Oak Song

Gongey tumi washam,
Gongey tumi weheh.

Gongey tumi washam,
Gongey tumi weheh.

Joy and peace to you,
Emptiness and play.

Grief and sorrow too,
Fearless is our way.

Gongey tumi washam,
Gongey tumi weheh.


Ignore ignorance. What you focus on expands, takes on weight and form, become your whole world. You learn the lesson there, then create a new one. You can have all the worlds you want. So many things to be ignorant about, but only one thing to know. Why not focus on the golden fountain of love in your heart? Isn't that where you always wanted to live?

Message From An Alternate Timeline

Hi, I'm Fred. It is 2012 here. This a message in a virtual bottle, a message from another timeline.

Physicists have recently taught us virtual messaging between alternate universes, so I thought I'd try it.
Perhaps there is another Fred in your timeline. You might remember him from the 60's.

In case your timeline unfolded differently than the one I chose, I'd like to share what life is like here.

There are no more nation states. We gave them up after Jimmy Carter was re-elected in 1980. In an astonishingly rapid transition, we moved from the outmoded concept of "nationhood" to global federation. We are one human family, though we each identify with our bio-region, enjoying tribal gatherings to celebrate our local produce, music, and dance.

We abolished war. And flags. There is only one flag, a batik green planet in an ocean of blue: but since each one is hand-dyed, every flag is unique.

Religion has disappeared, though most of us participate in a local shamanic circle for meditation, healing, and seasonal celebration. After all, there is only one religion: the melting of the heart. 

Meditation, the Healing Breath, and Yoga are taught in all our schools: they are considered to be the lab work for physics and chemistry.

We have replaced corporations with worker-owned cooperatives. There are no international banks, just bio-regional credit unions. We regard a line of credit to start your own business as a universal human right, along with free health care.

There are some rich people left, but they are gradually dying out and pretty much ignored by the rest of us. They live in dilapidated mansions, pretending that they still own the land around them. Of course, we realize now that no one can own land. Land belongs to the Creator. We regard these tormented elites with sympathy: they have a profoundly disabling character disorder.

I guess the big breakthrough was the abolition of oil companies and the end of fossil fuels. We now derive all the energy we need directly from the vacuum of empty space, where we have harnessed the innate fluctuations of virtual photons in the void, the very source of matter.

Every cottage (we live in mud cottages with thatched roofs) has a tiny black sphere on a metal pole. This golf-ball sized sphere of titanium alloy generates an infinite supply of energy. It also powers our hover-cars that zing silently through the air on invisible digital currents of information, never colliding.

 Milky Way over Lake Titicaca

Since we don't use fossil fuels anymore, the night sky is as clear as it was 10,000 years ago. We have strict laws against light pollution and entertain ourselves by going to Star Parks, where we walk down moon flowered paths or meditate sprawled in the grass, observing a rule of silence. We raise our children to do this instead of watching TV. They gaze through the void, over light-years of quietness, into the glory of night, listening to the sound of the stars.

In September, 2001, we enjoyed First Contact. The Federation of Planetary Communities welcomed Humanity into partnership. If you have a film in your timeline called "Men In Black," watch it carefully. It is highly accurate in every detail.

These alien guys have been with us a long time, and they are delighted with our progress. We call them Eldersibs. The Eldersibs told us about other earth-planets, on alternate timelines, that aren't doing so well. I hope you don't live on one of them. Some of these alternate worlds are ruled by corporate feudalists who promote perpetual war and destroy their planet with insatiable consumption of carbon-based fuels. Some worlds have been taken over by religious fundamentalists, who confuse sexual repression and violence with a "spiritual" lifestyle.

On one such earth a guy named Ramses, or Roman, or Romney - something like that - rose to power through voter suppression and the corporate buy-out of democracy. He started a devastating world war, just to stimulate industrial production and create jobs.

But life here in my timeline is good, and it is very good. I hope that wherever you are in this marvelous golden web, woven from interdependent threads of ever-evolving bliss-consciousness, you are happy.

Fearless Seeing


Meditate on your own eyes, close them and rest in their light, not the light of the world, but the innate luminosity of seeing, prior to what is seen.

