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.
i see that maya's way is to draw us into situations
whereby strands of our connective energy are hooked & woven
into it. many dramas will seek to involve us: family,
national, global, plus hidden inner conflicts & struggles when
all else is calm. it is unavoidable in the world of form.
i notice this strongly now, being elderly & disabled
& thus having less abundant energy. each cause that i feel
called to champion, every imbalance or injustice i seek to
ameliorate draws an energy thread to connect to it.
thus i'm woven into the sociocultural web & am
supporting its constructs with my prana & focussed intentions.
hence i become mindful indeed of where i want my energy
to flow. having less available energy, i must put it
into what i most prioritize. Shiva, what efficiency
You show to demonstrate maya & to teach me to cut the ties
to that which serves me not! all that has been generationally
established calls urgently for participation. family
values, national priorities, social-enculturation:
they all sing their majority-approved alluring siren songs.
refusal is frowned upon: there is always a price to pay for
freedom & mindfulness, yet it becomes necessary in time.
You encourage & support awareness, dispassion & kindness,
Shiva. Your voice eventually becomes more magnetic &
powerful than maya as i travel on this journey with You.
even negative events can serve a positive purpose by
training the mind to be a detached observer. such clear vision
can expand to reveal the pattern that eventually shows
itself to be serving growth. understanding this, i no longer
turn my back on Your guidance, Shiva. my heart goes out to You, blends
with You in fact. all this reduces the attraction of maya.
may we choose with care & may we be willing to pay the price of
our choice. remaining in thoughtless thrall to maya will exact its
own price, even as Shiva extracts His. i choose You, Shiva, &
i willingly pay Your price, for maya is but a dream, empty
& temporary. You, Shiva, are constant & You touch my heart
with Your pure, holy love. i turn my back on the shadow-show of
maya to embrace You, Shiva. i rest in You & take refuge.
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!
following Your guidance, Shiva, i continue to review
my life story & the blinders placed there by memory &
society, finally revealed & stripped of their power.
You have ripped the bandage from the wound & healed it with Your touch.
You healed it with Your touch, strongly resembling a surgical
procedure, as the whole is freed from the iron grip of the
presumptuous part. i need a new perspective now. it's time.
the upheaval of the quaking earth i long considered firm
beneath my feet has flung me out of my resting place & tossed
me in the air. & that is how i learned to fly & look from
there on high to see the patterns playing out in a vast expanse.
i see the story scrolling by, the hidden now revealed--&
this life makes sense, i can see it now. this life makes sense at last!
this life makes sense at last as the hidden stands revealed,
shaped by Your holy hands to prepare me for the part i play.
all i've learned in the past must now be dropped, must be left behind,
just like the empty chrysalis when the butterfly takes flight
& forgets all that had come before as if it were a dream.
this dream so grips us that we do not see
we are insubstantial wisps of smoke & bone,
blurred reflections in a dusty mirror.
ah, the beauty of the shifting colors,
the subtle hint of light & shadow glimpsed
beyond the swift moving montage of form!
this dream of maya invokes the senses
with the bright promise of fulfilled desire.
here, rainbows are mystic stringed instruments
in the hands of the heavenly devas.
ah! the beauty of the shifting colors,
swirling in that sweet varied melody!
the dream glows before us enticingly,
enchanting in this lengthy human sleep.
yet i do awaken from the dream's spell
resuming my firm stance, cleaving to You
in sincere sadhana & devotion
far beyond the dream's enticing allure,
to blend my heart & mind with You, Shiva.
again i persevere in Your service
as i have vowed, & so i do remain.
i will stand steadfast with You, dear Shiva,
upon the skyclad heights of Mount Kailash.
i dwell in a realm
of endless mirrors,
i myself a dream,
writing a poem
about a woman
who sees that the world
is a dream & she
now writes a poem
about this event.
and next, Lord Shiva
wakes me up with a
bang & a shake &
a warm hearty laugh.
He takes hold of me
& opens my eyes --
& i am at home,
at home, at home now
in Lord Shiva's arms.
we are the people
of flesh & smoke,
children of the dream,
shaping our hands
for those who cannot hear.
we cannot hear!
we are the people
of blood & bone,
gathering our food,
with swords, hands & words,
urged on by our desire.
we are hungry!
we are the people
of mist & fog
who rise & dissolve--
as the sun drinks up
the water of our lives.
we are fleeting!
we are the people
who rise & fall,
a luminous rain
to soak the soil
with blood & blessing,
turning & returning.
we rise & fall!
we are smoke & mist,
drifting in dream
in this reverie,
shadows urged to action.
we are so dazed!
our hands form the shape
of the word "love".
our hearts demand this.
love gives itself,
offers a place to stand
even in this dream.
although our blossoms fade,
we are fragrant!