Just Now: A Guided Meditation

Just now, where
one breath caresses another,
dissolve the difference
between the whisper
and the whisperer.

Just now, where 

inpouring and outpouring touch,
dissolve the distance
between the evening star
and the memory
of a mother’s kiss
on the center of your brow.

Between the root

in your belly
and the core of the earth,
learn from the moon
how to be full and empty
as the radiant void.

Just now, with this breath,

Let the beam of 
your inward gaze
be the axis of the turning stars.

Listen to Mother

When I need food, I listen to Mother.
When I need medicine, I listen to Mother.
When I need to dance or pray
I listen to Mother.
When I need to become a fierce blade
I listen to Mother.
When I need light, when I need darkness
I listen to Mother.
When I need to listen to Mother
I listen to my body.
My body is the Mother's voice.

Don't Believe (A Poem from 'Fire of Darkness')

I don’t believe.
I don't believe in my heart,
yet it keeps beating.
I don’t believe in my hand,
yet it stirs honey into tea
and washes my grandmother's cup.
I don’t believe in the taste
of an heirloom pear
from a tree my father planted,
it is so sweet.
I gristle my fist around his original hoe,
and learn silent bending
from a gracious willow
without believing anything.
I don't believe in the hummingbird
asleep on a lilac twig, head cradled
on her own emerald breast.
Or in the silken cat slipping
through her element of moonbeams.
I don't believe in your eyes,
yet their gaze obliterates my confusion.
Empty, empty of every belief,
I can listen to the sound
of falling stars in my body,
like snow, God’s breath
brushing my breastbone.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

Teach Children Happiness

We fail our children when we do not teach them that happiness is their birthright, despite all outward circumstance. Teach them to tap the infinite light of the heart, which the world cannot overshadow, any more than a passing cloud can snuff out the sun. Giving of that light is their greatest service to others. But if I task my child with saving the world, and do not first lead her through meditation to the wellspring of beauty within, I burden her with grief.

* Quiet Time Program': Reducing Stress & Violence in Schools
 Atlantic Monthly Article:


gloom is easy.
Show some courage.
Drop the blame,
the outrage,
the comfort zone
of collective despair.
Teach your children:
you have a right
to be radiant,
alive like a rose.
The world began
with an act of joy.
Do you need to believe
in a conspiracy?
Then conspire with
the wound in your heart
to smile
from the Source
of creation.

'Plum Blossoms and Wild Bird'
by Chen Hongshu

This World Sorrow

"But why should this make us unhappy? Let us rather love one another, and work and rejoice. I don't believe in this world sorrow.” ~E.M. Forster

The world is a cartoon projected through the film of karma by the light of consciousness. It is 'real' to the extent that we allow our minds to be grasped and contained by its fleeting images. It is 'unreal' to the extent that we let it go as it comes, remaining established in the immovable silence of pure awareness. Be the light, not the film. Either see the world as a cartoon, or die of anger.

My Friends Hang Their Heads

Why do my friends
hang their heads and whisper,
'He has become a fool'?
Because I fell in love
with a golden light
gushing from my chest
and gave up dreaming.
I did not mold my secret
splendor into form
as others do,
cherishing a face.
I let the spume of pure
awareness aerate the night
with stars
and flow as sap through
stems in gardens, East and West.
And I breathed that fragrance
into your body too,
into the body of creation,
a luminosity so fine
it makes stones pulse
Pressed from the infinitesimal
seed in the pit of my darkness,
this un-created bliss
is less than nothing, yet makes
atoms spin in the rose
and holds the galaxy to its
vow of silence.
I know you'd like to learn
the name of this perfume:
it's called 'Annihilation.'
But we won't ruin beauty
with any more words,
neither 'Christ' nor 'Shiva'
nor 'Kiss of the Serpent Goddess.'
We won't even say 'He' or 'She.'
Fools have been naming this
honey in the hollow
for ten thousand years,
but names only separate
the sweetness
from who we are.
Of course the nectar I'm
speaking of is Love,
but even this word is
too heavy
for the wings of death,
too loud for darkness
to whisper in the space
beyond waking and sleep.
I will not say anything more
about the passion
that beats midnight into
rhythmic incandescence,
stirs yearning in the vacuum,
trembles possibility
into Being.

