i am

i am a stone at the bottom of the cascading stream,
smoothed by its invisible elemental cool fingers.

i am the sky in the water, the water in the sky,
the many in the one & the one within the many.

i am the music of the water splashing & tumbling
over the shoulders of the bowing hills, & rejoicing.

i am speech & the subtle space between the streaming words.
i am the silence & the fragrance of the peaceful heart.

i am an expression of You, Shiva, discovering
again my personal absence in Your holy presence.

this knowing that “i am”

Shiva, i am learning to know all substance as Your body &
all beings with varying forms & functions as Your expressions.
the density of matter cloaks complete knowledge of You, although
You truly are the all-pervading essence of that which remains
to awareness after the transitory departs yet again.

this grand drama of life gives birth to the earthly realm, with humans
& many other beings populating it in a dance of
flowing creativity in a subtle evolving pattern.

Shiva, i know that this body, the source of personality,
is shaped by genes, conditioning & impacting outer events.
therefore it is not who i really am, as You often point out.
i learn slowly, glad that You patiently persist in Your teaching
that who i really am is the one constant steady awareness
that remains vivid when all else is gone: this knowing that "i am",
the same indwelling wisdom common to all created beings.

Shiva, You are above, below, surrounding & within: source,
quest & destination. You are the universal medicine.
like a great tide You are upon me, sweeping me up in the flood
of Your expression, calling me to the heart, core & center of
all the various comings & goings of daily human life.
wherever i focus i see You at the living heart of it.

i know how it finally ends. i know that the light of kindness
will once more prevail & that darkness will again lessen & that
this dance will continue as it always does. this endless cosmic
glory is like a flower opening from bud, blooming, wilting,
fading, falling, releasing the seeds of new flowers to repeat
another sacramental cycle of Your rhythmic dance, Shiva.
i am looking within to the heart's chamber where You dwell & i
simply want to be with You in the refuge of Your calm presence.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

like darkness into dawn

i was blind for much of my life, Shiva:
blind to Your presence & power, to You
as the essence & core of all things &
beings. i was unaware & drifting.

i was blind to all but the surface. the
superficial outer aspect lulled me
to sleep in a deep hypnotic dreaming
that was decades in length & deadening.

yet night turns to day inevitably,
thus i finally awaken when You
relentlessly thrust me forth from my rut.
it was furnished with my favorite things,
though i chafed at its narrow restrictions.

now my sight returns & i see the truth
of Your presence. there's no escaping it.
now that i see Your ubiquity, my
heart frees the old bolts that held the door closed.

my heart is vowed & pledged to You, Shiva.
although i am a late bloomer, You wait
until my blossom is full wide open.
now i am here before You, patiently
offering it to You in tender love.

i'm blinded by the outer no longer,
coming to You stripped of worldly dowry.
i am transparent to Your ceaseless light,
rainbows shining wherever You touch me,
words dissolving like darkness into dawn.

Your touch

You touch me with a gentle nudge of friendly tenderness,
though You express through the insubstantial & not through flesh.
i feel You nevertheless: Your signature energy, Your
fragrant spiritual love that inspires the best in me.

there is a fountain of light hidden deeply within me.
Your dear presence brings it alive with sparkle & color.
You warm the very center of me with Your touch of fire,
with your inviting calmness & radical acceptance.

there are no gazing eyes, no tempting lips, no shapes or forms.
there is love that feels like ice melting slowly in sunshine,
releasing into light the cold hard form that had seized it.
in Your light, Shiva, edges & borders blur & dissolve.

Your touch is like the delight of a rainbow remembered
for its extraordinary timing & divine glow.
it lives, keeping me company while the fountain of light
at my core explodes like fireworks bursting into flowers.

when the sky splits open

when the sky splits open & sunshine pours
through the broken clouds, i see You, Shiva.
You have no form, yet Your presence is strong.

may the heart be touched & blessings kindled.
may sweetness be released to permeate
all who dwell in deep appreciation
of the sheer wonder of sky overhead
& breath in the warm animal body.
may we bow to Your fragrant presence here,
Shiva. You make beauty from brokenness
& angels from the most humble among us.

when the sky splits open & sunshine pours
golden honey through the clouds, i see You
turning toward this fierce realm. i mirror
You, shining light out freely to the world.
this light is Your own, recycled through me,
giving form to the formless, love to all.

gratitude & humility

i lay sick & powerless in a bleakly raw subjective realm.
Shiva, i sought You but there was no ability to connect.
i had little capacity to focus. neither mind nor heart
was able to hold steady nor could the body find restfulness.

i saw the inescapable fact of transience & that the
body, from birth to death, is at the mercy of the fickle world.
i saw the fixed agenda of the sociocultural rule
& the curtailing framework of dogma, belief & submission.

the shiny domain of civilization seemed rather uncivil
as the coronavirus occupied my senses & raged its
own battle against the entrenched forces held deep down within
body & mind, digging up the time-worn bones of old suffering.

i felt dispirited, Shiva, & vulnerable to culling
for the offense of inconvenient & unwelcome viewpoints.
i lay there unable to register Your presence & feeling
like a pariah outcast refugee from another planet.

this is where i see in my own life that the eternal goodness,
who is given myriads of names, has repeatedly blessed me
with supportive visions & insights. Shiva, You are the true source
of my sustenance & guidance, providing strength & endurance.

what need has the body for power when all power comes from You?
what is the need for seeking acceptance from other people
when You visit & love me within my heart's innermost chamber?
who in all this manifested place could possibly equal You?

