Vasudhaiva Kutumbkakam

A Sanskrit verse declares, "Vasúdhaivá kutúmbhakam." The world is one family.

Now is the time for each of us to be the whole. Every color of the rainbow is made of the same light. When God looks at us, God sees the super-radiance of one Self reflected in the mirror of her consciousness, yet scintillating in particular faces, exquisitely unique souls.

This is the very purpose of evolution. Myriad vigintillion sparks condense into the mineral kingdom, entangle their cilia through the vegetable, embed their expanding soulfulness among the wingéd, reptilian and four-leggéd creatures, then Christ-all-eyes in fiery neurons of a human brain, solidifying consciousness as angel-pearl. Who knows? Each of us may one day selve our own earth as a personal planetary spirit, just as Gaia did, She who once was a protozoan monad of wonder.

"Vasúdhaivá kutúmbhakam." The world is one family. Now is the time to return to our family with a sense of planetary belonging, a sense of intimacy with the earth. And how shall we return? Not by drowning our individuality in the collective, the tribe, the racial identity group: but by self-awareness, as holographic souls, each a facet that reflects the diamond of God-consciousness.

Yet to take the next step in evolution, we must stop catastrophizing. Catastrophic thinking feeds the mind, not the soul. In fact, mind is the catastrophe. Everything else is an act of God.

Why keep polarizing, dividing our humanity into tribes, colors, genders, parties, when the real opportunity is to become a Person? There is room in the light of the Christic hologram for each of us. We sing our diversity, yet in the only context that makes our song a uni-verse: the astounding oneness of our Spirit.

Are we not human beings: both Human and Being? We celebrate sacraments of the finite in earthen vessels; yet through each breath our consciousness roots down in cosmic existence. We dance as independent bodies; yet we also meditate, tapping the stillness of the Source, and it is the stillness of each other's Source. In the words of Ernest Holmes: "The wick of your individual life runs deep into the oil of pure Being." (This Thing Called You, 1948)

Yes, we're all made of the same light in this rainbow-arc of evolution. But we awaken through the miracle of ensoulment. The glory is not to lose our personhood in the collective, but to embrace multitudes, to embody galaxies, in the arms of this soulful heart.

The collective remains vague and unrealized until it is grokked, until it is celebrated, by a unique sibling-citizen. Is this not creation's paradox, its playfulness, its lila? We are here for the hologram. We are here so that All may become Each, and Each become All. The cosmos cannot sing Herself without your voice. The ocean only awakens in a drop, and only a drop can return to the depth, with awareness.
 


Tree of Life, painting by Heather Watts

Archer

 

You bent the golden bow
into an empty circle,
pulled the arrow
of darkness back
to your eye.
Now hold the target
over your own breast
and pierce
the heart of the void.
Your shaft has no quarry.
It flies in all directions at once.
Aim aimlessly, warrior,
and you will bring down
the Lord of blue skies.
Draw your straight path
into a sphere.
Become the womb
of your intent.
Let all be born
without a purpose.
You are the bow,
the taught and hollow curve
of possibility.
Rest between breaths,
where the victory
is already won,
and the arrow releases itself.


Version of a poem in my book, 'The Fire of Darkness'

Countless Sins



Yes, I’ve committed
countless sins.
Fireflies over a meadow
just before sunrise.
Tea candles on a veranda at noon.
Milkweed in the ocean wind.
Here's the secret:
God has no interest in guilt.
Abandon penance and forgiveness
because the heart is an empty sky
full of amazement
whose dawning outshines
every circumstance
as honey overflows the comb.
When the dandelion is ready,
the frailest breath blows it away.
In the richest vineyard,
nothing takes root
but the ancient grapes of pain
bursting sweetly on the tongue
today, today, 
with the taste of love.
When I understood this,
I fell down and sang
to the worm, to the ladybug,
to the earth's least wanted child,
"Walk on me!"

