Sunday, April 28, 2013

My 200th post




Only We know that my clothes are 
layered as robes of saffron, 
that under my hair, 
my shaved head pales. 
True, upon this hip rests 
my begging bowl, invisible, 
ever filled with guru's grace.

I have renounced all
that I once carried:
the tare weight of delusion
the ferried weight of the world
all dissolved back into You.

We peek out from Your pocket...
I am everywhere !!


~ jnana shiva ~


~  Celebrating my 200th post  ~

Friday, April 26, 2013

When I was a girl

St Theresa of Avila
"If you will try to live in the presence of GOD for one year, you will see yourself at the end of it at the height of perfection, without your even knowing it." ~ St. Theresa of Avila


I am being taught a lesson about grace. I am being taught by when it "leaves," and by when it "returns."

When grace is gone and I am floundering, I face again the obsessions and delusions of my unpurified mind, which is subject to the three malas and the contraction of Chit Shakti in her role as Shree Maya (the active form of the Lord, Paramashiva's consciousnesswho holds the consciousness of all in contraction, the entire universe, and the illusion of multiplicity).

When grace returns, I notice instantly, and I am reminded of the number one question that I have right now: How can I receive and be aligned with grace in every moment? What should I do when it is "gone," i.e. wait? Take action?

It is an illusion that the source of grace is separate from me. But if the illusion reigns, then I am held back from my life in God.



St Therese of Lisieux
"I can nourish myself on nothing but truth." ~ St. Therese of Lisieux


One way of describing my new life is that I have chosen to make focusing on God and receiving guru's grace the highest priority of my life and the most important activities of every day. The results were immediate and dramatic, but I am really a beginner at discipline.

I have renounced the things that are in the way of my new life of living fully for God. It is fairly easy to keep my day free of unnecessary social or career obligations and clutter. To live simply, dress simply. To shine the love light of my guru's shakti from my heart to others I meet during my day.

But discipline is something new. I have avoided discipline to "make up" for my soul being so lost out in the hot desert of delusion and malnourished by obsessions.

Her years as a Indian
"wandering" sadhvi are
measured by her jata
(long locks)
I am struggling. I get stuck in dualism. I believe my fear when it tells me I must struggle, struggle harder to make up for my own lack in a situation, or that I will fail, or lose my "foolish" bid to live fully for God.

This is all based on the illusion that I am separate from God, that my creator isn't inside of my being as me (I finally understand, Baba...).

The most important thing is that I don't give up. In the past the wheel of my life would turn on its way and I would get lost in other things down the road, then finally return to try again.

I have prayed fervently that this time, this attempt to find and get about "my Father's business," will not stop. I have promised myself I would not lose track and spin onward AGAIN.

Now now now... God is now.

Sadhvis
(most likely widows)
At first this was enough, choosing God now and not slipping back tomorrow or next week. I made progress, found myself freed from many past obsessions and illusions. I notice ego instantly and do not jump on board with it. I test contracted thinking and find it often disappears, POOF.

Then I found myself freed up from my decades long compulsion to keep my head in the computer. Wow, something really different! But, I didn't know what to do instead. I didn't have a structure or discipline. I foundered. It felt as though I had lost all the ground I gained.

I noticed a part of my mind that whispered: "It isn't such a big deal. You did a lot. Just relax now. It's okay to back off a bit on your goal. Living for God, isn't that a bit much? Well, okay, but you can still do that and relax too, can't you?"

I have heard this little internal voice before, I don't know why it is there. I want to WANT to live for God. This voice doesn't want to live for anything except the moment. It is the voice of addiction. Give up everything for the obsession of being made whole and happy by something "external." DELUSION.

A female renunciant, called a sadhini or sadhvi
Am I really in a battle with this old part of me? She's whipped my ass several times over. But I am determined, and am bringing everything to bear on this, because IT IS THE PURPOSE OF MY LIFE.

When I was a girl, if someone asked (no one did) me what I wanted to be, I would have said, "a nun... or a playboy centerfold." Seriously. I remember thinking that. Because I remember thinking that God had given me a big scar on my stomach to keep me from going the way of sin.

Then I found out Mormons don't have nuns. I was crushed. I mean, really really disappointed.

