The fire of our anger is burning America. When the heart can no longer contain it, the flames burst out into the environment, endangering many innocent creatures.

Each of us can water this fierce desiccation at its inner root, and transform this heat into the healing balm of compassion. Americans have deep interior work to do, and if they don't do it, external works will be fruitless. Because we will continue to embody the insatiable anxieties and cravings that drive us to consume, waste, and ravage our planet.

Gaze into this beautiful Christic-flower, its softness, its melting of sharp edges and merging of opposites, its gentle fragrance. Let it be a mandala of your true nature, your wisdom heart of forgiveness.

(Photo by Kristy Thompson)

Guru Purnima

The yearly celebration of Guru Purnima approaches, the Full Moon of the Guru (July 27), determined by the Vedic calendar as the full moon in the month of Ashadha, which is always in our month of July.
This is a good time to explore the mystery of the Guru, about which the West has a deep suspicion and misunderstanding, although anyone who studies the Christian Desert Fathers or Jewish mystics will find a similar reverence for the spiritual master in the West too.

Here is the secret: The seed of the Guru already lies buried in the silent core of your heart, just waiting to be sprouted by a ray of the divine sun. Yes, to be ignited by the word, the touch, the glance of an embodied Teacher.

When you are ready, the Master will come. And he, or she, only comes for one purpose: to ignite the Guru Tattva, the Guru principle inside you.
A real Guru is not your surrogate mommy or daddy. Not your financial adviser or marriage counselor. Nor a friendly ghost seated on your right shoulder. Don't waste the Master's time seeking advice about where to live, what job to take, or who to marry. Such childish dependency only distracts from the infinite possibility the Guru offers you.

The Master is not even your beloved, for Guru is not an other. Guru is deeper inside you than anyone you could ever call "I" or "Thou."

In Sanskrit, the root syllables of the word "Guru" describe a process, not a person. Darkness, "gu," is flooded with light, "ru." This is not mere relationship but internal alchemy, activated at the moment of initiation through the mantra of an incarnate Master.

Once the outward Guru sparks this internal process, the Guru Tattva takes over. After initiation, there is no need to chase after the external form of the Master, or to keep hanging out in his ashram. As long as you practice the Guru's sadhana every day - the instruction given you at initiation - the process unfolds wherever you are. Even if the Master is ten thousand miles away, you are wedded to the Guru in your heart.

Having a Guru is not a matter of faith or belief, but a matter of life or death. Guru is a flood of fire that hollows you out, illuminates your emptiness, then consumes you. Guru is annihilation. Guru is Shiva, the Destroyer. Guru dissolves everything except what IS. Guru is the embodiment of pure Presence.

I was with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Estes Park, 1970. He was talking to a small group of us about how effortless and graceful real meditation is. On the spot he made up this little parable. His words were so simple, it took me decades to really understand them:
The wave said to the ocean, 'How can I be like you?' The ocean replied, 'It's easy, just settle down.'
America's do-it-yourself spirituality tries to maintain so-called "independence" at all cost: the illusion that each of us is quantified as a separate "me." But this view of the self is so petty: a compulsive little bullet shooting through time on its "path," competing with other souls to hit the target.

This model doesn't work very well, because we are not separate from each other at all. We are waves in one sea of consciousness, each wave individualized at its peak, yet merged with all other waves at its base. And the ocean isn't going anywhere.

The true "path" is more like surrendering to gravity than struggling to rise upward. Guru is the centripetal strong-force drawing a particle back to its wave-field. Guru is the attracting power of the depth. The Master who calls to this little wave is not another wave, but the voice of the ocean itself.

Many years later, after Maharishi died, I was with his disciple, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Guru Purnima. Sri Sri had now become Guru. (The supreme delight of the Guru is to see his own disciple become Guru. There is no competition.) I spoke with Sri Sri privately in his room and asked him: "Guruji, people have these fantasies that you are the reincarnation of Jesus, or Krishna, or Shankara. This seems to me like new-age nonsense. I want to know who you really are!"

