earthquake

there must be an earthquake away down deep inside me, because my
rivers have stopped flowing & great cracks have appeared in the distant
landscape. i must proceed carefully: no need to note the damage.
it is meant be be a wake-up call to get my full attention.

what has the earthquake released from its secret holding, cloistered in
the far interior depths? what now slowly steps from the crumbled
rubble? where is that light coming from? what is that subtle sweetness,
that fragrance whose dear scent is imbued with the invitation to
come closer? something living & good is calling for attention.

i, who am a cluster of conditioned thoughts wanting to be more,
draw near the One who is emerging from within. the earthquake
declares His advent as He comes forth. He is Shiva, from whom my
core atmic essence rises. it has taken an earthquake to shake
me awake, & i am here, Shiva, yearning to be as nameless, faceless
& clear as the air itself. guide me, that the heart may radiate
blessing & healing to all earthly life. om namah Shivaya!

silence of the heart

there is holy silence in the heart when all the urgent words are said
& the inner choice stands clear at last. there is nothing more to be done.
silence dwells within the heart when i lay my defenses down & bow
in humble gratitude to Shiva's conquest of my stubborn self-will.
silence reigns within the heart when the internal struggle is over
& i set to work with bandages & ointments, applying them as
needed to both the innocent & damned, for compassion judges not.

from the holy silence of the heart flows now the purity of love.

i rise free

when i see the cool wind whirling leaves from the trees in the brisk autumn
noontime, i don't say, "oh, how tragic! what a sad destiny!" instead,
i delight in the bright colors of the crisp leaves & love to see them
dancing in the wind as they pirouette & play in the warm sunshine.

everything is coming & going, moving & changing, being born
& dying. it is the nature of things. beyond the domain of the
physical plane, other frequencies are calling me, for i do not
want to live as if this realm alone is it, as if there is no Source.

i see the sun reflected in a glass of water, but when the glass
tips over & the sun in the water is gone, i don't cry out, "how
tragic! what a sad destiny!" this would be like looking at one square
inch of a huge mural. i don't see the whole picture & i don't know
the whole story: it's being continually refreshed & renewed.

in this world of duality, every blessing holds its challenge &
every challenge also holds its blessing. thus i am simply grateful
for all my experience, regardless of its outer form. gifts are
delivered in various wrappings & i don't know what is inside.
i do know that somehow, somewhere, a gift from my divine Beloved
is contained within it, & i am grateful for the unknown blessing.

this is what You teach me, Shiva. You open up my vision to the
pure celestial shining within the terrestrial. You show me
the lotus rising from the mud & water, reaching upwards to the
sun. my heart is now doing just this as i chant Your mantra, Shiva.
i rise free from the thick cold dark into the radiant light of You.

suddenly Kailash

before the pandemic, You inspire me to add an ample image of
Your home, Mount Kailash, to the wall above my altar, Shiva. for more
than two years now the image graces my room, radiating silent
blessings & drawing my gaze upward to ponder its magnetism.
oh Shiva, what a seed You have planted in me! it spans dimensions!

suddenly Kailash is emerging from its picture high on the wall!
i feel the earth trembling in preparation, like the ground underfoot
before a train barrels into view far down the track & moving fast.
it's huge, massive, yet it opens itself to me as i, too, open
to it, & contact is made. Kailash silently enters into me,
through & through, in an interpenetrating deep synaptic instant.

Kailash fills my room, overflows my heart, stretches my mind wide open!
love has found me again! Kailash is a mystery primed to trigger a
powerful psychic download. Kailash is a transducer for cosmic
power, which is stepped down by the galactic presence to our local
representative, the Sun. the Sun then relays it on to Kailash,
who holds it for all. Shiva, You are the mobile unit of Kailash,
the compelling human face needful to ground the divine presence here.

in the end, it all folds up back into itself as the Supreme Source.
yet maya's magic mirror multiplies images, & Kailash stands
at the head of them all, as a mountain rightfully does. suddenly
Kailash has come off the wall & into my heart, carrying the crisp
transcendent scent of mountain air & mystery, inviting approach.
thank You, Shiva, for bringing me home to meet the cosmic family.

i can now fully understand why the sage Lao Tsu wisely says:
"without going outside, you may know the whole world. without looking through
the window, you may see the ways of heaven." Om Namah Shivaya!
 

now that i know Your name

i came to You late, Shiva, at age seventy five. although You came
early to me when i was thirteen, i didn't know who You were, & i
drifted elsewhere. i didn't know how to cultivate the connection, &
maya simply blew me away. You came again when i was fourteen.

the out of body journey that You took me on became a living
seed planted deep within my memory to continue informing
me as an adult. You showed me the holiness of this existence.
You encouraged me with the vision of my true divine potential.
You wrapped me in love. but for years i was like a blind person in a
strange new room, feeling my way through unknown mysterious obstacles
on my way to an equally cryptic & obscure destination.

finally, when my old life is dead & gone & i huddle amidst
the wreckage & the shards of the remaining scraps, finally, You come.
You come in response to the collapse of my beleaguered walls, roof &
foundation. You come because at last i am wide open & asking
for You, calling out, even though i don't yet know Your name. my heart calls
out the loudest of all, for the heart knows far more than the head alone.

