety. Yes, our future and our past only exist as thoughts in our mind.

When we see What Is through this drab haze of worry, we call it the world. But if we could see What Is without the superimposition of thought, we would call it paradise. The Kingdom of Heaven is always right here. When we surrender to this presence, we are nourished by the Tree of Life. But instead, we choose, like Eve and Adam, to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Then we fall into exile in the world of mind, endlessly judging what is good and evil, better or worse. "Oh I'm tired of this. I'd rather have that!" This constant thinking throws us out of the garden of Presence, into the realm of time.

Many spiritual seekers express this exile as a division between "the material plane" and "higher planes of consciousness." We are fascinated by angels, celestial visions, and ascended masters who channel wisdom from other worlds. We'd rather be up there, with them. But the truth is, angels dwell right here. Angels and devas are not above the earth, but deep inside it. Heavenly lokas and Buddha fields manifest on the same spectrum of energy as our own bodies. They just vibrate at a different frequency, a little less dense than we. Angels, archangels, powers, princedoms and dominions, all dwell in an apple bud.

Have you truly looked at a flower? Have you noticed the subtler textures within it, the refined energy around its edges? Physical matter is permeated by interior worlds. They are seen in more relaxed layers of consciousness, just as cells and molecules are seen in deeper layers of magnification. How can you see an angel in heaven if you don't know how to look into an apple blossom?

There is no higher world than this one. There is no heaven beyond the tip of your nose. The whole breadth of the cosmos is between your eyebrows. The kingdom of the Gods is hidden in the dust on your sneaker. Then why do you suffer? Simply because of your restless desire to be elsewhere.

The Greek word for "judgment" is "crisis." Jesus the Liberator teaches us to live the crisis of Judgment Day right now. The crisis is a starkly simple decision. Do we choose to be here, or to be elsewhere? Do we live in the present moment, or in the gray haze of the past and future?

If you experience a sense of crisis, rejoice! A crisis is an opportunity to choose liberation, to choose What Is and awaken to Now.

Faith is the constant choice to be here now. Don't confuse Faith with belief, for belief is only a defense against worry about the past and future. Belief is made out of thoughts and words. Faith is made out of silence.

Faith is opening to the grace of Presence, allowing Presence to have its way with us, unrestricted by memory and expectation. The people around us need our Presence, not our past and our future. Acting in Presence, we create a new heaven and a new earth.

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus also said, "Take no thought for tomorrow." Eternal life doesn't begin when we die. It could not be eternal if it hasn't started yet! Eternal life begins for us whenever we choose to let it happen.

So relax, drop your worries, look into a bud. Make it blossom with your looking.


Consciousness is both playful and dangerous. It is the one phenomenon with the curious ability to form its own background and sneak up on itself from behind, just to thicken the plot.

Therefor, it is wiser to dance with your ego than try to destroy it, because the most vulnerable ego of all is the person who thinks he doesn't have one.

Losing Our Minds

A woman said to me, "Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind!" We all feel this way from time to time. So what if we lose our minds? Don't we lose them every night when we fall asleep? Go ahead, lose your mind. You'll get another one.

When we say, "I'm losing my mind," who is the "I" who sees the mind being lost? That seer is completely separate from the mind. We are not our minds. We are the silent golden space of awareness, more vast than any mind we could lose.

Don't Know

"True faith is bewilderment." (Martin Luther)

"Which of you by taking thought can add one inch to his stature?" (Mattew 6:27)

When the Patriarch Bodhidharma brought Buddhism to China, the Emperor Wu demanded an audience with him. A court-official recited the list of the emperor's meritorious deeds: from the founding of universities and hospitals to charities for the poor. After the long recitation, the Emperor asked Bodhidharma what merits he had achieved.

Bodhidharma answered, "Don't know."

"Then what is your authority as a teacher?" asked the emperor.

Bodhidharma replied, "Don't know."

"So," huffed the emperor, "what is it that you teach?"

"Don't know."

All the suffering that humans inflict on one another - whether in the name of "god" or scientific "progress," whether in the name of national defense, moral righteousness or political reform, all such suffering whatsoever comes from believing that we know. Based on our knowledge, we attempt to improve the world. And because we know, we permit ourselves to invade, inject, possess, convert, repress and exploit other human beings.

