No matter where
you look,
all you will ever see
is the glow from
your own chest.
Is it covered with
the stain of yesterday,
the dust of
Polish the window
of the heart, dear friend.
Pour out the light
of your true nature.
The rose does not go
looking for a famished
honeybee to feed.
She simply rests
in her center.
Her fragrance
accomplishes everything.


Photo by my dear friend, Kristy Thompson

Just Stop Contracting

Suffering is the effort to contract the boundless into an 'i.' Why shrink awareness into 'my' awareness?
Whether in pain or pleasure, in solitude or in the marketplace, just stop contracting awareness.
The effort to enclose consciousness in a separate "i" strains not only our minds but our bodies. We show this strain in our faces, especially around our eyes. It cannot be hidden. We love to gaze into the eyes of children because their faces are so open, so free of constraint, reminding us of a time before our effort began, when "am" was self-sufficient, without "i."
We do not superimpose the ego onto awareness, as if it were something else. Ego is simply the futility of shrinking and confining what is by nature boundless and free. 
Liberation is the natural condition. Therefor "i" is an unnatural act, a violation of divine law, and a self-inflicted wound. "i" is the Fall, the original sin. "i" is separation from God. Yet this exile is totally self-imposed. And because "i" is actually impossible, the effort to contract what is unbounded is the seed of every sorrow.
Abiding in the grace of the Effortless gives the universe permission to perform miracles.

Photo: Broome Sunset Camel Rides, Australia

Heart Sutra

Through twilight's brief
false February warmth

your little green spirit guide
is calling,

"thank you, farewell!"

as he makes his holy pilgrimage 

from the dahlia pot on
your back porch

to a golden skunk cabbage

in the wetland

to join the amphibian chorus
in pure terraqueus delight,

one quaver in the emerald Sangha,

rehearsing their old favorite

for the April concert.

O Dharma seeker, do not form

a concept of True Emptiness,

but empty your mind

of all concepts

and just listen, just listen!

Then you might remember

the heart sutra,  Earth's

original anthem of Spring:
"Love is Wiser than a Raindrop’s Kiss

and Sadder than Sunrise in a Mist of Roses

when You Are Nothing

but a Frog.”


Photo: Kunito Imai



The crisis is not covid, climate change, racism, sexism, or capitalism. Those are symptoms, not causes. We simply forgot how to connect the soul to the body. Mind got in the way. The radical act is being present. The revolution is to breathe. The goal is singing for no reason. I learned this from a thrush at six a.m.

This Is Love

The Self is not selfish. One seamless breath mothers the world. Awareness is a womb embracing pain and beauty, ever unborn. Nothing actually happens. And nothing actually exists or does not exist: it is simply dissolving. This moment, containing earth, moon and stars, is like the reflection of a flame in a mirror just as the flame goes out. Mirror and image don't cling to each other. Enfolding the entire past and future, your emptiness is like a mirage floating on the clear desert sky. In that vast space, some spider-wise intelligence spins a web of consciousness whose single thread has no beginning or end. Are you the space or the silk? Perhaps space itself is woven out of that silk, and the silk is woven out of space. There can only be one problem: resisting what Is. Whatever exists, right now, its very Is-ness is perfect freedom. You do the work of redeeming, healing, and re-creating the entire cosmos when you unconditionally welcome all that happens as your Self. This is Love.

Mystic Activism


You say you are a "mystic," but mere silence is not enough. You say you are an "activist," but mere action is not enough. You need to touch the non-doing at the first moment of creation, the motionless source of all that whirls. You need to feel the rhythm in the void, the wave-nature of your emptiness. Let the Word arise where one breath dissolves into another, so that you may speak God's radical authentic thunder, rooted in seedlessness. Let every sweet atom of your lethal dance spin out of the vacuum, beating the heart of the world.

Painting by Mahmoud Farshchian


I offer a new verb: 'to selve.'

It means to finally be You. To be what you love, and love what needs doing, and do it as no one else can.

No guru teaches you to selve, just as no parent taught you to walk. To selve, you must abandon the notion that the universe expects you to act in accord with somebody else's rules. Selvers follow no role model or mythic archetype. They abandon the words "as" and "like."

You cannot selve "as" anyone who came before you: neither Sakyamuni, nor Mohammad, nor the Guru, or Jesus. In fact, the great way-showers all selved. Then they taught, "If you want to know God, you too must selve. But you cannot selve as me. You must selve as you."

Only in the present moment can you selve, and only in a state of wonder. When you do something beautiful and say, "I have no idea how this happened! I didn't do it!" you have selved.

