Neither of the East nor of the West,

neither of the Left nor of the Right,

I am here

in the center that seeps

through everything.

Neither black nor white,

infrared nor ultraviolet,

I am green, I am umber,

I am a thousand colors of loam


into the opposite of birth.

A choiceless rainbow seed

of possibility,

invisible beauty

in all that is beautiful.

Neither Yes nor No,

I am the crystal

of listening.

Neither dust nor bone,

mind nor spirit,

but the breath

that mingles them,

threading what is high

to what is low,

the outer to the inner

like a gossamer mist

of crushed diamonds.

Of no party or nation,

no tribe or faith,

I am a citizen of the earth.

All religions are mine.

All gods point to my heart.

I am a ripple of the moon

on the ocean of your darkness.

I am seven trillion grains of sunlight

sifted through a dragonfly wing,

the chime of tiny

shattering amethyst holograms,

each containing us all,

or are they merely raindrops

in the stillness

of morning prayer?


Before the invention of thoughts

we sang ourselves

to sleep.

The day melted back

into humming,

the humming into silence,

silence into a breath

of the Beloved.

Of course the stars

were not yet born,

and the moon was still inside you.

Lay your head

on my shoulder now.

Listen with all

your heart,

and I will teach you

A Vedic text declares: “Adau Bhagavan Shabda rasahi: In the beginning, the Lord created the universe through a stream of sound.” I know, you have a very subtle esoteric sadana to practice. But before you meditate, don’t forget to Hum...

Om is too stuffy, just Hum like a bee. Hum beyond thought, shattering the chrysalis of your intellect. Hum through every atom of your body, every photon of your light. Humming will strengthen your immune system and dissolve your weary mind, so that above is below and without is within. Hum the catastrophic dissolution of all distances into the nectar of bliss.

Your vagus nerve is the mycelium network under the forest of your skin. You project your inner beasts upon the sky above, Capricorn, Leo, Taurus, macrophages grazing on comets in the bloodstream of night.

Why is your spinal cord glowing, and all its neurons lit from within? Because it is the image and likeness of the Goddess Laniakea, She whose clustered galaxies contain our infinitesimal pollen mote, the Milky Way, She who reaches her hand down your vertebrae, fingers dripping warm ghee. Hum yourself into a hologram of her radiance. Hum her spiraling nebulae into your chromosomes.

Hum through the hollow in your backbone. It is the Tree of Life at the center of the garden. Hum through your brain-stem. It is the burning bush of neurological fire that Moses grokked in a cloud of unknowing on Mount Sinai, from whose terrible sweet flames the voice of Elohim resonates the ten Sefiroth, world-shaping angels mistaken as “commandments” by humless theologians entangled among opposites on that other tree, the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eat not of those opposites, but Hum into the well of your heart. Hear what echoes up from the womb of singularity, the river of silence, the breathing of microbes and pathogens, mushrooms and planets.

Let your Hum be the song of Brahmari the bee Goddess, who secretes neuropeptides in the hive of your cerebrum, soothing your hypothalamus with her honey, opening the almond fragrance of your amygdala, lighting the pituitary chandelier in the domed cavern at the center of your cortex. With your softest Hum, polish the blue pineal pearl, whose arrow of Shakti opens the eye in your forehead.

Let a golden Hum drip down the back of your throat to the subterranean temple of your rib cage, trickling into the grail on the alter of your breastbone. Hum stars through your bellybutton. Hum sap through your root. Humyoni Humballs Hummoonlitseeds of ancestral children. Hum chthonic grottos of amphibious wisdom where unborn suns sleep. Hum.

Honored that Braided Way Magazine has just published this piece. LINK. The
painting is 'Honeymoon Bhramari' by Mani Price.

Good News


Jesus said,

   I don't want to save you.

      I want to make you

         what I Am.

Crucify your concepts.

   Empty your heart.