He looked at me with eyes like galaxies whirling out of the void, shook his head slowly and whispered, "No, no, no. They don't understand. I am Nobody." And he meant it.

Oceanic silence enveloped me. I fell, I drowned, in Nobody. Only then did doubts dissolve. I knew, "Nobody is my Master."
Guru is the pure nectar of awareness, no matter what object I am aware of. By Guru's grace, I see the boundless mirror beneath the images it reflects.

By Guru's grace, I feel the intimate stillness through which this furious world spins. The healing waters of the Uncreated surround every creature.

A theater of light and shadow dances on the crystal of consciousness, but the diamond of Guru Tattva remains untainted by the circumstances that flicker upon its faces.

Unfathomable peace surrounds the most devastating battle. Blue sky encircles every cloud of pain. Guru is the sparkling wakefulness of space itself, permeated with compassion.

Joy and suffering, birth and death, arise and dissolve. But once and for all, through Guru's grace, divine light inundates our immaculately polished darkness.


Meditation is the opposite of concentration. Meditation is not focusing on a point or an object, but de-focusing, expanding, and filling all space. Let Grace breathe you. You are the empyrean. You are filled with galaxies. Wander. Every point you touch is the center, and there is no circumference. 

Penetrating Anger

The truth is, it is my anger that makes me angry.

I don't need to "get my anger out." I need to get into my anger. I need to penetrate its outward form, the form of my "enemy," and find out what that energy is really made of. When I have the courage to do this, I discover that my anger is not the one who makes me angry. It is I.

My anger is a furious knot of energy in my body, which my mind has turned into an image and projected onto someone else. And the media feeds me with plenty of images on whom I can project my anger.

If someone bothers me, it is really my mind that bothers me. But what if I refuse to cling to the mental image? For tomorrow the image will be different. Tomorrow there will be some new social, economic, or political outrage. I will replace last week's outrage with today's, and today's outrage with tomorrow's. But the same anger will be there beneath the image, percolating out of my solar plexus.

One thing is sure. The world does not respond to my outrage, but to my love. Is there a way to transform anger into love?

The images that anger my mind are just masks for a tangle of stuck energy in my flesh. I see the image and say, "he makes me angry." But when I penetrate the image and feel the energy behind it, without giving it a name or face, my attention sinks from the mind into the body.

Now I can experience my anger as a vibrant sensation. I see clearly that this anger does not belong to my enemy, but to me. I allow my anger to become intimate. Anger solidifies, becomes a throb deep in my belly.

I offer that pulse of energy through my breath, and a miracle of grace unfolds quite effortlessly. The contracted mass of anger begins to expand. Its hardness loosens and grows moist with compassion - not only for my "enemy," but for myself. This watery element in the belly now transforms into the airy element in the heart, which grows spacious with delight.

Now the mind clears and un-clenches the furrowed brow. My forehead opens into the blue sky of understanding.

Finally, the energy that once was anger expands into its original nature - the fire of love. My anger has become useful.

Anger is an invitation to engage in the alchemy of self-transformation, so that I may love and serve. Anger is a bud of sacred energy yearning to flower, waiting to bloom and be offered.


Your mind knows 
there is only One.
Yet your heart falls in love
with Love itself.
Dear friend, don't be confused.

Radha yearns for Krishna.
Sufis ecstatically dance
with Ruuh.
Magdalena longs
for the beauty of Christ,
the unstruck sound
in her own chest.

Everything you see is
a likeness of their lila -
photon, a galaxy, a fallen soul.
Each arises from that pulse
in the heart of the void.
You will never explain
this shimmering world
of reflections,
this play of bhedabheda -
two, not-two.

Just rest between breaths.
Become the mirror.

