This nation doesn't need socialism or capitalism. It needs to unfold its heart chakra. This nation won't be healed by anger or despair, but by moments of wordless gratitude. These are the moments when we see what is already free and open, the moments when we stop being 'left' or 'right,' and just plant seeds.


Surrender is
nothing fancy,
just unconditional
Surrender is not a technique,
but sinking
into the groundless heart
of love.
What I Am
not what I do.
There is no
business transaction
between "I" and "Thou"
where I agree to offer
and in return
Thou givest me bliss.
No, friend, ananda
is already your
surrendered nature.
The wave that truly
settles down into its Self
becomes the sea.
O Lord, when I surrender,
I will not even say,
"O Lord."
I will just say

Painting: Renoir, detail, Musée d'Orsay

Not Two

There is a Way. In Sanskrit it is called "Netti, netti," not this, not this. There is another Way. In New Testament Greek it is called "Panta hen panta," all in all. They are not different ways.

Approaching from opposite directions, two mystics met on a path and introduced themselves. One said, "I am not a Hindu, I am not a Christian, I am not a Muslim, I am not a Jew." The other said, "I am a Hindu, I am a Christian, I am a Muslim, I am a Jew." They wept and embraced like long lost friends, saying, "We meet on the same path."


In the land of truth
there is only one law:
Mind your own business.
What is your business?
The quality of your heart.
All that you know, all that you do,
all that you are,
depends upon the quality
of your heart.
Mind the heart
and the world will flower,
making honey through you.
Impose no religion
or utopia
on another.
Just tend your garden
which contains the seeds
of all gardens.
Dear friend,
mind your own business.
Mind the heart.


Perhaps our flaws and contradictions are the fault lines that draw the shape of our character, and our efforts to erase or improve them actually efface the perfect uniqueness of the person we are. If so, the supreme virtue is self-forgiveness.

Collage with my words by Rashani Réa


A Friend isn't someone who listens again and again to your story of suffering, and tells you how important it is. A Friend is someone who listens once, carefully, then shares the beauty of this breath, sweeping sorrow from the heart. When your story dissolves into a smile that floats up to your face from a silence deeper inside you than your memory, then know a Friend is near.

Never Doubt

Never doubt that you are
who you want to be,
because you're not.
You're much more.
Become the unexpected.
Dazzle yourself by stumbling,
falling, dancing upside down.
Forget your lines.
Be opposite,
a spiritual juggler feeling
sad, angry, ecstatic
all at the same time.
Celebrate the stain
of contradiction
on your white shirt.
Ride into the wedding
on a huge red dog
smelling like a Democrat,
scattering bankers.
That's what Jesus would do.
Sense your own skin
as lover.
Listen to the fool who says,
"You've been seeking the One
you already are."
Attain nobility
in the heart-crushing softness
of this breath.
The green earth kisses
a boundless sky
through your body.
Learn the wisdom of forgetting
from a small blue broken egg.
Everything has been
You deserve a caramel apple.
So does the worm.
Here's the sign
of progress on the path -
you're not as
perfect this morning
as you were yesterday.


There has never been a day
when the world was not filled
with sorrow.
There has never been a day
when the world was not filled
with joy.
By means of this breath
return to the ordinary.
Find perfect sanity in a dandelion.
Let the immaculate sun
shine at the center
of every tear.

Collage by Rashani Réa


The shortest simplest path to the Source of all energy, divinity and bliss is to stop thinking, right this instant.

Which doesn't mean, get rid of your thoughts, or concentrate against them - for the effort to concentrate against thoughts or to make the mind a blank is merely another concept.

It means, let thoughts come or go without Doing them. You are not your thoughts. To witness this is the beginning and end of the way.

Just be awake inside, underneath your thoughts. Your woke Being is unbound by any concept, political or religious. You are free, formless, dynamically and forever expanding, yet settled effortlessly in the self-luminous heart, the hridaya chakra.

Every nerve in your body thrills with the pulse and vibration of the radiant Sun in your heart, who is the very light of stillness. And each cell of your flesh smiles without a face.