Actress Deepti Navala plays a sadhvi
on a television soap opera

I have over the years, in my twenties, thirties, forties and now my fifties, asked myself over and over: "What is the purpose of my life?" I didn't have an answer. But I remember one time, (when I was relaxing in the bubble tub at my home away from home, Kiva Retreat in Santa Cruz, CA), I considered, maybe the purpose of my life is to seek God.

Sadhvi Abha Saraswati
is a sadhvi or nun in an
established order of monks
Immediately I was thrilled to the core. I pictured my entire life as a path from "now" to God. What could be better???

I never forgot this, but I couldn't picture how to accomplish it. Like when I was a teen, and wanted so badly to disappear into the Bible, or The Lord of the Rings. Someplace where the desires of the heart actually happened. Because I yearned so much for Jesus, but the yearning never translated into my life. Jesus was somewhere else, someplace I could not go.

That is the experience of a soul who wants to live their life in God, but has not had shaktipat.

Well, I've had shaktipat. And I have endured a great deal to get through all that was in the way of my current life and calling.

Guru Gurumayi.... Guru Paramashiva.... show me the way. I am alone, there is no ashram or sangham as my support environment. I am surrounded by the world, and my values are now completely different from those around me.

I find the guru in my heart.

But I also think... it is time to send a letter to the physical guru.


Jaya Mahadevis!
Durga center, Lakshmi left,
Saraswati right

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mantra is the very form of God

A selection from the blog: "Q and A with Mohanji" regarding Mantra Japa


Mohanji
"When the [times create] restlessness, it tests the talent of even the most consistent spiritual seeker. This is natural. Meditations and practices (sadhana) will become difficult. On one side the looming cloud of tamas which constantly push one to “sleep a little while longer”, and on the other side, the lack of environmental support. Mind really sways. Many give up. Many will become disillusioned. Many change their Gurus, imagining that it is because of their Guru that they are suffering!

The best recommended practice during such time is Japa Yoga, or the Yoga of Chants (chanting of the Lord's name).

Lord Krishna and almost all the great masters who walked on earth have acknowledged the importance of Japa yoga. “Among the various types of Yajna, (A ritual or sacrifice into fire, which consists of chants (Manthras) and materials), I am the Yajna or Japa,” said the Avatar Krishna in Gita.


Mohanji
[Bhagavad] Gita also emphasizes on the importance of chanting “which destroys all afflictions, sins and sufferings.” Patanjali instructs that Japa must be done for prolonged period without interruption so that we become one with the chant and this should be done with deep reverence and respect. Japa is the very form of God. Perfection can be attained by chanting the Divine name. In this context, I remember the great Saint Valmiki – the transformation of the hunter Ratnakara to Sage Valmiki! He attained the highest possible state of spiritual elevation and total transformation (metamorphosis) by just chanting the name of the Lord Rama and thus becoming one with the name.


Mohanji
Constitutional change can happen when we become one with the name of the Lord. God is the subtlest of the subtlest. In that context, even the name is gross. But, the name itself can be considered as the form of God, where the sound is the form. The sound “OM” can be considered the form of God because God is formless or all forms.
The name itself can be considered as the form of God, where the sound is the form. The sound “OM” can be considered the form of God because God is formless or all forms...

Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti said that “If you rub the mirror of your heart with the name of God, You will see the God’s effulgence reflected on it”. Beautiful!

Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi



Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi said “Mantra is a channel of shifting current of thoughts. Mantra is a bund or dam put up to divert the water where it is needed. Japa is clinging to one thought to the exclusion of all other thoughts, that is the purpose of Japa. It leads to dhyana (meditation) which ends in Self-Realization.”








Bhagawan Nithyananda of Ganesh Puri says “Japa is a means. Very easy as well as highly efficacious. Through japa sadhana, the vibration thus created, the body gets cleansed and by that the mind also becomes pure and Divine. Continuous Japa will result in nada-upasana and such a state will help to reach the state of Self-Realization”. 

Here, Bhagawan talks about the cellular level purification due to the vibration created by chanting. Since body and mind are integrally connected, cleansing happens in the body also cleanses the mind, so on and so forth. Sincere Japa with a steady mind on the sound and the Lord, will ensure an all-round cleansing. This is the most effective practice possible in turbulent times.







