The Single Song
Song of Love
Visions
Crossing
Presence
Who put This in Me!
The Single Song

Have you heard the Master say
"Hollow and empty is what you should be"?
Have you ever wondered
"What difference would that make to me"?

As I worked this thought
Over and over in my mind
As I drove this idea
Deeper and deeper into my heart
I began to see That
Which earlier I did not.

A lovely long flute was what I saw
With seven little holes made in it
A soft, soothing tune was what I heard
Enchanting, as someone played on it.
It made me laugh, it made me cry
It made me sigh with deep delight.

Am I that flute, I asked my Self, lovely and long?
Are those my seven chakras, pure and strong?
Are You the flautist, I asked my God, through my tears,
Playing the single song, the wonderful Uni-verse?
What I got in answer, was that Gentle, Knowing smile
That said it All, without saying why!

Song of Love

I moved a little closer
and peered a little deeper
Into that long, hollow reed
Amazed at the quality
of the sound emanating.
So clear, so clean
so soft, so haunting.

Neither blocks did I see
Nor any cracks,
That might have distorted
  Or disintegrated
The melody of the Divine song.

So absorbed I was
I did not notice that
I was not alone...
There He was,
His head just a little tilted,
Smiling as I melted!
"How much love you hold
and give to all around you,
in all that you say and do,
Is your only practise.
Breathe in, love yourself
Breathe out, love everything else!"
He threw back His head and laughed
And then added,
"Now what can be simpler than that!"

I now began to realize
The meaning of His song -
Day in, day out
Breathe in, breathe out
  Love in, love out
  Love in, love out!!
Sharing, caring, sparing
Simple, clean goodwill
Sending, spending, serving
Pure, clear energy
Oh! What a neat way to live
And then, to leave a legacy -
A legacy of life, lived in love!
Visions

The image stays with me,
I cannot shake it off
Of the flute and The flautist,
and the everlasting song.
Now, I see not one flute
but many, many more
Some weak, some meek
Some pretty, some gritty
Some long, some strong
And through them all, He is playing
the same, sweet song!

"How does He do this!"
I whispered to myself,
When a chuckle I heard near me
I looked around and found Him,
standing right behind me!

"That is the beauty, my child", He said,
"Of being the silence,
For that is when you hear
With every inch of your being,
Not just with your ears."
And by now, as you might have guessed,
my cheeks were wet with tears!

Ever so gently, He wiped them away,
They vanished at His touch.
"There is so much more in store for you
If you will only let Me in
Open your heart and your soul
And then will you begin
To see and hear and taste and touch
Like you never have before
The sweetest perfumes will surround you
And experiences galore!
You will each day move that one step
Closer to your goal."

"What goal, my Lord", I said,
"lies ahead of me now,
for have I not reached You?"
Once again I heard Him chuckle
In that charming way of His,
"You are in me, and I in you
Always were and always will be;
To hold this vision is the challenge,
To remember in all you do,
that I belong to you!
This set of 11 poems is inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. My husband and I were fortunate enough to attend a Meditation Course at His Ashram in Bangalore, India in September 1996. It is very difficult to find words to describe the beauty we found ... inside us!!
Connections
Returning
Surrender
Elementary
Twin Swans
Light
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Presence

I have been blessed with gifts of grace
That even I am not aware of
Little did I know why I was happy
I just knew I was!
Only when someone said
"Bless me, so I'm always laughing like you"
I stopped to wonder
where the magic was.
The answer lay in the most frequent
question I would ask of myself
NOW what? NOW what? NOW what?

For being in the present
Is being in the Presence
Of He who knows it all.
Past and future are but illusions
To One who sees it all.
When I am with Him, do I not see
A little of what He does?
Then where is the fear or the worry
Of what is gone and what is not yet?

It becomes ever so easy
To be happy and to have fun
And to wear the biggest smile
That can be stolen by none!


Returning

Our bags were packed,
Our eyes open wide
As we had talked into the night,
Of the week that had gone by.
Now we quietly made our way
For our meeting with Him.

Shakti opened her heart to us
and held us in her arms
As we basked in the warmth
Of His light.
He looked at each one and
asked a question or two
When my turn came, He simply nodded
Was He saying no words were needed?!
Was He saying, I wondered,
He knew who I was
for ever so long
And ever so well
There was nothing to ask,
Nothing to tell!!

One by one we took His blessings
I simply could not let go
Of the comfort I found in His presence
Of the solace I found in His touch
Of the love I saw in His eyes
Of ever so much more!
I lay my head in His lap
And let myself go ..
"I don't want to leave ..." I said,
somehow, through my tears.
A gentle smile rose on That face
And That voice softly whispered
"Keep coming!"

It is three years now and
I have not returned.
Even as this thought appears,
Here comes another -
I have never come from there,
How do I return!




Connections

Sumeru threw her arms open
To the wide, open skies
As if, to enfold the vast space
And bring it down to us.
We stood around, three hundred of us,
A smile here, a giggle there,
A few hugs, and lots of happy tears!
Having to go, yet not wanting to let go
Of all that we had shared.

There was a sudden quiet
Then came That sweet laugh
Which has no second
He moved around us,
As if drinking us all in,
All the tears disappeared
As He replaced them with cheers.

