A flower makes no effort to spring from its seed. So you spring gracefully from the seed of your own Awareness, because you cannot possibly be other than You.

The final liberation is just to repose as you are, right now, before you even have a thought. There is no other path, no other blessing, no other pain, no other grace. This is why Jesus said, "Take no thought... just behold the lilies of the field."

Imagine how it feels for a rose to be nothing but a rose? For a wild lilac to be this galaxy of fragrances? Why be anyone else? In fact, suffering arises from the very effort to be other than I Am.

To repose in the Self is not passivity, but the ultimate dynamism, the regenerative power of surrender to the force of creation. Resting as you are cannot but release the germ from its seed, the action that the universe longs to perform through your unique presence.

Light cannot help but burst out of darkness.
Confess that you are powerless to do anything about it. How else will you get through this devastating miracle, the fierce onslaught of Now?

Ecstasy cannot be avoided.
The cosmos blossoms right here, in quiddity and suchness. If we knew the truth, we would run naked through the supermarket, shouting, "This just Is! This just Is!"

Artist: Linda Gadbois

Children of the Sky

So many suns, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, all sharing the same sky. So many opinions and points of view, all arising in the same space, the space of awareness.
All human minds share an intractable and unified expanse, in which there is plenty of room for all. Yet we are trapped in grids of polarized energy that flow through this boundless space of mind. Stuck like flies in the web of mental conflict, which is woven of nothing but thought, we cling to our limited viewpoints, our beliefs, instead of resting in our unbound awareness. We are trapped in the cloud of what OUGHT to be, instead of realizing our true idently as the pure sky of what IS.

The breadth of a galaxy, the emptiness in an atom, the abyss or our own Being are all the same space. Yet this space must awaken. Only when space wakes up can humanity know true peace.

This is the elegant solution, the real "shift" to a new earth. It won't happen through political debate, economic systems, or military power.

It is a gentle, graceful, foreground-background shift that happens in consciousness itself. Beliefs, opinions and ideologies recede. Self-luminous awareness, without any content at all, emerges into the foreground. Space outshines what it contains, like dawn making 10,000 candles obsolete.

The way-showers who guide us to this new world are not the intellectuals, the thinkers, or the true believers. Our guides are the Holders of Awakened Space. They may be our children. Quite often they are labelled as "learning disabled" by an educational elite trapped in their own conceptual boxes. Why are these children diagnosed with "Attention Deficit Disorder"? Because they feel unutterable yearning for expansion, transcendence, and pure awareness.

Do not drug them. Do not medicalize their condition, because they are here for a noble purpose: to awaken space, soften our edges, shift background to foreground, and illuminate creation in the clarity of pure Being.

Honor the Holders of Awakened Space, the Children of the Sky.

Specifically You

The universe supports you to the degree that you are passionate about sharing your unique gift. Only then does the Goddess pay attention, bending every law of nature to uphold you. But she is not the slightest bit interested when you imitate someone else.
Why were you created? Don't say, "to love and to serve." That is a platitude. The universe is specific. She loves detail, every brush stroke, the flavor of a pollen mote on a bee's nose, the bindhu of a photon.

Don't be a safe generality. Love as You alone can love. Serve as You alone can serve. You impoverish the cosmos when You hesitate. Bee wild about your work. In the cell of your heart, turn the earth into the honey that tastes like no one but You.

Photo by Kristy Thompson


Every atom of you sings to its native star
about some incomprehensible connection
between pain and beauty.
Wrathful deities cock their heads,
Bodhisattva's blink,
losing their place in the Heart Sutra,

perplexed and ever so sweetly troubled
by the music emitted from your nuclei.
Something about your gravity and grief

disturbs them with a sign of courage.
They long to clothe themselves in what
weighs you down to the mother of bodies,

the planetary pulse of sweet grass and gray hair,
the empty park benches, lonely faces
of dissolving frost on maple leaves.

Angels yearn to fathom the opacity
of your tears, and smother their brilliant
souls in your dust.


