i understand that the sun is alive, a great sentient being,
a dear teacher who is surrounded by students, whom we call planets.
this earth, who gives substance for our bodies, is itself alive & in
the midst of its own spiritual unfolding & deep sadhana.
i see also that the human species comes from the quickening
planetary sadhana & our lives reflect the earth's urge to give a
grateful gift to our solar teacher who holds us safe in his body.
he also evolves in his own service to the living galaxy,
spinning in its sadhana like a great cosmic sufi in joyful
fervor with the venerable divine local group of galaxies.
they all gyre together in concert with the vaster galactic dancing
divinities throughout the huge far-flung deep field of untold billions
of galaxies visible to humans through our many instruments.
these immense living congeries of starbeings themselves constitute
a yet greater life unimaginable to flesh & bone lifeforms.
these networks of transgalactic beings express the outpouring called
"the big bang," a cosmic event that has got our full attention.
here we are, human beings peering into the vastest unknown that
we are capable of through our telescopes. we are created thus
by our earth, who gives us these bodies & the burning urge to explore.
oh Shiva! Your expression is vast & varied & the whole of it
constitutes You, spinning in Your dance of creative transformation.
You have given us a beginner's grasp of this immeasurable
existence & i am grateful for the all-embracing overview.
thank You, Shiva, for this immensity of interconnected lives:
transgalactic, galactic, solar & planetary. thank You for
the gods, devas, & unknown others who dance in this great creative
ensemble. we ourselves are an iteration of this grand dancing
cosmic life, kin to planets & stars. thank You, Shiva, for the guidance
& instruction & for being my dance-partner in this brief vision
of one little corner of this vast realm of metagalactic space.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
the daily critique of people & events runs on one channel.
the witness of this drama watches it from another channel.
where do i place my voluntary attention & heartfelt choice?
at each moment there is a purposeful return to the witness.
over & over the urge manifests to see truly, clearly,
not to indulge in the ego drama of fierce feelings, needs &
iron preferences enclosing like binding chains & blinders.
if nothing more is done for sadhana than this alone, at least
this much is completed to coax & invite deeper awareness.
hence the mind's tv is tirelessly tuned to the witness channel,
forming the habit of divine detachment as a point of view.
it will eventually happen that the tv is turned off
& that there are no channels at all available any more.
now comes the singularity, the formless blending foretold
by quantum physics & the upanishads & psychedelics.
as the event horizon nears, i surrender the mind to You.
ah, it's better that my heart should thirst & pine after You, Shiva,
than to encounter the hungry ghosts of the active agile mind!
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.
we are born of the earth & quickened by sun.
humanity is the planet's sadhana,
embodying its divine evolution.
we blunder our way toward kindness & light
as the systemic cycles of growth circle
& turn through vast cosmic dance steps, moving &
spinning out inexplicably strange blessings.
humanity is the planet's sadhana.
we blunder our way toward kindness & light,
irresistibly on the upward spiral.
i don't know why You want me here.
i don't know if what i do is
what You actually want from me.
i only know that You want me,
for You branded that deep within
my innermost wordless true self.
hence all my actions are given
to You in hope that i offer
that which is needful as You call
on me now to act in the world.
i use what You give. You give it
to be applied on Your behalf.
in the end, at the completion,
i only return what is Yours.
that You want me, this i do know
& nothing else really matters.
"talk to me," Shiva says, "nothing is too trifling, for I am the essence of everything here. you can talk to me." i hear Him in my heart & i wonder how He can care about such trivia.
"try Me," He says, "the open heart knows no trivia." feeling shy, i tell Him what i am doing now, how words reveal themselves for poems, like flowers unfurling petals to the nurture of sunlight, singing in the language of fragrant bright color, a hymn of gratitude, chorus after chorus.
"see what I mean?" Shiva says. "nothing is too small to hold the whole of creation at its center. talk to me," He says, "for this too is sadhana."
this is why my lips move silently within crowds & why my voice is heard in soft conversation when people are gone, for Shiva is here with me, teaching the art of divine inebriation without concern for the opinions of others.
He is right, for all my talking to Him keeps the door of my heart open wide & He enters & we talk together about pebbles & planets. when i can talk no more, He holds me in His heart.
You have given me a place to stand steadfast,
an identity beyond the human-born,
a way to face into life with dignity.
You opened Your heart to me & i entered,
steeped in ignorance & blind arrogant youth.
long have i kept Your memory deep within,
but like a ruby wrapped in ragged burlap
or precious art forgotten in an attic.
no longer, Lord Shiva, no, never again
will i dare turn away from Your instruction,
for age has given me the wisdom & love
to venerate only the dearest blessings
& You are the one who includes all of them!
