Monday, July 29, 2013: It can seem very dark down there, but ah, there is so much light…..

Shiva Dance Abstract

We continue our immersion in the shakti of Maha Mrtunjaya Mantra… I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the descriptive phrase for Shiva as “spacious as the sky…” I love this metaphor for the way it whispers our human possibility…  Spacious as the sky. We can become that. And yet to touch this interior hugeness, let alone merge into it, there’s the challenge… it’s way too big for grasp of hands and mind. We have to tiptoe into it and rest there. In the space between the breaths, in those sublime moments of pure stillness, in the profound release of an “aha.”

In those moments we are at one with Everything. As the beloved Tibetan dakini Yeshe Tsogyel says so beautifully, “Then the joy of the One will hold you like a lake…”
I was driving home the other night at sunset listening to the Maha Mrtunjaya mantra in my car. The sky was ablaze in pink, blue, and purple. As I came over the ridge, I saw the sun sitting at the edge of the horizon. The light was pure gold. The mantra was blasting. It was a moment of pure magnificence, so much deeper than joy or power or exultation. The sky, the sun, the mantra, Shiva, Devi, Light, Dark, the Everythingness of Life. I was part of it. It was all of me. And what more can I say….
This is the experience of Maha Mrtunjaya Mantra. It is the touching into what some call Unity-Awareness. The Shaivites call it Shiva. The Shaktites call it Devi. We refer to it more generically as the Inner Self. But it so doesn’t matter what we call it. It’s not listening when we try to contain it. In fact it turns the other way. It’s the inner experience blazing in every cell. That’s what it’s about. That’s why we meditate. That’s why we chant. That’s why we cultivate awareness, kindness, generosity, selflessness, sacrifice… That’s what we find in Love…
Here’s this week’s dharma talk:
Here’s mantra chanting and a dharana:

Here are the Mary Oliver poems. Scroll down to last week’s post for text of the Devara Dasimaya poems I read again this week…

THE FISH
Mary Oliver

The first fish
I ever caught
would not lie down
quiet in the pail
but flailed and sucked
at the burning
amazement of the air
and died
in the slow pouring off
of rainbows. Later
I opened his body and separated
the flesh from the bones
and ate him. Now the sea
is in me: I am the fish, the fish
glitters in me; we are
risen, tangled together, certain to fall
back to the sea. Out of pain,
and pain, and more pain
we feed this feverish plot, we are nourished
by the mystery.

HONEY AT THE TABLE
Mary Oliver

It fills you with the soft
essence of vanished flowers, it becomes
a trickle sharp as a hair that you follow
from the honey pot over the table

and out the door and over the ground,
and all the while it thickens,

grows deeper and wilder, edged
with pine boughs and wet boulders,
pawprints of bobcat and bear, until

deep in the forest you
shuffle up some tree, you rip the bark,

you float into and swallow the dripping combs,
bits  of tree, crushed bees – a taste
composed of everything lost, in which everything
lost is found.

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