But what do we know? Every morning we wake up assuming that we know our world. Furiously, all day long, we manipulate this world, making the future conform to our knowledge. But do we even know the most basic substance of our world, what it's made of? Do we know what the simplest flower, or speck of dust, or a single atom, or an electron actually is? And failing to know the essence of the world, how can our knowledge of anything have any basis?

Do we know the world, or the mind's description of the world? Do we know any thing, or only our thought about it? Are we not perpetually cut off from the green and sensuous mystery of things as they truly are, because we dwell as exiles in our knowledge?

Perhaps reality is finally encountered, not by knowing, but by surrendering to the Unknown, and dissolving into this, which is more immediate than any thought you can think about it....

Until now, we have assumed that "religion" is a form of knowledge, and a set of commandments. But the word comes from the Latin, re-ligare, which means to bind back, to return to the source. Perhaps real religion has more to do with a process of unknowing than with gaining knowledge.

Those who seek to know need many commandments.

Those who think they know need ten.

Those who know they cannot know need only one:

"Don't Know."

Drinking Again

I've been drinking
this wine again
all night with you.
Not the wine in
beautiful new jars,
but the stuff at the bottom
of ancient hearts.
Now my cellar is empty
as sunlight in moon beams.
But this poem
has nothing to do
with what happened last night.
Not even God
remembers that.
This is about your wedding:
the party God throws
in the garden where laughter
was never banished
and true nakedness awaits you
like a gown.

Drop The Veil

A veil of one thought separates me from perfect happiness: "I must do something to deserve it."

No deed is ever good enough to deserve perfect happiness. It cannot be acquired by achievement.

Perfect happiness is not achieved because it's already here! It is our birthright: the gift ever given before we do anything to deserve it. That is why little children experience moments of perfect happiness: they have yet to be indoctrinated out of it.

A Vedic text declares, Antar mukhi sada sukhi. "One who perceives the Divinity within is happy." The happiness we are, before we do anything, makes love possible. When Jesus spoke the great commandment, "Love thy neighbor as thy self," he clearly taught that caring for others is rooted in self-care. Why then did so many of his followers turn S-E-L-F into a four letter word?

To love others, I must love me. I love me, not for what I achieve, but for what I Am. I love me because I was loved by God before I did anything, when God first poured the nectar of delight into the hollow core of my soul.

How many more lifetimes will I hide my perfect happiness beneath the veil of one thought, "I must do something to deserve it"?

Why not drop the veil and be happy now?


A Serpent

Jesus guided me gently by the elbow until we reached the Garden. I was old and blind, and he was such a fine young boy! He showed me an enormous vine clustered with luscious grapes.

"The tree of life?" I asked.

"This grew here before that tree," he said. Plucking a single grape, he commanded, "Eat this!"

I knew that when I crushed it on my tongue, its sweetness would transport me to another world! But I was wrong.

I tasted, I marveled, I awakened to this world, just as it is. At last I understood: there is nowhere else to go. Then I noticed the Serpent wound at the root of the vine, lounging in the warm sun, scratching its belly with its tail.

"Where do you go when you die?" the serpent asked me.

I looked to Jesus for the answer, but Jesus commanded me, saying: "Tell him! You know."

"Well I suppose," said I, "You don't go anywhere."

Hearing this, the serpent rose up on its tail, dancing like an an elegant many-colored flame. Then he spread his golden wings and flew heavenward, transformed into an angel of glory.

A Disobedient Woman

After the prosecutor concluded his case against her, the woman stood in the hushed court and began her defense. During her speech, the Judge's face grew increasingly red and fierce. Sweat poured from his temples: his crown continually slipped over his forehead and fell off.

"I can accept death, your honor, and hardship, and the pain of childbirth, and endless labor. But what I will not accept is guilt. My actions have a consequence, it's true: but I will not allow you to besmirch my good name. I have not done wrong. I have only done an act that results in suffering. I accept my suffering, but I do not accept the condemnation you would attach to it, and to my children."

"But," spluttered the judge, "I clearly told you, as your magistrate and king, that you must not eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. You ate it. Therefor you disobeyed. Disobediance is an evil. Thus you are condemned as a sinner forever!"