When your eyes overflow with light, open them and see fearlessly what is there, without photo-shopping the naked radiance of the world. Impose no concepts, labels, preferences. See it all as rippling flame, a seamless continuum of
Presence ever burning itself up.

Pour your eyes into this uncreated fire, until seeing consumes the seer and the seen. Light within you, light outside you, exactly the same light: "God from God, Light from Light, very God from very God."*

Let the whole creation be consumed by the eye of your heart in the bliss of fearless seeing.

*words from the Nicene Creed

Solidify Negativity

"Let negative feelings solidify." ~Sri Sri

Most people try to ignore or suppress their negative feelings. Then they are haunted by ghosts day and night, and these negative feelings become the demons they project into the world of action.

Instead of trying to ignore or suppress negative feelings, welcome them into the space of awareness. They are legitimate parts of your being, your energy, your body. Anger, jealousy, grief, fear of failure, loss: Whatever feeling arises, let it crystalize into a concrete mass of energy, felt as sensation in some part of the body.

Embrace the negative feeling without resistance. Bathe this bundled energy in the clear waters of awareness, simply observing it. In its own time, gracefully, the negativity will unwind and release back into the useful energy of aliveness. For it was never a "demon," never a "bad" part of you. It was just bound-up aliveness, waiting to dissolve into joy.

Only when we let negative feelings solidify can they dissolve into the clear brilliant sky of compassion. Here is a useful guided meditation by Sri Sri to deal with negative emotions.

Self-Knowledge is Innate Compassion

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." ~Luke 23:34

With these words from the cross, at the moment of his death, Jesus informs us that the fundamental human problem is not sin, but ignorance.

Ignorance of what? Math, science, language, computer technology? Or ignorance of something far more fundamental: our own Self?

To know the Self is not factual knowledge. In the Self, there is no data to process. No verbal or mathematical aptitude are required to know the Self. Nor is this knowledge the conclusion to any process of linear logical analysis. So in a sense, knowing the Self means Un-Knowing all else, until one settles into the source of knowing: boundless subjectivity.

Self is the luminosity of consciousness as its own object.

Rest in the empathy of the Self for itself, and know the natural compassion of all selves for each other. This is our innate morality.

Resting in Self-luminous compassion is meditation. If we want to teach the next generation to solve world conflict, we need to teach meditation in our schools.

One who rests in natural compassion sees the other, even the "enemy," as an expression of one's own Self, and spontaneously fulfills "the Law and the Prophets," because one now truly "loves one's neighbor as one's Self." (Mark 12:31)

There is no enemy. This is the only victory.

Graphic, Arabic words for 'peace' and 'love.'


I love what's round, nature's curves and asymptotes. She contains no points, only vanishings; no straight lines or right angles: they only exist in the mind. The mind is the realm of names. When we name things, they solidify into hierarchies. But when we return to the nameless circle, hierarchies melt into streams. Un-naming things makes them God again. The real revolution is silence.

God is fluid, the healing stream of melted names. Not one of us is a thing. Therefor, not one of us is superior or inferior to another. Not one of us, no, not one, is finite. Each creature bends toward the  infinite, entangled in every other.

If you want to overthrow the hierarchy of unmelted things, return to the circle. Be nameless. Swim in the fluid of divine silence.

This is why the elites of every religious hierarchy fear meditation, and every true revolution is preceded by a generation of mystics.

In the forest of the golden mushroom, I dare you to find a single straight line!

Photo: I took this photo today in the alpine forest on Mount Rainier: it is a huge mushroom, Laetiporus Sulphureus (chicken of the woods). No, I did not eat it.

Credo ("I Believe")

So what point shall we argue about today?

Viewpoints churn and swirl in a pointless centerless sea. That sea is consciousness itself, which has no point of view.

Each perspective feels "right" and important only as long as we contract into it, giving it weight and mass. Until now, every religion has been based on a Credo, a statement of what "I believe." When will we relax into that religion which has no beliefs at all? That religion whose central practice is abandoning every point of view?

Last Hike of Summer

Last hike of summer,
fifteen miles to mirror lake.
Knees older, same heart.

Azure mountain moth,
disguised among blue asters,
unmasked by a breeze.

