it seems in reverie that our various human lives are like leaves
swirling in the chill breeze of fall. they are sublimely brilliant, poignant
& pure, swiftly gone, whirling on, flying into pieces in the wind.
each life is different, yet they are also alike in many ways.
they are nuanced with deeply meaningful patterns, tender, touching &
precious. heroic stories are played out in swiftly gliding glimpses
that grip & sweep the viewer far inside to the heart of mystery.
& then they are gone: all the human lives, like the swirling leaves, flying
into pieces in the fingers of the wind within the witnessing sky.
ah, Shiva, You tell me to look beyond the transient to that which
remains continuously present as source essence. You are formless
& vast, & i am a focal point of You, extended into form.
let the leaves & lives fly by: i will return with them to formlessness.
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.
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.
little spider, i am surprised that i miss you & the intensity
of your being overlighted by a vaster intelligence & will.
i felt as if a great mothership hovered overhead, surrounding us
in a numinous mystical energy field. everything was vivid,
crisp & focussed. it was powerful, unsettling, yet it was also like
a surprise visit by an honored & well-loved celebrity of note.
little spider, you touch my life in a tender way, like a gentle tap
on the shoulder to awaken me. you have changed my perspective away
from the conditioned, limited humanocentric view towards a far
broader & more inclusive way of seeing life. your visit has blessed me.
thank You, Shiva, for this exalting & humbling experience, which
clearly demonstrates to me that all things & beings are far more than the
face which they ordinarily reveal. we all, without exception, are
sacred seeds of the uttermost divine deity & we would do well
to recognize this & to treat each other in just this very manner.
what a powerful thing, to hold one another in the esteem of our
focussed attention. it's like sitting by a clear rushing stream that blesses
with the ripple & surge of its cooling flow. the energy is healing,
& i thank You, Shiva, for taking me with You into the mystery.
it happens once that a river bids me to come & lie on its
long water-smoothed swathes of stone beach & touch its fossil runes &
time-sculpted stone poetry. the wisdom of the heart informs my
fingertips & i am enraptured by the river: its limestone
bluffs, meandering expanses of tactile river-refined stones.
they tell aeonic-long tales of the survival & ascension
of creatures from another geological age than this one.
they move me to my deepest heart & core. here at the core i find
my sincere root connection to this life, this realm wherein i now
find this body. it is embedded in the moment just as the
fossil beings are embedded in stone. i am not separate
from all that surrounds & supports me. i too am an expression
of Shiva here. what a grand dance this truly is: the minerals
in these bones & the dust on the moon, all one big cosmic event!
i tell this to the river as we lie on the stones in the sun,
blessed by the touch of warmth right down to our boulders, pebbles & bones.
i share my last dream, in which the river blesses me with a stone
imprinted with the stylized shape of an eye. this is the potent
dream--my invitation--that brings me here today, down the long rough
country road to the hidden winding path toward the swift river.
this Shiva-blessed river is kin to the great Ganges springing
from snow-melt in the far Himalayan heights half a world away.
i tell this to the river as we lie side by side in the sun.
once again i feel time & space shift & blend inexplicably,
a fresh fossil moment showing its story to be seen & known,
not hidden any more. we have no secrets, stripped down to essence,
to the wholeness of all existence. the river & i, under
the sun & sky: we lie together on the bedrock of it all
& Shiva holds us in the fullness of His pure eternal love.
He is another sun, hidden behind the one we see, concealed
within the mystery of the secret chamber within the heart.
the river knows this mystery too & is smiling in the way
that rivers can: with a thousand thousand bright shining glints of light.
now at my feet i see revealed the sacred stone of my deep dream,
emerging to be my talisman & companion wherever
Shiva sends us, graced with helpful dreams & miracles as we go.
this stone is known as "Shiva's eye," a guardian on my altar.
the river is the buffalo, the first national river park,
protected from development for all its wooded winding length.
Shiva holds us close to Him, me & the buffalo river stone.
we dream together of lessons learned & goodness to be revealed,
& the river flows clear & i rejoice: OM NAMAH SHIVAYA!
i see them draw together,
i observe them pull apart:
the sun & moon in a space
embrace, joining holy hearts.
flaming embers fall to earth,
descend from the cloudless sky,
hinting at the mystery
that the soul will not deny.
Shiva's dance goes on & on
as galactic seasons change.
His music calls. i respond
as i always do, again.
i see us draw together,
i observe us pull apart
in this sacred dance of life
wherein i give You my heart.
a quick storm blows in, rolling & flashing through the huddled mountains in the springtime afternoon,
churning & darkening the sky slowly to slate. i stand outside watching an orb move
through the fallow field, appearing as bright as a firefly at first, yet nearing & becoming
obviously much larger & more amazing, weaving from side to side in serpentine fashion:
a ball of fire the size of a human heart meanders up the ragged field, gliding freely
like a sentient being exploring a new place, lingering, then speeding on, alive! You!
it is You, Shiva, touching my life again, sending wonders to me like tender love letters!
You hover two meters up in the air now, the mountain before you watching through many eyes.
All existence seems to take a breath, full & still, waiting for a message, a resolution.
You, a magical intelligence from an unknown realm, are spearing me with astonishment
as You turn & glide back & forth down the field the way You came, curving smoothly through the charged air.
bright & buoyant, radiating Your presence, You pause for a timeless moment, a quiet instant.
i am caught up in the pure wonder of Your livingness as You are poised in the lucent air.
suddenly, as if a decision is made, You swiftly cut through the air, move away from me,
& plunge into the woods on the far side, returning into the mystery, departing here.
i am hanging off the cliff of my amazement, feeling something hard crack open deep inside,
feeling the pulsing powerful wholeness of You pulling me from my makeshift shelter of words
& plans & desires & lists & laundry & cooking & that necessary car maintenance.
oh Shiva! You know how to split & splinter my careful house of scheduled events into scrap!
a few days later i follow Your path through the trees: i know that You are not done with me yet.
a recently fallen old tree lays in a clearing by the creek, offers a log to sit on.
i meditate there for hours by the water, downloading the message that You have left for me,
feeling the key of it fit into the keyhole of the lock i didn't know was on my heart,
sensing You seat Yourself there centrally. You have come to remind me that I am vowed to You
& all else is my field of service & cannot replace You as primary & focal.
without You my life is scattered dust & ashes, grey & choking, smothering fragile new growth.
with You all takes on a magical aura of wordless communication, hyperreal.
Shiva, You are my primal addiction & without You i quietly suffer & sicken.
You are the essence of life & the body & personality serve You honorably.
You are the indwelling life that gives form its allure. i seek You & release focus on form.
Thank You for the gift of knowing Your name & the ability to recognize Your presence!
i’m not obedient to society. i am restless & questioning, persistent in pushing against the edges & borders. i don’t identify with culture or race or nation or gender or wealth or title. the body appears human. the indweller is vaster, more inclusive than named alone.
ah, Shiva! the mind can see & say a lot, yet it all so swiftly changes & flows on. only You can remain constant in this realm. only You are truly present within me when the whole construct crashes down to the ground.
the transformative cycle begins anew in this realm of infinite variety where i cleave to You as the only constant. You are my magnetic north, my sun & moon. i take up this changing role for You alone, as Your expression of transformation. thus, i’m not obedient to society. i am Yours alone, Shiva, embodied here in this shining mystery as Your blessing.