On Gurus


We can have gurus and we can have Gurus.  The Guru is here to take you all the way.

It does not promise to make your life easy.  To the contrary, the Guru will hand you exactly what it takes to unfold you.  And while you are making your calculations about how you’ve been done wrong and what isn’t fair about the world and your life specifically, the Guru is loving you perfectly and slowly stirring the pot that is your evolution.

My introduction to Gurus came at age 20, with some kind of surrender/something to Jesus.  My post-adolescent-existential-angst was eating me alive, and then I somehow allowed myself to experience the idea of this man who had existed to teach humanity that we are one with God.  My intellectual mind took a break.  Fact/Fiction didn’t matter anymore.

At age 21, while I was pregnant with my first son, I met my second Guru in the form of Sai Baba.  I never met him in person, but I met him through a photograph that my Italian friend gave me.  She was/is extremely beautiful and wise, and she had been a devotee of his since her teens.  She was so cool and gorgeous and serene, and she spoke with reverence about this Guru that she loved.  Within months of learning about him, he appeared to me in a very interesting dream in which I was given the answer: “God is not dead.”

At age 22, I met my Guru, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.  She is Amma, the hugging saint.  I didn’t know she was my Guru when I met her, but my baby boy and I received Darshan from her and I felt like I had met God.  The first time I heard her voice, I was struck.  It was deep and gravelly, and coming from a place of such power that it didn’t seem real to me.  Hers is the kind of voice that gives you the feeling of IS-NESS that you have been craving.  Like dark, rich earth.  She sounds like the Source of all things.

I call my experience “a slow romance” with my Guru.  Somehow it took me 15 years to get to a place of complete surrender to her Love.  When I came undone I met the Love that responds with love to everything and everyone it meets.  That Love that gives a shit and will reach for you even when you feel like dying.  That Love that exists every step of your journey in forgetting and remembering your innocence.

And somehow, in surrendering to my Guru, I see the Guru all around me.  In my guru-teacher Gina Salá, who gently guides people to the light through sound-healing and through her presence, like a humble shepherd tending to all the wandering souls who come her way.

Through Neem Karoli Baba, Guru of Ram Das.  Seeing his form wrapped in a blanket is to know a certain eternal sweetness.  He reminds me of every poem by Hafiz, and looking at his image can simply bust my heart open.

Through Hanuman, the Monkey God, the one who will go to any length at all to salvage Love.  The one who opens his chest to reveal the bright light of Lord Rama residing within him.  Neem Karoli Baba would say “Hanuman is Jesus,” with tears rolling down his face, tears of grace and understanding.

{My thinking mind has mulled over that idea time and again, and it wasn’t until a couple months ago that I felt it like lightning “Hanuman is Jesus.”  Hanuman is everyman.  Hanuman is the monkey within our monkey minds that finds the entrance to God through his very heart.  Jesus is everyman.  His message has been corrupted time and again, just like he said it would be.  He is everyone’s brother, he is everyone’s Friend.  There is no ownership of your salvation.  Son of God.  Daughter of God.  That’s all we are.}

Ganesha, the Elephant God, also feels like Jesus to me, like the Friend.  He rides in slowly, steadily, with a grace that makes me weep, makes me laugh and makes me dance.  He is the drumbeat.  He is the pulse of Supreme Wisdom.  He is the Remover of Obstacles, even when he places obstacles before you.  He radiates Benign Reality.  He also “loves to party,” as Gina says in her Indian accent, with her Indian head wobble.  Beautiful Ganesha.

The Guru is here to take you all the way.  In Guru, there is no separation.  There is complete absolution of self.  There can be many Gurus and gurus.  You don’t have to choose.  Lovers, teachers, friends, children – all gurus.  Every family member you have, a guru.  Your dog, a guru.  See your Guru in everyone and everything.  Ah, the freedom of the heart!  For when you see your reflection in their brilliance, you are humbled beyond measure.

Too often, our heart and mind are disconnected.  The heart is trying to talk and the mind won’t listen.  It has been cut off from its source!  Go deeper.  Find the muladhara chakra at the base of the spine.  Go primal and go to your truth.  Find your innocence there.  This is the first chakra and it is guarded by Ganesha, who fosters self-respect.  From there work your way up.  Second chakra, just below the naval.  Third chakra, solar plexus.  When you reach the green forest of the 4th chakra at the heart, you feel an expansion, deep breath.