"You are mistaken, O Judge and King. For when you told me not to eat of the fruit, you did not tell me that disobedience was an evil. And because I had not yet eaten of the fruit of knowledge, I knew not what evil was. Therefor I ate in innocence."

The sweaty crown began to slip. The veins pulsed on the Judge's neck. "Insolent woman!" he shouted. "Naturally you knew that you must obey my commandment, for I created you, and that which is a creature is a natural born slave to its creator! Therefor you should have known, you should have known!"

"Quite the contrary, sir," said the mild woman with a small sad smile, a smile that nevertheless grew as she spoke until it flashed from her eyes and her brow, and her whole being shined with a light brighter than the tinsel on the crown of her accuser. "You did not create me to be a slave. For you declared, 'Let us create humanity in our own image and likeness.' Did you not say that I was to be the queen of this earth and have dominion over it? Did you not make me as your earthly reflection, to be your likeness on a lovely world? What does it mean to be your image if not to reflect your freedom, your power of choice? Therefor, I ate of the fruit as a noble act of freedom. I was not disobedient: I was simply being true to my nature, the nature you gave me when you created me in the image of your own free-will."

The judge rose, flecks of saliva shaken from his lips by the words he proclaimed: "You are condemned to exile, sorrow, pain and death!"

"I know," she replied gently, "I know. But I will wear my suffering as a crown more noble than yours. My suffering will not be punishment for sin. My suffering will be the birth pang of a human soul, who is conceived in innocence, but not born until she feels the pain of experience. Yet, while I may have lost my innocence, I have not lost my virtue. In fact, it is you who have done evil!"

Everyone in the court gasped at this impertinence.

"Yes," she continued, "It is you who have sinned. For when you condemn me, you condemn me unjustly, since I acted out of innocence, not yet having any knowledge of good and evil. Sin for me had no meaning. To accuse me of sin, then, was both a falsehood and injustice. Since falsehood and injustice are ungodly, then you, by condemning me, denied your own godly nature, while I was true to mine. You, my God, are the sinner, not I!"

From the back of the courtroom, a young man moved from the shadows to the light and stood beside her.

"You again!" said the Judge. "I sent you away, away, yet you always come back when I condemn one of these sinners! What do you want this time?"

"I have come for her sake," the man said, "not for your's." Then he smiled to the woman, taking her hand. "Come, I will accompany you through the valley of the shadow of death. I cannot remove your pain. But friendship can heal the blight of judgment. You will go forth as a sufferer, but not a sinner. All that you endure, I will endure: not to take it from you, but to give you the assurance that you have a friend."

"What is a friend?" asked the woman, warily.

He answered, "A friend is someone who shares your sorrow, and walks beside you, and leads you back to your beauty."

Together they turned to the jury. The judge demanded, "Have you reached a verdict?'"

"We have, your honor?"

"How do you find the defendant, guilty or not guilty?"

"Your honor, we sentence the defendant to suffering and death, but we find her not guilty."

The judge stared at the young man, his eyes smoldering. "Your Mother is behind this, isn’t she? Ever since I divorced the woman, she has used you to confound my judgment! Can’t you and that woman just leave me to my work? Can’t you see its all a simple matter of right and wrong, heaven and hell? Why must you always ruin justice with your God-forsaken mercy?"

The defendant held the young man's hand and walked out of the courtroom. Writhing like a wounded serpent, the Judge turned to the officers of the court, hissing, "Bring another slave for me to judge. There must be someone here who is guilty!"

A Tavern

Four friends were carousing at a Tavern: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and Mohammad. They were having a grand time sampling every vineyard on the wine list; best of friends until the end of the evening, when each started to worry, "Who will pick up the tab for all this wine?"

One of them finally said, "Lord! Each of us has tasted from every dish and drunk from every bottle. There's no way to divide the bill!"

Jesus pointed to the Buddha and suggested, "He has no attachments: let him pay."

Krishna pointed to Jesus and said, "He carries the debts of others: let him pay."

Buddha pointed at Krishna and said, "He claims to be ever full, beyond loss or gain: let him pay!"

Then they all turned to Mohammad to see if he might be generous. The Prophet replied, "I just tasted the wine, but I never swallowed any."

Then the Tavern Keeper, having overheard their penurious squabble, approached them deeply offended and shouting, "I gave you the best wine from my cellar. You should all be drunk with love! Let the debt be paid by him who is still sober."

