Jesus never said, 'I am not this body.' He held up a morsel of bread and declared, 'This is my flesh.' (Luke 22:19) We are not angels. We have a deeper mission. Moment by moment, we are called to incarnation.
Light takes the form of pain as well as pleasure. So what? Forms change, but change is not suffering. Suffering is resistance to change.
Do our bodies age? Do we feel an ache? Of course. We are burning and flowing in the fiery river of change. But why do we always seem to assume that there is something heroic about fighting the current?
Every proton in each atom of this body is as radiant as it was 100 billion years ago when first forged in the heart of a star. Each electron in your flesh is a tremor of eternity less than a moment old. And the infinitesimal photon dancing around it emits from its timeless ayin-soph the total radiance of God.
In the words of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria (b. 296 CE), "God became human so that humans could become God." Though it is still part of the Orthodox Christian tradition, modern Christianity has forgotten the ancient teaching of "theosis," deification of the human being. Theosis is not an abstraction, but the divinization of matter. It is the realization that we received this body not as a burden but a pathway.
Our flesh entangles the gates of heaven. "Higher worlds" float in the oceans of our blood, our milk, our semen. This body is a temple built from tiny whirling circles of pure light, each spark of matter enompassing the infinite.
Some say that when the illusion drops away, there shines the reality. But in fact, nothing needs to drop away. The illusion IS the reality, every particle of it.
At the wedding feast, did Jesus change water into moonlight, or wine? At the last supper, did he change bread into his spirit, or his body? What is prayer but to realize who your dust really is?
Moonlight Or Wine?
This is Mount Meru. She is in my back yard.
Actually this is Mount Rainier, taken from a hill near my house where I love to walk. But every mountain is Mount Meru if you are awake.
I do not try to conquer her or climb on top. I just circumambulate her body, hike among her streams, wander in her mists, and when she reveals herself, I bow down, touch my forehead to her groundlessness.
I dream that she is made of chocolate, and powdered with sugar, not earthly sugar, but the sweetness that snows down from soma vines on Shiva Loka.
After days of rain, when she reveals herself again, I follow the commandment of the robin: “Take seven inspirations of light; then see how you feel.”
I stand nowhere special, because everywhere is sacred, bare feet on wet grass, leaning back to drink long body-breaths of sunshine:
In through the forehead, down the perineum, out through the soles of my feet. I am the hollow path to a star. This is not a poem but a practice.
Because her fire is rippling through my skin, sprouts luminous and virescent tremble with nectar. Every cell in my loam is an ocean of gold. I am the fifth element.
Infinitesimal benevolent bacteria wriggle in the belly of the earth, moving me to meditation. They glisten, therefor I Am.
Beneath deathless stones, larvae uncurl, awakening my prayer, as my prayer awakens them. Transcendence is causation.
Once, forsythia were yellow waves of yearning in the zeal of a seed, sewn in the furrow between my thoughts.
The chasm of a peony proves that God is nothing less than ultra-violet pollen, charged with the fragrance of human desire.
My heart has two chambers, chalices of wanting, flowers of blood, full and empty. The wordless prayer of my body cries, “I am the garden, You are the Spring!”
I worship Goddess Shakti, the primeval dancer, in the form of soil, flesh, and the good worm.
Embedded in this rambling madness is a poem from my book, 'Savor Eternity One Moment At A Time.'
Who are you when you are silent? Not just in your speech, but in your mind, your very heart's core?
Everything but silence changes. Before creation, this silence. At the end of creation, this silence. But silence is uncreated.
We can't really say that there "was" or "will be" silence. We can only say that, before and after the cosmos, is the omnipresent silence of now.
From this quiet emptiness, innumerable worlds overflow. The universe arises and dissolves like a breath.
It is 3 A.M. There is inhalation and exhalation. And just before the next breath, an infinitesimal bindhu.
This instantaneous dimensionless point seems like nothing at all. Yet it is the portal to groundless, eternal, all-pervading bliss. It is the very silence that was here before God said, "Let there be light."
Who are you when you are silent?
Rest In The Heart, Then Perform Action
The most ancient and universal practice for spiritual regeneration is to rest the mind in the heart.
From the ancient Shiva Sutras of India to the Philocalia – writings of Orthodox Christian masters on the 'Prayer of the heart' – meditation guides of East and West have lauded the practice of resting in the heart as a graceful cure for our violent, anxious, and separate mind.
In truth, the state of our mind determines the quality of our behavior. Their teaching is, first restore wholeness in the heart-center. Only then can we project this wholeness into healing action.
