to encourage anyone, anywhere, in their exploration of the spiritual path that calls to them even if others don’t understand. you are not alone.
to inform other seekers that the regular writing of poetry about the relationship with your Deity of choice can enrich life tremendously. the same is true about painting and drawing images of the Deity of your choice. it can bring the relationship alive & facilitate deeper communion.
to demonstrate that sincerity & devotion in this approach to the spiritual is fundamental & more essential than talent or skill in writing or art.
to urge especially those who are in the latter years of life to deepen the focus on the nonphysical spiritual realm. poetry & art can help greatly with this.
to express & fulfill my dedication & devotion to Shiva, who has shown me all that i have painted & written about. He began with the nonverbal intuitive paintings, continued with the verbal expressive poetry & now moves to the global cyber realm. this is my service to Shiva, the Deity of choice who guides my life. (essentially this is my sadhana journal & all the images are from my camera unless otherwise noted. all the poetry is syllabic: same number of syllables in each line.) may you be inspired & energized in your own explorations & journey! namaste!
i do not know how tightly i guard the borders of the body until
an attentive & curious little spider demonstrates it to me.
i am so intently aware of her that i feel like i'm vibrating.
the net of the mind is held tight over one alert spider: we study
one another for long intense intervals over the day & a half
that she is here. she takes periodic rest breaks & retires into the
dark havens of shadows & i maintain vigilance about where i place
these large human feet when i walk. i examine my whole environment
carefully so i won't inadvertently harm her. i am akin to
a guitar string pulled really tight for the span of the spider's visit.
only after she takes leave & departs do i realize how very
powerful & concentrated the energy has been during her stay.
i am not at ease with insects or spiders at all, so i had been in
emergency alert mode for the entire time my visitor is here.
as days pass by & the energies mellow, i realize at last that
the little spider who stayed & studied me had left a barren place in
my life. it is rather like the silence of an empty house after the
beloved guest has gone. i miss the presence that had brought me such focus.
she is more to me than merely a spider. she is a visitor who
has come through Shiva to teach me. my sadhana is to pay attention.
i love how miraculous life is! she had only a walk-on role, yet
she made a very deep impression on me & has left me pondering.
i know that everything is of value in the divine ecology.
Shiva, all of us serve a vital function as part of a vast wholeness.
since we all are important, i can't know if a spider is an angel,
an arachnid or an alien, so i am grateful for all beings.
beyond the surface appearance: we are holy, we are blessed, we are one.
little spider, i am surprised that i miss you & the intensity
of your being overlighted by a vaster intelligence & will.
i felt as if a great mothership hovered overhead, surrounding us
in a numinous mystical energy field. everything was vivid,
crisp & focussed. it was powerful, unsettling, yet it was also like
a surprise visit by an honored & well-loved celebrity of note.
little spider, you touch my life in a tender way, like a gentle tap
on the shoulder to awaken me. you have changed my perspective away
from the conditioned, limited humanocentric view towards a far
broader & more inclusive way of seeing life. your visit has blessed me.
thank You, Shiva, for this exalting & humbling experience, which
clearly demonstrates to me that all things & beings are far more than the
face which they ordinarily reveal. we all, without exception, are
sacred seeds of the uttermost divine deity & we would do well
to recognize this & to treat each other in just this very manner.
what a powerful thing, to hold one another in the esteem of our
focussed attention. it's like sitting by a clear rushing stream that blesses
with the ripple & surge of its cooling flow. the energy is healing,
& i thank You, Shiva, for taking me with You into the mystery.
i am sitting on the toilet when i see the spider watching me
from the corner of the room. she is not large, yet has my attention.
i am carefully tracking her since i can't go to her at this time.
she moves to sit in front of the door & now my attention wanders.
when next i look, she is gone. when i rise from the toilet, i check out
the corners & crannies of the room: i don't see her. i carefully,
slowly, alertly return to my room, searching for her. here she is!
sitting in front of my recliner! we examine each other from
across the room. i talk to her, explaining that i would like to take
her carefully outside where i am fully convinced that she would be
happier. i speak in a sweetly soothing voice & go to get my
spider-catcher, a clear plastic drinking glass with poster-board lid to
slide over the opening. i return to see her yet sitting by
my recliner. i move slowly toward her, still speaking soothingly.
when she sees the glass in my nearing hand, she quickly scurries away,
out of sight. i sit in my chair, transferring the glass to the little
table in front, still talking to the spider. she slowly emerges
from hiding & returns to sit in front of my chair. i simply talk
companionably to her & slowly reach for the spider-catcher,
calmly rising with it in my hand. again, upon seeing the glass,
she scuttles rapidly away, disappearing from my sight once more.
i apologize to her for causing fear & explain that outside
truly is better than in here, but she does not show herself again to me.
