I am made of this velvet mystery
An ancient place of worship
Here, in the velvet mystery of my heart

Soham. I am that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This is all new

To experience the highest, to experience the Supreme,
you must put forth self-effort. In this way, when you
receive the Guru's grace, it will stay with you forever.

~ Gurumayi Chidvilasanda

All of this is a gift from my guru.

This is new. Instead of doing spiritual practices to have spiritual experiences, I have been given the grace to do austerities for long periods throughout the day, mainly listening to chants and chanting the mantra inside.

This builds up a fullness of shakti and bliss. This makes it easier to continue with the practices in the now. I become drunk with bhakti (devotion).

I reach out to the Guru and the ashram (which is also the Guru). The Guru reaches back, filling me with bliss. The connection stays; it becomes stronger.

All of this is in the now. It turns out that focusing on the present moment is key to my sadhana, a different kind of discipline.

"Structure" is not now. Structure doesn't work for me (I am overly and obsessively structured). It has taken all of these years to finally understand that the minute I say "every day I will..." I am no longer in the now, in what is real. It's a concept. This is worse than useless for me. An obsession. Delusion.

For some time now I have been very disciplined in the now with disciplining my mind. I have enough control of my mind now that I can usually still it the second it starts with thoughts I don't want to entertain. 

I can now still my mind when it is afraid or unbelieving about long periods of continuing spiritual practices. I can also still my mind when it balks at repetition.

I don't force myself. If I can't still and be at peace with my mind in the moment, I back up and try again.

I have reached the point where more of me than not wants to be engaged in the practices without substantial interruption. I contain the shakti without spending it out on the town. This is huge.

I can see now. I thought that the goal was to do practices in order to reach a higher state that didn't require consistent effort. What is true is that I maintain a steady effort with practices and study to reach and sustain a higher state... because it increases my connection to the Guru and her state. I am aware of her as my constant companion. I need spiritual practices to express my love for her, and for God

There is nothing I can ever do to repay her for even the smallest portion of her grace.

Did I mention this is all new?

All of this is a gift from my guru.

Grace grows

All of this is a gift from my guru.

I have found that getting out of the way of my Guru and spiritual experiences, getting control of my mind, staying in the now, finding practices in the now I can add into a large part of my day, combined with staying connected to the Guru has resulted in new life for me, the one I've dreamed of.

My Guru's grace would stir in me. And as with everything in my life, I immediately attempted to control and augment it. It was a sort of spiritual poverty and desperation. An obsession.

I was always reaching up, out of the play of drowning in misery, of a life that was always short of anything worth attaining.

This instant habit of mental attachment to spiritual experiences extinguished them, often before they really got going.

I didn't know how to simply receive Guru's grace.

I craved a spiritual life, in touch with the world and its source. But I had filled my life with one lila (counterproductive dance) after another.

I had an obsession with getting the lila under control, having the things I reached for be the things I really got.

I never did.

When I moved away from the ashram, I sent a letter to Gurumayi asking her to remove the delusion that made such a huge difference between what I set out to achieve and what I got.

What was I thinking?

I burned karma HEAVILY for thirteen years. It was like umpteen miles of really bad road.

I have finally come to understand that my main practice is to stay in the now. Without the now, nothing else works for me. Every time I said "starting now I will do such and such every day..." I was no longer in the now, and it did not work for me.

Finally, now, I have practiced over and over to immediately stop my mind when i began to brood or feel hopeless or persecuted, etc. Over and over, day after day I stilled my mind when it jumped on a spiritual experience, trying to control it.

I have found that thoughts are much easier to stop when they first arise.

Recently I realized that before, when I was opening to the grace of the Guru, I was closing it off later. My mind refused to tolerate the feelings that came up after grace had flowed in, and it faced what it thought of as the impossible task of keeping it going. Without being conscious of it, I would move my attention elsewhere. Even when I tried not to, eventually I would wander off. It was an obsession. Reach out, but then pull back before facing the painful inability to remain alive in the life I craved. It was a sad life.

What if I was born disengaged with this world, ready to make of a human birth the lifetime I need to become enlightened? Everything I have tried I failed at because I do not socialize like other people. The obsession that I would learn how to engage with others if I went to college, etc., was hard to let go of.

Finally, now, I have let go of the need and the desire to engage with the world around me.

I gained a significant amount of control over my mind.

Last week this all seemed to gel. I began to have spiritual experiences that lasted longer than ever before. I was filled with shakti and the love of God. It felt so real, the desires of my heart here inside of me at last.

As I listened to the mantra over and over, I started to feel very strongly that I was crossing the threshold of home.

