when i am meditating in my room or doing japa of Your name, i am heartened by the subtle ways that You gently reveal Your presence. here within these walls may drift the rich leafy-fresh scent of forest after rain. there may be a slow warm touch upon the cheek as if You are here by me. perhaps i suddenly feel Your heat melting the ancient chill in my heart, or i look out the window & see the clouds spelling Your name in holy script upon the sky. sometimes an almost-visible blessing wave may roll through me & i open my heart as wide as i can for love to pour out. i am nourished by You, Shiva, & i want to share Your kindness freely. OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
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!