Lupine fade and hum;
in the last alpine flowers,
honey bees feasting.

Evening nurse log,
lullaby of newborn firs,
deepening silence.

Painting by Christine Ghattas

Realm of Giving

This world is the Realm of Giving. Here we learn to see all as a gift, and give it all back.

Psychologically, this means non-clinging, embracing the freedom of impermanence.

Spiritually, this means yagya, seeing the universe as sacrifice, and offering everything we experience into the fire.

Economically, it means redistribution, energy ceaselessly flowing, without accumulating in any one point. Money is consciousness yearning to be spent. But holding and hoarding wealth is the source of great misery.

One who sees everything as a gift cannot be unhappy.

Happy Birthday, Ganesh! (Sept. 19)

Ganesha Chaturthi, the birthday of Ganesh! This elegant Ganesh was painted by my friend, Scott Hague.

Happy birthday, Ganesh! I'm sorry so many spiritual intellectuals have to explain away your wacky appearance and exquisite nonsense as "
symbolism." I sort of like You just as You are, a huge elephant head, bizarre nose, fat bellied body on a naughty boy, riding precarious and tipsy on a mouse: that describes just about all of us!

I think the big tummy is important because it symbolizes a big tummy.

You are my buddy, Ganesh. Let's make some mischief today! Let's steal some hearts. Let's tease some girls while they're taking their baths. Let's gnaw through our ropes and free ourselves from every concept of how things should be. And when the great Father Should comes to cut off our heads, lets trumpet the wisdom of laughter and charge him like bull elephants!

Dear buddy, You are the remover of obstacles. But the greatest obstacle of all is our self-doubt, our self-criticism, the cold and absolutely heartless voice in our heads that keeps telling us we're not what we "should" be.

You radiate your crazy looks just to show us that, like You, however disheveled or fat or disproportionate we may appear, we are each a blessing, blessedly blessed, just as we are.

Om Gam Gatapatayeh Namaha!

You Can't Go Wrong

Cellular Structure of an Orchid,  Photo by ceridwensummer

I let go of my story about time, and discovered the eternal space of presence. It was important to say, "There is no past or future."

Letting go of time, I let go of the body, and it was important to say, "I am not this body; I am pure consciousness."

But then I discovered the boundless space of eternity tingling in every atom of my flesh. I cried, "This is my Body! My Body is also God!"

And then I was blessed again to remember my story, my father's and mother's story, and the stories of their fathers and mothers. I was blessed again with the dance of tomorrow, and a plan for beauty. So I reinvented time.

Time bubbles out of the present moment, embracing all my ancestors and the unborn generations of the earth.

No need to negate the past and future in order to be fully present. No need to negate the body to be boundless Spirit. No need to negate the many to be one.

Time is never wrong. Not a single electron is out of place. Each moment of evolution is correct.  Every state of awareness, even the awareness of a snail, is completely enlightened. One cell of skin on your fingertip is replete and overflowing with God-consciousness.

And if you wish to say, "this is absurd!" -  that too is perfectly correct.

Thank You, Candy

Thank you,  Spaghetti-O's. We don't eat you anymore, but you were our first vegetarian delight.

Thank you, Bird's Eye frozen peas. We don't eat you anymore. But you were a hell of a lot better than canned spinach. At first we hid you under our mashed potatoes, but then we liked you, and you nourished us.

I would say, thank you Wonder Bread, if it was politically correct and gluten free. You played your role. There was a time we needed all the carbos our little bodies could wolf down. You were the wife of peanut butter. You tasted wonderful with balogna and ketchup, and after all, ketchup is still regarded as a vegetable in public schools.

And finally, before their names are forever lost, like Sumerian gods, I would just like to thank Adam's Black Jack gum and Bazooka, Moon Pie Single Deckers and Tasty Cakes, Necco Candy Buttons and Mary Janes, Nestle's Snow Caps, Good and Plenties, Fizzies, Flavor Straws, and especially Tootsie Pops, in whose cherry luscious lolly center some frikkin' genius placed a wad of chocolate like the jewel in the lotus.

