- 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.
more peaceful times
now recovering slowly from
the mystery of gallbladder
removal surgery, i rise
to reassure all that i am soon
to bless with sadhana & Shiva,
as in more peaceful times of old.
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.