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.
the wind is playing with the newly-leafed tresses of the nearby trees
today, tossing them about as if they were the long curls of intense
& passionate spanish dancers. i only see their shadows on my
curtains, but oh, how joyous they seem to be, flinging & swinging their
new spring leaves in dramatic sweeping curves of visual gratitude!
deep within, Shiva, there is springtime in the soul as well, reaching out
eagerly to You in Your guise as the solar winds to dance in grand
cosmic revelry. although i cannot see it directly, i do
notice the evidence of light & freely given exuberant
wonder & joyousness. i am stretching full out to catch it in the
fingers of subtle new awareness & discerning observation.
in this world, only the form is seen, & it too is beautiful in
the way that graceful moving shadows are when cast upon a curtain.
they draw us to open wide the curtain that we may see truly with
direct perception rather than partially & obliquely only.
yes, Shiva, everywhere i look i see Your messages & teachings.
the dancing shadow shapes of the leafing trees are Your fleeting greetings,
giving rise to a broad smile on my face & melting warmth in the heart.
i was talking casually with my friend claire, glancing at her,
when suddenly You flash out of her eyes & into me by way
of the eye. there is no time. there is only a vast, inclusive,
infinite belonging & melting oneness. intelligent life
leaps & dances forth, sweeps me into sweetness beyond compare.
it is all i have ever longed for & it enters me fully.
it is me. i am That. yes! my heart knows the wordless truth of it.
& i blink & return back to the conversation with my friend.
meanwhile, no time has passed &, for her, nothing at all has happened.
i didn't know You by name then, Shiva, yet i am wedded to
You & have been since i was 13, a chosen child bride promised
to a vast warm being of power, capable of anything.
that is Your nature, Shiva, & my nature is to be with You.
a few months pass. i am a passenger in a car, holding my
infant daughter in my arms. i look into her eyes & again,
Shiva, You join with me through the portal of the eye of my child.
this merging has no words & no story, only blissful love &
infinite sweetness beyond slow clumsy words or comprehension.
it is from the far distant realm of my heart's true ancestral home.
& i blink, back in the body, as if no time had passed, as if
i were just sitting in a car with other people, holding a
baby, as if the day were typical & i wasn't now blessed.
for i surely am, for we all surely are blessed, yet lacking the
full vision, the deep realization. we can only gaze upon
the far shore, glowing in the distance, & sincerely intend to
journey there in the fullness of time. i call You by name, Shiva,
to strengthen the energy between us, to get Your attention
& to propel myself forward. i am like an arrow that is
already loosed from the bow-string, speeding unstoppably to You.
my attention is focussed fully on You, Shiva, my dharma
& my destiny, & my heart knows the deep subtle truth of it.
when i look at my earlier life, it is as if i can see
a broken mirror that has been pieced together & glued upon
a firm surface. this, my earthly identity, is the broken
mirror, flawed, fragmented & in pieces. You, Shiva, are the firm
surface that holds all the broken pieces together, steadily
present in the background of awareness as i do my duties.
here in this maya of jagat, in the midst of all the shattered
& fractured illusions & dreams, You are that companion who holds
firm to dharma for the well-being of us all. You help to make
the vision clear before us, that we may see ourselves endlessly
held together & bound through divine compassion & bold wisdom.
the patterns made by the cracks in the mirror are but a needed
part of the story. everything has a story to tell, like the
wrinkles on an elderly face or the scars upon a body.
oh my Beloved, You upon Whom my earthly life depends, Who
reveal my true identity to me: Your name is on my lips.
ah Shiva, my Shiva! the sweetness of Your name melts upon my
tongue like warm honey & fills the heart with bliss. You are my very
ground of being, my oxygen & water, & i say Your name
as tonic for the healing of us all: OM NAMAH SHIVAYA!
this broken mirror shines with Your holy light, Shiva, my Shiva!
the daily happenings around me are the distractions that delay
going deep within to commune with You, Shiva. life in this earthly
world is focussed upon outer events. You call me away from that
to journey within my inner world to the wellspring of awareness.
thus i must turn my back on the social demands of the outer world.
i must find that internal source from which awareness arises &
flows & i must remain with that, returning always to the central
knowing that "i am", even in the midst of harsh discord & downfall.
Shiva, i am asking for Your help, asking You to have no mercy
toward my dullness & density, my declining ability
& errors of thought. hold me close & repair the damage. hold me close
& bless the shy & tender, the pure & innocent deep, deep within.
hold me close to You & please help me to know that You see through these eyes;
You hear through these ears & You live in this world as You function through me.
hold me through the soul's dark night & hold me through my own & all others'
ignorant stumbling towards the promise of light. i can no longer
endure the dead weight of the darkness in this world's long struggle lightwards.
yet of course i must. the work is before me, as You have given, &
i continue on here in this eternal now. even as i rest
against You, even as You hold me & i press against You so hard
& deep that only You remain, this existence does continue on.
i live in You & You live through me, as me. I press my lips to Yours & You speak through me, carrying me forward beyond the distractions
of the world into Your body of bliss. I thank You for Your mercy.
today the rising sun slides a finger of light into my room
for the first time since deep winter ruled in its darkness. until this
moment i'm not aware that my tiny room refrigerator
has rainbow glitter embedded in its shiny white face. the sun's
rays alone set it sparkling, as indoor light never before did.
i stand in delighted wonder to see the gleaming bright glory
of the tiny rainbow sparkles in the dawning light of this day.
i see the joke, Shiva, & burst out laughing. until the right light
comes at the proper time & angle, i cannot see the glitter
although the refrigerator has been here since fall of last year.
the glitter was there all the time, but i didn't see it till now.