Aham Brahmasmi

How did our culture develop such a prejudice against the Self? I think it's time to stop turning s-e-l-f into a four-letter word.

Why not celebrate divine selfishness? Which isn't self-centered at all, because the Divine Self is so vast, it can find its center in another.

For when I see everything inside me, only then can I "love my neighbor as my self." Yes, even my "enemy." The quality of intimate friendship pervades the cosmos, because nothing is outside my Self.

How could I wish harm on another, compete with another, hoard wealth against another, envy another, bear arms against another? There is no other.

This is the ancient relationship between the mystical and the ethical that Jesus embodied. It is the meaning of Resurrection: the death of the separate ego, and the rising of Christ-Consciousness.

Just so, in the Upanishadic tradition of India, the three "mahavakyas," or "great declarations," express the vast expanse of the true Self: Aham Brahmasmi. Tat Tvam Asi. Om Tat Sat. "I Am the Self. Thou Art That. All This is That."

Now let me drown like a bee in the rose of my own vast golden Presence. 

Photo by Tasha Lepo


I took off all my garments, layer by layer. I took off my bodies, one by one, from the gross to the subtle. I took off earth, water, air and fire. I took off my body of breath. I took off my mind. I took off my intellect. I took off my soul. Then I stepped into the black bath of emptiness, sparkling with uncreated stars.

This is why I ask such questions: Why do you assume you have an outline? Why do you assume you have edges?

Are you not a field without circumference, interpenetrated by countless other resonant fields? The fields around peoples' hearts? The field around the earth? The field of the solar system? The field of the galaxy? Are you not washed in Otherness? Are they not all your Self?

I think that, after all, this entire universe is contained in the still eye of a falcon, searching the night for movement.


Watch this breath entering your nostrils, your throat, your chest. Is it you who makes this breath happen? Did you create your breath?

Breath is a gift. What did you do to deserve it? Nothing. Notice this, and be grateful.

But perhaps your mind is trying to 'do' something. Just observe how this is. See the humor and absurdity of it.

Then come home to your breath. Receive a breath, and give it back. Smile deeply. This is worship, isn't it?


Let your own chest
teach you to pray.
Rest the mind
in the heart.
Greet your next breath
as a golden flame
of silence
consuming every thought.
What burns you
completely away,
you become.

Photo: I took this at Longwood Gardens,
Kennett Square PA.


त्रयम् एकत्र संयम Concentration, subtlization and transcendence (dharana, dhyana, and samadhi): 'Combining these three in meditation on one object is Samyama.' ~Patanjali, Yoga Sutras 3.4

What is the relationship between the subtlest particle in your body and the stillness of the space it whirls through?

The resonance that is the very form of the particle is not other than the motionless vacuum in whom it vibrates. The vacuum is pure consciousness. Experiencing this makes you lighter than air.

An eddy of emptiness in a stream of silence, flowing eternally to the place where it always already is.

Your body is subtler than a veil of moonbeams disappearing at dawn. Knowing that you are woven out of boundless space is illumination.

This is not metaphysics. It is an infinitesimal bindhu at the tip of your finger, the gristle in your cheekbone, a dissolute kiss, the ayin soph of dust in a ray of sunlight.

The dance is its own purpose. There is nothing but synchronicity. Unforeseen consequences of unintended causes simultaneously arising as the incomprehensible Beauty of chaos.

The word "ananda" in Sanskrit, the word "tova" in Hebrew, the word "bliss" in English, do not convey a shadow of the spiritual ecstasy that matter is made of.

To honor the effervescence of the vacuum at the end of this exhalation, in the diamond point where the next inhalation is about to arise, is to witness the creation of the universe now.

If this is gibberish to you, ignore it. If you understand what I am struggling to say, light your face on fire with laughter.


