all who yearn for wholeness

"why are we here?" i ask Shiva as we stand in the long shadows of
the early evening. He has brought us to the field by the old house
in the far north carolina mountain countryside where we lived years
ago. i miss that rustic lifestyle now, living in a nursing home.


Shiva hands me a woven basket. "let's go gather some dhatura
flowers for the Shivling," He says. there's a healthy stand of dhatura
bushes growing near the end of the field where the mountain begins to
rise up to the sun. they are large sturdy plants, some about as tall as
my shoulders. the rough, jagged, dark green leaves surround the medium-sized
pale lavender trumpet-shaped flowers. there are many lush & glowing
flowers standing out palely in the dusky dim light of twilight. the
blossoms will bloom throughout the night, & then wilt by morning, repeating
the same process each night all through fall, even into the frost. they are
hardy survivors, these wild dhatura stramonium bushes. yet the
flowers delicately allure, & Shiva loves them to be nearby,
these curious ghostly wildflowers, mystical & oddly scented.

we carefully remove the trumpet blossoms from the bushes' branches.
the plant is strongly green-smelling, definitely a wild scent: nothing
is cultivated here! as darkness falls, Shiva & i carry our
dhatura flower baskets up to the woods close to the waterfall.
we each fill a flask from the waterfall to pour on the chosen stone,
which is a tall husky one, & it loves being cleansed & sanctified.
we place the dhatura flowers on Shiva's favored stone, which is thrilled,
happy indeed, for Shiva Himself is here, placing His own hands on
this new Shivling. the stone becomes so filled with healing that miracles
of everyday blessing move closer. mist from the waterfall adds a
dreamy touch to our worship. it sets a hallowed & blessed mystic mood.

we softly begin singing bhajans & mantras, & the raccoons come
now to join us because they love our singing. next, a fox & a young
bear amble over, & the flying squirrels sail overhead, soon joined
by the pair of small warbling owls who grace the cool night with their strange song.

Shiva & i sit by the sacred Shiva lingam, which is richly
decorated with many dhatura blossoms. moonlight now shines down
upon us all, highlighting the beauty of the natural Shiva
lingam & its blossoms. the animals are all gathered around us
as we sing the ancient praise songs of the holy guardian beings,
affirming their on-going magical presence, encouraging them.

Shiva gazes over at me & winks. i wink back. "I brought you here,"
says Shiva finally, "to show you that you have been following me
for your whole life without realizing it. you have cherished my things:
the wild places, the animals, the mystery of consciousness,
the open sky, the mountain you stand upon, the dhatura flowers."
Shiva regards me warmly. "you are mine, made of my own true essence.
our destinies are entwined." we fall silent & bemused, opening
to the timely new awareness now spreading its roots down deep within.

the dhatura blossoms keep on releasing their subtle consciousness
altering pheromones. Shiva & we, His charges, share communion.
the night is young & blessed by Shiva to heal all who yearn for wholeness.

patience, endurance & alert observation

the body is convinced that it is here to be served. it wants to relax &
be gently, respectfully cared for. the emotions are convinced that feeling
happy & comfortable is most highly desirable to attain &
maintain. the mind is convinced that it is here to take charge of circumstances.

the Self is learning that it is not the body, the emotions or the mind.
the Self is that which remains after all the transitory things & beings
have exhausted their stories & actions. that which yet remains steady has seen
it all come & go, for the Self is the Witness to the rising & falling.

the world no longer intones its low hypnotic & alluring call to draw
me in, or maybe i just no longer pay attention. i'm listening for
Shiva now. He must be near because i can feel the deep pull of His power.
i await the next development in my journey home to Shiva. it will
probably require yet more patience, endurance & alert observation.
i have never yet encountered anything that did not benefit from it.

You came to me softly

You came to me softly in the night all those years ago, Your tender
comfort wrapping me as completely as a swaddling blanket, from the
top of my head to the soles of my feet. i had never felt so loved.

