I plunge into the dark
ocean of midnight
knowing I will emerge
in the blood of another
much like this one but
wet and sparkling
with birth.

Photo: dolphin in the womb from
Nature Heaven


Every night, Jesus prays to you.
'Let the pain of Mary's womb
be kneaded
into the taste of this bread,
freshly baked in the oven
of your body.'
The Shaman bows at your feet
murmuring, 'You are the best medicine.'
And what does Buddha confess?
'My past lives are as fallen leaves
swept away
by your gentle exhalation.'
Counting beads of memory
will only sabotage the sacrament
of Presence,
defiling your sacred relationship
with the ordinary.
Why feast on your wound
when your nature is healing?
Why worship dreams
in the ancient temple of trauma?
Love's story happens now.
Beauty requires
only one silent breath
of attention.
In your Wintry heart
what cannot die or be born
has tenderly swollen, purple
as the nipple on a naked twig,
the coming plum.

Hello Ram Dass

Hello, Ram Dass. Welcome home. Thank you for all those times we sat in sat-sang all afternoon and all evening. I was in college and you always stopped there on your way back from India. You were the first one who taught us to chant, and to honor pure Presence. You told stories about your infinite Friend wrapped in his blanket. You opened the fountain in our chests. Then we were silent for long golden rivers of now. You made it so safe and eloquent to laugh at ourselves, at the whole wondrous joke of seeking what we already have. I hope you've met Willy there, which is here, in the rays of the Heart. I love you.


She is immaculate silence,
the fecundity of night.
She gives birth to fire
before its conception.
Her void is moist with stars
yet She who cradles them all
has become your breath.
Don't strive for the light.
Just let your darkness
be a manger.

Is She not the wine
between your thoughts?

Now drink
and be the mother
of your own heart.

Painting: 'Adoration' by Gerrit Van Honthorst, b. 1592

Light of the Body: A Solstice Meditation

Jesus said, "The Eye is the light of the body. If your Eye is one, your whole body will be filled with light (Mat 6:22)." He did not take human birth to reveal a path out of the flesh, but to glorify God in the flesh. What are we made of? Subtler than a photon, finer than the fleetest quark, each particle of our blessed matter is a wave of unbounded Christ Consciousness.

Meet Me Here

There's a milky fractal
landscape of infinitesimal stars
between violet frost wings
where my galaxy of attention
briefly catches like a thistle thread.
I cluster here,
white whorls of no other.
As you can see,
degrees of magnitude dissolve
in wonder.
Every creature pours its cream
into another's cup.
Earth is a kind of overflowing,
our eyes already filled
with what they might see,
eggs containing their
golden selves without breath.
Meet me here
before any thing.

Mad Poem After Meditation

The nectar of contentment
flows up your stem,
opening golden petals
here, in your chest.
Don't you know that
the seeds of the world
come from the jewel of silence?
They are scattered dancing
reflections of your face
when you choose beauty,
when you breathe the wondrous
un-created energy you Are.
Now let your fragrance fill
the space between the stars.

Neti, Neti

Be more and more
like the Moon.
Though her reflection
is sometimes whole
and sometimes broken
by these trembling waters
She is always still
and radiant in the sky
of true emptiness.
She doesn't keep repeating,
"I am not the pond,
I am not the pond."
She just gazes.

Christmas Buddha Moon

At the full moon in December
Buddha celebrates the birthday of Jesus.
At the full moon in May
Jesus celebrates the birthday of Buddha.
They meet in mid-March
outside of Topeka, Kansas
hitchhiking on route 75
slamming each other with verses
from the next book of Revelation:
"You changed water to Ayahuaska
made from celestial poppy stars
and drank all seven jars!"

"Your mind is a neon bubble of no-thing!"
"Don't get wasted on martyrdom!"
"Moderation will get you nowhere!"
"Nothing wrong with a clean shave, Rebbe!"
"What's with the belly, Tattagatha?"
"The Milky Way is my frisbee!"
"I churn God's anger into ghee!"
"I remember more lives than sand grains in the desert!"
"All the information in the cosmos in one weird quark
of my hemoglobin!"

