If You Listen


 If you listen carefully, but don't try too hard, you can hear the entire Rig Veda in the burbs and giggles and farts of a baby. It has no meaning. It's just music. As soon as you impose 'meaning' on the music of creation, the ocean of matter solidifies. You turn the verb of God into a noun. Connections and entanglements become 'things.' Then we no longer hear the song because it is smothered with ideas. The whorl of the whirled congeals like dead blood into a crust of concepts. It becomes intellectual property, the territory of the mind. The sacred chaos of our formless beauty, which is the beauty of each human form just it is, gets divided into races, tribes, nations, group identities rather than unique persons. Then wars begin. But it's going to be all right. Because, eventually, we all die. We return to the loam, dead landlords, fuel for mushrooms. We are fungus again, singing without words, and listening to the stars.



Even if I possessed the most precious diamond mined from the soil, or the wealth of a billionaire, I would gladly give them up for the soft light, the gentle light, that You have awakened in my heart. If I possessed power over all the governments of the world, I would gladly surrender it for the soft light, the gentle light, that You have awakened in my heart. If I possessed complete knowledge of the planetary spheres, the constellations of the zodiac, the secrets of the past, the vision of the future, I would gladly let it go, to make room for this ineffable and incomprehensible light. If I possessed the wisdom of all scriptures, East and West, and committed the Vedas, the Qu'ran, the Torah to impeccable memory, I would gladly forget them for your soft and gentle radiance. What is the sun or all the clustered galaxies compared to the fragrance of the Hridaya, that blossoms in the wild and secret darkness between my exhalation and inhalation? Neither the storm of destruction nor the Word of creation compares to the tender majesty of your breath, that grazes and wounds my chest like a garden under the first moon of Spring. Beloved Teacher, I bow down to You, not because you are divine, but because You have awakened the divine, Narayana, Lord of the cosmos, in every cell of my body. Jai Guru Dev.

This Is The Time


It's not complicated. It's very simple. This is the time for us all to rest in the Being that is deeper than thought, deeper than any name, label, image or picture in the mind. Even if just for a few minutes a day. This Being has no opposite. This Being is the end of conflict, whose nature is peace. This Being is not "a" being, but Being itself. And this is who you really are. When you spend a little while resting in Being - not doing it, or thinking it, for Being is prior to any thought or action - then you create a magnetic yearning in every atom of the earth, every star in the galaxy, a yearning to follow you there, to feel your unity, your fullness, your peace which surpasses understanding. This may seems like no-thing, but No does not exist there. There is only Yes. This only happens now, never in the future. Let it happen, the journey into Being. A journey greater than ten thousand miles, yet nearer than you are to yourself. The journey of a single breath.

Photo by Peter Shefler

Don't Try


Don't try to love yourself.
That's asking a lot.
A lot from One
hurting for the warmth
of an Other.
Mists, prairies, waves.
Nature wants to enfold you.
Who commanded you to love?
I say, don't try.
Better to feel the throb
in a single cell
than the numbness in the marrow
between stars.
Better to taste your wound,
digest it like the pièce
de résistance,
than struggle to rise above.
That effort only divides you,
doubling your sentence of lashes.
"Love yourself"
is a very hard commandment,
hardly the healing you need.
Just rest in the unspeakable care
that already covers you
with a gesture of forgiveness
that has nothing to do
with your will to perform it.
Honor the graceful mistake
that ended in this disaster,
the bruise concealed,
the holy incompetence
of a wandering mind,
the pilgrimage of distractions,
the love who cannot find
her way home.
Honor the ache.
Little numbers are best.
Not more than 9 in a circle
to worship, to praise
and sing their journey
into silence.
3 gathered to grieve,
with six hands held and so
many fingers entwined.
See how our entanglement
begins from almost nothing.
2 gazing
through each others eyes,
dissolving galactic distances.
Now just 1 alone, enthroned
in her womb of zeros.
To enter the heart
requires less, not more.
Be poor in Spirit,
mighty as a wind-scattered seed.
Don't try to love.
That's asking a lot.
Just bathe in the bittersweet sea
of the next moment.
What washes over you now?
All these sparks of darkness
spinning inside your heart.
Mists, prairies, waves.
Nature wants to enfold you.



In the sacrificial fire of the present moment, everything is burnt up. The past is consumed. Awareness is purified to prepare for what is always new.

If we offer everything in this sacrifice, it sounds like emptiness, but in fact this offering brings wholeness. There is a paradoxical relationship between wholeness and sacrifice, fullness and renunciation. We attain complete wholeness only when we sacrifice all. 

