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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!

here within these walls

when i am meditating in my room or doing japa of Your name,
i am heartened by the subtle ways that You gently reveal Your presence.

here within these walls may drift the rich leafy-fresh scent of forest after rain.
there may be a slow warm touch upon the cheek as if You are here by me.
perhaps i suddenly feel Your heat melting the ancient chill in my heart,
or i look out the window & see the clouds spelling Your name in holy
script upon the sky. sometimes an almost-visible blessing wave may roll
through me & i open my heart as wide as i can for love to pour out.

i am nourished by You, Shiva, & i want to share Your kindness freely.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

mind & body dance in partnership

the body is temporary. that which enlivens it is eternal.
i am that enlivening spark, knowing the body as a beloved
companion animal, responsibly attending to its basic needs.

here's the challenge: the mind interprets the body's needs very broadly, hence
alertness is called for. the body's genuine needs are not so pressing
as the mind's elaborations. discrimination is needed. mind
& body dance in partnership &, as the detached observer of them both,
a balance of discipline & care evolves. sometimes the body simply
cannot have what it wants. the mind defends the body's desires,
hence alert observation, detachment & firmness is necessary.

just as mind & body dance in partnership, Shiva, so You dance with me
in this continuing sadhana, this fierce unfolding blessing from You.

the intimacy of night

Shiva, You are the purity of light that sweeps across the psyche.
You set forth that which i now need to know for dispelling the shadows
falling over the vision, darkening, distorting & deadening.

You encapsulate me, holding me in the purity of Your light
as if i am an infant clasped in the mother's arms & suckled at
her soft breast. Shiva, Your fragrance is so sweet that i am dissolving
in it, becoming sweetness, emitting light like a beacon for lost
travelers, or like a campfire kept burning through the night to hearten.

Shiva, You are the intimacy of night, smoothing all the wrinkles
  & rough edges that tell of a long arduous journey, soothing the
hungering heart with Your calm touch. the very atoms of You & i
embrace & intermingle in communion that words cannot reveal.

ah, but words can point the way & they can comfort & strengthen also,
until the silence grows so deep that it muffles & floods all else but
the purity of light & the long slow intimacy of the night.

filling the willing heart

i receive each event in life as if it is a message from You,
Shiva. i pay attention. I self-review, scan for synchronicities
& patterns. I detach from particulars & look for general themes.
i open to intuition & focus in the heart, seeking guidance.

whatever may reveal itself, i hold in my heart & search deep to know
how it can bless. i look for the blessing to unfold & reveal itself,
& i thank You, Shiva, for transforming my life & opening my heart.

in the vastness of multidimensionality, You make Yourself known
in Your own way to each of us. no one is left out or overlooked in
the cascading divine abundance of descending ambrosial grace.

You draw near to us according to our ability to receive You,
hence You have innumerable names in this realm of many diverse forms.
Your subtle essence is beyond all name & form, filling the willing heart.

thus it is that i search every event in life for its message from You
& i concentrate focussed attention as if my life depends on it,
for it surely does! thank You for the pure blessing of Your presence, Shiva.

pieces & parts

i am not meant to fit in or conform. i am made for the part of
independent observer & outsider, watcher & listener.
the body can no longer assert ties to my guardianship, for
Shiva invites me to withdraw my vigilance over the body's
condition & to release it to its natural process. i do.

i release the body to its fate. i focus instead on Shiva:
knowing Shiva, breathing Shiva, seeing, tasting, smelling & touching
Shiva. i plunge deep into Shiva & take full refuge in Shiva,
that i may live truly in Him, for i know that my home is not here.

Shiva, hear my lament! or maybe it's a rallying cry for the
forces of light to shine out ever more brightly & vividly.
Shiva, hear my lament! or perhaps it's the dying cry of the
ego as it exhausts the vasanas of the mind in weariness.

Shiva, hear me in my loss & confusion & have compassion for
this slowness & ignorance. hold me tightly as the ties to the world
dissolve in the natural process of this transformation & flux.
life is eternal; awareness is cosmic; words rest in the light of
sudden pure direct knowing, & pieces & parts are one with the whole.

the openness of disclosure


Shiva, when You gave me this sadhana of sharing my journey
with You by way of poetry in a blog, it deepened my life.
i thought of wordpress as a platform for creating a webpage.
i did not realize that it is also a community
of people sharing their insights & life events from various
perspectives & interests, yet all with respectful courtesy.

poetry especially fosters this acceptance, for it is
like a finger pointing to something vital & heartfelt, as there
is the openness of disclosure & the freedom to share.

along with this, our culture & society tend to promote
focus on the gender differences between men & women.
in my sadhana on this path of Sanatana Dharma, i'm
detaching from the body-mind identity & sharing as
the observer & witness to the daily drama of this life.

because of this, i did not choose to reveal the body gender.
there have been times when gender has been assumed & i am addressed
as "sir". since i greatly value truth, i did add "wife & mother"
to my bio under the menu choice "this happened: the story".
this is where i look when i read a blog, so this seemed a good place.

