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.

the shadow-show of maya

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.

the wisdom of the heart

"this is the path for you" they say, dripping devout intensity,
eyes burning as they nail me to their patriarchal history.

thus, religion is designed to create good faithful followers;
education teaches us to memorize accepted answers.

i prefer to ask deep questions in the form of humble prayers
& find my answers in the sky & the curvature of flowers.

i would rather walk a hillside path or sit by a quiet lake
than be closed in a room to give over my mind to them to take.

the price of such daring freedom is to stand outside of custom,
observing with detachment when they would rather have me trust them.

the wisdom of the heart will serve by the blessed grace of Shiva,
whom i trust with all my lives to guide me safely through this maya.

what sweetness pervades

there are different ways of knowing than by form alone.
there are alternate ways of being than those offered by
the urging of consensus sociocultural demands.
they will find you when you are made more tenderly receptive
by forces vaster than you can understand or encompass.

it feels like destruction & devastation: the spaciousness!
the bones of the old order no longer demanding your flesh,
the freedom of nothing remaining to lose, save or cling to.
you may fall into the heart of gravity or glide in winds
of the cosmic breath of OM. you may pause at the still center
beyond human thought as the divine play of polarity
sets the cost of exit & ushers you through the dark doorway.

into the void you descend, the nothingness: but what sweetness
pervades that mysterious emptiness! what love flows warmly
through the center of the heart! there are many other ways of
knowing than by form. Shiva, this i learned & now share freely
in the same way that birds feel the urge to sing in glad wonder
as the new day reveals rising light; or as the flower spreads
the fist of the bud into petals held wide like fingers to
salute You, Shiva, & bask in the rays of the newborn sun.