"The sea turtle with the elephant on its back
carrying the world in his tusks
swims in the ocean of my emptiness!"
"I have ten thousand arms bearing swords of un-knowing,
ten thousand eyes seeing through wounded black holes,
ten thousand mouths all shouting Neti Neti!"
By now, like all truth tramps, they are hungry.
Throwing their arms over each others shoulders,
they swagger into Happy Jack's Diner
where they bang on the counter, laughing beyond
control and shouting, "See that apple pie?

We want the whole thing!"
Happy Jack's wife, Thelma,
silences them with a smile.
"I know, boys," she says, "I know."
Then she suckles them from her boundless
transcendent black bosom of grace.


Dear friend, my christmas tree does not depress you. Your own mind depresses you. My happiness does not make you anxious. Your own mind makes you anxious. It is not my duty to tiptoe over the earth trying not to trigger you. You can avoid much suffering if you refrain from ascribing intent. Please discriminate between the intentions of others and your own reactions. This is true forgiveness. Discriminate between the actual world and the feelings that arise in you about it. This is true Vairagya, non-attachment. Only then can you sink deeper and discover that your nature is peace, your breath is love.

Winter Journey

Slow down, walk softly, go nowhere. When you spend a little while just walking in the silence of Winter, with no other purpose but caressing the ground, each footfall, like snow, makes the earth more sacred. You step into a new dimension, the dimension of the Ordinary, leaving a trail of miracles.

Painting by Andrew Wyeth, who said, "I prefer Winter and Fall, because then you can feel the bone structure of the landscape."

You Choose

Earth was created so that creatures could say 'thank you.' The angel is not so lucky, serving without choice, like God's crystal wristwatch. But you may take the form of a bee or a rose, a seed or a furrow. You might become a flame or a wick, a nipple or a baby's lips. You choose. Remain a grape, or get crushed into wine. Be the stranger at the door, or the host who says, 'Welcome friend, come drink and get warm, then tell me your name.' The part you play in this world doesn't really matter, as long as you dissolve into a golden arrow, shooting upward, returning your portion of light to the fountain of stars.

The Power To Be

"Which of you, by worrying, can add one inch to your stature?" ~Jesus, Mat 6:27

The power to Be without the compulsion to Do, to Be in the world without anxiously trying to fix or manipulate it, is itself a transforming earth-healing act.

Far from passivity, the act of Being is the stillness that spins galaxies, creating stars. In the past, only a few yogis, hermit monks, and crazy zen masters knew this secret. Now the secret is open, and many are realizing themselves as the Witness.

Much of the present world turmoil is the phase transition that occurs as energy settles into a new quantum state. The karma of chaos has been loosed and won't be 'fixed.' One can either increase the chaos through worrying about it, participating in it, and trying to clear the muddy water by stirring it up, or one can witness the chaos from the innermost core of Being.

We must understand once and for all that the Witness is not the thinking mind, but the unbounded Silence beyond thought. This pure act of witnessing, from the field of transcendental Silence, smooths the path of evolution and hastens the transition for everyone.

We witness from the very state of peace into which the world is inexorably settling, which means that the Witness already watches from the age to come, and Is the future, while the doer of chaos has already fallen into the past.

Then what to do? Nothing extraordinary. Simply perform the sacrament of your ordinary work, whatever your work may be, along with regular meditation to establish awareness in Being.

The mother who is settled in Being does as much for the earth by darning her children's socks, as the angry protester who marches in the street. It is a great ignorance to imagine that one person's actions are more important than another's, simply because they are more political, more religious, or more lucrative.

Being, not doing, harmonizes, heals, purifies, and unites. Being is love. Right doing will flow out of Being as the fragrance flows from the flower. When awareness is rooted in Being, then the simpless act we perform releases the fragrance.

Though your mind may argue otherwise, never forget that peace is your very nature, love is your breath, silence the power beneath your words and deeds.

One Petal

If I praise one petal of a pascal flower, bow to a ball of goat's fur tangled in alpine aster, or beg the intercession of a moth disguised as blue lupine, I am worshiping the Creator of All. The complete Word of God speaks through a blossom of columbine, and the passion of Christ is the ripening of a huckleberry. If I cannot grasp the Revelation of a bumble bee on a flower of Indian Paintbrush, what use are books of scripture?

