dear young friend & family in Shiva, when i speak of age, you
seem to hear death, probably because of your youth. but for me at
eighty-one, age is a victory, something amazing that is
given to me to rejoice in, & i do! you seem to think that
i rejoice in the nearness of death, but no! it is this life that
i rejoice in. i delight in beauty, goodness & truth. if it
doesn't relate to my purpose, i pay no attention to it.
my purpose is to celebrate life & to release the outworn,
that Shiva & i can commune together more meaningfully.
so think not that age means closer to death! age just as vividly
can mean closer to life, because i can so fully & deeply
enjoy this life now as a seasoned spiritual connoisseur.
years of arcane experience now reveal its value to me.
we see the outer shell of things & treat that as the truth of it.
we reach a certain conclusion about a person or event
& think this is a sufficient explanation for the actions
that have occurred. we arrive in the middle of a stage play &
we think we know the whole plot & how it will probably turn out!
we live our days swaddled in the tatters of our misconceptions,
comforted by its shreds of warmth, oblivious to its subtle
corruption. we are content with our limitations, glad for the
boundaries they provide: we have made fine art out of our careful
limitations. why seek the inconvenient truth when dogma is
handy, available, & offers abundant support freely?
Shiva, You walk the world invisibly because the truth is less
desirable than the lies that inflame & keep knowledge hidden.
Shiva, You walk the world invisibly because entertainment
gets substantially more votes in the world than the truth ever does.
Shiva, You walk the world invisibly because so few really
hunger to see You & know You. they are afraid to pay Your price.
I, who have nothing, can pay Your price because You matter the most.
i give it all to You. the world means nothing to me without You.
You are the magic that lights up the color, the sparkle, my life!
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
i am not the body-personality nor am i the author of the
actions of that physical being. i am the observing awareness, the
indwelling presence ever abiding beyond thought, who calmly witnesses.
that which is done through the body's agency, because of the influence of
the personality, belongs to that entity alone. it is not mine.
i am the pure bright awareness enlivening the body: truly, i am
not of the body. i am ever free, ever stainless, like a cloud in the sky,
like space itself, just present, offering no resistance & no attachment.
now i am standing on the threshold between body-personality &
observing awareness. in daily life both flow with the evolving events
of the moment. yet the body-personality has many ups & downs,
whereas the awareness remains clear & steady, unattached to the outcome.
this is what i contemplate in sadhana, Shiva. i currently am a
fluctuating amalgam of spirit & matter. it's like that tremulous
moment when the butterfly realizes that she is in the chrysalis &
can remotely sense her wings slowly developing, but she herself is yet
vulnerable & powerless to act. nor is it needful, for creation
is unfolding & happening naturally, by itself, for all of us.
ah Shiva! this sadhana is on-going, a way of life, & i am quite
fundamentally drawn to it, attracted like the moth to her fulfillment
in the fire of flaming truth. i am witness to the blazing conflagration.
we are vulnerable to the human world when we identify
with the body & desire specific outcomes. without the body,
how can we suffer or have problems? discomfort has its roots in the
body & its artifact, the mind. all memory & body-based
experience belongs to the physical domain & is in fact
temporary, coming & going according to circumstances.
i can find only one realm in life that remains constant & steady
in the midst of this churning flow of change: the knowing that
i exist. for the body-personality, this "i am" is akin to the
universal vibration of OM. it's like a cosmic building block,
the basis of causality & creativity. "i am" is
a doorway accessing the subtle realm, a way out of attachment.
these deep thoughts are given to us as keys for opening alternate
realms through a change of focus, which helps us look beyond the body &
the outer world for stability & truth. You gave me this download,
Shiva. You showed this to me & i have truly taken it to heart.
i firmly commit to following the "i am" to its sacred source,
journeying with You, Shiva, for which i feel blessed & deeply grateful.
what do i seek out, time & again? what does my heart compel me
to search for? not money, fame or possessions. not status, land or
followers: i turn my back on those. what calls me? i face into
the rising sun, a fragrant red rosebush at my side, the sweet song
of a wood thrush soaring up from the nearby grove of tall oak trees.
