A Deeper Silence (Full Moon Feast of Mary Magdalene, 7/22)


"In the Breath of Christ's Spirit we experience a new embrace. We are no longer in duality, but in unity... All will be clothed in light when they enter into the mystery of this sacred embrace... What is the Bridal Chamber if not the place of trust and consciousness of the embrace? ~Gnostic Gospel of Phillip
Fall into a deeper silence
and you will hear the earth 
breathe flowers of gratitude.

Is this not your work of prayer?
A ray of the full moon descends
into your fontanelle.

You are the anointed one,
the wounded one whose
crown never healed.

One drop of her silence
slips down your throat and
penetrates your chest.

Hold it here, like a pearl
ever expanding yet
weightless as a star.

Your breastbone is the alter
where a golden flame is burning,
moonlight mingled

with sun fire in the bridal
chamber of your heart.
Christ meets Mary here.

Their pure encounter is
a mysterious kiss.
The two become one.

Yet the one becomes two
for the sake of love
and silence pulsates with a song.

Surely, this is the song of songs.
Miryam is a bitter sea,
an ocean of tears,

and Magdalene a tower
stored up with sweet myrrh,
rising from your sacrum to your brow.

Let the syllables of her name, Mir-Yam,
be inhalation, exhalation.
Ascend and descend

on the tower of aloneness
over the sea,
where every breath
is bittersweet.

The outbreath an offering
of sacred loss, the inbreath a gift
of
the fullness of Grace.

In each breath, She listens
to the story of your silence.
She hear the ancient beauty

of your longing.

This conversation
of
bridegroom and bride

is an ineffable mingling

of voices that become
a single attention.


Are there words

for such adoration?
“Your love is sweeter than wine,

and you name is perfume
poured out.

Lead me into your chamber, O King.

Lead me into your chamber, O King.
I am the garden
and you are the Spring.”


Image 1: Mary Magdalene by Danté Gabriel Rossetti

Image 2: "Mosaic found at the 6th century Monastery of Lady Mary in Beit She’an, Israel. A sun god, moon goddess surrounded by the twelve signs of the zodiac, and yet simultaneously, given the monastic context, also Jesus, Mary Magdalene and the Twelve Apostles." LINK


In the Gnostic Gospel of Philip, found in the Nag Hammadi scrolls, we are introduced to the supreme Christian sacrament, the sacrament of the Bridal Chamber. Jesus teaches that this marriage is the fulfillment of spiritual life, the union of the divine masculine and the divine feminine, in the heart.

This is the Western version of the union of Shiva and Shakti in the ancient science of Yoga. The feminine lunar energy entwines with the masculine solar energy as two subtle nerve currents, the Ida and Pingala. When these subtle nerve currents are united they activate the central channel in the spine, the Sushumna, which lights a cord of light from the sacrum to the crown, forming an illuminated "tree of life" in the human body. This is the origin of the Caduceus of Hermes, two serpents entwining a winged sceptre. The sceptre is the spine, and this symbol of ultimate mind-body health became the symbol of Western medicine.

The awakening of Kundaline Shakti in our spine is in fact is the purpose of Hatha Yoga exercises, and all other forms of Yoga. "Ha" signifying the masculine solar force, and "Tha" the feminine lunar force in the nervous system. It is interesting to note that there was a temple of the moon in the ancient city of Magdala, across the Sea of Galilee from the place where Jesus and his disciples were fishing. Priestesses of the Moon Goddess attended this temple. They were Magdalenes, disdained as "temple prostitutes" by the Jewish patriarchy. Mary of Magdala may have been born into that lineage of priestesses, and this may explain why she was maligned as a prostitute by the Church authorities, who wanted to root out the early Gnostic Christian elevation of the divine Feminine. It must be noted also that there there is no mention of Mary Magdalene being a prostitute in the New Testament.

Here then, is the sacrament of the Bridal Chamber, celebrated in the Hridaya, the heart chakra. This union of the solar and lunar, the masculine and femine energies, is the key to the physiology of enlightenment. The human body is the real temple, the true church, where God and Goddess celebrate their sacred marriage.

Then our vagus nerve sparkles like a chandelier with the oil of Chrism, and the cup of our heart overflows with the wine of Christ, which is the "soma juice" mentioned in the Vedas. Thus the Gnostic sacrament of the Bridal Chamber is the real fulfillment of the mystery of Christ and Mary Magdalene. Their marriage is within us, and each embodies soul who receives that anointing is their child.