Photo: Our beloved Mount Tahoma (Rainier)

Dark Angels

Kiss your demons and they will turn into dark angels. Drive your dark angels away and they will return as demons.

Lust is not a demon but a dark angel filled with un-created star nectar. Anger is not a demon but a dark angel filled with healing fire. Grief is not a demon but a dark angel who carries an ocean of love in her jar. Depression is not a demon but a dark angel whose river of wisdom runs deep under the earth. Addiction? No, not a demon but a dark angel bearing gifts of empathy and compassion on her broken wings.

If you do not bow to your dark angels they possess you, and you must act them out. But if you bow to them they breathe through the numb places in your estranged body. Then your cells and atoms start singing, and your dark angels dissolve into the energy of awakening. You possess Them.

A true teacher will not divorce you from your dark angels. A true teacher will inspire you to bow down to them, and taste the wine of night.

Become the dark. That is surrender. Let your heart be an empty womb. Only then can you give birth to the light of Christ.

Pathless Pilgrim

Be a pilgrim, but be a pathless pilgrim.

Every real pilgrimage is a journey to the same place, the place where I Am. Whether I make the haj to the Kaaba stone, or a journey to Jerusalem, Benares, Arunachala or Machu Picchu, whatever holy mountain, sacred river or saint's shrine I choose for my destination, it is always the journey of a single breath, from my lips to my heart.

The same is true of our journey to the goal of "enlightenment." Yet being pathless does not mean abandoning our sadhana, our daily spiritual practice. It means that there is no "ahead" or "behind." Measuring "progress" in relation to some future destination has no spiritual meaning. Everything happens now.
On the basis of human appearance, no one can determine whether this person is "more advanced" than that person - which is why Jesus said, "Judge not, lest ye be judged." God sees something totally different on the inside of us than others see on the outside.

I have witnessed people of the most diligent faith and moral rectitude who, upon initiation into meditation, experienced nothing at all for years, if indeed they had the humility and patience to continue the practice. And I have witnessed others coming right out of addiction, depression, violent emotion and extreme sensuality, who experienced all heaven burst upon them at the moment of initiation. Bliss from their ancient human core gushed up from the heart, because they were so ripe.

Meditation Is Not Thinking

Meditation is not thinking. Meditation is awakening the boundless space that contains thinking. In the silence of no-clinging and no-resistance, thoughts arise and dissolve like clouds in the blue sky. And the more you become this clear blue-sky of awareness, the more spaciousness you enfold in every neuron, ever cell of your body. Your silence imbibes the luminous Shakti of darkness, whose energy created the cosmos in her womb. Whatever may be your outward task, this is your inward duty: give birth to the Light.

Rumi Said

Rumi said, there is some kiss
we all want, the kiss
of spirit on flesh.
I say, there is some garden
where your breath meets
the Lover.
I can't lead you to
this green place because
you are already there.
But I can tell you
that if you are awake
all seven poppies
burst open at once,
each a sunrise
in your body.

Rest Here Before a Thought Arises

Rest in the living silence of possibility, before a single thought is born. This is the space where wonder discovers how to love. It is not the numb stillness of sleep, nor the brutal stillness of self-control, nor the "mindfull" stillness of any discipline. The grace of true silence cannot be practiced. It simply is.

Silence is the rippling surface of eternity, where time arises as a playful afterthought. This silence is the threshold between form and the formless, between creature and Creator. The pause at the center of every pulsation, of a galaxy or a photon, it is the axial momentous eternal ayin-soph between day and night, Winter and Spring, exhalation and inhalation, the slicing scimitar of now.

Medieval Christian philosophers called this living silence "synderesis," or "pure intellectual soul." Thomas Aquinas told us that the synderesis dwells "on the borderline between time and eternity."

Indian philosophers called it "ritam bhara pragyam," the luminous field of intuition where all knowledge is condensed, and all history is available in this present moment. "Ritam" is not a thought, but the field whence intellect arises, prior to thinking. It is our inmost seed, where pure consciousness ceaselessly breathes forth the soul.

In the field of "ritam" we can apprehend anything in the universe, knowing all "about" it without knowing the details, because the diversity and duration of the entire cosmos exists here as a timeless singularity, a point within our pure awareness.

