Ever Deepening

There is a love that needs no story, a love that needs no lover, a love that falls in love with Being. This love need not cling to any thing, because it is already our true nature. A love that nourishes All, because there is no Other. What is the sign of this love? An ever deepening silence of the heart. It is the mystery of the divine womb.

Pinturicchio, 'Madonna of Peace'

A Blessing for the New Year

My words accompanied by the art of Rashani Réa

A Blessing

You don't need to be a rose-soft new-age angel to meditate. You don't need to sip liquefied kale or visit an ashram to tap the infinite Source. You don't need to be higher, purer, more enlightened, or sit in lotus posture. Here's the heresy of this blessing: there's no one "else" for you to be. The fundamental dis-ease that cripples this culture is our toxic compulsion to be someone better than we are.

Find the courage to be incomparable. You are not a fraction trying to reach One. You are One. Call off the search. The beginning and end of spiritual practice is to rest the mind in its own broken heart. Align with your jagged edges. Tune into your rough, unpolished, sparkling joy. But leave some room for the wrinkles and tears that define you. Be utterly You-nique.

Without the piercing singularity of your love-note, the symphony of creation could not resound. You'll never know how many trillions of creatures gather to the hum of your tuning-fork, the crystal of your self-forgiveness. 

This earth doesn't need another Gandhi or Jesus - it needs You. Come, enjoy a new paradigm: enlightenment is more like falling than ascending, more like collapsing than getting it all together. Why cling to the raft of someone else’s teaching? Sink in your own wave, whose depth is perfect stillness. 

I wish you the inestimable grace of Being who you already Are. I did not learn this from the gods. I learned it from the dogs.

Photo: my dearest friends, Emerson and Finn



You're not here
      to save the world.
           You're here to discover
                that you Are the world.
You are compassion.
     You are perfect healing.
           In you the mountains
                are lighter than the sky.
Don't try to believe.
      Just fall in love
           with yourself in every
                pair of eyes.
Now take a blessed breath
      of the newborn light
           that is never even one
                moment old.

Artist, Artemio Coanqu



Sadness of the waning moon.

She carries the weight of our light

into unfathomable absences.

We pretend to love.
To love me, to love you.

But there is no other.

There is only love at rest

in the stillness that surrounds

all our desiring.

You have needed the beloved

for a long long time.

Now learn the mercy of the dark.

If this be too limitless, too vast,

learn the cry of an owl

in the sadness

of the waning moon.

Photo, barn owl, Britannica.com


You will be disappointed

in every guru

until you meet the one


Then what glows

from your hollow core

will reflect from the face

of every lost
and fallen stranger.
You'll get darshan

from a little child,

the countenance of a withered rose,

the broken moon in a rainbow

of spilt motor oil,

a toothless woman

shrouded in a ragged quilt

gazing at the stars in her
empty coffee cup.

Now let the molten gold

of your own ineffable grace

fill in the cracks
of the world.

* Kintsugi:
the ancient Japanese art of repairing
broken pottery by using seams of melted gold.


Surrender has already happened.

"You" did not do it.

Before your first breath,

this enormous invisible flower

was blossoming, releasing

the miraculous pollen

of ordinary things.
Just enjoy the fragrance.

Stop worrying about

"who" surrenders, "who" fell
into this bottomless

ageless cup of sweetness.

Still falling, still falling

in every direction at once.

If Truth could be expressed

in words, in thoughts,

the earth would not be filled

with willows, herons, mist,

distant mountains,

the glory of dust.



Rest in the Motherhood of silence.
Give birth to the light in your heart.
Let your breath be Christ.

The Small

Why must you expand
when you could delight in an atom?
A photon of your laughter
encircles the sun.
The globe of one limpid tear
mirrors a thousand galaxies.
You are everything,
but that isn't enough
until you fit into this breath.
No dilation
without contraction.
Howl. Give birth.
Gaze into the dew of pain.
You came to marvel
at a dogwood blossom
bursting in a moon beam,
a mother curled in your heartbeat,
a father sleeping in your bellybutton,
Christ in a breadcrumb, crying,
“This is my body!”
What is the joy of great beings?
They condense themselves
into drops of love.

Dalit Madonna, India, by Jyoti Sahi

Love It All

I love Jesus. I love the Pagan Solstice Christmas pine. I love Madonna Mushroom. I love Goddess Shakti. I love the 2nd Century Gnostic Valentinus who said, "The true Virgin Mother is mystical eternal silence." Love my wild Buddha-heart. Love the perfect consistency of my contradictions. Love luscious berries of fire and mistletoe clustered on the cross of paradox. Love the tree of life in the garden of my body: I am the apple. Love the newborn sun, and what my body says to my spirit: "Every particle of me is made of Mother Mater Matter Dust, each atom a cathedral where pilgrims arrive from the stars to celebrate the miracle of flesh. O my soul, You irradiate the world through this flesh. I am your dance. Let there be no more talk of our separation." Here, after thousands of years of religious combat, my body and soul Christalize into a single magnum mysterium. And where does this mystery occur? In the nameless roadside shrine of my chest, in the oat crunch of cows and fur scent of dogs, in a flame that was always burning yet never lit until Now. Here I celebrate the birth of God, who is this Breath.

Painting: Sacred Bond by James Neafsey

Solstice Meditation


"Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day: for you, darkness is as light." ~Psalm 139

I feel darkness dissolve into photons of uncreated light. Why could I not see it before? Darkness is made of sparkling finely granulated quanta, light made of velvet threads and particles of darkness.