      Stop clinging to the cross

         of opposites -

past and future,

   heaven and hell,

      body and spirit,

   the damned and the elect,


         and enlightenment.

If you need some redemption

   get saved by wonder.

Resurrection is the pollen

   where the rose began.

You are already fragrant

   with compassion.

Through your next breath

   dissolve in the virgin womb

      of this sparkling moment

         and be born again.

If you think that the Kingdom

   is anywhere else

      but here in the eye

         of a thirsty sparrow,

   the cry of a motherless

      borderless child,
   you have already fallen

         into exile.


   Plant a very small tree.

      Pick up someone's trash.

         Honor the wound

            in your palm.

Here's the good news,

   the Gospel truth:

You are the food

   God wants to eat.

Crisp and spicy crust,

         tender inside.

Painting from Bible Art

Dark Honey


Inside this body of dust

is a subtler body

made of breath.

Inside this body of breath

is a subtler body

made of starlight.

You get dizzy

with hosts of stars  

swirling through the wild 

expanding silence  

of your heart,

the same stars that

glitter above you!

But this vertigo subsides

when you fall 

even deeper inside

and come to rest

in a body beyond the stars,

thick and sweet

as honey.

Few have tasted 

this body of darkness,

this body of love.

But some of us have no choice.

Friend, you are the darkness

sheathed in starlight

sheathed in breath

sheathed in a body 

of dust.

Photo from MasterClass


Out beyond right thinking
and wrong thinking there's a field,
will you meet me there?
Out beyond Israel and Palestine
there's a field, will you meet me there?
Out beyond Islam and Christianity,
Atheism and Religion,
Oneness and Twoness there's a field,
will you meet me there?
Beyond Republican and Democrat,
Beyond Whiteness and Blackness,
Beyond the Binary and Nonbinary
there's a field where wine forgets
it was ever a grape,
a meadow full of bees
with ten thousand fragrances
that all become honey.
I asked Rumi, "Which path leads there?"
He said, 'Follow any sweetness
through the gate that is always open."
I asked, "Where is that gate?"
He pointed, and his finger
ever so gently pressed
the hollow in my sternum,
where the heart breathes.

Photo: Mt. Tahoma from a field near my house

Hymn to Your Body: International Day of Yoga, 6/21

You don't have to go to the Amazonian rain forest or take hallucinogenic jungle herbs to be a shaman. Don't need a journey to Tibet in order to practice the secrets of Tantra. Don't need to tie your legs into a pretzel for the deepest perfect Yoga.

You were a yogi in the crib, at 6 months old. Stretching out, curling up, rolling over, bouncing
, you performed a complete sequence of asanas, fingers and thumbs dancing with esoteric mudras of Buddhic blessing. You were a shaman in the play pen, your throat a bone rattle, your belly a drum, your joyful gurgling the incantation that invoked the animal guides, a dog, a cat, a parakeet. The sounds your body made were tantric bija mantras full of Shakti: "Yah!" "Hum!" "Phwat!" "Hri!" "Bham!" Even if you had no idea what you were saying, you practiced the art of creation through the Word.

Even as a fetus tumbling through the womb, you circled the vast Zodiac Dharma Wheel and embodied the constellations, fish, bull, lion, scorpion. Were you not purified in the sweat lodge of birth? What better baptism than the microbiome? Surely, as a newborn, you carried every talisman required for the shamanic journey...

Your skin the robe of the Deer Priest. At the center of your ancient brain a holy sepulcher, with a hidden medicine bundle, the amygdala. In the deep well behind your cortex, a visionary jewel, your pineal gland, spurting streams of sapphire wisdom toward your forehead. On your fontanelle a diamond cup, blending Christall light into seven colors of the rainbow, pouring distant stars down your backbone. Your diaphragm a lyre, strung with gut, resonant with Pythagorean intervals of thunder and silence.