Not that you suddenly dissolve into this freedom, as if a state of ignorance has changed into a state of knowledge, for such a transformation means an end and a beginning, whereas Reality has no beginning, no end, no duration, no change. And no other condition has ever existed but This. Wake into awareness, and the Way is without distance.

Every form, both in the mind and the world, in heaven or on earth, has arisen from the infinite dancing faceless Smile in whom you bathed before you were born. That Smile is now.

Go outside and walk in the wet grass. Let your bare feet teach you what these words only point to.


"May all beings be happy, and know the cause of happiness." ~Sutra on the 4 Immeasurables
What is the cause of happiness? What is the cause of suffering?

My life is a mess. I believe I must strive for a state called "everything is OK." This is suffering.

My life is a mess, and it's OK, because a mess is all there is. This is the end of suffering.

From a mess I came. To a mess I will return. The world is a mess, the cosmos a hot mess cooling down. And because a mess is all there is, it is incomparably pure.

We were angels. We longed to be born in this mess. Why?

Because only when we collapse into unconditional vulnerability is love possible.

Now be a mess, and be happy.

Climate Action

We live in each others
back yard.
When I throw trash away,
where is "away"?
Your home, your water, your air.
We don't need billions of dollars
to grow the bureaucracy.
We need billions
of little deeds done
with boundless Presence.
Extend common courtesy
to moths and bees.
Don't use Round-Up
or plastic.
Don't eat animals
grazed in ruined forests.
Plant a tree.
Plant another tree.
Fund parks.
Invest in green businesses
and organic farms.
Unleash a renaissance
of the small and local.
Begin with the climate
inside you.
One silken thread of joy
runs through every breath
from your belly to your crown.
Catch hold of it!
Be the fuse that connects
a maggot to the sun.
Immerse your heart
in the fire of silence
and purify the earth.
Now open your eyes.
Taste and see
that it is good.
Your gaze is the Creator.

Moments that Build the Soul

A fleeting apprehension of the Beautiful bears more weight than Mount Meru. A brushstroke of our gaze against the last petal of Autumn, sparkle of attention at the owl's lament from a hemlock grove, homecoming to the miracle of a breath.

These are the sacraments in the ordinary of the seasons. They stir a depth in us that resonates forever, whereas the contraction of  fear or worry, or the shudder of despair, are momentary shadows external to the soul, with no seed in the stillness of our Being.

The soul is Beauty itself, and it is never nourished by doubt, guilt, anxiety or blame. The soul is formed by those small moments when we are deeply happy. Joy is eternal, unhappiness a mirage. Be a flame, rooted in the ground of wonder.

What of the "dark night of the soul?" Is there no dignity in suffering?

Pain is in the present moment. There is profound dignity in the way pain focuses our awareness. Pain, awful as it is, can be a gateway to Presence. But when our mind maintains a commentary about the pain, building a story of "me" around it, then pain becomes "suffering." Pain is present; suffering is about the past and future.

We are free to make a romance of our suffering as long as we choose to. Some of us identify so thoroughly with thoughts of shame, despair, victimhood and resentment, we are afraid to let them go. Letting go of negative thoughts, if we have identified with them, means letting go of the story of "me," and feels like death. To plunge into the void beyond the mind is annihilation, and not for the faint of heart.

This is what Christian mystics like St. John of the Cross meant by "the dark night of the soul." The dark night is not negative thought or feeling in the mind, but the negation of the mind itself.

"Dark night" in Christianity is precisely what the Buddhist means by "anatta," no self. And this sublime emptying of the self - "kinosis" in New Testament Greek - is the heart of Presence.


It's a privilege
to receive a human birth,
no matter what color your skin is.
It's a privilege
to be born on earth,
no matter what species you are.
It's a privilege
to take this breath,
filled with atoms that were breathed
by Buddha, by Jesus, by Mohammad,
by every human body.
There is only one breath.

There is only one Earth family.
Cherish this privilege
with joy.

Art by Vladimir Ovtcharof