Guru

 

A teacher fills you.
A guru empties you.
A teacher gives knowledge.
A guru awakens
the knower.
One transmits information.
The other transmits wonder
without words.
Your mind thirsts
for certainty.
Your heart yearns for
breaking open.
If the yearning is intense enough,
the guru could be a cricket.

Loss

 



Collage by Rashani Réa, who used it in a grief workshop. Thank you Rashani.

Splainin

 

Learned this lying on the belly

of a big wise sleepy poodle.

I don't need any more information.

No more explanations of Being.

Just Being without the labels,

without the descriptions,

without the astrologer guru scientist

life coach priestess channeling

ascended master's pleiadean

seventh chakra hochma ayahuasca

jaguar shaman jive talk.

Because Truth is not informed

but in formlessness,

far beneath the tic-toc tide,

the twitter-waves of

man-splaining woman-splaining

left-splaining right-splaining

rap-splaining preacher-splaining

esoteric tantric bebop.

Let me drown O let me live

in the waters of the Unknown,

far beneath the waves of knowledge,

because un-knowing is the space 

of compassion.

Because that's where “I” dissolve

in pollen-sweet Ameen,

the bee hum amrit "Am."

That's where tears are born,

where laughter springs up

from wonder-loam, refreshing 

the parched body of the earth.

That's where my old beaten heart 

just keeps polishing 

diamond silence

with this breath.

Stillness In Action (Gita 4:18)

 

 The notion that some of us are activists and others are contemplatives is a false distinction. We are all activists, and all contemplatives. 

In the most dynamic action, we plunge 101% into our peak performance, and precisely then we find a boundless stillness at our core, an infinite silence within. Physiologists call this state "flow." At their best moments of creative energy, great athletes and great artists alike experience inner repose at the core of action. Some of us have experienced this paradox at times of maximum challenge. So the Bhagavad Gita declares: "One who sees silence in the midst of action, and action in the midst of silence, truly sees (4:18)." 

When you act, leap 101% into action. When you meditate, sink 101% into silence at your heart's core. Eventually the ocean of silence will pervade the waves of activity in a very natural way. This integration of stillness and action does not come from dividing the mind, trying to detach from life-energy, in a vain attempt to remain half silent and half active at the same time. That will only makes us weak and confused. Seekers have been making this mistake for centuries.

The state of integration comes from alternating dynamic action with dynamic silence, 100% silence, and 100% action, gradually culturing the nervous system to function with infinite flexibility, until we are naturally living 200% of life. Then the experience of vast stillness simply flowers in the midst of action, without self-detachment. This is cosmic consciousness, the fruit of Transcendental Meditation, the fruit of regular morning and evening practice, combined with daily work in the market place of the world.

When you go to work, forget about meditation. Just chop wood and carry water. When you meditate, forget about work. Just immerse in the grace of no-thing.

 

Photo from Stillness Retreat at Mount Madonna Center

Unchoose

 

Blessed be the Unchosen.
Does the apple tree
prefer Autumn or Spring?

Would brook water rather be a cloud?
Does a sunbeam choose
which leaf to turn green?

When does a larva decide
to put on twin rainbows?
Which star gets the deepest night?

At dawn, a liquid bell
of red winged blackbird on a cattail:
who chose the moment to sing?

Which nipple does the infant love best?
Why does the earth keep turning?
Is she's choosing night or day?

Nature selects all
and prefers nothing.
Only the mind is "for" or "against."

Blessed be the Unchosen.
The miracle happens here,
a brilliant golden summer moth

just now settling on the peony.
This choice was made
before the sun and moon were born.

Plunging, Drowning

 

Meditation is not doing, but plunging, drowning in the space of the heart. Here the mind gets saturated with pure Being, so luscious, so succulent, there is no room for thought. Why visualize a golden lotus? I Am the golden lotus. Why seek an Other? I am the ground, the seed, the root, and the blossom.

My silence is a diamond more solid than God. And pure Being is my very nature. I shall not even call this "meditation." I shall call it, "polishing the crystal of existence with one soft breath." 

