Esoteric Mathematics of the Sri Yantra


Silence  x  Grace  -  Time  =  Love.
I derived this equation by applying the science of tears
to the field of yearning.
I raised God's name by the power of the Mother
and ascended into a shining exponential cloud 
where rocks, bones, roses and prime numbers
have no existence in pure space,

for all appear as multiples of one.
I factored my thought-waves into an empty denominator,
by which I divided a tufted titmouse, a fern,
a dog turd, and a jade Buddha,
which resulted, marvelously enough, in a quotient
of titmouse, fern, dog turd and Buddha,
all things remaining just as they are.
Then I stepped naked into zero-entropy snow
melting in a stream of super-radiant virtual electrons
that spilled from a glacier on Mount Meru,
where I drowned in the gurgling calculus of chaos
between the curve of my inhalation

and the asymptote of silence.
There I beheld the square root of the void
and became the algorithm uniting God and Man,
not through mantric repetitions of the name of Kali,
but a hyper-geometric progression of breaths, wings
and inconceivable sexual epiphanies
in the company of angels,

holographing the One into the Many,
empowered by a logarithm of Negative Zero.

Friend, I think you would do better to solve this equation
by resting your brain on the astrolabe of your heart.
There the rune for love is engraved before conception.
All this information and more than I could ever record
was channeled to me by Albert Einstein,
who still wanders from star to star,
pulling his books and groceries behind him
in a little red wagon.



Note: In tantric yoga, Sri Yantra is a visual portal to meditation consisting of nine interlocking triangles, said to embody the energy of the Goddess creating the cosmos. Old friends in Princeton NJ do recall Einstein pulling his belongings in a Radio Flyer.




Derivation of the Word "Miracle"

Noun, from Latin mirari: "to wonder at, marvel, be astonished." Earlier *smeiros, from Indo-European root *smei: "to smile, laugh," which is also the source of Sanskrit smerah "smiling."
A miracle, then, is the root of your smile, as you marvel at any ordinary object. To truly pay attention, and be astonished at the quiddity of a pebble, a mushroom sprung up from moss at midnight, the cry of a flicker breaking the silence of morning mist, transmutes common ore into miraculous gold. Miracles are the irreducible currency of wonder. To clothe the simplest object in the sacred transparency of pure attention, is to dissolve all separation between your Self and the world. In that instant, you touch the seed of bliss. Your awareness effortlessly expands beyond the circumference of the galaxy, yet focuses like a laser on the bindhu of the smallest thing. Then the curve of eternity breaks out all around and within you as a smile. You see clearly, without having to believe in anything, that a ladybug on a leaf-tip is a miracle, the whir of hummingbird wings is a miracle, the sad gaze of a collarless stray in the rain is a miracle. Miracles are not supernatural events, to be awaited in the mythic future, or celebrated in the mythic past. Miracles are the common places where our attention marvels at the world, just as it is, in the present moment.

Photo by our great Northwest photographer, Neil Dickie


Wings of Prayer


Words are wings of prayer. Praying with words is a good preliminary exercise. But then one dives, one falls, one plummets into the abysmal essence of prayer without wings, abandoning words to dissolve the mind in luminous silence. And that dissolving, that abandonment, that silence, is the source of creation.

NASA photo of Galaxy M106

Bare Branch

Wind moved the bare branch

at my window, scratching

random runes on frosted glass.

I did not attempt to interpret them.

Their meaning simply appeared

in my Winter awareness

like black flames on white

scrolls of stillness.

This is what the wind said.

Aloneness is the dream,

all-oneness the awakening.

Here is your simplest hardest lesson.

The conflict you perceive

is the conflict in your mind

made visible by grace,

that you may learn through images,

reflections, how

your own thoughts limit you

until you let them go.

Be crazy and free.

Be naked, sky-like, and empty.

Laugh, sing, dance, cry.

You are the cause of Spring.

Painting by Andrew Wyeth

The Carnival of Drunken Poets

Ran into Kerouac at the Carnival of Drunken Poets,

where those just dead meet those about to be reborn.

Jack and I have wandered through the zodiac, prodigal suns

under the 13th sign, the sign of inebriation in the house of Lilith,

with Coyote rising, the Moon single and pregnant again.

We meet here every 26 thousand years.


The heavenly huckster sees us coming and shouts: "Step right up!

Watch gladiator-poets beat each other silly with roses.

One will die of wounds that gush communion wine!”
The crowd is ferocious, hungry for metaphors.

I bow to Jack, Jack bows to me.

We make the fatal mistake of opening our mouths.


"Gorilla lilies at my Resurrection!" he wails.

I refute him, "We forbid the silly physicists of tantra

to taste our semi-sweet chakras,” 

to which he replies, "I spin galaxies of cotton candy

from the dark matter of God's breath."

I demand, "What overflows the hexagon of your hollow grail?"

He answers, "Honey from the horny void!" 

I shout, "Supernova crème brulée!"

And Jack replies, "Why should the midnight hummingbird

not sip rainbows from my wounded eye?"

I insist, "Nanno-galaxy in the groin of an electric frog!"