how many miracles in this life do i miss because the right
conditions to see them are not yet fulfilled? potentially the
marvel is available, yet it is veiled from casual sight.
just because it isn't seen at this moment doesn't mean that it
isn't there, only that the unknown necessary conditions
have not yet been realized to unveil the manifestation.
i do what i must as i observe the unfolding of events.
i know that You are smiling, Shiva! i too am smiling at this
simple revelation that i don't have all the information
& therefore can find myself humbly & delightfully surprised.
may i be sincere in my efforts, for things can change in a flash.
having no power of my own, i am couched in limitless power.
knowing the eternal truth, external judgements find no home in me.
i have no home. i have no family, no worldly aspirations.
having no home, i am at peace right where i am. having no desire
to accumulate, i am as weightless as a bubble in the breeze
& i discover myself at last at rest just where i need to be.
every day i find myself anew. every night i release myself
from focussed form & resolute need. soon i will not exist distinct
in my originality, yet existence will go rolling on.
all is nested & folded into patterns beyond casual thought,
sliding through dimensions beyond & enfolding the usual three.
You are with me step by step, Shiva who lives in the cave of my heart.
You ignite the light that dims the dark, returning full color to sight.
i feel the sunrise in my heart in the long cold dark of winter &
now my sleep is over & ended, for my door is standing open.
my door is standing open & fingers of the sun are beckoning.
i have no body; i am formless & free, weightless as a bubble
in the breeze coming to rest, shining alight just where i need to be.
trees are family, dear ones who scent the air with their cool fragrant breath, who comfort & console. we even share much of the same DNA, for we both express through water-based bodies made from the minerals of the earth & its living organisms that swim free in our fluids.
trees, when known through the wisdom of the heart, are also honored as the universal donors of sacrificial saviors, offering their bodies as food, shelter, medicine & calming companionship.
with the subtle vision that You bestow, Shiva, i can see trees as a group consciousness having an individualized expression too, a gentle pervasive presence. under the umbrella of the high leafy canopy reaching overhead, the thirsty lips of the roots plunge down into the dark moist earth, drinking deep from hidden nutriment.
the roots partner in synergy with a widespread fungal network which joins the forest of trees into a single entity, consisting of individuals sharing & blending consciousness & nurture, into one united urge of loving protection & sustenance.
only superficially do trees appear as individuals. beneath the earth's surface they are actually linked in a widespread ecology of sharing, networked with their nearby forest neighbors.
ah Shiva! it comes to this again! the unity that dwells beneath the surface reminds us once more of divine wholeness & endlessly flirts with us, winking & flashing its alluring fullness & blessing.
it reaches out to us ceaselessly in beauty & connection, in subtle soft dreamlike pulses of kinship & alliance. thus do You continually extend Yourself to all who come to You in love.
Shiva, Your warm presence kindles light in the depths of the open heart. You invite me to sit by Your side, when i would but kneel at Your feet.
need is honed by the whetted knives of appetite & truly, Shiva,
i hunger for You. gone are home & husband: only You remain to
feel my need & only You, my panacea, can satisfy it.
after the hard fall from grace comes humility. after the blessing
of divine presence comes also humility, for what on earth can
long endure? i am like an autumn butterfly floating in the wind
as if a bright & tattered fallen leaf spiraling in circles not
of my own choosing. i am being carried home, Shiva, on this long
journey of return to You, yet another weary old butterfly
coasting on worn ragged wings & deeply rooted instinct
as the days grow shorter & cooler & the nights fall even colder.
the crisp clear nights are overseen by orion & the pleiades,
who make their promises & work their spell upon my stuttering heart.
i am promised to You, Shiva, carried & cloistered by messengers
who are following Your firm command. my life is not my own. even
my need & appetite do not originate with me but come as
endowments, strange puzzles concealing Your calling card & messages
written in subtle sensory glyphs which You have taught me how to read.
they say, "wear it out, burn it up, let it go & seek Me everywhere
as we play hide & seek in this burning ground of purification
called daily life on planet earth. I will carry you home at the end."
"are we home yet, Shiva?" i ask Him like a child, again & again,
& we giggle & play tag in body after body one more time.
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.
Shiva, You are the purity of light that sweeps across the psyche.
You set forth that which i now need to know for dispelling the shadows
falling over the vision, darkening, distorting & deadening.
You encapsulate me, holding me in the purity of Your light
as if i am an infant clasped in the mother's arms & suckled at
her soft breast. Shiva, Your fragrance is so sweet that i am dissolving
in it, becoming sweetness, emitting light like a beacon for lost
travelers, or like a campfire kept burning through the night to hearten.
Shiva, You are the intimacy of night, smoothing all the wrinkles
& rough edges that tell of a long arduous journey, soothing the
hungering heart with Your calm touch. the very atoms of You & i
embrace & intermingle in communion that words cannot reveal.
ah, but words can point the way & they can comfort & strengthen also,
until the silence grows so deep that it muffles & floods all else but
the purity of light & the long slow intimacy of the night.
we are at work in the mines of maya, clearing & refining,
opening space for light to shine. we need that light in this mine.
that which is dark & jagged, we polish, smooth & purify.
we ourselves are being refined in this manner by the gods
who, in their turn, are also being refined & clarified
for the refulgence of light, the renewal we want to feel.
oh how we fly when we can & how we crawl when we must!
the dense events of life can weigh us down with added gravity
& subsequent immobility. we are at work in the
mines of maya, cleaning, digging out the darkness to find the
subtle veins of light concealed in all things, yet accessible.
light is hidden everywhere, Shiva, for You gave us this gift:
the light that calls us home, the yearning in our hearts for Your grace.
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.