the good, the true, the beautiful

the first thing that i understand clearly from You, Shiva–looking back
over the years–is the importance of dwelling on the good, the true
& the beautiful. all else is just not relevant to my purpose:
aligning my energies with influences that benefit & bless.

i had to want to turn away from darkness, bitterness & despair.
i had to do it again & again for years, turning away from
the old shadows, facing into the light. You kept urging me onward,
Shiva, sometimes with gentle sweetness & sometimes with a lashing whip.

thank You for being the goldsmith to my jagged lump of grimy gold, melting me down to the bare bones & building me up again, all smooth
& shiny to reflect the golden light of Your divine healing love.
may this mirror You have made of me dazzle the darkness with Your love.

satyam, shivam, sundaram: om namah Shivaya! om haum joom sah!

the light & the ashes

i now rise up from the ashes of purification, another
layer of ancient error burned away. again, in this manner, the
sadhana continues: a rising into the noon of consciousness
after descent into the dark interior to enkindle light.

darkness ever comes in service to light. they circle like dance partners
in the most ageless ritual union our ancestors understood.
Shiva, i come forth as Your shakti in a pure primordial way,
as Parvati, Her holy self, also does. it is long ordained thus:
that the seemingly separate polarities blend as one in truth, &
we all rise in time from the ashes of divine purification.
sadhana sincerely continues, in both the light & the ashes.

the woods in the deep of the night

the woods at deep twilight smell sweet & moist, immersed in the subtle
allure of the night's hidden magic. the roosting crows in repose
mutter good night to one another in soft clicks & croaks. shadows
settle over the trees, descending from the hands of the sky like
a shawl to wrap the woods in featureless & faceless protection.

sharp details belong to the day, are necessary to see for
the accomplishments & unveilings that take place under the sun.
deeds are done & tasks await: gathering & dispersing happens.
order is valued & scripts are offered for all the roles & their
requirements. survival is the bottom line. i hold myself in
to fit within the narrow slot allotted for those such as me.

but at night, in the mysterious woods, none of that bright world rules.
here in the darkness, the unknown & irrational prevail, & the
shadows may be doorways opening into other realms. You come
to me through those shadows, Shiva, & tell me of wonders beyond.
You touch my heart & unlock it, & i will forever thank You
for this, for coming to me. i will forever thank You, Shiva.

the woods in full nightfall smell sweet & moist, an invitation to
deeper magic. Shiva, soon the moon will rise high & the darkling
playmates emerge from hiding. there's a song in my heart that escapes
through my lips & it stands as a motto for this entire life. "i
mean no harm; i am passing through. i celebrate all existence."

thank You, Shiva, for urging me out to befriend the darkness &
the unfamiliar. You hold me in Your hands & in Your heart
& i hold on to You forever. You take away my concern &
You leave me with Your grace, here in the woods in the deep of the night.

lying fallow

sometimes i am a garden lying fallow after harvest,
stripped of my nourishing abundance. my leaves are brown & crisp,
stalks & stems are brittle & broken, scattered on the resting
earth as a testament to blessings given generously.

i can breathe into the earth even when i cannot reach for
the shining sky, so i go deep, deep down past the spent dry roots.
i sleep, forgetful of bright springtime & sun, returning the
physical substance to its origin. i dream. i dream of
You, Shiva, Who planted me here & cultivated my pure
essence & reaped my natural bounty. it has emerged from
tiny hard seeds hidden in the darkness of the ground, & grown
to lift many arms & hands up to praise the sun & honor
the moon. it has been glorious, & i thank You, Shiva, as
i release the firm form into the cool darkness & soft dust
of the waiting earth. lying fallow is also part of the
process that yields the next abundant harvest in its own time.

hold me, Shiva. hold me as i rest quietly without care,
dreaming of formlessness & freedom from this human dharma.

shared in the light

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.

the fruitful darkness

soft upon the senses darkness descends, gently pressing,
inviting acceptance, surrender. this is the fruitful
darkness of gestation where borders blur & numinous
exchange can happen spontaneously. words are too slow
for this subtle realm, too angular, sharp & hard. like knives
carving water, they give motion mimicking meaning, yet
little is clear & nothing enduring remains for long.
the gentle fruitful darkness is like a womb, allowing
growth of life without disturbance, nurturing & holding
it in the divinely provided secure protection.

i come from that darkness to You, Shiva, called forth by the
sacred mystery of Your summons, alluring as the
glow of a night-blooming blossom in the pale new moonlight.
soft upon the senses, darkness deepens, gently pressing,
hinting of surrender to the fullness of gestation.
this is where we touch, far beyond borders or worlds. this is
where words are put aside & communion of pure essence
reaches forth, heart to heart. this is all i know, Shiva: the
slow unveiling of the wordless, the advent of light born
of the fruitful darkness, the abundant mother of form.

invisible ashes

what wind unsettles the roots of my hair now?
what fire flickers in this enveloping night?
i cry to the origin of wind & fire:
Lift me higher, wind, so that i can see more.
give more light, i beg fire, that i may see truth.

the wind wraps me in its fist & flings me far,
shreds my deep certainties & my doubts to dust.
the fire burns the dust to ashes, grey & thick.
i am clothed in ashes, covered head to foot,
though this is not visible to most people.

the world does not know that the fire yet flickers,
hidden hot in the recesses of the heart.
i feed it with the focussed attention of
the pure rapt child who has just discovered a
butterfly rising from dark concealment up
into sunshine, wings glowing bright as embers.

what wind unsettles the roots of my hair now?
it is You, Shiva, You as wind, as fire, as
a suddenly revealed direct perception.
You are the light & darkness, fully filling
my awareness until You are so vast that
You seem like a field of endless galaxies.

were i not clothed in invisible ashes,
no one could see me through the resplendent light
of Your presence holding my atoms in place:
Shiva, lord of my heart & essence of all.

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.

carry us forward

the pandemic is shaking out the hidden scorpions
in the global drama of this divine culling event.
it brings to view the cloaked & veiled shadow influences
that disrupt cooperation & sincere tolerance,
that negate inspiration, inclusiveness & kindness.
they drain the joyousness from the rising innocent day.

Shiva, You reveal to me how this great cosmic drama
of maya creates a stage & a playbill, a menu,
a compelling urge to act in the world as we are called.
our cosmic dharma as jiva is to cling to the light.
we have seen the dark. the cycles are turning, shifting now
by cosmic rhythmic decree & we are the advancing
edge. nature's cadences prevail throughout the galaxies.

dear Shiva, carry us forward in this dharma of change.
the darkness has exhausted the days of its dominance.
the wheel of evolution turns & the dawning of light
is now globally drawing near. the kali yuga wanes.
dear Shiva, carry us forward in this dharma of change.
hold us in Your heart & show us what is real, true & good.