Keep going up.  Fifth chakra, at the throat.  Your vulnerability is here, and your voice.  It is bright blue and glowing with the electric energy of spirit.  Be heard.  6th chakra, third eye, your indigo imagination/intuition/intellect.  7th chakra, the diamond crown ~~ you are That ~~

These days I am reading about Sri Mata Ananandamayi Ma, the Bliss-Permeated Mother.  She dances on your heart and laughs into the depths of your being.  She eradicates your consciousness to merge with the is-ness of this moment in ecstasy.  She softens the core of your self-identification so you can again be liquefied like butter being prepared into ghee.

This is what I know about Gurus tonight.

Sat Nam.






Genetic Lottery

I’ve been hearing the term “genetic lottery” a lot lately, I don’t know why.  And it irritates me for some reason.  I’m in the line at the grocery store, and my reflection is picture perfect women and Bill Cosby.  I go in nature and my reflection is the trail, trees, wildness and waterfalls.  I wake up with my to-do list of concerns, and my whole day has a pattern of problem-finding.  I wake up in love, and I find beauty in every person, in every surprise, in every “mistake.”

We are all bones and blood and skin.  We all won some kind of lottery.

We bounded to Earth, begging to do this again, to have another shot at experiencing the IS-NESS of this life.  The vast array of wonderment here.

Density.  The senses.  Forgetting and remembering how to love.  Redemption.  Forgiveness.


Everything that makes you willing to shed the body again without fear.  Everything that gives impartial existence a bleeding, beating, loving heart —

It all exists on this Earth plane.

Genetic lottery.

Congratulations, you are here.  You made it into form to give this planet everything you are, everything you have.  You contain the precise genetic code that gives you access to the entire Universe.

That place in you, that secret source – that is the gateway to the living water.  It is the entrance and the beginning of that which never dies, that which is changeless, deathless, and has no name and many names simultaneously.

Please share it, for if not in this lifetime, then when??

What are the odds, what are the chances, of being born again into a world of such high stakes and so many options in ways to Play?

The secret is out.

It’s written all over your face!

Everything about you, dear one, is God.

And you are here, wandering star,

to walk yourself Home



Sat Nam

Sacred Art

And all the while,

God is whispering


like a child who can’t sleep:

“Please fall in love with yourself again,

for me?”


“And if you can’t do that right now,

you have not failed!

Just please fall in love with someone who is

practicing that sacred art”


“And if that, too, proves unmanageable

won’t you please fall in love with me?

For self-love is my specialty,

and you are the perfect lamp

for my torch”





Shadow Men

The men of shadows like me

Because I know how to dance in their dark streets with my light

and I am unafraid of their secrets

Out of curiosity, compulsion and naivety

I have wandered into their inner chambers

Craving the pull, but all the while a sinking feeling

and trying to ignore it

Craving the story

‘cause I saw it in a movie

And every form of media

and residual karma


But it doesn’t take long

for the windows to disappear

and for the reek of loneliness to fill the stale air

Your internal temperature gets colder,

the closer you get to a man like this

And when you arrive as far as he will let you in

you might feel lost while looking at your reflection


What were you seeking when you traveled so far away

from safety and from love?

An experience that leaves your soul feeling weathered and torn

rather than comforted and cared for?

