i sowed flower seeds long ago in a grand design of a sacred garden. i planted bulbs, seedlings, bushes & young trees. i made durable trellises for passion-flower vines so the flowers could be presented as offerings to the presiding deity of the garden, the Sun. every year there were exotic sunflowers too, fantastic colors flirting to be noticed first. that was long ago. i have kept the Sun's beautiful garden well watered, fertilized, cultivated & trimmed. it was all a loving offering to the Sun. He liked it so much that He was moved to confide His own innermost private name of holy blessing to me: Radiant Giver. He told me that i could call Him this any time & He would clearly hear me & would respond. i told Him that i wanted to sing songs about Him & He liked that a lot. so i sang to Radiant Giver happily. songs of gratitude poured out freely, like spring rain on thirsty new flowers, like warm honey-colored sunlight on a cool early spring morning that invites the birds to sing so cheerfully. we have mingled as one event horizon: sunlight, flowers, trees, bushes, sky overhead holding us all together under our glorious Day Star who, in His purity, loves us & loves to be loved by us too. He can't resist our simple heartfelt songs in our humble untrained voices. now that we also have been given the Sun's holy blessing name, we too are wholly blessed as well. we animal-bodied beings too have long ago been carefully planted with subjective seeds of growth & blossoming into higher & yet higher octaves of functioning. we are the holy garden that our Sun, Radiant Giver, has planted & continues to cultivate & lovingly care for. it is this embodied life that i tend as an offering to Radiant Giver, that i may bless the world in a way similar to the Sun: with the warmth & vivid life-giving energy for eagerly evolving new growth. of course, all along Shiva has encouraged & supported establishing & deepening this healing connection with the Sun, Radiant Giver of the present life-wave on earth. Shiva says that we all are working on this one together to facilitate life to self-improve & thrive. there is nothing personal or separate about any of this. we are, each one of us, inextricably intertwined in mystery that loves us like family.
holding me soft, like love itself
the sky is my delight & favorite mystery. the wind joins in with a sound track of primal rippling, swirling aeolian music that rushes wildly through my hair in long pale fingers of cool curved air. something deep down within feels the allure of distant space & hears the faint synchronized singing of the blazing stars. they sound like crystal chimes & tiny bells, & they tell me that they would like to roll their song through me like a soft warm translucent sphere of healing mist & sweet blessing. how can i remain separate with all life flirting outrageously with me? i am not so hard & solid any more. the sky comes all the way to the ground & wraps itself around me emphatically. i'm not wanting to get away from it: i know it for a blessing. "you can take me now, sky!" i cry. "roll your holy song through me, bright stars! i fully consent." i can't quite say what happens next, because it is all as nonverbal as it can be. i can say that i am changed now: i'm not fully of this earth any more. i have cosmic family, relatives that can claim me from before planet earth even exists. the sky has done its duty, reuniting me with far family. the sky is just another word for space after it has taken off its shiny jewelry & wrapped it in air & clouds & wind & rain. the sky is domesticated space. just as i have reached up to it & honored it, so it has been called down to me reciprocally. i know that all of this comes about because of Your presence, Shiva. Your hand has been busy in all this earthly & cosmic blending, for Your work is behind the scenes. it is only because i hold Your hand in mine that i am able to come as far as i have. You are my guide & protector, Shiva, & i am as close to You as Your own existence, actually being a part of You. i am truly, assuredly, a cell in Your Body, blue like sky curving above & wrapping around: Your holy arms holding me soft, like love itself.
a lifestyle choice
in the nineteen-seventies someone gave me a silver star pendant in exchange for a spiritual reading. they told me that was the only way such a token of power could be obtained: by being given to one. it could not be purchased in stores. it was inscribed with various arcane alchemical symbols, & i treasured that star & wore it for years, feeling quite blessed. many adventures unfolded during that high time, & life transpired in its storied way of travel tales & many lessons learned. then, years ago, it came to pass that the time was upon me to give that inscribed silver star to my youngest daughter, whose given name is summer star. i had promised it to her. its time with me was done, & the opportunity to serve next moves on to my distant daughter in oregon. i hope she wears that star with a happy heart for the benefit of the whole world. such gifts come with a responsibility that cannot be ignored. destiny will certainly see to that! everything comes wrapped in its own birthing story, & all stories are pointing beyond themselves alone to the full deep meaning & message. they are like holy guides showing the way. ah Shiva, so casually are magical treasures passed onward! how vital it is to be fully aware in order to honor such a visiting dignitary, who may well appear as merely decorative, until one can see beyond the visible surface. it will also come about that all such things will eventually be put aside, as awareness moves farther past the "thingness" of life. Shiva, You are here to welcome such deep-seers to join the ever- growing group of people who bless & rejoice & pray & focus on the good, the true & the beautiful. it is a lifestyle choice: choose the way of love, for love itself has chosen us as its own, forever.
