it is as if i have been granted access to a dimension
previously unknown to me. evening enfolds, & the other
residents are in bed as the mind's silence now invites peace to
embrace. i relax in my recliner, contemplating the soft
surrounding space stretching above me & all around. my eyes lose
their concrete focus & widen into the shifting shadow &
light of the dancing air. it is as if the focus of my eyes
has adjusted to a more rarified realm. i can no longer
separate the vision of the physical eye from the mind's eye.
gradually i become aware of two vague beings on either
side of me. i slowly understand that they are benefactors,
healers, & that i am one of their charges. we communicate
wordlessly as they share their healing energy, which i accept,
leaning back in my recliner. i come to understand that this
interpenetrating higher dimension is always present,
freely offering access to uplifting energies. my own
vibratory rate has apparently quickened enough now to
allow contact. this information flows into me to comfort
with pure intent. all is warmly radiant with the light of truth
& the fragrance of cosmic love interpenetrates everything.
i relax into the healing blessing of this new frequency.
awareness has deepened & expanded to include so much more!
even after the passage of time back here in this world of flesh,
blood & bone, i can feel the benevolent subtle presence of
this more refined vibratory realm, a place of healing indeed!
thank you for the warm encouragement, Shiva! i am heartened &
energized to continue on, for i have now experienced
that which was previously known through the intellect alone. though
that is is not my goal, Shiva, it stands as a marker on the path
of return to You, who are the focus of my attention.
You alone dwell in my heart, which now sings Om Namah Shivaya!
i was talking casually with my friend claire, glancing at her,
when suddenly You flash out of her eyes & into me by way
of the eye. there is no time. there is only a vast, inclusive,
infinite belonging & melting oneness. intelligent life
leaps & dances forth, sweeps me into sweetness beyond compare.
it is all i have ever longed for & it enters me fully.
it is me. i am That. yes! my heart knows the wordless truth of it.
& i blink & return back to the conversation with my friend.
meanwhile, no time has passed &, for her, nothing at all has happened.
i didn't know You by name then, Shiva, yet i am wedded to
You & have been since i was 13, a chosen child bride promised
to a vast warm being of power, capable of anything.
that is Your nature, Shiva, & my nature is to be with You.
a few months pass. i am a passenger in a car, holding my
infant daughter in my arms. i look into her eyes & again,
Shiva, You join with me through the portal of the eye of my child.
this merging has no words & no story, only blissful love &
infinite sweetness beyond slow clumsy words or comprehension.
it is from the far distant realm of my heart's true ancestral home.
& i blink, back in the body, as if no time had passed, as if
i were just sitting in a car with other people, holding a
baby, as if the day were typical & i wasn't now blessed.
for i surely am, for we all surely are blessed, yet lacking the
full vision, the deep realization. we can only gaze upon
the far shore, glowing in the distance, & sincerely intend to
journey there in the fullness of time. i call You by name, Shiva,
to strengthen the energy between us, to get Your attention
& to propel myself forward. i am like an arrow that is
already loosed from the bow-string, speeding unstoppably to You.
my attention is focussed fully on You, Shiva, my dharma
& my destiny, & my heart knows the deep subtle truth of it.
the field with edges crisp & clear by day becomes a blur at night.
i find my way by feel alone & not by focussed searching sight.
edges dim as colors shift into hidden subtle camouflage.
elusive spirits are inspired to dance & play as if on stage.
the dark sky rolls its mysteries out as i stand entranced to see
moving shapes turning to me for my attention in silent plea.
i have no eyes for shifting things, no heart for fading fleeting forms.
i'm here for the love of Lord Shiva who gives to me his welcome.
the field, spread out beneath the stars that swim within the darkling deep,
is now become a welcome mat to cushion Shiva's holy feet.
He rises through the ready earth, descends down from the pregnant sky,
unfolds His presence everywhere: He dwells in my heart, deep inside.
the field is a holy temple now, filled with Shiva's radiance.
i am the awakening soul who's here for Shiva's famous dance.
we steadily repeat this theme of separation & reunion,
as we have done since time's begun as blessing & benediction.
Shiva, You reach out to me through everything: through the high blue sky &
through a sudden breath of ambient air, warmer than the surroundings.
You stroke my cheek & my brow with gentle caressing intimacy &
thus i know--oh, i do know!--that You are here with me now, tenderly
murmuring "I love you" in the sweet subtle language You have taught me.
You are the sky pressing softly against me & the wind is Your breath.
You whisper to me that the body is a sacred vessel & that
the personality is loved just as much as a tiny kitten
is loved by mother in spite of its silly antics & accidents.
You lift me up in ways i can't describe & You wrap me safe within
the sky of You as if i am a gift offered to the storied world.
i am a gift: a virgin, holy mother & visionary crone.
i am Yours. All the roles & parts we humans play, we ultimately
give to You, for the gift & the giver are actually one in fact,
just as the deep blue sky is both space & atmosphere. Thank You, Shiva,
for respecting who i am inclusive of this fleeting human form.
the sky is aswarm with color & form, astral beings struggling
to be born from misty glowing primal substance. ceremonies
of birth & transformation take place daily in the pregnant sky
overhead, expressing the glory of their evolving colors
& shapes. they move, swirl & communicate in ephemeral script
embedded with subtle messages of renewal & release.
we are cherished. we are cared for by vast lifeforms who enliven
our gifts & our challenges (for they are so similar, like kin).
