Don't wait for the light.

Breathe in darkness until it becomes 
          the glow inside you.
     Have faith in the power 

of hollow things to bear fruit.
          This is the season of Grace.
     Learn from the withering

Autumn sunflower how
          to empty yourself, and scatter
     a thousand Spring mornings.
     Photo by Massimo Daddi

The Works of April

Your work is grace,
      my work is opening.
Light doesn't care where it shines.
     Your work is radiance,
my work is polishing the mirror.
     You pour, I overflow.

Breath-milk spilling on the lingam,
      awakening stone.
Seeds of desire have been offered and cooked

     but the nectar of yearning still gushes
from the broken stem.
      Famished, naked, Spring wanders

into the garden.
      I listen to melting snow.
Windsong in plum bud twigs.

     Feral rose among thorns, this
empty grail, patiently awaiting the bee knight.
     I pay attention

to the least and smallest who burst free,
     because that is what happened
to my heart.

Austrian Copper Roses by Georgia O'Keefe

Journey of Gazes


My spiritual path has been a journey of gazes, the eyes of the Other an infinity sign leading me back to the Self. Gaze of friend or perfect stranger, gaze of lover and teacher, gaze of the animal guide, gaze of my infant daughter, mother, wife, gaze of my gaze.

Yet through these sparkling corridors of darshan, there were three gazes above all others that took me to the highest peak, where Dante stood with Beatrice, to see the empyrean through her eyes.

The first Great Gaze was the gaze of a fawn. My wife and I were just married, walking through a Maryland corn field. We came upon a newborn deer. We could only spend a moment there, for the mother doe was stamping the ground furiously at the edge of the forest.

Just for a moment we gazed into the bluest eyes I ever saw. Only my daughter's blue eyes come close to that bejeweled Shakti. The word that comes to mind is "familiar." The eyes of that fawn made the entire animal kingdom a clan of cousins. I felt welcomed and warmed into the planetary community. Ever since passing through those faun eyes, I've seen one and the same Soul in animals, angels, and human beings, a single Spirit gazing out through myriad facets in the diamond of God-Consciousness.

The second Great Darshan was the gaze of a dolphin. My young family was spending a week at the Jersey Shore, in Avalon. It was late June, solstice time. Every morning I would go to the beach at dawn, practice Sudarshan Kriya and meditation, then swim a mile down the coast in the rising sun, out beyond the breaking waves. Swimming quite a distance from shore, I suddenly saw an enormous shadow-form sweep silently beneath me. My heart shuddered with primordial fear of the deep, the unknown.

I stopped and looked around. I was completely alone. Then a face emerged from the water about three yards in front of me, with perhaps the most intelligent and benign expression I have ever beheld,  a smile of respect, parental care, and benediction. A gaze of unconditional love enfolded me, and filled me with the certainty that I am protected, both on earth and among the stars, by a much more advanced and ancient race of Friends.

The third Great Gaze of my journey came at a meeting with my Teacher
at a meditation course in Nova Scotia, more than twenty years ago. That was the moment when I knew I really had a "guru," because Nobody is my guru. Let me explain.

Courses were small and intimate in those days, and on the final night I managed to visit alone with him in his room for more than an hour. At one point toward the end of our conversation, I asked, "There is so much chatter about who you are, that you are one of the great avatars or world teachers from a by-gone age who has returned to us. I need to know who you REALLY are!"

So he showed me. It was very simple. He said, "No, no, no. I am Nobody." And he meant it. Then I gazed into his eyes and saw pure Presence unveiled, no name, no story, no expectation from the past superimposed by the mind. Truly, I looked into Nobody's eyes. Nobody is my teacher. Nobody is my supreme authority. Nobody is my Lord.

That gaze: twin galaxies in-spiraling toward the formless source of creation through billions of light-years. Wells of eternity where I fell inward and outward at once, like a thrown pebble, like a lost meteor, in the motionless explosion of a dark sparkling rose of infinite circumference. This was the flowering of divine love. Golden petals gently, silently exploding from the empty stillness of the Self we all share. And gazing into each other this way, we make peace.

Jai Guru Dev. 