I loved you candy, I just want you to know that. Even though you were not Ayur Vedic or good for dental hygiene, when I was with you, I was truly present.

You gave me time to chew, to trust the sweetness of this moment, to find happiness brightly wrapped in simplicity.

Food has never been so pure.

Three Questions

The world is waaaay too complicated. I don't have time for all the economics, science and philosophy required to figure it out. So I just go about my business keeping three simple questions in mind:  

Is the earth not a gift to me?  

Am I not a gift to the earth?

Is it not delicious to honor the giver?

Photo credit

Don't Make the Path The Obstacle

I place obstacles on my path when I attempt to practice what cannot be practiced. Then the path itself is the obstacle.

Faith cannot be practiced. Surrender cannot be practiced. Love cannot be practiced. Non-duality cannot be practiced. Faith, surrender, love and unity are obstacles on my path as soon as I make them "practices."

The wise have left maps of consciousness, recording the landscape of spiritual evolution. They never intended these descriptions of consciousness to be "techniques."

No one becomes a Buddha by imitating Buddha. No one becomes a Jesus by imitating Jesus. I cannot become myself by mimicking somebody else. The poppy does not mimic the rose. No matter how hard it opens its petals, the violet does not become a lotus. All I can do is welcome the sun and rain with gratitude, rooted in my seed.

As soon as I let go of "technique," subject and object merge in delight. Oneness happens, not in the suppression of twoness, but in the dance of self-abandonment. When I'm not trying to be anyone else, love is the silent explosion of who I Am.

Amma Karunamayi on Ganesh

"Anything and everything is possible with the grace of Sri Ganesha. Here one may ask, who is Sri Ganesha? He is none other than Adi Para Shakti, Divine Mother in the form of the original supreme cosmic energy. In the Ganapati Atharvashirsha Upanishad, Sri Ganesha is praised by the Vedic rishi as "Shakti Trayatmaka," the very soul or essence of the three forms of divine shakti.  

"In the Vedic worldview, male deities are worshipped as forms of prajnanam, or consciousness, and female deities are worshipped as forms of shakti, or divine energy and power. Truly speaking, this shakti has no form, but we give it forms so that we may approach Divinity. 

"The shakti of Rudra is Mother Rudrani. The shakti, or power, of Narayana is Mother Narayani. And the shakti of Brahma is Brahmi. These three powers of Rudrani, Narayani and Brahmi are all contained within the power of Sri Ganesha. In fact, the powers of all the forms of Divine Mother are within Sri Ganesha. Thus, worshipping Ganesha brings the blessings of all deities. 

"This is especially true when he is worshipped on one particular day of the year - Sri Ganesh Chaturthi. This day is known as the most important and auspicious day for obtaining Sri Ganesha's blessings. Ganesh Chaturthi, which is also known as Ganesh Chavithi or Vinayaka Chavithi, occurs on the fourth day of the waxing moon in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada (Aug-Sep). This year, Ganesh Chaturthi occurs on September 19.  

"When Ganesha is worshipped on Ganesh Chaturthi, he removes all obstacles and gives auspicious positive results for all our endeavors. Worshipping him on this day grants the complete grace of the three Divine Mothers - Sri Lakshmi, Sri Saraswati, and Sri Rudrani (Parvati). The compassionate grace of Divine Mother confers inconceivable spiritual effulgence and divine energy."


Thank you, Gurudev. Our little group of four practiced sudarshan kriya tonight. I brought apple pie. I hope you liked it.

Even when you have a massive crowd of 100,000 around you, as in Buenos Aires last Saturday, you are no different than you were when there were six of us sitting on the floor of my living room, in a little row house in Philly, back in 1988, and I asked you, "Who are you, really?" and you said, "I am nobody." You truly meant it. That is when I knew what a Guru is.

You are the empty space of joy, and the incarnation of playfulness. You are not the center of a personality cult, but the center of an energy field. And all of us who dissolve into that field, through the grace of meditation, have the honor of participating in the vortex of love, the window of divinity, through which rays of God transform the earth. Jai Guru Dev.

A Glorious Day

All it takes for a glorious day is bright September sunshine and a little dog's heart, free from yesterday and tomorrow. Thank you, Creator. This is still a perfect world, freshly created every morning, and we'll create another one tomorrow....

