its like that time i sat on a train
next to barriers of language
a hunger to find god
and cultures too spicy for my stomach lining
like the time a migrant florist stole the
wife right out of my holiday family portrait
leaving only the dust of casual encounters
its like that fear i always have of choking
in public places, of riding buses instead of driving to new places,
of never having a home with walls i can spray paint & draw on since
i’m always between places
its the impending fear of sensation from the next big moment of pain
of being left with one foot, unable to rush albeit late to work
or no sight to admire the beautiful typings of pages i’ll never read
all these sunflowers mimic my mood at dawn
There is no path to Being,
Being is the path.
When Being sees Itself,
there is only clear presence.
No matter what you hope “It” is,
no matter what you imagine “It” is,
"It" is different from that.
Maybe you will see that this being is not a personal thing but that it’s borderless. Where does being stop? Nobody can tell you where it ends. If it has no borders, if it’s limitless, there can’t be two of them; it is all-encompassing. Although it is indescribable, you can give it any name you wish, like Awareness, Is-ness, Consciousness, the Unknown, the Source, Light or Presence. This is the witness of Advaita, the Original face according to Zen, the Father of Christianity, the Buddha-mind of the Chinese Ch’an. Some call it Shiva, Brahman, Nirvana, God or Spirit. Other terms are Oneness, Life, Unicity, Silence, Space and It. In the end, the names or descriptions you use don’t matter that much.
Maybe you recognize the impersonal aspect of Beingness while you are outside in a natural environment, seeing that all boundaries are gone and that there is no separate you to recognize it. Everything is just as it is. The natural elements are good examples of Beingness that don’t pretend to have the ability to be other than what they are. Your mind can’t grasp it and uses words like emptiness or wholeness; this is simply infinity seeing infinity.
Some people report opening to this wholeness while being with their spiritual master. Or maybe there is a recognition that the seeker is a concept without ever having had a mystical experience at all. However, if there is still in the back of your mind a gentle whisper that it is you who will be awakened, you will only be disappointed. There is simply nothing to chase, no hero to be imitated, nowhere to go. And why is that? Because the ‘separate you’ who does the chasing or imitating is conceptual. One of the tricks of the mind is to suggest that there is a separate you who can prepare for enlightenment, that you can actually attain enlightenment while other are still unenlightened.
Your mind imagines that there is a border between you and the sage, but Beingness has no borders because there is only one of it.
So you will never experience Oneness - there is only Oneness. You will never attain enlightenment, there is only Light. All ‘your’ experiences - from sitting in a bus to the highest state of consciousness - are the content of Awareness, not Awareness itself.
The teacher you are attracted to is just a reflection of what you are looking for. If you had a major transcendental experience while being with a particular guru, you are likely to get hooked on that teacher, or hooked on such an experience. And if that teacher is not satisfying any more, you may go and look for a stronger or more resonating leader. As long as you are looking for something, be it bliss, resonance or peace, you will encounter teachers or masters who will claim that they can give it to you. As long as this process is going on, it is ok to follow. It is also ok to have spiritual experiences, and to look for more of those until there is the recognition that the ‘final it’ is not attained yet - and never will be. Until it is recognized that blissful experiences are appearing in It but are not It, it seems that all this seeking and all these special experiences can bring you closer, but not close enough.
It becomes clear that searching for something special or trying to be peaceful and openhearted doesn’t bring you closer to the very natural state you are always in, no matter how you feel or behave. Beingness is not something you can acquire as a result of your personal effort. Beingness is what you are. And this Being is completely beyond any sense of values.
Seeking the extraordinary , you overlook the splendour of the ordinary in everyday life. You overlook the simplicity of the open secret, which is available right here and right now. Enlightenment is not something you can reach and that will make you special, something that will make you stand out in the crowd. It is just the opposite: you become nobody and everybody at the same time.