Jack says, "A medicine woman must dance in your amygdala."


It's no use, I'm weeping now, as Jack, the master sommelier,

whispers, "Dip the brackish water from the womb,  extract

the secret chi, burn the afterbirth as inexhaustible green fuel."

I can only reply, "Drop a song of worms into the beak

of my feathery daughter as she stumbles into the sky."

Jack murmurs, "When I set the loaf of my body on fire,

God will blow out the flame, I will become snow."


Then I shout: "Broken motors of the pharmacopoeia

dripping petroleum in the rainforest of your neurons."

But he answers, "Subatomic Obama!"

I moan, "May insect helicopters infest the Amazonian

Chacruna leaves in your President's ayahuasca."


Now the mind-police prepare their post-modernist bonfires. 

I attempt a more rational inquiry: "If Mary Magdalene consumes

the body of the Lord, then exhales the vaporized brandy

of his ascended flesh, what shape is frost on memory's window?"

He says, "Dissolve in the April of the heart and taste your tears,

then confess that love and pain have one flavor."

But already the crowd has lit the pyre, shouting by torchlight,

"Burn the Bodhisattva who exuberates our bellybuttons!"


Epilogue: The Death Of Kerouac...
They bind the lamb-white French Canadian football star,

cat lover, bhikkhu of cheap wine; his bone-smoke dims the sky.

O sound of neon thrush eggs crackling in the 12th House!

O clangor of rose-window dragonfly wings shattering spacetime!

O keening of genetically-modified caterpillars with no eyes! 

Kerouac's marrow a cloudy holocaust of rainbows

unfolding the eleventh dimension of my adoration,

the pavonine horizon of his beatnik smile, staining the dome

of eternity with fractals from the tip of Shelley’s tongue,

with Whitman's teardrops, Attic dust from Keats's urn.

O terrible cathedral of similes, those crystal arches of death,

curve-yearning to kiss the one Platonic asymptote of beauty.

Gone, Gone beyond, Bodhi Svaha, O vanished Jack.

O mad pretender of Zen, embodied shaman spell, now only

an unpunctuated rain of ash descending among cedars

on a Cascade trail to Desolation Peak, over the Salish Sea...


Friend, here's the truth about your radiance:

If you want to turn the Spirit green, you'll have to thrust

your sunbeams through the belly of an earthworm.

This incantation will be published in my new book,
"The Nectar Of This Breath," Winter, 2022.


The moon has her phases, the sun

its night, the polestar obscured

by the dizziness of galaxies.

The slightest tilt of earth

turns Winter to Spring.

Grief cleanses us with loss

yet keeps returning, and joy

is like the morning rain.

We thrive on a chaos of changes.

Even the Teacher appears and

disappears, a dancer

at the edge of the wilderness

in summer mist.

Not you, Beloved, your love

no liquid ebb and flow,

but an incandescent diadem of solitude.

With each inhalation,

I renew our marriage vows.

We were wedded before there were two.

The ocean of silence between us

is merely a pause between the notes

in a Chopin Nocturne.

The melody pierces my chest,

not as the cry of a migrant lark

who will be far South tomorrow,

but the pulse of my own blood chanting

Thou, Thou, Thou...

You are my rhythm.

You are the sound inside "friend"

when the word is unspoken.

What if your heart should stop beating?

I would be the darkness where

the snuffed-out flame goes, still

infused with a fragrance of longing.

I would be nearer than aloneness.

I would be the place inside you

where prayers begin.




More Traumatized Than Thou

I've noticed that there is a new age cult of "trauma" that is very seductive. It happened in the Middle Ages as well, when so-called saints prided themselves on their sufferings, identifying them with the wounds of the crucified Jesus. Once upon a time, "spiritual" people said, "Holier than thou," but now many seem to say, "More traumatized than thou."
The "wounded" and the "traumatized" have become the new Elect, the Saved. But this is just another way to separate the righteous from the unrighteous, and it is based on the false notion that your trauma makes you special. Let's get something straight. Though some people like to wear it on their sleeve and tell stories about it all the time, while others work it out in quietness and privacy, EVERYONE has been traumatized. We all have suffered. One person's suffering is not "deeper" or more virtuous than another's. We are born from a wound, and the woundedness is why we're here. This is a planet of wounds. Ask any bud that burst into a flower.
A Teacher once said: "Be compassionate: everyone is fighting a great battle." Let us be a healing presence to one another, and not clamor so much about our personal traumas. Let it simply be understood that we have all been hurt, and our hurts are not competing. Through even the smallest wound a ray of divine light shines, to heal a friend. Peace.