Each morning we wake into a new creation, our eyes filled with pure thought-free awareness. When these eyes are perfectly awake, we see what we love and create what we see. In that waking wonder we have one precious moment to step into paradise.

But just a moment later, the mind of yesterday returns, our eyes cloud over with shadows, and we fear tomorrow. Then we shatter this new earth and step into the old one.

Friend, wherever you are at this moment, however weary and gray your life may appear, know that a fresh glistening green earth lies shattered like a Christmas bulb at your bedside, where it fell this morning as you opened your eyes, and chose to live here, rather than there.

Tomorrow, when you wake, remember this. Don't step into the past or the future. Step into the glory of today.

Redistributing the Wealth of Consciousness

Political left and right struggle, but their struggle simply increases stress and division. The left wants to redistribute our nation's wealth, the right wants to keep wealth on Wall Street, or in tax-free offshore bank accounts.

Both solutions have been tried, both have failed. Neither redistribution of wealth, nor "trickle down" economics, bring harmony or productivity.

We need to solve the problem at a deeper level: in awareness itself. We need to REDISTRIBUTE THE WEALTH OF CONSCIOUSNESS, because money is never enough.

Store up your treasure within, as divine radiance, then let your light overflow into action. Practice Meditation and Sudarshan Kriya, then share your inner abundance with the world.

Citizens both rich and poor need more than a pocketful of dust. They need awakened hearts, minds cleared of negativity, spines strengthened by the power of Shakti, the Holy Spirit, sparkling energy of creation. This is wealth to be shared!

We have no world outside our consciousness of it. Activists who work at changing the world are really trying to change their own awareness without realizing it, because what they perceive as "the world" is the projection of their VISION.

Wouldn't it be wiser to affect consciousness directly, and work on the level of the cause, rather than the shadow land of effects? It is of utmost importance to ask how our vision affects the world. Does our vision uplift and heal humanity, or blame and divide one group against another?

We can only begin to ACT for peace when we SEE the possibility of peace as more real than our fears and resentments.

SUDARSHAN KRIYA, as taught by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, uplifts our vision at all levels: body, mind, and soul. Su-darshan means "supreme vision." Kriya means "movement of energy." Sudarshan Kriya moves our energy, by means of breath, to purify our vision. It roots out stress at the cellular level of our physiology. It polishes the mirror of our mind until the mind reflects the clear blue sky of unbounded awareness.

If we want to improve the world we see, our first responsibility is to transform the root of seeing, the seed of this whole manifestation. See the world with awakened eyes, and awaken the eyes of others. This is our undiscovered task, and a very deep form of activism. It bears repeating: we only make peace in the world when we see through the heart - when we project peace through our vision.

Sri Sri sees through the heart. He sends teachers into prisons, conflict zones like Iraq and Syria, cities ravaged by disaster, as well as businesses, schools, and community centers. Sudarshan Kriya heals stressed and divided communities. Why not teach it to Israelis and Palestinians, to Suni and Shi'a, to Muslim and Christian, to America's political Left and Right?

"Negativity is an indicator for you to move to your center and broaden your vision to cosmic intelligence. 

Instead of focusing your attention on some small hook for your negativity, look at the seed of the negativity. With kriya, meditation and silence, the source of negativity is nipped at the root. Then love blossoms.

"If you see through my eyes, there is so much beauty, so much love in the whole world. It just needs a little upliftment. Meditation will be able to do that." ~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Repentance (Metanoia)

It takes an ego to be humble.

'I' feel the need to apologize, 'I' feel offended. Pride and humility thrive on the same thought of 'I.' But when there is simply awareness, empty, open and present, then who can get puffed up, and who can
get deflated? Who is there to feel humiliated?

The I-less flame has already burnt through this moment of humiliation, this moment of pride. Burn through the conflict, for it has already happened. Why cling to the wick? You are not the flame you were a moment ago.

