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.
i am floating in the night sky, a cloud in the moonlight. i have no
fingers for grasping & securing, no feet for running & jumping.
i have no eyes to see appearances, no mouth to speak of myself.
the mind is awed by the cascading torrents of stars & disappears
into silence. it's consumed by stars & silence & the rolling flow
of currents of electromagnetic energy swirling up from
the earth & down from mysteries invisible, unknown & unseen.
the moon's gravitational field gently enfolds me as i float high
in the nighttime sky, a cloud in the soft moonlight; yet i am neither
deaf nor blind, merely immensely detached. perhaps my form may appear
as human at times, but i would rather be a cloud soaring above
earth, looking into the arcane depths of deep space where dark matter,
quasars & galaxies are clumped thickly like glitter on black velvet.
it's peaceful to cease being human for a little while & just to be
a cloud floating in the night sky in the moonlight. it's hard to hurt
a cloud. they do not bleed or complain & they mind their own business.
as cloud or human, i'm an innocent expression of Shiva, who
lives in every atom & holds all form together & sometimes lets
it fall apart. i rest in Shiva & float where He flows, like a leaf
carried by the river or a cloud in the depths of the nighttime sky.
it's good that being in a human body is not a full time job!
the body is temporary. that which enlivens it is eternal. i am that enlivening spark, knowing the body as a beloved companion animal, responsibly attending to its basic needs.
here's the challenge: the mind interprets the body's needs very broadly, hence alertness is called for. the body's genuine needs are not so pressing as the mind's elaborations. discrimination is needed. mind & body dance in partnership &, as the detached observer of them both, a balance of discipline & care evolves. sometimes the body simply cannot have what it wants. the mind defends the body's desires, hence alert observation, detachment & firmness is necessary.
just as mind & body dance in partnership, Shiva, so You dance with me in this continuing sadhana, this fierce unfolding blessing from You.
i am not meant to fit in or conform. i am made for the part of
independent observer & outsider, watcher & listener.
the body can no longer assert ties to my guardianship, for
Shiva invites me to withdraw my vigilance over the body's
condition & to release it to its natural process. i do.
i release the body to its fate. i focus instead on Shiva:
knowing Shiva, breathing Shiva, seeing, tasting, smelling & touching
Shiva. i plunge deep into Shiva & take full refuge in Shiva,
that i may live truly in Him, for i know that my home is not here.
Shiva, hear my lament! or maybe it's a rallying cry for the
forces of light to shine out ever more brightly & vividly.
Shiva, hear my lament! or perhaps it's the dying cry of the
ego as it exhausts the vasanas of the mind in weariness.
Shiva, hear me in my loss & confusion & have compassion for
this slowness & ignorance. hold me tightly as the ties to the world
dissolve in the natural process of this transformation & flux.
life is eternal; awareness is cosmic; words rest in the light of
sudden pure direct knowing, & pieces & parts are one with the whole.
the daily critique of people & events runs on one channel.
the witness of this drama watches it from another channel.
where do i place my voluntary attention & heartfelt choice?
at each moment there is a purposeful return to the witness.
over & over the urge manifests to see truly, clearly,
not to indulge in the ego drama of fierce feelings, needs &
iron preferences enclosing like binding chains & blinders.
if nothing more is done for sadhana than this alone, at least
this much is completed to coax & invite deeper awareness.
hence the mind's tv is tirelessly tuned to the witness channel,
forming the habit of divine detachment as a point of view.
it will eventually happen that the tv is turned off
& that there are no channels at all available any more.
now comes the singularity, the formless blending foretold
by quantum physics & the upanishads & psychedelics.
as the event horizon nears, i surrender the mind to You.
ah, it's better that my heart should thirst & pine after You, Shiva,
than to encounter the hungry ghosts of the active agile mind!
events burst freely into being, filled with their possibilities.
all existence is a vivid burst of creative exploration,
magnificent with enfolding nuance, color, fragrance, mystery.
Shiva, i am blessed to be aware of sharing this event with You,
blended & fused in essence & expression, fluid & calm, contained.
we commingle yet include all, as a galaxy includes its stars
within its own wheeling course in the vaster dynamic universe.
iterations & reflections of unity cycle & orbit
around the originating cause in an ongoing creation.
what a blessing, Shiva, to be dancing this tandava with You,
celebrating the liberation of the mind from the burden
of identification, domination, judgement & conscription!
events burst freely into being, filled with their possibilities!
for aeons uncounted You have abided.
for aeons uncounted i have sought You
through the denseness of the concealing flesh,
through the dark of the awakening heart.
this is the time of our fated meeting,
the union of soul & spirit confirmed.
the world shivers in anticipation
of this grand cosmic union, long foretold.
the soul has proclaimed this primal vision
to the stuttering, stumbling slow mind
who carefully counts the syllables
of a poem on the fingers of both hands.
now the poem has emerged from the pen,
spilling out upon this clean white paper.
in this very manner continents shift
& cosmic patterns align in the sky.
for uncounted aeons we glide in dance,
turning again through the stars & the dust,
trailing the veil which no longer conceals
the bright light of the awakening heart.
even though i seem to be identified with the functioning of the mind,
even though i fall short in many ways & at times grope blindly in darkness,
even though i frequently sink into a bleak forgetting & yearn for help,
You do not abandon me & You stand ever-present in the heart's viewpoint.
You do not abandon me because You are the very source of who i am.
only the mind cares about abandonment & measuring up to ideals.
only the mind compares & judges, approves & condemns & sets stern values.
only the mind can turn away from You, lost in the transient storms of thought,
yet You are always available to the call of the sincere open heart.
You are available, Shiva, always standing nearby, ever supporting.
i know this as i become aware of the entrapment of the agile mind
& therefore i persevere in remaining steady, grateful for Your presence.
this small passing mote of human dust gives thanks to You, the divine source of dust
& bright stars & swirling galaxies, coming to me in a way i can grasp.
i salute You, Shiva, & rejoice in Your pure light & Your deep mystery.
when i talk to You, Shiva, detachment slowly happens.
no longer can i repeat the tired old stories in my head.
they dissolve & show their essential unreality
as patterns that keep repeating habit-like in the mind.
they are just snapshots of a passing moment, inflated,
grasped, given importance by other's firm opinions.
the mind is choked with all this mental debris, mirroring
the rafts of plastic garbage cluttering our blue oceans
& the poisons leaching from dumps, fouling the groundwater.
i won't go there anymore. i feel the danger. i know.
i turn my back on the chatter of inner dialogue
& face toward You, Shiva, who has shown me this wisdom.
You are the antidote to the poison i have swallowed
& i hold fast to You, placing You foremost in the mind.
purify my thoughts, Shiva, please remind me of You.
i want You to fill the mind with Your clarity & light.
i want to fall into You like a rushing waterfall!
catch me like the ocean that i may dissolve into You!