Hearing that, they slapped each others backs and hugged like babies, rolling on the floor. The Tavern Keeper cried: "That's right! Let the one who is drunk with love empty his pockets like a fool!" So that is what they all did.

The Tavern Keeper got a magnificent tip and the four men staggered from the tavern arm in arm, singing a song so wild and sweet that, to this day, no one understands the words.

A Smile

The ocean liner hit an ice berg off the Cape of Good Hope. As the ship sank, four people managed to escape in a life boat designed for three: a doctor, a carpenter, a soldier, and a comedian. If they were going to survive in that boat, one of them had to drown!

The comedian was quickly thrown overboard. The others made it to a desert island, where the carpenter built shelter, the doctor treated wounds, and the soldier protected their camp. But they quarreled constantly and grew hopeless. Because they never smiled, they sickened and died. When an expedition reached the island, all they found were bones.

The doctor, the carpenter and the soldier arrived at the gates of paradise, convinced that they had done all they could to survive and would surely be rewarded for their hard work.

"Where are your smiles?" asked the Gate Keeper.

This question offended them mightily. "Why should we smile?" they asked. "Life was hard!"

"I didn't ask if your lives were easy," said the Gate Keeper, "I asked, what happened to your smiles? Each of you received a precious smile at your birth, to help you through the hard times."

All three of them frowned.

"You need your smile to get in here," said the Gate Keeper. "Go back and get it."

The doctor stammered, "But, all those hours of training!"

The carpenter fumed, "But, all that hard work!"

The soldier complained, "I thought I'd finally smile when I got to heaven, as as reward for my courage!"

The Gate Keeper said, "If you don't have the courage to smile on earth, you'll never smile here."

So the three turned back to retrieve their smiles in another life. Just then, they heard uproarious belly-laughter from within the gates of heaven.

"Who's that?" they asked.

"That's God," said the Gate Keeper.

"What's God laughing at?"

"Just some clown we found in the water off the Cape of Good Hope."

Beyond the Romance of Now

"One who sees stillness in action, and action in stillness, truly sees." (Bhagavad Gita)

I take refuge in slicing a peach.

I take refuge in emptying the trash, stroking my blue-eyed kitten, grading papers, grinding coffee beans. I take refuge in whatever happens. And when I slice this peach, there's no romantic bubble called "now" around it.

Now, I give myself permission to drop the future. I give myself permission to drop the past. I give myself permission to drop the "now."

I tried taking refuge in the past, super-imposing an old and meaningful story onto the present. But I discovered that it's hard work dragging ancient stories, even the story of Jesus, into this moment.

I tried taking refuge in hope. But imagining a beautiful future means attempting to create a whole new world, and that's a big load to carry.

I tried taking refuge in God, but where was He when I really felt crazy? At the moment when I needed all my attention down here on earth, believing in someone "above" was a distraction.

Then I took refuge inside. I tried maintaining "mindfulness" throughout my frazzled workday. This practice taught me that, if 50% of me is outside and 50% of me is inside, I'm a half-ass businessman plus a half-ass monk. 50% + 50% = 50%.

So I started listening to Eckhart Tolle CD's, taking refuge in the "now." I opened a bright blue peace umbrella over my head to protect me from the dark rain of chaos. But an umbrella isn't much use when the storm is underneath the umbrella. "Now" was no different than the past, the future, or God. Half of me looking for "the present moment" while the other half tried to work, I was still hopelessly divided. "Now," it seems, is just another thought, another invention of the restless mind.

Is there is no refuge? No refuge ahead or behind, no refuge above or within, no refuge even now? Are we perpetually torn between doing the present task and looking elsewhere for meaning?

I thank my beloved master, Mahesh Yogi, for getting me out of this insufferable dilemma. He's been very patient: it's only taken me forty years to get it!

Yes! There is a way, but it's a paradox. I can't be 50% here and 50% there, but I CAN be 100% here and 100% there! It's as simple as this: meditate, then act.

When it's time to meditate, meditate. When it's time to act, go to work. One is absolute inner silence, the other is absolute commitment to the world. Renounce every effort to maintain a relationship between these two opposites. That's real renunciation.