You knew –

it would end this way

leave you feeling this way

You knew,

but something drew you in

and you wanted the poison instead of the Prasad


Like a Siren’s call, you were called

to these shadow men

The Everything in you trying to understand itself

Feeling yourself the lowest of the low,

you ate garbage and developed

sunken eyes

Yet still, somehow you managed

to preserve your ember

while entering the mouth of the Wolf

That place where you have to die to survive

and break your promises or at least

omit the truth

Lest everything you love get stolen

broken or desecrated

That place will forever remind you

that things can always get worse

And you must find your way out of this mess


Your breath becomes shallow

A listlessness begins choking you

You are defeated by the lies you kept telling yourself,

now disappointing and shabby in the light of day

While the good people of the world

have coffee and dreams and commitments they love to keep

You have this –

shadow to reckon with

And you feel tired

like you spent all night digging yourself

another grave



Time, great healer

Wash me in your Ocean

Ring me out like the robes you will have me wear

when I meet you at last, for tea



She walks alone and alone

She walks alone and not alone

She stops pretending to know everything and she becomes

a beginner, what an honor

She left the dark streets

and dark avenues

full of tempting, lurking shadow men

The ones who made her look angelic,

if only for a little while

She found this path, instead

High into the mountains

Take off your shoes


The Gurus appear in her dreams

when she walks this way

up the many steps

in the misty grey morning

Up the many steps,

she is visually hydrated

by the bright green moss and wild foliage,

all covered with dew

The moist, cool air

filling her nostrils with the fragrance of clean, dark earth

Tiny white flowers

singing praises with her crumbling identity

and ecstatic heart


Oh Deathless One,

these shadow men

They just can’t light my fire

like You




Imagine that your heart is a glass bottle

Ginger ale, beer, kombucha, whatever you like

The point is – your heart is made of glass

and it can

and it will



You are taken on a fun adventure

to the beach, of course!


…..at some point….

you are shattered

Maybe out of plain old good fun

An act of rough-housing

and carelessness

A simple mishap

Or an act of violence and disregard

Apathy stemming from


that it all matters

Even you, glass bottle that you are


You are shattered

Broken into many pieces

Some big, some small

No one is going to fix you

It’s possible that the larger chunks of your brokenness will get salvaged

Thrown away or recycled

You are all sharp edges now

And bits and pieces of you will be left behind

in a dangerous state

Innocent passerby may step on you

and you cut them, you can’t help it

You didn’t ask for this to happen

You were once whole and beautiful,

enjoyed and maybe even admired

Now you are cast aside as waste.

And your knife edges know only how to wound.



The Ocean is waiting for you

She wants to retrieve you

Consume you

Reshape you

She is the master transformer

She begs for nothing

She needs nothing

She does what She knows

Ebbs and flows



A gravitational pull that is at once –

Cleansing and deadly

Exciting and majestic

A release of froth and bubbles

that has made creatures of every age and creed

laugh with delight

for time beyond memory

And Her waves give surfers of all species

A killer ride

This Ocean, She reclaims you and your brokenness

your rejection and knife edges

This Ocean, She wants you

She is taking you home


Time passes, a long time

One day you find yourself on the shore again

You bask in the sun next to seashells

You are beginning to feel beautiful again

At some point, a man stoops down and picks you up

Your color and smoothness has caught his eye

His heart is aching

And as he looks at you, he is reminded

that the place in his chest

that in waves aches with sadness

which in turn become waves of anger, fury, rage

dropping into desolation

and fear of being alone

returning to the familiar ache

This place, too, will soften

like this seaglass that has washed ashore

A gentle reminder that life is rocking him

shaping him

chiseling away the sharpness

slowly but surely

Reinventing his heart

into something both strong and gentle

wise and at peace

Your journey speaks volumes to him

He inhales deeply, the fullness of this moment

On exhalation, he throws you as far as he can

back into the Ocean


Who is at once impartial and all-loving

She reclaims you again

to soften you even more

You will wash ashore again someday

You will be marveled at

But pride has left you

for you are one with that which has changed you

And all you want

And all you need

Is more of that kind of love



A day will come

years later

A young girl, age 4

stops in her tracks at the sight of you

This is different, she thinks

She has been scanning the shore as she walks with her mother

The water lapping its exhalation at their feet

It is a calm day, warm and soft breeze

She sees first your color

catching her eyes like a jewel

Light and golden

bleached by years of minerals and sun

She picks you up and notices your shape

like an oblong heart

and so soft, so smooth!

“This is seaglass,” the mother says

She explains  your journey, why you are so special

The little girl holds you with utmost reverence as her very soul is taking it all in

How could something that began so sharp and jagged

so broken – so dangerous

become this dazzling work of art she now holds?


The Ocean

The sand tumbling the blade away


Days, months, years go by

Life will become difficult

So much so

that the heart of this girl-now-woman

will break

into millions of tiny pieces

A pile of smoking rubble

A wasteland

So barren

she will begin to believe

there is nothing to salvage

The forgetting will cover her

and lead her down a darkened path

She will cling to woundedness

and wear sadness like a cloak

A cloak so familiar,

that Light appears like a stranger

and makes her want to hide


Time passes



She is called again to the water

She sits with an ease now, centered and uncoiled

She looks at the Ocean

She realizes

she wants for nothing right now

She sees in her mind’s eye

an image of the seaglass she found so many years ago

She realizes

her heart has softened, too

The jagged edges are smoother now

She feels a kindness inside

toward herself

and extending outward to her surroundings

All the life it contains

This life!