Persian miniature by Mahmoud Farschian

Transcendental Meditation and the Wayless

Many confuse the simple with the shallow, the effortless with the trivial. The intellect feels more accomplishment when it finds something complicated. But in truth, the simplicity of pure meditation is the ground-state of all possibilities. Miracles only arise in the field of the effortless.
Transcendental Meditation is so effortless, so innocent, it seems nothing. The most innocent is the most profound. The gentlest teaches the hardest truth, shattering the intellectual ego.

In the grace of meditation, we leave behind every sensation and every thought. The nature of a real mantra is not to repeat, but to dissolve in boundless silence.

Become nought. Become stillness. Transcend every experience of form, even the form of heaven. Be subject naked of object, awareness without a concept. Here, in the flash of luminous darkness, is a union that is both I and Thou.

This meditation actually follows the model of Jesus's kinosis, described in one of the earliest passages of the New Testament, the primitive Christian hymn in Philippians 2. "Christ emptied himself" to become human. When he was completely hollow, emptied "even unto death," he became God. The rarely used Greek word kinosis means self-emptying.

Students of Buddhism will recognize this as sunyata - the emptiness of no-self. Vedantists will recognize it as neti neti - not this, not that. Christian mystics called it the via negativa: the way of negation. But this negation is positive. This nothing is no-thing. It takes us to the Spirit.

The heart of God is ruthless in its yearning for beauty. The sword of Shiva cuts even the hollow from the bone. Being breathed into the groundless chaos prior to creation, is not addition but subtraction, dying with Christ, pruning every branch and twig of the Life Tree. We enter the garden in Winter. The Absolute is not a consolation, but a perfection of loss. And loss teaches you everything.

Without a glimmer of holiness, meditation unveils the soul and God together, until they are one nakedness. So the psalmist sings in Psalm 42, "Depth crieth unto depth." Can you taste the brilliant color of silence? Can you hear thunder in the void?

Transcendental deep meditation dissolves all relationship in the abyss beyond love. Pure awareness, samadhi, is a place that has nothing to do with heaven, or any mythological fantasy of salvation. Transcendence is quite different from a "religious" condition, or a petition to the Lord "above." For here, the Other is nearer than the self. The true Lord is pure Presence.

This is why, upon tasting the abyss even for an instant, many seekers abandon Transcendental Meditation to seek a path more colorful, fanciful, with soft white robes, wooing words, and someone's feet to bow down to. Having touched the groundless depth, they want to return to the surface, to play in waves and bubbles. Only the soul who can swim in the abyss without breathing, knows the eternal exhalation of stillness.

In this ceaseless breath, the soul must fast from joy and sorrow, being and non-being, I and Thou. Her path is not an ascent, but a fall into un-faceted onyx, the darkest jewel. She finds true substance: the inward solidity of consciousness itself, making mist of the world. Here, formlessness is more concrete than diamond, and all shapes are a mirage.

If the soul has the courage to repose in the adamant depths of her own silence, she no longer worships a creator, for she herself has become the unfathomable fountain of the world.

And yet, after meditation, as we re-emerge into action, the waves of love that emanate from the ocean of our inner silence turn every perception into an act of devotion and surrender. Each breath we breathe out is an offering. Each inhalation is a gift of divine grace.

Jai Guru Dev

Billie Holiday & Mary Magdalene

"Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion."
~James Joyce

It’s you, Billie. You are the Magdalene, pouring sweet pangs of sensuality like crystals of frankincense into the fire of Presence, effusing sighs and gazes too fine and mellow for words. You transcend, not by escaping this knotted earthen labyrinth, but by entering its center. You are She who falls so deeply into your own humanity that God becomes your servant. 

It's you, Billie, the Paraclete. Regardless of the impurities you committed in a life of addiction and sexual sorrow, your unadulterated devotion to Beauty uplifts you on spirit wings, and enfolds you in the Bridal Chamber of Christ's sacred heart.

Enough of holy icons and ecclesiastic symbols! This love is real, stretched out in troubled fallen bodies. Addicted to heroine and alcohol, in love with men who abused you, you beat up white sailors with your fists when they mocked your music in a Manhatten bar. You scalded racist hecklers with your gutter-ripened tongue. These were the disciplines that made you pure. And how could such impurities make you pure? Because you endured. You endured the suffering that redounded from each misdeed and offered that suffering to Art. 