True renunciation does not mean giving up one thing for another. It does not mean giving all your money to the ashram, in order to receive the Guru's blessing. It does not mean exchanging your wardrobe for the white robe of a monk. True renunciation does not purchase the pure with the impure, the spiritual with the worldly. All that is just doing business with God, the sign of immature faith. True renunciation offers the entire cosmos into the fire, including the mind of the one who offers. It's a fire-sale. Everything must go.

No-thing remains. And now in the very space of Nothing, everything is given back in glory, dancing in the fire of wonder. This is the miracle of the rainbow light of the void.

Let go of All, this instant, and everything catches fire! Let the fire of God illuminate All with the Wholeness of nothing.

A Walk On Saint Paddy's Day


Chickadee drippings on green cabbage stone,
vinegar fog so cold to the bone,
vintage poured from daffodils, 
"Slainte!" to wind-drizzled hills.
Raise a tulip cup, toast the plum
bound in its bud, still scentless and dumb.
Batter the cherry, the loam-loaf knead,
sweetened with drops of meadow mead.
Leavened by what makes peepers sing,
dollop your eyes on the littlest thing.
Feasting on crumbs, keep walking alone.

Note: "Slainte," pronounced "slan-cha," is the ancient Irish toast.

Small Green Patch


The cosmos explodes from your eyeballs. Beauty arises within, then pours into what is seen. But your life is too feverish. Why must you think so much and invent other worlds?

The small green patch at your feet is Shivaloka, the center of the labyrinth, the holy thorn that un-knits all entanglement. Only here is there no mind. Plunge your sacrum into black loam, and thrust your crown into the cobalt void, igniting stars with your diamond fontanelle. The Goddess wields your spine like an ivory scepter. 

She uses the flame of your body to illuminate all bodies. Some say everything happens for a reason. I say nothing happens for a reason. Milkweed ripens, snaps and billows from its pod, spilling countless bewildered selves. Be-wilder. Ebullient chaos is the nature of bliss. Why not become a peacock feather in Tara's fingers, brushing the forehead of every stranger with the shakti of your searing glance?
Like silk is matter spun, but who is the spinner? Don't try to understand, for then you become a believer. It is better to drown in astonishment, where agitated questions turn to pearls of gleaming silence, unasked. Simply let Not Knowing become an electrical force. Then you will start whirling.
The gush of grace arises from a pool of trauma, like melted stone, Kundalini from the compost of your dreams. If you can't find wholeness in the hot mess, where else would you look? This thirst for Soma juice is futile. Your own nerves are the mycelium network under Mount Kailas.
Surrender confusion to a vaster confusion. The fever subsides with the jolt of awakening. You ARE the mandala, the indecipherable kaleidoscope. Entropy contains a secret counter-force that orders chaos through hidden laws of wonder. We have told you this before. We, the sparrows of dawn.

Now be thrown into the sweet-smelling cauldron of your ancient heart. Here is your duty: heal the planet by savoring your Self.


Notes On Our Entanglement

We can never un-knot our green entanglement. Spiritual discernment does not mean judging one person as good, another as evil. Each person is both. Nature hides her roses among thorns, and sweet fruit under bitter husk. If you grasp a stem of Devil's Claw in the forest, your palm will be useless and inflamed for days, shot by a thousand microscopic darts, shaped like serrated arrow-heads. But native people knew they could make healing tea from her roots. So if we gaze with discernment into the most broken and vicious human being, we can see the soul, even our own soul, seeping out of the wound.
                                                                 * * *

Compared to Presence, the past always has the quality of a dream. But this moment, now, has the quality of awakening. And was it ever only YOUR dream? Are your dreams not hopelessly wondrously entangled with the dreams of all your dearest friends and enemies? We need not seek forgiveness for our dreams. We are not judged for them. We merely wake up. Love heals all past karmas because love is here. Love is awake. Love is never in the past.

Did No One Tell You?

Merely by resting in your heart
you soften one thousand miles
of space around you.

Those who come near you
feel the touch of wild cotton,
the radiance of seven pearls
threaded on a sunbeam.

Their souls begin to orbit your belly button.
They enter your invisible garden of Presence
and somehow taste those blood-red seeds
from the pomegranate's core
without gashing the husk.

This is why you must repose
in the golden shrine of your chest.
Let others make the haj.
You just need to be more hollow.

Supreme attainment is a mind
that no longer seeks
because it has dissolved
into the erotic splendor
of the void.

Let this exhalation be what pours
from the libation cup
offered by a dying warrior.
The triumph is surrender.