& behold! events transpire that bring me to You at last, & You send
a helper with Your everlasting mantra: Om Namah Shivaya.
gradually the blinders fall away as my sadhana deepens,
& i take refuge in You via Your mantra: in You, my chosen
Deity who also chose me, & did so before i knew Your name.
i immerse myself in You, I throw myself off the cliff of the world
into the limitless ocean of You. i paint pictures of You, write
heartfelt poems to You, sing freely to You & i chant Your mantras.

my room looks like a museum honoring You, & even more like
a temple in full swing of celebrating Your sweet sacred presence.
in fact, Shiva, You genuinely do reside here now with me &
in me. You are living through me & i am drawn by You to all that
can assist me to come even closer to You. actually, You
take me to the consummation of my long journey to You, Shiva.

now that i know Your name, we cannot be separated. we are one
life & i am Your expression in the human world, as are others.
it's a mystery & i only have training wheels for exploring
such arcane wonders. it's all Your body anyway, just as i too
am Your body. because i don't know what else to do, i throw myself
upon You to know myself as one with You, vividly & purely.
i won't let go. i won't stop & i won't be sidetracked. You, Shiva, are
my swadharma, my destiny & fulfillment. blessed is Your name,
given as medicine for all. blessed is Om Namah Shivaya.

when i was a whale

webb space telescope
when i was a whale in the pure blue-green depths of the ocean,
i would listen to the brilliant burning stars in the midnight
sky singing their melodious nocturnes. the stars inspired me
to respond, & that is how our vocal ensemble began.
this was many kalpas before the earth took such a dense &
definite form. everything was more permeable then, joined
yet by etheric strands of willingness & humility.

i sang with the stars in a harmony of clear crystalline
tones & sonorous gut-deep moans. we would send our voices out
into the ethers like a school of fish spreading out to bless
& explore wondrous new realms. we were a net of consciousness
in a vast ocean of love, those many long kalpas ago.

when i was a whale in the pure blue-green depths of the ocean,
hungry & yearning, i sang with the stars until nothing was
left but sound & light. we would combine & melt together in
a vast harmonic oversong that continues to resound.
it is rooted in our ancestral dreamtime & even yet
flourishes here, in the midst of this current deep density.

Shiva, You taught the stars to sing & then they taught me, way back
when i was a whale in the ancient ocean in that early
version of earth. i still recall the holy magic of that
great cosmic outpouring of sound, & i rejoice in it yet.

memories of that age are woven deep down within the strands
of dna, still resonant with that timeless euphoric
blending of amicable entities. they join sea & sky
in their dulcet pulsing music of light & sound, aimed like an
arrow at the target of the heart. thank you for this, Shiva!

like a river of sweet healing

Buffalo River internet image
there flows a river, cool, deep & mysterious in many places,
yet shallow, clear & inviting in other locales where it broadens
to tumble over smooth water-sculpted stones. the river shelters, on 
her wild pebbled shores, secret sites of profound quiet communion with
companionable energies. hidden realms of vague otherworldly
ambiances flirt with the edge of my vision, subtly enticing.

these are my favorite places. Here, i can be raptly immersed in
sacred primal natural healing. the sun & sky, trees, water, stones:
they speak in tactile messages to the old lizard living at the
back of the animal brain. all of these peaceful blessed beings croon
tuneful comforting ageless mantras to the body's very bones. trees
softly murmur their undertone counterpoint, & the breath gently adds
its own quiet rhythm to the chorus. the river harmonizes
with her liquid burbling melody. lying on the rounded river
stones by the slow-flowing water, i let go, relax & join the flow.
breathing & being, i merge into the entirety of it all
for an allotted eternity, until the mind comes nibbling at
my fingertips, pushing me to pick up my pen & find words to share.

both nature & the mind are active,  prolific, wanting to reach out,
wanting to exclaim, "look! see the holiness, behold the divine hand
ever reaching out to us, blessing." i look, see & listen deeply,
holding it all cupped fast in the depths of my innermost chamber for
Your blessing, Shiva, You who are the Lord of all tender living things.
i am Your innocent little child, Shiva, holding out my pretties
so that You, too, can enjoy the glory of their wonder & beauty.

nature does this to me: erases the thin clear veneer of subtle
separation that goes with civilization, education &
enculturation. nature rises up within the body, urging
the crimson flower of the heart to spread its petals wide & soak up
the light of cosmic love pouring down like a river of sweet healing.
 