In 1957, you and Lester Young performed for the last time together. You had been estranged, in fact, for a few years prior to that date: you could no longer stand to confront your own pain in each other's faces. On that day, you sang “Fine and Mellow” live on a CBS TV special called, "The Sound of Jazz." There is a moment in that performance which captures the entire history of Nuptial Mysticism, the tradition of the Lover and Beloved. For that brief moment in 1957, your eyes gazed back thousands of years through Christian, Jewish, Sufi and Hindu devotional poetry. The tearful radiance in your eye was the glance of Rumi toward the mystical Friend, the glance of Lalla Dev toward Krishna. It was the glance of the repentent harlot Israel, gazing at Lord Adonai, who accepted her back into his heart, according to the prophet Isaiah. It was the glance of the Magdalene toward her lover, Jesus. 

This is the glance that passes eternally from the Spirit to the Son in the secret embrace of the Holy Trinity. This glance streams from the Shekinah to Yahweh in mystical darkness before the first verse of Genesis is written in flames of black fire on the whiteness of an uncreated scroll. This glance binds creation back to Creator. Yet it is no more, and no less, than the gaze of Billie Holliday toward Lester Young. 

It's you, Billie. You bestowed this glance on Pres, your oldest friend, one-time lover, and spiritual companion in the terrors of dissolution, as he offered a solo during your song. That solo was a one-chorus blues prayer which jazz critics have called "the purest blues ever recorded": the aching heart redeemed through art, the deepest sins distilled, transfigured into unspeakable beauty. Through such secret alchemy, artist and saint have much in common, and we discover the religious quality of jazz. 

In love's glance, you redeemed your oldest friend. In Art, he redeemed you. And in that instant, the two of you were Radha-Krishna, Shekinah-Yahweh, Mary and Christ. 

Even God longs to receive such a glance from one human being brave enough to offer love in spite of pain. In spite of pain! Is that not why we are here? Would our love have substance in the unremitting happiness of heaven? In paradise our love would be a candle at noon. But a candle is only significant in the dark. 

Billie, it's you. Your gaze teaches us that our sufferings mean something, our sensual extravagance is but our first yearning for redemption, and our impurities are hidden prayers for transformation. When we are ready, when we are ripe as you, no matter what shames we carry in our breast, a single glance into the eye of the Beloved heals everything. The Church will never make you a saint, Billie. That's OK. Its none of their business. This affair is between you and God and earth's most fallen lovers.... 

Therefor, I who am most fallen pronounce you a saint. I declare your songs to be a new book in the canon of the Bible, which can never be closed until the heart is closed! And I say that if the Song of Songs is worthy of a place in scripture, then so are your songs.

Scripture says, "What ascends must first descend." You descended, Billie. Got way down. If God so loves a fallen sparrow, how much more God loves the blues. Your Blue Gospel teaches us three secrets: falling is resurrection; empty, we are filled; to surrender unconditionally to our human limits, is to transcend them.


Reader: this secret gospel has only one commandment. You must listen to the performance of “Fine and Mellow” from the ambrosial live '57 CBS program. Listen to Lady Day's blue bhajan. Listen to Pres’s tenor chant. See this jazz darshan, last meeting of estranged lovers in their moment of reconciliation. (Two years, and they would both be dead.) Watch her beat sacramental eyes as she listens to Pres's aching naked eulogy to lost love. The grace in his music glistening in the icon of her face. Then you will receive the Gnosis of divine union in a secret transmission beyond words and thoughts. Through the blues, you will know the eternal Love that pulses in the broken heart of Mary Magdalene.


Lester Young's solo is the second tenor sax solo in the following classic film.

Greeting the Goddess

The Goddess of Spring is passing through. Greet her with a breath of gratitude.
As you breathe in, open your crown to the sky, letting clouds, stars and full moon pour down through your nerves into the grail of your chest.

As you breathe out, let Winter go, melting, flowing through your marrow out through the soles of your feet, offered to fertilize Earth's dark loam.

Now with eyes hollow yet radiant as jewels, see your own pure awareness gleaming not only from within, but dew-sparkled on each swollen bud and blossom burst, and every particle-wave of robin song.

This is the ancient ritual called Greeting the Goddess, that you practiced often when you were eight months old.

Painting: Botticelli, detail, 'Allegory of Spring,' 1482

The Problem


The problem is
not the other
but our act
of othering.
The mind is stuffed
with knowledge,
but the heart is
not broken enough.
New wine, fresh tears
must burst this
chest wide open
until there is
no choice but love.
How do we know
that the heart is
truly broken?
There is no other.