My mind balked, suddenly in a panic. "What about all of what we've been doing? If you walk away from that, we will give the world up for nothing." I noticed these feeling and walked on.

Every time I choose to reach out again to the Guru, to the ashram, to Paramaśiva, I receive enough grace to get through all of these challenges, to receive the blessings I have craved all my life, for this grace to fill me and grow, and keep growing.

It is so clear to me now that practices are gifts that bring more shakti and grace. Before I thought they were for getting a little closer to realization. Sometimes I enjoyed them and sometimes I did not. I was still hopeful, but in the end it was like treading water.

Now I want practices! I have started with listening to the mantra all the time I am at my desk. I have a couple of different favorites that are on repeat all the time, quietly when I sleep. This makes a huge difference in my home and inside of me.

I have been able at last to repeat the mantra "inside" most of the time.

The mantra is powerful! And it is simple, it can be a part of life without stopping it.

I have been studying sacred texts, visiting the SYDA home page, offering seva here, and visiting other spiritual websites and forums.

I am not pushing myself. Grace grows Grace grows.

All of this is a gift from my guru.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Listening to God is meditation. Asking God is prayer.

If everything is just a method then there is no point in prayer.


Prayer is the cry of a soul. To whom you pray is not important. 
When there is longing, true prayer happens by itself.

Quotes from Sir Sri Ravi Shankar

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Going large with Shree Kundalini

Om Namah Shivaya

There is nowhere to get to, only now. I chant forever, for what is established.

My mind feels betrayed. There's a jerking sensation. How can we be there already? I've got plans. And this is boring and stupid, by the way.

I am firm, yet gentle with my mind. Discipline feels good, and we soon settle down.

I chant and listen to the mantra hour after hour to soften my heart, to express and worship the forever divine, to be transformed. What could be better? (It's even easy! That's from her grace).

That One. Soham. I am that.

My ego dissolving dharana: Eyes open or closed, I concentrate on the light all around me, dancing completely free, frustrating my mind's obsession with engaging multiplicity. I remember how attempts to join with and direct this play of time and place is always fruitless, and worse than unkind. And I let go. Freedom. Freedom, bliss, and a profound contentment is where I go when multiplicity ends.

PS LOTS of things are freakin' HILARIOUS when multiplicity takes a hike. Like Shiva taking shape as an elaborate device and network for communication called a "telephone." Ha ha, like Shiva needs this to talk to parts of himself. This is not intellectual. It's laughing while swooshing large with Shree Kundalini... amazing fun!! 

Cosmic doorbell

All of this is a gift from my Guru.

Imagine my surprise when God has begun to be at play in everything. I experience the play as waves of bliss that I tune into at will, and which tickle me, ringing the universe's most profound doorbell.

But I thought...
Lord Shiva is the Lord of the Dance

I thought liberation would be intellectual, that I would "see" my liberation, mapping it with my mind. But I don't see it with (that part of) my mind.

My liberation dances as bliss.

Now I know why Shiva is the Lord of the Dance. All of creation is dancing. His dance. The dance.

(For the first time I really comprehend how the divine comes to each in their own way).

I feel my liberation like a bubbly plunge into liquid unknown, flowing with the constant certainty of unformed feelings of knowing recognition. With eyes closed I am cresting and sailing without moving, the arching waves of bliss, intelligence at play.


There are no rules or concepts to it. No "up" or "down," no "here" or "there," no "this must be ____."

No "inside" or "outside."

That thrill in the story when Sherlock Holmes said it, filling the reader with delight and anticipation that didn't exist in the previous paragraph: "The game is afoot!"

Perhaps I am sometimes outside of the realm of the senses. I have learned how to withdraw my senses for a time, and keep them in check. I have learned how to tamp down my mind, holding it tightly and gently as I am still in the center place. I experience what is outside of my contracted mind, that which contains it.

I recognize in the moment. I don't know what or how, simply a recognition of what is greatest, what is essential.

I am thrilled with bliss, with all that is right here.

Imagine my astonishment when this bliss keeps calling to me, a revelation of dancing both large and small that appears in my stream of consciousness, calling me to open to what is real, filling my heart, the dance.

I did not know. A swirling play of bliss has no blueprint, no rules, no expectations... just The One whirling with bliss that creates an entire universe, *creating and dissolving, all on the fly.

Ecstacy. The Lord of the Dance.

All of this is a gift from my Guru.

Whirling Dervishes in a State of Bliss by Lance-Daniel-Smith

~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~

*In Kashmir Shaivism, Shiva is the supreme creator and performs five functions: creator, sustainer, dissolver, concealer and revealer

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Maa Katyayani puja

Salutations and pranam Maa Katyayani

Saturday, October 8, 2016

I'm all in

Lifelong obsessions are burning up.