You are the fire, Shiva, & i am a spark of You, flying
from Your fire into the frying pan of this hungry jagat earth
into this body, then forgetting. like the coronavirus,
this place greatly dulls intuitive spiritual awareness.

Shiva, thank You for providing me the experience of the
coronavirus blocking me from You & bringing its parade
of old energies to me. i endured it & outlasted it
& i bow before You now in gratitude & humility.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA!

Your holy presence

i see evidence of You here in my life.
just as i see the small unfurling green leaves
& know that springtime is surely very near,
so do i register Your holy presence.
there are no proper words, yet there is blessing,
there is the unfolding of a precious truth
nourishing the heart within the outer heart.

when i say Your name, You approach me closely.
i don't see You, yet i declare Your presence.
i don't hear You, yet we talk every day.
i would give up the world before i would lose You.
without Your presence, the world is like cardboard.
Shiva! You are the life within the body;
You are why there is a body here at all!
thus do i register Your holy presence.

You have no form

to me You have no form, though i love the forms ascribed to You.
You are essence, presence, numinous energy signature.
You are within me as i move in the vast ocean of You.
You signal to me through clouds & i reply in semaphore.

my whole life is a semaphore, an action-adventure play
designed to get Your attention, to call You to see my need.
i tire of action & searching & i turn within to rest.

so it is that in the calm of this silence, You come to me. You come.
You come like the breeze, like dew at dawn, like the stars emerging
out of nothingness into somethingness, calling out my name.
You wrap around me as if skin, & i breathe You like the air
until i grow bright as the crescent moon shining in Your hair,
placed in the darkness of Your hair, no longer able to speak,
silently rejoicing in You who are hidden in all forms.

You are essence & presence, evoking deep recognition.
You call Your own & i respond, fighting through forgetfulness.
i continually move forward, slowly & steadily.
Your energy is my primal imprint, marking me for You.
i am Your agent of transformation coming home to You.

like a second skin

for long years i have followed You from the burning ground, Shiva.
now You come to me in the turmoil of my kurukshetra.
i know this much: no matter what the surroundings & events,
i love You. i dwell upon You. i call You. i cling to You.
i wrap Your holy presence around me like a second skin
& this empowers me through the necessary severings:
the old falling away, the new pushing through the yielding dark
into the light, opening the shy heart, freeing the bound mind
from the burden of impeding ruminations & insults.

now You have come to me in my most private kurukshetra,
for i followed You from the heat & smoke of the burning ground.
Your presence strengthens me in this destined battle which i face.
Shiva, You are my shield & protection. You are my refuge.

through mature vision

i know now that You never did turn away from me
but gave the opportunity to heal deep-seated
karmic tendencies that needed focus over time.
for that i wandered through the lonely hinterland of
suffering & refinement of receptivity.

though always the memory of Your presence & grace
would warm me like the sweet gentle sunshine of springtime,
like a soft generous rain soaking into the earth,
like the sun patiently pulling the life from the seed
into the down-pouring soft radiant grace of You.

Shiva, we are fused in purpose & intent to bless.
gone are the days of raw youthful naive ignorance.
now i see compassionately through mature vision
how You persistently, continually touched me,
shaped me, held me, healed me & how, in the final view,
You auspiciously emerged from Your hidden home deep
within my heart's most intimate & sacred chamber.

You wear me today like a consecrated garment
as i am borne by You through this long incarnation
which i celebrate like a glad global holiday.
i am soaked through & through with Your divine love & grace
& i cannot stop these words that pour forth rejoicing,
rejoicing like a tree in the warm springtime sunshine!

Shiva, i am here

Shiva, i am here to talk to You & to stay focussed on Your wavelength
rather than to drift within the drama which i see dancing around me.
i see the cracking everywhere, the evidence of a dying age.
even beyond the human ferment i register the shifting aeons,
the mysterious powers that ebb & flow in the wild daily display.

Shiva, i am here to talk to You & to stay focussed on Your wavelength,
to look for Your hidden loving touch of presence, expressing tenderly,
rather than to fashion socially accepted scripts, repeating daily.
i come, appearing as this body-personality, offering it all.
i come to You raw, unfinished & coming apart, yet yearning for You.
This is the record of my sadhana, which gifts You with my total sum.

Your sacred warmth

i know You not by form but by Your tender presence felt within my heart.
i know You by the glow of warmth at my core, by the buoyancy within
my whole being, magnetized by & moving to You irresistibly.
i melt inside when i recall our meeting, the pure blending of essence.
i melt inside when i hear Your name, Shiva, & i overflow in these words
on paper celebrating You in all the ways & times of our union.

i am weaving threads of communion with You in this sincere poetry.
i realize repeatedly that You are central to this life, Shiva,
far more important than the cyclic comings & goings, the ups & downs,
the loves who come & the loves who go. You alone are my steady constant,
my anchor, the bond that thrills me to my existential reality.

i know You not by form but by Your tender presence felt within my heart.
my entire being is an open doorway for You to fully enter,
dissolving altogether that which appears as name & form, time & place.
beloved Shiva (i dare to speak as if i am holy Parvati),
hold me in Your sacred warmth as the gravid world travails in birthing pain.