The Crazy Thing

My friends and I, we’re dreamers.

We value ideals more than dollars,

sunsets more than gold.

We stay up late around the fire,

talking about aliens,

talking about God,

talking about revolution.

~

Talking isn’t the point, of course.

It’s just how we tune in.

When the moment is ripe,

when the moon is full and bright,

and the embers are glowing just so,

we melt.

We disappear.

We become the wind and starlight.

~

People say we’re crazy.

“It’s impossible!” they say.

“Naive! Irresponsible!”

But the crazy thing is,

that people don’t do this all the time.

The crazy thing is,

that anyone would ever waste a night like this

in front of the TV.

tv zombie

Smoke That Thunders

victoria falls

It’s the first day of March here in Kansas City,

and there’s a few inches of snow on the ground.

The temperature is around 30 degrees,

the sky is cloudy and overcast.

Rays of light from the nearest star

are illuminating half of my Mother’s face,

tearing the gray mist of the air to shreds,

touching each fleeting and perfect crystal

of frozen H2O

with all the tenderness and passion of Krishna,

breathing life into the earth,

dancing with the pine trees like so many virgin maids,

their ballroom gowns translucent white and swirling;

playing and leaping

and pouring like Mosi-oa-Tunya

into my astonished eyes.

Eavesdropping

listen

I’ve heard the stream

and the old stones whispering

beneath the cedars.

I swear the hills are breathing.

Listen…

On a still winter night,

the darkness is filled

with a quiet, electric hum…

the language of the stars.

Who can transcribe this conversation

between the earth and sky?

Who can say what wordless exchange

takes place among the trees?

Who can understand what passes silently

from the wild, beating heart of the world,

into my pensive soul?

 

© 2015 Ben Neal

Around the Fire

around the fire

There’s somethin’ bout a fire

And gathering round it

With a sky full of stars up above,

With the smoke

and the dark,

and the drums and the earth –

a feeling of family

and tribal love.

There’s somethin’ bout a fire

and a circle of friends,

sharing their stories and songs,

takin’ turns choppin’ wood,

cookin’ meat on sticks,

father’s teachin’ their sons how to fish.

This is how we used to live,

every goddamn day,

until television.

There’s something we’ve lost

along the way –

something sacred and essential.

And more than anything

we all desperately need to get back

around the fire.

Today is the Day (To Sing Jai Ma!)

nature walk

Today is the day to sit outside, soak up the sunlight, take some deep, mindful breaths. Taste the air, so fresh and cool and full of life! Take off your shoes and feel the earth against your skin. Dig your toes into a bed of clover.

Today is the day to go for a walk, to take a closer look at the world around you, to see what often goes overlooked. Notice the dazzling array of weeds and grasses, bushes and trees that are spilling out everywhere, all around and in-between our houses and our streets.

Today is the day to stop and smell the flowers. Open your eyes and drink in the colors, the elegant patterns and imperfections, the wild ecstatic wind dancing!

Today is the day to watch the sunset.

(Honestly—how long has it been?)

Watch the stars come out tonight… bathe in the moonlight, find constellations. Try to comprehend infinity, to wrap your head around the sky. I mean really try—reach and stretch until your mind is ripped wide open.

Today is the day to hug a tree, to dance in the meadow, to play in the dirt; do the kind of fun and crazy things that only children are alive enough to do. Wrestle with your dog, roll on the floor, get licked in the face. Go adopt a pet from your local animal shelter.

Today is the day to take a small step; pick up some litter, start recycling. Get together with your neighbors; clean something, fix something, form a committee. Set an example. Be the change.

Today is the day to honor the Earth and the whole miraculous web of life. Today is the day to plant a seed.

Today is the day to sing Jai Ma!

To praise Mother Nature, to radiate our love and appreciation. Let her know we’re awake, and paying attention. Let her know that we care, we are trying our best. Let her know we are grateful.

We are oh so grateful…

Join the birds and the bugs and the angels, the silent song of the trees and flowers. Join the chorus of life everlasting, singing a joyous, triumphant hymn.

Jai Ma!  Glory to the Goddess, beautiful mother of the whole universe!

Jai Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Ma!

Eternity is a Matter of Depth

wormhole

Eternity doesn’t really mean infinite duration.

(Honestly, just think how boring that would be…)

Eternity means infinite depth.

A second can be divided into a thousand milliseconds. Each millisecond can in turn be divided a thousand times, and so on forever. On the quantum level of reality, these tiny fractions of a moment are bursting with activity—countless swirling microcosms are created and destroyed in the blink of an eye.

And just as the experience of a second varies based on your perspective, so too the lifespan of a star or a galaxy. The birth and death of a universe could be seen as an ephemeral phenomenon.

It’s all relative.

As a minute ticks by in clock time, we can experience it in a variety of ways. If we are anxious and bored, that one minute can seem quite lengthy. If we are actively engaged, it can pass in a flash. It all depends on us, and how we are relating to the world in that moment.

Think of the may fly, which hatches, matures and dies in a matter of days. How must this amazing creature experience a minute? An hour?

What most of us feel on a daily basis as the need for more time, is really the need for a deeper relationship with the present moment.

We don’t need 36 hours in a day, we need to fully inhabit the hours we have. We need to open up our senses, open up our minds; to appreciate the endless layers of texture and detail present in everything around us; to be more aware of the forces at work within us.

We don’t have to live forever to have eternal life.

Eternity is within this very minute, in between the ticking seconds. Savor the boring and ordinary moments; watch them come alive and unfurl their hidden wonders.

Breathe in… be nourished by the breath of the infinite.