Have you noticed?
This world is the mirror
of your gratitude.
You spin the cosmos
out of glittering awareness,
and nothing is not you.
Would you like to see more
grains of abundance,
threads of deathless beauty?

Pay attention to the gifts
of the infinitesimal,

sparks of darkness in light
and joy in sorrow.
Be thankful for the nakedness
of twigs,
the hollow in the seed.


Rest as original emptiness.
Be the mirror, not the image.
No fluttering wings
of opinion.
No old Summer stories
struggling in a silver web
the Autumn spider spins
across the night.
Be Ariadne,
the one who doesn't get stuck
in her own silken theater.
Play the magical game
where beggars and kings,
warriors, lovers, witches, fools
cling to their threads of desire,
while you simply witness
the glistening.
Don't be a bead, a diamond,
a netted star.
Be the spider,
the darkness Herself.

This Is My Body

"This is my Body, given for you." ~Luke 22:19

The body is my ashram, my guru, my path. I only become aware of who I Am through this body.

I know "God" through incarnation. My awareness locates itself through an object of perception, refines the object to its subtlest veil of otherness, then transcends the object, resting as Self-radiance.

Grace caresses me, not when I am out of the body, but when I cherish the faintest sensation as a door, and step through it to pure consciousness.

Zen-master Dogen wrote, "Those who gained enlightenment by seeing blossoms or hearing sounds, achieved it through the body."

Breath brushing my sternum, like a mountain stream glittering over a stone, suddenly, I Am the sky!

Through all my sensations, aches, ecstasies and sorrows, I arrive at this moment of awakening: awareness of the body becomes awareness itself.

The vast blue firmament pervades every cell, dissolves the fractal edges of my atoms, overflows my human outline, enfolding the moon and stars, and the space beyond.

Are there "higher worlds"? Yes, but the star-gates are in my body. My flesh is woven from dark tangled pathways to Light.

To Silence

I speak to silence
and say, I love you.
Because you are another
and you are myself.
You are the wave nature
of solitude.
Especially in the forest,
where snowy owls pierce
darkness with a cry.
They mate for life.
I love you, silence.
Your faintly quivering
web of music
holding the stars.
The voices of ancestors
in the flavor of your blackness.
Your fragrance the musk
of the menstrual moon.
The way your mouth
hungrily takes half the earth,
the dark half, tasting of Winter.
I love you, silence.
You are the absence of everything
but wonder, which
like wings at night,
fills what listens completely.

The Self Is Not A State

The smokeless blue flame of anger flashes up and vanishes. The grief cloud bursts in ten thousand droplets of the sun. Bitter turns sweet, sweet turns sour, but Beauty is the flavor of impermanence.
No need to make a cult of ecstasy and delight. No need to make a cult of grief and anger. These are feeling states, not signs of more authentic spirituality.
Feeling states pass through awareness like clouds through the empty sky. But awareness is not a state. It is the Self, eternal, unborn, boundless and clear.

The Way is not to cultivate feeling states, or personify them as gods and goddesses, but to transcend them, resting as self-luminous pure awareness. This is meditation. This is ananda.

Yet feeling states continue to arise, dissolve, arise, dissolve, in that field of bliss, and we have no cause to grasp or reject them. Is this freedom so esoteric, so difficult? In truth, is easier to rest as the Self, eternal and boundless, than to be joyful or sad...

The Self is not an emotional flat-line disdaining the color and fragrance of feeling states. Four Immeasurables reveal the mystery of a Buddha's heart. In vast dispassion (Upeksha), boundless love, joy, and sorrow arise (Metta, Mudita, Karuna).

Our own awareness is a rich abysmal intimacy that contains all feeling states, all gods and goddesses, without conflict or resistance - just as the still desert air contains the dance of a mirage.

Photo: sunset over my town


And what if
the true path
does not lead you
into the next moment,
but deeper
into this one?

Photo: Sunset from my little town on Puget Sound

The Next World?