hours later she returns to sit by me, seemingly still curious.
i am determined to safely remove her, but she won't permit it:
whenever she sees me with the glass in hand, she speedily departs.
the next day i ponder this wonder-filled visiting spider event.
she seems as intent on watching me as i am on watching her. she
does seem to make certain that i see her, so it seems that perhaps she
is giving me a message. an exchange of energy does take place:
i can feel the connective charge between us, the mutual regard.
slowly, like the sun rising over the far horizon, i begin
to understand more of this event. Shiva, You teach me by coming
as a spider to awaken me to the great holy realm of small
earthly life. oh! didn't i just write a poem about maya's web?
that's a spider-friendly image, & the lesson is to do what one
must with conscious awareness & with kind & full intent to bless, while
safely navigating maya's alluring situation set-ups.
there is no judgement involved. it is all too vast & mysterious
for heavy-handed words or confining concepts to seize & capture.
i set my pen & paper down as i prepare to rise from the chair.
wait! what is this? again my gaze lights upon the intrepid spider
who taught me so very much, sitting here once more at my feet right now!
a flood of wonder rushes all through me. the spider moves aside to sit
nearby & i grab my smartphone to take her picture. she poses calmly.
i move to get the spider-catcher & she moves too, swiftly gone now.
this is no ordinary spider, accepting the smartphone held in
my hand, yet fearing a glass held in that same hand! does she know my thoughts?
i can't help but laugh in amazement at this glorious, outrageous
display of divine playfulness! what else is there to do in the face
of such events? anything is possible: Shiva can play the role
of a spider. all life is holy & blessed in the midst of this pure
sacred rising toward the endless glory of the light of being.
all life is included in this abiding divine downpour of love.
i am a modular being, layered like a cake. the body,
mind & feelings compose the ego-personality layers,
& the witness stands central as portal to You, Shiva, making
the cake of me multidimensional, bridging & blending realms,
giving You access through me to pour bright energy to the world.
as witness i'm like a comicstrip superhero, peeling off
the outer layers of my disguise. i step forth when the need calls
to be the willing witness who can see the gift of the patterns
organizing the richly varied drama of daily life.
i aim to be detached so that no harm can ever befall me.
yet maya still seduces by lavishing me with my fondest
wishes, now fulfilled, luring me back to her sticky web. desires
i never knew were there have merely lurked just beneath the surface,
awaiting their cue to surge forward, & i am stuck yet again.
i'm caught once more in a situation i never saw coming
& don't want to let go, all layered enticingly & well.
where is my one-pointed awareness? where is my heart flying free?
where is that cool-headed detachment when i'm stuck here in maya's
web? You've brought out my hidden attachments, Shiva, the acceptance
i had never dared hope for before, & i get to unravel
the ties & the knots that i wasn't aware were there. it feels like
do-it-yourself open-heart surgery, & i'm clumsy at best.
maya entices me to plunge into the world where i'm whirled through
the cycles, the ups & the downs, with many a story to tell.
Shiva, You use all of maya's ruses to hone my edges as
sharp as keen knives that i freely may cut through the many ties that
weigh me down, bind tight & hold me back. i need to see it all through
to the final credits at the end & then the lights will come on
again. You will be revealed by my side to the inner vision
as maya shifts the scene & the music rises to bridge to the
next episode. the detached witness rises once more within to
do it all again, yet on a higher turn of maya's spiral.
this is our dance, Shiva, round after round, recognizing & then
refining the moves of the drama, turning the darkness to light.
beyond all form & function, beyond the need for a name:
within the innermost vastness, deep, unknown & dark, You
are here now in bold vivid presence. i don't know just how
i discern it, yet i feel You as if You're my own breath,
soft & full way down inside me, warm & welcome within,
moving gently although unseen, known in silence alone.
breath rises & falls & even speech is quiet at last,
yet still You remain lingering in Your home in the heart.
beyond all form & function, beyond the need for a name:
even so, i call You Shiva, the name that is inscribed
somewhere inside so deeply down it can't ever be lost,
even within the vastness unknown, where it shines as a
spark of Your light. it can't be hidden; it can't be quenched.
the wind is playing with the newly-leafed tresses of the nearby trees
today, tossing them about as if they were the long curls of intense
& passionate spanish dancers. i only see their shadows on my
curtains, but oh, how joyous they seem to be, flinging & swinging their
new spring leaves in dramatic sweeping curves of visual gratitude!
deep within, Shiva, there is springtime in the soul as well, reaching out
eagerly to You in Your guise as the solar winds to dance in grand
cosmic revelry. although i cannot see it directly, i do
notice the evidence of light & freely given exuberant
wonder & joyousness. i am stretching full out to catch it in the
fingers of subtle new awareness & discerning observation.