You were bodiless, yet Your attraction was strong, like a tractor beam
sweetly drawing me in to You. i had called You to me: You may have
me completely. i give myself to You fully in service to light.

i said that with a thirteen year old's sincerity in a stifling
society. i turned my back on that world & i faced toward You,
my visitor from another dimensional realm of mystery.
alas, Your visit was so fleeting! You stayed but briefly, just to teach
me how to make an altar that supported my deepest inner life.

after all the detritus & dust has settled, You emerge again
to me, in your body of power this time. i am swept up. i am
wholly pulled in. i am with You, connected at the heart & by Your
name. we are sealed together with Your mantra: om namah Shivaya.

initially, You came to me softly in the night, yet now we walk
in the light of day in bold unconcern & nonchalance. after all,
You do have me completely, while the human world has but a small part.
i travel this journey with You, Shiva, swaddled in Your divine name,
which surrounds & overlights like the wild charm of Your holy aura.

suddenly Kailash

before the pandemic, You inspire me to add an ample image of
Your home, Mount Kailash, to the wall above my altar, Shiva. for more
than two years now the image graces my room, radiating silent
blessings & drawing my gaze upward to ponder its magnetism.
oh Shiva, what a seed You have planted in me! it spans dimensions!

suddenly Kailash is emerging from its picture high on the wall!
i feel the earth trembling in preparation, like the ground underfoot
before a train barrels into view far down the track & moving fast.
it's huge, massive, yet it opens itself to me as i, too, open
to it, & contact is made. Kailash silently enters into me,
through & through, in an interpenetrating deep synaptic instant.

Kailash fills my room, overflows my heart, stretches my mind wide open!
love has found me again! Kailash is a mystery primed to trigger a
powerful psychic download. Kailash is a transducer for cosmic
power, which is stepped down by the galactic presence to our local
representative, the Sun. the Sun then relays it on to Kailash,
who holds it for all. Shiva, You are the mobile unit of Kailash,
the compelling human face needful to ground the divine presence here.

in the end, it all folds up back into itself as the Supreme Source.
yet maya's magic mirror multiplies images, & Kailash stands
at the head of them all, as a mountain rightfully does. suddenly
Kailash has come off the wall & into my heart, carrying the crisp
transcendent scent of mountain air & mystery, inviting approach.
thank You, Shiva, for bringing me home to meet the cosmic family.

i can now fully understand why the sage Lao Tsu wisely says:
"without going outside, you may know the whole world. without looking through
the window, you may see the ways of heaven." Om Namah Shivaya!
 

wife welcoming husband home

You are woven through my life,
patterned in my skin & bones.
You have carried me through loss
& danced with me in danger.

my eyes have been uncovered:
now i know You for my guide,
see Your touch upon my fate.
Your hand is raised in guidance,
Your gaze enlightens my path.

i am empty without You.
the fragrance of Your presence
invites me to cling to You,
wife welcoming husband home.

You urged me

You sent me out into the woods at twilight to sing
to devas in the blue ridge mountains of my dreamtime.
i consecrated leafy temples to the divine
as You urged me deeper into the green-fingered trees.

You led me on intense quest after quest. i trusted
You to guide me on my way & You have blessed me, made
a thing of beauty of my long stumbling life-journey.
You urged me close so that i could take refuge in You.
You are my true reality in this comedy
of posturing, this rowdy parade of cosmic clowns.

You have ordered this woman's life to sacred song
which is imprinted deeply in my heart's memory:
"i mean no harm. i am passing through. i celebrate
all existence." & i do, regularly, daily.
truly, seeking refuge in You takes me to the heart
where all experience is rendered luminous, pure,
with sacred secret messages of Your loving care,
that holy trust that has me singing of You, Shiva!

don’t believe it!