This morning I awake 
in thrush-pierced silence
at dawn.
For one gracious instant
just before yesterday
plunges its blunt
imaginary blade
back into my
empty heart,
I see quite clearly
that we've all drowned.
For countless aeons
we've been floating
in a sea of beauty
called 'this moment.'
One breath bows
to another.
Blue sky fills my chest.
Then I forget,
because I remember
the weight of the dream.
Some morning,

may I never remember.
And may I never forget
to stay awake.

Gnostic Gospel of the Garden

Mary Magdalene Removing her Jewelry by Alonso del Arco, 17th C.

Jesus said to her, “Noli me tangere: Don't touch me. For I have not yet ascended to My Father." ~John 20:11

O Magdalene, I never said such words. I said, "Touch me, touch me!" For as you live through my breath on your lips, so I am embodied through your caress.

Touch me in the smallest petal of a wild rose. Touch me in the rain-soaked sunbeam. Touch me in the loam and dahlia bulb, the icy water of a mountain stream.

Touch me through the feline curve of the midnight moon, the rippling pelt of the wild stallion, the fur of mist on fallow meadow.

Touch me in the blue flame of the homeless mother's gaze, ever searching for her child. Touch me in pain unbearable without the nearness of hands. Touch me in the speechless zero of a dying soldier's mouth.

The Word of the Lord is a radiant throb of silence at the heart of sensation. All scripture is written in your palm and pain. Working fingers are as holy as fingers that pray. Therefor touch me in the doubled kneading of risen dough.

Beyond stars and night touch me. Reach into the darkness that was here before I spoke the world: then cling to what yearns back.

My flesh is everywhere now, my inhalation sheathed in your form like the kernel in a chaff of wheat. Because we have met in this garden, holy men no longer say, "God is in heaven."

The time has come for you to repose more deeply in the chambers of your body. Let the marrow of your bones be yeast, fermenting the death-pale illusion that you were ever not ripe.

There is a bridal bower in your chest, where sun and moon lie down to conceive a human thistle, fragrant yet clustered with thorns. The scent brings forgetting, the thorns bring remembrance of grief: these are your wings.

On your ankles you wear the ringing galaxies, the earth your crown, weightless as the moment of death. Let every dust on your naked sole, each atom in the crysalis of your skin, become a doorway to the wedding.

Invite the living and the dead, the rich and poor, those who believe and those who doubt. This feast is not a secret.

'Searching for the Magdalene' LINK

Thread of Gratitude

If you feel angry, sad, low down, just think of one small thing you are grateful for, and follow that feeling, that sensation of gratitude, down a thread of breath into your heart.
I don't mean some metaphysical heart - I mean, literally, this purple pulsing organ that is also a brain, netted in a complex of neurons that sparkle with the same neuro-peptide transmitters as the brain in your head.

Follow that gossimer of gratitude (it is a fuse) down to the beaten darkness of your weary patient ancient blood. Sink into the boundless inter-galactic space that is somehow enfolded in the temple of your chest. Keep falling (the Fall is grace) until this silken breath of thanksgiving ignites a golden radiance (A Fire more solid than any material form on earth). Like Jesus, you have "overcome the world".

You are love. You are joy. You are wonder. Sleep on it.


Emptiness has such
strong loving arms, why are you
afraid of falling?


Cleaving emptiness,
become a razor
of listening so 

radically present 
that the supreme

adventure is
your next breath.


I am beginning to have a sneaking suspicion that, when we die, the Lord will greet us all with one question: "How did you like my cooking?"
Then we will realize, some of us too late, that we weren't here to complain: we were here to eat. And share the meal.

We were here to chew and savor every flavor and aroma of the Lord's table, from the hors d'oevres to the pasta dish, main course to dessert, each with its own wine. God is especially proud of vineyards.

The irony is, those of us who thought it was hip to renounce the Ten Commandments of the Bible, proceeded to invent a thousand far more puritanical commandments about food. Then we packaged our gastronomical neuroses in politics.