nature comes closest to what i seek, & has helped to pass the time.
once i thought it was companionship with accepting people, but
that human realm is replete with shifting alliances, & it
ultimately offers no lasting truth. we seem to repeat the
old ingrained patterns of the dusty past while striving to break free.
i look for the absence of attachment, for freedom from the leash
that restrains my hands from removing the tightly knotted blindfold.
why do i look outside anyway? i only want You, Shiva.
although other things are attractive, my heart opens only to
You, my love: for You alone does the heart become warm & melt into
complete acquiescence. only for You does the body relax
its grasp upon the allure of the world. only for You, Shiva,
do i release all that i thought was true so that You can fill me
with the truth that brings me refuge forever within Your domain.
it is my true home. the heart knows this & has never forgotten.
it is as if i have been granted access to a dimension
previously unknown to me. evening enfolds, & the other
residents are in bed as the mind's silence now invites peace to
embrace. i relax in my recliner, contemplating the soft
surrounding space stretching above me & all around. my eyes lose
their concrete focus & widen into the shifting shadow &
light of the dancing air. it is as if the focus of my eyes
has adjusted to a more rarified realm. i can no longer
separate the vision of the physical eye from the mind's eye.
gradually i become aware of two vague beings on either
side of me. i slowly understand that they are benefactors,
healers, & that i am one of their charges. we communicate
wordlessly as they share their healing energy, which i accept,
leaning back in my recliner. i come to understand that this
interpenetrating higher dimension is always present,
freely offering access to uplifting energies. my own
vibratory rate has apparently quickened enough now to
allow contact. this information flows into me to comfort
with pure intent. all is warmly radiant with the light of truth
& the fragrance of cosmic love interpenetrates everything.
i relax into the healing blessing of this new frequency.
awareness has deepened & expanded to include so much more!
even after the passage of time back here in this world of flesh,
blood & bone, i can feel the benevolent subtle presence of
this more refined vibratory realm, a place of healing indeed!
thank you for the warm encouragement, Shiva! i am heartened &
energized to continue on, for i have now experienced
that which was previously known through the intellect alone. though
that is is not my goal, Shiva, it stands as a marker on the path
of return to You, who are the focus of my attention.
You alone dwell in my heart, which now sings Om Namah Shivaya!
i was talking casually with my friend claire, glancing at her,
when suddenly You flash out of her eyes & into me by way
of the eye. there is no time. there is only a vast, inclusive,
infinite belonging & melting oneness. intelligent life
leaps & dances forth, sweeps me into sweetness beyond compare.
it is all i have ever longed for & it enters me fully.
it is me. i am That. yes! my heart knows the wordless truth of it.
& i blink & return back to the conversation with my friend.
meanwhile, no time has passed &, for her, nothing at all has happened.
i didn't know You by name then, Shiva, yet i am wedded to
You & have been since i was 13, a chosen child bride promised
to a vast warm being of power, capable of anything.
that is Your nature, Shiva, & my nature is to be with You.
a few months pass. i am a passenger in a car, holding my
infant daughter in my arms. i look into her eyes & again,
Shiva, You join with me through the portal of the eye of my child.
this merging has no words & no story, only blissful love &
infinite sweetness beyond slow clumsy words or comprehension.
it is from the far distant realm of my heart's true ancestral home.
& i blink, back in the body, as if no time had passed, as if
i were just sitting in a car with other people, holding a
baby, as if the day were typical & i wasn't now blessed.
for i surely am, for we all surely are blessed, yet lacking the
full vision, the deep realization. we can only gaze upon
the far shore, glowing in the distance, & sincerely intend to
journey there in the fullness of time. i call You by name, Shiva,
to strengthen the energy between us, to get Your attention
& to propel myself forward. i am like an arrow that is
already loosed from the bow-string, speeding unstoppably to You.
my attention is focussed fully on You, Shiva, my dharma
& my destiny, & my heart knows the deep subtle truth of it.
having no power of my own, i am couched in limitless power.
knowing the eternal truth, external judgements find no home in me.
i have no home. i have no family, no worldly aspirations.
having no home, i am at peace right where i am. having no desire
to accumulate, i am as weightless as a bubble in the breeze
& i discover myself at last at rest just where i need to be.
every day i find myself anew. every night i release myself
from focussed form & resolute need. soon i will not exist distinct
in my originality, yet existence will go rolling on.
all is nested & folded into patterns beyond casual thought,
sliding through dimensions beyond & enfolding the usual three.