Sacrament of the Bridal Chamber

Divine Silence rests in its own un-created perfection, as the eternal Witness to creation. Yet Divine Silence vibrates for the sake of the dance, the play of manifestation, and then it becomes "She," the Shakti of creation, the energy and power that whirls the stars. And this very vibration of the Goddess is your breath. You are part of the breath that pervades the cosmos.

Silence is the Beloved, who is pure awareness. To create worlds, the Beloved breathes his Shakti-Sophia, his creative wisdom, as space-time. Shakti is the one who was dancing with God at the moment of creation. The Biblical book of Proverbs makes this very clear in chapter 8, where Wisdom, Sophia, is the speaker. She very clearly states that it was She who delighted and played with the Almighty when his breath created the worlds. She is the energy that manifests all forms through vibration, the subtlest tremor of a quark, and the intergalactic
tarantella. She is the very motion of Mother Matter.

Rumi said, “There is some kiss we want with all our lives, the kiss of spirit on the body.”
Through our breath, Christ Consciousness kisses creation. Our breath is the precious thread that weaves God into the body. When I am truly awake, my inhalation is the Holy Spirit, the very form of the Goddess, who takes the dust for her body. And with my exhalation, She returns to her Beloved through a sacred kiss, bearing this transfigured dust as her gift. 

In the Gnostic Christian tradition, she is the Magdalene. When I offer this exhalation back to the Beloved, it is She who carries the fruit of the senses, the passions, the pain and beauty of my tears, the fragrance of my wounds. Through her spirit, my breath returns to its Creator, bearing creation back to God as an inward Eucharist of respiration.

My breath is Mary, Christ's paramour. Between the outbreath and inbreath, there is a sacred pause,
the moment when they kiss. There are no longer two. Only annihilation, ananda, bliss. This kiss is the Ayin Soph, the dark and pointless dot from which all worlds of light are born. Then comes the next inhalation. So'ham.

The Gnostic Gospel of Phillip teaches that Jesus often kissed the Magdalene. But this did not describe some temporal and erotic affair. The kiss of Magdalene and Christ is the same eternal mystical kiss that Rumi and the Sufis speak of, the kiss of Radha and Krishna in the garden of Vrindavan, the kiss in the wedding bower of the Song of Solomon, where we read, "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth," a favorite scripture of Christian mystics.

What happens when lovers kiss? If we could stop time in that moment when parted lips touch, what would we experience? No thing. Are there two lovers left? No, they have become one sweet annihilation. No difference, no boundaries, no form. You know this if you have melted in a kiss.

This kiss of annihilation the Sufis call fana' in Arabic; the Bhaktis call it bhava in Sanskrit. The moment when the soul merges with God, sending a creative tremor through every atom in the cosmos. Yes, when the soul touches God, the body touches God. And this kiss not only renews your own body, but other bodies, for it sends its ripples through the entire field creation's energy. At the end of your exhalation, in the droplet of divine silence, the whole environment kisses God. In the no-thing of that kiss, all nature is refreshed.

According to Bell's Theorum in quantum physics
(Princeton, 1962), a sub-nuclear particle immediately connects, beyond any threshold of space and time, to every other particle in the cosmos, because all particles are excitations of one field, vibrations of one silent vacuum. High-energy particle accelerators have confirmed Bell's Theorum, demonstrating this "quantum entanglement." In the prescient words of quantum physics founder Sir Arthur Eddington, "When the electron vibrates, the whole universe shakes."

The kiss of Christ and Magdalene, in the secret heart of the mystic, is a wave of re-creation that thrills the whole environment.

When we say that this kiss transpires in the heart, we are speaking of the actual heart. Your cardiac plexus is not just a physical organ, but a spiritual vortex, a flowering of neuro-electric energy. This heart is not a mere muscle of gristle and blood but a radiance that expands beyond the outline of human physiology, beyond the forests and mountains, beyond the moon and stars.


According to the Gnostic Gospels, the kiss of
creator and creation is the supreme sacrament, called the sacrament of the Bridal Chamber. Where is the Bridal Chamber? The Bridal Chamber is the portal between one breath and another in your solar plexus. Here, in the hridaya chakra, you participate in the mystical marriage of Christ and Mary.

Let us practice this sacramental meditation together. Let us breathe together. In our very breath, the Magdalene shall gather up our tears, our laughter, our pain, bearing the oblation to the Bridal Chamber. This is no mere theological speculation, but a sensation of secret fire in the body.