You are that which remains when the transient
is no longer the focus of attention.
oh my Lord Shiva, how brightly You do shine
at the midheaven of mature awareness!
i now can place myself in this time-bound realm
only in relation to You, Lord Shiva,
who have given me a place to stand steadfast,
an identity beyond the human-born.
the mind yet has its training wheels to help it remain steady.
truthfully, i often find myself laying flat on the ground
wondering how i came to fall so low, how i can arise.
yet i do arise, time after time, & i do push forward.
it has been given to me to repeat this forward motion.
i wanted to opt out, let it all go without my input,
but You have shaped it otherwise for me, my dear Lord Shiva.
thus it is that i give myself to You in service & love.
i am a cell in Your body, You are my reality.
i see this while i yet must play the part You have given me.
i do this in gratitude, for the well-being of all life
is woven in to every inch of each measurable thing,
thus i delight in playing out the role You have given me.
You come to me in love & i greet You in gratitude here
where love & gratitude shine like suns in the sky of the mind.
this is the role that completes all roles, final absolution.
this is the end of roles, concepts, divisions, all mentation.
this is the point of the needle of now, the collapse of words.
yet the body throbs to sun, sky, earth, water & to rhythm,
to music's rhythm that leads us home, removes separation.
music is the dream's exit door, opening into Shiva
who is the dweller in my heart & the maker of music.
music is my training wheels, helping me dissolve boundaries
into primal sound & thus to merge into You, Lord Shiva.
beat Your damaru drum like my very own fast-beating heart!
keep the rhythm strong. i follow it back to my origin.
even training wheels will fall away in the fullness of time.
because the body is now old
i reside in a nursing home.
i look back over my lifetime,
piecing its events together
from a wide-angled perspective.
i don't look at other's judgements
but at the many blessings that
You have given to me, Shiva.
now i have sufficient distance
from all the stories & events
to see that they all point to You.
no others have seen this for me
or could see it from the outside.
neither did i see it until
old age slowed me down & illness
forced me to change my point of view.
with Shiva enthroned in my heart,
pulling the veils away slowly,
i see disaster transform to
positive redirection, grace.
i observe shame disappearing
in the light of understanding.
i see You in all that happens
through revelation & insight.
i see Your graciousness to me
even during my ignorance.
my life is now service & gift
when i look through the clear lens
that reveals the arcane patterns
of blessings concealed from the world
& the slicing gaze of skeptics.
behind the apparent events
i see Your divine hand at work,
hidden from the sight of others,
signaling to me of Your love.
i am grateful, my Lord Shiva!
i am grateful You came to me,
that You taught me & guided me
throughout this long life that others
could neither comprehend nor bless.
You are all that i desire &
all that i seek or attend to.
You have chosen me as Your own
& i rest in Your protection.
You are the heart of this life
& all that i need & want.
the sounds of a nursing home late at night echo
dull background humming of central climate control
murmur of someone's tv down the long hallway
sharp clatter of an object falling to the floor
a soft low moaning cry in a frail shaking voice
the quick rhythm of a nurse's hurried footsteps
sudden boom of thunder & hard rain drumming down.
the musical tones in my head rising falling
focussed mind repeating my beloved mantra
singing silent sacred lullabies to Shiva
in the warm arms of the transformative darkness
om namah Shivaya on namah Shivaya
You took me at the peak of my glad celebration,
negating laws of physics, erasing everything.
You removed the concept "impossible" from my mind,
threw me in a multidimensional miracle
& shocked my mind silent, leaving me in stunned wonder.
that wonder still clothes me like an invisible cloak,
something too amazing to share, yet it changed my life.
speaking of it is like catching fish with hands only,
or caging wind in the hands to bring home for others.
You shine light on my daily rebuilding of structure
through my careful words like bricks in a tall wall, Shiva!
yet i still want to say "look! see! there is such wonder!"
so i string garlands of words that i offer to You
because i overflow with rejoicing that you're here.
i am blazing with Your presence & the light leaks out,
cascading in these limited words i can't curtail.
now i know which things keep me from You:
warmth of hot showers, food i prefer,
wanting other people to like me.
i am very happy to get them
& quite unhappy in their absence.
by wanting some things & not others
i chop my life into bits & pieces
& i lose You in the confusion.
i will make You the strong thread that all
the bits & pieces are strung upon.
I will give You the complete garland
because i want You the most, Shiva!
without You my whole life is empty.
body, personality, ego: biggest problem!
everything that upsets me points to all of this:
irritable impatience, self-referencing,
strong preferences, lack of mental discipline.
You have laid it out for me clearly, Lord Shiva!
i'm easily distracted by daily events.
i must repeatedly train the mind to silence,
to focus in the heart & third eye; above all,
to hold fast to Your divine presence, Lord Shiva.