when i was a small sparrow & i ate seeds where i could find them,
i said "thank You" to Shiva for giving them to me. when i was
a hawk & i could catch a sparrow on the wing for my supper,
i said "thank You" to Shiva for providing my next meal for me.
when i was a deer & i munched on tender grass & leaves to feed
my hunger, i said "thank You" to Shiva for offering Himself
to me in this form. when i was a wolf & i ate deer to stay
alive, i said "thank You" to Shiva for this welcome gift You bring:
& i laid myself down flat upon the ground, prostrating to Him.
now i am human. i ask Shiva what He suggests I should eat.
He tells me that i, myself, am both the eater & the eaten.
Shiva confides that everything is made from His own body, that
all things nurture in their own way: & that once i eat i also
am confirmed within the realm of the eatible. all matter is
circulated & transformed in the process; as caterpillar
becomes chrysalis; as water evaporates from the ocean
to become rain. all matter is subject to transformation, &
the master-transformer is Shiva, who provides everything that
we eat from His own primal substance, His body of expression.
all is given by divine provision, for it is one & it is
holy. i call this Shiva; others may say God or Jehovah,
Allah, Buddha, Krishna or the Tao. Although appearing as quite
diverse, all is seen essentially as one, when examined with
holistic sight & a receptive heart capable of melting.
though all is made from the substance of that one vast holy being,
what i eat does become part of this body, thus i'm selective.
i don't eat anything that has a face, so i eat vegetables,
grains & milk products, giving some degree of purity for You
Who finally partake of me in the higher realm that i am
headed for. i say "thank You," Shiva, as i offer myself like
a sweet, juicy purple plum, ripe on the branch in morning sunshine,
ready for a transformative journey to Whom all things return.
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.
empress creek begins as a spring beneath a boulder in the dell
above the bluff. it cascades down the worn stone face of the bluff &
becomes empress waterfall, flowing as creek down to the valley.
this is the place where i am called to honor the old earth mother.
at high-water times the waterfall roars & surges down the bluff,
overflowing the banks as the stream rushes on. in low-water
times the flow trickles down the face of the bluff with hardly a sound,
though the cool air still kisses my face & birds come to drink water.
one summer between high-water & low, i am called to the creek
to place a clear crystal the length of my hand into the water.
this crystal is being cleansed & dedicated to the mother
here at the foot of the small mossy boulder standing as a guardian.
the boulder abides as high as my chest, as broad as it is tall,
covered in emerald moss that sparks with bright diamonds of water.
i see the salamander now, small as the tip of my finger,
glowing bright ruby red, resting on the thick carpet of moss,
regarding me with gleaming eyes: here is the mother, observing!
i expand beyond the human realm, gaze as if from high above
upon this holy emissary, the fire salamander,
sharing in its alchemy. a hand divine touches me in this
intimate domain of trees & flowing water, boulders ranked like
soldiers standing tall. all of life has gathered up its potency
to send this jeweled messenger, whom i thank with humility.
empress creek holds us both in misty air beneath the canopy
of the noble watchful trees. the private holy moment, itself
a wordless prayer, holds me open & enraptured here in the warmth
of the day under the flickering leaves like fingers stroking the air.
Shiva, You gave me this, long before i knew Your name or how to
discern the sweet fragrance of Your hidden essence enfolding me.
although i served the mother then, she naturally led me to You.
You are my holy love, my mighty only love & i will sing
my songs to You, for You fill my heart so full it's overflowing.
all that once seemed so separate now reveals its true connection.
i am a stone at the bottom of the cascading stream,
smoothed by its invisible elemental cool fingers.
i am the sky in the water, the water in the sky,
the many in the one & the one within the many.
i am the music of the water splashing & tumbling
over the shoulders of the bowing hills, & rejoicing.
i am speech & the subtle space between the streaming words.
i am the silence & the fragrance of the peaceful heart.
i am an expression of You, Shiva, discovering
again my personal absence in Your holy presence.