our bodies are hardwired to respond attentively to all that
resembles a face. we are good at seeing faces in clouds, in the
grain of wood, in flowers, in the patterns of stars in the deep night sky.
we live in the midst of many beings & we are naturally
responsive to all that is similar to us & potentially
our kin. it is the face, though, that really turns us on & lights us up.
i think that it is to remind us that we have a lot in common
with all existence. we all share the same basic elements in our
bodies as the blazing stars do, as meteors, as elephants, as
deep sea dwelling creatures do, as the most distant ancient galaxies
do. in fact, everything is made from the same primal holy substance,
so we all are far more similar than we ever are different.
it's all a matter of what one is looking for, & it is wise to
seek what we have in common, because on a mystic quantum level,
we are all there is! Shiva enjoys His laughter through us as we now
find our way back to Him through all the numberless faces & stars &
galaxies. He takes us the long way home sometimes because we seem to
need the experience it brings. the short way is no easier, just
faster, but sometimes we do need that. Shiva is generous with help.
that's why he has given us the gift of a body that is hardwired
to see faces everywhere. He has given us a big hint with that
one! life is all-pervasive, & wherever we look, we are seeing
ourselves in another form, looking back at us, over & over.
for five years now i have seen my life history in a new way.
before You came to the forefront of my regard, Shiva, i saw
a random collection of chaotic & confusing events
that i tried to make my way through as best i could. i was aware
of a general guidance in my life that took me from place to
place & adventure to adventure. i always heeded it, for
i knew that a great power was present. i was attuned to that.
You finally show Yourself to me at this time of the endgame,
the final act of the play. i didn't know it would become so
intense & immediate, right at the center of awareness.
because of the quickening Your presence provides, these past events
& adventures fall into a coherent story revealing
the awakening soul coming forth at last. there are no loose ends
any more, no dreadful mistakes or shameful blunders or sorrows.
after eighty-one years, patterns emerge resolving confusion.
it all fits together clearly now, every one of the baffling
puzzle pieces is snugly & meaningfully aligned in place.
i know that beauty & goodness is emerging from it. i know
that the story spilling out is intended to be a blessing
& an offering. i know that i am much more than the body
& its history. i can feel the holy ripeness of this time.
this is where You come in, Shiva. Please teach me kindly to quiet
the mind & calm the inner activity, that i may mirror
You to the outer world more completely. i humbly invite You
to intervene where necessary. my life is Yours already;
please help me to sustain it with grace, kindness & open-hearted
humor, that Your radiant light may stream without obstruction through
me, even here in this place of final attunement & blessing.
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.
i am a modular being, layered like a cake. the body,
mind & feelings compose the ego-personality layers,
& the witness stands central as portal to You, Shiva, making
the cake of me multidimensional, bridging & blending realms,
giving You access through me to pour bright energy to the world.
as witness i'm like a comicstrip superhero, peeling off
the outer layers of my disguise. i step forth when the need calls
to be the willing witness who can see the gift of the patterns
organizing the richly varied drama of daily life.
i aim to be detached so that no harm can ever befall me.
yet maya still seduces by lavishing me with my fondest
wishes, now fulfilled, luring me back to her sticky web. desires
i never knew were there have merely lurked just beneath the surface,
awaiting their cue to surge forward, & i am stuck yet again.
i'm caught once more in a situation i never saw coming
& don't want to let go, all layered enticingly & well.
where is my one-pointed awareness? where is my heart flying free?
where is that cool-headed detachment when i'm stuck here in maya's
web? You've brought out my hidden attachments, Shiva, the acceptance
i had never dared hope for before, & i get to unravel
the ties & the knots that i wasn't aware were there. it feels like
do-it-yourself open-heart surgery, & i'm clumsy at best.
maya entices me to plunge into the world where i'm whirled through
the cycles, the ups & the downs, with many a story to tell.
Shiva, You use all of maya's ruses to hone my edges as
sharp as keen knives that i freely may cut through the many ties that
weigh me down, bind tight & hold me back. i need to see it all through
to the final credits at the end & then the lights will come on
again. You will be revealed by my side to the inner vision
as maya shifts the scene & the music rises to bridge to the
next episode. the detached witness rises once more within to
do it all again, yet on a higher turn of maya's spiral.
this is our dance, Shiva, round after round, recognizing & then
refining the moves of the drama, turning the darkness to light.
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.
following Your guidance, Shiva, i continue to review
my life story & the blinders placed there by memory &
society, finally revealed & stripped of their power.
You have ripped the bandage from the wound & healed it with Your touch.
You healed it with Your touch, strongly resembling a surgical
procedure, as the whole is freed from the iron grip of the
presumptuous part. i need a new perspective now. it's time.
the upheaval of the quaking earth i long considered firm
beneath my feet has flung me out of my resting place & tossed
me in the air. & that is how i learned to fly & look from
there on high to see the patterns playing out in a vast expanse.
i see the story scrolling by, the hidden now revealed--&
this life makes sense, i can see it now. this life makes sense at last!
this life makes sense at last as the hidden stands revealed,
shaped by Your holy hands to prepare me for the part i play.
all i've learned in the past must now be dropped, must be left behind,
just like the empty chrysalis when the butterfly takes flight
& forgets all that had come before as if it were a dream.
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!