The Hollow

The hollow

that runs through your spine

runs through the Milky Way,

the center of Andromeda,

the serpent coils of Laniakea,

one silken thread

of emptiness

that causes all creatures

to quiver and beat

with a weightless kiss.

It is a whirling of atoms,

minds, and stars

into something like a nest, scraps

of twig and berry twined

by the great winged mothering

stirring trembling warming

the round smooth blue

egg of the sky inside of which

is no one knows


Call it the ancient light of dawn

that has not yet been born,

holding in tiny seed cups

the coming Spring,

curving infant embryos, the curl

of their hands, the petals

shaping themselves in dreams

at the tip of a stamen,

the grey stuff in cocoons,

neither wing nor worm,

our destination.

Or say that it is these

twin infinite beams

gazing through all centers

from the mirror of your face

into the mirror of mine

until they collide in

that kiss, the catastrophe

that is everywhere.

O uncreated brilliance,

O ancient light of dawn

who has not yet been born,

fall on us now,

make all things new.



Your point of view and my point of view are equally "right" and equally insignificant facets in the dazzling holographic diamond of inter-radiant opposites. 
Whatever is, the opposite also is, simultaneously arising. Yet neither of these little flickers of local light is Truth. Truth is what illuminates the entire jewel. 
If we spent as much energy expanding into the Whole as we spend constricting ourselves to a point, each of us could illuminate the wide world with one silent glance, one gentle touch. 
This is the breathing of grace: to expand into wholeness, then to exhale, fall, and break into bodies, incarnating All in each photon of joy, each tear of pain, each trembling seed of beauty. It is effortless. It is not an intention but a happening. It has already happened.
As knowings, we are very very small. As Beings, we are vast beyond imagining. We include each other. This is my New Year's prayer. It has already happened.




Stars have a secret.

They are always tumbling

into orbits of glory.

They do not attempt to fly.

Darkness is their wing.


If you don't believe me,

you are still trying

not to fall.


Plunge more deeply

into the womb of night

and you will draw very near

to the radiance of your Birth.


Ah, so this after all is a poem

about the Nativity?

Now bend and listen.


You are not here

to save the world.

You are here to discover

that you Are the world.

You are compassion.

You are healing.

In you the mountains

are lighter than the sky.


Don't try to understand this.

Just fall in love with yourself

in every pair of eyes.

And however you may worship,

take a blessed breath

of the newborn light

that is never even one

moment old.

Art by Peruvian artist Artemio Coanqui


To Those Who Are Alone

To those who are alone tonight,

please understand that

we are all alone,

yet we share one beaten heart.

To be alone is our core, our

essence, yet this crystal

solitude encircles

the stars. The moon

is always full

three inches above your crown.

The sun is always rising

one inch in front

of your heart.

The wild constellations, those

enormous black animals,

roam and graze among the flowers

of your body.

Be plowed and furrowed

and sown again

until the seeds in your

numb places burst.

Find the courage to know

perfect intimacy

in aloneness.

Let your most silent question

go unanswered tonight,

like a hollow sky containing

both midnight and dawn.

If you need a friend to tell you

what will become of this world

or where your path is leading,

don't wait.

Draw near to your own lips and

listen to this breath.

We all meet here, strangers

and pilgrims.

In the cavern of a Kiss,

there are never two.

Logic 101


If it is true that the black hole at the center of the galaxy, the dimensionless point at the core of a proton, and the ayin-soph in the center of an electron each contain the total information of the cosmos, then it follows that your great grandfather smells like a mushroom, his roots entangled in mycelium-darkness under the Winter forest. What more proof do you need that the alignment of planets and stars is insignificant compared to the blinding diamond laser of joy that fountains out of the earth up your spine? Just pause for an instant between breathing out and breathing in, which is to say, between the timeless beginning and the eternal end. Then you will comprehend the logic of next Spring.

