we see the outer shell of things & treat that as the truth of it. we reach a certain conclusion about a person or event & think this is a sufficient explanation for the actions that have occurred. we arrive in the middle of a stage play & we think we know the whole plot & how it will probably turn out! we live our days swaddled in the tatters of our misconceptions, comforted by its shreds of warmth, oblivious to its subtle corruption. we are content with our limitations, glad for the boundaries they provide: we have made fine art out of our careful limitations. why seek the inconvenient truth when dogma is handy, available, & offers abundant support freely? Shiva, You walk the world invisibly because the truth is less desirable than the lies that inflame & keep knowledge hidden. Shiva, You walk the world invisibly because entertainment gets substantially more votes in the world than the truth ever does. Shiva, You walk the world invisibly because so few really hunger to see You & know You. they are afraid to pay Your price. I, who have nothing, can pay Your price because You matter the most. i give it all to You. the world means nothing to me without You. You are the magic that lights up the color, the sparkle, my life! OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
dear feet: i owe you
dear feet: i owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude for eight long decades of patient service. you are the farthest distance away from my center of attention, yet you're as faithful & true as the sun & the moon are in their service. you bear the weight of the whole body, so strong & resilient you are; enduring & undemanding. thank you, dear feet for holding me to my path for all these many years. dear hands: i love your skill at fitting objects together & making something useful from them. i appreciate your determination to be practical, yet somehow to create beauty out of simple necessity. thank you for holding tight to the really important core values & blessings. i am equally grateful that you can let go with grace & ease when the time does come around at last for release. thank you, dear hands, for holding on tight to love & for not letting go. dear brain: playground, toolbox & haven of the mind, hammering out the learned synapses of thoughts, habits & proven survival strategies. you wear the crown of responsibility for integrating the parts into a responsive whole. thank you for continuing with your synthesis of varied patterns into a meaningful picture. dear brain/mind: thank you for helping me see the divine at work in my life as it plays happily & innocently with beauty & wonder. dear Shiva: i am humbly grateful to You for making Your presence in my life known. You are the living gateway & channel for deeper awareness of the subtle forces that move in & through me. the brain, hands & feet owe everything to You, for You are their determining master now that i have taken refuge in You & have my home & true identity in You. thank You, Shiva, for reaching out to me in my need when i was sinking under the dense weight of maya. i hold fast to You, Shiva, through the magnetism of the holy heart, the strongest of all the subtle forces, & the most healing by far.
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.
You come in the form of an owl, swift-swooping close by my face to assure full wakefulness, calling out to me in kinship. You come in the form of a large majestic bobcat crossing the path i follow, pausing a few meters away to stare deeply into my eyes, entwined with me in wordless wonder. You come in the form of a raccoon, earnestly enraptured by the devotional chant i sing. You stand at my feet & place Your hands on my knees, peering up at me curiously. You come in the form of a fox, pulling me outside at night with the gripping power of Your commanding bark that beckons. You dance on the snow in the moonlight out in the fallow field & the heart responds to You as if You are my beloved. You come in the form of a mother bear bringing her three cubs for a family picnic at our generous bird feeders. You come in the form of a hawk soaring up over my head, grasping a snake in its talons, snagging my rapt attention. You come in the form of a shy flying squirrel at twilight, gliding smoothly, dipping down to hear as i sing sacred chants. You come in the form of a wild turkey seeking refuge while recovering from an injury, glad for the provided food. You come in the form of a gallant male grouse who soon becomes the wild turkey's companion as we all meditate beneath the sheltering branches of a sky-blessed hallowed hemlock tree. You come as the sun & moon, as all the earthly delights & heavenly realms that entice & enfold us in sweet wonder. Shiva, You are all that's left when I release everything, when there is not a "me" to perform any action at all, for action appears to take place in a spontaneous flow. in this manner, through me, You create these poems for sharing. thus, glad expression is given to the Source of existence. in the divine realm, these words are lotus blossoms & roses placed at Your holy altar, Shiva. here on earth they flow through the pen from the heart to You. i am Your wandering child coming home again, the wave ever returning to the ocean. OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
gratitude & humility
i lay sick & powerless in a bleakly raw subjective realm. Shiva, i sought You but there was no ability to connect. i had little capacity to focus. neither mind nor heart was able to hold steady nor could the body find restfulness. i saw the inescapable fact of transience & that the body, from birth to death, is at the mercy of the fickle world. i saw the fixed agenda of the sociocultural rule & the curtailing framework of dogma, belief & submission. the shiny domain of civilization seemed rather uncivil as the coronavirus occupied my senses & raged its own battle against the entrenched forces held deep down within body & mind, digging up the time-worn bones of old suffering. i felt dispirited, Shiva, & vulnerable to culling for the offense of inconvenient & unwelcome viewpoints. i lay there unable to register Your presence & feeling like a pariah outcast refugee from another planet. this is where i see in my own life that the eternal goodness, who is given myriads of names, has repeatedly blessed me with supportive visions & insights. Shiva, You are the true source of my sustenance & guidance, providing strength & endurance. what need has the body for power when all power comes from You? what is the need for seeking acceptance from other people when You visit & love me within my heart's innermost chamber? who in all this manifested place could possibly equal You? You are the fire, Shiva, & i am a spark of You, flying from Your fire into the frying pan of this hungry jagat earth into this body, then forgetting. like the coronavirus, this place greatly dulls intuitive spiritual awareness. Shiva, thank You for providing me the experience of the coronavirus blocking me from You & bringing its parade of old energies to me. i endured it & outlasted it & i bow before You now in gratitude & humility. OM NAMAH SHIVAYA!
the tinsel gifts of crows
i reach out to contact You, Shiva, but i cannot dent the dense interior coronavirus haze. i cannot reach You, so i drop into a deep daze. i sink. i float. i snag upon thorny vasanas, empty & drained of energy, joy & liveliness. the body resembles a zombie refugee, slow, heavy as gravity, composed of mud, meat & bone, now absolved by unthinking, unfeeling raw dark sleep. void of intent & organization, there is rest, a descent & upsurge, a cleansing, a long release. Shiva, reduced in vitality by a virus, i look for You behind the moving shadow surface anyway, for only You give the depth that i seek, the height that i aim for & the strength to continue. i am Your own primal kin returning now to You. i bring poems, offered like the tinsel gifts of crows, sincerely grateful that You are here to receive them, these small shiny bright innocent tributes i give now. OM NAMAH SHIVAYA