Saint Teresa of Avila found completeness “when each breath began to silently say the name of my Lord”.













Eknath




Eknath said "Remembrance is liberation. Forgetfulness is regression. Utterance of the name is essential devotion."


















Sunday, April 21, 2013

Burning rajas and drivin' country

I have the most irritating, overall feeling of irritation! Not all the time, thank God, but a good amount of the time. 

For a couple of weeks I just thought it was my mouth pain.

Now I am realizing I am "burning" rajas.

Enlightenment exists beyond the three qualities of tamas (inertia), rajas (activity), and sattva (purity). Burning means to have something "on fire" within, an experience of whatever is being purified that is concentrated, amplified, and occurring at an extreme level of awareness. This is part of how the karmas are burned quick enough (through guru's grace) in order for a yogi to become free (realized) in one lifetime.
rajas [ruh-jus]: one of the three primal qualities (called gunas— Described as the principle of activity; energy; passion; restlessness

So burning of the qualities is one type of spiritual purification on the way to complete freedom.

I feel all over like I do when I have way too much chocolate, caffeine, and sugar, and not enough sleep, times about ten or twenty. Ack! It is rough.

Sometimes I just wiggle and growl and shake, get it off me, get it out! I'm fairly used to constant purification, but this one is especially uncomfortable. I can't really remember ever purifying irritation and rajas.


In my experience, the shakti will make use of whatever is present in my consciousness for Her divine purification activities (which began with my shaktipat in 1999). So my current problems with insomnia and mouth pain become fuel for the fire of purification.


Sometimes, if the purification just gets to be too much, I will ask for a little break, which sometimes commences in that moment. I try to only do this if really necessary. I don't want to save up any purification. I am especially hopeful when it's hard to take, because I know the fire is hot and a lot is being burned away, leaving me free.

As in... I thought I was ________. Nope (...burning away...)

Om guru om.



Slow down... we're "drivin' country"

Dharana on the guru's mantra japa artwork

A single rudraksha seed on
Lord Shiva's brow
I studied the art work from the guru, and it took a couple of tries for me to realize the little round things are beads, rudraksha seeds (which are sacred to Lord Shiva). Then I realized that each bead represents a repetition of the mantra.

The japa mala of beads spirals inward and outward in a continuous stream, taking the shape of a great sahasrara (crown chakra) in the shape of a large lotus.

Inside the bead lotus is another much smaller spiral lotus in warm colors of cream and creamy white, with a large blue pearl in the center.

Shiva's rudraksha seed malas 
I delighted in offering pradakshina 
(circling in worship) many times to
this beloved statue of Lord Shiva
when I lived at the ashram
The outer edge of the art is flat on three sides, but on the bottom there is a slight "bowing" of the art and slight shadows near the sides that give the appearance of some space behind the art, with white light shining out from under the middle of the bottom edge.

Once I finally got "into" the art, as I really took it in, when I focused on the blue pearl and the yantra-like inner cream-colored mandala-lotus-sahasrara, I felt a sweet little kriya (inner shakti movement) tip my head forward slowly as my mind settled into very sweet, deep meditation.

I could feel a transmission of sweet grace.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bade Baba stories

Bade Baba stories

Soon after moving to the ashram (I was a new devotee, rare for living at the ashram), I volunteered to be an attendant in Bade Baba's (Bhagawan Nityananda's) temple once per week. I had heard that Bade Baba was very unpredictable. For example, a piece of fruit my friend was absent-mindedly coveting leapt from the platform at Bade Baba's feet and rolled across the floor to her feet. (Now that is prasad!)

Padukas (sandals) and the guru's feet
are worshiped as an immediate, very
personal and beloved means of contact
with the guru's divine darshan and grace
My first week in the temple without help, a very strange thing happened. Bade Baba's beautiful silver sandals, or padukas, which are a representation of his darshan and grace (a whole essay on the symbolism of the Guru's feet), are presented on a little dais in front of his murti for worshipers to touch when entering the temple. Well, there was suddenly a rain shower(!), inside the temple, from a window (that did not open) on the ceiling above the padukas, and which rained on the padukas without getting anything else at all wet! I looked up, and a ray of morning sun was shining obliquely onto the window, and the drops of rain were falling from this spot. 