Most of the world's poor are happier than we are. They're not burdened with the luxury of inventing another Thou-Shalt-Not for every mouthful of precious food. They feel infinite gratitude for a morsel of bread or a single berry. That kind of gratitude is the magic that multiplies loaves and feeds multitudes. Jesus knew all about it.

Now eat my blueberry pie, home made for you on the fourth of July. Don't ask whether it was made with gluten-free flour, GMO's, butter, ghee, or organic fruit. Just eat it and say thank you. God gave me this recipe as a secret mantra. It is one of her old favorites.


There is a genuflection

that ends at the feet of the master.

But there's another bow

that sinks into the ground,

dissolving the difference

between 'He' and 'I,'

above or below.

This darkness shatters

the forehead with light.

This bending pulls you

through every maelstrom of loss

down to the abysmal wound

of awakening.

This grief is more intimate

than joy.

Death is only the sheath

of a blue and beautiful blade.

You learn to bow like this

from the exquisite gesture

of the moon.

Your Guru is a tree,

an endangered lion,

a dying coral reef,

the sound of the frog

who lives in the geranium pot.

Your Guru is a butterfly wing

settling on a lapis hydrangea.

Your Guru is the muffled mourning

of a daughter for her grandmother's soul.

Why not genuflect to every weed

along the path?

Make it blossom with the comfort

of your mindful gaze.

And wherever you go,

bid "namaste" to everything

that perishes.

One Thread

What threads the hollow
of each moment?
Passes through the heart
of stars, joining
galaxies like blossoms
in a garland,
stringing sun and moon
to earth's unspinning core?
One thread binds all -
the pearl in your navel
to the emerald in your chest
to the diamond in your crown,
finer than dew-silk
yet brighter than a bolt
of summer lightning.
Through one thread
hums the silent echo
of the lion's roar
at the moment of creation.
This is why, when you whirl,
you feel the stillness
of the heavens in your body.
With one thread,
one breath, friend,
you have connected

Chant Om Namah Shivaya

I invite you to place your attention on the gentle sound vibration, Om Namah Shivaya. This universal redeeming mantra purifies the breath and heals the nervous system, the senses, and the world perceived by the senses. The flow of these syllables through your breath enlivens the five elements of your body and the whole earth around you.

Om-Na-Ma-Shi-Va-Ya: "May divine purity pervade earth, water, fire, air, space and consciousness." Each syllable purifies one of the five elements in the body. Na - earth at the root of the spine; Ma - water in the abdomen; Shi - fire in the solar plexus; Va - air in the chest; Ya - prana at the throat; Om - the space in the forehead. The bindu or dot written above Om is the space just above the crown of the head. In that silence space, akasha, all energy merges in the source.

No need to concentrate on these centers, or on the syllables. Simply chant the mantra, then let it ripple away into silence. The blessing of the mantra does not come through our work, our concentration, but through the grace inherent in the space of consciousness itself. For these syllables are the Vrittis or vibrations that arise within the silence of the Atma, the Self. Let waves of purification wash through you and over you. Each vibration will flow automatically to the area in the body where it is needed for healing. Just let the grace of the mantra do the work.

Breathing and chanting this mantra opens awareness to the stream of loving-kindness that created the universe. In the East, this creative stream is called Shakti. She is the Goddess sent forth by God to play, to manifest diversity, and to create. Thus Shiva, who is the unmanifest stillness of pure awareness, delights in the dance of his own energy in the form of Goddess Shakti, who in the West is called the Holy Spirit.

Let the mantra flow effortlessly as a pulsation of inner sound, resonating through the hollow cord at the center of the spine. If the syllables grow faint and run together into one stream, like the murmur of a mountain brook, wonderful! Let it be. Thus the mantra merges into Shivo'ham, "I am Shiva."

If the mantra dissolves like a fading chime into pure silence, wonderful! Let it be. Thus the mantra merges into Om, the resonance of the Unmanifest.