Let this inhalation be
the Beloved's sparkling kiss.
Welcome home, dear one!
Did no one tell you?
Your breath is the name of God.


THe Rapture of Nicodemus

 "Let Jesus be your breath." ~St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

Let Jesus be your breath; He is the Door that is always already open. The frame may have a shape, but the passageway is empty.

Let Rama be your breath. The arrow floats back to the bow. That is how true warriors win before the battle begins. Let Allah be your breath. Hu dissolves sugar into sweetness. But the sweetness is already here, before the sugar oozes from the broken stem. Let the Goddess Kundalini be your breath, turning your midnight nerves to silent lightning.

At dawn, the sound in your chest is a forest full of exultation about nest-building. The fierce blossom in your body may appear as a reflection on the mirror of the world, spinning with fearsome beauty and chaos. But the stem leads inward. The golden flower is a path of drowning, petal upon petal, self within self. No distance, no journey.

This honey bee can't fly, his feet so weighty with star-clustered pollen. Yet he will make a supernal effort of surrender to the Queen, whose voice is the buzzing of his own wings.

 See how the face of the Beloved lures you inward, toward a Kiss of annihilation? When lips touch, there is no breath at all, and it is a thousand years until your next heartbeat.



Drop Every Concept

You asked me to drop 

every concept of “Other” 

and “God,”

so I did.

Then I abandoned “Trauma” 

and “Embodiment” too.

Love is not a therapy.

Now I sink into the infinite

physiology of light,

my true flesh.

The stillness in my chest

is an unbroken pour

that does not flow

from “there” to “here,”

but quivers in the void,

a braid of black lightning.

The taste is beyond

all thought 

and every breath.

I call it sweet wine,

but that is the language

of fools and lovers

whose story has drowned

in silence.

I will never know

who tilted fullness

toward emptiness

and made the starry rim

of this cup overflow

with a wonder

no longer

called “me.”

Yet I can still say,

Thank you, thank you, Friend.

I can still ask,

Was there a journey 

in that pour?

Or have I always

already arrived

at the Tavern of Amazement?



Painting by Mahmoud Farshchian

Times Like These Make Me Glad

Times like these
make me glad 
that of my twenty six
thousand genes
65% are exactly
the same as the genes
in a banana.
70% are exactly
the same as the genes
in a fruit fly.
The banana blackens
with sugary bruises.
The sacrament turns
starch into glucose.
Entropy is grace.
The fruit fly is happy.
We are all

Photo: a mighty fruit fly, Discover Magazine

Grief Is A Place


is a place
without words.
Let's all meet
where myriad branches,
fragrant blossoms,
fruits both
sweet and bitter
spring from the hollow
of a tiny seed,
a seed that is planted
in darkness
deeper than prayer,
deeper than breath
can go. Friend,
we are the flowers
and we are the mud.
Let's all meet


Midnight Meditation

To be perfect
is never enough.
To be
is enough.
You're already
when you're nowhere
The luna moth lives
a few days, at most,
but in her 
chrysalis the wings
beat 13 billion 
through an ocean 
of stone
just to breathe
this green secret
of midnight
to me.
Photo from Orilla News



The scentless nectar in the rose,
The hollow of the heart that knows,
The emptiness inside the drum
Where rhythms of the dance come from,
The choice of what note not to play,
The space around a star,
The yearning silence that would say
'Beloved' were there any way
To speak of who You are.


"May the forever youthful Krishna, the supreme lover of our lives,
constantly shine in our hearts through His sparkling eyes

which are laden with love, the refuge of ineffable irresistible beauty,
newly fresh each single day and captivating every instant."

~Sri Krishna Kasrnamrita, Sloka 13 

The deepest meditation

is to Be,

and simply gaze

into this Being.


If such simplicity is not possible,

then just breathe

and gaze into your breath,

until the stream of exhalation

carries you to the ocean

of this Being.


And if the miracle of this breath

is not enough,

then listen

to the Name of God

singing silently through

your inhalation,

susúrrus of a gentle wave

among a trillion sandy stars

on the shores of wonder.


Ebb into stillness,

so astonished you

do not exist.

Let God

gaze into God.

Be nothing

but this gaze.

Rest In Hopelessness


The only thing we can be sure of is that we will never find what we are searching for.

Why? Because we are searching for that contentment which brings an end to the search. And as long as we are searching, we suffer the craving to become what we are not.
Our very search is what Buddha called Dukkha, usually translated as "suffering." But Dukkha is not abject pain. It is something more subtle and insidious: a restlessness of mind, an itch in the neurons, a brain feverish with wanting. And this nervous tension hides behind every spiritual search.