Selvers do not seek the "Self." If the verb of selving ever came to rest in the noun of Self, you would be dead. Selving is energy: Self is an abstraction. You are not here to attain a state of being: you are here to be.

Selve a chef, a carpenter, a yoga teacher, a janitor, a warrior, a nurse, or an investment banker. In the art of selving, there is no superior or inferior status, no better or worse. There is but authenticity.

No one selves cruelty. No one selves dishonesty. No one selves selfishness. Those are the malfunctions of the unselved. When you truly selve, you only love.

As for Christ, Krishna, Buddha, Guru: these are just names we give to people who have selved with wild abandonment. Every moment they lived, they were bewildered by themselves.

Quantum Strangeness

Here's another secret of quantum strangeness from the annals of the quark. All events, as to their quiddity, are equally significant.

The daring leap of a tree frog from the spigot of your garden hose, to her sanctuary in a pot of begonias, is as important as the birth of a new political party, or an earthquake in Brooklyn.
The universe is not just as you see it, but as the frog sees it. Your attention magnifies a breath of August breeze into a hurricane; but for the frog, all human catastrophes are as weightless clouds in a distant sky. They pass soundlessly overhead.

Why do you assume that your chief concern should be mine? The liberal wants to convince me, the conservative wants to convert me. Neither allows me to create myself. But that is one task I can do better than anyone else. Let me follow the wondrous river of my own interest over all its rocks, through the rough waters of responsibility and consequence, and I will learn my lesson much better than you can teach me.

A Greek philosopher said, 'Be kind: everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.' A Jewish carpenter said, 'Judge not, lest ye be judged.' Here's another piece of advice: if you want to see radical transformation in humanity, stop trying to change each other.

Have you ever walked the labyrinth? One who seems closest to the goal may suddenly find their way veering far off. When two pilgrims pass, they don't know who is nearing the center, and who is drifting further from it. Compassion is precisely this not knowing. All they can do is bow.

In truth, you are not a pilgrim in a maze. You are the labyrinth itself. You are the whole entanglement, with room in your lost heart for all who wander, pathless strangers, ancient friends.

Secret of Guru Purnima

Now that it's midnight
I'll tell you a secret.
You are the candle,
God is the moth.

May your evening meditation weave the stems of Chandra Nadi and Surya Nadi, the lunar nerve and solar nerve around your spine, into flower offerings for your Guru.

Tonight is Guru Purnima, full moon of July, full moon of the Guru. And who is the Guru? Not the one with 10 million devotees, or only 10. Not the one with a beard and white robe, or the one in blue genes. Not the one who is brown or the one who is white. Not the one who gives you a mantra, or the one who gives you a kiss.
The real Guru is the one who awakens the radiance of Guru-tattva, the Guru Principle, in the core of your own heart. Filled with that radiance, freedom, and bliss, you begin to see Gurudev in the eyes of every stranger, every foreigner, every shelter dog, every cricket. You scent the Guru at the center of the rose.

And it is to this Guru who awakens the diamond Self that I bow down, offering my silent gentle teacher a garland of braided blossoms, flowers of moonlight and sunlight, spiraling up the trellis of my vegus nerve. This Guru does not draw me to some distant ashram or exotic garden, but turns my own body into a garden, my mind into the clear blue sky, my breath into the name of God. Jai Guru Dev.

Rose by Kristy Thompson, of course

Three Miracles

Begin the day

with three miracles.

Savor your first inhalation.

Honor your heartbeat.

Let pure attention crystalize

the diamond silence

between your eyebrows.

You will break open

like a ripe seed, and the earth

will flower out of you.

Raindrops, wind, and pebbles

will do the rest.

Your feet will skip like leaves

on the asphalt

because no path is needed.

When you hear a sparrow sing

your heart will fall in love again,

I promise.

Very well then, don’t choose.

You have eight billion lovers.

The faces of strangers will look

so familiar, because they repose

in the one who is looking,

like reflections resting

on a clear mirror.

Something like braided sunbeams

will twirl up your spine,

spilling over, amber as the stuff

in Mary’s womb.

Now drink up the rest of this day

and squander the Kingdom!

Nothing can be ordinary

if you start your morning

with the miracle

of this breath.

Sword of Manjushri

If you call this whirlpool
of stars in your heart
"the soul,"
it becomes a shadow
searching for echoes.
If you call this ocean of succulence
"the flesh,"
it turns to stone in the dark
gravity of otherness.
Shall you name it "love,"
this sky where our bodies
dissolve like mist into each other?
Then we are jolted in two,
and out of hoarse silence rains
a voice of cinders.
Use your scripture for kindling.
Toast the commandments
in the fire of your chest.
No more gold-enameled seeds,
each containing a "should."
Have the courage to slice off
"thou shalt not"
right at the throat with a single
stroke of the blazing sword
of emptiness.
Nothing is buried under the ashes
but more ashes.
After the conflagration,
fresh green gestures of
careless caring will arise
as a fragrance distilled
from lost roses in the marrow
of your bones.