On this exquisite day in the North West, not a cloud in the sky, 63 degrees, blossoms unfolding. I prayed to beloved Lakshmi when I awoke this morning: "O Mother, let me share your beauty and abundance with others today." Just came back from a five mile walk with Bowie, pictured here, already asleep in my arms. On the walk, I had a very simple conversation with my heart. So that is what I am sharing.
~Where do we go when we die?
~The next world.
~Where is the next world?
~Is it a higher world than this one?
~It is the light this one is made of.
~How can I see it?
~Feel the luminous throb of a humming photon cloud around an electron in one flowering atom of your body. Un-whirl yourself to the bindhu star at the heart of the nucleus.
~This could be a dance.
~It is a dance.
~This sounds like music.
~It is music.
~It seems that when we die, we don't go anywhere. What do we do?
~Dissolve into Who You Are.
~Is it hard?
~How hard could it be to drop what you are not?


What is the great evening sacrifice? Not to offer wine and doves, not to offer flowers and coconuts, or a thousand meritorious deeds; but simply, for one sunset moment, to give up every effort to be someone better, someone else, and take a Sabbath rest as who you Are. Your spine a wick. Your breath a flame. Free from hope and regret, you ignite the stars.

Photo: Kwan Yin over my fireplace

The Forgotten Truth About Kali Yuga

It's popular to talk about Kali Yuga these days in the West. Yes, according to the ancient Vedic teachings, this is the age of increasing injustice, chaos, and political corruption: the dregs of time, when impurities rise to the surface of creation, so that they can be emptied in the trash.
Most Western authors get off on identifying with the trauma, outrage, and chaos of this age, but they are only embracing a half-truth. Kali Yuga is also the age when the secrets are open, the temple veil is rent, and the "highest" teachings are given away in the street. The age of Kali makes spiritual liberation easier, not more difficult, because it is not granted through human effort, but through surrender to the grace of the Divine. Grace is the operative word in this age, not achievement.

And grace becomes concrete, substantial in the human nervous system, through the vibration of the divine Name, the mantra. This is why we find that we tend toward liberation when we hear beautiful music, whe we chant together in satsang, and especially when we merge our heart of devotion with the bija mantra, infused with the Shakti of the Goddess - She who is the very vibration of the supreme Lord's silence.

Harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, Kali Yuga, the only means of liberation is the divine Name. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.” ~Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, 15th C.
Kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann
asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya
mukta-sańgaḥ paraḿ vrajet
"Dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by delighting in Krishna's name, one can enter the communion of the free, the divine kingdom. ~Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 12.3.51

"Though the evil is thickest in this Kali Age, the remedy is the simplest... This Kali Yuga is praised in the scriptures as incomparably conducive to the salvation of humanity, for we can now attain the Highest through the mere remembrance of God's Name. So of all the Yugas, this Yuga is described as the most holy, the most beneficent.

"Concentration and contemplation were prescribed as the means of liberation for Kritha Yuga, Ascetism as the means for Tretha Yuga, and ritual worship for Dwapara Yuga. But for people of this age, the simple remedy prescribed is just Namasmarana, constant awareness of the Name. In spite of this, it is a pity that men do not care for this path and so render their lives barren wastes." ~Satya Sai Baba


The art of sipping this wine
is a subtle discipline:
the rule is only
one glass at a time.
Each breath is enough
to inebriate both
body and soul.
Was it your heart or mine
that was a cup
for the other's lips?
Was I the host
and you the guest,
or vice versa?
And who pays the bill?
The secret is,
we don't have to settle.
The tip is incalculable

O God, we go reeling
out of this tavern.
Here's my shoulder,
give me your arm.
My devotion to your path
will keep us both
from stumbling.
And here's my chest
with its broken gate
wide open.
I'll make sure you get home.

Self Alignment

If you want to bless the entire creation, be yourself. Most people try to be someone else, causing a great deal of stress. Resting unconditionally as your Self ripples, then settles, the cosmic web of energy into alignment. Resting unconditionally as your Self bathes countless creatures in waves of harmony. Resting unconditionally as your Self generates, from the all-pervading center of silence, a more intimate, healing, inward light in every atom of the earth, and every distant star. Is it not your highest vocation, above all other work, to be You?


