there is a forest where each tree will greet us like a dear old friend
who delights in seeing us again. we know we are home here.
we know that the body has come from this moist, rich soil & has brought
hidden greetings from ancient veiled beings. we know that home is here.
there is a forest where the boulders speak of the time when they were
temples. they now innocently confess that they are still temples,
sheltered by the forest for the sincere seeker of the sacred.
we will feel peace here, wholeness & the tingle of awakening
deep inside, invisible to the loud crowd of pressing people
pacing to the measured steps of the socially required motions.
there is a forest that bathes us in cool deep green serenity.
when we touch the tender new ferns & vines with our bare fingertips
they tell us that we are welcome here, now & forever at home
in this quietly breathing forest graced by slow shifting sunbeams.
"you were born here before," the trees tell us, "& we remember you."
we know this is true because the body responds eagerly to
the dim cellular memory. we have never felt more at home
than when we are communing with trees, stones & plants in the depths of the
leafy living forest where the birds can be heard rejoicing in
their wings & songs. "sing freely," cry the birds, "that's what voices are for!"
so we dare to sing & we know that goodness is at the root of
everything & that the forest is made of the same stuff as the
human body & we are close kin, sharing genes & molecules,
breathing together to sustain life. "we are holy through & through,
every atom holy & blessed," say the trees, "nothing is left out."
Shiva, You made them thus to be our teachers. we are all blessed from
the very beginning, for every atom is made of blessings.
the trees know this & they have been teaching us for millennia.
when we go into the forest we can hear them murmuring truth
into the wind. Shiva, You urge us to listen, for You are their
Lord & Protector. they tell us to live in deeply respectful
harmony & devotion: Shiva, help us to be more like trees!
it's all interior, nothing much that comes to action --
a certain peace, a quiet calm, an acceptance of now.
i have little to show to the world, Shiva, few good deeds
or great service. just a subtle subjective shift, a deep
bond with You, whom i feel abiding now within my heart.
even this becomes dim & murky when the world looms large.
this is a long grim struggle, Shiva, just to hold steady.
i tire. i sag. i observe the fading of memory.
the mind is such a rebel, refusing obedience.
i am bereft, adrift, undone, hard-pressed as a person.
the old costume was cast off long ago. i have none now.
i have only You, Shiva, Your tender inner presence.
all in all, a pretty good trade for who i thought i was.
You guide me from within & weave Your presence through the day.
You are real, constant, unchanging, ever-present, central.
all in all, a pretty good trade for who i thought i was!