in this world, only the form is seen, & it too is beautiful in
the way that graceful moving shadows are when cast upon a curtain.
they draw us to open wide the curtain that we may see truly with
direct perception rather than partially & obliquely only.
yes, Shiva, everywhere i look i see Your messages & teachings.
the dancing shadow shapes of the leafing trees are Your fleeting greetings,
giving rise to a broad smile on my face & melting warmth in the heart.
sometimes i am a garden lying fallow after harvest,
stripped of my nourishing abundance. my leaves are brown & crisp,
stalks & stems are brittle & broken, scattered on the resting
earth as a testament to blessings given generously.
i can breathe into the earth even when i cannot reach for
the shining sky, so i go deep, deep down past the spent dry roots.
i sleep, forgetful of bright springtime & sun, returning the
physical substance to its origin. i dream. i dream of
You, Shiva, Who planted me here & cultivated my pure
essence & reaped my natural bounty. it has emerged from
tiny hard seeds hidden in the darkness of the ground, & grown
to lift many arms & hands up to praise the sun & honor
the moon. it has been glorious, & i thank You, Shiva, as
i release the firm form into the cool darkness & soft dust
of the waiting earth. lying fallow is also part of the
process that yields the next abundant harvest in its own time.
hold me, Shiva. hold me as i rest quietly without care,
dreaming of formlessness & freedom from this human dharma.
it is as if i have been granted access to a dimension
previously unknown to me. evening enfolds, & the other
residents are in bed as the mind's silence now invites peace to
embrace. i relax in my recliner, contemplating the soft
surrounding space stretching above me & all around. my eyes lose
their concrete focus & widen into the shifting shadow &
light of the dancing air. it is as if the focus of my eyes
has adjusted to a more rarified realm. i can no longer
separate the vision of the physical eye from the mind's eye.
gradually i become aware of two vague beings on either
side of me. i slowly understand that they are benefactors,
healers, & that i am one of their charges. we communicate
wordlessly as they share their healing energy, which i accept,
leaning back in my recliner. i come to understand that this
interpenetrating higher dimension is always present,
freely offering access to uplifting energies. my own
vibratory rate has apparently quickened enough now to
allow contact. this information flows into me to comfort
with pure intent. all is warmly radiant with the light of truth
& the fragrance of cosmic love interpenetrates everything.
i relax into the healing blessing of this new frequency.
awareness has deepened & expanded to include so much more!
even after the passage of time back here in this world of flesh,
blood & bone, i can feel the benevolent subtle presence of
this more refined vibratory realm, a place of healing indeed!
thank you for the warm encouragement, Shiva! i am heartened &
energized to continue on, for i have now experienced
that which was previously known through the intellect alone. though
that is is not my goal, Shiva, it stands as a marker on the path
of return to You, who are the focus of my attention.
You alone dwell in my heart, which now sings Om Namah Shivaya!
i was talking casually with my friend claire, glancing at her,
when suddenly You flash out of her eyes & into me by way
of the eye. there is no time. there is only a vast, inclusive,
infinite belonging & melting oneness. intelligent life
leaps & dances forth, sweeps me into sweetness beyond compare.
it is all i have ever longed for & it enters me fully.
it is me. i am That. yes! my heart knows the wordless truth of it.
& i blink & return back to the conversation with my friend.
meanwhile, no time has passed &, for her, nothing at all has happened.
i didn't know You by name then, Shiva, yet i am wedded to
You & have been since i was 13, a chosen child bride promised
to a vast warm being of power, capable of anything.
that is Your nature, Shiva, & my nature is to be with You.
a few months pass. i am a passenger in a car, holding my
infant daughter in my arms. i look into her eyes & again,
Shiva, You join with me through the portal of the eye of my child.
this merging has no words & no story, only blissful love &
infinite sweetness beyond slow clumsy words or comprehension.
it is from the far distant realm of my heart's true ancestral home.
& i blink, back in the body, as if no time had passed, as if
i were just sitting in a car with other people, holding a
baby, as if the day were typical & i wasn't now blessed.
for i surely am, for we all surely are blessed, yet lacking the
full vision, the deep realization. we can only gaze upon
the far shore, glowing in the distance, & sincerely intend to
journey there in the fullness of time. i call You by name, Shiva,
to strengthen the energy between us, to get Your attention
& to propel myself forward. i am like an arrow that is
already loosed from the bow-string, speeding unstoppably to You.
my attention is focussed fully on You, Shiva, my dharma
& my destiny, & my heart knows the deep subtle truth of it.
fifty years ago--when studying the spiritual tarot--
i used to contemplate the sun's reflection in glass & metal.
at the center of the scintillating bright orb thus revealed, i
would see a dark dancing figure in swift moving exultation.
