dear Shiva, please bless me in these harsh times with the endurance & patience of earth;
the relentless persistence & generosity of water; the purity
& high energy of fire; the clarity & transparency of air; & the
acceptance & inclusiveness of space. i serve You through these living elements.
may i give of my intelligent light freely to all, as the sun teaches. may
i illuminate the mystery & wonder of darkness, as the moon teaches.
may i be a spark of encouragement & upliftment, as the blazing stars teach.
the sun, moon & stars call us to lift our eyes to the sky to be touched by guidance
& instruction from divine powers vaster than our human capabilities.
may i be a source of ever-renewing nurture & stability, as earth
teaches. may i be a source of circulating motion, ever including both
the lowest & the highest realms, as water teaches. may i be a source of pure
dynamic energy & enthusiasm, as fire teaches. may i be a
source of inspiration, movement, change, inquiry & detachment, as air teaches.
may i be a source of healing through the sacred power of OM, as space teaches.
dear Shiva, i am grateful that everything has the capacity to instruct,
as You have ordained for our continuing healing, evolution & wisdom.
when i see the cool wind whirling leaves from the trees in the brisk autumn
noontime, i don't say, "oh, how tragic! what a sad destiny!" instead,
i delight in the bright colors of the crisp leaves & love to see them
dancing in the wind as they pirouette & play in the warm sunshine.
everything is coming & going, moving & changing, being born
& dying. it is the nature of things. beyond the domain of the
physical plane, other frequencies are calling me, for i do not
want to live as if this realm alone is it, as if there is no Source.
i see the sun reflected in a glass of water, but when the glass
tips over & the sun in the water is gone, i don't cry out, "how
tragic! what a sad destiny!" this would be like looking at one square
inch of a huge mural. i don't see the whole picture & i don't know
the whole story: it's being continually refreshed & renewed.
in this world of duality, every blessing holds its challenge &
every challenge also holds its blessing. thus i am simply grateful
for all my experience, regardless of its outer form. gifts are
delivered in various wrappings & i don't know what is inside.
i do know that somehow, somewhere, a gift from my divine Beloved
is contained within it, & i am grateful for the unknown blessing.
this is what You teach me, Shiva. You open up my vision to the
pure celestial shining within the terrestrial. You show me
the lotus rising from the mud & water, reaching upwards to the
sun. my heart is now doing just this as i chant Your mantra, Shiva.
i rise free from the thick cold dark into the radiant light of You.
fifty years ago--when studying the spiritual tarot--
i used to contemplate the sun's reflection in glass & metal.
at the center of the scintillating bright orb thus revealed, i
would see a dark dancing figure in swift moving exultation.
i would rejoice that a divine being was graciously present,
which my heart would tell me by the warmth of its joyous quickening.
now i know that it was You, Shiva, touching my heart yet again,
keeping in touch. in this way, small events & insights were building
a foundation deep within me, preparing me for You, as the
bride is prepared for the auspicious advent of her wedding day.
much time, preparation & cultivation has gone by since then.
i have honored You in my heart for years now. my wedding dress hangs
ready in the closet & i await You, Shiva, every day.
the heart is filled with longing & the mind echoes with Your mantra.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
this peaceful old hippie is also the daughter & wife of career soldiers.
thus have i landed here in this military nursing home for old soldiers.
it's clear to me from Shiva's teaching that this body & the circumstances
of its birth are not who i really am, but is the role that has been given.
in outer action due respect is offered, while inwardly it can be seen
as karmic duty until awakening. Shiva's hand propels the action.
There's no limitation to the inner life, & culture is shed like old skin.
outwardly the role is well fulfilled & the long social dance is nearly done.
hippie & soldier live side by side when the dust of the battle has settled.
ideals, livelihood & bodies are but props in this grand play of maya.
yet still i speak of my love for Shiva: He rises in my heart like the sun.
my hands lift up in namaste & the warm light of His love pours freely down.
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!
Shiva, You splashed the sky all over me & now birds flock to me & rainbows romp around the corner, hoping for rain to come soon. all is included. i lost my edges in the sky's dome. there's no "i" in the sky, only infinite inclusiveness & the high advent of miracles & wonders. they float in me like clouds, sharing their gifts when enticed by human invocations & wants.
i am spread so wide & so thin, Shiva, that the fingers of the sun slide smooth & warm through me, sounding dulcet musical tones from my mountain peaks & prayers from my worn plateaux. Shiva, You splashed the sky all over me & now even the stars take notice, for i am open to everything made of this heavenly light. You have made me a portal for the stars to come & go, & now i am free space, allowing each to shine the radiance of their gifts.
i hold it all lightly, for the sky has no pockets for saving things & no urge for acquisition. my arms reach around the world & my hands nudge as the gentle breeze that murmurs "wake up". now that i am sky-splashed i have no need to hang on to anything because i stretch from horizon to horizon due to Your playful grace, Shiva, due to Your grace. You are the sun in the sky of my heart.