Spiritual healer,
behind the mask
of perfection
lie eight billion
lethal wounds,
all calling you
to speak with
their voices.
Be nourished
by that thirst.

A Meditation for the World Sorrow

I invite you to listen to this Metta meditation 
for the world sorrow on SoundCloud.


Perhaps "attention deficit" is not a disorder, but our Buddha nature encouraging us to relinquish points of view. There are countless stars but only one sky. So there are countless points of view, but the space that contains them is one. It is pure awareness, the space of the heart. To rest the mind in the heart is the beginning and end of all spiritual practices.

Photo by Linda Olsen

Original Sin

The original sin is comparison. That is the fall. To judge your incomparable sparkling singularity by the standard of another, is the root of suffering.


A friend said,
"I am feeling sad,
no reason why."
I said, "No reason why."
She said,
"Tender and vulnerable."
I said,
"Tender and vulnerable."
She said,
"Empty, yet full of tears."
I said,
"There is something that is
higher than joy,
deeper than sorrow."
She said, "The womb."
I said, "Thank you."
"For what?" she said.
"For the courage
to breathe
what has no name."

Flavors In My Blood

In the cool of the evening
my Beloved walks down this
cobbled path of little bones
that begins at the almond tree
growing between my eyebrows
and ends at the dark lily pond
in the woods beneath my navel.
We meet under the bent ribs
 in the heart chuppah,
that golden canopy of sighs.
Now I must explain that
all the gods are flavors in my blood,
the goddess just a tremor
of my exhalation.
She takes my hand and asks,
"Did you eat of the tree
whose fruit is Knowledge?"
I answer, "No Beloved,
I ate of that other tree
whose fruit is bewilderment."
She plays a seven-stringed vina,
which is my body, cacophony of dust.
Mangoes and pomegranates
split themselves without a knife,
because ripeness and wounding
are one.
I dance now.
Galaxies swirl open,
rainbows on a peacock's tail.
Other worlds spring up, blossoming,
rooted in the juices of my longing
mixed with her tears.
I am so full of light, the moon
rises to gaze at my face.
In me, pride and innocence
are the same joy,
for I delight in a Presence
that is both Self and God.
All this happens in the bindhu
between two breaths.
Dear one, I won't believe
until I feel the bruise of your footprint
on the inside of my chest.

God of Autumn

Tonight I stepped onto my back porch and felt the chill of Autumn, gazed into the sunset, so much earlier now, and listened to the frog still exulting in a pool of last nights welcome raindrops. So innocently, in my heart, before my intellect kicked in with all its "reasons" for this and that, I sensed Autumn as a living conscious Presence, whom I could greet with gratitude and whisper, "Thank you Autumn!" which I did.
And I realized that we have these vast mysterious intuitive instinctive responses, just like our so-called "primitive" ancestors, which empower us to commune with stars, moons, waterfalls and vibrant places in the forest, with seasons, with hours of the day, with night herself, and know them as persons, because everything has consciousness, just as we.

Every spider and rose is a force of consciousness, someone to be greeted with respect. There is no inanimate object. Stones are alive. They sing in their silence, if we would only listen. In the simplest hut, with no clothing but a woolen frock, each of us could be so wealthy, because the earth is our treasure, and we belong to her. We are kings. We are empresses, because each galaxy is our intimate friend, connected to a nerve in our body. We are rich beyond imagining, because we have this evening, its purple clouds, lit from within by the humble sun.

I think the salvation of the world depends on nothing more than this: learning to live in the wonder of our intuitions, like the holy animals we are.

No wonder songs came before science, prayers before philosophies, meadows and forests before nations. Ah, silly mind! Be still with amazement.


I want to live in that village
where the sunset is like wine
in a golden chalice,
where Francis, Chaitanya,
Rabia, Lal Dev,
Sappho, Han Sh'an,
Jesus and his paramour,
those who drink to remember
and not to forget,
all meet after dark
at one table
in a mist of violins,

at a supper of poems
that heal us by
an invitation

to enter our wounds.
Pilgrim, have you been there?

