why i am sharing this nontraditional spiritual journey

  • 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!

Your calling cards

Shiva, You saved my life on that dark spring night when the huge old willow
tree was blown over onto our house. it was not even a stormy
night then either, just a strong gusting wind from an uncommon angle,
plus moisture-laden soil from a previous prolonged heavy rainfall.

three of us lived in the secluded old country house in the mountains
of north carolina. we each had our own room & we each woke up
when we heard the loud crack in the middle of the night. we all fell back
to sleep again, thinking that it surely had been thunder. my room was
at the front of the house facing the deck & the weeping willow tree,
as was the living room. the other bedrooms were safely tucked in back.

i didn't even know that my life had been jeopardized until i
went outside in the early morning & saw how the tree had fallen.
it had freely plunged down until the big main trunk rested upon the
heavy roof beam of the house. that was the loud crack that we all had heard.

yet the full crushing weight of the elderly willow did not rest on
the beam of the roof. it had but merely touched it. What had stopped the tree
from endangering me & the house under its full weight was one stout
thick sturdy limb that was driven deeply into the earth to support
the main massive weight of the tree trunk at a ninety degree angle.
that one single auspicious limb kept me & the house safe & intact.

this is but one of the many calling cards that You have left for me
throughout my life. only now in this, the time of outer reckoning
& inner synthesis, do i start to see the many blend into
the One. i now see that Your calling cards are truly invitations
to transcend limitation. they are divine love letters too & my
heart knows this, & continues ardently on the path that You have set
before us: the path of the heart as seen through the adoring eyes of love.

we travel this journey together, Shiva, hand in hand & heart to
heart. all other paths have faded away. the path to You is all that
i can see before me now & i am grateful, so grateful for this!

mystery that loves us like family

i sowed flower seeds long ago in a grand design of a sacred garden.
i planted bulbs, seedlings, bushes & young trees. i made durable trellises
for passion-flower vines so the flowers could be presented as offerings
to the presiding deity of the garden, the Sun. every year there were
exotic sunflowers too, fantastic colors flirting to be noticed first.

that was long ago. i have kept the Sun's beautiful garden well watered,
fertilized, cultivated & trimmed. it was all a loving offering to
the Sun. He liked it so much that He was moved to confide His own innermost
private name of holy blessing to me: Radiant Giver. He told me that
i could call Him this any time & He would clearly hear me & would respond.

i told Him that i wanted to sing songs about Him & He liked that a lot.
so i sang to Radiant Giver happily. songs of gratitude poured out
freely, like spring rain on thirsty new flowers, like warm honey-colored sunlight
on a cool early spring morning that invites the birds to sing so cheerfully.

we have mingled as one event horizon: sunlight, flowers, trees, bushes, sky
overhead holding us all together under our glorious Day Star who,
in His purity, loves us & loves to be loved by us too. He can't resist
our simple heartfelt songs in our humble untrained voices. now that we also
have been given the Sun's holy blessing name, we too are wholly blessed as well.

we animal-bodied beings too have long ago been carefully planted
with subjective seeds of growth & blossoming into higher & yet higher
octaves of functioning. we are the holy garden that our Sun, Radiant
Giver, has planted & continues to cultivate & lovingly care for.

it is this embodied life that i tend as an offering to Radiant
Giver, that i may bless the world in a way similar to the Sun: with the
warmth & vivid life-giving energy for eagerly evolving new growth.

of course, all along Shiva has encouraged & supported establishing
& deepening this healing connection with the Sun, Radiant Giver of
the present life-wave on earth. Shiva says that we all are working on this one
together to facilitate life to self-improve & thrive. there is nothing
personal or separate about any of this. we are, each one of us, 
inextricably intertwined in mystery that loves us like family.

i will surely be all right

even if i fall into dimness & dullness but still love, i will surely
be all right. even should i rise into bright & clear nobility, seeing
all kinds of exalted beings, but neglect love, i will surely diminish.

the heart is an open doorway to good fortune & wonders waiting in the
wings for their summoning. the heart is an open doorway into communion
with divine beings in loving humility: a universal donor.

the mind is an endless pathway that wanders, repeatedly branching off in
multiple directions of alluring exploration. the mind: an endless
pathway that leads to distracting diversions & enticing experiments.

when the mind respects the deep wisdom of the heart & the heart opens fully
in acceptance of the minds own nature, cooperation & synergy
of the most beneficial & creative kind can blessedly occur. when
contrasting refined energies come together, agreeing on harmony,
with openness, acceptance & respect, inspiration thrives naturally.

help me to remember this wisdom, Shiva, should a dense cloud of unknowing
obscure the mind with dull dimness. You are the one who remains when all else flees.
You alone know the secret code that will open access to the heart's treasure.

