I can only reward the Divine Light in you

Please don’t ask me

To prop you up

To call the Light of others

That you hide behind

And display as your own

As YOURS

They are phony add-ons

Easy to see through

Someone else’s inspired

Clothes

Art

Hotels

Food

Music

Cinema

They aren’t yours

They’re not even close

Where is YOURS

Dear friend?

Your Exquisite

Creativity

Your turn of the phrase

Your unique bent

Your fountain of joy

Your

Divine

Hidden

Light?

A hundred times

More beautiful

More alive!

Than the regurgitated stuff

Than someone else’s downloads

The Light that totally

Eclipses this

World of illusion

This Hall of mirrors

This boring normality

We want YOUR

Dazzling Light

YOUR inner beauty

Yes YOURS!

WHIP IT OUT

Stop starving us

Let us see it

Please!

Dig deep

Into your darkness

Find the generosity

The COURAGE

To offer forth

YOUR Fantastic

Mesmerizing

LIGHT

To all of us

We’re dying to

See IT

Feel IT

Bathe in IT

Aren’t YOU?

Investing in space

We built the walls

But now we are learning

To embrace the space

The emptiness

The peaceful

Freedom from hurry

From thinking

From making plans

Just the quiet ecstasy

Of sitting inside

The Nothing

A cup of tea

The wind in the trees

Off the clock

Out of mind

Sitting with the Nothing

And letting it

E x p a n d

Until the Universe

Is filled to the brim

With Its sweetness

Its timelessness

Its impossible

Perfection

Swallowing us up

So slowly

So gloriously

In Its loving

Embrace

We wonder why

We ever consented

To be cornered

Into microscopic

Imaginary

Spaceless

Boxes

Everything is Beautiful

Talking with friends lately, I hear a lot of grief… a lot of suffering. One cried for all the dying children, another for abandoned animals… a third for a dead spider. I can certainly sympathize.

But I believe that with life comes grief, and that grief isn’t ugly or horrible. It’s actually beautiful. So are anger, conflict and death… all part and parcel of living. And even though we like to imagine a life without them, that just isn’t realistic. In a photograph, it takes shadows to reveal light.

No, perhaps the grief we carry is for ourselves… for having believed in a magical, always-happy place that doesn’t exist… and for letting that sadden us for so long. Our hearts want to soar!

The truth is, I believe, that we are here to see that absolutely everything is beautiful, exactly as it is. Life is like a movie, a dream, with every part integral to the story. Do we wake up and cry for what was “wrong” in a dream?

“You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained. The entire universe is God’s cosmic motion picture, and individuals are merely actors in the divine play who change roles….” –Paramhansa Yogananda

As soon as we see every single thing – without exception – as beautiful, the world reveals itself to be full of love… exactly as it is. If one thing resists, however, it holds us up, blocks our realization… and we must live in it, surround ourselves with it… until its beauty is revealed. That’s why we get stuck in poverty. Or loneliness. We need to see these things as also beautiful… not something to be resisted, but as opportunities to learn. Gifts.

Haven’t we understood that demanding that the outside world change only causes us to withhold our love – mostly from ourselves? It puts us in conflict with our own day-to-day lives, makes us miserable, ungrateful, feeling powerless. Beyond these old limited, conditioned ways of thinking there is a peace beyond all understanding. We’re searching for it, every single one of us… but we will never be able to find it… until we raise our level of consciousness.

This divine level of consciousness is available to all of us, dear friends… the ability to see not with the eyes of the head, but with the Eyes of the Heart. Humbly ask that your new eyes be activated.. and you, too, will begin to see beauty everywhere, even in the most unlikely places. Blessings!

Feeding my pain

It was I

Who fed you

All these years

I kept you alive

You were the center

The constant

The polestar

But I have no more

To give you

Old friend

No more energy

No more sustenance

No more solace

Withholding my power

I watch you

Slowly die

Not without sorrow

You were

My definition

My bedrock

But no longer

Thank you friend

I am grateful

For all you taught me

Adios!

Losing Your Skin

For a long time, we treat our bodies as if they’re who we are. We love their shape, their color, their softness. We feed them our loving admiration, our self-definition, our energy. We like to be looked at… we consider our beauty as being on the outside. But one day we realize our bodies really don’t really define us anymore. And that’s the day we realize… hey, I’m starting to outgrow this.