Painting: Christ the wounded healer, by Rembrandt


Love Is The Effect


"I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from your love." ~The Act of Spiritual Communion, liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church
How often we mistake the cause for the effect, the effect for the cause. We assume that love is the cause of union. If we love enough, love will lead to oneness with the Beloved. But the opposite is the truth. Union is the cause of love. We begin with union, and love is the effect. Our seeking for the Beloved keeps us separate.
If we plunge into the naked being that makes no pilgrimage and takes no journey, abandoning every prayer bead, dissolving every image of the white dhoti and sandals, every form of the Guru, or Jesus, or Krishna, or Kali, and simply repose in pathless abandonment, resting the mind in the heart, we fall. We fall down the stem of meditation into the hollow seed. That is the silence that answers every prayerful longing, for that is the silence where no question arises, the stillness where breath has not been born.
It is like a black hole in the core of the heart. It is the other side of loneliness, beyond the emptiness of depression. The darkness here is brilliant with the color of no-thing, an empty chalice with no bottom, no rim, no center or circumference. And when we have the courage to drown in this cup, it overflows. There is no Other here, yet the emptiness gushes with love. This is the mystery: the overflow of Oneness at the core of your empty heart, IS your Beloved.

You Followed The Stream

You followed the stream of your mind to the place where thoughts arise and discovered the black hole of infinite love at the center of your soul. You became the silence prior to mind and your seed took root in the ground that never moves, never breathes, never has to think. Then you noticed that blackness begin to glow, that silence begin to vibrate with a sigh of joy, that stillness begin to dance. The surface of the black hole was covered with indescribably soft golden down, and that cotton fiber of pure light pulsing from darkness contained in its sparkling threads all the laws of physics. You saw that matter is woven out of that fiber, the very light of consciousness. You saw the physical universe well up out of the unmanifest vacuum. And then you felt the void pulsating in your heart and you realized that the cosmos is all happening inside your body, that every cell of your flesh is threaded to a galaxy, every atom woven with a star. Your body is sacred. It is a hologram. It contains the farthest depths of space where supernovae spill over the rim of time into the uncreated. Then you opened your eyes to a world that is no longer separate from your faintest most intimate breath, the breath of your heart. You saw a week-old dog turd on the sidewalk, covered in soft white cotton mold, and you felt like kneeling there and worshiping its divine beauty. You saw a tiny blue aster growing out of a crack in the asphalt and you wept with reverence. You saw the face of a baby gazing sternly at you from the back of a shopping cart, while her mother was reaching for lemon-scented Tide on the grocery shelf, and you recognized the whole lineage of the Shankaracharyas of ancient India blessing you with their darshan. Thus you became the stunned silent useless poet whose every breath is gratitude for this planet of miracles, woven of starlight.

Photo from

Countless Things

Countless "things," swarming "diversity," constant "motion," all that we call "the world": appearances reflected on the clear continuum of a mirror. And these ever-changing images are the very stillness of the mirror. The fullness of the world is the very emptiness of the glass.
When you taste the wonder of this mirror as your own pure awareness, every nerve in your body will thrill with the discovery that the many are One, even while manifesting multitude, and the past is Here, in the seamless eternity of the present moment. Then all is suddenly weightless, effortless, joyfully poignant and poignantly joyful, through an instantaneous perishing, an instantaneous regeneration.
A single kiss of this mirror, which is your Self, dispels the trauma of a thousand lifetimes, which is not your Self. Those lifetimes are reflections in the glass. Yes, you stored the trauma in the cells of your body. Yet each cell, each atom, is pervaded by mirror stillness, mirror emptiness. And when you meditate, if you do real meditation, you can feel this. It is self-evident. It doesn't have to be "believed."

Those lifetimes don't disappear. Their validity, as appearances, is not lost. They will ever float in the silent transparency of the reflection on the glass. What dissolves is their suffering, their heaviness, their bondage.
Suffering dissolves when you feel, taste, grok, and tremble with seeing: seeing Every-thing that dances, from the beginning til the end of time, as No-thing. The world as the tremor of a dewdrop. Past and future a mirage, a mirage that whirls in translucent Presence. As appearance, it is real. As substance, no. As substance, there is only energy, and in the final analysis, that energy is bliss.

None of this has any value as intellectual belief, as "non-dual" philosophy, desperately held in the ghostly edifice of thought. The truth must be a visceral sensation, tasted on the tongue tip of each neuron, seen through the eye of each cell in the hologram of your body.

Feel this weightlessness in your bones, this fiery instant dissolution of All into No-thing. Don't merely witness this dance. Be the dance. Be the trembling stillness of the mirror, in which you behold the trembling stillness of the mirror, in which your silence dissolves into deeper silence, until the curve of the wave of your subtlest heartbeat touches the asymptote of God.

Photo by Michael Whittaker


All my chakras vanished
when I tasted the Self.
Now I'm a rose-apple pie,
too caramelized and sticky
to have a subtle body.
Meditate on my flavor, friend,
all sweet and sour and
cinnamon flesh.
I have no recipe.
This crust was cooked with tears.
Let's savor each other and forget
those esoteric Dharma talks,
those secret books of tantra.
Who knows how the heart gets baked
until it is soft and risen,
but I'm sure it's made
with real butter.
Who knows if there is a higher world
than this one with its
Winter wheat and valiant weeds
still blossoming in my ruined garden.
But I'm perfectly sure
about one thing:
On a honey-golden stamen tip,
the earth is just a pollen speck
in the flower of Now.