Creation Story

In the beginning
Raven Ma said 'Listen!'
and never spoke
another Word.
For there is no creator
but your vigilance.
Let the world be born
from a frog croak,
the scrape of a twig
against your window,
the breathing
of a baby in the dark.
Even on a moonless night
the diamond clarity
of your emptiness
illuminates the forest,
mountain, and sky.
Do not squander
the gift of silence.
Being awake
is its own reward.
You will find no name
for the place where
the sun comes up
inside your chest.


Dear friends,
instead of teaching me
all that is wrong with this world,
why don't you teach me
how to dance?


I offer this message with love. To hear it, please, just for a few moments, let go of all you think you are, and follow this breath down into your chest - a brief and effortless journey to the listening heart.

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world... for I have overcome the world." And he said, "The kingdom of heaven is within you."

More than ever today, we need to hear Christ's secret of sanity, for all of us have reached a mental health crisis, our minds overwhelmed with images of world-sorrow - in no small part due to the media. But you are not this world sorrow. Anger and angst are passing clouds. You are the Sun.

The world is the flux of opposites, sparkling in a gown of tears, whirling in a golden robe of laughter. And those opposites are ever-balanced and paired, in grief and hope, pain and joy, darkness and light.

But the nature of the world is not your nature. The world has its own nature, and you cannot change it. Not even Jesus could change it.
He simply lived the Way. And that is all you can do, which is enough.

If you postpone your celebration of Life until all conflicts resolve, and the 'right' side triumphs over the 'wrong,' you will ever remain frozen in bitterness. For the judgment day, the end of time, is never in the future. It is always now.

This world-sorrow arises and dissolve like mist. But it is not you. Your kingdom is not of this world.

Yet when you live in the world, not of the world, you uplift the world. That is the secret Jesus whispers to your heart. To embrace this humbling, devastating, liberating truth, not only lightens your burden, but radiates that lightness around you.

On the other hand, if images of suffering and conflict drown your mind, that is your choice. But you must know that to carry such heaviness will not empower you to lift others. Rather, it will make you part of the burden.

You are free to invest your energy and attention wherever you like, and where you invest it, that is what grows in your life. Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there shall your heart be also."

Here is a koan to practice. "Do I choose to swallow the toxic images that the world feeds me? Or do I allow the stream of my own life to nourish me from within?

Honor your life-stream. Flow with it in truth, gratitude, compassion, and beauty. Attain, as much as possible, a courageous measure of self-sufficiency. You are not called to carry the millstone of all humanity, but to be the wheel of your own destiny, rolling out of your own center.

This is not selfishness, but response-ability. Who do you think you are to believe that you can save multitudes? At best, you can be an example, and a quiet spring of strength for the few whom nature sends to walk beside you, ever so briefly, on your labyrinth way.

Now take off your shoes. Get mud between your toes. Dance for no reason.


The Christ bud swollen,
glowing in the womb
of your hopelessness.
Your yearning a now
that scorches the future
in the fire of bewilderment.
How shall You, the Beloved,
come to Me?
How shall I, the Beloved,
approach You?
As a winged gazelle
with an inhuman smile
of ominous benediction?
As a leopard with sapphire
and diamond teeth
dripping the fresh blood
of your innocence?
As the forest of sighs,
greening silently
around your loss?
Perhaps as your very
next breath?
Waves of stillness
in the heart.
Because I am, You are.
Because You are, I am.
Crush us.
Put us in the blackest jar.
What shall our fragrance
be called?
'My Ravishing,'
'Pillage of Otherness,'
'Musk the Lover Left at Dawn.'

The Moment Before Creation

We met in the moment
before creation.
You left crescents and stars
all over my body,
wounds that would see,
eyes that would never be healed.
My longing turned to fire.
What burned me away completely,
I became.

  Now I am your swirl of gold
in blackness.
The purple bruise of solitude
brings tears of joy.
Swallowing distances,
nothing is more intimate
than silence,

the full moon pressed
on my forehead,
your kiss. 

What Are We Made Of?

"Taste and see that the Lord is good." ~Psalm 34:8
All creatures are broken vessels overflowing with goodness. God tastes the goodness in all of us, and longs for us to taste it in ourselves, to taste the deliciousness we are made of.

The cosmos is nothing but "Tova," the goodness of God, vibrant in myriad flavors, dancing in myriad forms, sometimes painful, sometimes sweet, sometimes dark, sometimes bright. This is why, at the dawn of creation, "God looked at everything he had made and, behold, it was very good!" (Gen. 1:31)
You can argue all you want for the existence of evil, and you can choose, if you like, to make a cult of your woes. But there is really nothing else for us to be made of but the goodness of God.

Our atoms consist of subtle particles, which are made of even subtler particles, but the subtlest particles of all are pulsations of divine goodness, waves of Shivananada.