At first, the body starts to pinch, like a lobster outgrowing its shell. Our conditioned thinking – our ego – suddenly feels restrictive. It’s become too small to contain our expanding hearts. We enjoyed its so-called “protection,” yes, but in reality, we were always going to outgrow it… we just didn’t know that. And why didn’t we know? Because the shell itself convinced us that we we were already fully grown. We were utterly certain of this… but how?

Well, think about it. If you were the shell – the ego – and didn’t want to be discarded… what would you do? Well, you would try to convince yourself that there’s no reason to grow, that you’re as big as you’ll ever become… that you’ll never need to shed your skin. And since you don’t see many lobsters going around without a shell… it appears as though nobody sheds their skin, that everyone is fully grown.

If we don’t figure out this deception on our own (how could we?)… that’s the moment a narcissist steps into our lives. They represent an old lobster that never shed its skin… clinging to it, as it were, to appearances, to money, to outward trappings. Narcissists are afraid that without the shell, there might not be anything underneath. Too risky! And they certainly don’t want to see anyone grow bigger than they are. So they treat everyone as if they, too, were only empty shells, and mercilessly berate anyone for thinking otherwise: “Can you imagine the gall, imagining they have an inner self?”

Most likely we would never willingly outgrow these old shells of ours… but once we meet a narcissist, it becomes obvious. We notice every single pinch: how limited the ego sense can be, how manipulative it is, how devastating the constant devaluations are. We start to feel things on the inside, no longer content to just bump against the world with this hard outer shell. More than that, thanks to them, we notice how our ego shells are constantly stealing energy from us, suffocating our expansion… our dreams of growth.

Yes, pinched and crooked, the narcissist arrives just in time to double the pain that our egos have always caused us, giving it outward expression, so to speak… just in case we still harbored any dreams of peaceful cohabitation.

So when the day comes to shed our skins, we’re ready. “Get me out of this limited thinking!,” we cry. That’s the same day the narcissist discards us. In shedding our skin, we expose the superficial mindset for what it is: just a shell. The narcissist – by gripping so tightly to theirs – helped us lose our love for it, our faith in its protection… our consent to be shackled to it. Through them, we see the shell’s endgame: manipulations, self-deceptions, self-loathing, constant fear. In a way, the narcissist is the perfect foil: the enemy in the movie, the one who forces us, the protagonist, to grow beyond our limitations.

And like a lobster, once we shed our old skin, we remain in hiding for awhile (boy, do we!). We are extra-sensitive, easy prey… at our most vulnerable. Development of our next exoskeleton takes weeks, months… sometimes even years. And in the meantime… guess what… we are growing like monsters. Lobsters can expand up to 40% after they’ve moulted. I think humans grow up to 1000% bigger. Yee-haw!

At this moment, it would be so easy to blame the old shell (or the narcissist) for its smallness, its inflexibility, its rigidity… wouldn’t it? I think for most of us, it’s normal. But in reality, friends, we should be rejoicing at this moment. How else would we see our ego limitations so clearly?

In short, with the narcissist God has found the perfect instrument for helping us separate from our shells. And while you wouldn’t wish a narcissist on your worst enemy, you will certainly be grateful afterwards. Who knew that you could just walk away from your limitations? Looking at that old shell, you realize that all its worries and anxiety were insignificant, useless, superfluous, and oh so tiresome.

In fact, now that your “inner self” has been exposed, you discover how much stronger, expansive, and self-loving you really are. Heck friends, you just might choose to never grow another limited shell again!

Until I say no

Until I say no

I will be enraptured

Distracted

Yanked at by

A world full of

Gimmicks and ploys

Vying for my attention

Until I say no

I keep getting pulled into

Drama

Desires

Dreams

Regrets

Anything but

Sitting HERE

NOW

With YOU

Oh Dearest Friend!

Until I say no

YOU will justly

Not believe my promises

My feeble intentions

My wobbly Heart

Until I say no

To all the rest

Every bit of it

YOU stay

Hidden

Silent

Distant

And I keep

Seeking YOU

In fields

Nooks

Crannies

In short

In all the

Wrong places

Until I say no

To everything but YOU…

I remain

Sorrowfully

Dismally

Wistfully

Foraging

Sifting

Rejecting

Whining and

Panting

Whose life is it?

