baking bread is a dance between recipe & intuition, plus awareness of timing & process. the living organisms of yeast must be encouraged to multiply in culinary choreography with flour, warm water, salt, sugar & butter. substances are combined together, dough is kneaded & given time to rise into fullness, then is punched down to flatness, shaped & blessed to rest in holy repose, rising again, ready to bake. this dance is a tandava, energetic, demanding, until heat transforms mere ingredients into the miracle of bread.
Shiva, i am those ingredients: You are the Baker of bread! i have been combined, stirred, mixed, heated, punched down when i fully expand, then set aside to rise again. finally, at last, the oven's heat acts upon that which was inedible & it cooks, releasing the fresh baked fragrance of bread, a scent pleasing to all.
the acts of mixing, punching & heating are necessary to produce the correct result. it is no mistake. the highs & lows come about to teach of the physical realm & to encourage enquiry into the hidden essence of spirit & matter. hence i use life's challenges as stepping stones to You who call me.
these "down-times" are an essential part of fully maturing as a sensitive, receptive being. when thoughts are dull & sluggish & i struggle upon a bleak inner plateau, it is because influences beyond ego are triggering transformation. changes that can't be hurried or stopped now come about on their own.
likewise, it's true that the "up-times" are also not engendered by my choosing or willing. they too happen as part of a wholesome natural purification, unfolding spontaneously. this dance whirls me up & down, around & around, urging balance. i seek to be cooperative, while remaining grounded too.
those times when i have risen enough & must be reduced again seem to purify & diminish the ego without judgement, merely as needful adjustment. nothing is wrong or bad, no more than the tides of the seas or the winds in the sky. it is life in physical form, moving, changing, rising & falling: evolving.
yet You are the Baker, Shiva. You are the Doer of deeds, hence i ask You for guidance & support, training the mind to discern Your hand in all events. seeing You as the Baker & myself as the loaf of bread that You prepare is yet another way i remind myself that i am a cell in God's body, yielding to Your divine direction for the manifestation of goodness.
just as the aroma of fresh baked bread calls the hungry to eat, so the fragrance of a devotee calls forth higher beings to feast upon the sweet healing energies that You evoke from we who love You, Shiva. thus we all support & bless one another in a divine ecology that transcends time, space & species.
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.
some blessings are so amazing that i don't recognize them
as blessings for years, sometimes even decades. they are like the
mystic eggs of a strange bird, bound to hatch in their own time, placed
in the nest of me, knowing not what may come from them or when.
i have seen blessings change into challenges overnight &
challenges throw off their concealment to emerge as blessings.
therefore i will rejoice in the gifts of the moment, holding
them lightly that they may fly when they are called by destiny.
You teach me to regard blessing & challenge with equal eyes,
Shiva: as opportunity in disguise, to be esteemed.
i cannot court one without bowing to the other also.
we are all golden beneath the dust, deeply imprinted with
the urge to evolve into wholeness. there is no turning back,
no refusal to be what i yearn to be & am at heart.
i will protect these strange eggs, Shiva, & will accept what may
come from them with gentle respect for their divine origin.