i do not know how tightly i guard the borders of the body until an attentive & curious little spider demonstrates it to me. i am so intently aware of her that i feel like i'm vibrating. the net of the mind is held tight over one alert spider: we study one another for long intense intervals over the day & a half that she is here. she takes periodic rest breaks & retires into the dark havens of shadows & i maintain vigilance about where i place these large human feet when i walk. i examine my whole environment carefully so i won't inadvertently harm her. i am akin to a guitar string pulled really tight for the span of the spider's visit. only after she takes leave & departs do i realize how very powerful & concentrated the energy has been during her stay. i am not at ease with insects or spiders at all, so i had been in emergency alert mode for the entire time my visitor is here. as days pass by & the energies mellow, i realize at last that the little spider who stayed & studied me had left a barren place in my life. it is rather like the silence of an empty house after the beloved guest has gone. i miss the presence that had brought me such focus. she is more to me than merely a spider. she is a visitor who has come through Shiva to teach me. my sadhana is to pay attention. i love how miraculous life is! she had only a walk-on role, yet she made a very deep impression on me & has left me pondering. i know that everything is of value in the divine ecology. Shiva, all of us serve a vital function as part of a vast wholeness. since we all are important, i can't know if a spider is an angel, an arachnid or an alien, so i am grateful for all beings. beyond the surface appearance: we are holy, we are blessed, we are one.
little spider, i am surprised that i miss you & the intensity of your being overlighted by a vaster intelligence & will. i felt as if a great mothership hovered overhead, surrounding us in a numinous mystical energy field. everything was vivid, crisp & focussed. it was powerful, unsettling, yet it was also like a surprise visit by an honored & well-loved celebrity of note. little spider, you touch my life in a tender way, like a gentle tap on the shoulder to awaken me. you have changed my perspective away from the conditioned, limited humanocentric view towards a far broader & more inclusive way of seeing life. your visit has blessed me. thank You, Shiva, for this exalting & humbling experience, which clearly demonstrates to me that all things & beings are far more than the face which they ordinarily reveal. we all, without exception, are sacred seeds of the uttermost divine deity & we would do well to recognize this & to treat each other in just this very manner. what a powerful thing, to hold one another in the esteem of our focussed attention. it's like sitting by a clear rushing stream that blesses with the ripple & surge of its cooling flow. the energy is healing, & i thank You, Shiva, for taking me with You into the mystery.
i am sitting on the toilet when i see the spider watching me from the corner of the room. she is not large, yet has my attention. i am carefully tracking her since i can't go to her at this time. she moves to sit in front of the door & now my attention wanders. when next i look, she is gone. when i rise from the toilet, i check out the corners & crannies of the room: i don't see her. i carefully, slowly, alertly return to my room, searching for her. here she is! sitting in front of my recliner! we examine each other from across the room. i talk to her, explaining that i would like to take her carefully outside where i am fully convinced that she would be happier. i speak in a sweetly soothing voice & go to get my spider-catcher, a clear plastic drinking glass with poster-board lid to slide over the opening. i return to see her yet sitting by my recliner. i move slowly toward her, still speaking soothingly. when she sees the glass in my nearing hand, she quickly scurries away, out of sight. i sit in my chair, transferring the glass to the little table in front, still talking to the spider. she slowly emerges from hiding & returns to sit in front of my chair. i simply talk companionably to her & slowly reach for the spider-catcher, calmly rising with it in my hand. again, upon seeing the glass, she scuttles rapidly away, disappearing from my sight once more. i apologize to her for causing fear & explain that outside truly is better than in here, but she does not show herself again to me. hours later she returns to sit by me, seemingly still curious. i am determined to safely remove her, but she won't permit it: whenever she sees me with the glass in hand, she speedily departs. the next day i ponder this wonder-filled visiting spider event. she seems as intent on watching me as i am on watching her. she does seem to make certain that i see her, so it seems that perhaps she is giving me a message. an exchange of energy does take place: i can feel the connective charge between us, the mutual regard. slowly, like the sun rising over the far horizon, i begin to understand more of this event. Shiva, You teach me by coming as a spider to awaken me to the great holy realm of small earthly life. oh! didn't i just write a poem about maya's web? that's a spider-friendly image, & the lesson is to do what one must with conscious awareness & with kind & full intent to bless, while safely navigating maya's alluring situation set-ups. there is no judgement involved. it is all too vast & mysterious for heavy-handed words or confining concepts to seize & capture. i set my pen & paper down as i prepare to rise from the chair. wait! what is this? again my gaze lights upon the intrepid spider who taught me so very much, sitting here once more at my feet right now! a flood of wonder rushes all through me. the spider moves aside to sit nearby & i grab my smartphone to take her picture. she poses calmly. i move to get the spider-catcher & she moves too, swiftly gone now. this is no ordinary spider, accepting the smartphone held in my hand, yet fearing a glass held in that same hand! does she know my thoughts? i can't help but laugh in amazement at this glorious, outrageous display of divine playfulness! what else is there to do in the face of such events? anything is possible: Shiva can play the role of a spider. all life is holy & blessed in the midst of this pure sacred rising toward the endless glory of the light of being. all life is included in this abiding divine downpour of love.