This was all rather spectacular. The deluge lasted for a good 20 to 30 seconds and was noisy in the quiet temple. There was no mistaking what was happening, or what just happened when it finished. It had rained inside on Bade Baba's silver padukas. They were quite wet.

It is so obvious that Muktananda
had received everything 
(realization) from his guru.
With great focus and humility,
he had nothing else to do or be.
This is what I aspire to.
Another sevite carefully dried them off (I can hear Bade Baba laughing). I was too new to laugh yet, as I'm sure Bade Baba was doing! 

There's always an ego "burn" in any lesson, and mine was that someone told me I had to call the main temple sevite, and I was new, so I did as she suggested, awakening a clearly tired sevite with my phone call. She was very unhappy about being called about something that required no action or even knowledge. I apologized for disturbing her. I thought she must have duties to perform at night.  letter-spacing: 1px;

Later I learned that she was up in the middle of the night giving abhishek. (Now that I think of it, maybe Bade Baba was after her, too. Ha ha.)



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



It is funny, but I rarely thought of this event when I would visit the temple. I don't remember sharing about it to anyone. I thought of it as a sort of playful trick at the time, but now I know that nothing a siddha does is without layers of meaning, meaning which is entirely perfect for each person who is touched by an event.
A profound love

I think Bade Baba was giving me a message. If others are so reverent towards my padukas, that doesn't mean you also have to be. My grace and my darshan are alive, as water is alive. Also, I don't need others to give me (or my sandals) abhishek. And do not mistake the murti used to love and honor and worship my presence as being here for me. I allow myself to be worshiped in this way as a gift of service to my devotees, to anyone who wants to become free.

This was a high spiritual lesson for me, a newcomer. I can only really begin to understand it now. I'll probably reflect on it for the rest of my life.

Only now am I realizing that I was given the gift of such a unique darshan of a perfect siddha (saint), beloved by so many, a gift that I treasure.

I will write some other time about the other most notable Bade Baba darshan I had, when it was time to move out from the ashram three years later (and I thought it was going to be one year...).


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

Bhagawan Nityananda,
"Bade Baba"
Another Bade Baba story.

When I lived at the ashram, I worked in the "Bookstore," (the fulfillment of online and phone orders for meditation supplies, etc.) We occasionally ordered a special item for sale. Something new: a bunch of "cute" little one-piece brass lingams. I walked into the warehouse area, and just couldn't help myself. "That's a whole lotta lingams," I observed.

Okay while we're talking so-called funny stories about brass items, another time I picked up a bunch of small (about 3 inches tall) brass Bade Baba (Nityananda) murtis that had been created for us in Rhode Island. The metal craftsman, of course, were hardy East Coast sons-of-immigrants who watched The Sopranos on HBO (as did I). They were all laughing and I soon found out why. "Bada Bing!" they gestured to the little army of cross-legged Bade Babas ready for transport. 

They called the Bade Babas "Bada Bing!" I laughed heartily. I was sure Bade Baba was laughing too. The fact that the "Bada Bing" was a strip-club on The Sopranos only made it more funny.

PS I was just thinking they likely had some blissful, intoxicating darshan of Bade Baba while creating the beautiful murtis.


Nityananda's shakti
Muktananda's shakti
Chidvilasananda's shakti
My shaktipat diksha
A priceless gift
Thank you

Meditation

Thousand Pillars Hall, Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
My meditation yesterday and especially tonight seemed a wobbly balance (back and forth) between almost deep asleep, then pulling back into very deep meditation.

I guessed perhaps Ram joined me in meditation after I posted about him earlier (see below). Earlier today I sent him an email inquiring about signing up for his email course (with my site's URL in the email). I'm pretty damn sure he's a siddha.

I heard nada of various things, I remember a flute (Lord Krishna?)

I've been having some huge, expelling of energy blockages kriyas of jerking about and sometimes making mmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH sounds(!), my whole body straining as though to expel a mass of energy with the sound. After the sounds, my throat and vocal folds feel stretched and expanded, full of shakti.

Before my meditation my mouth and gums hurt so bad. I thought, maybe meditation will help. During and after meditation I felt so much better, very little pain or discomfort at all. [This reminds me of the cloak of grace I felt around me as I arrived at the dentist's office to have three teeth extracted!] [PS Still very little pain the next day.]

