Why not return to basic sanity, the silent explosion of Grace at the center of your body - not just to please yourself, but to infuse the world with the nectar of Beauty? Let your mind repose in the heart. That is the simplest and most ancient meditation. Sink into the bubbling golden cauldron of your solar plexus. That is true alchemy. Rest in the space where you were never born, you are never one moment old, each breath is a gift from eternity, and the countless electrons of your flesh are all angels of Light.
Awareness of awareness is not a thought. It is pure bliss.
Awareness of awareness is the laser-like self-radiant silence where thought dissolves into its source: the subject alone, without an object.
Upon tasting even a moment of this diamond emptiness, intellectuals give up philosophy and become mystics.
But throughout the ages, after tasting this inmost refulgence, mystic minds could not accept the experience as their own consciousness. So they named it "God," imagining it to be an Other. It is not other. It is not even "it."
There is nothing in the universe but consciousness. In fact, there is no nothing, because the very vacuum of empty space is awake and vibrant with creativity.
Consciousness is Shiva, the pure, the Self-luminous, the beautiful, the good. Everything that exists is a permutation of Shiva.
Shiva is eternally silent, formless, unmanifest, and blissful. Yet the silence vibrates. The stillness dances. The vacuum fluctuates in itself, forming virtual particles of matter and virtual photons of light. The entire cosmos pre-exists in the void as the radiant Self-awareness of Shiva.
When vibrataing, consciousness becomes love. And the vibrant energy of love yearns to create. This creative pulsation of love in the stillness of Shiva is Shakti, who is the Goddess and playmate of the Lord.
Shiva is the silent witness of creation, and She is the creator. The universe is the manifestation of their dance.
When Christian mystics experienced the pre-existent cosmos in the silence of the Godhead, they called it the Logos, the Word, for it manifests in silence just as a word appears in the mind. Figuratively, they regarded this divine Word as the "Son of God," the offspring of consciousness, who remains one and not other than the Father. And the vibrations of Shakti in the Godhead, which manifest the Logos as creation, they called the "Holy Spirit."
Thus the "Holy Trinity" is a family: Father, Mother Spirit, and their offspring the Christ, archetype of humanity. Silence pulsates as Love, and Love manifests as the Word made flesh.
You are the incarnation of Love, and you express the eternal Silence of God in your own unique variation of Christhood.
Icon, the Holy Trinity by Adrei Rublev, 1425
"Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give will become in them a spring welling up to eternal life." ~John 4:14
These words of Jesus describe the Shakti of the divine mother, pouring from the silence of pure awareness, which is Shiva. True meditation means alignment with this wellspring in your chest, flowing from the groundless depth of your heart. You tap into the dynamic silence from which all energy is born.
Physicists call it the vacuum. Mystics call it the void. Meditators know that it is consciousness. But this boundless awakened space is not empty. It vibrates. The ocean of stillness in the heart's core is surging with mighty waves, in quantum science called "fluctuations of the vacuum." The silence bubbles with creative chaos beneath the limits of all measurement, "Planck's Constant." These waves of pure possibility spring out of the Un-created into creation as the subtlest particles of matter.
When you align your body, breath, mind and heart with this core of silence, rooting yourself in the heart-center, you become a vessel for the new creation, the new earth. For the earth is not born of politics, economics, or science: the earth is born of consciousness.
And when you come out of meditation, into activity, whatever you are called to do becomes a host, a channel, for the irradiation and recreation of the world. Your calling may be ever so humble. It doesn't have to be political activism. It doesn't require a PHD in chemistry, or the powers of a super-hero. Your vocation could be ironing your family's clothes, playing the flute, driving a school bus, operating a small restaurant, or working with autistic children. When you begin your day by tapping the Source, whatever you do is a vehicle for grace. When you open your awareness to the silent power of Shiva, every gesture of ordinary living is a channel for the outpouring of Shakti.
Simple innocent awareness activates a transformation at the subatomic level of your environment. Your world begins to evolve, to purify and harmonize, just because you are here as an awakened being. Jesus said it best: "You are the light of the world."
That's right. He didn't only say, "I am the light of the world." He said, "YOU are the light."
To radiate a new earth around you, tap the wellspring of creation in your heart through meditation. Then, when you emerge from the un-created silence, you can move joyfully over the world, light as a cloud yet grounding every step as a step of peace. Rooted in who you really are, pour out the nectar of healing.
Painting: Jesus, an ordinary man, by Rembrandt
Merely to exist is pure grace on a cosmic scale. But to exist in a body, with a chance to express this boundless wonder through individual form, is a gift beyond all miracles.
Yet some very "spiritual" people seem to regard this body as a prison, and devote themselves to getting out of it. What a waste to imagine that our precious flesh is bondage and ignorance, when it is really our opportunity to dance as incarnations of the sun, moon, and stars!
