Radical Happiness

How easily we say "happy New Year," as if happiness were a piece of candy. 
Happiness is a radical proposition. But it is not a concept. Happiness dissolves concepts. Happiness is not an emotion. It is the gentle explosion of Being in the silence of your heart.

Once I asked the Master, “What can I do to serve you?” He answered, “Be happy.” It took me years to understand this. Our happiness is profound seva, service to humanity.

What happens to us in the presence of someone who is truly happy - not someone who pretends, and wears a fake smile - but someone who radiates warm, empty, thought-free stillness, melting all tension and fear? Our chattering mind stops. Deep silence awakens. We smile from our groundless core for no reason. Happiness has no cause.

One who is essentially joyful doesn't preach, argue, or convert, because happiness needs no religion, politics, or ideology. Yet meeting such a person is a world-changing event, shattering our bud, bursting us into blossom. The happiness they spread is blessed anarchy.

No words are required. The joyful one communicates Truth from heart to heart in a silent flash. Peace is in her eyes. Then a few words may arise, but only as celebration, as waves of quietness.

In the New Year, happiness is our first responsibility. Be responsible.

Winter Solstice Mountain Mother

At the wondrous woundressed hour of Solstice pause, drink from the stillness that washes all turnings in rebirth. Enter the briefest portal and fall into eternity. Listen to the unstruck gong of starry void, where every song of joy germinates in the boundless seed of silence.

Each of us can find blessings in our own back yard. How blessed we are in the Northwest to find this sacred mountain, 'Mother of White Streams,' so near us. This morning, December 21, my canine buddy Bowie and I gazed at her from a nearby hilltop at dawn. Thank you, Mountain Mother.

Lineage: Jai Guru Dev

I celebrate the birthday of Guru Dev, Sri Brahmananda Sarasvati, holder of the lineage of Adi Shankaracharya. He passed away the year I was born, yet his light silently infuses millions of souls on earth. I bow to the lineage of the Holy Tradition.

I've noticed that New Age do-it-yourself spirituality often disdains the notion of "lineage." But this bow is pure gratitude, not mere submission to authority. And this bow contains a deep secret. It is a shield of protection, a pathless path of surrender.

Enlightenment is never solitary. Enlightenment is sanga, the beloved community, a continuum of consciousness through time and space.

Bowing to one's lineage can be a tender acknowledgment that "realization" is not an achievement of our American individualism. Lineage is a bulwark against the charismatic ego of the solitary self-appointed "spiritual teacher."

Lineage is the humility of tradition. The flame passed from candle to candle never belongs to one wick alone. When I bow to my teacher, I am swept down into my teacher's bow to his teacher, and my teacher's teacher's bow, unto the vast "cloud of witnesses" in the blue sky of eternal awareness, which is this ancient Now.

The great Master bows to the holy tradition, no matter how enlightened he or she may be. Jesus acknowledged his lineage of desert prophets through his forerunner, John the Baptist (Mat. 3:13-15). My teacher, Maharishi, never allowed devotees to bow to him, or to offer padma-namaskar to his feet. He only said, "Jai Guru Dev" to his Guru, Sri Brahmananda Saraswati.

All gratitude to the masters who have passed the wisdom down through the ages. Their consciousness vibrates in the living mantra, and in the silence of the breath inside the breath.

The Finished Jewel

Meditation is the crystallization of pure consciousness in a jewel more solid than any material object it could be conscious of.

The Self outshines creation, irradiates the cosmos, blessings the heavens and the earth, simply through its witnessing power. As Jesus' said, "I have overcome the world."

Then there is no more work to be done. The evanescent world arises as a many-faceted reflection in the diamond essence of awareness.
By what word may we describe this distillation of the stars into a gem of singularity, this dissolving of objective creation into the continuum of sparkling subjectivity?
The word is Love.