Refuge


Take refuge in this moment.

One lightning bolt of wonder

through the heart of a child

incinerates ten thousand

books of philosophy.

All the speeches of politicians

burn to tasteless ash

in the diamond eye of a lover.

A wild mushroom springs

from the manure pile,
pungent as the breath
of a dark angel.
Stop all this talk

about “awakening”

and look at the moon
through the wing of a moth.

There is no war in this meadow.

Stars long to fall here

and become wild poppies

on an April morning.



Painting by Claude Monet

Voices

I know that it's Spring
because the apple tree is
flinging away her clothes.
The blossoms fall
without announcing
their joy or sorrow.
They need no voice
but the breath of April.
I’m tired of voices,
both yours and mine,
yet I could listen
to our silences
all night long.
Forgive me, Lord,
sometimes I even get
tired of your voice.
How many scriptures
does the world need?
How many silences are there?
Now come, breathe, stay.
We could meet here
where your silence and mine 
and even
the silence of God
fling away their blossoms
and whirl.

Conspiracy Theory

 
Almost all conspiracy theories can be dispelled by applying the principle known as Hanlon's Razor: "Do not attribute to malice that which is more easily explained by stupidity." However, I admit to having my own conspiracy theory, and you may feel free to use it. For billions of years, in fact, from the birth of time, the black hole at the center of every galaxy, the gravity of each gazing star, the magnetism of each hydrocarbon and chloroplast, each photon of sunlight, proton of breath, and even the shyest colors in the meadow, like celadon and sage, have been conspiring to guide my atoms to this moment, this place, where I have no choice but to fall on my knees in the moss, to spread my arms like useless wings toward wind and sky, and now confess: "I don't know what the fuck is going on!" Then only am I capable of praying, "I'm sorry, forgive me, thank you, I love you." And thus the universe conspires to reduce me to perfect joy.


Stillness

 

Graphics by Rashani


Decalogue

 

Eat butter.

Go naked.

Break the rules.

Confuse left and right.

Hear the inconceivable concerto

of a white throated sparrow.

Soften the belly, soften the gaze.

Make one sip of wine last forever.

Stay drunk.

Don't explain.

Chalice


Breathe out everything

you are against.

Surrender the argument.

For just an instant

be nothing

in the gentle palm

of desolation.

Inhalation, exhalation,

wings of unknowing

that brush up your spine,

ringing each vertebra

like a bell-full of night.

If your heart is broken,

it must have opened

in the bleakest hour

just before dawn.
Whatever opens is a door.

A Friend must have

touched you there

while you were sleeping.

Enter the wound,

this healing pain,
this flower surge of yearning

beneath your sternum.

There is no other way

to the darkness

that illuminates the sun.

Wonder without thought.

It only takes a moment

to turn each cell 

in your body to a golden 

chalice of fire.
_______________

Hear this poem read aloud: LINK
Art: Greg Spalenka


O Star Beings

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” ~Jesus (Mat 6:22)

O Star Beings, O Melchizedek, Miryam, Christ, O Guru Dev: fill this garden and this home with Abundance, with Beauty, with Healing, with Love. Fill my bones with Uncreated Thunder. Through ages I've been looking FOR the light; now let my looking BE the light. May the radiance of my heart shine through these eyes on all I see, beaming through taste buds, touch, smell, and hearing to create a lush green planet. Let emanations from the black hole at the core of each proton in my body be ten thousand sword-wielding arms to shatter the duality-mirror, whose reflections until now have separated inner from outer, Shiva from Shakti, consciousness from matter. Christ's Single Eye is not in my head but in my heart, where twin flames kiss, one triangle descending through my crown, and one ascending from my sacrum, piercing each other in ecstasy to form a Royal Davidic Star, the Yogic sign of hridaya-chakra. Let this Eye destroy the world. Let this Eye create a new earth. Are not all creatures made of the golden splendor that glows from my solar plexus, filling the cosmos with sparks of seeing? Out beyond the rim of time, beyond the intergalactic grail, where swirl the effervescent unborn stars, is a vastness that also permeates my ear with divine silence, like the ocean in a conch, spills tears of divine beauty from these looking orbs, surfeits my belly with the bread of God's laughter, and stains these lips with the wine of God's love in the smallest berry. Now I know, the holy ones that I've been praying to are ripples of my own bewilderment, cellular voices in the chorus of my own body, pilgrims on spiral stairways in the towers of my DNA. All my ancestors bring offerings and kneel in the temple of my blood. Therefore, with most intimate tenderness, to my own miraculous flesh I pray: O Star Beings, O Melchizedek, Miryam, Christ...
_________


Hear this invocation read aloud: LINK
Art by Bing Wright, who photographs sunlight through shattered glass.