Your life isn’t yours

Until you take it back

Until you sit in it

Wear it

Let it flow

Let it sing inside you

Let it ache

Not caring about

What others think

Or what they tell you

Until you take back

These reins

You cannot go

Beyond the status quo

Beyond the bickering voices

Beyond the turmoil

Beyond the idiocy

Let the voices fade

Let your thoughts diminish

Until all you hear

Is the pounding silence

Of unlimited being

Until all you are

Is Life Itself

Until you find yourself

Ascending back into

The stratosphere

Until you wonder

Who’s life is it

And not have

An answer

Without limits

Everything

Everywhere

Always

When you find it, don’t let go

Nothing knows Nothing.

Somethings always get in the way.

Sitting in The Nothing

Is something only Nothing

and Nobody can do.

And the more you sit in it

The more FULL it becomes

And the less “real”

The Somethings become.

Just don’t get distracted

By Somethings.

They’re always taking you away

From THIS.

There is absolutely

No need to make Nothing

Into Something…

Starting with yourself!

Don’t have to unite what hasn’t been separated

You did it

You were the one

Who separated the world

Into pieces

Into colors

People

Races

Countries

Good and bad

OK, Sure…

School

Parents

Culture

Did their part

Helped foster

The illusion

But they won’t help you

Undo it

That’s your job

Your job alone

You can’t cobble together

Separate pieces

Back into One

Spare yourself the trouble

The impossible task

You only have to remember

That the pieces

Are not separate

And never were

Don’t you remember?

Go back to

Square One

Before thought

Just a blank slate

That mythical place

Before you tolerated

Even the idea

Of separation

That one tiny thought

That broke the world

That teensy lie upon which

All the rest

Was built

Watch as

Separation

Simply

Disappears

Watch as

The illusion

Shatters

Then

And only then

Will you have

Done your part

Dear friend

To riunite

The “whole”

Entire

World

The one that was

Never separate…

Especially

From

You!

My Olive Tree Teacher

A talented gardener friend showed me how to prune an olive tree last year. And it was amazing. You see, gardeners see trees differently from the rest of us. While we see a tree as it is, they see it as it could be. They decide the shape and function they want a tree to take… and then intervene to make it become a reality. They don’t have to move the tree, or change it (into an apple tree, say)… they work with the tree as it is, then simply prune the branches that don’t support their objective. Obviously they want the tree to grow more fruit (in this case, olives). They want to stop the tree from growing fast shoots, which drain the tree of light. They know that if the branches overlap, their shadows will block out sunlight. In Umbria, they want the tree to grow into a bowl, with lots of sun reaching inside. They want to keep them short, so they can harvest the olives without a ladder.

It looks like they’re only making small cuts, but over time… these small interventions make a huge difference in the way the tree develops. It’s like watching a slow-motion magician, changing a tree’s destiny.

This is because, in the end, a gardener sees a tree not as a material thing, but as an energy field. His job is not to make it grow – he has no such delusions of grandeur – but to work with its energy. As my friend wisely said, “The life force is always moving upwards. It will not be stopped; it can only be directed.”

And this reminded me of the spiritual path, in which we deliberately prune away certain habits that don’t bear fruit. Often we move away from large cities, in order to lose our tendency to seek constant pleasure. We prune that part away. We start to take charge of our tree.

We might start meditating, pruning away our tendency to let the world tell us how to grow. We try to get in touch with that energy, and learn to respect it.

We begin to see how certain of our tendencies interfere with our long-term goals – throwing shade on them, so to speak.

And we no longer see the “fruits” as just short-term moments of happiness – which quickly become bitter. We seek out, instead, long-term relationships and that sense of inner joy which make the fruit so much sweeter. In a sense, my friend was developing the quality of the olive, and not just the quantity.

It’s like we’re a general in charge of an army. The soldiers in our keep, the cells inside our bodies, the thoughts in our minds, are waiting to be guided. Will they be guided by desire, left to grow willy-nilly? Or will they be guided by higher ideals? We are the gardeners of our lives, the life-force is always there… it’s up to us to decide which form our tree will take.

So let’s get out those hedge clippers!