Our true goal is not to find anything, but to dissolve the gnawing, the craving to become something else. Where is "else"? Else does not exist. Else has no being. Only when we dissolve this craving can we awaken to what actually Is. Only then can our ceaseless becoming flower as Being. This flowering requires the courage to rest in hopelessness.

Have you noticed? When you fail, or lose, or come to the end of a relationship, you are disappointed. Your appointment with time is over. Our culture teaches us to be ashamed of this condition, and to identify disappointment with shame and suffering. But in truth, disappointment is a marvelous window, an opportunity to be free.

Be dis-appointed. Drop out of time. In dis-appointment is eternity. If we clearly observe our dis-appointment, we find relief, rest, and the space of boundless possibility. We find an opening to the Unknown.

An enlightened culture would not tell us to be ashamed of failure, and would not force us to take up a new search. An enlightened culture would advise, "Just rest here for awhile. Embrace your hopelessness and be open. Be free from the search. There are spores of possibility floating all around you. Watch, listen, be empty and fertile, until some unexpected miracle takes root in you."

Out of human hopelessness comes divine carelessness. In freedom from care comes playfulness. From play comes the flowering of creativity. The only fertile ground is the present moment.

These hopelessly inspired thoughts emerged from a failed poem.



Listening is peace.
Listen to the most distant sound you can hear.
A seal barking from a wild rocky island across the water.
Now the rustle of a nest-building robin
in the bush by your window.
Listen to the bells of the red winged black bird
in the rushes by the stream,
and the silence between them.
Now you can hear the stream.
You can hear the moon in daylight.
Listening is peace.
Cast the blessing
of gratitude
across vast spaces
just by listening, which is prayer.
And as if it were a song,
listen to your breath, flowing in,
flowing out.
The stars will teach you your name.
And you will hear the ancient story
of the present moment,
filled with the clamor of
shields and spears,
the clash of wings,
the bronze promise of heavy-laden ships
on the blue horizon,
the flaring and dying out of suns,
in the atoms your body.
Cast the blessing of gratitude
across vast spaces
just by listening.
Listening is peace.

Mt. Rainier, by Erick Ramirez



There are 10,000

     doorways to the temple

          of the Goddess.

All of them
     are in your body.

          For one it is this

     fire in the loins.

For one it is the press

          of wet moss

     on the bottom of a

naked foot.

     For you, perhaps,

          the full moon

perishing in
          her emptiness.

For me, this breath,

          a diamond knife

     held just above

the heart, and falling

          soft as snow.

She is the mother of wounds!

Photo by Bahman Farsad


When you risk being

fully kneaded,

beaten and pressed

into a breath, a heartbeat,

you dissolve

as pure sensation.

You don't need to believe

in anything,

because you taste

Aphrodite's nipple

in a wild blackberry

plucked on a forest trail.

You attain satori

through the fragrance

of honeysuckle,

the sound of a raindrop,

the accidental brush

of my shoulder on yours,

the memory of ancient light

from the farthest star,

which is this very atom

in your hand.

O traveler,

isn't it time to arrive?

Christ didn't say to the hungry,

"This is my soul."

He said, "take, eat,

this is my body."

Brown fingers ply

the corn flour

into a tortilla.

Gravity thickens and folds

the golden distance

into our galaxy

of swirling selves.

Every crumb has the flavor

of un-created radiance.

Don't worry about

your evanescence.

Just savor

the essential oil.

Photo: Hands kneading dough by Renee Byrd

I Will Never Tell You

I will never tell you what to eat. I will never tell you how to vote. I will never tell you which sadhana, which spiritual path, to follow. That is your business, the gift of your own free will. I will simply encourage you to polish the jewel of your heart with this breath, so that your true nature may irradiate the earth, illuminate the stars, and tenderly enfold the embryonic galaxies just now forming in the womb of your holy darkness. Om Satyam Shivam Sundaram. You are boundless Being. You are Peace. You are the Beauty that pervades creation.

Photo by Laurent Berthier


In a chthonic forest of neurons
there's a well.
You have to be homeless to find it.
What you drink there will be darkness
like wine, but sweeter, stronger.

Relentless moths will batter your eyelids,
your ears, your tongue with
luna-green and sapphire wings

until they enter the soul
through your shadow
transporting into ancestral dreams
their seven billion brilliant silver eggs

kything and calling to you
like anguished angels, "O
fall down, fall down this well!

"For all of us who cannot fall,
you must fall down this well
into your flesh and drown....

That is the only way
you will ever touch the stars.”