And then, I saw Him standing
on that little central mound
His white robes dancing merrily,
Teasing all those around.
For a moment I was transported
To the Sermon on the Mount
"Oh ...... Jesus!"

A million questions
rushed into my head
A  myriad feelings unknown!
In that one moment
I had travelled a thousand
years and more!
How could I have known?
What brought the recognition?
Was this what was meant by the
Universal connection?

One glance, one stance
is enough to remind you
Where you came from
And where you have to go!


Surrender

I once was asked
"What makes you sing with such feeling?
"Surrender", came my prompt reply!

Great sympathy flowed
From the questioner, in anticipation
Of a tale of devastation
"What happened" he asked with great concern
"Gratitude happened" I said,
giggling at his look, as if of
having seen an unwelcome apparition!!
So sure he was that surrender and gratitude
Were born of death and destruction!!
What I said was met with total disbelief ..

Surrender is not about giving up
It is a simple letting in
It seems to me
of all that I need
to be me!
Even the greatest materialist
Would see he only stands to gain
In this special offer without bargain!

All that is needed
comes to me for free
All that is needed
is I be ready to receive
the knowledge
that all that I needed
was always with me!
That readiness comes with surrender
Perhaps, surrender brings the readiness!

The fruit or the seed -
What comes first?
One can only wonder
In ready surrender!

Elementary

A woman points to herself
And tells you
"I am your mother"
Did you doubt her?
Your mother points to a man
And says to you
"This is your father"
Did you doubt her?
Your father points up
And shows to you
"That is the sun"
Did you doubt him?
A woman gives herself to you with
"I love you"
You doubt her!
A Master proclaims with all His might
"You are that"
You doubt Him!

Wherefrom did this doubt arise?
From where came this denial?
Where has flown the faith?
What has blown the belief?
Who has trampled the trust
Deep into the dust?

Going back to the days
Of being a child again
Where belief prevents a clinging to the past
Where faith avoids a craving for the future
Where trust drives roots into the present
I hate you, I love you
That was good, this is horrible
Were just moments in experience
Passing by leaving no residue
Carrying no surplus
Just as space holds 
And the wind blows
Just as the water flows
As the earth grows 
And the fire glows
Without a thought of yesterday
Or a care for tomorrow!

To be a child again?
To go back to the elements
Of which we are made!
To realize where we came from
And recognize where we have to go
Oh! To be born again!
Oh! To be a child again!
Jai Guru Dev!


Twin Swans

"Be like the swan,"
my father said
when I was very small
"Pick out the milk from the water,
when the two are mixed."

A quest for purity
was the message here
or so, it seemed to me.
Milk is milk
even when gallons of water
is mixed with it
How then, does poison,
Change it
When just a drop is put in it?

People, situations, events
All turn liquid before me
I look for milk
And leave the water behind
in everything I see!
The two have
A role to play
A message to preach
A lesson to teach!
Aware that they exist
I learn to distinguish and discriminate
Neither better or worse
They each have a place
On the Cosmic stage!

"Be like the swan,"
my Father said
As He smiled down at me!
"In the water,
get not wet!
Revel, rejoice,
Celebrate, participate
Don't wait,
Don't waste
Another day, another moment
Of your stay in paradise!"

Light

The hall was huge, The faces bright
The voices filled with joy
As each one sang from the very
Bottom of the hearts
Which belonged to Him!
Each went up to be blessed
As if they already were not!

What is an hour or even, two
To one who transcends time?
The first, the middle and the last
He had something special for all
A smile here, a hug there
A word or two for  some
A flower for one, a garland for another
To each His very own!
I just stood gazing
Filling myself up
It just did not seem enough!

Finally it was my turn
I bent to touch His feet
What happened next I do not know!
I was spinning around
Like I never have before
Two shafts of light were all that I could see
One was Him, the other Me!

It took awhile to realise what I had done
I had held His hands and swirled with Him
All on my very own!
Upset were those very close to Him
Oh ... They had a lot to say!
Any other time I would have cried
From the pain that came my way
Not so, this time ...
For a space deep down, had been found
so filled with love and grace
"I am sorry I hurt your feelings,"
I said
"Please understand,
it was not something I planned
Keep me away, if you so desire
My experience is mine to keep
my learning, my smile, my sleep
and, for the last, I save
my Jai Guru Dev!"

Lessons learnt at our own home
Are like medicine, bitter
They are the best, however,
For all that life brings later
The heart ruffles its feathers and begins its flight
Towards the very Source of Light!
Crossing

"Why do you stand at the shore?
Dive into the ocean
and reach the other side
You will find me waiting
to walk by your side.
Not ahead, not behind,
but with you right beside.

Many-a-time have we met
Since time immemorial
Many-a-form have I assumed
Many-a-language have I spoken
Hoping you will understand
Always my heart was open
And my arm extended
I have never ever left you untended!"

What else did I need to get me going?
I plunged right in!
Wonders I had never known of
Swam effortlessly before me
Life in myriad forms
Flowed ceaselessly through me
Light followed suit with such brilliance
It lit up the whole of Existence!

Time stood still or flew past
It was of no consequence!
With no beginning and no end
Were the scenes flashing by!
"If this is how it is in the middle", I wondered
"How would it be on the other shore!"
Poet Tree
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