She looks at the Ocean

She sees the grace that has been flowing to her

with constant care

through every trial, failure, disappointment, regrettable act

Grace was there

turning her over in waves

softening her

into what she is now

Desire, the Crow and the Radiant One


is like ego

It wants more

It tricks us

many, many times

It says it only wants a little bit, a little bit more and it will be satisfied

It promises

But more makes it hungry

for more

a larger piece of the pie

a bigger plan

a more strident agenda

a better version of Now



it is just the innocent desire of wanting more time

to explore

the wonders of another human

with all of the senses

and physical energy

The sound of my breath in your ear

The taste of your mouth on mine

More time

is a craving that cannot be satiated

when one finds another so fascinating

This time does not exist

for our certain lives

Dear one,

what I would do

for more time with you


Open your eyes!

No, your other eyes

The shimmering reality

exists constantly

beyond the veil of your conscious mind

We experience it in glimpses

Laughter unfettered

deep and unabashed

A crescendo of physical pleasure

taking you to a place where you lose


Being struck by a beauty

that makes you forget yourself

The swelling sensation in your chest

when you realize that you are just like him or her


we are simply life

and life is simply happening

We don’t have to die a physical death to experience a continual state of this bliss

Instead, we die to the self

bit by bit

And what a wonderful death that is



I take cues from crows

It’s a trick I learned

from a wise woman

She taught me their art

The way they hold up a mirror for these identities we claim

as we hustle and strive

caught up in our stories

They are watching over humanity

Quiet guardians

even as they eat roadkill

Sometimes they sit alone

their eyes fixed on something we cannot see

No one can guess

what has them so tuned in

Sometimes they consort like lovebirds

chasing each other in the circular, primal dance

or flying together

with the comfort of parallel motion

The togetherness we long for

flying in the sky

Sometimes many crows are mingling together

Flocking to perch on the bare branches of trees

Kickin it

alongside the freeway

Or languidly lined up accross a power line

the summer heat bringing stillness

Less movement is necessary

Often I see one atop a lamp post

grooming itself

Ah, self-care

Thank you for the reminder


Today I saw a crow enraptured by its shadow

walking along the cement wall outside of Safeway

watching itself

attracted to its own motion

It walked along the wall

the sun casting light around the bird’s reflected form

“Who are you?”

the crow was wondering to itself

It walked along and pecked at the ground

looking for food and appearing flustered by the shadow self

keeping it company

Oh, shadow side

Come in

Come in

You have so much to teach me



Desire is like addiction

Craving a food that will never satisfy

it only leaves us hungry for that which deepens our hunger

What then

is the alternative?

How can one find a way out of this wormhole?



She says

Come sit with Me

and breathe

Let Me love you from every corner of the Universe

See Me in the whole sky

Hear My rumbling laughter

which contains all darkness and all light

shaking away the bindings upon your actual being

Find Me in every aspect of creation

When eyes meet your eyes

I am there

Don’t deny My existence

even in those you would call your enemies

Remember how I love you?

I love them this way, too

This love will never cease flowing through Me

The source is uncompromised

There is nothing you can do to block it

or stop it

You can try to hide

you can try to fall asleep again

But once you have tasted My nectar

you will never be the same


Years may pass

years of forgetting

years of trying to run from My constant acceptance

years of searching for another food to satisfy your hunger

another drink to quench your thirst

But I am patient, little one

I can wait many lifetimes for you

though My heart longs for you to return to this place

And when the time is right

you will dissolve into the bliss of empty self

You will laugh like I do someday

just wait


Your reflection is in everyone you meet

Yes, everyone


The feeling is like arriving at a well of cold, clean water

after living in thirst for so long

you were sure

you would die thirsty

You gave up on believing that water still existed

Lucky for you

there were teachers along the way

They shared their hydration from canteens

They showed you love


and forgiveness

when you thought everyone was against you

and out for themselves

They pointed along the path

and gave advice:

“This part is treacherous, but it is the only way”

“You are ready for this”

“See the unseen”

“Be broken….

for it is the cracks in the heart that let the light shine through”


Upon finding the well

you understand

it is the layers of this unconditional kindness

which have unraveled your concept of self

as seperate

as better or worse

bad or good

Your once crooked heart is no longer banging against the cage of the mind

All this time

your being has been held with such tenderness and care

like a precious jewel

in the hands of the One

who awakens your bliss

by loving you


Who is your reflection?