With transcendental deep meditation, I begin the day, gracefully dissolving into silence. Then I forget about meditating. I act. Later in the day, when I need to recharge my awareness, I rest from action with a meditation break. Then once more, I get busy. Meditation and activity, resting and working, are completely opposite poles of life. But I don't fret over the contrast. Life IS this contrast, isn't it? Inward-outward, silence-action, getting-spending, spiritual-physical. Not fretting over the contrast is faith.

At some point in the foolish wisdom of this pathless journey, the glowing inner silence of meditation starts to irradiate the actions of the day. This is no big deal. In fact, it's the nature of our existence: we were just too busy to notice. Jesus called it "the kingdom of heaven right in the midst of you." St. Paul called it "being in the world, but not of the world." Quietness saturates our awareness even in the chaos of the market place. And when we are most busy, in the peak flow of our action, stillness happens!

If our action is life-sustaining, evolutionary, and in accord with our Dharma - which means our passionate life-purpose - then being 100% engaged in work spontaneously creates 100% stillness inside. Silence enfolds the noise. Cosmic purpose supports our mundane decisions. Each frantic moment is immersed in the ocean of eternal peace.

But this is not a practice: it is the result of practice, the grace-given fruit of morning and evening meditation.

I take refuge in slicing this peach. Having sliced this peach, I eat it.

Jai Guru Dev

True Abundance

To own much and be anxious about it expresses lack. To have enough money, yet dwell in constant fear of losing it, is a deep form of poverty. True abundance has nothing to do with how much we own. Abundance is a state of awareness, so enriched by the Inward Light, that no worry is wasted on outward gain or loss.

Just a Spark

America is just the spark for something even brighter, something we haven't imagined yet, something beyond "me," "my country," "my property." It is We the People on a global scale: one world family. Who needs enemies? Imagine a world where the very concept of "enemy" is obsolete.

Where the Question Is

Where the question is, there is no answer. Where the answer is, the question has never arisen. That is why, when we are in the Master's presence, all questions vanish, and we cannot remember what is was we needed to ask....

The solution to any problem is not to struggle with the problem, but to rest in that awareness where, had we been dwelling there, the problem would never have arisen.

Winged Heart

Be a buried seed, stirred by warmth toward radiance unseen. Surrender, through longing, to longing. Become your longing. Discover the secret: longing for God is God.

Breathing is the simplest prayer.

When you breathe in, God is your life. Now breathe out: through that breath, you offer all creation back to the Source. This is real worship, the only temple sacrifice required, and your body is the temple. All rituals and sacraments of every religion whatsoever are rehearsals for your first conscious breath. When you breathe life consciously, you need no other religion.

When you inhale, you create a ritual for receiving the Holy Spirit. You can consciously imbibe Spirit into every cell, every particle of your body. A single atom contains the same vast space that fills galaxies. as you breathe God in, you incorporate infinity in your flesh. Then you offer the sweet incense of exhalation. In gratitude, you give the miracle of creation back to its creator. This perfect offering requires no priest but you.

Exhaling, your mind naturally descends into your heart. In the hollow core of your heart, surrender. The radiant emptiness in your heart's core is pure love, love that has no object, no content, no whom? or why? Without goal or motive, horizon-less love expands. Thus, love includes all, forgives all, redeems all.

The empty heart of pure love is creative. From this space, galaxies are born. The Creator within you whispers:

"I carried you here on wings of silence.

"We are twin pinions of one heart, Lover and Beloved opened wide with Longing, folded in with Love. We embrace in the stillness between breaths.

"Many starve for Me because they want to know Me before they pray. They ask, 'How can you pray if you don't know God?' But I ask, How can you know Me until you pray? Prayer comes first, then I Am.

"I am known through a longing that wings the void of not-knowing. The breath of your longing for Me is but a tiny wave, returning to the ocean of my longing for You."


The best way to change the world is to see it as it is.

The best accomplishment is knowing when to get out of the way.

The best method of teaching is to let them teach themselves.

Then, when you have ceased to be noticed, strike.

Dance With Your Gorilla

I have been so liberated by regarding my ego as a large hairy gorilla, I want to share the practice with my friends!

Some seekers believe than spirituality requires us to annihilate the ego. They follow the path to No-Self. All I have to say to them is, "Good luck."

