training wheels

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.

blessing

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.

lullabies

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

wonder

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.

bits & pieces

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.

above all

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.

just as i am

You keep on limiting my experiences with people
& calling me back to You for yet deeper sadhana.
i think that i was not embodied for this human world
but rather to serve as an expression of Your outreach.
could it truly be that this inner life is my service?
that i am to cleave to You alone & simply to love?
that my presence here on this earth is to bless everything
without attachment to striving & doing & having?
am i enough for You, Shiva, just as i am, like this?

i bow to You in gratitude for all You have given.
You are my source & my refuge, dear divine companion,
& enough has been shared in all these clumsy words:
now, Shiva, my heart will speak to You in simple silence.

this quest

You have set me apart
from the start of this life.
the pattern continues:
my yearning for union,
seeking to cleave to one
other person & place.
this ever eludes me.

what choice have i but to
turn to You, true constant
in the kaleidoscope
of this impermanence?
You sent me on this quest,
You accompany me.
i cling to You, Shiva.
You don't turn me away --
how could the heart turn from
its very own beating?

circling around You

i confess that people in my life
are like shadows cast upon a screen.
though they reach out, they cannot touch me.
their voices blend with the rushing wind,
as real as stars at noon, sun at night.
they come & go, rise & fall & fade.
only You stay steady, Lord Shiva.

You are seated firmly in the heart
& my life is circling around You,
held fast by an unbreakable cord.
Your fragrance tells me that You are near.
we are invisibly blended, wed,
& the party is in full swing now
in my heart's most resonant chamber.

the shadow people, slowly turning,
seem to move in time with Your music
which is leaking out through all my pores,
drenching the surroundings with Your love.
my hand, in Your hand, reaches to them
to whirl us in a vast circle dance.

patchwork pattern

i look upon the patchwork of my life
to find that You are the stitching
that holds the many pieces together.
You have revealed the symmetry
that this woman's life has formed over time.
the random struggles & failings
were sincere efforts at understanding
what i could offer to this world.
the pattern comes clear over all this time.
with distance, the patchwork pattern
resolves into a beautiful design --
it shows Your face, my Lord Shiva,
as You enfold me close, next to Your heart,
& everything makes sense at last!

surrendered

i stand with You as together
we review the years of my life.
You show me the times -- so many! --
that You reached Your hand out to me.
i did not see! i did not know!
i was hypnotized, lost & blind
as i wandered in search of You,
finally feeling abandoned,
concluding that i was alone.

i was not alone. You were there.
i rejoice that i know it now.
You fill up my heart from within --
You are the heat & the movement
of the urgent body & mind.
You embrace me now from within,
fill the space between all the cells.
i am contained & surrounded,
my heart is surrendered to You.
You are by my side constantly,
whispering Your encouragement.