Desperate hopes and cherished dreams are in the fire, rising as a multitude of sparks. There, the Lord of the Dance, my Beloved.

I'm all in. Svaha.

Going through with it

I choose in the moment. I have learned how to get out of the way.

What I find in the moment is completely new, beyond any previous understanding.

I am led. I choose to be led, to follow, to allow. I choose this over and over.

I choose to trust.

I choose to believe.

I turn away from my cherished and elaborate story, changing direction inside. I part with what has come before in this and many other lifetimes of story. I choose this release over and over, sometimes with joy, sometimes with sadness.


I choose to offer to the sacrificial fire the things I desire, the things I avoid, the unbreakable bonds now falling away... and I am intoxicated again and again by a freedom that promises ever more freedom.

For the first time, more of me than not is committed to that which is most supreme, and available to me in any moment, because of her grace.

An unstruck sound; can you hear it?

I am all in a row, realigned. I am going through with it.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Shubh Navratri

Humble salutations again and again
Shubh Navratri dear friends!

Navratri is a nine day festival for worship of the feminine divine in India

Navratri is often celebrated with elaborate decorations and costumes

Thursday, September 29, 2016

My melting heart

My heart has been melting...

I thought of someone I had hurt badly when I was 19 years old. I had felt numb about it all these years, just not caring one way or another, although I knew intellectually I had done something so hurtful.

I tried to find him once in the past, but was unsuccessful.

And this time, when I thought of him, I felt my love for him. I still love him. This was a revelation.

I kept thinking of him. Thoughts of him would break through whatever had my attention, and I felt my caring for him.

Finally I tried again to find him. I found him in a few steps with an online search service. Wow.

Should I contact him? This will be worse than fruitless if I hurt him again. Contacting him is a big responsibility. Can we be friends, if he will talk to me? I will not hurt him again.

Karma. We still have karma.

I kept thinking of him, my feelings breaking through whatever I was focusing on. It felt urgent.

It started to be intense. Overwhelming feelings about him.

Then, I physically felt someone (Gurumayi?) behind me in my desk chair, leaning over me, hugging me so that I felt their presence partly inside of me, a strong energy.

This is urgent. Don't wait.


I sent him a letter. He called me. I called him back.

I think he is alone. He still has an alcohol problem, and I'm guessing also meth. He has cancer, and has been having chemo. They give him six months.

He has a son he recently reconciled with. He is living in his parent's home with his aging mother.

He talked my ear off at breakneck speed. Meth? Fear?

I'm committed. Whatever that means, for me. To be there for him. To be the contact for my Guru's shakti. A priceless gift.

Yes. I will not bear him, hold him up. My Guru's shakti will go from me into him. I am the conduit. What a delight.

UPDATE: I spoke with him again. He has a crushed hip from a bicycle accident, and must use crushes. We traded war stories, and discussed unfinished arguments. It feels we have taken up (with our karmas) right where we left off in 1978. 

UPDATE: Happy conversations. Karmas complete. So many *samskaras have melted away. As always, my Guru sets me free.

*Samskara (Hinduism, especially Karmic theory): the mental impression, recollection, and psychological imprint left by beliefs, intentions, and actions."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Diamonds are forever

Shiva Parvati
I think I see Kama's love arrows

I was humming a tune I don't remember ever paying much attention to. I laughed, as I realized I was singing about trading up from the disappointing charades of the world for that which is permanent, most precious, luminous, and which will linger forever.

My Beloved will never leave in the night. He will never desert me. Nothing will hide in His transparent heart to hurt me. He never lies. My lover lingers.

He is forever.

“As the earth dies your spirit will bloom; as the world fades your soul will rise and glisten. Amongst the dehydrated crevices of a desert earth you will stumble upon your diamonds; in between the dry skulls and cracked bones you will find your sapphires.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

Diamonds Are Forever by Shirley Bassey

Diamonds are forever, they are all I need to please me
They can stimulate and tease me

They won't leave in the night

I've no fear that they might desert me

Diamonds are forever, hold one up and then caress it
Touch it, stroke it and undress it
I can see ev'ry part, nothing hides in the heart to hurt me

I don't need love, for what good will love do me?
Diamonds never lie to me
For when love's gone, they'll lustre on

Diamonds are forever, sparkling round my little finger
Unlike men, the diamonds linger
Men are mere mortals who are not worth going to your grave for

I don't need love, for what good will love do me?
Diamonds never lie to me
For when love's gone, they'll lustre on

Diamonds are forever, forever, forever

Theme from the James Bond film 
"Diamonds are Forever"

Forever and ever... closer than close