If you attempt to annihilate your ego, you'll only put it in a closet where it will turn into a 700 lb. gorilla, like mine. This gorilla escapes and attacks you at the most inopportune and socially compromising occasions.

So give yourself a break. Don't suppress or control your ego. Let your gorilla go. Let it sit on your shoulder and flutter its little pinions with delight, because when you let your ego out of the closet, the gorilla turns into a butterfly. Here's the secret: The more you free the ego, the smaller and lighter it becomes. The more you confine and control the ego, the fatter and denser it grows.

Ego is never bad when you know it's there. Ego becomes a problem only when you pretend it's gone.

Your ego developed over many lifetimes to protect the embryonic Spirit within you. The ego was your Spirit's helmet and mask. Spirit wrote the music, but ego sang your song. Ego provided your Spirit with theater costumes for trying on different roles. By playing these roles, your ego created karma. The karma came back to punch your ego's nose, or French-kiss your ego's lips. With every karmic bruise or lip-stick stain on your poor ego, the inner Spirit gained precious lessons about its wholeness.

Now ego has brought you to the feet of the Master. It's job is done. Why not show some gratitude instead of kicking or strangling it? Say, "Thank you, good and faithful servant. Your work is finished. You can stick around if you want. Just shut up until recess. Then we'll play. That's the deal."

The really important thing to know is, your ego is not you. It's your side-kick, your playmate. Your real Self is clear empty awareness, spacious as the blue sky, so your ego will have plenty of room to play when you let it go.

Dance with your ego. Stroke its wings from time to time. And before you go to sleep at night, give your ego a big kiss. Otherwise, you may wake up with a gorilla in your bed.

Love Thy Self

Dante gazing toward his Beloved Beatrice, who gazes toward the divine Pleuroma ("fullness").

Follow your love to the Beloved. Follow your Beloved to God. Follow God to your Self.

Don't be selfless. Be the Self. Don't be selfish. Be the Self. Be so overflowing with divine Selfhood that your heart includes everybody.

The secret of love is that we never love anyone but the Self. Those who claim to be selfless, loving others but not themselves, are deluded. Every impulse of love arises from the subject, flows out to embrace the object, and returns to the Self as a wave of bliss.

I do not love you for your sake, but for the sake of the Self. You do not love me for my sake, but for the sake of the Self. Thanks to our love, the Self can play in the ocean of its own divine sweetness.

Love is a circle, ever returning to the lover's heart. You complete love's circle by reveling in the radiance of that supreme Lord who is your pure luminous Self. You may call him Shiva or Christ. It doesn't matter what you call Him, as long as you experience God as the sparkling diamond of awareness in the hridaya chakra, the heart center.

Reveling in your heart, the Self overflows with waves that bathe all creation around you. These are the waves of the Goddess Shakti, the Holy Spirit, who is the Lord's eternal partner. When Shiva-Shakti, Christ and the Spirit, dance in your heart and kindle your spine with twin flames of love, shattering every illusion of doubt and limitation, crowning your head with stars, anointing your inmost eye with a vision of boundless sparkling space, which is the space of the Self, the vastness you are: your life too becomes a dance. Innocently, naturally, you heal and nourish everyone in your presence: not because you are selfless, but because you are Self-effulgent.

We certainly find our divine Self in the Bible. But jealous priests suppressed this wisdom. They turned self into a dirty four-letter word. They encouraged self-denial, fearing that their flocks might grow too independent once they tasted divinity within. Just look into the great book. Is the human Self not created "in the image and likeness of God"? Does the great commandment not say, "Love thy neighbor as thyself," affirming that true love of others depends on loving ourselves? Did Jesus not teach, "The kingdom of heaven is within you?"

Union with the Self brings peace, and an end to craving. As you follow your path, you need not be distant from the goal. God is nearer than your next breath. At every step along the way, you can return to Him, rest where He rests in your heart, and delight in your inner divinity. With this very breath, surrender now. Om Namah Shivaya.

True religion is not striving for life after death in some higher world. True religion is resting deeply in the Self, here, where the dance begins....

Om purnam adah purnam idam
Purnat purnam udachyate
Purnasya purnam adaye
Purnam eva vashishyate ('Isa Upanishad')

"This inward Self is full and whole.
Its outer manifestation is full and whole.
Every part created from the whole is equally whole,
leaving the fullness perfectly full and whole."