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



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'

Poetry Is Not Advice


Poetry is not advice.
A poet only makes humming sounds,

never tells you

what not to do,

because poetry is uncertain

about everything,

like God slinging electrons

in all directions at once,

hoping to hit something real.

A poet never says,

"Listen! I sound like Hafez.

Maybe I AM Hafez!"

A poet only makes humming sounds,

echos in an empty confessional,

whispered to the priest who 

isn't there: "You are entangled 

in me, I am entangled in you.

I can't tell who's who any more.

We're loam-drunk fungus strands,

self-luminous cilia, Chanterelle blue,

double-helixed in musk gloom. 

Missing the essential sequences 

that might finally explain something,

our thorny chromosomes 

of dubious ancestry root 

in the death of reptiles,

a vague recurrent dream

of scaly wings."

I can't understand this poem.

That is why it is a poem.

All I can share is a circle

of arms, of tears, a mirror 

of the Witness shattered 

into 14 billion eyes each

searching for its image in the void.  

Here are the verses I know.

I beat out their rhythm with my bones 

against flesh, until I glow 

with bruises of wisdom, 

of faith that has no analog, 

no story, no likeness. 

A poet only makes humming sounds,

this one from the guru of quantum vedanta,

"Matter is overrated." 

This from the haruspex of quivering

sibilant entrails: "Mind is overrated."

And this from Lady Ayahuasca:

"Neither mind nor matter exist.

Only the voices of the jungle

carried like shreds of sacred text

in the beaks of man-eating parrots.

Now flare your nostrils, drink this song

through every orifice of the body."

Painting of Peruvian artist Pablo Amaringo

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!"



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.



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

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

This is a sacred text, from the central chapter of Kenneth Graham's 'The Wind In The Willows,' wherein Mole and Ratty search for baby Otter, and find him nestled at the feet of the Great God ... Illustration by Michael Hague, brother of our dear friend, Scott.
Then a change began slowly to declare itself. The horizon became clearer, field and tree came more into sight, and somehow with a different look; the mystery began to drop away from them. A bird piped suddenly, and was still; and a light breeze sprang up and set the reeds and bulrushes rustling. Rat, who was in the stern of the boat, while Mole sculled, sat up suddenly and listened with a passionate intentness. Mole, who with gentle strokes was just keeping the boat moving while he scanned the banks with care, looked at him with curiosity.
"It's gone!" sighed the Rat, sinking back in his seat again. "So beautiful and strange and new! Since it was to end so soon, I almost wish I had never heard it. For it has roused a longing in me that is pain, and nothing seems worth while but just to hear that sound once more and go on listening to it for ever. No! There it is again!" he cried, alert once more. Entranced, he was silent for a long space, spellbound.

"Now it passes on and I begin to lose it," he said presently. "O Mole! the beauty of it! The merry bubble and joy, the thin, clear, happy call of the distant piping! Such music I never dreamed of, and the call in it is stronger even than the music is sweet! Row on, Mole, row! For the music and the call must be for us."

The Mole, greatly wondering, obeyed. "I hear nothing myself," he said, "but the wind playing in the reeds and rushes and osiers."

The Rat never answered, if indeed he heard. Rapt, transported, trembling, he was possessed in all his senses by this new divine thing that caught up his helpless soul and swung and dandled it, a powerless but happy infant in a strong sustaining grasp.

In silence Mole rowed steadily, and soon they came to a point where the river divided, a long backwater branching off to one side. With a slight movement of his head Rat, who had long dropped the rudder-lines, directed the rower to take the backwater. The creeping tide of light gained and gained, and now they could see the colour of the flowers that gemmed the water's edge.

"Clearer and nearer still," cried the Rat joyously. "Now you must surely hear it! Ah—at last—I see you do!"

Breathless and transfixed, the Mole stopped rowing as the liquid run of that glad piping broke on him like a wave, caught him up, and possessed him utterly. He saw the tears on his comrade's cheeks, and bowed his head and understood. For a space they hung there, brushed by the purple loosestrife that fringed the bank; then the clear imperious summons that marched hand-in-hand with the intoxicating melody imposed its will on Mole, and mechanically he bent to his oars again. And the light grew steadily stronger, but no birds sang as they were wont to do at the approach of dawn; and but for the heavenly music all was marvellously still.

On either side of them, as they glided onwards, the rich meadow-grass seemed that morning of a freshness and a greenness unsurpassable. Never had they noticed the roses so vivid, the willow-herb so riotous, the meadow-sweet so odorous and pervading. Then the murmur of the approaching weir began to hold the air, and they felt a consciousness that they were nearing the end, whatever it might be, that surely awaited their expedition.

