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Guru Sahib stood in a circle around me. each One looking with eyes filled with love. Their words came without sound – We are, each one of Us, here for you…

all that is required, always, is a reaching-out towards Naam.

of pulling it into my heart. gently. continually.

like lighting a candle, it begins to flicker in soft repetition. when the breezes that sweep through my life blow it out, i am called to re-light it. again and again and again…

presence and wholeness woven into the fabric of my life. the gift of Naam streaming into this small heart of mine. how large it makes me want to become. i want to light the whole world with it’s warmth. i want each of us to feel this peace.

later, head to the floor in dabar sahib – a whisper – you are always whole in Me,  you are always whole…

i am always whole in You.

and i want always that this small heart of mine remains a candle that flickers with the light of Your Name.

happiness

i keep feeling like the only decision i ever really have to make is whether i want to be happy…truly and deeply.  i can imagine a world of bliss, and even if in the moment i cannot see the evidence in the world around me, that i must keep a hold of that vision with each and every piece of me seems like the most important task.

and whenever i feel fear, hurt, dissonance, i must ask: what can i do for myself to nourish all that’s inside? how can i give love? how can i soften the edges of this pain?

that’s when i realize: the feel of breathe moving through my body is here. Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru plays on my lips. Guru whispers the answer to every query deep within my mind. inspired action always leads to more freedom, more peace.

i know that i am here to experience happiness. i know that we are here to dance in love with one another. i know that we can create so much goodness in the world through service to each other. i know that for every wound that exists, there is a surge of renewal waiting to enter in.

none of this would be the same without you, though. so,what i really want to know is: will you dance this dance with me?

night passes into morning, passes back into night once more. i become lazy, losing a hold of my will – i forget discipline, and leave all my clarity behind. i forget Self, and the self i am when yoked to You.

i see myself reaching through the fog, my hand grasping onto Yours. Your name permeates my mind. this Love that We share is a dance of pleasure and pain – suffering gets fired up inside, burning away this ever-creeping blindness. the sight of You pulls me up onto a ledge with the widest possible view. there is no behind or forward at this height. only pure, clean air that clears all the dust inside.

 

suK duK sm kir jwxIAih sbid Byid suKu hoie ]5]
sukh dhukh sam kar jaaneeahi sabadh bhaedh sukh hoe ||5||
Those who see pain and pleasure as one and the same find peace; they are pierced through by the Shabad. ||5|| (pannaa 57)

 

suixAY dUK pwp kw nwsu ]8]
suniai dhookh paap kaa naas ||8||
Listening-pain and sin are erased. ||8|| (pannaa 2)

duality

“You are not here to come and correct people. You have come here to correct yourself. But if you correct yourself, then you will find that you will correct others also.”

– Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omCpLbe9zuM&feature=related)

it feels so easy, so tempting to slide into viewing the world in terms of manmukh and gurmukh – so many rules and standards with which to measure those around us. we see different practices, different understandings of Guru’s message, and suddenly we stop seeing the person before us – they become less-then in some way, our vision blurred because we’ve mistaken the ideal for a weapon to be used against them.

there are descriptions throughout gurbani about what makes a person a manmukh and what a gurmukh. these descriptions help me to see the millions of moments, every day, when i am facing and receiving guidance from my mind, and how often i distance myself from Guru ji. how often i turn away from the guidance that He continually holds out towards me.

it doesn’t feel right to see these descriptions as tools to judge others – instead, i see all of the admonitions throughout gurbani to see only God, all around. in you and in me. and to move beyond the duality of us and them all together –

Dhanaasaree Mahalaa 9 ॥ Kaahe re ban khojan jaaee …: Dhanaasaree Mahalaa 9. Why do you go looking (for God) in the forest? Although he is ever detached, he dwells everywhere. He even abides with you. ||1||Pause|| Like the fragrance which remains in the flower, and like the reflection in the mirror, the Lord dwells deep within (all). (Therefore) search for Him within your own heart, O brother. (Siri Guru Granth Sahib, ang 684).

the understanding that Guru Sahib is in all of us must extend beyond concept – it must be a conviction that we can apply to our life everyday – to apply to the thoughts and judgements we have about others, and to our day to day interactions, as well. in order to be continually challenged to strip away the layers that exist between each one of us, and ultimately, between our own selves and the Ultimate Truth that is Waheguru.

cathedral walls

i found myself walking between cathedral walls that stretched up metre upon metre. paced slowly through a prayer room filled with affirmations of healing and peace. candles tucked in tight between each other – cozy, flickering, vibrating to the intentions of those seeking relief. and then back again into cathedral space. filled, open, towering silence that reached up towards You.

i felt Guru Sahib present, like a breeze floating between us all, and i knew in that moment, in the way only bodies can know – that Guru Sahib is for all of us. that She manifests for each of us in particular ways through time and space. these gifts which Guru has given me – the gift of Name, these five kakkars, are Her blessings to me.

and, Guru has also given to others spectrums of gifts and forms of worship – unique and unifying moments of insight into You. these are Her blessings also.

Guru Sahib is for all of us. which is to say – that Love is here. Connection is here. Truth that pushes through mind, and our resistance, remains ever present, waiting to lead us home again.

even though fall is approaching, tiny blossoms keep popping up through the rich earth that lays along my path. i look at them, curious, a small smile playing at the corner of my lips. i know you, i think to myself, as i reach out to stroke delicate petals. before contact, i experience a remembering – oh! it’s you!

this is what happiness looks like, what it feels like to come home. this is what unfolding, what break through, what peace have always been waiting to reveal…

i find myself slowly sinking into the promise we have already made to each other. and that sinking-into feels like a warm cocoon bent out of branches i’ve been gathering for ages. and even though, like all cocoons, this one holds the promise of transformation, instead of shielding me, it seems to be exposing me and my heart even more.

we’re a little shaky, standing out in the wind in this way. we aren’t used to this degree of safety. this amount of possibility. to taking steps in love and faith. yet here we are. shaking in the wind. together.

i used to think of the heart as an organ of fire. but the only things that have been burning are things i shed long ago. what is real is shining more and more…

all these demons of mine. getting in the way of union – swirling around our feet, threatening downfall with every step. until i reach down to discover – they’re as soft as the underbelly of every kitten i’ve ever loved. as meek as i felt when my own ego kept exposing every tender part of me. you know, i’m starting to have the feeling that true surrender means looking around in a landscape of black, and then stepping off the edge into what seems to be more…

the thing is, i kept seeing a cage door swing open, with us in each others arms, and trees lining our path. the sun was always there when we were together, beckoning us with her soft rays. i’m completely in love with Guru. and it means that i can finally, fully, be here for you too.

it seems so obvious now how perfect you are for me. now that i’ve finally let go.

i’ve torn myself to pieces. but Your Hukam kept reminding me of what I never knew I knew – that Love is always there. Waiting. Hungry. Eternally Patient, and in the alchemy of surrender, ready to shower a bliss beyond possibility.