mind & body dance in partnership

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.

pieces & parts

i am not meant to fit in or conform. i am made for the part of
independent observer & outsider, watcher & listener.
the body can no longer assert ties to my guardianship, for
Shiva invites me to withdraw my vigilance over the body's
condition & to release it to its natural process. i do.

i release the body to its fate. i focus instead on Shiva:
knowing Shiva, breathing Shiva, seeing, tasting, smelling & touching
Shiva. i plunge deep into Shiva & take full refuge in Shiva,
that i may live truly in Him, for i know that my home is not here.

Shiva, hear my lament! or maybe it's a rallying cry for the
forces of light to shine out ever more brightly & vividly.
Shiva, hear my lament! or perhaps it's the dying cry of the
ego as it exhausts the vasanas of the mind in weariness.

Shiva, hear me in my loss & confusion & have compassion for
this slowness & ignorance. hold me tightly as the ties to the world
dissolve in the natural process of this transformation & flux.
life is eternal; awareness is cosmic; words rest in the light of
sudden pure direct knowing, & pieces & parts are one with the whole.

the openness of disclosure


Shiva, when You gave me this sadhana of sharing my journey
with You by way of poetry in a blog, it deepened my life.
i thought of wordpress as a platform for creating a webpage.
i did not realize that it is also a community
of people sharing their insights & life events from various
perspectives & interests, yet all with respectful courtesy.

poetry especially fosters this acceptance, for it is
like a finger pointing to something vital & heartfelt, as there
is the openness of disclosure & the freedom to share.

along with this, our culture & society tend to promote
focus on the gender differences between men & women.
in my sadhana on this path of Sanatana Dharma, i'm
detaching from the body-mind identity & sharing as
the observer & witness to the daily drama of this life.

because of this, i did not choose to reveal the body gender.
there have been times when gender has been assumed & i am addressed
as "sir". since i greatly value truth, i did add "wife & mother"
to my bio under the menu choice "this happened: the story".
this is where i look when i read a blog, so this seemed a good place.

Shiva, i find that each level of growth & evolution brings
the deep work of intensifying clarity & compassion.
it's like climbing a mountain, to discover a vast expanse of
mountains & plateaux going on & on into the far distance.

yet it's only the next step that i need to concern myself with.
so i focus on Your companionship, Shiva, holding Your hand,
walking on this path of inner unfoldment, always attending
to the very next step, seeking harmony & rapport with You.

Shiva, You know me by my energy-signature & essence.
i am grateful. the form is not important but the purity
of intention does matter. thank You for this opportunity
to be forthcoming & visible to others in service & gratitude to You.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

there is a forest

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!

soft & new as a baby

the emptiness of inner space enfolds in peaceful calm quiet.
it sublimes everything into a warm embrace, a touch that feels
as though the sharp edges that had kept the heart enclosed have now been
softened into passing scenery--going, gone, no longer there.
the past is a blur of green, blue, gold, dissolving into nothing
that can be named, including myself. all the names now fall away.

yet an urge remains, a calling, a gentle magnetic pulling that
has me held fast in its grasp & takes me to the still-point of all
that i have ever yearned for in my deepest most hidden heart shrine.
it's You, Shiva. i am calling You--or is it You who call me?
this emptiness of inner space is really filled by You, Shiva:
Your fragrance of jasmine & datura, Your holy siren song
that triggers all the best in me & affects me like ambrosia.

the body wants the known & familiar in a pleasant pattern
formed to cushion & protect the sociocultural program.
that is not possible for me since i overflow its edges
in the way that irrepressible exuberant life will do.
no boundary can contain or limit me, Shiva, for You have
fashioned me thus: for the liminal places & the far edges
where reality melts into color & tone & songs are born.
stories leak out sentence by sentence & numinous myths dwell there.

cradle me close, Shiva, for i am soft & new as a baby
in the absence of enculturation & social compulsion.
only You are vast enough to hold me now that i have cast off
the lines that bound me to the body & its documented past.
all that remains now is the tender intimate vastness of You.
cradle me close, Shiva, for i am soft & new as a baby.

this knowing that “i am”

Shiva, i am learning to know all substance as Your body &
all beings with varying forms & functions as Your expressions.
the density of matter cloaks complete knowledge of You, although
You truly are the all-pervading essence of that which remains
to awareness after the transitory departs yet again.

this grand drama of life gives birth to the earthly realm, with humans
& many other beings populating it in a dance of
flowing creativity in a subtle evolving pattern.

Shiva, i know that this body, the source of personality,
is shaped by genes, conditioning & impacting outer events.
therefore it is not who i really am, as You often point out.
i learn slowly, glad that You patiently persist in Your teaching
that who i really am is the one constant steady awareness
that remains vivid when all else is gone: this knowing that "i am",
the same indwelling wisdom common to all created beings.

Shiva, You are above, below, surrounding & within: source,
quest & destination. You are the universal medicine.
like a great tide You are upon me, sweeping me up in the flood
of Your expression, calling me to the heart, core & center of
all the various comings & goings of daily human life.
wherever i focus i see You at the living heart of it.

i know how it finally ends. i know that the light of kindness
will once more prevail & that darkness will again lessen & that
this dance will continue as it always does. this endless cosmic
glory is like a flower opening from bud, blooming, wilting,
fading, falling, releasing the seeds of new flowers to repeat
another sacramental cycle of Your rhythmic dance, Shiva.
i am looking within to the heart's chamber where You dwell & i
simply want to be with You in the refuge of Your calm presence.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

an ageless holy pattern

i was in death's hands, Shiva. body parts were sacrificed to survive
& cords of dark energy bound the soft flesh tightly in helplessness.
in the midst of this turmoil, You came by way of hallucinations
of warmhearted free-spirited visitors who blessed with their kindness.
You gave rollicking tuba solos & a zany doctor teaching
care of the newborn infant to new fathers through slapstick comedy.
You brought me the fellowship & laughter that strengthen, heal & comfort.

this body is an infant. i am caregiver, bringing mothering
to a damaged being, surviving the surreal medical onslaught
that swiftly changes the form & the life totally & finally.
i stumble through the nether-realms, the murky land of loss & payment
& emerge into an alien world where i have no place.

i pay the price of loss by deep soul-searching & reflection, Shiva,
drawing closer to You, yet still unseeing until i have amply
ripened, or deliquesced as butterflies do in their spun chrysalis.
You accompany & shepherd with guidance & care, leading me through
healing in many realms. when i lose my way & falter, You guide me,
urge me through the darkness to the renewal of my dedication
to the divine & sacred within the ambrosia of Your presence.

this woman's heart is given over to You, Shiva, & You shape it
into an ageless holy pattern, newly disclosed in this lifetime,
offering refuge in Your all-pervading, enfolding pure essence.
here i rest in the embrace of Your goodness, truth & beauty.