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.
there is a forest where each tree will greet us like a dear old friend who delights in seeing us again. we know we are home here. we know that the body has come from this moist, rich soil & has brought hidden greetings from ancient veiled beings. we know that home is here. there is a forest where the boulders speak of the time when they were temples. they now innocently confess that they are still temples, sheltered by the forest for the sincere seeker of the sacred. we will feel peace here, wholeness & the tingle of awakening deep inside, invisible to the loud crowd of pressing people pacing to the measured steps of the socially required motions. there is a forest that bathes us in cool deep green serenity. when we touch the tender new ferns & vines with our bare fingertips they tell us that we are welcome here, now & forever at home in this quietly breathing forest graced by slow shifting sunbeams. "you were born here before," the trees tell us, "& we remember you." we know this is true because the body responds eagerly to the dim cellular memory. we have never felt more at home than when we are communing with trees, stones & plants in the depths of the leafy living forest where the birds can be heard rejoicing in their wings & songs. "sing freely," cry the birds, "that's what voices are for!" so we dare to sing & we know that goodness is at the root of everything & that the forest is made of the same stuff as the human body & we are close kin, sharing genes & molecules, breathing together to sustain life. "we are holy through & through, every atom holy & blessed," say the trees, "nothing is left out." Shiva, You made them thus to be our teachers. we are all blessed from the very beginning, for every atom is made of blessings. the trees know this & they have been teaching us for millennia. when we go into the forest we can hear them murmuring truth into the wind. Shiva, You urge us to listen, for You are their Lord & Protector. they tell us to live in deeply respectful harmony & devotion: Shiva, help us to be more like trees!
i am grateful for the sky, that vast holy blue temple, the moving clouds shaping Your messages of encouragement. i am grateful for the storms rolling through to clean the air, refreshing dry earth with a million rainy kisses. i am happy to see birds tracing patterns high above. i am grateful for that peaceful open arc that lifts me from the weight of personality, opening me to You. i am blessed to feel the sun, radiant giver of life, touching me with warm golden fingers eight light minutes long. the cool glow of the moon unveils luminous soft movement as the stars share distant mysteries partially revealed. the heart soars in gratitude for the lilting spaciousness which brings sweet release from structure, necessity & form, which points to the realm of purity, freedom from concern. i feel i am coming home, Shiva, when i see the sky.