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
there are different ways of knowing than by form alone. there are alternate ways of being than those offered by the urging of consensus sociocultural demands. they will find you when you are made more tenderly receptive by forces vaster than you can understand or encompass.
it feels like destruction & devastation: the spaciousness! the bones of the old order no longer demanding your flesh, the freedom of nothing remaining to lose, save or cling to. you may fall into the heart of gravity or glide in winds of the cosmic breath of OM. you may pause at the still center beyond human thought as the divine play of polarity sets the cost of exit & ushers you through the dark doorway.
into the void you descend, the nothingness: but what sweetness pervades that mysterious emptiness! what love flows warmly through the center of the heart! there are many other ways of knowing than by form. Shiva, this i learned & now share freely in the same way that birds feel the urge to sing in glad wonder as the new day reveals rising light; or as the flower spreads the fist of the bud into petals held wide like fingers to salute You, Shiva, & bask in the rays of the newborn sun.
esotericists say that the earth itself is deep in a
spiritual initiation by its solar teacher, the sun,
who holds the earth clasped close in an optimal loving orbit
with all the other attending planetary acolytes.
the guru sun with encircling solar system devotees
holds darshan in its ashram of time, space & locality.
humanity is the precipitator, actualizing
the initiation, triggering systemic refinement.
this is akin to the caterpillar's quantum leap into
butterfly, a winged being capable of rising to
new dimensions previously unattainable, unknown.
Shiva, You are in attendance at this holistic process
as the ultimate progenitor & initiator,
pervading everything within the quantum flux of matter.
as the sun You hold the earth in Your strong arms of gravity
& nurture its essence & ability to change & grow.
i circle around You too, Shiva, held by Your gravity.
this transformation is inevitable, vital & good
& You hold me in Your loving arms just as You hold the earth
in Your gravitational field while it experiences
its transformative travail. Shiva, please comfort & console
as we deliquesce in change, not knowing what we may become,
yet open to Your grace & grateful for Your holy presence.
i meander through the field in the misty coolness of spring, in the flowering, green, birdsong morning of a new day.
everything is rising up to worship the sun: the mist, trees, birds, flowers, the very air, my heart, all reaching toward the sun. all rises up to You, Shiva, who touches as the sun with warm light rays on chill skin & blesses with down-rushing sweet love. it is forever You behind another's face, closer than my own heartbeat & deeper, more dear. i celebrate You as i meander through the field in the misty spring coolness.
i see them draw together,
i observe them pull apart:
the sun & moon in a space
embrace, joining holy hearts.
flaming embers fall to earth,
descend from the cloudless sky,
hinting at the mystery
that the soul will not deny.
Shiva's dance goes on & on
as galactic seasons change.
His music calls. i respond
as i always do, again.
i see us draw together,
i observe us pull apart
in this sacred dance of life
wherein i give You my heart.
the field is open & bare, harvested to stubble,
soaking up the streaming light of the sun, rejoicing.
the sun, in sacred union with the whole rolling earth,
blazes love & joy into the entire galaxy.
the galaxy, in vast dance with other galaxies,
spins in etheric quantum entanglement & love.
love like dark matter. love like nebulae, like quasars.
love like gravity, like magnetism, like lightning.
love moving like the tides or like blood & lymph flowing.
love like egg & sperm uniting. love like human birth.
it's the same everywhere: this dance of energy,
the holy harmonium sounding a sacred chord
that echoes through the heart & bloodstream like music, pure!
Shiva, the stars are shining in the sky of my eyes
in the heavenly quantum entanglement called love
where i am filled with the sound of Your sweet primal OM.
i am grateful for the sky, that vast holy blue temple,
the moving clouds shaping Your messages of encouragement.
i am grateful for the storms rolling through to clean the air,
refreshing dry earth with a million rainy kisses.
i am happy to see birds tracing patterns high above.
i am grateful for that peaceful open arc that lifts me
from the weight of personality, opening me to You.
i am blessed to feel the sun, radiant giver of life,
touching me with warm golden fingers eight light minutes long.
the cool glow of the moon unveils luminous soft movement
as the stars share distant mysteries partially revealed.
the heart soars in gratitude for the lilting spaciousness
which brings sweet release from structure, necessity & form,
which points to the realm of purity, freedom from concern.
i feel i am coming home, Shiva, when i see the sky.