Let all your earthly experience pour into the chalice of kisses resting on the alter of your breastbone. Offer this cup to Christ. D
rown in the nectar of bewilderment, and renew the universe through the outpour of a single breath.

Don't you know that the Milky Way streams through the soft-spot in your crown? In the anointed ones, the wounded ones, that tender fontanelle never quite healed. The bones of dogma never quite hardened or sealed you in. As you sink into the well of your body, distant stars flow down your spine, filling the grail in your chest until it overflows into the world, nourishing the earth. Don't ask, what can I offer? Offer this.

Drink (for the Feast of the Magdalene, July 22)



Let your silence be
the Magdalene

kneeling at a feast,
waiting on a Friend,
not to obey his word
but to anoint his feet
with a fountain of gratitude
and dry them with your loose
unfastened hair.
One translucent teardrop
on the pupil of your eye
could be a portal to the new creation.
Seeing through it makes a rainbow.
Sip from the murmuring spring
of ineffable modesty
that pulses inside you 
like a vein in stone.
Did you think you would find it
in a temple or a mosque,
or tap that voiceless
diamond gush of song
in the Suras, the Torah,
the lips of Jesus,
when all along what you've
been yearning for
is the sound of one breath
pouring into another,

the spill of distant starlight
from the rim of your own diaphragm,
the name an infant whispers
just falling asleep
at the Mother's nipple?
For thousands of years
you've been falling asleep like that.
Now is the time to fall
awake... When it happens,
those tawny night creatures,
the beasts of the un-felt,
come down out of
the wild storm-clouded
mountain inside you,
at the hour before dawn,
to drink from the stillness

of your heart.


Image: Mary Magdalene by Sue Ellen Parkinson

Bridal Chamber


Blossoms don’t open themselves.
It takes a sunbeam to ignite the rose.

I was asleep until you placed
a ruby on my chest

awakening the expiration
of this gentle song, the whisper

of Spring in a Winter garden.
So’ham, So’ham, So’ham...

One breath pours wine into
the burnished cup of another.

Some say that this is just
a sound without meaning.

I say it means the Magdalene
has met Jesus

in the Bridal Chamber
of your heart.


Poem from my book, 'Wounded Bud.'
Painting: 'The Bride' by Dante Rossetti

Always Already Drowned


All creatures swim in a miraculous sea of Grace. This is the secret of secrets in the heart of the heart. You are a breath of the one whose love pervades every particle in creation. Don't even try to understand it. Just drown.

Like a bee who sank and dissolved in the pollen at the center of the rose, you need go nowhere to find the sweetness of God, no journey required, no seeking. All you have to "do" is awaken. Awakening is the reason you are here.

You arose through mineral, vegetable, animal, and angelic consciousness, until you finally incarnated in this earthly realm of paradox to merge the opposites, high and low, spirit and matter, feminine and masculine. What is your mission? To condense, refine, and Christolize stardust in personal ensoulment.

Yet every particle and wave of this evolutionary process, from beginning to end, has been the flow of one substance, one substratum - divine love. Physics is the fire of divine love, biology the honey of divine love. Your cells are drops of divine love, and your body is the honeycomb.

Now awaken and see that there was never an enemy or an evil to resist. It was all made out of love. Matter is love. Separation is love. Death is love. This is why chapter one of Genesis repeats a single refrain after every epoch, every day of creation: "God saw that it was good." In Hebrew, "Tova" is not mere moral right, or the relative felicity of better compared to worse, but absolute Goodness, the very essence of Being.

Which means that there is no created "evil." Evil only exists in the self-will of the mind. Your adversary, your "enemy," is a wave in the ocean of love, just as you are a wave in the ocean of love. Love is Being, and Being you are. So you and your enemy are waves of one another. The one you most despise is simply an aspect of yourself that you have rejected.

Then what can you "do"? Relax. Deepen your silence. When you fall into a deeper silence, you will hear the earth breathe flowers of gratitude.


Photo by Kristy Thompson

Learn


Learn from
the Swallowtail.
Surrender.
Suck nectar
out of the blossom
that bewilders you.
Be humble.
Let God's golden light
reign through your heart
over all creation.
Settle on a sprig
of milkweed
with no feeling
of dominion,
only a thirst
for the love that
nourishes your wings.