Who is in front of you!


Return to the Self

Return to the Self
Not the small self
Who believes it is separate
Who believes it has any chance of winning or losing
Some imaginary war
Return to the Supreme Self
Bring everything you have
All your riches
All your depravity
All your cunning and desire and broken pieces
The Self awaits to consume
Every aspect of your being
With a love that is unspeakable
The light of the Self shines so brightly
And the mind is so opaque
It cannot fathom the brightness
This light of love
Is going to burn it all
Until only truth remains
There is a relief in truth
A lightness in truth
It is egolessness
Truth does not aggrandize itself
Or diminish itself
It is what it is
Truth will not be realized by force
It is the opposite of that
It is letting go
Death to ego
Even as you caress the image of your false identity
Even as you clutch to a story of who you are supposed to be
Forget the story
Forget the assumption that there must be a story
Even as countless stories are playing out on the world stage
Every drama of life unfolding
Moment to moment
Creating concentric ripples like rain on a lake
So many of them!
Even so,
Stillness abides
When we step into the chamber
Of the Witness
Like stepping off the wheel of Karma
Into Grace
Any itch of thinking that anything should or could be different
Than it is right now
Anything else, can fall away
Your past or future or even present circumstance
Has no bearing on the eternal presence that resides
In you and as you
This presence that knows what a journey you are on
And says ‘Yes’
To the path you are carving
As you make your way home
Sat Nam

My religion is LEFT

The younger son has been asking me
“What is your religion?”
I tell him I don’t have one
or my religion is Love
I think he’s trying to understand
How someone can love God without religion
It got me thinking, though
If I were to have a religion
Maybe I would name it LEFT
as in
as in
What is left of you when everything else falls away
and you are left only with the shining core of your Being
The stars and planets circle to the left, in a counterclockwise rotation
How do they know?
Oh yes
They keep the secrets of Time
The shock when you realize
that it has always been there
Even as it is right now
This Love
This nameless changeless formless guide
The One who waits
The Love that will wait forever for you
residing so near
as long as it takes
Never forcing, never bending your will
It waits
It meets you wherever you are
It finds great pleasure in the deconstruction of your castles of illusion
It waits and it watches you
As you dismantle the castle, the place you ran to hide
Brick by brick
tearing it down
Out of the ashes, a new fortress is rising up
as the old one crumbles away
as you find yourself returning
The shock will make you bow
And if we are Eternal
What then?
What is the journey that spans lifetimes?
What is the story that wants to be told?
Some kind of redemption beckons at the heart of every seeker
Some forgiveness spilling out
As waterfalls, as rivers
Rushing and flowing back to the Ocean
Rushing with the cry
“Oh dear one, how could I have forgotten the truth about your being?”
“How sweet it is to remember you!”
Flowing with the songs
of surrender
Whispering your Name on quiet days
Awake in silent ecstasy upon leaving the self behind
It’s a truth
that belongs to everyone
that cannot be stolen
that is never destroyed
It’s all that remains
It’s all that’s left
when everything else falls away
Sat Nam

Lullaby to the ego

The ego is like a neglected child
Pining for attention
Acting out to get noticed
Acting out of fear
for it has forgotten that in truth
it is never lost
and its parents are always closer than its very breath
The unchecked ego is running around
like a chicken with its head cut off
Like a loose cannon
not knowing which way to run or who to shoot
It is exhausting to carry an ego like this
The ego and the mind battling for control
In a place of stillness,
some perspective comes
when one has received a deeper nourishment than food and shelter can provide
a certain care emanates from the heart
a certain softness takes over
In this place the Universe expands
and wealth and popularity are zeroed out for everyone
It’s a story! This shroud we carry
The experience is free, the story adds the weight
How much weight do you want in this lifetime?
And if you put your story down,
do you believe in flight?
Sweet ego
You have been trying so hard
for so long
You deserve a rest
Thank you for protecting me and fighting for me and running when the need arose
Thank you for seeking pleasure when the world felt bleak,
for digging for the sparkle amidst the rubble.
Can you soothe the ego
like you would soothe a neglected child?
You might have to hold it for a long time
Keep it warm and let it feel your heartbeat
until it feels safe enough
to relax its grip
and let the Grace that you are
take the reigns
If your ego wakes up from nightmares, not to worry
just rock it back to its resting place
Sweet one, sleep
It’s time for flying lessons