You are with me step by step, Shiva who lives in the cave of my heart.
You ignite the light that dims the dark, returning full color to sight.
i feel the sunrise in my heart in the long cold dark of winter &
now my sleep is over & ended, for my door is standing open.
my door is standing open & fingers of the sun are beckoning.
i have no body; i am formless & free, weightless as a bubble
in the breeze coming to rest, shining alight just where i need to be.
there is a forest where each tree will greet us like a dear old friend
who delights in seeing us again. we know we are home here.
we know that the body has come from this moist, rich soil & has brought
hidden greetings from ancient veiled beings. we know that home is here.
there is a forest where the boulders speak of the time when they were
temples. they now innocently confess that they are still temples,
sheltered by the forest for the sincere seeker of the sacred.
we will feel peace here, wholeness & the tingle of awakening
deep inside, invisible to the loud crowd of pressing people
pacing to the measured steps of the socially required motions.
there is a forest that bathes us in cool deep green serenity.
when we touch the tender new ferns & vines with our bare fingertips
they tell us that we are welcome here, now & forever at home
in this quietly breathing forest graced by slow shifting sunbeams.
"you were born here before," the trees tell us, "& we remember you."
we know this is true because the body responds eagerly to
the dim cellular memory. we have never felt more at home
than when we are communing with trees, stones & plants in the depths of the
leafy living forest where the birds can be heard rejoicing in
their wings & songs. "sing freely," cry the birds, "that's what voices are for!"
so we dare to sing & we know that goodness is at the root of
everything & that the forest is made of the same stuff as the
human body & we are close kin, sharing genes & molecules,
breathing together to sustain life. "we are holy through & through,
every atom holy & blessed," say the trees, "nothing is left out."
Shiva, You made them thus to be our teachers. we are all blessed from
the very beginning, for every atom is made of blessings.
the trees know this & they have been teaching us for millennia.
when we go into the forest we can hear them murmuring truth
into the wind. Shiva, You urge us to listen, for You are their
Lord & Protector. they tell us to live in deeply respectful
harmony & devotion: Shiva, help us to be more like trees!
the time to look within that the pandemic provides
is a healing & integrative blessing, though strict.
i know enough now not to confuse the wrapping of
the gift with the real gift, which i receive gratefully.
Shiva, i see that the sanatana dharma came
to the west as theosophy & esotericism,
telling the holistic tale that bridges cultures & lifestyles.
we are more alike than different, preferring love
over violence, gentleness over cruelty.
we surge forward as a multitude toward the light.
we stray only to learn the true nature of our need.
we are ignited, blazing like a fire in winter,
as we return to You, who are called by many names.
You bring the sanatana dharma, ageless wisdom,
the effulgence of eternal truth in daily life.
the pandemic is the current opportunity
to go within, emerging into Your dear embrace
as we shed our ragged & broken crusty old skins
for the supple skin of a newborn child in this world
as we return to You, who are called by many names.
at night i gaze into the eyes of a thousand thousand stars
& they see through my eyes & through the coiled array of dna
that is threaded throughout each human, animal & plant being.
the stars are looking out through my eyes into this very moment
& it's cosmic reunion time for the multidimensional!
we are so casual, striding as if we are the ones in charge
& not shadows stumbling through the dying fires of fading empires.
You show me such inclusive cosmic glimpses that i am humbled.
i cling to You, Shiva, as if an innocent newborn being.
each day i remind myself that i am the pure divine energy
that enlivens the body & not the flesh, blood & bone itself.
day after day i inform myself of truth & i move forward,
releasing millennia of body-based interpretations.
i do this as my contribution to galactic well-being.
at night the eyes of a thousand thousand stars gaze deep into me.
i am here, i tell them, to share new adventures in consciousness
for this brave age that labors to give birth to a new paradigm.