Creation arises from silence as a divine song, from stillness as a divine dance, from the boundless space of the Self in pulsations of bliss, quarks and photons of ananda, vibrating in the blue sky of awareness that pervades each cell of your flesh. Have you tasted this?

The Creator, remaining still and silent, loves to undulate in waves of joy. Honor Shiva as the inviolable space of your own awareness. Honor Goddess Shakti as the dance of creation, which is no-thing but the pulsation of that space. They are not two.

You are Shiva-Shakti. You are the wild messy fallen akimbo cosmos whirling in the stillness of the Self. Have you tasted this?

Dazed by our own fierce beauty and spice, we do not see, we do not taste our deliciousness.

This is why God allows us to break open and spill. It is when we break open and spill that we taste and see what we are made of.

Don't be afraid to break open and spill.

Entangle (A Poem from 'Savor Eternity')

Does a sunbeam get entangled
in the lace beauty
of the dragonfly's wing?
When spider weaves
her most intricate web
across the night,
does she ever trap
a star?
Be more and more
like the ripe moon hanging
from an apple branch.
Let your heart irradiate
the world, without getting
caught in its stories.
Those tales of
enchantment and yearning,
conflict and loss,
past and future,
are not about you...
Your work is Presence.
Pour out something careless
and carefree from the Well
of Silence in your chest.
Bless all creatures with
the un-created light
that gushes without circumference
from your groundless center,
where a terrible and holy love
burns through every veil
of separation...
Consider, friend,
that what transforms the dust,
the air, the sea, the moon
beyond the motion of the sea,
is not how much you do,
but how deeply
you penetrate this ancient now
with love.


The sky doesn't try to expand. It is effortlessly infinite. The sky doesn't mind clouds passing through it, or need to clear them away. They dissolve as they come, but the sky remains clear and blue. And the emptiness of the sky is not a negative quality. This emptiness is its purity, its beauty, its dignity. Now there cannot be more than one space. The space of the sky and the space of awareness are one and the same space. Your awareness fill the sky, overflowing the rim of the furthest galaxy. And the sky fills each atom of your flesh, overflowing every neuron in your brain.


I give thanks for this breath. It is really all I need this moment. And the more I give thanks for this breath, this fountain of bewilderment, the sweeter and deeper it flows through each cell of my body. Then I know it is the breath that wove nests for the stars, and set them singing in stillness. Thank you, Lord, for this breath. It is yours.

Painting by Laura Diehl, DeviantArt


Don't transcend the body,
transcend the mind.
The mind that wants to be
somewhere else,
in the past or future.
The mind that wants to be
separate, certain, correct.
When we transcend the mind
we don't go anywhere.
We arrive right here, in the body.
We don't mind the mess,
the incorrectness,
seeing clearly that the sky
fills each cell,
feeling stars fall through
the marrow of our bones,
welcoming mountains and clouds
into a synapse of bewilderment,
knowing without a thought
that each photon of our flesh
was breathed by Buddha
and passed like a kiss
to a wound in Jesus.
Now I am dust in a sunbeam.
What are you?

Artist: Rimi Yang

Surrender to Wholeness

Beauty is the nuclear silence in your groundless core, where surrender and rebellion are one and the same.
Surrender to wholeness. There is no escape. That is the victory. Refuse to be divided. Immersed in the vigil of unbounded bliss, rebel against any force that would diminish or entice you to choose one view against its opposite.
For it is never that one side is enlightened and the other is ignorant: ignorance is the antipathy itself, the separation of wholeness into polarized opponents.
As ancient Gnostics taught, the Pleuroma, the Fullness, appears as a dance of sygizies, paired opposites in endless sexual play, bursting with dynamic creativity. But when we identify with "this" rather than "that," we lose the equipoise at the center of the cyclone, and cease to be the dynamic whole. In the words of the New Testament, you are not one against others, you are "panta 'hen panta," all in all.

Of course there are choices, but they are momentary and intuitive, never frozen into ideology. Therefor, revolt against every ideologue, every  divider, who would lure you into the toxic but delicious energy of blame and judgment. Blame and judgment are not actions, but re-actions. And re-action means endless entrapment in the wheel of spiteful karma. Know that anyone you judge is yourself. Then act.

Act from the silence of the unified field. This is Yoga. "Yogastah karukarmani," whispered Krishna in the Gita: "Established in Yoga, perform action." Dynamically at ease in the heart, rebel. Rebel with the effortless grace of an exhalation.

Rebel ruthlessly yet gently against those who insist that you are a group and not a person, that you are one and not the other, that you are the Mother and not the Warrior too, that you are the light and not the darkness, that you are the homeless wanderer and not also the royal sage, that you are one color only. For you are all the colors of the rainbow, and the transparency that lets light through.