Once there was a seer whose gift was telling people how many lifetimes remained for them on earth. A long line of yogis, ascetics, and gloomy advaitists always waited to receive his wisdom.
"For you, 7 more lives... For you, 12 more... For you, only 3 more lives..." And they would all depart weeping and gnashing their teeth with disappointment.
A certain sinful man, holding a jug of wine in one hand, his other arm entwined in the arm of a gorgeous lady, came to visit that seer. With one look at him the mystic shook his head and said, "Hopeless! For you, more lives than the sands of the sea!"
When he heard this, the sinner leapt in the air, clicked his heels together and shouted, "Thank you, boss!"
At that instant he was liberated.
Random memories of ordinary places I once took for granted, now bathed in the Autumn twilight of my longing. Where has this life gone?
Roses in an alley. The gaze of a Gernsey cow in a meadow of violets. Abandoned doll on a park bench. Cobblestone sidewalk on a street down which I never walked.
Smell of old books in the attic, invoking the whisper of the grandfathers. Frozen cream pushing the tops off milk bottles on the back porch.
Barn owl in Winter moonlight. Tangled vine on a ruined fence post, suddenly rioting with berries. Saturday morning, the color of butter dripping over hot pancakes. Where has this life gone?
Can I not bathe the present moment with this same liquid sorrow, same transparent beauty, each moment of time immersed in eternity, eternity of my awareness? The dream of the past, the dream of now; does it not all sparkle with love?
Painting by Sam Timm
Why do we want to change the world? It is already changing every instant, in every particle and wave. The world we wanted to change a moment ago has already dissolved. If we want to change what is always already changing, then it must be our perception that is stuck.
"I have found, yes, I have found the wealth of the Divine Name’s gem. My true guru gave me a priceless thing. With his grace, I accepted it." ~Mirabai"Breathe the name of God, empty of self and filled with love." ~RumiO mind, rest in the radiant Name. Sing the melody of the Goddess, O lips. Let these eyes witness all creatures take her form.
How can I ever be lost when I wander in the Word that created the world? Wherever I go, I have returned. Needing no vessel, I am the wine. Needing no lyre, I am the music.
This body is a filament for the glow of Kundalini Shakti, the electrical One who flows through wing and fur. I am just an animal filled with God. The anxious vanity of a human mind has dissolved into her radiance.
My rosary is a broken thread. It's scattered beads have become the stars, and "I" the silence between them. How? By dissolving a syllable of her name into my heartbeat.
With no more burden called a "path," I have become the goal. O soul, rest in the source. Your pilgrimage is over.
The acorn has fallen into the meadow. Now it springs without effort into a mighty tree. As the oak is already in the hollow of the seed, so the mantra given by your Guru contains the universe.
The sins of your past may be as sands of the sea, but they cannot find you! For the do-er who committed them has disappeared into the deep. Now a love song bears you far above the churning waves of the past and future.
Ride this wind! It is yearning without desire! It carries you where nameless soaring ones go to play with lightning!
Here's the secret: If you let the Goddess be your breath, you won't need any rules but Joy and Kindness.
The Beloved named you with an inhalation of darkness, so that you could name the Beloved with an exhalation of golden light.
Pour yourself into So'ham, giving all your tears to the golden void. Feel every tremor of pain in surrender, rolling the wheel of destiny neither here nor there, but inward, toward its own center.
God sang you, now sing back. It doesn't need to be pretty. It only needs to be You!
It requires some courage to live in the constant stream of destruction that is creation.
Can you remember what you were anxious about a year ago? A month ago? Or has your mind replaced that calamity with something even worse?
Yesterday's catastrophe was terrible. But you can't remember that either, because this morning's crisis is the worst of all. Until tomorrow. Why do you live like this, staggering from one apocalypse to the next?
You could be disaster-free, if only you would rest in boundless ambiguity, the Divine Uncertainty of this moment, this breath, this frail sweet ever-perishing body of chaos.
Why not embrace the end of the world right now? Today is Judgment Day, and you are the judge. Why not welcome the joyful presence of the great destroyer, Mother Kali, Mistress of Bewilderment?
If I had not once been smaller than a particle of dust, I could not look at dust and see God.
If I had not once been vaster than a galaxy, I could not look at the sun and see myself.
It is because the human soul passes through every element, every kingdom, every kind of creature, that she feels at home in the chaos of the universe.
Yet not being any one creature in particular, she interprets her cosmic longing as its opposite: a sense of alienation.
Let your loneliness embrace the night. Search not for a star. You are the womb of constellations. You are the breath that turns them all.
No need to cling to your tiny point in this vast wheel. Be the stillness through whom the pleroma dances, ever coming Om.
Photo: Milky Way over Mt. Tahoma. Not my photo, but my mountain.