i would rejoice that a divine being was graciously present,
which my heart would tell me by the warmth of its joyous quickening.
now i know that it was You, Shiva, touching my heart yet again,
keeping in touch. in this way, small events & insights were building
a foundation deep within me, preparing me for You, as the
bride is prepared for the auspicious advent of her wedding day.
much time, preparation & cultivation has gone by since then.
i have honored You in my heart for years now. my wedding dress hangs
ready in the closet & i await You, Shiva, every day.
the heart is filled with longing & the mind echoes with Your mantra.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
i see that maya's way is to draw us into situations
whereby strands of our connective energy are hooked & woven
into it. many dramas will seek to involve us: family,
national, global, plus hidden inner conflicts & struggles when
all else is calm. it is unavoidable in the world of form.
i notice this strongly now, being elderly & disabled
& thus having less abundant energy. each cause that i feel
called to champion, every imbalance or injustice i seek to
ameliorate draws an energy thread to connect to it.
thus i'm woven into the sociocultural web & am
supporting its constructs with my prana & focussed intentions.
hence i become mindful indeed of where i want my energy
to flow. having less available energy, i must put it
into what i most prioritize. Shiva, what efficiency
You show to demonstrate maya & to teach me to cut the ties
to that which serves me not! all that has been generationally
established calls urgently for participation. family
values, national priorities, social-enculturation:
they all sing their majority-approved alluring siren songs.
refusal is frowned upon: there is always a price to pay for
freedom & mindfulness, yet it becomes necessary in time.
You encourage & support awareness, dispassion & kindness,
Shiva. Your voice eventually becomes more magnetic &
powerful than maya as i travel on this journey with You.
even negative events can serve a positive purpose by
training the mind to be a detached observer. such clear vision
can expand to reveal the pattern that eventually shows
itself to be serving growth. understanding this, i no longer
turn my back on Your guidance, Shiva. my heart goes out to You, blends
with You in fact. all this reduces the attraction of maya.
may we choose with care & may we be willing to pay the price of
our choice. remaining in thoughtless thrall to maya will exact its
own price, even as Shiva extracts His. i choose You, Shiva, &
i willingly pay Your price, for maya is but a dream, empty
& temporary. You, Shiva, are constant & You touch my heart
with Your pure, holy love. i turn my back on the shadow-show of
maya to embrace You, Shiva. i rest in You & take refuge.
when i look at my earlier life, it is as if i can see
a broken mirror that has been pieced together & glued upon
a firm surface. this, my earthly identity, is the broken
mirror, flawed, fragmented & in pieces. You, Shiva, are the firm
surface that holds all the broken pieces together, steadily
present in the background of awareness as i do my duties.
here in this maya of jagat, in the midst of all the shattered
& fractured illusions & dreams, You are that companion who holds
firm to dharma for the well-being of us all. You help to make
the vision clear before us, that we may see ourselves endlessly
held together & bound through divine compassion & bold wisdom.
the patterns made by the cracks in the mirror are but a needed
part of the story. everything has a story to tell, like the
wrinkles on an elderly face or the scars upon a body.
oh my Beloved, You upon Whom my earthly life depends, Who
reveal my true identity to me: Your name is on my lips.
ah Shiva, my Shiva! the sweetness of Your name melts upon my
tongue like warm honey & fills the heart with bliss. You are my very
ground of being, my oxygen & water, & i say Your name
as tonic for the healing of us all: OM NAMAH SHIVAYA!
this broken mirror shines with Your holy light, Shiva, my Shiva!
the daily happenings around me are the distractions that delay
going deep within to commune with You, Shiva. life in this earthly
world is focussed upon outer events. You call me away from that
to journey within my inner world to the wellspring of awareness.
thus i must turn my back on the social demands of the outer world.
i must find that internal source from which awareness arises &
flows & i must remain with that, returning always to the central
knowing that "i am", even in the midst of harsh discord & downfall.
Shiva, i am asking for Your help, asking You to have no mercy
toward my dullness & density, my declining ability
& errors of thought. hold me close & repair the damage. hold me close
& bless the shy & tender, the pure & innocent deep, deep within.
hold me close to You & please help me to know that You see through these eyes;
You hear through these ears & You live in this world as You function through me.
hold me through the soul's dark night & hold me through my own & all others'
ignorant stumbling towards the promise of light. i can no longer
endure the dead weight of the darkness in this world's long struggle lightwards.
yet of course i must. the work is before me, as You have given, &
i continue on here in this eternal now. even as i rest
against You, even as You hold me & i press against You so hard
& deep that only You remain, this existence does continue on.
i live in You & You live through me, as me. I press my lips to Yours & You speak through me, carrying me forward beyond the distractions
of the world into Your body of bliss. I thank You for Your mercy.