This Morning

The bones of heaven
are the bones of the earth.
There are things that cannot be told,
that can only be breathed.
There are things that cannot be breathed,
that can only be held
in the stillness between
this breath and another.
There are things that cannot
even be held,
that must be let go,
scattered out of the heart,
the stars, the faces of all
the children, the countless
miracles of the sun
in frosted alfalfa this morning.
Look down.
The bones of the earth
are the bones of heaven.

Painting by Andrew Wyeth



"My soul doth magnify the Lord." I love these words. The human soul, or individualized atman, is not merely the servant of God, or the seeker of God, but the magnifier of God: a crystal prism of Christ-all consciousness channeling an invisible ray of divine energy into this rainbow incarnation, magnifying God into You, as embodied radiance, at once completely unique and yet a hologram containing every "other" particle of creation. I wish You not just to Have a wonderful Christmas, but to Be a wonderful Christmas. Peace.



Mid-Winter morning. A befuddled kitten

marvels at the fallen whiteness, and the pawprints

that seem to follow her everywhere. A junco,

perched on the snowy head of Francis,

patiently waits his turn at the feeder. Sunrise

in scattered angel wings flecked on a frozen pond.

Cherubim thirst for a body like yours, made of

vanished galaxies, yet casting a shadow. They

wonder how leaves feel skittering down a sidewalk,

how, when you rest in your own peculiar rhythm,

your work is stillness. They envy the way you

find the nest inside the egg, a mother's womb

encircling her savior. They worship an infant too.

Any child will do, which is the whole point, isn't it?

The triumph of birth despite the poverty of Winter light?

It happens in a Palestinian haybarn, or a tenement

in the South Bronx, the name of the baby, Miguel 

or Jesus, JaDawn or Billy Bob. If there were no Christmas, 

you would have to invent one just to remind yourself

that you were divine on your birthday too, delivered

in a sack of salt water and blood. And ah! your

breathing was thistledown, angel pollen in your hair,

God-particles in your pee-pee, bones all marrowed with gold,

potent mantras, "Ma! Dada! Kali! Ga!" erupting from

your reptilian brain, dissolving the gap between heaven

and earth in sacred burps and farts, starry spirals

blossoming from chinks between the vertebrae you

twisted and arched in pudgy asanas: the chuckling Serpent,

the dainty Plow, furrowing your pink baby fat, the hollow

Unicorn pouring moon-milk through your fontanelle...

And is this why you visit five-star ashrams?

To mimic the mudras of the newborn, to loll on a yoga mat

and recollect crib gestures, the secret sadhana of infancy:

how to suck stars through your belly button?

On this fine Mid-Winter morning, why not bow

to any baby's marshmallow toes?  

Receive the Holy Name: a giggle from her lips. 

Heavenly enough, how the triumph of last night's snow 

reposes in glistening impermanence.

Wherever this melting leads you, friend, go there.

Each breath is Mary, and just to be awake is Christ.

Painting by Joseph Mulamba-Mandangi, Congo

The Simplest Meditation

The simplest meditation

happens when you hug

every cell of your body.

They all dissolve in one

gentle breath.

There is no other.

Consuming the thinker

in her own sacred

flesh-flame is called

the opening of the heart.

Now there is nothing left to do

but frolic with stars

and waltz with the moon

through an ever-widening

luminous swirl of compassion,

which is the space where

your darkness gives birth to the sun.

Was there a path? Ah yes,

it led you in all directions at once,

like a small blue flower

unfolding, touched
by the dewdrop of bewilderment.
Adoration is the fragrance

of your Being.

Now sing and play in the highest

world, which is this one,

where you learn to say Yes.

Yes to aloneness, to snow,

to the scarlet berry of pain.

Where you learn to behold

your face in the gaze of a stranger.

Go outdoors and play in the rain.

Play more intensely, as children do,

making it your work.

Risk amazement.

Love until there is

no other.



Mandala by St. Hildegard of Bingen, 12th C.