After meditation, I discover this very same inner jewel at the center of a raindrop, at the petal tip of an iris on a May morning. I see the same unbounded inner sky on the curve of a robin's egg. Ah, tender blue, the color of astonishment in an empty mind! 

If there is a "spiritual path," it must be just this gentle dissolving of the difference, the borderline, between inner and outer.

So Many Perceptions


So many perceptions
mistaken.
How can anything impermanent
be right or wrong?
Words like yours and mine,
better and worse,
what do they mean?
They are moths teased and sizzled
by flame.
When did you forget that you 
are the burning itself?
A flash of silent summer 
midnight lightning
is neither fact nor fiction.
The fat old fly
trapped all Winter between 
inner and outer windows.
Shreds of a used cocoon.
Burnish on an evening cloud.
Do we call this life or death?
Billions of points of view
float like dust in a golden ray
leading you back to the sun
inside your breath,
this thing-less light
reflected in every raindrop,
every tear.
And from the soft spot on your crown
a silken thread tethered
to the distant star 
of your otherness.
You could dissolve
this estrangement forever
just by being silent.
Now is the time to decide
whether you are the dust 
or the sunbeam.
This story of our love
needs no telling, friend.
The past tense vanishes
into a darker fire.
Fill up with the wonder
we must all breathe,
many moist lips on the verge
of a single kiss.


Gustave Klimpt, 'The Kiss,' detail

'Mother' Is A Verb

Mother is a verb
that anyone may do.
Mother me.
Mother them.
Mother yourself.
Cherish the womb
of a deeper silence.
Give birth
to your own heart.
 


'Dalit Madonna' by Jyoti Sahi

The Fragrance

 

"Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you. Allow your love to nourish yourself as well as others." ~Maharishi
 
The ego does not want to hear this. The mind prefers conflict, because conflict makes it feel alive. The ego-mind loves to star in its own melodrama, imagining itself the victim in a heroic struggle against the oppressor. Of course, the real oppressor is the mind itself. But eventually it wearies of the struggle, surrenders, and sinks into the heart. Then a flowering happens, a transformation.

The blossom doesn't need to take a journey, and search for bees. The blossom remains still, releasing a scent that lures the bees toward its center. So, in deep meditation, the heart breathes without effort, pulsing in repose. Let dynamic stillness exude waves of love, drawing all good things into the domain of your heart.

 
Photo by Kristy Thompson

A Diamond With Ten Thousand Eyes


Freedom is never a reaction. To be stuck in reaction is bondage, bondage to the one against whom we re-act. Freedom is observing our reactions. In that seeing, reaction dissolves. Then we can act from stillness, the silence of the Seer. Stillness is a lightning bolt. Silence is a diamond with ten thousand eyes. Why not act like a mountain floating on a sea of blossoms?


Mt. Fuji. Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan

A Hymn To Silence

 

Silence is substance. The material world is made out of vibrating energy. But what is the energy that vibrates? No-thing. The empty vacuum of perfect silence. 
 
St. John of the Cross said, "Silence is the first language of God." The 2nd Century Gnostic Valentinus wrote, "The real Virgin Mother is mystical eternal silence." Rumi tells us, "When I am silent, I fall into the place where everything is music." Ammaji adds, "In meditation, silence is the Mother." And Anias Ninn: "I love your silences, they are like mine."
 
Silence cannot be thought. Thinking a thought about silence is not silence. Of course our silence should not suppress or negate thinking. But in the radiant quietness of Truth, the veil of thought becomes transparent, and silence outshines the mind. Then silence is freedom from thought.

And if you are an activist, do not doubt that your action is empowered from a place of silence. Plunge into action 101%, and you will feel at the peak of action a depth inside you that is utterly still, utterly silent.
 
