Mortal Coil

img_4178Mortal coil
This sharp rock grinding
Against my soul
Relentlessly carving out
A grinding hole
With splintering force
Where, one day
A great basin
Will finally be ground out
Vast enough to host
A feast for All

Advertisements

I Am Love

Liberation gazes upon the
cowering child,
whose sword is lowered
and falling away.

Heart opened wide a cathedral,
through which to clasp
the primordial aim for absolute union
around shrouded roots of resistance
and yield all to be transmuted.

Unfathomable Benevolence,
which both is and is not this world appearance.
Faith ripens,
as the farce of control
finds release
in the elegance of receptivity.

Offering All

img_4181

“We are nothing but shadow and light of the Lord. We need to find the beam.” Yogananda

There is a
mala of Shadow
cast about my Beloveds’
vast shoulders,
It’s frail impressions
ever indentured to a
mala of Incandescent Reality

What won’t I offer Thee!
A lanyard of shadow and light
I lay before Thee
All, I lay before Thee!

-M.M. 2016

The Wellspring

image

I want to tell of ancient relations and letting go.
I want to tell of the first spring sunshine warming my face and the chortling mirth of wind and oak;
of relentless laughter that tumbles headlong into every moment;
of the revelatory silence of dawn worn smooth from the foreheads of legions of devotees.

Let’s raise a glass to our double helix shaped roots spiraling back through a timeless void;
to the original spark riding an infinite wave of Love; launched eagerly from ancestral ecstasy;
and to the glorious Earth enticing delight since the first flower brought us to our knees.

I want to tell of ancient relations and letting go;
letting go of the froth and fervor, these forms, these details, these aims;
letting go of the having and not having, the lifetime of things.
I want you to feel the moment when all of our being this human being is slipping away.
What might intimacy
with the ultimate
surrender
yield?

Here, Mother stands tall and proud, battle scarred and limping.
Still, as fresh as can be. Shockingly eager to give, after all.
Don’t be afraid to look at Her; to notice Her grace-laden swagger.
Take Her in with naked awe like no one knows you are looking.
She’s been watched before by innumerable hordes of fans and critics.
She hardly even feels it, unless you dared to hold a deeper gaze
as Her perfect reflection.

She’s dreamt you here now to smile back at Her just as She Is
With your tiny tender petals drenched in magenta bravado
Unfurling bravely in the midst of such astonishing vastness.

Don’t look at Her flustered and blushing.
She’s got mad style
from Her toes to Her tendrils
of great arching possibility
Look Her steady in the eyes
When She walks precious gemstones
form in the earth beneath and wildflowers bloom.
You will walk like that too.

Inlakesh

IMG_1723

“The ‘ableist’ societal world-view is that the able-bodied are the norm in society, and that people who have disabilities must either strive to become that norm or should keep their distance from able-bodied people. A disability is thus, inherently, a “bad” thing that must be overcome. The ableist worldview holds that disability is an error, a mistake, or a failing, rather than a simple consequence of human diversity, akin to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender.” Wikipedia on ‘Abelism’

Last night I walked the streets of Nevada City. I was laughing with my sister, when suddenly a woman was in front of me asking what was going on with why I was walking with crutches. After I explained that I was walking with crutches because of a spinal cord injury (said while smiling and with a warm-heart) she said something along the lines of “Well, at least you are beautiful!! Keep your chin up!” This type of feedback will be endlessly  flooding into the physically-challenged ‘inbox’ if our voices aren’t heard. So I’m raising mine.

Sure, you may be trying to express encouragement and support to a fellow human, and that is most surely a fantastic choice, but it would be better received if expressed from a foundation of understanding. We need, all of us, to shake off the dust of old story-lines which aren’t cutting close enough to the “bones” of truth. We are living refinement, and this is one facet which desperately needs reform. Having physical challenges does NOT equal less-then-whole, perfect, and complete. It is simply another way of being. Beingness is an equal-opportunity territory. It also packs quite the punch in the realm of truth and reality. There is no hierarchy in Being; it simply is, unfolding in all its extraordinary glory.

Crip folks are most often met with over or under-compensation. Equal status is the stuff of dreams, so unimaginable that coping tactics naturally ensue. Traversing life with an alternately-abled form, we are dominated by the “care” and “consideration” of helpful people when we may not need, and especially may not benefit from assistance. We may manage things with less agility, speed, or physical grace then an average person, but remember that doesn’t mean that we can’t or don’t want to get the task fulfilled without another stepping in. We have a right to autonomy and the self-respect that follows overcoming a challenge. Alternately, if we are being ignored or avoided, we may really need a show of assistance. Be receptive. Feel into the situation. It’s guaranteed to be unique and require some attentiveness, whether the scenario could benefit from action on your part or not. It’s best to observe, or simply ask very directly if observing doesn’t yield a clear conclusion.

I have employed coping tactics, particularly simply ignoring this kind of persistent ignorance. Ultimately, though, disassociating wasn’t a fit, because it isn’t honoring that which is most alive in me. Forgiving this ignorance was never my problem: I can perceive the innocence and the positive intention. Nevertheless, deep-rooted abelistic projection that society holds for those with physical variance is ever-present in interactions.