Croak

Your niece is a caterpillar. Your cousin is a butterfly. Your unborn children are scattered over the Milky Way. The fragile boat of Namarupa, loaded with names and forms, foundered in the waves of the void, and now lies strewn on the shoals of duality.

One nucleotide in your little toe is bigger than your mind. You claim  membership in this tribe, race, nation, faith. But your DNA belongs to the planet, embraces the whole human family, plus many other species. And not just citizens of the Earth, but star kin!

Stop thinking so small. You are not a color. Stop shrouding your soul in veils of black/white left/right east/west spirit/flesh.

O mind, listen to the music of your ribosomes, your protons, quarks and gravity waves, because every dot and bindhu of your body is a black hole containing all the information in the cosmos.

You could be caroling from the green glow of your all-entangled heart. You could be singing all night about your glory, down in the moon-glittered swamp, with Great Uncle Tree Frog.

Way


"The Way to do is to Be." ~Laotzu
No one, including you, can count the worth of your actions. Let the angels do that. No one can possibly tell which butterfly wing will stir a tornado of transformation.

Just do what you are doing, "Age quod agis," your heart reposing in the ocean of Presence. Even the mightiest work, without the force of Being in it, comes to naught. Yet even the gentlest breath, rooted in divine silence, turns the world.

Our beliefs, our words, even our deeds are not so significant as we think. They are a mirage compared to our Being. Beliefs vanish the moment we fall asleep, or when a crisis occurs. And people in crisis often do the opposite of what they believe is "right action."

We can never determine whose deed will affect the world. The hardest worker may waste energy, producing nothing in the end. But a genius of good fortune may perform a single act, gracefully and with little effort, that produces undying inspiration in the hearts of millions.

When thoughts, words and deeds are truly effective, it is not because thought, word and deed have lasting value in themselves; they are just dissolving forms. They have value insofar as they are vehicles for Being.

When you hear words or encounter works that move you, transform you, inspire you, works that seem to convey "greatness," it is not the form but the Being flowing through it that you feel. The petal is only an expression of the sap.

What transforms the earth is not our words and deeds, but waves of Presence from our heart. Do you really want to be a mover and shaker of the world? Then practice deep meditation, morning and evening, to prepare your heart for action.

Sink into the ocean of Being. Then innocently do whatever small works need doing that day, as ripples rising from stillness. Say what few words must be spoken. However plain your words, however humble your deeds, they are channels through which vibrations of healing transmute the world.

The Unborn Call Me

 

The Unborn call me.
Come! they sing.
"How shall I come?"
Follow this breath.

Walk barefoot in the night
until you find a mushroom,
the toe of Dionysius
buried upside-down
where He suckles
the planetary teat of loam.

"But I am no God,
where shall I find that nipple?"
Return on this inhalation
to the center of every proton
in your body.
The milk of the underworld
is black and sweet.
And the jolt of arriving
right here! right here!
in your own flesh
is the electric flower
of the universe.
All this wonder is embodied
in the croak of a frog.

The Ancestors call me
from the bruise of dawn.
It is the first day.
Come! they sing.
"How shall I come?"
Follow this exhalation.

Now I hear angels of stone,
air, water and fire.
Come, they sing,
fall into your diaphragm,
your abdomen, your loin.
Sink into the blossom
of annihilation
through the gravity
of breathing.
All this bewilderment
is the ferment of ribosomes
in the eye of a salamander.

Somewhere even deeper
inside me than I am,
stars extinguished
long before their light has
reached this world
whisper my electrons
out of emptiness.
Galaxies whose magnetism
whirls the sun in my sacrum
call me to taste the timeless
respiration that evaporates
the dream of distances.
Come!
"How shall I come?"
Ascend on your descent.

This is why I drown the moon
in a dark forest pool
where the soul cannot go.
Cloaked in a mirage
of pure awareness,
my rind rots and ripens again.
The ocean of my juice,
pressed from fragrant neurons,
tastes like the silence
between thoughts.
Within my darkness is the fire
of the bliss storm,
eternal chaos.