Did the fiery tendrils of your cardiac plexus terminate in the outline of your flesh? Of course not! You were an edge-less field of organic radiance. Your neurons rooted in loam through the soles of your feet, twining with mycelia. Your vagus nerve a Tree of Life on a trellis of bone at the center of a dusty vineyard. How succulent those heavenly spheres entangled in your branches, lighting up your cortex, each twig a wick, each leaf a flame, returning planetary fire to the sun. Did your senses drink the world in, or flow outward to suffuse it like an incantation?

But then, alas, the priests and professors gave you an "education." They taught you to superimpose a mind full of concepts over the boundless mystery of Mother Matter. You learned to analyze and divide, to distinguish Eve from the Serpent (they are one and the same dangerous wisdom), the Sensuous from the Spiritual (they are one and the same divine energy), the Heavenly from the Profane (they are one and the same delight). Now is the time to lay aside what they taught you, and re-member your unfallen body of original astonishment.

The root meaning of "shaman" is "one who sees in the dark." Is this age of deepest darkness not the best hour to awaken, and realize your power? Witness the full moon of your own divine beauty, rising in the sacred night between your eyebrows. Stroll with the Goddess in the cool of the evening, through the terrible holy flowers of your sacrum, your belly, your heart, your throat, your forehead, your crown. Gaze into the light of glory that glows in the heart of Un-knowing. Your body is Eden. Your birthright is innocence. It was never lost. Now be breathed.

Photo: Six month old yogi.


I am confused this morning. Yogis say the seat of the Guru is the forehead. Zen masters say, the belly. But my Lord's throne is everywhere. Each cell of my body is a temple of bewilderment. Conversation requires words. Communion requires silence. The silence of Lover and Beloved, listening. Is it one or two? This blessed morning, Love empties my mind and fills my heart with a holy confusion.

Getting Through


The beginning and end
of spiritual practice
is resting the mind
in the heart.
How the strawberry moon 
floats in the womb of a pond.
How, on a plum branch,
chickadees wait in line
for a sip at your fountain.
How a dogwood blossom opens
beyond understanding.
Sweep away a thousand
reflections and scatter
the stars with one breath.
There is no other way
to get through this miracle.


I am grateful
for the Muslim mathematicians
who invented algebra
(an Arabic word),
and drew the first zero
(another Arabic word)
whose radiant emptiness
exalts what preceeds
even the One.
And I am grateful
for Mansoor al Hallaj
who was tortured and burned
at the stake for ecstatically
humming the mantra,
"Ana'l Haqq! I Am Truth!"
bestowed on him by Shams,
the Guru of Rumi.
I am grateful as well
for the humble nameless
artist of Isfahan
who wrote the entire
Qu'ran on a bird's egg
using for his brush a single
whisker from a newborn goat.
Yet how much more do I
give thanks to you, dear friend,
who with your gently
centered hairpin breath
pierced the shell
to suck out the unknown,
and then, through your most
delicate exhalation,
inscribed all 114 Suras 
along with many other chapters
not yet revealed
(O calligraphy 
of illuminated nights,
O innumerable constellations,
sacred beasts of darkness
hurtling toward us to be born!) 
yes, inscribed them here,
on the inside of the egg!
I dreamed this poem, and I still cannot quite convey its meaning. So I will simply tell you the dream. I went to sleep in extreme anxiety about the world, yet at the end of the dream, I awoke in ecstasy.
I was a captain in U.S. Army Intelligence, sitting across the table in a dangerous game with someone holding an egg that had the entire Qu'ran inscribed on its shell. Very fragile. The world depended on not dropping and shattering it. I held out my hand to catch the egg, daring the other player to throw it. I knew the world's fate would rest on this delicate but desperate throw. He tossed the egg and I caught it gingerly. Then I knew what I had to do, but not why.

I had to inhale the uncreated unborn emptiness inside the egg, through a tiny hole at the top, then blow my breath back into it. I performed this delicate task gently yet quickly with a fierce, fine, focused exhalation. And with that breath, the whole scripture suddenly appeared INSIDE the egg, glittering like the dome of a great mosque, radiant with the stars and galaxies.