Photo by NASA, Helix Nebula




You Are The Source

Do you look for the source? Perhaps you Are the source. A blue sky radiates from your chest, clear and boundless, where shines a brilliant sun, about three inches in front of your heart, the size of your thumb tip, yet containing all the light and energy in creation. This is the sun of pure love, effortlessly, infinitely concentrated in a bindhu, one drop of devotion. Invisible threads of quantum entanglement connect this transcendental jewel to every star, every intron yet to be expressed in the DNA of the unborn, every mushroom spore in the cosmos. These silken love-threads are the strings of the vina that Sarasvati plays in her lap as She sings the names of God. But what is your name, friend? Your name is listening... listening... while your breath ever so gently rises and falls, polishing the emerald at the center of all Flesh. This is the true work of breathing.


First I thought it was the voice of Jesus. Then I thought it was the voice of Krishna. Then I thought, perhaps it is the voice of the Goddess. Now I know it is the voice of my own Heart whispering, "Dear one, when your wave breaks on the shore, you are so broken you forget you are the sea. As longing, pain, and union, longing, pain, and union, you rise and fall in waves. Please do not forget, when you arise I love you. When you break I love you. When you return to the depths I am there, waiting, as Love."


Inside your shell,
something soft surrenders
to the dark moon pull.
You are the pearl
formed by infinitesimal
gashes of sand.
One last sharp stab
pries open the mollusk
of your consciousness.
In an inky stream
all the sorrows of the world
stream out of your chest.
Now you can bathe
in the ocean of joy.

Just Help Me Become

I don't need you
to change me.
Just help me become
who I Am.
It is good
and it is very good
to feel precisely
what I am feeling.
The cloud of grief,
the downpour
of despair.
I dissolve
in healing rain.
There is no darkness
left to penetrate.
I am all night.
Then may arise
a liquid sliver of the sun
on the jagged edge
of mourning.
This is how a bud
breaks open,
spilling beauty
from its wound.
This is how a chrysalis
frees the golden moth
from its season
of uncertainty.
This is how your tear
becomes the sky.

Photo by Laurent Berthier

Three O'clock

It is 3 o'clock on Good Friday. My density is made of emptiness. At the center of each photon is the ayin soph, a black hole that recycles all the light in the universe. And at the center of this cross is the Being that has no opposite. There is no higher or lower, left or right. Where past and future kiss in sweet annihilation, the self is crucified, silence solidified into diamond no-thing-ness. 'O Lord, why have you forsaken me?' This is the prayer of the One who finds no other.

Bodies of Joy

When you meditate,
stop all this reaching
for the sun.
Bodies of joy don't fly.
They are weighted down
with jewels of emptiness,
pearls of compassion.
Gravity is the prayer
of the fallen,
who rise through surrender,
sinking deeper than the ripples
where small fish feed
and thoughts nibble
your toes.
I mean to say, you must drown
in groundless silence
swelling with waves of solitude,
all names swallowed up
in the ocean of Unknowing.
Don't count your breaths.
Here, one inhalation
lasts forever, one sigh
brings you Om.
When you emerge from
these waters, dripping starlight,
waders on the shore will whisper,
"Who is
glistening leviathan

of unalloyed night?"
Then you must sing to them
about the treasures
of the deep.

Image by Stephanie Laird



Meditation can be very dense right now, like plowing through rock. It's not You. It's the spectrum of the galaxy our solar system is passing through. And on the grossest physical level, that density expresses itself as war. Yet density is just a high concentration of very powerful particles bombarding you with radiance, purity, and love. It feels dense if we are not up to that vibration. So keep meditating with infinite forgiveness.

According to Bell's Theorum, now proven by experiments in physics, every particle expresses the whole field, and is connected to every other particle. So as the fire of meditation lightens the density of a particle in one neuron of your brain, you lighten the density for all sentient beings.

Embrace the darkness. Embrace the stone. It will melt all by itself without your work. The density is made of breath, the breath is made of infinitesimal crystal bells ringing out the energy of silence. The silence is made of light. The light is made from particles of darkness. And each particle of darkness is empty.