Painting: Botticelli


We lovers spend
more and more
time watching
miracles burst through
the loam
of the ordinary,
a seed silently
exploding into its

still green fountain,
a trillium petal
crowning from its pink
womb bud,
unfurling that first
white breath
bathed in dew.

We attend the least

until we actually see
atoms and photons
dissolving back

into the eye

of God,
and we become so poor
in spirit 
we can't find
any difference

between the Kingdom
and a quark.
I've spent 10,000
lifetimes learning
this art of wonder.
Now I'm finally
a fool,
and I'm just going
to enjoy it.

'First Trillium' from Brambled Way


You can dream
countless worlds
without taking birth on them.
Don't fall into the story,
 including the story about
not having a story.
Then you will float on
the bubbling song
of emptiness,
frolicking with photons
and galaxies
in waves of silence.
O that delicious
illicit affair of One
trysting as Two!
Not that there is no I,
but that trillions of I's
dance and dissolve in
every ripple of the vacuum,
all of them crying,

It's All Energy

Dear friends, the real battle in this world-age is not left vs right, Democrat vs Republican, one class vs. another. The real battle is positive energy vs. negativity. And it isn't even a battle, but a blossoming.

Someday not far from now, we will marvel that our family was ever divided in the duality of 'white people' vs. 'people of color,' socialist vs. capitalist, native vs. foreigner; or that we ever let this mental chatter rend us from our bodily fellowship with soil, wind, sunlight and water.

We will marvel how we once bought into the notion that the best way to solve problems is to divide ourselves into two warring parties, and waste all our time and energy vilifying the "other side."

We will marvel how we ever believed that pain, rage, lust, and addiction were not our purest love in denser, more contracted forms of energy; or how we couldn't see the stranger as our own self, with an intriguing look in her eye. We will marvel that we once believed the way of Christ, the way of Buddha, the way of the Prophet, the way of Mother Kali, were not all dances of this flame in our heart, who is waylessly present always.

Why waste one more moment being trapped in concepts, getting hypnotized by political buzzwords, or draining our golden energy with blame? Breathe your source. Radiate your creation. Make what you love to do your revolution. Vow to be healed by the next human being you meet. And when in doubt, take off your shoes, walk in the wet grass.

Engraving by William Blake

Shaman Song

You saw the pure white light
of the great liberating Dharma Kaya.
Congratulations on your OBE.
But the animal guides were not impressed.
"Out of Body" doesn't dip their bread
in essence of elk marrow.
This is why the totem shark bites off your head,
an act of compassion to deliver you from concepts.
Freed from liberation,
you tumble back into embodiment.
Ruthlessly committed to not making you spiritual,
the Panther means business.
Your smell guides her back to the fire in your eggs
forcing you to flee, to wound your soles
in a moss-green discipline of hidden sticks
and devil’s club.
Why not let her devour you?
Spread the feast of your body on the forest floor.
You will survive
as ten thousand squirming creatures
blossoming from putrefaction.
But you are more than food.
She won't kill you.
She loves the chase, the tease of death,
She wants your paws to grow
voluptuous black callouses
to sense the Groundless.
Blessed are your feline familiars
who destroy, awaken, sting like nettles,
licking your thought-bones with fire and water.
Now a She-Serpent coils your loins,
squeezing your bowels to mimic
the ecstatic ambiguity of birth-ache.
Jesus had to learn this from the desert too.
He didn't just say, "be empty,"
he said,"eat my flesh."
Slither belly down, tangled in mycelia.
Share your roots with infernal fungi.
Are we who bleed not all one creature?
Be coyote cub mothered
between red cedar thighs.
Fast, pray, howl and shimmer
in the wine of starlight.
Be an elder-child, play wisely
with the talismans in your body:
thighbone whistle, womb drum,
juniper seed and vertebrae of mice
rattling in your polished skull,
Read yourself in runes
of liver and moon blood.
Trust no other nostrils:
the scent is everywhere.
Burst the chrysalis of disbelief:
no more cocoons.
Be the flame of this moment,
a tingling clit in baptismal dew,
orgasm of animal purity
spreading rainbows over the mountain.
Be wildered and whirled
in a snow-melt stream,
clattering angelic stones.
Then wash your body in black sod:
this world is the mystery.

Collage by Rashani Réa: click on it and look carefully
into the blackness at the bottom of the picture
Panther photo by @shaazjungphotography

Hint of Spring

Grateful for the warmth of the new Spring Sun, and for the gentle radiance in my chest ignited by the breath of the Friend. The star above is just a reflection of the Light within. The revolution is to breathe. The radical act is being present. The golden abundance of the human heart is shared equally by all.