Shiva, You are the source of my strength & endurance. I will surely be all
right because You hold me secure in the safety of Your ever-present love.
the sun gazing down upon us can clearly see that we are but one being.

holding me soft, like love itself

the sky is my delight & favorite mystery. the wind joins in
with a sound track of primal rippling, swirling aeolian music
that rushes wildly through my hair in long pale fingers of cool curved air.

something deep down within feels the allure of distant space & hears the
faint synchronized singing of the blazing stars. they sound like crystal chimes
& tiny bells, & they tell me that they would like to roll their song through
me like a soft warm translucent sphere of healing mist & sweet blessing.

how can i remain separate with all life flirting outrageously
with me? i am not so hard & solid any more. the sky comes all
the way to the ground & wraps itself around me emphatically.
i'm not wanting to get away from it: i know it for a blessing.

"you can take me now, sky!" i cry. "roll your holy song through me, bright stars!
i fully consent." i can't quite say what happens next, because it is
all as nonverbal as it can be. i can say that i am changed now:
i'm not fully of this earth any more. i have cosmic family,
relatives that can claim me from before planet earth even exists.
the sky has done its duty, reuniting me with far family.

the sky is just another word for space after it has taken off
its shiny jewelry & wrapped it in air & clouds & wind & rain.
the sky is domesticated space. just as i have reached up to it
& honored it, so it has been called down to me reciprocally.

i know that all of this comes about because of Your presence, Shiva.
Your hand has been busy in all this earthly & cosmic blending, for
Your work is behind the scenes. it is only because i hold Your hand
in mine that i am able to come as far as i have. You are my
guide & protector, Shiva, & i am as close to You as Your own
existence, actually being a part of You. i am truly,
assuredly, a cell in Your Body, blue like sky curving above
& wrapping around: Your holy arms holding me soft, like love itself.

all at the same time

Shiva, You have given me instructions all these many years, which i
have been slowly guided to piece together meaningfully. i was
so young & ignorant at the beginning, with much to learn & to
integrate. of course, there was & is the continuing pressing need
to mature into my highest potential. it continues to this
day & is still incomplete, yet nonetheless it does provide a sound
foundation. it's more than i had ever hoped for, or dreamed of before.

Shiva, i understand that You are many beings & things, all at
the same time. it is that way in the higher refined dimensions of
existence. You can be God, You can be my cherished inspiration,
companion, teacher, comedian & also my own true divine
identity, all at the same time. the human brain rather struggles
to reconcile that immensity with what we can see around us.

i do struggle to accept that God would come to me. How could i be
so worthy? yet, why not me? why should i condemn myself so quickly?
Shiva keeps on bringing these issues to my attention, showing me
how i limit myself by my own attitudes, encouraging me.

Shiva teaches me that i am none of the things that arise from or
affect the body; that belongs to the personality. i'm not
the body nor the personality. Shiva assures me that i'm
the Life that animates the body, & He has taken me out of
the body to reveal other dimensions of being, all so pure
& beautiful. it changes my life to know of this immensity,
opens me up as if i'm a fresh young flower in morning sunshine.

i can't go back to that outworn way of life that was so defined by
denial. i no longer can stifle the urge to go beyond the
obvious, to climb the mountain, explore the cave, commune with the stars,
seek the ineffable & yearn after the real originating
source of this living, longing totality which reaches out to me.

hence, Shiva, i am Your willing student. i guess that is a bit like
the body's left hand telling the right hand that it is willing to work
with it. the mind is challenged to understand & accept such blended
interconnection. it's best just to allow the mind to rest. Shiva,
You are the One Who is really in charge with Your long game of rising
& falling civilizations. i am but a small part of You, who
has been brought along for the ride & to help. i am teachable &
i am willing. please do continue Your instructions so that i may
be even more effective for You in Your long game, as well as from
day to day. the kali yuga is not going to last forever!