A vast priestly hierarchy of control empowers itself through our subtle feelings of offense and apology, guilt and forgiveness. But it all collapses in a single instant of open naked truth telling.
Naked in the clarity of each others gaze, we have no need to feel offended any more, and there is no need for an apology. Only the ego holds onto a mistake. Awareness lets it go. "Forgive them, Father-Self, for they know not what they do." Ignorance deserves our pity, but not our blame. Why demand an apology from the ignorant? Why apologize for your ignorance? Was there any intention behind it? Just move on.

Simply meet the eyes of the beloved. Your very gaze is repentance.

The Greek word for repentance is metanouia. It comes from the roots, meta (beside, beyond), and nous (intellect). Metanoia means surrendering the intellect and moving beyond the mind, beyond the 'I,' to stand naked in the gaze of the other, free from blame.

If we don't want to get rid of this afflicted little ego, who is always either offended or afraid it has offended, then we can at least soften our ego and untighten it a little, by bathing our 'I' in the gaze of the Beloved, where no apology is asked and none given.

Hearing the Fire

What I Am cannot be known by the mind, conceptualized as a thought, or concluded from any sequence of syllogism or philosophical reasoning.

What I Am vibrates organically through every cell of the body, arises in a stream of golden sound from the silence at the center of each particle, and shines from the darkness of the vacuum. I Am tasted but not known, felt but not thought. I Am a buzzing in the molecules.

Therefor, when I hear or read words that ignite this nourishing voluptuous inner light, and I feel it percolate out of my marrow, it is certainly not because of any meaning conveyed by thought. Words and thoughts of the Master, like his glance or touch, are just vehicles for an unspeakable molten current that irradiates the flesh. Mind has nothing to do with it. Mind only gets in the way.

In the beginning was the Word.... And the Word became flesh, not thought.

If this irradiation happens when we read or hear the words of Jesus, Muhammad, Rumi, or Vedavyasa, it is not because their words "mean" anything, but because their words are words of fire, lit by living awareness. Sparks of Presence spill through the empty space between the letters.

The great tragedy of the Western "educated" classes is that we mistake spirituality for an intellectual process, something to be read about: when in fact, mind is just the smoke and not the flame.

To meditate is to offer our whole body, including these little nerve spasms we call "thoughts," back into the furnace at the center of each atom, where there is a cry of ecstasy that has no meaning, and the cosmos is created in a breath of fire.

Lotus Feet

To bow down and touch his feet? Or bow within and touch the joyful light of your own heart?

To offer flowers before his image? Or offer service to his creatures?

What is the greatest service to the Master if not to awaken that joyful light in others?

Serve the Master not at his glorious abode in the Himalayas or the Holy Land, but in the place you are this moment, on a city street or a forest trail, sharing with one living creature some spark of the love which that Grace has ignited in you.

Jai Guru Dev

Please, I Am Stuck

There are two kinds of signals, two kinds of messages we tweet to the universe. One is: "I am stuck in this point of view and you should get stuck here too." The other is: "Something has filled me with pointless wonder; I invite you to dive into love's shouldless space with me." The sign of one is contraction in the heart; the sign of the other is expansion.

Our culture and our educational system teach us to argue a point of view and defend it to the death. We enter every conversation as a hard and tiny point, to do battle with another hard tiny point. This mode of communication only narrows and hardens each point, and is really not communication at all.

What if we entered a conversation saying, "Please, I am stuck in a point of view, and I would like you to help me dissolve it, so that I can expand." Imagine a culture where conversations are based, not on arguing our points, but on the assumption that we are stuck in small places and need others to help us get free.

"Thank you for freeing me from my point of view. Now we can rest in the golden stillness between thoughts, and turn our particles into waves."

Silent Creation

Can a busy mind be creative? 
A busy mind is always reacting to the world. A busy mind is formed by that which in-forms it. A busy mind is the plaything of the world's sensations and memories. Therefor a busy mind creates nothing new: it is a reaction to creation.
Only the silent mind, formless and free from information, can create. Silence is the mother of creation and the womb of art.

Be Pointless

No I'm not. I'm everywhere.

Why such a limited view of your Self? Are you a mere point?

Why not be the space between the planets too, the space between the stars, the space around the galaxy? Why not encompass clusters of galaxies, and be the emptiness in every atom?

Eternity is pointless. The present moment is pointless. They mingle in pointless joy.