Photo: Manjushri Buddha


As You Awaken

As you awaken, just before
the mind of yesterday comes down

like a net of stones behind your eye,
be weightless, be presence

without the fairytale about your fall

into this world.

Be how your soul looks in its own

mirror, what gets you out of bed,
trembling like a wild purple iris

in the breath of dawn.
It doesn’t matter at all
what you will do for a living today.
The priceless jewel is just living.
It doesn’t matter at all how much

money you will make today.
Your body is more precious

than sunlight, your sternum

beaten from finer gold.
Whether you feed the multitudes
today, or only wash the dishes
makes no difference at all.
What matters is to plunge
down the stem of this unfolding

flower, and follow the moonlight

in your backbone
all the way Om to silence,

melting your stone wound,
dispelling the mirage of sorrow

in the desert clarity, the empty sky

of your heart.

Don’t you know that you can save the planet

just by being awake?
Love doesn’t need a story.

The Choice


If you want a bitter
seedless life,
just keep identifying your
self as the victim.
Just keep
blaming others
for your circumstance.
But if you want your
heart to melt into
the impeccable splendor
of the golden sun
and illuminate the earth
with courage,
take off the cloak
of your old story.
Step naked
through the portal
of the present moment
into a kingdom
where darkness sparkles
and silence sings,
because there is
no judgment,
and fear is swallowed up
in Love.

Prayer Of The Heart


When I was eight years old

I bought five pet turtles

with soft green shells,

each of them no bigger

than my thumb,

from the basemen of J. J.

Newberry's Department Store

before it went out of business.

One morning in early March,

unseasonably warm,

when I thought it was Spring,

I tried to do something good.

I did not know what good is then,

nor do I now,

but I wanted to perform

a secret sacrament

and return them to

the heart of nature.

So I took my five

green turtles down

to the creek in the woods

behind my friend Wendy's house

and let them go.

I remember I could hold them

all in the palm of my hand.

I watched them swim away

in the freezing water

and thought they would be free.

But I felt strange,

I still feel strange,

I still don’t know what good is,

what nature is.

Blessed Mary, Mother of God,

have mercy on me.

Holy Spirit, Breath of God,

forgive me,  

yet breathe me

even now.

To Bow

To exist is to bow. Each creature bows to another - the mineral to the plant, the plant to the animal, the animal to the human, the human to the angels and Eloihim. Summer bows to Autumn, Autumn to Winter, Winter to Spring. The moon bows to the earth and the earth to the sun. The stars remain in the majesty of their orbits and spheres by bowing. Of course, there is only one creature in all the universe who refuses to bow: the man. Humans think that, by clinging to their separateness, they are free, and bowing is bondage. Until our suffering brings us to surrender into the mystery of wholeness. Then we realize that to bow is liberation...
For many lifetimes I bowed to the one who shines above me with the splendor of ten thousand suns. The Christos, the Savior, the Avatar. Yet this was not the complete bow. It was an act of worship, and worship still implies some separation. There is still an "i" in this bow, bowing to an "other." Such a bow brings the aura of protection and salvation. It is a safe bow.
But after many lives, I was ready for another bow, a bow that embodies no separateness at all. This is not the bow of worship, but the bow of infinite gratitude, the bow of union. Only when I was ready for this bow did the Guru appear in my life. One doesn't seek the Guru: the Guru shows up when one is ready to dissolve in the bow of freedom.
No longer do I bow to one who shines above me with the splendor of ten thousand suns. I bow to one who awakens the splendor of ten thousand suns in the core of my own heart. Jai Guru Dev.

What Not To Carry

This Sabbath morning I
breathe back to you the blame
you heaped upon me.
Then I breathe back
into my heart the blame
I heaped upon you.
When we blame, we only
give away our power.
Now is the time for us
to possess nothing
but our own lives,
to take back our power
by blaming no one,
not even ourselves.
Forgiveness only happens
in the present moment.
This is how we create
a new earth.
I will not carry
your wounds for you.
You will carry your own
until they pour starlight
into my eyes and
heal the blindness.
You will not carry
my wounds for me.
I will carry my own
until they pour moonlight
into your eyes and
heal the blindness.
Jesus will not carry
our wounds for us.
We will carry
our own wounds
until they sing one flood of fire
and the Lord of the Dance
has eight billion bodies.