-This Is It
Awaiting the kiss of wind
beyond clouds reach
old bloodlines claiming karma
like thrones defaulted to wicked heirs
The gentle touch of
myrrh burning prayers
to the sky
These eyes are in search for a savior
for the roar of a lion
fit to rule holy mountains
The rain has met its
quota of thirsty hearts
dancing its honor
Rituals know not devotion,
like webbed feet struggling
for freedom, only elements remain
A hum fills these
bending trees seek life
rooting deep, the only lover is
and finding solace
in expansion, slowly
covering seen and subtle
A place of rest is semi felt
separated only by time
it remains static in anticipation
of the moment seeker claims it as home
Today we celebrate the birth of the first
awakened one of the new world. Each day is a new
opportunity to embody divine qualities. The past
must be forgotten in order for the future to
move into the present. If not, we are holding
onto water rushing by with the illusion of grip continuously
fooling us into thinking it’s where we belong. Your past
serves as a teacher of pain. How much hurt
we store year after year, letting ourselves be
deprived of the wonders held in each breath. The arms of old
lovers stolen by fate still imprinted on our skin
& pillows. Those were roads long ago walked by
the blind. Dusty dreams found hidden in attics
with winds of children fathered long ago. You
choose nothing when you accept the cosmos.
Everything becomes a sacrifice offered to the eternal
fire of time. Fact becomes challenged by
discovery & wisdom attained through fortunes
of failure. Underneath the smokey vigil for the mystical
experience lies a baby fed through the tender
suckling of its first God, called mother. Peace be with
you & light upon your way.
Durga laughed and said, “O demon! I do not desire anyone other than the supreme lord. I am his power of will- his Prakriti. Because of his proximity, I appear as the eternal consciousness, manifesting itself as this cosmos. As iron can be moved due to the power of the magnet, so I, who am inert, work consciously due to his proximity. Formless, birthless, and deathless am I, yet at times I take on forms to uphold dharma. If you are desirous of saving your life, make friends with the gods and go your way, and I will not harm you. But if you desire to die, then fight, for I will undoubtedly kill you!”
Rather reluctantly Mahishasura decided to fight, for he was quite enamored by her charms. He started to shoot arrows filled with virulent poison at Durga. In the meantime his warriors surrounded her and kept raining arrows from all sides, while he kept hurdling missile after missile at her. She laughed as if in sport and reduced his weapons and his army to ashes in a second. Mahisha could not believe his eyes. He fell upon the lion with his club, but the lion rent his leg with his claws. The asura (demon) immediately took on a lion’s form and clawed the lion. Durga became very angry at his assault on her pet lion and rained inexhaustible arrows at him. He now turned into a maddened elephant and hurled huge boulders at the devi with his trunk. But she shattered them to pieces with her arrows. The lion sprang at the head of the elephant and rent it with his claws. The asura immediately assumed the form of a sarabha, an animal more powerful than any creature known to man. Durga, however, instantly tore the sarabha to shreds.
Once more the asura resumed his original form of a mountainous buffalo, and he started to harass the goddess, piercing her with his horns, kicking her with his hooves, and lashing her with his gigantic tail. Then he fell on the lion with a mighty sword, but the lion tore his leg into pieces. Undaunted, Mahisha lashed his huge tail and scattered the clouds, which scuttled across the sky. The oceans rose up as if they had been thrashed. His horns rent the sky and his hooves plowed the entire earth.
Then Durga opened her third eye in fury and roared, “O wicked one! Your end is nigh! Go on ranting a moment more while I sip my fill of this delicious brew.” She took a deep draft of wine from her golden goblet and then, tossing it aside, leapt into the air and came down on the back of the buffalo. Pinning Mahisha’s throat with her foot, she drove her trident into his heart. The demon tried to escape through the buffalo’s gaping mouth in the shape of a heroic warrior, but before he could drag himself out, she caught his hair and cut off his head with her discus. The severed head rolled to the ground like a colossal mountain. The headless buffalo body remained upright for a few minutes and appeared to be vibrating to the beat of the drums. Then it fell to the ground with a tremendous thud that shook the earth with its impact. Blood flowed like a river from the headless body. The lion was delighted with all the blood and lapped it up. He also chased and devoured those warriors who were fleeing for their lives. The gods and sages rejoiced. The earth and its denizens were free once again to worship the supreme, and the yakshas (celestial guardians of wealth) and gandharvas (celestial musicians) danced with joy.