Have you listened to
the silence that was in the bell
before it rang?
You know you have

when your beauty awakens
while others go
to sleep.

Photo from Assisi by Ingrid Henzler


My brain does not create this awareness I Am. This awareness I Am was here before my brain was created. This awareness I Am is the eternally awakened void whose fluctuations become the particles out of which my brain is formed.

My brain will dissolve. Each particle will dissolve. An ocean of photons, suns, and galaxies will arise and dissolve in this awareness. But this awareness I Am will always be right here, right now.

How do I know this? I don't. It is not knowledge. Knowledge is reference of one to another. But in this awareness I Am, there is no other. It is simply awareness awakening to itself.

If it sounds abstract, I haven't made myself clear. This Awareness I Am is very concrete, because everything, a stone, a dandelion, a raindrop, a brain cell, is made out of this awareness I Am.


Because this incomparable moment is all there is, the bliss of total freedom is possible. Because we compare what is to what is not, this mind creates bondage and suffering, then blames it on the world.

The wound
in the clouds
may be the sky.

Photo: Taken while flying through heavy weather
by my daughter Abby

Message From Your Ancestors

(A poem from 'Savor Eternity One Moment At A Time')

The ancestors want you to know
that you are not required to carry their pain.

Your mother did not spin the web that nets you;
you wove it from your own desire.

Last night’s rain won't nourish this flower;
why thirst for ancient tears?

Your grandmothers are singing for you
to birth your own unbearable happiness.

Your grandfathers' bones are praying for you
to hunt the sweetness in your marrow.

Don’t think you must stand like a warrior
in the withering crossfire of your father's blood.

What wounds you is the wavering blade
of your mind, slashing this moment into past and future.

If you insist on making reparations,
plant a wild pine - let it be a tree of Presence.

You cannot pay them for the privilege of breathing,
for awakening this solitude of beauty.

They need no libation, nor thirst for the offering cup.
They are not hungry ghosts, but earthworms

who luxuriate in loam, shards of sunlight
lodged in magnolia blossoms.

Do not carry them; they do not carry you.
They bear their own grief and laughter.

The past is vanishing smoke, the flame is now.
Be christened with this breath: name yourself.

You sleep in the secret chamber of your ribs, alone.
No one else enters and leaves your lungs.

A mother kissed you, a father held you;
you owe them nothing for this.

They did it for themselves; now let them
be about the business of their next childhood.

Father your heart, Mother your body.
Hold and kiss new sparkling babies.

Give them your grandmother's name if you like,
but not as a weight, not as a brand on the hip,

but as a prayer, a promise of astonishment
for what has never been conceived.

Our Mother Who Art On Earth

Our Mother who art on earth, dark as loam,
nameless as rain be your presence.
Let your family dwell as a circle here
where spirit and matter, heaven and earth
unite in the smallest act of compassion.
Be the breath we take
and the bread we taste this day.
Dissolve the veil of judgment that divides us
one from another, so that we may all be
One in You, but not the same.
Dispel our illusions of impurity
so that we may see all creatures
immersed in our own abounding goodness.
For thine is the roundness,
the brokenness and healing
of this body.

Ahmen. Ahwomen!

Marble Relief: Gaia, 11 BC, Ara Pacis or 'peace alter' in Rome 


Pain is pain. Thinking that the pain should not be here is suffering. When I accept the pain as pain, in the present moment, and sink deeply into it without thoughts or labels, then the pain is no longer suffering. It is no longer even pain. It is energy dissolving, awareness shining, Shiva dancing. This is a painful lesson.

Our Unhappiness Is Not Ours Alone

The first step toward happiness is understanding that very little of the secret weight of our unhappiness is ours alone. It is the unhappiness of our tribe, our nation, our ancestors, who want us to be happy, who are pulling for our happiness, who yearn for us to prove that there can be a single courageous existential act of renunciation, by which we drop the weight, and choose happiness. Is this not the great task of the spiritual warrior? And there is help. Yes, a cloud of witnesses will help. We will not do it alone. And this is grace.