the heart knows this

what do i seek out, time & again? what does my heart compel me
to search for? not money, fame or possessions. not status, land or
followers: i turn my back on those. what calls me? i face into
the rising sun, a fragrant red rosebush at my side, the sweet song
of a wood thrush soaring up from the nearby grove of tall oak trees.
nature comes closest to what i seek, & has helped to pass the time.
once i  thought it was companionship with accepting people, but
that human realm is replete with shifting alliances, & it
ultimately offers no lasting truth. we seem to repeat the
old ingrained patterns of the dusty past while striving to break free.

i look for the absence of attachment, for freedom from the leash
that restrains my hands from removing the tightly knotted blindfold.
why do i look outside anyway? i only want You, Shiva.
although other things are attractive, my heart opens only to
You, my love: for You alone does the heart become warm & melt into
complete acquiescence. only for You does the body relax
its grasp upon the allure of the world. only for You, Shiva,
do i release all that i thought was true so that You can fill me
with the truth that brings me refuge forever within Your domain.
it is my true home. the heart knows this & has never forgotten.

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.

other levels of the game

internet image
if i were to immerse myself in a cyberspace virtual world,
it would be akin to what i am doing here in this world of the
western mindset. here i train the body to be the compassionate
detached observer of life's unfolding events through the various
daily dramas. i seek to navigate them consciously & kindly.
this brings the exit door of maya's theater of thrills into view
& more options become available, other levels of the game.

i search for the source & essence of that which captivates my desire.
where does all this creation come from? how does it originate? how
else to find out than to venture deeply within, beyond the realm of
maya's dramas to the emanating inner point of awareness?
by way of immersion into the secret chamber of the heart, i
find Shiva, the lord of the animal body, who abides therein.
He shepherds me through the iterations of change to the very source.

Shiva has various names & forms & they are all teachers & guides.
when i turn my focus inwards, away from the changing outer world
towards the realm within myself, Shiva likewise turns His face to me
in the way that i can best resonate with & respond to. i have
guidance & the warm sustenance of subtle divine companionship.

Shiva is the steward of virtual reality, counting this
one i find myself in at the birth of this body. He is quite set
upon awakening me to my full potential of awareness.
i accept His offer! Let the good times roll in total immersion!

the open doorway of the sky

things that float & fly trigger primal joy & amazement in us:
birds, butterflies, bubbles & balloons; airplanes, spaceships,
ufos. they draw our attention up to the sky, to the sun, moon & stars
& other wonders too precious & arcane to divide into
diagrams of nouns, verbs & their modifiers, arranged much like
bricks in a wall to assure properly predictable results.

things that float & fly need abundant space, emptiness, freedom, an
openness so vast that the human mind pours itself into a
quietude that watches & wonders without structured boundaries.
You came to me in that way, Shiva, through the open doorway of
the sky, & You established Your home in my heart. You made of me
a temple, a place of worship & rejoicing over all these
long years since my youth. You were my nameless, invisible
companion & confidant & i was the one who held You close.

now, at the endgame of this life, You have given me Your name to
strengthen my sadhana & to encourage me to continue
on here. i'm as though among the singers in a chorus, holding
the notes steady & pouring my heart into the great thundering
sonic concluding celebration of soaring sound. You lift me
skyward, Shiva; You take me to that high place inside that feels like
being on a mountain top with all the shining mystery spread
before me. i fall into You, into that mystery, & it
is none other than the vast undivided Self that exists free
of definition & delusion. here, at the outer edge of words,
things that float, fly & fall need boundless space, emptiness & freedom.

juggling soap bubbles

some things are just too precious & delicate to speak of
in human words. they wiggle sideways, squirm & slide away
& only the yearning to touch that mystic realm remains.

it is more real & alive than anything down here
that comes with rules & penalties. it has taken my heart
hostage & the baffled mind is left juggling soap bubbles
by the light of the dim waning moon, murmuring softly.

Shiva walks the burning grounds in clouds of dust & ashes.
i join my steps with His by the flickering of the fire,
& he lays a crown of soap bubbles on my waiting head.
i smile & do not speak. my heart is full. there are no words.
they finally fall short. i walk silently with Shiva.
nothing given in words lasts, but the heart can point the way.

it can’t be hidden

beyond all form & function, beyond the need for a name:
within the innermost vastness, deep, unknown & dark, You
are here now in bold vivid presence. i don't know just how
i discern it, yet i feel You as if You're my own breath,
soft & full way down inside me, warm & welcome within,
moving gently although unseen, known in silence alone.

breath rises & falls & even speech is quiet at last,
yet still You remain lingering in Your home in the heart.
beyond all form & function, beyond the need for a name:
even so, i call You Shiva, the name that is inscribed
somewhere inside so deeply down it can't ever be lost,
even within the vastness unknown, where it shines as a
spark of Your light. it can't be hidden; it can't be quenched.