Photo: Hubble, 'Mystic Mountain' Nebula from Astronomy Now



Why plant plastic flowers? 
The fragrance of one silent rose 
roars louder than a thousand suns.
At night, candles appear to shine, 
but where is their glory 
when dawn breaks open the sky? 
You waste your money 
in the market place of spiritual teachers.
Each of them has a little boutique. 
But which one has a root or thread, 
a lineage leading to ancient weavers? 
Can any of them spin this world 
into the weft of stars?
Isn't it time to close up 
these shops in you mind?
Wander out beyond the maintained trail. 
The wilderness is nearer than you think, 
closer than breathing. 
Go there, meet your oldest Friend, 
the one who whispers your true name 
after all those centuries of being
faithful to forgetfulness. 
Every time you said, "I believe," 
you fell a little deeper asleep. 
Now is your chance to get lost and wake up.
Find true darkness. 
The Beloved will use your bones for kindling, 
your blood for a spark to light the wildering 
blaze of his countenance in your chest. 
Night is no problem when that Face 
becomes your face.
The roar you hear is not a plastic flower.
It is the fragrance of a silent rose.
Photo by my dear friend, Kristy Thompson



The bold become themselves. There is a point in meditation, if it is true meditation, when you fall off the precipice of practice, into the groundlessness of your flesh. You can no longer resist your subtle sorrow, that which Buddha called Dukkha, the spittle mixed with matter that formed your embryo again and again.

You've been carrying it for years, for centuries, the stuff made of stories about a suffering 'me.' It is buried deep in the rind of your body, but neatly packaged in the sterile cellophane called 'spirituality.'

Now the time has come to crumple up the wrapper of conceptual thought and throw it away. Be vulnerable to yourself. Be a ruptured pomegranate with 10,000 soft sweet seeds. Allow your every distant ache, the brittle anguish of a trillion nerves, the secrets of grief, the worms of rage, the clogging undigested waste of blame, this whole discomfort you are, to erupt
in one magnificent purple blossom of pain, fragrant with the gift of tears. Let it flower from the subtle into the gross, gushing without name, and without distinctions between good or bad, beautiful or ugly.

It is just Dark Energy, percolating wordlessly out of your molecules, yet pulsing with photons of fire and swirling suns. It is holy destruction and healing, cosmic in scale yet intimate with every cell of your body. It is the chaos of possibility. It is the cleansing smile of No Burden Any More, No Secret Me, vast as the horizon. It is pure love, the matter of your bones.

Be bold. There is no one else in all the universe for you to become.



Now that the others
are all asleep
I will share a secret -
God is the moth,
You are the flame.
Better than transformation
or enlightenment,
better than attaining
a higher plane
or ascending to heaven,
better than the journey
or even the goal,
is the art of resting
in the fiery heart
of who you always
already are.


"By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all their hosts by the breath of his mouth." ~Psalm 33

The Lord is Shiva, which means boundless Silence, supreme intelligence beyond thought, absolute purity, and fullness of bliss. All those flavors are inherent in the name, Shiva.
The Word of the Lord is the stream of mantra, the current of sound emanating from silence to create the universe from its vibrations. The heavens are the inner worlds of intention consisting of thought-vibrations. From pure silence those thoughts arise as waves of creative intelligence, and from them the outer world of matter is formed. Yet inner and outer, heaven and earth, are the same substance at two different degrees of vibration. The stuff of the world is mind-stuff, and the stuff of the mind is silence in vibration.
The universe is the vibration of Shiva's own self-awareness. In Shiva there are two aspects, the still and the active. They are the male and female aspects of God. The stillness is the witness, ever-aware, while the active dances in creation. This dancing playful aspect of Shiva is the Breath of creation, and this Breath is the divine mother, Shakti.
So the verse from the Biblical psalm expresses the wholeness of Shiva and Shakti, their marriage, as divine silence becomes active, becomes the creative Word through the breath of the Goddess.
This is not only how creation happens, it is how meditation happens. Meditation is creation in reverse. We allow our awareness to follow the Word of God back into silence, and the Breath of God back into the divine Breather. Meditation re-creates our mind, regenerates each cell of our body, reprograms each atom with the luminous power of God's love. Meditation effortlessly takes us to the very source of creation.
As we follow the mantra back into divine silence, our awareness vibrates through ever more subtle levels of creative energy. This harmonious vibration ripples out through our environment. We become innocent instruments of Lord Shiva and Mother Shakti in the recreation of heaven and earth. Therefor, let us meditate regularly, each morning and evening, to regenerate the world. 
Jai Guru Dev.