of divine & devic beings

what i understand of divine & devic beings, due to my own
experience, is that they have no need to assert their will upon
us. they are so open & so pure that their goodness simply flows out
of them to permeate all surroundings. one really wants to help them,
with a sincere urgency to please such a radiant being. it
feels utterly natural to do that which the divine beings ask,
for their sincerity & purity is quite inviting when known
through subtle direct perception. everything is openly revealed
& nothing can be hidden here within this realm of sattvic sacred
existence-bliss. all is known spontaneously by telepathy
rather than through the clumsy, awkward words of the derivative mind.

it is as if now we are all focussed beyond the mind within a
shared group experience of truth, felt deeply & intuitively.
we are immersed together, & thus we are co-experiencing
at the same time in a relaxed & blissful familiarity.

in essence, we are consciousness woven together in a fabric
of belonging: we are family. it is as if a great, highly
evolved being split itself into several entities having
specialized, distinctive functions. we each do what comes naturally
to us which, by its nature, benefits our divine devic parent.

we are aspects of this vaster being, agents who have missions to
accomplish when incarnating into the maya of this sad world.
hence we are certainly not alone in this existence, even though
we may feel temporarily as if we are. the truth will always
be revealed in its time. we need only patience & a receptive
heart to establish that. this is one thing i was shown in a vision
once, & my life experience continues to support it fully.

the divine being i am an aspect of is Shiva. He is one 
who can appear multiple times in many forms, while yet seeming to
be distinctly individual. language can only indicate
the actual nondual reality, but can't convey it. this
is rather like the finger, which is able to point yet cannot grasp.

all of that is what i understand of divine & devic beings:
it's truly a small amount, yet it marks a positive place to stand
for a beginner like me. i do know that wherever i may be,
Shiva is not far from me, for in fact, we are at heart one, not two.

i have friends in celestial spaces

sometimes i feel that, like a beast of burden, i carry a load
that is not my own, nor do i know how to remove it. in fact,
by myself i have neither the knowledge nor the skill to do that,
so i endure. i endure, but not passively. i know now that
i'm not alone or without help. no longer am i bowed down
in sad submission, for i have friends in celestial spaces.

i release attunement to the weight of the burden; i let go
of feeling helpless & sad. i reach deep down inside myself to
find the holy chamber hidden in a sacred cave that is not
totally of this world. i let myself become lighter, almost
weightless & nearly formless, as if i am made of drifting mist.

not identifying with the concerned thoughts of the worried mind,
i release my ownership of the body & of its karma.
all my disquiet arises from identification with
the things of the physical realm, especially with the body
& its many adventures, ideas, conclusions, needs & stories.

they are not my own. i have nothing, for i am consciousness &
awareness, formless & free, giving the gift of urgent life to
animate this body, yet not belonging to the flesh-body.

nor do i belong to myself for i am part of one greater
than myself: i am His expression. i am but an extension
of Him, of Shiva, Who keeps calling me to come back to the heart.
He has not given up on me; He knows that i am His & will
do His bidding from love. Shiva gives me the opportunity
to create in the world for Him. this is not a burden, but a
blessing & a true gift that I treasure. it has transformed my life.

Shiva is a living treasure, gift & blessing, by whatever
name He calls Himself. i am here to encourage trust in the deep
natural wild divine which manifests under the banner of
love. this banner ever flies over the great cosmic story of
Shiva, Lord of Transformation, & of we who truly love Him.


our bodies are hardwired to respond attentively to all that
resembles a face. we are good at seeing faces in clouds, in the
grain of wood, in flowers, in the patterns of stars in the deep night sky.
we live in the midst of many beings & we are naturally
responsive to all that is similar to us & potentially
our kin. it is the face, though, that really turns us on & lights us up.

i think that it is to remind us that we have a lot in common
with all existence. we all share the same basic elements in our
bodies as the blazing stars do, as meteors, as elephants, as
deep sea dwelling creatures do, as the most distant ancient galaxies
do. in fact, everything is made from the same primal holy substance,
so we all are far more similar than we ever are different.