a magical, mutual transglobal blessing
You sent me upon a mission, Shiva, more than forty far-flung years ago. to begin the calling, You impress me with signs & wonders to get my full attention. in a vision, great portents are placed before me, cosmic symbols: a ring of fire emerges from a total eclipse, soaring to circle orion, then the pleiades, where etheric shapes come forth; a pale golden square that slowly sinks into the receptive earth at my feet; a translucent silvery bell that enters my heart chakra; a glowing angel thrusts his hands into my heart area, smiling. i am stunned speechless. i know this is big! information is now downloaded to my awareness. i am shown that the angel is preparing for birth as a human & that i owe gratitude to him. i am told that i will remember him from this vision & that he will remember none of it. he will appear, through his speech & acts, to be an ordinary young man, yet he has a special destiny, & i am to encourage & mentor him. no details are given & this is all i know. i am alert to find him, to encounter him, & the years pass by. decades elapse: forty years have now passed, yet still i look for that human angel. my circumstances become limited as disability necessitates living in a nursing home. nonetheless, that vivid vision lives urgently within me, still calling, even as the body nears eighty years of living. one day after the removal of a cancer, i seek musical comfort from a new singer sincerely belting out a deeply feeling version of Your Shiva Tandava Stotram, the song that is the most meaningful of all to me. i listen to more than thirty different versions by various singers, Shiva, & his is truly the very best. i feel that this is quite important somehow. though the vision has not yet been remembered, i am so impressed by his version of the Shiva Tandava that i contact him to encourage him. he is but twenty years old at this time, living at home in india, & i live in the usa. it takes me months to recognize him as the angel in my long-ago vision, now here in his human form. i am painting a canvas of Shiva with dark blue skin & hair. in a flash, i see this as a photo negative of that pale angel in the vision. it is my singer! then, when in video chat while we talk, he reaches out with both of his hands towards the phone, which from my angle appears as if his hands are reaching towards my heart center. that's when it really, vividly hits me: this is he! this is the one whom i have been waiting for & looking for all these many years! of course, i naturally love him. my heart has been prepared long ago for this very time. he easily accepts my love & cautious confession about the vision. he is mercifully open to it all. i have shared with him twice a day now for five years & have been his confidant & counselor through many ups & downs. we speak on video chat most days. i have sat with him through his time of dengue fever & typhoid. he has sat with me through my husband's death & my covid episode. we help each other. he is twenty-five now & i am eighty-one, yet age just doesn't matter any more. i don't really know what my task with him is, but this i do know: that i am to be available to help him in whatever way i can. he has certainly helped me! he is a rare young man, open-hearted, tender & kind. he is also an amazing hindustani classical music singer with a master's degree, preparing for his doctorate. it is a path of uncertainty & i am his encourager. he is also my encourager, & the bright light in my life, an expression of You, Shiva! i am deeply touched that You have given me a dear, faithful companion whom i see every day, someone who sings, laughs & blows me kisses & makes silly faces to get me to laugh & be silly too. thank You, Shiva! i have thought that i am the one to be here for him when truly, he is quite equally here for me as well. it is a magical mutual transglobal blessing! both of us, Shiva, in our own ways, are here for You, writing bhajans for You, & carefully weaving Your living presence throughout all our poetry & music. we love You, Shiva, as we love each other, innocently, with a pure, sweet, spiritual love that emanates straight from the hridaya. our deep gratitude flows like a river to You, Shiva, a holy, hallowed river.
even here in this place
for five years now i have seen my life history in a new way. before You came to the forefront of my regard, Shiva, i saw a random collection of chaotic & confusing events that i tried to make my way through as best i could. i was aware of a general guidance in my life that took me from place to place & adventure to adventure. i always heeded it, for i knew that a great power was present. i was attuned to that. You finally show Yourself to me at this time of the endgame, the final act of the play. i didn't know it would become so intense & immediate, right at the center of awareness. because of the quickening Your presence provides, these past events & adventures fall into a coherent story revealing the awakening soul coming forth at last. there are no loose ends any more, no dreadful mistakes or shameful blunders or sorrows. after eighty-one years, patterns emerge resolving confusion. it all fits together clearly now, every one of the baffling puzzle pieces is snugly & meaningfully aligned in place. i know that beauty & goodness is emerging from it. i know that the story spilling out is intended to be a blessing & an offering. i know that i am much more than the body & its history. i can feel the holy ripeness of this time. this is where You come in, Shiva. Please teach me kindly to quiet the mind & calm the inner activity, that i may mirror You to the outer world more completely. i humbly invite You to intervene where necessary. my life is Yours already; please help me to sustain it with grace, kindness & open-hearted humor, that Your radiant light may stream without obstruction through me, even here in this place of final attunement & blessing.