Shiva, i find that each level of growth & evolution brings
the deep work of intensifying clarity & compassion.
it's like climbing a mountain, to discover a vast expanse of
mountains & plateaux going on & on into the far distance.

yet it's only the next step that i need to concern myself with.
so i focus on Your companionship, Shiva, holding Your hand,
walking on this path of inner unfoldment, always attending
to the very next step, seeking harmony & rapport with You.

Shiva, You know me by my energy-signature & essence.
i am grateful. the form is not important but the purity
of intention does matter. thank You for this opportunity
to be forthcoming & visible to others in service & gratitude to You.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

rainbows of the night shadows

i have seen subtle rainbows hidden in the deep shadows of night.
it's as if i am looking into the farthest reaches of space
& see others looking back at me, smiling & waving hello.

they gently assure that sublime shining wonders are on the rise.
they say that the energies within the form have full intention
to bless & nurture regardless of my shy, cautious reception.
they assure me that i am completely love-immersed, even in
harsh circumstances & human neglect & rejection. they say
that to exist is amazing & that love does not need a form
to express: that love is like gravity, like sun, water. it holds
us in close encounter on this planet, preparing us for new
adventures in maya, challenging human selfishness with the
call to group work & global cooperation. the rainbows of
the night shadows are prophets & healers, giving encouragement
in the deepest gloom & despair, emissaries of the soothing
darkness that Shiva settles over one to promote wise insight.

the seed is buried in darkness to grow & send out hands reaching
for the light, drinking sunshine with the whole body & rejoicing
with no consideration for the shadows of the night to come.

Shiva, thank You for the guidance of the inner rainbow, taking
its rise in the cultivated heart. even in the disquiet
of utmost darkness & disintegration, You are my strength.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

there is a forest

there is a forest where each tree will greet us like a dear old friend
who delights in seeing us again. we know we are home here.
we know that the body has come from this moist, rich soil & has brought
hidden greetings from ancient veiled beings. we know that home is here.

there is a forest where the boulders speak of the time when they were
temples. they now innocently confess that they are still temples,
sheltered by the forest for the sincere seeker of the sacred.
we will feel peace here, wholeness & the tingle of awakening
deep inside, invisible to the loud crowd of pressing people
pacing to the measured steps of the socially required motions.

there is a forest that bathes us in cool deep green serenity.
when we touch the tender new ferns & vines with our bare fingertips
they tell us that we are welcome here, now & forever at home
in this quietly breathing forest graced by slow shifting sunbeams.
"you were born here before," the trees tell us, "& we remember you."
we know this is true because the body responds eagerly to
the dim cellular memory. we have never felt more at home
than when we are communing with trees, stones & plants in the depths of the
leafy living forest where the birds can be heard rejoicing in
their wings & songs. "sing freely," cry the birds, "that's what voices are for!"

so we dare to sing & we know that goodness is at the root of
everything & that the forest is made of the same stuff as the
human body & we are close kin, sharing genes & molecules,
breathing together to sustain life. "we are holy through & through,
every atom holy & blessed," say the trees, "nothing is left out."

Shiva, You made them thus to be our teachers. we are all blessed from
the very beginning, for every atom is made of blessings.
the trees know this & they have been teaching us for millennia.
when we go into the forest we can hear them murmuring truth
into the wind. Shiva, You urge us to listen, for You are their
Lord & Protector. they tell us to live in deeply respectful
harmony & devotion: Shiva, help us to be more like trees!

unleashed & released

i am like a summer storm in a dry land, bringing thunder &
towering clouds & wind but no rain. there's a lot of hopeful noise
in the sky but nothing much happens. where is my rain, Shiva? where
is the blessing that surely must come? when does this end, this time of
declaration in words, this offering to You, this small lonely
prasad that few come to share? still will i offer it, for You have
given me this sacred task to ripen me. this is the timely
opportunity to detach from the opinions of others,
to release the solemn people-pleasing child in me to go find
healing in the comfort of nature's pure serene hidden places.

let her walk with her sad, lonely craving, the emptiness inside
calling out to be filled. let her live patiently without answers,
bereft of understanding & shorn of meaning. let her suffer.