The egg did not shatter, the world was not destroyed. I awoke in great joy and it was clear then that all our scriptures - the Torah, the Vedas, the Qu'ran - are dangerous and heavy when they are inscribed on the outside. But when we breathe the holy Word inside, allowing its law be inscribed on our hearts, earth is refreshed, and becomes a paradise.

Solstice Secret

'The world will be redeemed by beauty.' ~Dostoievsky

Our work is to behold beauty everywhere. To discover the whole blue sky in every cell of our flesh, sixteen billion light-years of emptiness in each atom. This is the dharma, the duty of the human mind. Why then would we waste one precious breath in argument and blame?

Solstice is a peak in time, a high pause in the year, when we can taste the transcendent embodied through our senses, and see the majesty of light solidified in the quiddity of a hummingbird's throat.

The Hebrew psalmist said, "Taste and see that the Lord is good." The ancient singer did not say, "believe" or "contemplate," but "taste" and "see." Solstice is an auspicious sensory moment, a time to taste and see. See what? Bliss incarnate in the commonplace.

What is bliss, ananda? No fleeting feeling or mere pleasure that comes and goes, but the quality of limitless expansion. Bliss is the dynamism of over-brimming stillness. Bliss pervades all of creation and, when apprehended, makes everything suddenly weightless. Bliss is the fullness of Being, the true parousia, when the formless overflows and sparkles in the transcendental quiddity of any form. A pine cone, a fallen crow feather, lady bug on a fern become the faces of Christ.

On solstice we see everyday miracles boldly. A wild poppy, a pebble in a stream, a sod clump, an infant's tear, rainbow oil on a sidewalk puddle: Govinda glances and blinks at us through the slightest thingness. Just for an instant, before we perceive the creature, we see God's un-created gaze.

t the core of our soul is an inward eye that sees the face of divine Beauty shining through the ordinary. With this inward eye of the heart, we embrace every creature in the space of forgiveness, and only then does the world begin to change.

For an instant, Lord Govinda and the cowherd girl, Radha, frolic in the meadow of our senses, playing hide and seek with us, just so that we may be stunned into silent wonder. Then God and Goddess hide their loveliness again within the shadow of this earth, yes, even its sorrow.

One name of Krishna is Shyama Sundara, meaning
"the boundless blue sky of transcendental beauty." The human mind, in the glory of stillness, is a pelucid lens, transparent,
silent and amazed, witnessing the darshan of God in a particle of holy dust.

Please, don't waste one breath of this precious bewilderment! Let the mind melt into the eye of the heart.

Lover on a Moth Wing

Just listen. Feel the silence. The love you seek already hugs you, even before you breathe.

When the sparkling light of Grace begins to dance in the space of the heart, a gentle power ignites your backbone. Every nerve in your body catches fire, with a cool and healing flame that does not burn. The spinal cord is the tree of life. Lit ablaze, it is the burning bush that Moses saw on Mount Sinai. He was immolated in the formless brilliant electric bliss of divine Love. He asked Love, “What is your name?” And Love answered, "I Am... I Am is my name forever.” (Exodus 3)

Why did the Lord put no noun after the verb, "to be"? Because God is a person. God is infinite subjectivity, the formless all-pervading subject who takes the whole cosmos for a noun, a body. Divine Love is formless, but never not a person.

Many mystics arrive at the Oneness, yet their hearts remain dry and unfilled. Entering formless samadhi, they presume that this is all there is: pure consciousness, universal energy. A thin veil of pride prevents them from the last letting go: to drown in the heart’s abyss, relinquishing even Oneness. As Augustine wrote, "Our hearts are ever restless till they find their rest in Thee." Do not mistake the formless for the impersonal. Strip off even non-duality, and dive into the mystery of Love.