it's all a matter of what one is looking for, & it is wise to
seek what we have in common, because on a mystic quantum level,
we are all there is! Shiva enjoys His laughter through us as we now
find our way back to Him through all the numberless faces & stars &
galaxies. He takes us the long way home sometimes because we seem to
need the experience it brings. the short way is no easier, just
faster, but sometimes we do need that. Shiva is generous with help.

that's why he has given us the gift of a body that is hardwired
to see faces everywhere. He has given us a big hint with that
one! life is all-pervasive, & wherever we look, we are seeing
ourselves in another form, looking back at us, over & over.


age is a victory

dear young friend & family in Shiva, when i speak of age, you
seem to hear death, probably because of your youth. but for me at
eighty-one, age is a victory, something amazing that is
given to me to rejoice in, & i do! you seem to think that
i rejoice in the nearness of death, but no! it is this life that
i rejoice in. i delight in beauty, goodness & truth. if it
doesn't relate to my purpose, i pay no attention to it.
my purpose is to celebrate life & to release the outworn,
that Shiva & i can commune together more meaningfully.

so think not that age means closer to death! age just as vividly
can mean closer to life, because i can so fully & deeply
enjoy this life now as a seasoned spiritual connoisseur.
years of arcane experience now reveal its value to me.

invisible lines of connection

there are invisible lines of connection between us. for some,
we are drawn closer together by them. for others, the lines have
become more like lines of separation, warning of the need for
distance. we are wise to heed such messages of affinity.

it is not an accidental thing to be born into these times:
it is a gift, an opportunity. we can accomplish much
in less time due to the kali yuga intensity. it's the
fast track of evolution that we choose. it calls for everything
that we have to give, & even more. we must persevere daily.

for this, we need those invisible lines of connection to draw
us together. we need silence & time to reflect upon our
own individual lives & the directions they take, & how
they can surprise us with the sudden unexpected plot twists.

we need one another to pool our combined strength for such plot twists,
as together our energies unite in Shiva, who uplifts &
supports transformative efforts on behalf of humanity.
may our invisible lines of connection become visible!

this fragile flower

i will not pluck this fragile flower of the elusive moment.
i will gently touch it just with fingertips alone, barely there.
i will inhale its fragrance deeply (so sweet!), & i will exhale
this body's own scent upon its petals & pistils in return.
i blend with it, become part of it. there is no place where i end
& it begins in the seamless wholeness of now. i gently touch
this moment, breathe into it to release it to float away in
the mingling probability streams that so freely morph & change.

my edges are thinner than ever before. it must happen with
age, this slow disappearing of division & separation.
yes, fingertips alone can truly touch with gentle full respect,
& without coercion or pulling apart. the moment goes, is
now gone to Shiva, who knows well how to cherish oddities &
exceptions such as we who love Him, & we who are born out of
His love through all the cycles of creation & dissolution.
let us adore this fragile flower of the elusive moment.

there are omens

i stroll across the harvested cornfield on the way home from my
meditation with the mother hemlock tree in shelter valley.
i come to a halt near the massive old oak tree by the fence line
& peer up at the clear sky. i see a hawk flying low overhead,
firmly grasping a writhing snake in its powerful talons. i
stand amazed, fixed in place, watching. i know that this is an omen.

a week later, standing on the lawn, i see & feel the hundred
year old oak tree crash to the ground in the field with a great sharp crack!
it shakes like an earthquake beneath my feet: yet another omen.
something big is coming, i think to myself. it is getting close.

it is just two more weeks until the world trade towers are brought down,
using hijacked airplanes as fearsome juggernauts of destruction.

of course there are omens. there are always omens when we are part
of something this big that needs the balm of our healing energy
helping to mitigate the shock & damage. some of us have the
ripe destiny to invoke positive & strengthening blessings
from divine helpers, & not to give in to anxious fearfulness.

Shiva, You can always use us as first responders, although our
response is energy, not words or physical activity.
we drench the noosphere with healing, with compassion & kindness.
You have placed us here as buffers against the travail of these hard
times, Shiva. we are the unlikely assistants in this rugged
aftermath of covid too, whose quiet service goes unnoticed,
yet forms the foundation for all that follows in this birthing time.