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.) may you be inspired & energized in your own explorations & journey! namaste!
Your code is prime in my DNA, Shiva. All else is
inscribed upon Your fundamental code within the
very genes of this holy organism, from bones to brain.
thus nothing can penetrate beyond the superficial
surface because in the final reckoning, You stand guard.
i am Yours alone, regardless of who claims me, Shiva.
only Your code can open the hidden door of my heart.
soft upon the senses darkness descends, gently pressing,
inviting acceptance, surrender. this is the fruitful
darkness of gestation where borders blur & numinous
exchange can happen spontaneously. words are too slow
for this subtle realm, too angular, sharp & hard. like knives
carving water, they give motion mimicking meaning, yet
little is clear & nothing enduring remains for long.
the gentle fruitful darkness is like a womb, allowing
growth of life without disturbance, nurturing & holding
it in the divinely provided secure protection.
i come from that darkness to You, Shiva, called forth by the
sacred mystery of Your summons, alluring as the
glow of a night-blooming blossom in the pale new moonlight.
soft upon the senses, darkness deepens, gently pressing,
hinting of surrender to the fullness of gestation.
this is where we touch, far beyond borders or worlds. this is
where words are put aside & communion of pure essence
reaches forth, heart to heart. this is all i know, Shiva: the
slow unveiling of the wordless, the advent of light born
of the fruitful darkness, the abundant mother of form.
when You were the sky, Shiva, & i was a cloud in Your vastness,
You played with me through dancing fingers of wind, shaping me into
magnificent forms far beyond my own insubstantial command.
when You were the sky & i was Your cloud, i was held close in the
purity & power of Your divine reach & thus was in the
fated place to rest upon the wild blessing of Your broad blue chest.
i was at the center of the target, Shiva. Your aim was true.
now the body is human, yet You have come to play anyway:
Your love is spacious, embracing all who sincerely long for You.
just as You opened Yourself in the sky, so it is that now on
earth You appear before me & draw me deep down into Your heart.
You have made me Yours, marked me with Your touch & sign, declared Yourself
in full to me. I say yes again, world without end, & we dance.
what control has a drifting cloud in the windswept heights of the sky?
enfold me in the swift current of Your divine intent, Shiva,
& dance me across the wide sky into the blaze of a new dawn.
fruit hanging on the tree ripens from tart to sweet, ever
maturing & softening, becoming lushly juicy.
fully ripe fruit may fall from the tree, offering itself
to the passing hungry beings, to all who search for food.
this is the dharma of fruit: to nourish all, that the seed
inside may be carried to fertile soil to continue
the ageless cycle of replication & provision.
Shiva, You have given me sweetness, color & fragrance.
i hang here on this branch, ripe & awaiting Your harvest
in the coming time, in the season of ingathering.
whether i grow on the highest branch or on the lowest
is of no concern, for You see my innate potential
transcending the exterior circumstances. You are
the lord of trees, of the green world, Shiva, overseeing
their divine gifts of nurture, shelter, ceaseless protection
& generosity. in the same way, people who give
of themselves without measure abide in Your protection.
i am here on this branch awaiting Your harvest, Shiva,
giving myself to Your service, for this is my dharma.
the emptiness of inner space enfolds in peaceful calm quiet.
it sublimes everything into a warm embrace, a touch that feels
as though the sharp edges that had kept the heart enclosed have now been
softened into passing scenery--going, gone, no longer there.
the past is a blur of green, blue, gold, dissolving into nothing
that can be named, including myself. all the names now fall away.
yet an urge remains, a calling, a gentle magnetic pulling that
has me held fast in its grasp & takes me to the still-point of all
that i have ever yearned for in my deepest most hidden heart shrine.
it's You, Shiva. i am calling You--or is it You who call me?
this emptiness of inner space is really filled by You, Shiva:
Your fragrance of jasmine & datura, Your holy siren song
that triggers all the best in me & affects me like ambrosia.
the body wants the known & familiar in a pleasant pattern
formed to cushion & protect the sociocultural program.
that is not possible for me since i overflow its edges
in the way that irrepressible exuberant life will do.
no boundary can contain or limit me, Shiva, for You have
fashioned me thus: for the liminal places & the far edges
where reality melts into color & tone & songs are born.
stories leak out sentence by sentence & numinous myths dwell there.
cradle me close, Shiva, for i am soft & new as a baby
in the absence of enculturation & social compulsion.
only You are vast enough to hold me now that i have cast off
the lines that bound me to the body & its documented past.
all that remains now is the tender intimate vastness of You.
cradle me close, Shiva, for i am soft & new as a baby.