One day, when Brahma was holding his audience, all the gods were seated, and Siva also was seated there. At that time, Daksha, who was also a progeny of Brahma, entered the hall. In honour of his great entrance into the hall, all the gods stood up in obeisance. But Siva did not get up. He remained seated, minding not the coming of Daksha. Incidentally, Sati, the daughter of Daksha, was married to Siva, so Siva was Daksha’s son-in-law. But Siva showed utter disregard for his father-in-law and did not rise from his seat when all others stood up offering obeisance. This enraged Daksha, who stood with uplifted arms and said, “Oh, you gods! Please listen to what I am saying. Here is an idiotic fellow seated in the audience of the gods. Shameless is he. He has no respect for anybody. He wanders about half-naked and lives like a beggar. To him I gave my daughter; what a mistake I have committed! Shame to those with him in this audience!” Daksha went on shouting like this for a long time, and all the gods shut their ears because they could not hear all this. Siva also heard all the abuses poured upon him by Daksha, but he did not utter even one word. He just walked out of the palace and returned to his abode in Kailasa, where he lived with Sati.
One day, Sati observed the celestials travelling in some direction in their aerial cars. She looked up and asked, “Where are the gods going?”
“You don’t know?” asked one of the gods, “How is it that you do not know? Your own father is performing a glorious yajna (sacrifice), to which he has invited all the celestials, and we are all going there. How is it that you, his daughter, do not know?” Sati was in great chagrin that an invitation had not been extended to Siva. She was disturbed that her father had ignored both her and Siva, but as he was her father she told Siva, “I want to go to my father’s yajna.”
Lord Siva said, “It is not proper for you to go there.”
“Why?” she asked.
“Daksha does not like me. He has no regard for me, and therefore your going there is not proper,” replied Siva.
But Sati said, “No, he is my father.”
“He may be your father, but he hates me, so you should not go if I am not going. I am not responsible for the consequences.”
“What consequences? I shall take care of myself,” she told him.
“I am telling you again, it is not good for you to go there. You will not gain anything by it, and this adventure will not end in anyone’s happiness. I advise you not to go.”
“No, I must go,” she insisted.
“I don’t think I should send my attendants to take you there. It will be highly improper for me,” said Siva.
“I shall go with my own attendants!” Sati collected all her attendants and marched, under the impression that she, being the divine daughter of this great Daksha, will be highly honoured in the midst of all the gods.
With great expectations of glory before her, she went to the yajna and stood at the gate. She expected someone to come and receive her, but nobody looked at her. For fear of Daksha, no other god would utter a word. Of course, her mother and associates came and hugged her but she rejected their greeting, perhaps because her father was not concerned with her. She looked here and there. “What is happening? How is it that no one is receiving me?” Sati thought. Then she remembered the words of Siva. “I disregarded him, and came here. Now neither can I stand here, nor can I go back to him shamefacedly.” She expected somebody to come. Nobody came. Time passed like this, and the yajna was going on. The gods turned their backs to her. It was a very serious situation.
Sati stood up and loudly proclaimed in a ferocious language, “Due to the impropriety of this yajna, where the great master Siva is not invited, it cannot be called a divine sacrifice because the chief divinity itself is not present. Fie upon you all gods! Shamelessly you have attended the yajna of this irresponsible Daksha, whom I no longer regard as my father. Siva is being disrespected. The two words ‘si’ and ‘va’ are sufficient to give salvation to people, and such a divinity is being disregarded here. Is this a divine sacrifice? Are you gods? Have you any sense? You did not invite Lord Siva, and you come and sit here at the feet of this terrible person whom I shamelessly called father. I am sorry that I have been born to him.”
Sati sat, with great sorrow burning her body. She sat in a state of yoga, invoked agni (god of fire) from within herself, and the yoga within burned her. Flames came up and consumed her. All were shocked. What is this that has happened? They had nothing to say this way or that way. All were wondering what to do. There was nothing that they could do, nothing that they could say. They were shocked, nothing but shocked.
News reached Lord Siva. He could have opened his third eye and burnt Daksha, but he had something else in his mind. He pulled a hair from his head and struck it on the ground. A fierce giant rose up. “Order, master!” said the giant.
“Go and destroy the yajna of Daksha,” said Siva.