i welcome You, Beloved, to the open door of my waiting heart. all has been cleaned & blessed, Shiva. the air is scented with sandalwood & flowers are heaped in woven baskets: gardenias & hyacinths, roses & violets, honeysuckle & wisteria. i am drunk with the celebration of flowers, their laughter like tiny bells, their presence honoring You, Beloved who lives deep within. You are the raw living fire of consciousness, burning me sweetly, lifting me gently. i am Yours to consume utterly, to imbibe & savor. in this way i return to You, origin & source, who give me life even before time begins, bringing gifts of flowers & love that has no beginning or end but swallows us all fully into itself. here i am again, Beloved! let's dance this dance where two become one without a second & all melts into love scented with sandalwood. i welcome You, Beloved, to the open door of my waiting heart.
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!
need is honed by the whetted knives of appetite & truly, Shiva, i hunger for You. gone are home & husband: only You remain to feel my need & only You, my panacea, can satisfy it. after the hard fall from grace comes humility. after the blessing of divine presence comes also humility, for what on earth can long endure? i am like an autumn butterfly floating in the wind as if a bright & tattered fallen leaf spiraling in circles not of my own choosing. i am being carried home, Shiva, on this long journey of return to You, yet another weary old butterfly coasting on worn ragged wings & deeply rooted instinct as the days grow shorter & cooler & the nights fall even colder. the crisp clear nights are overseen by orion & the pleiades, who make their promises & work their spell upon my stuttering heart. i am promised to You, Shiva, carried & cloistered by messengers who are following Your firm command. my life is not my own. even my need & appetite do not originate with me but come as endowments, strange puzzles concealing Your calling card & messages written in subtle sensory glyphs which You have taught me how to read. they say, "wear it out, burn it up, let it go & seek Me everywhere as we play hide & seek in this burning ground of purification called daily life on planet earth. I will carry you home at the end." "are we home yet, Shiva?" i ask Him like a child, again & again, & we giggle & play tag in body after body one more time.
when i am meditating in my room or doing japa of Your name, i am heartened by the subtle ways that You gently reveal Your presence. here within these walls may drift the rich leafy-fresh scent of forest after rain. there may be a slow warm touch upon the cheek as if You are here by me. perhaps i suddenly feel Your heat melting the ancient chill in my heart, or i look out the window & see the clouds spelling Your name in holy script upon the sky. sometimes an almost-visible blessing wave may roll through me & i open my heart as wide as i can for love to pour out. i am nourished by You, Shiva, & i want to share Your kindness freely. OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
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.
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
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.
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 & 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.
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!
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.
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.