I feel silence dissolve into a carillon of infinitesimal bells. Why could I not hear it before? Silence is the chant of our ancestors, the harmony of angels, the sound of Mary singing praises to our bodies. For every quark of us springs from her transcendental virgin womb.

I feel lover and beloved dissolve in pure love. Why could I not sense it before? Love needs no story. Love doesn't even need a lover. Love just wants to dissolve.

I feel how weightless it all becomes when I let go of grasping for an explanation, a correct view, a Way. When I embrace all by letting go of all, and I fall into grace. In an instant of surrender, just at the end of my exhalation, before the gift of the next breath is given, I feel the tiny empty bindhu that contains the wild unbounded ocean of divine chaos, where suns are born from the energy before the Word.

Here, there is no thing but Joy. Here, the mind can't understand. What is there to stand on? But the heart can burst with the radiance of the holy night.

No Other Way


The message I keep hearing from people is how tired they are, how utterly weary and exhausted. The message I keep hearing in response from Nature herself is this: "Now is the time to collapse. Now is the time to be fallen, and dissolve like the snow. It's perfectly OK to sink, to let go, to be scattered like seed. Fall into Me. You are held. It was precisely your attempt to elevate yourself, to ascend, to triumph, to surmount, that has exhausted you and brought you to this trough in the light, this furrow in my loam. Here is your work now: surrender. Abandon the quest. Only when you drop like a withered seed in complete surrender, will you be born like a new Sun from the very darkness you embrace. There is no other way to get through this miracle."

Painting by Susan Seidon-Boulet

For the Feast of Doubting Thomas (Dec. 21)

Follow the ones who leave
no footprints.
We who stop seeking
are anointed.
Let the next inhalation
be your teacher.
When you need
a prayer, an antiphon,
chant this:
"My chest always already open.

My chest always already open."
I give you a solemn promise:
If you take the pathless way
a golden flower will softly

silently explode in your body,
the very motion
of your heart's stillness.
How can I be sure?
I have tasted the honey.
I know where it is stored.
In your wound, my friend,
in your wound.


Waters Of Silence

Stop thinking, and stop trying
not to think.

To stop thinking
and stop trying not to think

are exactly the same practice.

This is the valley of

Wu Wei.

It is green and beautiful.

Just watch.

Silt settles, problems vanish.

No need to touch

the surface or the depth.

The pond clears all
by itself.

This we call, "Stop thinking."

Resting on the bank,
listening to the music of your mind

like a mountain stream,

this we call, "Stop trying

not to think."

Just watch

the white waters of silence
go over 10,000 stones,

singing and beautiful.


Photo: Took this on a hike at Mt. Tahoma (Rainier)

Who Is The Friend?

Who is the Friend?
The one who placed
an infinitesimal bell
of silence
in your heart
between what rises
and falls.
When you hear this
unstruck sound,
stars tremble.
Even the darkness
grows intimate
and soft,
because the breath
that encircles the universe
is yours.
Painting of Mary Magdalene by Sue Ellen Parker

What Matters

All that matters is the kiss

of pistil and stamen.

All that matters is the wave nature

of the moon.

All that matters an erotic caress

of listener and silence,

thrill of stillness

where music is conceived.

All that matters is the death

of distances, the pool
of sapphire yearning

where the sky in your forehead

drowns my darkest embryo.

Are we not born

inside each other

as tears?

Here is the gift of emptiness.

All that matters is the touch

of your breath,

pouring in from the desert night
across the sea, where stars
arrange themselves so tenderly

over your slumber,

and my breath,

ebbing into the diamond blackness

that is always awake.

Photo: Shi Shi Beach, Matthew Nichols Photography



Are you looking for a quiet place?

Friend, you are already here.

Your blood's repose

between pulsations.

A meditation cave in every vein.

Secret chamber in your chest

where you have no enemies,

no one to blame,

and the endless journey

has not begun.

The place where prayers for peace

need no speaking.

Simply disperse into

the finer element you are

before you breathe.

Be the sparkling sky

in the lungs of a hummingbird,

smoke of sage in desert air,

aureole in darkness where

the flame just blew out.

Burn away and remember

that your body is made

of vanished stars.

Stumble and fall

into your own rhythm,

which feels like you are

not moving at all,

because your mind is at rest

in flesh that needs

no discipline of stillness.

You are a nest inside the egg,

a mother's womb that carries

her own savior.

You are the seed of

what you have always been seeking.

Now flower on a Winter night.

I Did Not Come Here To Get Angry

I did not come here
to get angry.
I did not come here
to be sad.
I did not come to carry
the bones of old stories in my skin.
I came to find a forest place,
the glade of moonlight
we only discover
when we're lost,
where animal guides gather
to dance,
and ice crystals sparkle
with the silent echo
of Spring flowers.
I came to fail in every endeavor
where I might have imagined
myself in control.
I came to feel the waves of joy
that swell from the grief ocean.
One chamber of my heart
is empty, the other full.
I came to hover
over the frailest boundary
until it disappears.
My map is the caesura
between breaths
where light hides in darkness
and my lover is waiting
to step from her veil.
There’s a hollow stem
sprouting out of my breastbone,
unfolding jasmine galaxies,
ten thousand petals,
so quietly.

Solstice art by Sue Wookey