Jai Guru Dev (12/20)

On his birthday, I honor the Teacher of my Teacher, who in fierce beauty and with feral grace lived deep the forest of India for many years, then emerged to become the Guru Dev, Sri Brahmananda Sarasvati, Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math. He passed away the very year I was born, yet his tidal wave of living silence flows down through thousands of years into the grail of my heart, and my life has been transformed by his disciple, who was my beloved Friend and Teacher. My Teacher never called himself "Guru." He always bowed down to his Guru Dev, as Guru Dev bowed down to his, in that never-ending bow of humility that flows back to the source of creation. So the mysterious current of lineage runs deep through the caverns of time to nourish divine Presence. This is a mystery that few of us can comprehend, and many reject. They may claim to need no grace, but not I. My need for grace is infinite. I bow to the ancient Now of the Teacher's breath, and the liberating gaze of his darshan. I am just a dust mote dancing in that untamed beam of golden radiance.


Random fluctuations in the Vacuum, waves of emptiness in silence, give birth to the universe. Intelligence, energy, and matter all the same stuff, flowering with inexpressible beauty into a galaxy, a snowflake, a holographic molecule of silicon crystal, the face of a child, the warmth of fur. And yet, somehow, the Inexpressible expresses itself, and reflects upon itself, in art, music, poetry, and simple acts of kindness. For me, this spontaneous blossoming of self-reflective beauty out of nothingness is not only proof of God, it IS God. Have a blessed Solstice and a wonderful Christmas.

NASA Hubble photo, 'Cosmic Rose.'



 Don't tell me what love is.

Just make me laugh

for no reason.

Make me cry at some

ordinary beauty, lit

by a dying sun,

rooted in a perishing

planet, where the bones

of the earth

are the bones of heaven.



Tired Of Gods

I'm tired of gods
who come down from above
and blind us with their fire.
I'm waiting for a god born
from the belly of an earthworm,
with, instead of wings,
fungi cilia flying
underground through hummus,
alchemizing the detritus
of moldering bodies 
to live again
and rise into green nipples
for the suckle of hummingbirds 
and butterflies.
That too would be a Christ,
a Son, loam-born 
of a single Mother.
And the Father?
He would stand Wordless,
barefoot in the mud,
leaning on his ancestral hoe.
Painting: 'Man With A Hoe,' Francois Millet, 1863


Heart has no metaphor.
The rhythm is all, a beat that kneads
its tenderness into each creature
with an open wound,
drumming a circle of comfort for the half moon,
a circle to gather the ebbtide of a thousand suns,
a circle that widens this moment into timelessness,
awakening your ancestors,
all their troubles and blessings.
A drum circle in the heart to hug the unborn
like sand grains melting back to Now,
this bubble of hot glass blown into its globe
of fragile beauty.
What your heart beats is not blood only
but the Milky Way, wild honeysuckle sap,
the DNA of buffalo stirred
into the batter within a cocoon,
from which a herd of winged bulls emerges
stampeding across the rainbow.
What the heart drums is your pain,
folded into the dough of your body,
when risen, punched down to rise again
into the warm loaf at the oven's core.
What your heart beats is the ocean of motherhood
saturating the placenta, regarded as waste
by the man but food by the earth.
It beats the plasma in a plastic catheter
hanging over the precious struggle
of parted lips that yearn for one last breath.
Heart-beaten also the arterial nectar of Gaia,
thick, black, crude.
Do not disdain the mastodon
whose bones were crushed
into a single drop of death for you.
Do not pretend your heart won't hurt,
or flutter, or lie moist and fibrilant
in the ashes of your cremated flesh.
Sometimes your heart feels like
a hermit organ living in a cave,
pouring the luster of her solitude
into a thousand trillion cells, those tiny mirrors
of distant nebulae, rhymed by your pulse.
Do not imagine that your heart is in
a higher realm. There is no higher.
This is the realm where all worlds kiss,
and finally all beams bend into a sphere.
Nor imagine that your heart can fly.
For the sun has melted these wings
so that you might fall, again and again,
into this vale of salted bones,
where Way itself is lost,
and the heart is the only tavern.
All wanderers rest here, you also
repose, and drink, and listen to their stories,
and hear the silence between the stories,
as you gaze into the fire.

Photo: Dizzy Hearts Tavern by ExitMothership on DeviantArt