“Hridayeh chitta sanghattad drishyas svapa darshanam: One who merges the mind in the Heart perceives this world as it truly is: a projection of consciousness." ~Shiva Sutras
"Sink down in silence into the depths of your heart and call more and more upon the radiant Name of Jesus. Everyone who does this will experience, at last, the Inward Light." ~ 'Way of a Pilgrim'
“Meditation is the heart's silence, free of all thoughts. Here the heart breathes Christ.” ~Hesychius of Jerusalem
"May remembrance of Jesus be united to your breathing: then you shall truly know the use of Silence." ~Heychius of Jerusalem
“So long as the mind remains in the head, where thoughts jostle one another, it has no time to rest on one point. But when attention descends into the heart, it attracts all the powers of the soul and body in one center. This unity of our life in one pure center immediately reflects in the heart as a special sensation, faint at the beginning, then becoming gradually stronger, firmer, deeper… And so in due course our attention to the heart, by its own vigor, gives birth to an effortless Warmth.” ~Theophane the Recluse
"God was meant to be our breath. We were meant to be healthy and full of life by breathing into the heart the loving power of God." ~Fa. George Maloney
LINK: 'Prayer of the Heart'
This Too Is Action
The furious often mistake the power of meditation for passivity. Thus they lose the advantage of resting in the silence of the heart to re-create the world through a secret breath.
Photo by Aile Shebar
When I begin the path of Love, I seek my bliss in someone else: the Beloved, Jesus, Krishna, the Guru.
But when the path dissolves into Love itself, I generate my own bliss from a molten golden core, whose ceaseless melting bathes the world, all my ancestors, all the unborn, in waves of fragrance, waves of beauty, tears of the Love I Am.
Isn't it time to stop looking for that place, and start looking from that place?
Human is finite. Being is infinite. Human feels pangs of birth and death. Being feels eternity. Human tastes loss and gain, grief and joy. Being is waveless bliss unbounded.
We take human birth to touch ground, gain individuality, and become a person so that we can say, "Thank you." Then we complete the process by growing whole. Wholeness is the ripening of consciousness, the fruit of Being.
Wholeness means that every moment of birth and death, lose and gain, grief and joy, is pervaded by the boundless, the eternal. Wholeness is just ordinary life on earth, yet lighter than a feather, lit from within.
You are not just a human. You are a human Being.
When your Name fell into my heart
every question in my mind
was answered by one breath,
सो ऽहम् - So'ham.
The distance wasn't great
from my crown to my breastbone.
Why did the journey take
ten thousand lives?
All I know is, there's a kingdom
in my chest now
whose government is the silence
of an endless glow,
whose boundaries keep circling
every other form
like a conch full of wings and sunsets.
When I stand at the center,
I have no enemies.
Everyone I meet is called
The miracle is always in the momentary, the infinitesimal, the perishing bindhu that leads awareness back to its wonder-witness Self.
When our mind imposes global concepts and generalizations onto the so-called "world," we never perceive the vulnerable and perishing suchness of the particular. We only see our belief about it. And when we are holding onto permanent ideas, we can't dissolve into compassion.
Those who attained enlightenment attained it through the sound of a sparrow, the scent of a blossom, the revelation of a fallen sunbeam on a pebble in the stream. Stop worrying and look. There is no world, there is only the whirled. Golden dust motes in voluptuous blackness. Subatomic radiance of moth wing.
Photo by Laurent Berthier
The Revolution Is to Rest In The Heart
Those who claim to rule over us try to keep our minds in a constant state of political shock, economic anxiety, and fear of war, because when we are outraged, we are easy to manipulate.
So we want to resist. But the best resistance is to remain centered in the diamond solidity of pure awareness, letting the muddy oil of this world slide bead-like off the lotus of your heart. The joy of inner freedom never projects despair onto the mirror of the future.
Feel the nearness of the Beloved in the warmth of anahata, the space in your chest where harmony arises from a silent un-struck bell. There is nothing to resist when you are hollow.
Be guided by whatever expands the warmth in your heart. Leave whatever contracts it. This warmth is unfathomably gentle, yet its power is mightier than all political institutions, and every strategy the mind invents for self-protection.
Use this tenderness to heal some small creature right beside you, and you will heal the earth. Love is local, but its breath sweeps the stars.
'Stand In The Holy Place'
Jesus said, "When you see the abomination of desolation, stand in the holy place." He was speaking of times like ours, full of chaos, anger, and fear.
Where is the "holy place" Jesus spoke of? Is it a temple, an ashram, a cabin in the forest? No, these places too can be shaken with chaos or scandal. The "holy place" is the space of the heart, your silent core - an infinitesimal bindhu, tinier than a black mustard seed, yet more vast than the night sky, with all its stars.
In that silent core is a radiance more solid than diamond. You can stand there, while the turmoil of the world spins around you. There you can "be still and know that I Am God."
Know That. That is I Am. I Am is God. That I Am is pure awareness at Om in its Self, one without a second, infinite subject without an object.
Why cling to the changing world? You can live in the world without clinging to it. This is not hard, it is much easier.
Clinging to what changes only brings suffering. Why not rest in the changeless? But perhaps you do not believe it is really there...
How could you see change if there were no Unchanging inside you who sees? How could you know chaos and confusion if there were not a Knower of perfect stillness, purest silence, who witnesses the chaos outside?
Are you afraid that the jewel of the Spirit is not as real, not as solid, as the mad world? In truth, the jewel within you is more solid and more real.
I Am. I Am nearer than your next inhalation. I Am more intimate than your pulse. I Am awareness before you have a thought. I Am the heart of your heart, the breath of your breath, the immortal body of light within your flesh.
When you see "the abomination of desolation," repose in Me.
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