they are Your emissaries, Shiva, Your mystic, yet visible,
hands, moving in holy flowing sign language within the portal
of the sky. You give us such illuminated invitations
to Your transcendent dance, whether in the heavens or in the midst
of daily working life on earth. You send constant invitations
to the here & now, wake-up calls both gentle & fierce & You don't
abandon us here. You will always bring more opportunities.
the sky is aswarm with color & form, reminding us in its
vibrant glory of the hidden hands of blessing comforting us.
it happens once that a river bids me to come & lie on its
long water-smoothed swathes of stone beach & touch its fossil runes &
time-sculpted stone poetry. the wisdom of the heart informs my
fingertips & i am enraptured by the river: its limestone
bluffs, meandering expanses of tactile river-refined stones.
they tell aeonic-long tales of the survival & ascension
of creatures from another geological age than this one.
they move me to my deepest heart & core. here at the core i find
my sincere root connection to this life, this realm wherein i now
find this body. it is embedded in the moment just as the
fossil beings are embedded in stone. i am not separate
from all that surrounds & supports me. i too am an expression
of Shiva here. what a grand dance this truly is: the minerals
in these bones & the dust on the moon, all one big cosmic event!
i tell this to the river as we lie on the stones in the sun,
blessed by the touch of warmth right down to our boulders, pebbles & bones.
i share my last dream, in which the river blesses me with a stone
imprinted with the stylized shape of an eye. this is the potent
dream--my invitation--that brings me here today, down the long rough
country road to the hidden winding path toward the swift river.
this Shiva-blessed river is kin to the great Ganges springing
from snow-melt in the far Himalayan heights half a world away.
i tell this to the river as we lie side by side in the sun.
once again i feel time & space shift & blend inexplicably,
a fresh fossil moment showing its story to be seen & known,
not hidden any more. we have no secrets, stripped down to essence,
to the wholeness of all existence. the river & i, under
the sun & sky: we lie together on the bedrock of it all
& Shiva holds us in the fullness of His pure eternal love.
He is another sun, hidden behind the one we see, concealed
within the mystery of the secret chamber within the heart.
the river knows this mystery too & is smiling in the way
that rivers can: with a thousand thousand bright shining glints of light.
now at my feet i see revealed the sacred stone of my deep dream,
emerging to be my talisman & companion wherever
Shiva sends us, graced with helpful dreams & miracles as we go.
this stone is known as "Shiva's eye," a guardian on my altar.
the river is the buffalo, the first national river park,
protected from development for all its wooded winding length.
Shiva holds us close to Him, me & the buffalo river stone.
we dream together of lessons learned & goodness to be revealed,
& the river flows clear & i rejoice: OM NAMAH SHIVAYA!
after the festive gala celebration comes the thorough clean-up.
after the inmost insight comes steady determined application.
after the fall from grace & light comes the humility to struggle
from the shattered scattered rubble & resolutely rise up again:
what is learned from the darkness is to be gathered & shared in the light.
after the sincere sadhana comes the fading of maya's mirage
in Shiva's pervasive light. He is kneading the soul as if it is
bread being carefully prepared for baking. He is working His light
deep into the cells that i may also be a light unto the world.
wherever i am, Shiva declares it a temple & i bow humbly.
i pray for the trees & the birds & for the young of all who are born
to bless this sad besieged world with the nectar of their sweet purity.
this is the time when abundant blessings are needed everywhere, for
what is learned from the darkness is to be gathered & shared in the light.
when i am meditating in my room or doing japa of Your name,
i am heartened by the subtle ways that You gently reveal Your presence.
here within these walls may drift the rich leafy-fresh scent of forest after rain.
there may be a slow warm touch upon the cheek as if You are here by me.
perhaps i suddenly feel Your heat melting the ancient chill in my heart,
or i look out the window & see the clouds spelling Your name in holy
script upon the sky. sometimes an almost-visible blessing wave may roll
through me & i open my heart as wide as i can for love to pour out.
i am nourished by You, Shiva, & i want to share Your kindness freely.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
the body is temporary. that which enlivens it is eternal. i am that enlivening spark, knowing the body as a beloved companion animal, responsibly attending to its basic needs.
here's the challenge: the mind interprets the body's needs very broadly, hence alertness is called for. the body's genuine needs are not so pressing as the mind's elaborations. discrimination is needed. mind & body dance in partnership &, as the detached observer of them both, a balance of discipline & care evolves. sometimes the body simply cannot have what it wants. the mind defends the body's desires, hence alert observation, detachment & firmness is necessary.
just as mind & body dance in partnership, Shiva, so You dance with me in this continuing sadhana, this fierce unfolding blessing from You.
i receive each event in life as if it is a message from You,
Shiva. i pay attention. I self-review, scan for synchronicities
& patterns. I detach from particulars & look for general themes.
i open to intuition & focus in the heart, seeking guidance.
whatever may reveal itself, i hold in my heart & search deep to know
how it can bless. i look for the blessing to unfold & reveal itself,
& i thank You, Shiva, for transforming my life & opening my heart.
in the vastness of multidimensionality, You make Yourself known
in Your own way to each of us. no one is left out or overlooked in
the cascading divine abundance of descending ambrosial grace.
You draw near to us according to our ability to receive You,
hence You have innumerable names in this realm of many diverse forms.
Your subtle essence is beyond all name & form, filling the willing heart.
thus it is that i search every event in life for its message from You
& i concentrate focussed attention as if my life depends on it,
for it surely does! thank You for the pure blessing of Your presence, Shiva.
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.
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.
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!