The poet Emily Dickinson wrote, "Dwell in possibility." She was inviting us to repose in "ritam."

Quantum physics also describes this silent field of infinite potential, where no-thing may become anything. The "quantum vacuum" pulsates with virtual photons of light and virtual electrons of energy, particles that are and are not. These "fluctuations of the vacuum" are stirrings of pure possibility, defined in mathematical terms as "probability-waves." What we call "matter" is made of nothing else but these vibrations of possibility in the silence of pure consciousness.

At any instant, one of these immaterial waves may burst out of emptiness as the finest particle, or as a new universe. These dimensionless monads are the "sparks of creation" described by Jewish Kabbala, and the primordial "atoms" (amatu) defined by Vedic philosophy. Our bodies contain countless hosts of these sparks as photons of light. Yet because they are holographic, each spark contains all the information of the universe.

The total sum energy of the possibility-field is zero, but at any infinitesimal point within it, the energy is infinite. That is why the nothingness at the center of a black hole is simultaneously the densest "thing" in creation, a monad containing cosmic information. This omnisciently dense point of no-thing at the center of a black hole, is also the subtlest graviton in the heart of matter. Which means that each point in space contains the universe, as pure knowledge.

All ancient creation stories explain, in symbolic imagery, how something comes from nothing, what the Church fathers called "creation ex nihilo." The first verses of the Hebrew Bible declare that, when God creates the heavens and the earth, the earth is tohu wa bohu, "formless and void." The same vocabulary we find in Buddhism: "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form." Whether the religion is Biblical or Buddhist, the truth always comes back to the void, and this same void in the creation stories of the world's religions is the "vacuum state" of energy in the creation story of modern physics.

Is the "vacuum state" of quantum physics synonymous with consciousness?

We can answer this question with a logical argument. Can there be two voids, an inner void and an outer void? Can there be two entities that are infinitely abstract? Of course not. Pure abstraction contains no duality. Voidness must be an indivisible singularity. Emptiness is absolutely empty.

Therefor what Buddhists call "sunya," the emptiness of no-mind; what Yogis call "samadhi," thought-free awareness; must be precisely the same void as the vacuum of quantum physics. Mind and matter both arise from one matrix: an insight not only shared by all the ancient mystics, but by the most brilliant modern physicists.
"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter."
~Max Planck
When, through transcendental deep meditation, we allow our awareness to settle into this primordial matrix of no-thing, we return to the source of creation. Here in the ripples of awakened silence we feel the whole cosmos forming out of formless awareness. This is not only the thrill felt by God "in the beginning," but by every meditator, and by every artist or poet at the moment of creation. The world is on the tip of your tongue.


Thoughts are brilliant zeros
whirling after a 1.

Meditation is the hollow

in all of them.
Whatever spins, spins in you.
Don’t be this restless intellect.
Be the space through which
it wanders.
Be the green journey
of a spiraling seed
into the death of its flower.
Past and future are only 
the shimmer of now.
The glittering chaos

of memory and desire
are as changing clouds
in a distant sunset.
Watch them in silence.
There is great beauty
in beholding the turmoil
of your mind.
Keep re-emerging
as the blue sky.
This is the color of wonder.


There are no
advanced practitioners
of the present moment.
We're all beginners

Sumi-e by Mariusz Szmerdt

Winter Path

The practice of Winter
requires no effort.
Simply do not fear
the hollow place.
Be thankful for
what's left in the gourd,
for the gift of withering,
your open palm,
your persimmon cheeks.
Find another word for "emptiness."
Look for husks, pods,
bright crinkled faces
in the Void.
Those who visit this world
report that it is a planet of chaff,
rind, stretch marks, scar tissue.
Everyone here must break open,
wear a gash on the belly,
reveal the bewildering sweetness
of their fruit.
And where does this nectar seep?
Into the soul.
And where is the soul?
In thirst.
If you can't find passion
in the land of disappointment,
be ardent about this breath.
Fall in love with your next inhalation
as with the first gasp
of a newborn foal.
Softly attend your sigh
as if it were your mother's,
and her last.
Whatever is delicious,
whatever is astonishing,
whatever brings piquant
and savory tears,
ripens and dies now.