What is empty is vast, unbounded. What is unbounded is free. So your density is tightly packed solidified freedom. And when you penetrate the density, it dissolves into Grace.
Image from Resonance Science Foundation



Rest where the question
does not arise.
That is the answer.
Let the mind descend
into the heart.
That is the solution.
Was there a problem?
Eddies of thought
are the dance of silence.
Yet a gentle harmony
was already here,
a weaving of invisible roots
before the greening.
The fragrance entangled
in the loam.
Let falling down
be your ascension.
Discover that you are
the ground.
Last year's thousand
spent and weary petals
returning to your seed.
Now you are the cause
of Spring.

Painting by Di-Li Feng


What does Sabbath mean?
Literally, in Hebrew
it means stop and rest.
Stop and rest because
there is only one place
worth going,
and you can never go there.
Your mind can't go there either.
You won't even be able
to imagine arriving.
All going must dissolve
if you want to find that place.
For thousands of years
seekers have looked for it,
but they always failed
because it's a place that
can't be sought or found.
Thus the wise have said,
give up the search.
Where could it be?
Right here of course.
The place where you always
already are.
So stop, and rest.
Sink into the Being
that has no opposite.
Sabbath Queen by Elena Kotliarker


Happiness has nothing to do with the modern cult of the smile. It comes with an unconditional embrace of sorrow, revealing that even our shadows are woven of light, with threads so subtle they can only be seen through the eye of a broken heart. Have you embraced your tears? Have you honored your grief? Have you entered your wound? Upon the sand grain's grit and chafe is rounded the pearl of joy.

Painting: Mixed media, Marie Laparco



I asked Love to guide me
and Love said, 
I don't want you 
to go anywhere.
I asked to see the face of the Beloved
and Love became a mirror
shining from its own emptiness.
So I gazed into myself until
the light became too bright 
for any self at all.
Then I asked Love 
to carry me up
to the diamond pinnacle
of devotion.
It was priceless, naked, empty.
Love said, bow down.
So I plunged my nostrils 
in the compost.
And that how is I got 
to this feast of worms.
Painting my Cathy Morrison


                 Palden Lhamo, Terrifying Protector Aspect of Goddess Tara 

Toxic masculinity. Toxic femininity.
Toxic blame. Toxic forgiveness.
Toxic Christianity. Toxic Buddhism.
Toxic angels. Toxic whores.
Toxic capitalism. Toxic socialism.
Toxic mind. Toxic body.
Toxic the woke. Toxic the enlightened.
Toxic Jesus. Toxic Krishna.
Toxic the compost
that nourishes new life.
Toxic the afterbirth
that feeds the imbecilic loam.
I am toxic. Thou art toxic.
We have infected each other.
Even our garbage is woke.
Even our garbage is made of
pure consciousness.
Every toxic substance is composed
of that which is pure.
All is toxic and all is pure.
Nothing is poison.
When I penetrate the toxin of your gaze
I see only the demon of your beauty,
Palden Lhamo, Kali Ma.
Sacred the placenta. Holy the mulch. 
Holy the broken grail and blood spots
on linoleum.
The Goddess of detritus.
The Goddess of cheese.
The Goddess of manure.
The Goddess of menorrhagia.
The Goddess of wine.
Doom of roses.
Image from from 'Buddha Weekly'

Sunday Afternoon, May 22


Meditation Is Not A By-Pass

Real meditation id not a 'spiritual by-pass.' It does not by-pass our pain. Meditation penetrates into the nectar of pain. Meditators don't rise above pain, they surrender to its core. At the center of pain is the flowering of boundless energy. The same sap pervades both rose and thorn. The rose is happiness, the thorn is sorrow, the sap is bliss. Ananda isn't a passing mood or a temporary emotional state. Ananda is the juice of pure existence. It glows in the dark. Transcendence is not above, it is the hollow in the seed.