Photo: a weed in my back yard

More Silence

Our country doesn't need more action. It needs more stillness. We don't need more words. We need more silence.
If they are not rooted in silence, our words as well as our deeds are just chatter. Protest, preaching, prayer... dry leaves in the wind. Words of the candidate, the professor, the scientist, the guru... brittle twigs scratching at the glass.
Words of the righteous politician or the leftist politician, words about yoga, or non-duality, or love... these words are wearisome and predictable without a seed in the Unnameable.
Words shouted in the street or murmured in the temple, words like "freedom," "democracy," "god." What use are they if we won't deepen our silence to fathom the ineffable Being toward which these words are only pointers?
I am not talking about negative silence, which is only the absence of noise, but life-giving silence, the silence of the heart. I am talking about the bottomless wellspring of breathing, the nectar of a mind free from thought.
Yes, there is a silence beyond understanding, the womb of creation, the fountain of eternity in the hollow of this moment.
If you are very fortunate, you'll meet a teacher whose whisper leads you back to the Wordless. Which is the real purpose of language - to carry our awareness to the Unbounded, beyond all concepts.
And this is the real purpose of a mantra, the name that dissolves in the Nameless. The Sanskrit root of mantra is "mannas," meaning "mind," and "tra," meaning vehicle, as in the suffix "-tron." Electron is a vehicle for electricity. Photon is a vehicle for light. Mantra is a vehicle for mind, transporting the mind inward to its source in divine silence.
For the universe is not born of a Word, but of silence. Word is only the vehicle, the vibration of silence. And mantra is this process of creation in reverse. A true mantra carries our surrendered heart gracefully, effortlessly, back to the stillness of the cosmic womb, where every particle of our body and every breath of our spirit is refreshed, renewed, reborn. This is the actual purpose of meditation.
My first teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, was a master of this ancient science. He once whispered...

"Silence vibrating is Creation.
Silence flowing is Love.
Silence shared is Friendship.
Silence seen is Infinity.
Silence expressed is Beauty.
Silence maintained is Strength.
Silence omitted is Suffering.
Silence allowed is Rest.
Silence recorded is Scripture.
Silence preserved is Our Tradition.
Silence given is Initiation.
Silence received is Joy...
Silence alone Is."

GOSPEL

 

Nothing is wrong.
You have never not been free.

This is the good news.
Every photon of your flesh
is the boundless sky.

This is the good news.
You lost yourself

in the shadow of beauty
so that beauty might

find you again.

There is no bad news.

Healing comes

from a heartbroken place

where you’ve breathed out

everything you carried.

Stay there.

The next breath

is God’s love.



Poem from my book, 'Savor Eternity One Moment At A Time,' 

see books below. Illustration by Rashani Réa.

Swan



Surely, you've been told,

a Goddess flows

through your darkness,

thirsting for love.

Don't seek, be drawn.

Wander and be found.

Learn to age the wine

of your longing

in an empty sepulcher.

Pour yourself wordlessly

into the cup of desolation.

A blossom doesn't open itself.

Something warm and soft falls

into it's ovule

from another world.

You have two centers:

one here, one there.

A single inhalation pierces them both.

Honor this piercing as a gift

and you will be the very garden

where thorns become blossoms,

every cell of your flesh

a grail of nectar.

The Ham'sa swan

descends from the ravenous stars

to settle on still waters at dawn

and drink from the ocean 

in your chest.

Her song is "I Am She."

Your song is "I Am Thee."

It is the Mystery

of the Bridal Chamber.

Her wings are your inbreath 

and exhalation.

This is why you have a body.

_________________

NOTE: Ham'sa is the natural mantra of the breath, as expounded in the Upanishads and the exquisite Yoga text, Vijnana Bhairava. 'Hamsa' also means 'swan' in Sanskrit. Aham-Sa: I Am She, I Am One With God. This is the natural inner sound of what Kabir called 'the breath inside the breath.' Vijnana Bhairava states:

श्रीभैरव उवाच
ऊर्ध्वे प्राणो ह्यधो जीवो विसर्गात्मा परोच्चरेत् ।
उत्पत्तिद्वितयस्थाने भरणाद्भरिता स्थितिः ॥२४॥
'
The supreme Goddess, or highest Śakti, who is the essence of creation, goes on expressing herself upward and downward in the form of exhalation and inhalation. When the mind rests in the point between breathing out and breath in, one perceives the source of all worlds.'

सकारेण बहिर्याति हकारेण विशेत् पुनः।
हंसहंसेत्यमुं मंत्रं जीवो जपति नित्यशः ॥१५५॥

'The breath is exhaled with the sound sa and inhaled with the sound ha. Thus, the human body perpetually recites this mantra, haṁsaḥ.'



Image from 'Heart of Conscious Living'