I am filled with love. I am thrilled to be alive, and loving God, who is everything, and everything to me. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fewer teeth

girl with missing tooth

I had to have three teeth extracted today (I've never had an extraction before). I wasn't doped up, just the local anesthetic. While the dentist was whaling away trying to get my (long) teeth out of my jaw, I began to giggle. I had the solid experience of Paramashiva struggling mightily to extract three of Paramashiva's teeth, one by one... a very serious undertaking... 

(LAUGH!!!!! ...laugh!!!... laugh laugh... But, not laughing later, ha ha...... OUCHEE...)

Sleep while awake

Ram Butler
RAM BUTLER 
"There was a time, almost 30 years ago now, that I was in the ashram in India, and in those days the Guru would sit in the courtyard and it was very informal, so one could just go up and talk to him about something. 

One day I approached him with this question of being in sleep while awake, for many scriptures speak of the same experience. And he seemed very interested in my question and told me it was very important to understand, and we talked about it for a while. 


As he spoke, I observed him very closely, and it was as though he was speaking in his sleep. He was actually in that state of sleep even while apparently awake and speaking to me. The understanding of this is, as he said, essential."


~ Ram Butler, Living in the Truth of the Present Moment


Baba Muktananda


I have noticed my consciousness is becoming more still. My mind doesn't open and spill my shakti out all over as much. I often experience stillness, a complete calm. When I focus on keeping the doors to the senses closed, I naturally focus on an area between my eyebrows (ajna chakra?), where a gentle swelling sensation takes place. My mind comes to rest in this place, and continuing to focus there seems to release a form of nectar, a physical form of grace and bliss.

It seems I am becoming more and more "continent" spiritually. Eating sattvic foods, mantra japa, meditation, and the practice of focusing on the feelings of stillness of my entire being all are pulling me inward.

If something happens to disturb my stillness, I can have the stillness back with a minimum of effort (guru's grace...). It seems to all come down to whether I believe I have to suffer, or whether I choose to step away from limiting thoughts and feelings and back into the truth, which is that I am not limited.

When I read Ram Butler's words about remaining in the state of sleep while functioning as though awake, this seemed to be where these changes are leading me.


I think I've reached the tipping point,
where the inner world is more interesting to me
than the external world
even though I don't yet know 
what that "means," or "where I am"








I am made of this velvet mystery 
an ancient place of worship
here in the velvet mystery of my heart 

So'ham... I am that




Find God inside

Woman worshiping the Ganges River
Hindus experience and
worship God as all of nature,
especially as the sun, Surya,
and as the Ganges River,
as the goddess Ganga
I am guessing and stumbling, but mostly finding a new level of understanding and the possibilities in the NOW.

Note: I have been struggling with the dualistic concept of "inner versus outer." Reading Ram Butler's blog has focused my learning on this, and also on (past or future versus) the "now."

I have made some notes on what seems to be swirling around in my mind, seeking the "ahhhhhh" place of coming to rest in complete understanding.


There is no past, no future. God creates all in each moment. I am one with God, so I am the one creating my Self and "reality."

The spectacular change and freedom I experienced in the last few months is only available to me NOW and AS THIS, whatever is happening in this moment.

Trying to continue this recent (glorious) past in the now is an illusion. The (glorious) now is ever and always new.

The "external" world is an emanation of consciousness. "I" am an emanation of consciousness. There is only ONE, who is Paramashiva, who is found "inside."

The journey to the source of my consciousness and being is within.

Following my consciousness inside is the choice and reality I am finding in this moment. It is where I turn in moments of darshan.

Darshan of my guru's and Paramashiva's grace call to me throughout the day to turn within. When I turn my consciousness inside the grace increases, is sweeter still. I am not so easily carried away by my mind, ego or senses.

I am being claimed by grace, absorbed by grace.

I am the seer, not the seen. I am the knower, not the known. See the play with the eyes of Paramashiva. Offer my senses and my experience to The Supreme, accept each moment as prasad.

Rose

The mantra is the vehicle of guru's grace and intention in 2013.

