intrinsic wholeness

the fallow field is demonstrating rest to replenish reserves,
giving rise to the serendipitous wild growth that heals the earth.

the erupting volcano is demonstrating the power of
hidden forces far beyond human control or understanding.

the earth shaking, shifting beneath our feet, is demonstrating that
even the seemingly hard & firm is only temporary.

the vast fierce winds of a formidable storm are demonstrating
the untamable invisible force of that which we call air.

the flooding rivers & oceans are demonstrating the power
of permeability, perseverance & nonresistance.

the awe felt when viewing a rainbow or stars on a moonless
night is demonstrating the power of numinous mystery.

the blossoming flower garden is demonstrating the sublime
beauty of cooperative beings sharing innermost gifts.

the caring human being is demonstrating that goodness springs
up naturally to nourish & bless all planetary life.

thus in this manner, Shiva, all existence is demonstrating
intrinsic wholeness composed of many interrelating parts.

as the sun is to the circling earth; as the earth is to all its
living beings, so are You essential to me, without a doubt.

i embrace You, Shiva, in all this rampant variety &
unsettling change, for You alone are my heart's true compass & guide.

i am grateful to be aware of You dwelling deep in my heart
where Your light can leak out in thought & word & deed to bless & heal.
 

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.

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!

the lamp shares its light

when these poems are written, it is as if we are conversing
& You are revealing luminous & precious inner treasure.
it forges a connection & creates a continuing flow
from You to me, cascading out to all the people who see this.
thus it is a conduit of blessing that moves through me & out
into the world like an outpouring deep into cloistered chambers,
opening the closed doors & windows, lighting lamps & making tea,
settling into human life with no prejudice or reluctance.
it is as if we are conversing when these poems are written,
Shiva, & sharing our communion just as the lamp shares its light.

touch me now

You meet me formlessly as i reach to You inwardly,
shedding the dense outer form, progressively dropping
identifiers until only beingness remains.
i know You in this world by Your energy signature
absorbed in our formless unions, which continue to bless.

You touch me now as i, in my elderhood, freely yield
myself to You who have blessed this life inexplicably,
enduringly, persistently, for i am slow to wake.
You have remained with me throughout my ignorance, Shiva.
You are the one constant in all this shifting flow of life.
i embrace You in deep devotion & dedication.
absolve me of my ignorance, enfold me in Your love.
You meet me formlessly as i reach to You inwardly.

like the ocean

when i talk to You, Shiva, detachment slowly happens.
no longer can i repeat the tired old stories in my head.
they dissolve & show their essential unreality
as patterns that keep repeating habit-like in the mind.
they are just snapshots of a passing moment, inflated,
grasped, given importance by other's firm opinions.

the mind is choked with all this mental debris, mirroring
the rafts of plastic garbage cluttering our blue oceans
& the poisons leaching from dumps, fouling the groundwater.

i won't go there anymore. i feel the danger. i know.

i turn my back on the chatter of inner dialogue
& face toward You, Shiva, who has shown me this wisdom.
You are the antidote to the poison i have swallowed
& i hold fast to You, placing You foremost in the mind.
purify my thoughts, Shiva, please remind me of You.
i want You to fill the mind with Your clarity & light.
i want to fall into You like a rushing waterfall!
catch me like the ocean that i may dissolve into You!

a place to stand steadfast

You have given me a place to stand steadfast,
an identity beyond the human-born,
a way to face into life with dignity.
You opened Your heart to me & i entered,
steeped in ignorance & blind arrogant youth.

long have i kept Your memory deep within,
but like a ruby wrapped in ragged burlap
or precious art forgotten in an attic.

no longer, Lord Shiva, no, never again
will i dare turn away from Your instruction,
for age has given me the wisdom & love
to venerate only the dearest blessings
& You are the one who includes all of them!

You are that which remains when the transient
is no longer the focus of attention.
oh my Lord Shiva, how brightly You do shine
at the midheaven of mature awareness!
i now can place myself in this time-bound realm
only in relation to You, Lord Shiva,
who have given me a place to stand steadfast,
an identity beyond the human-born.

blessing

because the body is now old
i reside in a nursing home.
i look back over my lifetime,
piecing its events together
from a wide-angled perspective.
i don't look at other's judgements
but at the many blessings that
You have given to me, Shiva.

now i have sufficient distance
from all the stories & events
to see that they all point to You.
no others have seen this for me
or could see it from the outside.
neither did i see it until
old age slowed me down & illness
forced me to change my point of view.

with Shiva enthroned in my heart,
pulling the veils away slowly,
i see disaster transform to
positive redirection, grace.
i observe shame disappearing
in the light of understanding.

i see You in all that happens
through revelation & insight.
i see Your graciousness to me
even during my ignorance.

my life is now service & gift
when i look through the clear lens
that reveals the arcane patterns
of blessings concealed from the world
& the slicing gaze of skeptics.
behind the apparent events
i see Your divine hand at work,
hidden from the sight of others,
signaling to me of Your love.