"not everything is of great consequence," is said by some.
"there are things of importance & things of less importance."
don't believe it! the stars are hanging on our very breath!
the farthest galaxies are swimming in our own bloodstream,
heating the body, sharing primal creation secrets
as we come into organized form in our mother's womb.

we emerge from the womb slick with the moist blessing of the
great divine benefactor of arcane organic life.
we come into a world of shattered stone & hidden light.
all things here are pointing back to the source of creation.
everything matters because we all come from that one source
& our very quantum core is shared with the indivisible.

we must remember this when we are told that we don't matter
because of a human-generated code of judgement
based on appearances, differences & social values.
don't believe it! the stars are hanging on our very breath!
the farthest galaxies are swimming in our own bloodstream
in this pervasive quantum entanglement we call life.

appearances

i appear to be a self-willed individual,
yet i'm truly a cooperative group effort
of various elemental creative forces
& devic entities, standing in their active ranks,
as Shiva places His holy seal upon my heart.

all creation is expressing by way of matter
& self is actually vast, cosmic & divine.
appearances conceal by promising to reveal,
as entire fused universes of blended beings
are dancing in my arteries & upon the sun.
i smile a modest shy acknowledgement, all proper,
pretending to be a self-willed individual
when i'm really an entire party in full loud swing
with a heavenly guest list of stellar magnitude!

You come back for me

i go through it again: the loss, the pain, the suffering & loneliness.
again i cleave to You & give it all to You -- it's all i have to give!
there is nothing to offer but the heaviness of the occluding flesh
& the memorized stories about how it came to be the way it is.
they are worn thin at the edges, ragged & smeared with multiple corrections.
every day i throw them away again but they crawl back in the dark night.
yet fewer words are there & the manuscript is thinner now over time,
after these years of turning my back & resolutely walking away.

oh Shiva! this is a hard lesson, all this emptiness & loneliness!
it has held me down & had its ruthless way with me long enough indeed!
You help me see the old eroding patterns to leave them. You guide me home.
You come back for me relentlessly, You reach to me as i reach to You.
i walked the cold solitary halls of separation & division
& i'm headed for the door, Shiva, walking onward to full disclosure,
where we share sweet infinite kindness & love without a word or a thought,
& nothing stands in opposition or defense to the purity of love.

the awakening heart

for aeons uncounted You have abided.
for aeons uncounted i have sought You
through the denseness of the concealing flesh,
through the dark of the awakening heart.

this is the time of our fated meeting,
the union of soul & spirit confirmed.
the world shivers in anticipation
of this grand cosmic union, long foretold.

the soul has proclaimed this primal vision
to the stuttering, stumbling slow mind
who carefully counts the syllables
of a poem on the fingers of both hands.

now the poem has emerged from the pen,
spilling out upon this clean white paper.
in this very manner continents shift
& cosmic patterns align in the sky.

for uncounted aeons we glide in dance,
turning again through the stars & the dust,
trailing the veil which no longer conceals
the bright light of the awakening heart.

the meat rides heavy

the meat rides heavy on the weary bones,
all motion slow as if underwater,
information lethargically flowing
into the dense-packed laboring cells
of the brain with which the heart has lost touch.
the heart no longer reaches very far,
the weight is too oppressive for movement.

the meat rides heavy on the weary bones.
some unrelenting force of gravity
discourages lively exploration.
only the known & familiar patterns
are permitted to pass through to action.
the mouth & brain coordinate in stealth
like fingers pointing to the racing moon.

ah, Shiva! i will search more carefully
for Your hidden messages of good cheer
leading me home to Your divine essence.
i am struggling through this mess now, Shiva,
tangled & caught in ancient protocols.
the meat rides heavy on the weary bones
yet You are the dispelling force, Shiva.
i call to You: om namah Shivaya!
 

Shiva, i am here

Shiva, i am here to talk to You & to stay focussed on Your wavelength
rather than to drift within the drama which i see dancing around me.
i see the cracking everywhere, the evidence of a dying age.
even beyond the human ferment i register the shifting aeons,
the mysterious powers that ebb & flow in the wild daily display.

Shiva, i am here to talk to You & to stay focussed on Your wavelength,
to look for Your hidden loving touch of presence, expressing tenderly,
rather than to fashion socially accepted scripts, repeating daily.
i come, appearing as this body-personality, offering it all.
i come to You raw, unfinished & coming apart, yet yearning for You.
This is the record of my sadhana, which gifts You with my total sum.