A wide half-circle of foam and glinting lights and shining shoulders of green water, the great weir closed the backwater from bank to bank, troubled all the quiet surface with twirling eddies and floating foam-streaks, and deadened all other sounds with its solemn and soothing rumble. In midmost of the stream, embraced in the weir's shimmering arm-spread, a small island lay anchored, fringed close with willow and silver birch and alder. Reserved, shy, but full of significance, it hid whatever it might hold behind a veil, keeping it till the hour should come, and, with the hour, those who were called and chosen.

Slowly, but with no doubt or hesitation whatever, and in something of a solemn expectancy, the two animals passed through the broken, tumultuous water and moored their boat at the flowery margin of the island. In silence they landed, and pushed through the blossom and scented herbage and undergrowth that led up to the level ground, till they stood on a little lawn of a marvellous green, set round with Nature's own orchard-trees—crab-apple, wild cherry, and sloe.

"This is the place of my song-dream, the place the music played to me," whispered the Rat, as if in a trance. "Here, in this holy place, here if anywhere, surely we shall find Him!"

Then suddenly the Mole felt a great Awe fall upon him, an awe that turned his muscles to water, bowed his head, and rooted his feet to the ground. It was no panic terror—indeed he felt wonderfully at peace and happy—but it was an awe that smote and held him and, without seeing, he knew it could only mean that some august Presence was very, very near. With difficulty he turned to look for his friend, and saw him at his side, cowed, stricken, and trembling violently. And still there was utter silence in the populous bird-haunted branches around them; and still the light grew and grew.

Perhaps he would never have dared to raise his eyes, but that, though the piping was now hushed, the call and the summons seemed still dominant and imperious. He might not refuse, were Death himself waiting to strike him instantly, once he had looked with mortal eye on things rightly kept hidden. Trembling he obeyed, and raised his humble head; and then, in that utter clearness of the imminent dawn, while Nature, flushed with fulness of incredible colour, seemed to hold her breath for the event, he looked in the very eyes of the Friend and Helper; saw the backward sweep of the curved horns, gleaming in the growing daylight; saw the stern, hooked nose between the kindly eyes that were looking down on them humorously, while the bearded mouth broke into a half-smile at the corners; saw the rippling muscles on the arm that lay across the broad chest, the long supple hand still holding the pan-pipes only just fallen away from the parted lips; saw the splendid curves of the shaggy limbs disposed in majestic ease on the sward; saw, last of all, nestling between his very hooves, sleeping soundly in entire peace and contentment, the little, round, podgy, childish form of the baby otter. All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered.

"Rat!" he found breath to whisper, shaking. "Are you afraid?"

"Afraid?" murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love. "Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet—and yet—O, Mole, I am afraid!"

Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.

Sudden and magnificent, the sun's broad golden disc showed itself over the horizon facing them; and the first rays, shooting across the level water-meadows, took the animals full in the eyes and dazzled them. When they were able to look once more, the Vision had vanished, and the air was full of the carol of birds that hailed the dawn.

As they stared blankly, in dumb misery deepening as they slowly realised all they had seen and all they had lost, a capricious little breeze, dancing up from the surface of the water, tossed the aspens, shook the dewy roses, and blew lightly and caressingly in their faces; and with its soft touch came instant oblivion. For this is the last best gift that the kindly demi-god is careful to bestow on those to whom he has revealed himself in their helping: the gift of forgetfulness. Lest the awful remembrance should remain and grow, and overshadow mirth and pleasure, and the great haunting memory should spoil all the after-lives of little animals helped out of difficulties, in order that they should be happy and light-hearted as before.

Mole rubbed his eyes and stared at Rat, who was looking about him in a puzzled sort of way. "I beg your pardon; what did you say, Rat?" he asked.

"I think I was only remarking," said Rat slowly, "that this was the right sort of place, and that here, if anywhere, we should find him. And look! Why, there he is, the little fellow!" And with a cry of delight he ran towards the slumbering Portly.

But Mole stood still a moment, held in thought. As one wakened suddenly from a beautiful dream, who struggles to recall it, and can recapture nothing but a dim sense of the beauty of it, the beauty! Till that, too, fades away in its turn, and the dreamer bitterly accepts the hard, cold waking and all its penalties; so Mole, after struggling with his memory for a brief space, shook his head sadly and followed the Rat.

Dharma Card Collages by Rashani Réa

Click each Dharma Card to enlarge. Cards are 5x7, blank inside. Rashani's site also has beautiful coffee table art books, including one I did with her: 'Shimmering Birthless: A Confluence of Verse and Image' (LINK). Rashani's website: LINK


In addition to the Dharma Cards above, here a some other collages of my poems by Rashani. Some are pages from the book, 'Shimmering Birthless...'