You are dust in a sunbeam, and you are the sun. You are a disappearing dewdrop, and the blue sky of eternity. You are the immovable mountain, and the moving cloud on whom the mountain rests like a feather. You are the passion of two lovers, and the liquid lightning of pure love that needs no other.

Here is your incomparable dignity: that you are a single human being. Yet your body encompasses all the gods. Your breath turns the wheel of creation. The stillness at the center of your heart spins galaxies of unborn stars. The savor of your mere existence is the honey of the Goddess.

Photo: Mt. Rainier, taken from my favorite walk.

Sunday Morning, Nov. 11

When he appeared to them after the resurrection, Jesus simply breathed on the disciples and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit."

Withered husks fall away, but there is sparkling sweetness within. Forms perish, releasing the imperishable flame of essence.

Every breath is a kind of body, containing a soul of starlight. Through the grace of this breath, you can pour divine shakti, the power that created the universe, into each cell of your flesh. This breath can transform pain to beauty, rising from your belly to your crown, and back down to your chest. Rest here, in the radiant new life. Let withered husks fall away.

The beginning and end of all spiritual practice is to rest the mind in the heart. You are the flame. You are pure love.

Photo: In Assisi, by Ingrid Henzer

Resist Not

"Resist not the evil one... Love your enemies." ~Master Jesus

Jesus did not speak these words for our enemy's sake, but for our sake. He came to save us, not from our enemies, but from ourselves. Yet his words of healing make us very uncomfortable.

Ironically, the deepest comfort of the mind is having an enemy. The sensation of resistance against an other makes our ego feel alive. The ego is most at home when it has an enemy.

Each of us might ask, "To what extent is my identity formed by resistance against an other? Who would I be if I had no enemy?"

To encounter the other in a love that has no enemy, because it holds no resistance, is the purest political action, more radical than any ideology of the left or the right. For ideology does not inspire action, but re-action, using the other as a stereotype to confirm our belief.

The most radical act is to be present. Presence is the revolutionary breath of love. In this destroying fire, the other is no long judged as a 'white' or a 'black,' a Muslim or a Christian, an immigrant or a native, a Republican or a Democrat. The other is a Person.

Painting: Face of Jesus by Rembrandt


Election day in the U.S. is the sacred night 
of Goddess Lakshmi in India. Jai Ma!

Haven't I been whispering this
again and again to your ear?
She is the undulation of silence,
the serpent in your heart.
She is the dancer in your stillness
who takes off veil after veil
until Shiva and the Self are one.
She is the wisdom of Unknowing
who became a womb for Jesus.
Draw nearer now and listen!
She humbles herself to become
the invisible body of your next inhalation.
She is the empty seed
at the death of a sigh,
the dark sweet moment between breaths
when countless galaxies blossom
and dissolve in your chest.
Draw nearer, even nearer now.
She weaves everything that Is
from the energy of pure delight.
Your yearning for her beauty is a flame
that floats on the river
of her yearning for You.

The Politics of Transcendence

Transcendence does not mean going somewhere else. It means staying right here and dropping the mind, with all the conflict and duality it projects onto the world.

Transcendence does not mean becoming more abstract, but more solid - becoming a still flame of Presence that burns a hole through time.

Transcendence is so concrete, so present in fact, it draws others into the flame, burning away the conflict in their minds also.

When we practice transcending the mind and being present together, as satsang, then love is possible, because there is no ideology, no political party, no agenda but to celebrate community.

Ode to a Radish

It's OK
just to be OK.
Now take out the 'just.'
Don't compare traumas.
Your laceration is inimitable
as a vein of rubies
glistening in jagged stone.
It's OK
to bleed out your miracle
on the patio amidst
the failure of your roses.
OK to fall down in tears
on the linoleum
with a broom in your fist
and not know why.
Neither clinical depression
nor bliss
are required of you.
It's OK
not to be outraged,
not to be abused,
not to be 'radical'
which comes from the Latin
for root,
as in 'radish.'
It's OK to be a radish,
rooted to the core
of your bittersweet heart.
OK to be a still life
where others feel compelled
to march and scream.
It’s OK to be not just you,
but You.

Painting by Jane Palmer

No Question

She created the earth, then entered your body as this breath.

Therefor savor her undulation, from the azure pearl adorning the emptiness above your crown, to the coral flame devouring pungent boughs in your valley of yearning.

What is an exhalation? A trellis for
surrender, the ever-expanding muteness of your gratitude.

Give up searching
for a word. Bewilderment is not uncertainty. Wonder is not a question.

What will blossom from your grief is a sweetness with no hint of Winter or Spring, steel tears of daylight, or musk of voluptuous just-forgotten dreams.

The flavor of One cannot convey the perfume of her presence. The scent of Two overpowers it.

The name on the bottle was Catastrophe, but it cannot be purchased now. You have broken it, and bathed in the tincture of loss.

Don't you know that your silence is hers, the womb
of stars, the hollow in every seed?