"The mantra is the master key that unlocks the mystery of the inner kingdom, revealing the fullness of your own heart." ~ Gurumayi
Hands holding a japa mala
Om Namah Shivaya

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sri Guru Gita


Sri Guru Gita: Song of the Guru
Parvati questions her beloved Lord Shiva
and receives His instruction regarding the nature 
of the Supreme Guru (who is Paramashiva)
"Salutations to Shri Guru, by whose reality the world is real, by whose light it is illumined, and by whose joy people are joyous." ~ Sri Guru Gita, verse 36 (Skanda Purana)



Every blade of grass



Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers “Grow, Grow.” 

 ~ The Talmud

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mantra japa

Guru's grace,
the inner nectar
A new practice! Committing to memory.

I get to experience memorizing a series of teachings, or aphorisms, (vehicle of guru's grace), which are focused on Mantra Japa, this year's message.

Before the teachings, there was a dharana (concentration exercise):
Unite, Love, Appreciate, Honor, Grace, Laugh. (My share was posted on the website!)
I can feel guru's grace rising through me as great waves of shakti with the insistent weight and gentle force of sweet nectar.

LATER: I read another devotee's share later and realized, as she had observed, that the waves were "...the pulsation of the mantra."

Om. Help me to accept your grace in every way, and be the best devotee and sadhini that I can be, I pray, my guru, Sadguru. Om.


There are nine beads, or teachings, plus the "guru" bead:

Mantra japa is an offering
  1. The true flame is alive in our hearts. Awaken us to the music of So'ham. ~ Jyota se jyota
  2. A perfect joy abides in the heart, a love like nectar. Go there and find it. ~ Baba Muktananda
  3. Mantra is the vibration of the Supreme Self. ~ Baba Muktananda
  4. The root of mantra is the guru's word. ~ Shree Guru Gita
  5. Mantra, the purifying force. ~ Gurumayi Chidvilasananda
  6. The power of absorption in the force of the mantra dissolves all limitations. ~ Paratrimshika
  7. Mantra repetition gives the mind freedom from thoughts that hinder one's progress in life. ~ Gurumayi Chidvilasananda
  8. Every particle of the breath, every inhalation & exhalation, is a bead on the japa mala, the awareness of which leads to the experience of ajapa japa. ~ Gurumayi Chidvilasananda
  9. The mantra is the master key that unlocks the mystery of the inner kingdom, revealing the fullness of your own heart. ~ Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

Guru bead:  सो ऽहम् so'ham ॐ गुरु  om guru om ~ ॐ नमः शिवाय om namah shivaya (the three mantras of Siddha Yoga Path)


Om Namah Shivaya in Devanagri script
Sacred river offering
a sweet ittle boat
~ Om Namah Shivaya ~
I offer my love to God
Who is here in my heart

Mood of devotion

~ The bliss of Lord Chaitanya ~

"The main thing is to fix your mind on the sound of the chanting. As you strain and yearn to keep your attention fixed, this naturally brings a mood of devotion.This is the way you serve the holy name. Just as when cooking, if you try very hard not to burn the preparation, to spice it nicely, and to keep it cooking nicely, then you express your devotion in this way."

~ Satsvarupa dada Goswami (ISKCON Japa Group blog) 





Om Namah Shivaya ~
The sweet, incessantly purifying
fire of my mantra japa devotion
is a gift from guru and Sadguru
f o r e v e r

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Everything in my life could be described as one of two things

Tropical beach at sunrise
an ocean of
g r a c e
Everything in my life could be described as one of two things:

1) Things I did before, until I knew what I wanted to do, and

2) What I do now, what I want to do, what I am born to do

It's as big of a difference as can be!

In the third grade, I discovered the fantasy world of books in the Oz series. Just as quickly this world came crashing down around me when I read the last Oz book. Painful.

I was keenly aware of the absence of anything that I wanted to do in my adolescence. I wanted to leave this world and go to Middle Earth or Dune or Gethen. I knew that if I found "it," I would feel just like this: __________. And it would be deeply fulfilling all the time, not just for a moment.

Alive, magical, fulfilled, challenged, delighted, ecstatic, unfolding, adventurous, calm, grounded, Robert DeNiro (and the ketchup bottle in Heat), know who I am and why I'm here, alive, magical, fulfilled.....

moonrise over water
a full measure of
g r a c e
Meanwhile, I spent my life chasing flickers and shadows. (I am half sick of shadows...)