“One” dissolves into Thou. “It” dissolves into Thou. Every impersonal pronoun dissolves into Thou. Let Love fall in love with Love. Then the ocean of stillness stirs in waves of adoration. One becomes two. Love becomes Lover and Beloved.

This is lila, the playfulness of God. This is the sport of Yaweh and his paramour, the Shekinah, creating the heavens and the earth. This is the courtship of Rahman i’Raheem, when the Ruuh of Allah’s breath ignites soul sparks in coals of cosmic night. This is the breathless dalliance of
Shiva and Shakti in your solar plexus, between exhale and inhale, where worlds are born. Ameen, this is the dance of Jesus and Magdalene, Christ and the Spirit, in the radiant darkness of the Godhead, spawning each of us in their image and likeness.

The play of the formless is always personal. That is why even the humblest creature catches fire, and becomes the face of the Almighty - a leaf, a raindrop, a moth wing. How much more then will you find the love I Am in your own face, and in the gaze of every human child?

Just listen. Feel the silence. The love you seek already hugs you, even before you breathe.

Image by aceoni on DeviantArt

Golden Hollow

There's a clearing in the wilderness of the body, just below the heart and above the navel. A ring of mushrooms grows here, where we gather to study the physics of miracles. And this is why we have no time for outrage.

What do you learn from the anointed animal of your own physiology? When the mind wanders during meditation, don't chase after it. Let it explore the farthest edge of interstellar amazement, and mingle in the golden atoms of a rose.

Even when you have as many thoughts as there are zeros after the one in infinity, your meditation is silent and hollow. Do you know why? Because you are not your mind.

You are the space through which it wanders. You are the motionless green journey of a seed spiraling into the death of its flower. Therefore let your mind roam through time as well as distance, without the slightest effort to grasp or lead it home.

Just as a mother's love enfolds her wrestling whelps, so you watch over the play of thoughts. As long ago as your great grandmothers sing, and as far ahead as your unborn children dream, your mind is the refulgence of this present moment.

Through the sacred art of listening, know what the owl sees at midnight, how a new snakeskin shimmers under the old one, how a moth wing feels passing through a flame.

Why is there no journey? Because the beginning and end are the same breath. No judgment arises from the golden hollow in the core of your body, because the glow of "Nothing Wrong" engenders a new earth with each exhalation. So just rest in the heart.
When you find that forest glade in your body, my smile will arise there. And when your smile arises from this place in me, each photon in my blood will remember the whole sun and whisper, "Thank you." Thus I am absolved, forgiven, and transformed by your emptiness.

But non-duality is not enough. Get rapt in the ineffably soft fabric of otherness, and caress my toes. Oneness is entanglement. This is how your power to bless keeps expanding, and the dance of the galaxy begins in every spiral of your DNA.

Let us drown in the well of each other's gaze, and find stillness in waves of chaos. Only then can we be sure that judging others is the root of dis-ease, forgiveness the nectar of healing.

If we study the marvelous science of the belly, which is deeper than any love, we will meet our teacher. And because our teacher dwells in the moment before creation, She is very near.

Painting by Sue Wookey

Another Song from the Tavern

You asked me to drop every concept

of 'Other' and 'God,' so I did.

Then I abandoned words like

'Trauma' and 'Embodiment.'

Love is not a story.

Now I sink into my true flesh,

the infinite physiology of light.
This stillness in my chest

is an unbroken pour

that doesn’t flow from

'there' to 'here,'

but quivers in the void,

a braid of black lightning.

The taste is beyond

thought and breath.

I call it sweet wine,

but that is the language

of fools and lovers

whose tale gets drowned out

by silence.

I will never know who tilted

Fullness into Emptiness

and made the starry rim

of this cup overflow

with a wonder no longer

named 'me.'

But still I say 'thank you,

thank you, Friend.'

And still I ask,

'Was there a journey in that pour?

Or have I always

already arrived

at the Tavern of Awakening?'



Painting by Mahmoud Farshchian