there flows a river, cool, deep & mysterious in many places,
yet shallow, clear & inviting in other locales where it broadens
to tumble over smooth water-sculpted stones. the river shelters, on
her wild pebbled shores, secret sites of profound quiet communion with
companionable energies. hidden realms of vague otherworldly
ambiances flirt with the edge of my vision, subtly enticing.
these are my favorite places. Here, i can be raptly immersed in
sacred primal natural healing. the sun & sky, trees, water, stones:
they speak in tactile messages to the old lizard living at the
back of the animal brain. all of these peaceful blessed beings croon
tuneful comforting ageless mantras to the body's very bones. trees
softly murmur their undertone counterpoint, & the breath gently adds
its own quiet rhythm to the chorus. the river harmonizes
with her liquid burbling melody. lying on the rounded river
stones by the slow-flowing water, i let go, relax & join the flow.
breathing & being, i merge into the entirety of it all
for an allotted eternity, until the mind comes nibbling at
my fingertips, pushing me to pick up my pen & find words to share.
both nature & the mind are active, prolific, wanting to reach out,
wanting to exclaim, "look! see the holiness, behold the divine hand
ever reaching out to us, blessing." i look, see & listen deeply,
holding it all cupped fast in the depths of my innermost chamber for
Your blessing, Shiva, You who are the Lord of all tender living things.
i am Your innocent little child, Shiva, holding out my pretties
so that You, too, can enjoy the glory of their wonder & beauty.
nature does this to me: erases the thin clear veneer of subtle
separation that goes with civilization, education &
enculturation. nature rises up within the body, urging
the crimson flower of the heart to spread its petals wide & soak up
the light of cosmic love pouring down like a river of sweet healing.
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!
i saw the timeworn tumbled stones of a great temple where
once the mother goddess prevailed in peaceful times long gone.
the mountain had another name then. we all had truer
names & spoke in warm clear vowels that blessed the trees leaning
toward us in the sweet communion of celebration.
now our names are clipped short & our words clash & clatter sharp
against the stone, like bullets ricochetting upon the
broken temple walls. the stones weep. i hear them late at night
when the owls call into the darkness that has crept across
the land & over our minds. this night we lean toward the
promise of dawn, toward the morning song of the wood thrush.
the hands of the heart reach out in tender supplication.
like the old scattered temple stones, we wait for another
era, a coming time, a milder season, & we give
new names of soft syllables to the old things. we lift our
hopeful eyes to the mountain top & the sky & sing. we sing.
can You hear us, Shiva? we will not stop our singing, we
will not close up our throats again, but loud & strong we will
ever sing of beauty & wholeness that never ceases
pushing toward the light. hear us, Shiva! we call You now,
laying out the breadcrumbs of our invocation, lighting
the path with our love & urgent need as we voice our song.
the mountain calls out through us to You, Shiva, offering
itself as Your temple in these times that beg our response.
we will build a new temple from these tumbled mother-stones
& sing in calm flowing syllables nestled in silence.