But between this moment and eternity, stretches a long long line of neurotic little minds, each trying to make a point.

Clinging to the One

Clinging to oneness is a subtle form of violence against the Self. For if all phenomena are waves of the mirage in the empty sky of awareness, then nothing that happens could possibly remove you from the unity of the Self, and therefor no discipline or effort is required to hold on to it.

That very discipline, that very effort, breaks the continuum, the creaminess, of Brahman. For the world's phenomena are like streaks of cream in cream. Our very discipline, our very effort to avoid duality, confirms the duality and does violence to the One. Our effort churns the cream into lumps.

One ever celebrates as Two, and Two ever dissolves into One, and there is absolutely nothing to do about it.

Yet this is what the ego most dreads and hates to discover, because the restless mind wants constantly to work at some accomplishment.

Grace is discovering there is nothing to do. Nothing is more humiliating for our mind than Grace.

Another World

May the golden moths of September
settle on their mossy stones in muted sunbeams.
There is another world, different from ours:
The world where we let things be just what they are.

Effort and Grace

The effort of spiritual practice creates the space for Grace to happen effortlessly. It is a dance between gift and discipline. Offer your breath and you will be filled. Take the next breath. It is not taken: it is given. O mysterious lover, giver, friend.

Those who say, "Make an effort in your spiritual practice," are correct. Those who say, "Spiritual practice is effortless," are correct. Don't have this argument. Flowers don't argue with sunbeams.

Photo: Hibiscus on my patio

Be Pointless


What's the point of all that spiritual practice if you're not cool, sport a gentle smile, and carry a butterfly on your shoulder? 

What's the point of all that spiritual practice if you don't play tenor sax in your underwear surrounded by adoring friends?

What's the point of all that spiritual practice if your love can't be fierce and fun?

What's the point of all that spiritual practice if you don't ceaselessly return to this breath and know it as your first breath, return to this moment and know that you have just been born?

Blue Moon Rumpus

What's the use of all this spiritual practice if we can't let the wild rumpus start?

Most intense full moon, gleaming not only above, but within every cell of my body. 3 AM, sleep impossible. Love becomes fierce to thicken the plot.

At my window, cedar branches washed in milky blue streams. Countless particles and anti-particles burst from the vacuum, yet the void remains still and empty. Streaks of cream, threads of what pours into itself. Who struck this awful gong of silence? It is like the eve of a great battle, and I, wandering among the tents of my soldiers to hear their sweet slumber. I am ready.

Anyone who says it's all love, is correct. Anyone who says it's all a cosmic struggle, between armies of darkness and light, is correct. The fool who pretends there is a difference clings to a broken rope in a sea of anger, and calls his clinging "peace."

The darkness and the light are alike to Thee. Selah. Love becomes fierce to thicken the plot.

Gird up your loins, ready yourself for the good fight. Wild Things are everywhere, wrathful deities of the blue moon: Hayagriva, Mahakala, Vajrabhairava, all faces of your own heart. Slay them, Manjushri. Hug them, Max. Kiss the demon, and see which of you first turns into an angel.

Love loves to roughhouse. Every child knows what fun it is! Jesus cast the money changers from the temple, exuberant. Now we have to do it too. Therefor, fight, O Arjuna. Atma neither slays nor is slain. Know That by which all this is pervaded to be indestructible.

Be a bad little girl. Be a brat like Kali Artemis. The politics of cosmic dancing is not for the weary, but for lovers with swords of seeing, helmeted in rainbows, bending and stringing the opposites for the arrows of delight. If we do not sever the heads of Penelope's suitors, we never reach the marriage bed. It was carved from the rooted tree that connects us to the center of the earth.

The time is neither early nor late, it is now. Time for those who are awake to do battle with lies, and stop pretending there is any difference between warrior and paramour.

It's a play of light and shadow, a theater of moonbeams, trembling in terrible stillness. Don't imagine that this tranquil empty Autumn sky is not also a fury of stars, and gods contending. Game on, silence. Now let the wild rumpus start.

Illustration and quote, 'Let the wild rumpus start,' from Maurice Sendak's 'Where the Wild Things Are.'