Shiva, i am learning to know all substance as Your body &
all beings with varying forms & functions as Your expressions.
the density of matter cloaks complete knowledge of You, although
You truly are the all-pervading essence of that which remains
to awareness after the transitory departs yet again.
this grand drama of life gives birth to the earthly realm, with humans
& many other beings populating it in a dance of
flowing creativity in a subtle evolving pattern.
Shiva, i know that this body, the source of personality,
is shaped by genes, conditioning & impacting outer events.
therefore it is not who i really am, as You often point out.
i learn slowly, glad that You patiently persist in Your teaching
that who i really am is the one constant steady awareness
that remains vivid when all else is gone: this knowing that "i am",
the same indwelling wisdom common to all created beings.
Shiva, You are above, below, surrounding & within: source,
quest & destination. You are the universal medicine.
like a great tide You are upon me, sweeping me up in the flood
of Your expression, calling me to the heart, core & center of
all the various comings & goings of daily human life.
wherever i focus i see You at the living heart of it.
i know how it finally ends. i know that the light of kindness
will once more prevail & that darkness will again lessen & that
this dance will continue as it always does. this endless cosmic
glory is like a flower opening from bud, blooming, wilting,
fading, falling, releasing the seeds of new flowers to repeat
another sacramental cycle of Your rhythmic dance, Shiva.
i am looking within to the heart's chamber where You dwell & i
simply want to be with You in the refuge of Your calm presence.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
the rolling fullness of the rising sun reflects anew
in the rainbow glint of a dewdrop on the tip of a
sharp blade of tender grass innocently offering itself.
the final lilting call of the whippoorwill fades into
the morning songs of the wood thrush & summer tanager;
the sky brightens slowly, becoming a rose-gold temple.
the morning brings divine opportunity to offer
heartfelt gratitude for the simple gift of awareness.
yes Shiva, tempt us with Your divine magnetic beauty
as You shape Yourself into these many earthly delights!
we shall gladly dance with You in the sweet glory of this
timeless transparent increasingly radiant gold light.
the rolling fullness of the rising sun reflects anew
in our swirling turning rhythmic holy dance, dear Shiva
of hidden charms & endless unfolding transformation.
like the whippoorwill, our voices are silent in the soft
downpouring light as our hearts lift like blossoms to the sun.
i was in death's hands, Shiva. body parts were sacrificed to survive
& cords of dark energy bound the soft flesh tightly in helplessness.
in the midst of this turmoil, You came by way of hallucinations
of warmhearted free-spirited visitors who blessed with their kindness.
You gave rollicking tuba solos & a zany doctor teaching
care of the newborn infant to new fathers through slapstick comedy.
You brought me the fellowship & laughter that strengthen, heal & comfort.
this body is an infant. i am caregiver, bringing mothering
to a damaged being, surviving the surreal medical onslaught
that swiftly changes the form & the life totally & finally.
i stumble through the nether-realms, the murky land of loss & payment
& emerge into an alien world where i have no place.
i pay the price of loss by deep soul-searching & reflection, Shiva,
drawing closer to You, yet still unseeing until i have amply
ripened, or deliquesced as butterflies do in their spun chrysalis.
You accompany & shepherd with guidance & care, leading me through
healing in many realms. when i lose my way & falter, You guide me,
urge me through the darkness to the renewal of my dedication
to the divine & sacred within the ambrosia of Your presence.
this woman's heart is given over to You, Shiva, & You shape it
into an ageless holy pattern, newly disclosed in this lifetime,
offering refuge in Your all-pervading, enfolding pure essence.
here i rest in the embrace of Your goodness, truth & beauty.
esotericists say that the earth itself is deep in a
spiritual initiation by its solar teacher, the sun,
who holds the earth clasped close in an optimal loving orbit
with all the other attending planetary acolytes.
the guru sun with encircling solar system devotees
holds darshan in its ashram of time, space & locality.
humanity is the precipitator, actualizing
the initiation, triggering systemic refinement.
this is akin to the caterpillar's quantum leap into
butterfly, a winged being capable of rising to
new dimensions previously unattainable, unknown.