I don't need freedom of speech nearly so much as I need freedom of silence. Let me liberate silence from every shackle of shame, from every self-image that mutes me through the words of others. True silence is not the repression commanded by authority and fear. That is not silence at all, but only a stifled scream. True silence is the music of repose, which flows through all my apparent boundaries, suffuses every particle of this body, the cell walls, the breeze in the meadow, rivers and streams, forests, mountains, clouds, the space about the moon, the aura of the day star. My intimate silence overflows the rim of the Milky Way. 
 
Silence is the fertile womb of darkness, the causeless astonishment that bubbles at the root of the cosmos. The silence of the invisible sap, odorless yet permeating stem, leaf, petal and pollen with a fragrance of ecstasy. The soft silence of divine love, soaking through the edges of things, melting, uniting them in Wholeness, without destroying their forms. Each form is but a wave on the ocean of the Ineffable, yet silence is the depth.
 
When I am truly awake, my flesh is the comb, silence is the honey in every cell. I can taste it, taste the golden void in each atom. Silence is the glory of night, the luminous nectar of blackness, in whom the effervescent stars are suspended like the sparkle in wine. Most abysmal of all is the silence between my thoughts, my true home, "intereor intimo mea," more intimate to me than I am to myself.
 
Silence is the oil pressed out and overflowing from matter. And matter is solidified silence. Silence is never anywhere else but here, the eternity in each moment. Silence is the soul of this breath, the muse of the universe, essence of presence prior to the Word. In the groundless caverns of meditation, silence crystalizes into diamond, more adamant than any fleeting quark or neutrino composing the stuff of the physical world. For at the quantum level of the cosmos, this world is a mist, ever vanishing in the dawn of silence. 
 
No need to seek or attain it. Just sink deeper into your heart, the center that has no circumference, the Being that has no opposite. Here, in unutterable vastness beyond the mind - or rather, not beyond but before, even before the thought of "I" - here in bewildered beauty, dissolve into Truth, and the Truth will set you free.
 
What is Truth? This is exactly what Pontius Pilate asked Jesus at his trial. How did Jesus answer? He was silent. Silence is Truth. I cannot know the truth: I Am the truth. Vibrations of silence do the speaking. All things are made of silence, "Om Tat Sat." And that thou art, "Tat Tvam Asi."
 
Now, a meditation from 7th Century Syrian Saint, Isaac of Nineveh:

"Above all things,
love silence.
Out of your silence
will arise something
that will draw you
into deeper silence.
If you practice this,
inexpressible light
will dawn upon you."
 



Hubble space photo, Sombrero Galaxy

The Silence Between

 


Let marvelous images,
clouds of lies,
appear and dissolve in your
breathlessly silent
cobalt sky.
Within you is a magistrate
with woolly brows.
Within you is a soft shining girl
spilling goat milk from an ancient jar.
Within you is a stallion 
bronze as the melting sun 
on the horizon of a land 
you have not explored.
Within you are two earthworms
entangled in a passionate helix of rainbows,
both of them hermaphrodites.
Let the judge kneel, weighted down
by a single tear.
Let the little girl put her hand
on his cheek.
Let the stallion walk warily toward you,
then, at the sound of your voice,
bow his crown
to nuzzle your shoulder.
Let the worms go at it and churn
the dirt like bulls from heaven.
Let the terrible beautiful world
happen in the silence
between ideas.
Believe in nothing.
 
 
 
Illustration by David Onazzi for Outside Magazine

May 1, Beltane, New Moon, Solar Eclipse, Whatever

 

This is a big day in astrology. Everything is in conjunction with everything else. Each quark proton in your flesh is transiting an invisible sun whose light is on its way. Each of your blood cells is in hologrammatic agreement with the whirling verb of Laniakea, the super-cluster of galaxies in whose body our solar system is an atom. The wave of the past and the trough of the future perfectly cancel each other in the oceanic stillness of this moment. Now is the most auspicious time to do whatever you are doing. Just don't try... OK, the astrologers are no longer listening to me, so I can tell you a secret: this is how it always is, every moment, every day.

Illustration from the 'Tres Riches Heures du Duc De Berry'