It was ironic that the woman who stopped me on the street was transsexual, and has almost certainly been stigmatized for showing up in this world in an unconventional way. We have come so far, and still we must preserver ahead, lending our attention and action to worthy endeavors. May we blossom through these growing-pains, investigating the shadows of the mind with consideration of how to better express from our pristine, loving hearts!

Henna of Good Deeds

10472577_793539750676375_2384415956441055853_n

“Let us color our lips with words of truth. Let us trace our eyes with the anjana (‘kajal’ or traditional eyeliner) of compassion. Let us adorn our hands with the henna of good deeds. Let us bless our minds with the sweetness of humility.” Amma

Long have I observed the subculture of (let’s-just-say) neo-hippies in the US and abroad, finding myself inspired by some aspects of the lifestyle and disheartened by others. This group of non-conformist visionaries is empowered more than ever as co-creators, and this is truly something to rejoice about. Many are offering their gifts to the world in ways which are a greater expression of their passions and talents than ever before, and generating a livelihood and the expansion of consciousness at the same time. Yet, our collective development is bittersweet when out at the “cutting edge of consciousness” we are still directing so many resources toward the heavy consumption of luxuries for personal benefit alone, often disregarding the impact on the environment and the blossoming of consciousness itself. Despite having shaken off some cultural shackles and stretching out our glittering wings of refinement, we have further bonds to shed before we can rise to our highest alignment with embodied virtue, particularly nonviolence, which has long been the ethos of the tribe.

Most of us don’t hesitate to clothe ourselves with expensive garments and fashionable accessories, create luxurious living environments, pay any price for costly supplements and treatments for our personal well-being, take expensive vacations, and spend lavishly on intoxicants, all the while living on a planet where one out of four people still lives in a slum. We hear no murmur against our choices from our fellow first-worlders. A lifestyle of materialism, and even outright spiritual materialism, is celebrated. Yet is it not a subtle form of violence to turn our backs and consume like this when everywhere people suffer without shelter, medicine or education? When do we take some responsibility for our part in that?
Frequenting India annually for well over a decade to serve in a charitable organization has made this perspective especially alive in me. My Guru has spent decades tirelessly consoling and inspiring millions of people from all over the world. She shares with us that one third of the people who come to her on a daily basis are experiencing severe crises in their lives. She tells of an example of a family who came to her on the verge of committing suicide by drinking poison together because of extreme poverty and hopelessness. We live in a world where we don’t have to look very far to see places and people that could use our assistance. Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Heavy-laden are spiritualists’ body-temples, embellished with “next level” gear sporting sacred symbols of mystical insight, costly to possess and further stirring the bottomless well of materialistic striving. Many of these goods have valid and significant pros and some come from a truly divinely-inspired place. I am not condemning them, and possess some of these things myself. I am only calling for some reflection. The prevalence of projecting spirituality through gear and goods stirs this heart to question: isn’t the actual “next level” move to cultivate the mind through regular spiritual practice in order to realize these mystic symbols within through direct insight?
We are naturally driven to be lovers of pleasure, seeking comfort and harmony from the outside world for happiness. How easily we are enticed to participate in over-indulgence when we are drowning in media propaganda and are all the while driven by the five senses to seek fulfillment through sating their endless grasping. Many of us now understand that desire pulls the mind out of balance and springs from the place which spiritual masters since time immemorial identify as that which binds the mind to suffering life-time after life-time. The Bhagavad Gita, for example, can be summarized as a statement of attachment and aversion being the root causes of suffering.
Personally, I find balance between poles of self-indulgence and self-denial by investing in a conservative amount of well-made, beautiful garments and accessories, which I take good care of and wear in creative combinations for many years until they can not be repaired. People always assume that I have a lot of clothes and are shocked when they see the sparseness of my closet. With some creativity and careful selection we can act on our compassion and wear fashionable garments that we love at the same time! Even some cultivation of self-restraint when spending resources is better then none. My Guru suggests that instead of buying ten new garments a year, we buy nine and donate the money that we would have spent on the tenth to a charity that we believe in. That feels like a reasonable and achievable benchmark. In this way, together we can make a significant positive impact while we still have the privilege and opportunity.
When I see a human who, rather then projecting spirituality with words and clothing, lives spirituality by expressing service and compassion (especially of the unsung variety), then I am impressed. I am impressed by my numerous community members in India and elsewhere who are sincerely offering their time and energy to humanitarian outreach, and by those who sacrifice in any small way what is pleasant for what is good in this torrential onslaught of misalignment. Mostly, I bow at the lotus feet of my beloved Satguru, who not only speaks most wisely on these noble principles, but lives and breathes the moment by moment embodiment of their fullest fruition.
It is my understanding that we are indeed here to create the good, the beautiful, and the holy, and that bringing forth our beautiful, creative dreams into reality is a blessing for the world. I envision being part of a people that are liberated co-creators, embodying an empowered, globally sustainable and compassionate life-style; one that respects the fact that we currently live in a world that desperately needs our loving service. May we free ourselves from the shackles of selfish grasping and make choices that benefit not only ourselves but all of humanity. May our efforts be met with grace!
Aum Parashaktyai Namaha!