& let it be enough. let it be finished, paid in full, unleashed
& released. done. shelter me, Shiva, cover me over with Your
holy love as i become free from this spent larval form i now
inhabit while it morphs into the mature adult version: the
one where i have wings & am not crawling on my belly for food.
may the nectar of flowers empower me home to You, Shiva!

love letter of pure light

You are raining down on me today, Shiva, the cool raindrops of
You blessing the heat of the skin. the body is sending You a
love letter of pure light inscribed by the flames dwelling in this heart.
it's a subjective light show, the inner fire & water meeting
to celebrate a magnificent love: it's You, of course, Shiva:
You are the transcendent over-lighting energy that inspires
from morning to morning. so rain on me, please, Shiva! Your holy
healing rain only adds to the celebration of the heart &
deepens the internal communion that so cleanses & renews.

the sky has no pockets

Shiva, You splashed the sky all over me & now birds flock to me
& rainbows romp around the corner, hoping for rain to come soon.
all is included. i lost my edges in the sky's dome. there's no
"i" in the sky, only infinite inclusiveness & the high
advent of miracles & wonders. they float in me like clouds,
sharing their gifts when enticed by human invocations & wants.

i am spread so wide & so thin, Shiva, that the fingers of
the sun slide smooth & warm through me, sounding dulcet musical tones
from my mountain peaks & prayers from my worn plateaux. Shiva, You
splashed the sky all over me & now even the stars take notice,
for i am open to everything made of this heavenly light.
You have made me a portal for the stars to come & go, & now i
am free space, allowing each to shine the radiance of their gifts.

i hold it all lightly, for the sky has no pockets for saving things
& no urge for acquisition. my arms reach around the world &
my hands nudge as the gentle breeze that murmurs "wake up". now that i
am sky-splashed i have no need to hang on to anything because
i stretch from horizon to horizon due to Your playful grace,
Shiva, due to Your grace. You are the sun in the sky of my heart.

a beginner’s grasp

i understand that the sun is alive, a great sentient being,
a dear teacher who is surrounded by students, whom we call planets.
this earth, who gives substance for our bodies, is itself alive & in
the midst of its own spiritual unfolding & deep sadhana.
i see also that the human species comes from the quickening
planetary sadhana & our lives reflect the earth's urge to give a
grateful gift to our solar teacher who holds us safe in his body.

he also evolves in his own service to the living galaxy,
spinning in its sadhana like a great cosmic sufi in joyful
fervor with the venerable divine local group of galaxies.
they all gyre together in concert with the vaster galactic dancing
divinities throughout the huge far-flung deep field of untold billions
of galaxies visible to humans through our many instruments.

these immense living congeries of starbeings themselves constitute
a yet greater life unimaginable to flesh & bone lifeforms.
these networks of transgalactic beings express the outpouring called
"the big bang," a cosmic event that has got our full attention.
here we are, human beings peering into the vastest unknown that
we are capable of through our telescopes. we are created thus
by our earth, who gives us these bodies & the burning urge to explore.

oh Shiva! Your expression is vast & varied & the whole of it
constitutes You, spinning in Your dance of creative transformation.
You have given us a beginner's grasp of this immeasurable
existence & i am grateful for the all-embracing overview.

thank You, Shiva, for this immensity of interconnected lives:
transgalactic, galactic, solar & planetary. thank You for
the gods, devas, & unknown others who dance in this great creative
ensemble. we ourselves are an iteration of this grand dancing
cosmic life, kin to planets & stars. thank You, Shiva, for the guidance
& instruction & for being my dance-partner in this brief vision
of one little corner of this vast realm of metagalactic space.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

the sky

the sky -- with its winds, clouds, sun, moon & stars & its fiery streaming
mysteries that pull us like a sacred magnet -- lifts us out of
ourselves, calls us to that which expands us & inspires us to awe.
the sky -- with its storms of rain, snow & light -- freely sparks
endless wonder as it plays with our earthly forms & creations.
it touches us with its airy hands, both gentle & sometimes fierce.
the sky holds us in its arms like a mother, guides us on our way
like a father, always there, always here: our holy family.

throughout this life i have taken more true comfort from the sky than
from anything else. the vastness of the curved blue dome stretches
as far as i can see. it is changing, always changing, shifting
in clarity from misty grey to a sea of brilliant azure
with immense rounded clouds like whales making their great mysterious
migrations, called by unseen energies. i too am called by the
unseen: Shiva, Your boundless power & love has convinced me to
cast off into the vastness of the shimmering unknown. the heart
is like a sail, catching the wind of spirit & filling full with
the gratitude that carries me onward in Your companionship.
You are my sky, holding my atoms in place. You are everywhere,
like space, wrapping me in Your indigo sky-blanket with the stars.
hold me close & hold me tight for i am but a child in Your arms.