I found things to do while I was seeking seeking seeking... These things filled my time but I was living on my inner resources. My life took from but did not replenish me.

By middle age I was slowly dying, and I knew it. Every year felt worse than the one before.

I tried and tried different things, but eventually I gave up and sat down to wait. I was like the little match girl, burning my dwindling supply of matches, (the resource I must trade for sustenance), one by one... for a little moment of almost warmth.

But then... I found guru's grace (it found me) and this (current) day became inevitable, but there was a lot to "burn" before a new reality could begin. I was still wandering lost, an ex-patriate of the magical kingdom of ___________.


Until... finally...

I FOUND WHAT I WANT TO DO:

Everything changed.

I choose to be alone in the world. Solitary is a feeling, a mental state, and vast re-arranging of my internal priorities and experience.

I have renounced almost all social interaction and the pursuit of a career. Why? Because I'm not interested in them anymore.

golden clouds above sunrise
healing rays of your luminous
g r a c e
I choose to merge with God. God is everything to me. My life as a solitary and a renunciant means my life has been radically prioritized so that all of my time and resources are for God and my spiritual path.

As soon as I made this change, all the pain was gone, all the soul starvation and dwindling away slipped away like old leaves in a high wind, as I sank up to my knees in moist new soil, warm and fragrant and rich with all the nutrients for my starving soul.

(Your divine grace...)

My life is completely different.

I immediately felt that nostalgic feeling of moving on, saying goodbye to what I've known.

Farewell... I am turning at last to God. I didn't realize how little I need others, who are a part of the play of multiplicity. "Others" aren't bad, nor especially good, just parts of the Self committed to the play. I am not. For whatever reason(s), my path is solitary.

I am saying my farewells to always feeling that I am missing something essential, to yearning and yearning for God, who is out of reach (painful). I am saying my farewells to believing I am separate from God.

I am saying my farewells to painful anava mala, to feeling separate
from God, and the painful feeling of missing something eternal and essential.

an endless shower of
g r a c e
I am saying my farewells to painful mayiya mala, to thinking I like or dislike anything, that everything is either ______ or ______, that I must organize the world based on the dualism of me/not me, mine/not mine.

I am saying my farewells to karma mala, to thinking I am the root of action, that I am the cause of the fruits of my actions, and trying to assume control over the cause and effect of my life and my universe... a very huge burden indeed.

I am saying hello to the exquisite life I always wanted, but couldn't find anywhere. So exquisite, so real, I think of God before I open my eyes in the morning, sometimes before I think of anything else, and pranam in my heart.






Namaste, namaskaar, my Beloved, the purpose of my life. I have installed You as the God of the temple of my heart. Pranam.

rippling wavelets on blue water
an endless pool of
grace-filled
n e c t a r
I make of my self offerings. Pranam.

I make of all activity pradakshina (circling in worship).

I offer each out breath as mantra, your name as my only prayer.

I accept each in breath as prasad, made from your out breath, my Beloved. We are one.

I am so rich to caress this endless string of gleaming black pearls, (lotus seed mala), each one as the very name of my most Beloved, who is Shiva. Om Namah Shivaya.

The sacred flame, Shree Agni, burns here in my heart; I wave the lights as worship at the mystical doorway to Your Transcendent Being, my true self. Om Gurudeva.

The sacred mantra vibrates here in my heart; divine nada (sounds) pull my consciousness up through this divine akasha (ether) to the temple of your heart of hearts, my Beloved Lord, who is Paramashiva. Om.


The nectars of transmission (shruti-smriti-teachings) are the constant abhishek of my heart, the living temple of all inner places, reserved for You alone, Maheshwar. I worship You as everything, Parameshwar. I worship You as my Self, Oldest One, Elder of the Vedas, Triambakam. Lord of Mercy, Hara, Nilakantha. My creator, Omkara. Om Namah Shivaya. Om.


I love you.



Rameshwar Mandir



If you like my prose, may I entice you to visit
my poetry blog, here? spanda·nanda

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Sweet Surprise 2017


Forever and ever...


...closer than close.