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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.) may you be inspired & energized in your own explorations & journey! namaste!

like a love song

the sky is inscribed with my love song to You, Shiva!
or perhaps that lacy script floating upon the blue
is Your dear love song to me as my heart sings to you.

thus do the heavens truly resound with the power
of Your subtle existence, clothed in swift-moving clouds,
clothed in the yearning of the heart & my vow to You.

all that i see takes on the form of our communion,
places us together, united, joined forever.
You are the lens i observe through, revealer of love.

You have stitched together the pieces of my torn life,
etched Your presence on my heart & tenderly nurtured
hidden memories into full extravagant bloom.

the perfume of Your presence gives a heady sweetness
to life as i scan the sky for Your messages sent
by bird, by cloud, sun & stars in their many millions.

Shiva, hold me in Your eclectic companionship
that my energy may be of service to the world
as the heart sings Your name like a love song.

circling

the curve of the bird's wings as it circles high overhead
is spelling out Your name, the one i enfold in my heart.
i circle with the bird around You, Shiva, around You.
You abide in me, deep inside in my secret heart-cave
at the center of the circle, the hidden cave within.

the circling embraces this central space, the holy place
wherein we meet & join & then begin again anew.
this disclosure spills out from the spiraling bird's wingtips
to fall into my heart & to grow into this sharing:
You abide in me, deep inside in my secret heart-cave.
we are not two for we are but one, with circling echoes.

quantum entanglement

the field is open & bare, harvested to stubble,
soaking up the streaming light of the sun, rejoicing.
the sun, in sacred union with the whole rolling earth,
blazes love & joy into the entire galaxy.
the galaxy, in vast dance with other galaxies,
spins in etheric quantum entanglement & love.

love like dark matter. love like nebulae, like quasars.
love like gravity, like magnetism, like lightning.
love moving like the tides or like blood & lymph flowing.
love like egg & sperm uniting. love like human birth.

it's the same everywhere: this dance of energy,
the holy harmonium sounding a sacred chord
that echoes through the heart & bloodstream like music, pure!
Shiva, the stars are shining in the sky of my eyes
in the heavenly quantum entanglement called love
where i am filled with the sound of Your sweet primal OM.

darkness melting into dawn

You shake me like a garment in the wind
& the vasanas fly away like dust.
i shiver, stripped down to my bare essence,
yet rejoice when i see You at the heart
of each unsettling disturbance & change.

You hold me in my rawness, respectful
& close & wrap Your light full around me.
the world fades into moving shadows,
brushed aside by the swift sweep of Your hand,
& still You hold me close to You, Shiva.

You strip the ancient karmic mask from me
that conceals my true effulgent nature.
You face me in Your solar radiance
& all-pervading positive regard.
You tell me i am Yours, marked with Your sign.

this harsh human life is no loss, Shiva,
not in the face of such noble blessing.
the temporal moving shadows recede,
flickering at the edge of awareness
like distant darkness melting into dawn.
& still You hold me close to You, Shiva.

forever in my heart’s memory

there were many times in my life when You came to me
& i did not recognize You, yet You reached deep down
into me & seized my attention, drawing me forth
through its sharp needle to pierce the moment & mark it
for remembrance forever in my heart's memory.

i trace the thread to its origin: it's You, always
You in varied form & stance all throughout this long life.
the more i search, the more robustly do you emerge
within my heart, dancing to the beat of its drumming.
please hold me in Your arms that i may honor Your call
for consummation without condition. I yield now.
i offer all freely, tenderly, ceaselessly.

Lord of my heart

when i threw myself headlong & heartshort into the rowdy suffering of the world,
You gave that to me, You allowed me the vividly intense experience i sought.
thank You, Shiva. i learned to endure & to value the kindnesses that kindled my heart.

when i wrapped myself deeply in my personal sorrows, You gave that to me as well.
Your permissions were generous. my greed was strong & omnivorous & relentless.
thank You, Shiva, for allowing me the deepening darkness that urged me to seek the light.

when i called out to You in love & longing, You came to me & held me to Your heart.
You remained with me as i meandered the obscure paths & the hard brightly paved ways.
You turned my life around when You transported me in my car to a different road
than the one i had set out upon. You wonder-bombed me, awed me silent, stunned & still.

You got my attention, enraptured me, woke me up & laid a new path before me.
on this new path we walk together & You teach me, remind me of what i forgot.
You comfort me in the midst of discomfort. You instruct me as guide & companion.

Shiva, for the time of intimacy to come i had to be stripped of my armor,
my shiny conclusions & competence, & brought to the knees of my humility.
it is here that i surrender my love to You & open to Your love beyond words.

so it is that You place me here in Your service within the crucible of Your love.
thank You, Shiva. without You all is hollow, yet dense enough to leave bruises behind.
with You Life is rich & promising like an april sunrise on a sentinel hill
in the pure realm of the devoted heart. i am Yours, Shiva. You are Lord of my heart.

like a second skin

for long years i have followed You from the burning ground, Shiva.
now You come to me in the turmoil of my kurukshetra.
i know this much: no matter what the surroundings & events,
i love You. i dwell upon You. i call You. i cling to You.
i wrap Your holy presence around me like a second skin
& this empowers me through the necessary severings:
the old falling away, the new pushing through the yielding dark
into the light, opening the shy heart, freeing the bound mind
from the burden of impeding ruminations & insults.