Suture's In Love's Wound

You are not a victim,
but a creator.
You are not entitled,
but blessed.
No one owes you anything.
Don't blame the past.
The present is always
the first moment
of creation,
nameless and new.
Instead of asking, give
from the delicious fruit
of your gratitude.
Heal the earth
with this breath.


The subtlest abundance
is not wealth
but beauty.
The subtlest beauty
is not form
but the formless.
And the essence of all
that is most comely
is your Self,
whom you mistake
for another
and call 'God.'
Creatures are
only beautiful
because they catch a ray
from the diamond
of your own
pure consciousness.


Only when I
embrace what Is
with unconditional
does Life create
something new,
something powerful
through the grace
of my emptiness.
The bee does not
choose the flower.
The flower chooses
the bee.


A human is the saddest
of creatures
because this mind
hovers around
the body until
the moment of death
when finally
it is the body -
something the animal
knew all along
and tried to tell us
again and again
through the golden story
of its fur.


A mountain floating
in the sky.
A tiny blue flower
dragging the whole planet
toward the sun.
A child falling,
laughing, teaching
us to walk again.
The weightless
dancing creatures
lifting up
the heavy ones.


There is light in silence,
music in  the dark
and, strange as it may seem,
you are the spark
of all you sense
and all you see.
To love and to redeem
you even create me.

Painting: Detail from Cezanne


To scorch into ashes the Archons of Propaganda, the One from whose lips flows the fire of perfect silence is enthroned in your belly like the sun.
On her right hand sits mighty angel El Melchesadek proclaiming liberation from the Archon of the Corporate Monopoly.

On her left hand sits the mighty angel El Metatron proclaiming liberation from the Archon of the Socialist State.

Her lips breathe No Word, for She would rather hum than speak; yet She imbues all creatures with innate intelligence through her ineffable power of astonishment.

Yet from the wound in her breast spills the wisdom of 300 million voices, creating new worlds through an indecipherable calculus of soundless phonetic vibrations in the void, manifest as rapturous sighs, ecstatic murmurs, bijas of ananda, mantric tremors of emptiness.

Could one possibly transmute their hymn into our speech, this is what it must testify:

We are the voices of God.
We are the People.

We are
the birth pangs of Christ
and the anarchy of love.

Now is the Kairos,
our appointed time.

We sing only this moment.

We sing only this law:

Don't merely love one another.
Weep for one another.
Listen to one another's wounds,
they drip, they sing.
Laugh each other's laughter.

Dance each other's body
of desire.

Dissolve the political
into the personal.

The revolution is to breathe.
The radical act is being present.

Now is the hour to become
once again the Animal
of God who drinks
from the spring of attention
in the heart."

Painting: Goddess of Strength by Isabel Bryna


My true work begins
when I am forgotten,
especially by myself.
  Then I sink and dwell
in the kingdom of silence,

free of thought,
naked of care,
kissing the earth
and caressing the stars
with every breath of my heart.
It is the work of healing
our one, our only body.
Forget me.


I love to fall into the groundless. It is the greatest leap, the deepest adventure. Yet it can happen at any moment, wherever you are, when you let the mind dissolve into the vast space of the heart.

Only in that moment
when I have nothing,
want nothing,
become no-thing,
can I comprehend how
rich I Am,
how Being overflows
the edge of every cup,
and each breath kisses
the shores of this body
with a tidal wave
of grace.

O friend, true abundance
is to drown
in who you are.

Painting: JMR Turner, 'Seascape with Sea Monster,' 1845.
I admire this painting because, like most of Turner, it is at once realistic seascape and mystical expressionism. The 'monster of the deep' in the ancient Near East was 'Behemoth,' a name derived from the Sumerian as the Hebrew word 'Bohu.' This terrifying abyss, with is suggestion of the ancient beast, appears in the very first verses of the Bible as Tohu wa' Bohu: 'formless and void.' 'Tohu' also derives from the ancient Babylonian monster of chaos, named 'Tiamet.' So one who has the courage to enter the darkness of the void may first feel it as monstrous chaos, the realm of death and the Un-created. But as we continue to meditate we see that this ocean of no-thing, prior to creation, is the voluptuous titanic bliss of consciousness itself, prior to thought. 'Conquering' the dragon, one's heart possesses the vast immoveable jewel of sparkling formlessness.