"What is the essence of that nectar?"
Birth in reverse.
Call it death
if you have a mind to.
Come here every morning
and sunset.
"How?"
Follow a silken thread of oxygen
up your spine.

Endure the instantaneous.
Stay.
Embrace the pain
of your hollow places
and be whole.
Gather the sheaves
of numbness
from your marrow.
Harvest the barley of tears.

This is how I crushed
the berries of unbearable disappointment
to an umber chrism
the color of skin,
anointed the breasts and thighs
of the planet,
behind and inside her ears,
which were tiny mollusks,
ringing with the unstruck Wordless
sound of God.
Now I can only tell you,
"Bathe in the secret musk
of what you already are."



Chalk mandala by Caryn Babaian, high school science teacher

Everything

 

Everything depends
precisely on how whirling
kisses stillness.
 
 
A friend who read this asked me, "How?" I said:
"Whirl, then be still. Whirl, then be still. Practice this,
moment after moment, day after day, decade after
decade. Whirl, then be still. Until they are the same.
Higher beings live in a world where there is only
meditation. Lower beings live in a world where there
is only action. We are the lucky ones. We live in a
world of opposites, where Gods are born as humans
to celebrate the marriage of doing and non-doing.

Have You Hugged Your Ego Today?

 

I love my ego. In fact, I love all 8 billion of my egos. They are like bubbles of sea foam. A person who tries to flat-line and abolish the ego can be very humorless and dull. Have you hugged your ego today? The ego is no bondage at all, because it only lasts for an instant, responding playfully to this momentary alignment of particles and forms, then vanishing back into the ocean of consciousness. Aphrodite was born from sea-foam. So love is born from the play of consciousness in myriad selves. I need my ego to dance, my little bubble of "I" to fatten and shine the light of "Am." But its not necessary to string these bubbles together on some non-existent thread. The thread is the problem, not the froth. Let 8 billion sparkles of You dance, sing and meditate. Let your ego effervesce and dissolve again and again in laughter, in tears. You really do need an ego if you want to laugh or cry. Then let it die.



Birth of Venus by Georges Antoine Rochegrosse

Through The Bindhu

 

Consciousness liberates itself by individualizing, not collectivizing. It is not the herd but the alone that becomes all-one. The lost sheep, not the flock, who is saved. So leave the herd and get lost. Leave the party, the race, the gender, the class, and be the only One who is ever found by God. You must pass through the portal of "I" to become "Am," through the infinitesimal to become the infinite, through the Bindhu a the center to become the whole mandala. Then you can serve others, but your work will be one on one, friend to friend. And if you are a writer, an artist, or a "spiritual teacher," your audience will always be a person, not a group. This is why, in the presence of a true Teacher, even if we are ten thousand, each feels that the Teacher is speaking quite personally to me.

Love Is The Field

 

Are you looking for likes? Are you looking for hearts?


In a breath of stillness, feel the universe 'liking' you. Countless stars have already given you a thumbs-up. They are deeply entangled in the protons of your body, weaving you with the weft of their beams.

Distant galaxies heart your body with photons. Can you stop just for the Sabbath of one moment, letting your flesh absorb this continuous bombardment from the rays and particles of love?

Let this breath open each cell of your body like a tiny hridaya-chakra, tiny, but with no circumference. From the field of unconditional relaxation, the cosmos is born: the total repose of awareness, awakening in itself, expanding through itself, surrendering to itself. The groundless depth of ease is the opposite of dis-ease. And this is the abyss of your own Being, bubbling electrons, planets, galaxies, from the dark energy of love.

Naturally relaxed awareness is the Creator. In the field of the Creator, any effort to be more lovable, more attractive, more pleasing to others, is a waste of energy, because there is no possibility of being un-loved.

Every atom is made out of love, each stone, this body, a swirling star. Love is the field, the vibration of love is the energy. Our "spiritual path" is simply to relax, more and more, trusting in a heart that is already here, and abandoning the effort to be loved. When we choose this, we are chosen.

Little by little, our self-abandonment relinquishes the natal trauma, and we let go of the fear that we've been cast out, alone, thirsting for love. Little by little, we open our whole body to the sensation of Truth. We are bathed in the warmth and the glow of love, pressed out and overflowing in each particle of dust. Love is the mother, love is the matter.
When the mind asks, "What's the matter with me?" the heart can answer, "Nothing."

Love is not a Way. Love is letting go of our resistance to what Is.




Water color by Marney Ward, who captures the divine light in the sap of matter.