Shiva, You are in attendance at this holistic process
as the ultimate progenitor & initiator,
pervading everything within the quantum flux of matter.
as the sun You hold the earth in Your strong arms of gravity
& nurture its essence & ability to change & grow.
i circle around You too, Shiva, held by Your gravity.
this transformation is inevitable, vital & good
& You hold me in Your loving arms just as You hold the earth
in Your gravitational field while it experiences
its transformative travail. Shiva, please comfort & console
as we deliquesce in change, not knowing what we may become,
yet open to Your grace & grateful for Your holy presence.
it is the dark of the moon in january. crystalline stars arc radiant overhead.
virgin snow at deep midnight folds over the hills & valleys of the mountain countryside.
i am wrapped & layered well in a long down coat, my full winter cocoon for stargazing.
i carry a folding lawn chair out to the winter-bare field & place it at the center
of my known universe, open to the arcane communication of stars, open to
the mysteries teasing at the edge of awareness. silence softly & thickly enfolds
like an invitation to transcend the human story & its demands & exclusions.
i am at the still-point of all that i can know of the embodied world, suspended beneath
the witnessing sky in my reclining lawn chair. great shining beings cluster around me.
some of them are stars drawn here by my beseeching heart: others but touch the edge of vision.
all creation is breathing with me in the cold of the gleaming night as the stars reach down.
the sky is alive & dancing. i am part of it, for only the body is of earth.
i spread my fingers & stir the still, cold air. the stars stir something deep within, preparing
me for You, Shiva, laying me open beyond all concern. an ageless destiny has
called me forth into this night of shining snow crystals & stars to commune with these elders.
the rolling silent land, the clustered trees & the old bones of the mountain hold me while the
great glowing sky of stars enters me & fills me with quiet yearning. Shiva, You call me.
i respond to Your call to go beyond the human realm, for this place is not my true home.
i find my home in You, Shiva. this world is my domain of service & these words are one
form it takes. they are like stars calling to be seen, alluring, shining forth even in the
desolation of deep winter snow in the dark of the moon. they are the fixed stars of my
inner space, spelling out Your holy name, emblazing "Shiva" to light the sky in blessing.
i meander through the field in the misty coolness of spring, in the flowering, green, birdsong morning of a new day.
everything is rising up to worship the sun: the mist, trees, birds, flowers, the very air, my heart, all reaching toward the sun. all rises up to You, Shiva, who touches as the sun with warm light rays on chill skin & blesses with down-rushing sweet love. it is forever You behind another's face, closer than my own heartbeat & deeper, more dear. i celebrate You as i meander through the field in the misty spring coolness.
i recall an early teaching You gave me, Shiva, instructing
through my daily living in modest but memorable lessons.
one early sunny spring morning i set out to find wildflowers,
delighted to greet the small blue blossoms scattered like confetti
throughout the rolling country pasture by the newly greening woods.
the tiny blue faces with their smears of dusty yellow pollen
are pure & simple: innocent emissaries of the divine.
they grow vigorously, lush & colorful where the soil is thick.
there is a barren area too, rough with red clay & pebbles,
yet i see one little uplifted blue face in the dry rubble.
a single tiny blue flower, dwarfed, ragged & scrawny, is
reaching upward into the light in the midst of the parched dry dirt.
i bow in respect, swayed by the beauty of this frail survivor
simply doing its best to grow in an unfavorable place.
this touches me more deeply than the abundant clusters of bright
flowers in favored locations, robust in their vitality.
sometimes it is a heroic act just to be alive, seeking light.
You don't refuse anyone who longs for the light of truth, Shiva:
& so it is that i too continue resolutely onward.
i was blind for much of my life, Shiva:
blind to Your presence & power, to You
as the essence & core of all things &
beings. i was unaware & drifting.
i was blind to all but the surface. the
superficial outer aspect lulled me
to sleep in a deep hypnotic dreaming
that was decades in length & deadening.
yet night turns to day inevitably,
thus i finally awaken when You
relentlessly thrust me forth from my rut.
it was furnished with my favorite things,
though i chafed at its narrow restrictions.
now my sight returns & i see the truth
of Your presence. there's no escaping it.
now that i see Your ubiquity, my
heart frees the old bolts that held the door closed.
my heart is vowed & pledged to You, Shiva.
although i am a late bloomer, You wait
until my blossom is full wide open.
now i am here before You, patiently
offering it to You in tender love.
i'm blinded by the outer no longer,
coming to You stripped of worldly dowry.
i am transparent to Your ceaseless light,
rainbows shining wherever You touch me,
words dissolving like darkness into dawn.