i am grateful, my Lord Shiva!
i am grateful You came to me,
that You taught me & guided me
throughout this long life that others
could neither comprehend nor bless.
You are all that i desire &
all that i seek or attend to.
You have chosen me as Your own
& i rest in Your protection.
You are the heart of this life
& all that i need & want.

i know You

i know You in my tears which flow in happiness
from the balm of Your presence, renewing vision.
this vision is of the heart open in blessing
& these tears are an offering at Your altar.

i know You in the blood pulsing through the body,
thoroughly pervading everywhere within me.
You sing the same salty hymn in my own blood as
You sing in the mother, the ocean unbounded.

i know You in the sweet morning dew fresh upon
the bright flowers nodding gently in the garden.
i have seen You winking at me from the rainbows
flashing in dewdrops in the early rays of sun.

i know You in the soft drip-dropping of the rain
as You nourish mineral, plant & animal,
journeying all the way up from the wide ocean
& down to earth again by devas dressed in clouds.

i know You in the stream rushing down the mountain
to quench the thirst & guide to fruitful level ground.
animals eagerly come to Your banks to drink
& many little lives rejoice in Your blessings.

i know You in the river in the raging storm,
flooding over human structures, washing away
the known & certain, casting it aside like straw,
reshaping the borders of our crushed illusions.

i know You in the ocean, vast, rhythmic, surging
in & out swelling, thundering, owning the earth
from horizon to horizon, mother of life.
i am but a wave in the broad ocean of You.

everywhere that i look i see You, i know You!
i disappear in the glory of You, Shiva!
it seems that i do not exist except as an
observer of You, again & again, of You!

wonder

You took me at the peak of my glad celebration,
negating laws of physics, erasing everything.
You removed the concept "impossible" from my mind,
threw me in a multidimensional miracle
& shocked my mind silent, leaving me in stunned wonder.

that wonder still clothes me like an invisible cloak,
something too amazing to share, yet it changed my life.
speaking of it is like catching fish with hands only,
or caging wind in the hands to bring home for others.

You shine light on my daily rebuilding of structure
through my careful words like bricks in a tall wall, Shiva!
yet i still want to say "look! see! there is such wonder!"
so i string garlands of words that i offer to You
because i overflow with rejoicing that you're here.
i am blazing with Your presence & the light leaks out,
cascading in these limited words i can't curtail.

circling around You

i confess that people in my life
are like shadows cast upon a screen.
though they reach out, they cannot touch me.
their voices blend with the rushing wind,
as real as stars at noon, sun at night.
they come & go, rise & fall & fade.
only You stay steady, Lord Shiva.

You are seated firmly in the heart
& my life is circling around You,
held fast by an unbreakable cord.
Your fragrance tells me that You are near.
we are invisibly blended, wed,
& the party is in full swing now
in my heart's most resonant chamber.

the shadow people, slowly turning,
seem to move in time with Your music
which is leaking out through all my pores,
drenching the surroundings with Your love.
my hand, in Your hand, reaches to them
to whirl us in a vast circle dance.

patterns

You weave Yourself into the pattern
of my life after childhood departs --
my cry for meaning calls You to me.
You show me how to make an altar,
tell me about the world appearing
as pairs of opposite qualities.
You teach me to balance opposites
through You, by taking refuge in You.

i cannot say that You save my life
because first You tear it all apart.
or i tear it apart because i
can't stand the emptiness any more.

You bring me to a mountain to serve
& honor everything as sacred.
You're the thread stitching all together
in a pattern of pure symmetry.
jewels are hidden in the design,
dappled light, trees, foxes, bears & crows,
sunlight glowing through mist & green leaves,
birds carrying messages to gods.

i have loved You in Your many forms.
You are pattern, You are energy.
You are the weaver & the woven,
the rhyme that repeats in my lifesong,
great maker & breaker of patterns.
i am Your expression, Lord Shiva,
i am You singing me into life,
laughing in delight at our playing.

a lump of coal

i was a lump of coal when first we met.
i was thirteen, just reaching to see
beyond the family walls. You were
my friend from another dimension,
my secret companion in wonder.

through these many years You pressed upon me,
impelling me inward & slowly
increasing Your pressure until i
became strong, bright, able to endure.
my darkness slowly changed to clear light.

You then carefully cut & faceted
the diamond You made of the coal
of my heart until, in my elderhood,
i became a rainbow & gave hope
& encouragement to those near me.
You never relented nor gave up
on me, continually shaped me.

now i can sit in darkness & yet shine
with light, for You have filled me with Your
downpouring loving light, Lord Shiva.
You have made me a diamond in
Your hidden treasure box, a fragment
of Your own majesty & glory.

i am a star in Your celestial
constellation; i am a blessing in
Your gift basket for humanity.
thank You, Lord Shiva, for the darkness
that makes the light irresistible.