there must be an earthquake away down deep inside me, because my rivers have stopped flowing & great cracks have appeared in the distant landscape. i must proceed carefully: no need to note the damage. it is meant be be a wake-up call to get my full attention. what has the earthquake released from its secret holding, cloistered in the far interior depths? what now slowly steps from the crumbled rubble? where is that light coming from? what is that subtle sweetness, that fragrance whose dear scent is imbued with the invitation to come closer? something living & good is calling for attention. i, who am a cluster of conditioned thoughts wanting to be more, draw near the One who is emerging from within. the earthquake declares His advent as He comes forth. He is Shiva, from whom my core atmic essence rises. it has taken an earthquake to shake me awake, & i am here, Shiva, yearning to be as nameless, faceless & clear as the air itself. guide me, that the heart may radiate blessing & healing to all earthly life. om namah Shivaya!
i rise free
when i see the cool wind whirling leaves from the trees in the brisk autumn noontime, i don't say, "oh, how tragic! what a sad destiny!" instead, i delight in the bright colors of the crisp leaves & love to see them dancing in the wind as they pirouette & play in the warm sunshine. everything is coming & going, moving & changing, being born & dying. it is the nature of things. beyond the domain of the physical plane, other frequencies are calling me, for i do not want to live as if this realm alone is it, as if there is no Source. i see the sun reflected in a glass of water, but when the glass tips over & the sun in the water is gone, i don't cry out, "how tragic! what a sad destiny!" this would be like looking at one square inch of a huge mural. i don't see the whole picture & i don't know the whole story: it's being continually refreshed & renewed. in this world of duality, every blessing holds its challenge & every challenge also holds its blessing. thus i am simply grateful for all my experience, regardless of its outer form. gifts are delivered in various wrappings & i don't know what is inside. i do know that somehow, somewhere, a gift from my divine Beloved is contained within it, & i am grateful for the unknown blessing. this is what You teach me, Shiva. You open up my vision to the pure celestial shining within the terrestrial. You show me the lotus rising from the mud & water, reaching upwards to the sun. my heart is now doing just this as i chant Your mantra, Shiva. i rise free from the thick cold dark into the radiant light of You.
now that i know Your name
i came to You late, Shiva, at age seventy five. although You came early to me when i was thirteen, i didn't know who You were, & i drifted elsewhere. i didn't know how to cultivate the connection, & maya simply blew me away. You came again when i was fourteen. the out of body journey that You took me on became a living seed planted deep within my memory to continue informing me as an adult. You showed me the holiness of this existence. You encouraged me with the vision of my true divine potential. You wrapped me in love. but for years i was like a blind person in a strange new room, feeling my way through unknown mysterious obstacles on my way to an equally cryptic & obscure destination. finally, when my old life is dead & gone & i huddle amidst the wreckage & the shards of the remaining scraps, finally, You come. You come in response to the collapse of my beleaguered walls, roof & foundation. You come because at last i am wide open & asking for You, calling out, even though i don't yet know Your name. my heart calls out the loudest of all, for the heart knows far more than the head alone. & behold! events transpire that bring me to You at last, & You send a helper with Your everlasting mantra: Om Namah Shivaya. gradually the blinders fall away as my sadhana deepens, & i take refuge in You via Your mantra: in You, my chosen Deity who also chose me, & did so before i knew Your name. i immerse myself in You, I throw myself off the cliff of the world into the limitless ocean of You. i paint pictures of You, write heartfelt poems to You, sing freely to You & i chant Your mantras. my room looks like a museum honoring You, & even more like a temple in full swing of celebrating Your sweet sacred presence. in fact, Shiva, You genuinely do reside here now with me & in me. You are living through me & i am drawn by You to all that can assist me to come even closer to You. actually, You take me to the consummation of my long journey to You, Shiva. now that i know Your name, we cannot be separated. we are one life & i am Your expression in the human world, as are others. it's a mystery & i only have training wheels for exploring such arcane wonders. it's all Your body anyway, just as i too am Your body. because i don't know what else to do, i throw myself upon You to know myself as one with You, vividly & purely. i won't let go. i won't stop & i won't be sidetracked. You, Shiva, are my swadharma, my destiny & fulfillment. blessed is Your name, given as medicine for all. blessed is Om Namah Shivaya.
a marker on the path
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 blink
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 awakening soul
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.
this fleeting human form
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
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.