If the syllables remain distinct, sparkling, majestic and clear, that is wonderful too! Let the mantra be, however it comes.

Your mind is the open window divine Light wants to pour through. Your breath is the wellspring of divine Love. Your heart is the fountain where the grace of Divine Mother gushes into creation. Om Namah Shivaya.


Hatred is toxic, even when it is disguised as our politics, or our religion. Hatred is anger stuck in hopelessness.

Of course, anger can be useful and creative, as long as one has the inner process for transmuting that energy into sparkling clarity and presence.

This is true spiritual practice - the alchemy that moves our energy from the intellect into the body, and quite literally, from the head to the heart. But when anger gets stuck in the head, it becomes disease.

The earth doesn't need our dis-ease. The earth doesn't need our heads, full of political and religious outrage. She needs our feet to dance.


"Christ" is the resonance of pure Love emanating from our awakened Silence.

Jesus was a simple man without a theology or belief-system, who spontaneously acted from the radiance of his Heart. He didn't have a plan, or know what he was going to say a moment before he said it (Mat. 10:19). Yet in that moment, the living Silence spilled from his lips in words of fire. He was immersed and surrendered in the ocean of Love.

For Christ, the radical act is simply to be present; the revolution is to breathe. For when you are truly aligned with the Kingdom of God within you, every breath is the Holy Spirit.

Through the flowering of Jesus, Christ became a unique and personal fragrance that still permeates the earth. Ever so human, like you and me, ever so divine, like you and me, he is imperishable all-pervading Friendship.

Christos, Buddha, Shiva - it matters not what name you use. The resonance of unbounded Being through a finite form is the human work we are all about. Yet we bow to those who have fully embodied this play of divine love, for they show us who we really are. We bow in freedom.

"Christos" means "Anointed One." First, we meet the Christos reflected in an other who inspires us: the master. Then we imbibe the breath of the master, and discover the Christos to be our very inhalation. You can breathe the same Spirit that Jesus breathed. Let Spirit-Breath nourish you with her sparkling sap. For she is the mother, the feminine aspect of God, and second person of the Trinity.

Finally, having realized the Christos as the master, then as the intimate life-breath that animates our body, we realize the Christos as our deepest Self. We come from the Son, through the Spirit, to the Godhead. And this first person of the Trinity, more intimate than the master, more intimate than our very breath, is the immoveable Being, the Self.

O seeker, the Holy Trinity is more real, and more intimate, than you have ever imagined. Forget theology and surrender to the Master, to the Breath, and to your Self. For they appear as three, but are a vibrant unity. The Master who awakens you, the gift of his awakening Breath, and the boundless Being who awakens, are all one.

Painting: face of Jesus by Rembrandt.

Healing Space

All day long
if you let it,
the space around
a thistle,
a moth wing,
your eye
heals everything
that it contains.

Photo by Laurent Berthier

De-Link the Moment from the Story

There are events, and there is a narrative that threads events into a story. The event and the story are completely separate. Each moment is a luminous whole, truly existing as a world. But the story threading moments together exists only in our mind.

Mind brings story from the past, superimposing it onto the world. In doing so, mind imputes motive to others, and constructs a "destiny" out of time.

But we can de-link the event from the story: one of the supreme functions of meditation. Letting mind become silent, we can let the narrative dissolve. Then we see the event clearly, just as it is. We can bathe the moment in the light of compassion.

In this way, we are present to each moment, present as love, without imputing motive to others, or pretending that we know what is destined. This not only makes us more available, it saves our mind from the burden of painful delusion.

It is above our pay-grade to know the destiny of the world, and to judge the motives of other people. Our only duty is to love, to heal, and to Be in the moment.

Relax Into Wholeness

I only began to relax into wholeness when I learned to embrace the impure along with the pure, seeing that they are both made of exactly the same energy, just as the petal and thorn are pervaded by the same sap. This was the hardest lesson, and the easiest.