i am a modular being, layered like a cake. the body, mind & feelings compose the ego-personality layers, & the witness stands central as portal to You, Shiva, making the cake of me multidimensional, bridging & blending realms, giving You access through me to pour bright energy to the world. as witness i'm like a comicstrip superhero, peeling off the outer layers of my disguise. i step forth when the need calls to be the willing witness who can see the gift of the patterns organizing the richly varied drama of daily life. i aim to be detached so that no harm can ever befall me. yet maya still seduces by lavishing me with my fondest wishes, now fulfilled, luring me back to her sticky web. desires i never knew were there have merely lurked just beneath the surface, awaiting their cue to surge forward, & i am stuck yet again. i'm caught once more in a situation i never saw coming & don't want to let go, all layered enticingly & well. where is my one-pointed awareness? where is my heart flying free? where is that cool-headed detachment when i'm stuck here in maya's web? You've brought out my hidden attachments, Shiva, the acceptance i had never dared hope for before, & i get to unravel the ties & the knots that i wasn't aware were there. it feels like do-it-yourself open-heart surgery, & i'm clumsy at best. maya entices me to plunge into the world where i'm whirled through the cycles, the ups & the downs, with many a story to tell. Shiva, You use all of maya's ruses to hone my edges as sharp as keen knives that i freely may cut through the many ties that weigh me down, bind tight & hold me back. i need to see it all through to the final credits at the end & then the lights will come on again. You will be revealed by my side to the inner vision as maya shifts the scene & the music rises to bridge to the next episode. the detached witness rises once more within to do it all again, yet on a higher turn of maya's spiral. this is our dance, Shiva, round after round, recognizing & then refining the moves of the drama, turning the darkness to light.
beyond all form & function, beyond the need for a name: within the innermost vastness, deep, unknown & dark, You are here now in bold vivid presence. i don't know just how i discern it, yet i feel You as if You're my own breath, soft & full way down inside me, warm & welcome within, moving gently although unseen, known in silence alone. breath rises & falls & even speech is quiet at last, yet still You remain lingering in Your home in the heart. beyond all form & function, beyond the need for a name: even so, i call You Shiva, the name that is inscribed somewhere inside so deeply down it can't ever be lost, even within the vastness unknown, where it shines as a spark of Your light. it can't be hidden; it can't be quenched.
the wind is playing with the newly-leafed tresses of the nearby trees today, tossing them about as if they were the long curls of intense & passionate spanish dancers. i only see their shadows on my curtains, but oh, how joyous they seem to be, flinging & swinging their new spring leaves in dramatic sweeping curves of visual gratitude! deep within, Shiva, there is springtime in the soul as well, reaching out eagerly to You in Your guise as the solar winds to dance in grand cosmic revelry. although i cannot see it directly, i do notice the evidence of light & freely given exuberant wonder & joyousness. i am stretching full out to catch it in the fingers of subtle new awareness & discerning observation. in this world, only the form is seen, & it too is beautiful in the way that graceful moving shadows are when cast upon a curtain. they draw us to open wide the curtain that we may see truly with direct perception rather than partially & obliquely only. yes, Shiva, everywhere i look i see Your messages & teachings. the dancing shadow shapes of the leafing trees are Your fleeting greetings, giving rise to a broad smile on my face & melting warmth in the heart.