Even in a time of quiet, our solitude ferments into upheavals of rage and despair. One student said, "I can't wait to get to the other side of this anger!" But when we try to wrestle down our anger with our mind, we only churn up more wrathful thoughts and images from the past, or from the froth of the media. Mind, through mind, will never get to the other side of anger.
My teacher once said, "Blessed are you when you are confused, for then your mind descends into the heart."
In such moments of turmoil, I like to practice a sabbath from mental images. Anchored by the breath, I can sink into the space of the heart, and welcome the sacred alchemy of the body. The body brings salvation from the mind.
Embrace anger as pure sensation in the forehead. Embrace grief as the awakening of the gut, which is also the root of laughter. Embrace fear as a contraction in the chest, throbbing with energy.
When we embrace these emotions as energy, without attaching them to images of the past, without naming them in the mind, we give that energy a chance to transform itself. We give it freedom to blossom into fresh electricity in our cells, new electrons of flesh. This is what anger really is: creative energy contracted and solidified.
Use the gift of this body to let anger settle and dissolve into its deeper primordial condition: fear. But don't stop there. Feel the taste of the fear, and it too will transmute into something even more primal: our weariness, our weariness with trying to be in control.
The safe space of our own body is our temple of alchemy, and here its perfectly OK to be out of control. It's OK to explore sensations of intense emotion as sensation, not thought. We don't have to name the sensations. They are roots and hollows leading down into the Groundless at the heart of creation, where fountains of living water gush out of the well in our humanity.
My anger, my fear, my weariness, are not to be denied. For they are pathways that lead to a blossoming deeper inside me than I. They are portals leading from 'I' to Am.
To my soul, this may ache like a dark night. But to my body, it is the mystery of Spring in a tender furrow. What is a furrow? A space between. A space that is nameless and not yet, not yet... This where the action is. This is where the alchemy is.
A bee falls into the ocean of nectar at the center of the rose. But it does not die. It comes forth laden with gifts.
Photo by Kristy Thompson

Spilling Lupine


We made love in a thousand ways
before we had bodies.
We had other bodies.
We went star-tasting in the dark,
wore mouse robes, burrowed in alfalfa,
thawed from high crystal places
into torrents, transporting flowers
to the valley, spilling lupine, aster,
spores of Indian paintbrush.
Mingling florescent subterranean cilia,
we came up pungent mushrooms,
learning to be present as our own medicine.
Now, distanced by fingertips and mouths,
by words we cannot speak
because they might break open
and bleed out our silence,
we bravely drop the veil of mind,
inventing new ways to awaken
the one pure thousand-gendered
flesh that has no name.
We dance inside the bud,
cocooned in what will be torn apart
by wings that yearn to make rainbows.
Infinitesimal holograms of sky,
we scent the storm, the peculiar
fragrance of whirling,
while suckling our amethyst roots,
we taste again the stars.

Photo: I took this on my favorite hike near Mt. Rainier

Layam Vraja

Layam vraja, "dissolve now." ~Ashtavakra

Stars dissolve into a rose. A rose dissolves into stars. Ask Danté.

The solution is dissolution. What dissolves? Separateness. 

I am not my skin color. I am not my tribe. I am not even my gender. I wear these veils and garments, just as I have a red shirt or a Yankees cap on: but they are not my Self. 

Nor am I my political party, my nation, or my religion. And I am not my ancestors. These are my marvelous incidents, but not my essence. The core of my existence is prior to labels, identifications, masks. Yes, I enjoy wearing them, dancing in them, playing in their forms. I need not renounce them, because they were never really "mine" to begin with. In deep meditation, these forms dissolve like the dreams they are. Then I Am. 

In deep meditation, the core of existence reveals itself as the One who cannot be divided into races, tribes, religions, parties, yet who plays in them all as light playing in a kaleidoscope. The revelation transcends thought and imagination. It is the Self-image of the Imageless. Groundless, brilliant, empty, it is nowhere and everywhere. It is the Holy of Holies.

Emerging from meditation, I need no longer look for that place. I look from that place. Then it is impossible to identify any color or creed, any political or spiritual movement, as "me." I am simply who Am. 

The verb "Am" is solid as a diamond, boundless as the sky. Who needs to say, "I Am a man, I Am a liberal, I Am a buddhist, I Am a white or a black? Not I. Just Am. Those labels of identity make the mind small. No noun, no-thing, ever really follows the verb To Be.

Image: taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Explorer (WISE) showing the Rosette nebula located within the constellation Monoceros, or the Unicorn.