now You have come to me in my most private kurukshetra,
for i followed You from the heat & smoke of the burning ground.
Your presence strengthens me in this destined battle which i face.
Shiva, You are my shield & protection. You are my refuge.

a thousand bows of gratitude

there is a great organizing power in the universe
that calls us forth to develop & share our skills & gifts,
that will repeatedly offer opportunity to practice
& realms that are needful of our unfolding abilities.

dear Shiva, thank You for this auspicious divine healing time.
thank You for every happening that frees me from my shell.
thank You for receiving & accepting what i offer You.
a thousand bows of gratitude for OM NAMAH SHIVAYA!

gateway to You

in this life everything serves wholeness & healing.
even when things fall apart & end badly, in shreds,
all nevertheless serves to bless our unfolding growth
as divine beings discovering our potential
to transcend events & actions in this hungry world.

i keep on returning to You, Shiva, for in You
there is comfort & strength to persist & persevere
with the many worldly duties that call for presence,
attention & compassion. i am glad to be able
to serve, even in the smallest most humble of ways,
for every single act is a gateway to You.
bless the innocent heart as Your holy dwelling place!

carry us forward

the pandemic is shaking out the hidden scorpions
in the global drama of this divine culling event.
it brings to view the cloaked & veiled shadow influences
that disrupt cooperation & sincere tolerance,
that negate inspiration, inclusiveness & kindness.
they drain the joyousness from the rising innocent day.

Shiva, You reveal to me how this great cosmic drama
of maya creates a stage & a playbill, a menu,
a compelling urge to act in the world as we are called.
our cosmic dharma as jiva is to cling to the light.
we have seen the dark. the cycles are turning, shifting now
by cosmic rhythmic decree & we are the advancing
edge. nature's cadences prevail throughout the galaxies.

dear Shiva, carry us forward in this dharma of change.
the darkness has exhausted the days of its dominance.
the wheel of evolution turns & the dawning of light
is now globally drawing near. the kali yuga wanes.
dear Shiva, carry us forward in this dharma of change.
hold us in Your heart & show us what is real, true & good.
 

through mature vision

i know now that You never did turn away from me
but gave the opportunity to heal deep-seated
karmic tendencies that needed focus over time.
for that i wandered through the lonely hinterland of
suffering & refinement of receptivity.

though always the memory of Your presence & grace
would warm me like the sweet gentle sunshine of springtime,
like a soft generous rain soaking into the earth,
like the sun patiently pulling the life from the seed
into the down-pouring soft radiant grace of You.

Shiva, we are fused in purpose & intent to bless.
gone are the days of raw youthful naive ignorance.
now i see compassionately through mature vision
how You persistently, continually touched me,
shaped me, held me, healed me & how, in the final view,
You auspiciously emerged from Your hidden home deep
within my heart's most intimate & sacred chamber.

You wear me today like a consecrated garment
as i am borne by You through this long incarnation
which i celebrate like a glad global holiday.
i am soaked through & through with Your divine love & grace
& i cannot stop these words that pour forth rejoicing,
rejoicing like a tree in the warm springtime sunshine!

the windows & doors of the world

we are the ones who keep the windows & doors of the world open
to new realities asking to enter & be acknowledged.
we are Shiva's followers, His devotees who have been dismissed from
the orderly world of known borders & allowed actions.
we are the outliers, the explorers & the outrageous ones
who will not be contained within the rulebook of society.
we are the ones who keep the windows & doors of the world open
for the mysterious divine beings who, like us, cannot be
contained within common limits, hence we are Shiva's acolytes.

He has given us a place of honor within His sacred life,
unlike the earthly, worldly realm of organized reality,
to demonstrate that no one is rejected or abandoned or
forgotten. all beings who seek truth & the real are welcome to
Shiva's band of followers & companions of deep mystery.
the abode of truth is so vast that nothing is left out & none
is ever really a solitary wandering being,
for we all travel in a vast reciprocal companionship
of interconnected life. Shiva, Your attendants salute You!
we are the ones who keep the windows & doors of the world open,
allowing free circulation of all the mixed blessings of life.

the layered complexity of divine love

i have done this before: continually urged myself to progress,
accepting that there would be ups & downs, blessings lost & blessings found.
i am not new to this journey, neither do i rejoice nor complain.
there is really no choice, for basically i follow my own nature:
that which i genuinely want to do, which circumstances call forth.

the mind is programmed by life to respond in certain ways, according
to the situation set-up of this dreamlike domain of jagat.
there is great joy in expressing within the flow of ones own nature,
feeling the fullness of energy building & its smooth streaming forth
to evolve, flower & fruit, & gladly to share the final harvest.

once i stood before a tapestry hundreds of miles in length & width.
i contemplated a single square inch of it & found fault & flaw,
no meaningful pattern or redeeming quality could i find there.
You, Shiva, came to me & took my hand, pulling me along with You.
You showed me such vast sweet glory that the budding inner self quickened
& blossomed in the light of it all, in the wonder & radiance.

I saw that the whole vast pattern seamlessly included even that
single small inch too &, at that moment of direct knowing, i ceased
judging what i perceived & began to rejoice in the layered
complexity of divine love & in You, Shiva, my authentic,
inclusive, good, pure, vital, vibrant, enduring connection to wholeness.

so it is that i simply take what comes into my life & love it
into a meaningful pattern, to the best of my ability.
i earnestly move forward toward You who have called me & to whom
i have given all that i am now & all that i may yet become.
this writing chronicles it, for there is no other journey for me.