Breathe out… relax, release, let go.

Sink deeper into the rhythmic ebb and flow of Nature. Feel the pulse of the cosmos throbbing in your veins, the life and activity of your cells. Roam the shifting landscape of your thoughts, your emotions, your imagination… worlds within worlds. Let it all wash over you. Drink it all in.

Drown in it.

the road

Going Away

the road

I am going away again

Away from the constant

Hustle and noise –

The incessant bee-hive drone

Of the city

 

Out there past the land of pick-up trucks

And gravel dust

And corn fields waving in the wind

 

Out there deep in the hills

Where a lonely two-lane winds

Through primeval forest

 

Where the streams run cold and clean

And the stars shine bright and clear

 

Where all the notes of Nature’s song

Sing out loud and un-obstructed

 

Out there the whole Earth is like a great drum

Pulsing with life and music

And I am a bead of sweat glistening on its skin

Dancing to the rhythm

 

I’ll find a little lakeshore

Somewhere out there

Somewhere no one ever goes

And by the light of a dying fire

Fall asleep, listening…

 

To the bullfrogs down by the water

To the locusts that are everywhere singing out

From the lush and living green

 

To the ethereal music of the heavenly spheres

Heard not with the ears but with the heart

 

There where the black top ends

My wanderings will have only just begun…

 

For I am going waaaaay out there

Where no path leads

To that mystic space, beyond beyond

 

Where I flow with the rivers

With the life-blood of the pines

Where I whirl with the wind

With the sky, with the moon

 

And I dance on the invisible strings

That weave together stars and planets

 

I’m going away, far away

Where my soul can rest…

 

~ Ben

Mother

Some thoughts to share on Mother’s Day, for every mother and every child, too…

 

I love you Mom!!!

 

I say these words with all my heart,

to the woman who gave birth to me,

who nursed me and raised me,

And who herself was once a girl

In my grandmother’s arms…

 

To the woman who has taught me

– and continues to teach me –

More than any other living being…

 

I say this too for every patient, wise and loving woman

I have ever known…

 

For every woman who has born, raised or cared for children,

And to all the young daughters who one day will…

 

I say this too for the Cosmic Mother I behold in all of them –

warm and bright as the morning sun,

soft and gentle as a summer breeze…

 

To the Goddess, Nature, indwelling all

Giving life to a hundred billion fertile spheres,

Nourishing all beings like suckling babes…

 

Who is every woman, every lover

Every mother, every daughter

And an ever present ebb and flow

of life and breath, birth and death…

 

The constant flux, the dance of form

by seasons tender and gentle,

fierce and terrible…

 

For her many moods and faces,

And for the many flavors of her Love,

I am eternally grateful.

 

I love you Mom.

Jagatambe Jai Jai Ma.

 

~ Ben

Let Love Have It’s Way

In this Conscious universe, all of Creation is made up of waves of energy vibrating in the emptiness of Mind. Pure Awareness contains the infinite potential for all that is, and all that ever was or ever will be. That pure and eternal Beingness has been called by many different names… let us call it, for the moment, God.

God, containing infinite creative potential, creates infinitely. The emergence of energy from the empty void of pure being is the Primal Cause, the act of Creation – an act of Love.

The Creation is not an event of the distant past but rather the constant process of the eternal Now. And the Primal Creative Energy is ever radiating out from the center of the universe that is the Self – the everpresent Awareness of I AM. That energy that creates and sustains all things is the energy of gratefulness, worship, ecstasy

It is Love.

It is the need and desire of God to explore all possibility – or more specifically, to create,embrace, love and release all possible experiences.

All around you right this very moment God is experiencing Itself through all the different forms around you – and of course as you, yourself. Feel that subtle creative energy flowing through you; nourishing the cells of your body, giving sight to your eyes, sound to your ears, taste to your tongue, sensation to your nerves and skin… it is the root source of your will and awareness.

Feel Life living itself as you. Awareness experiencing itself as you. Love loving itself as you.

Be grateful.

Allow that pure energy of gratitude to flow through you. Feel your gratitude for life, for this moment, for all the beauty all around you. Take time every day to feel grateful, to tune into the pure energy of Source, of God, of Love…

Step outside and feel how every leaf and flower and every living thing throbs with life, and radiates the energy of love and praise… look up at the night sky and appreciate the beauty of the cosmos, and know that there is no end to Love…

There is no end… no end to life, to existence, to creation… no end to you.

You are Love, mistakenly identified with a transient personality – an ego that dissects and labels the living universe until it seems to lie dead on the operating table. How do you escape this trap?

Feel your way.

You have mistakenly believed yourself to be a thinker of thoughts. Truly it is your feelings which are closer to the heart of you. The True Reality is outside the grasp of reason, but your intuition can guide you home.

Feel your way to gratitude, to worship, to Love – it is within you right now. It is the eternal Truth of you, and the source of all true peace, joy and fulfillment. It is God giving life to your body, light to your mind, evolving you from within.

Forget who you think you are and tune into that vibration. Be still and be thankful.

Let Love have it’s way with you.

What Purpose?

The sun is bright today,

The world is bustling with activity;

Abuzz with the sound of cars and trucks,

Power saws and cooling units,

The constant drone of mechanized modern life.

(They call it progress…)

While I sip my morning coffee,

I look out upon the city

And the people who are busy keeping up

With all the endless tasks involved

In keeping the light bulbs burning…

 

For what purpose?

 

I look out upon the landscape,

Touched by an early Spring.

The daffodils are blooming silently,

And the trees are waking up;

On the tips of every branch and limb

Tiny buds are forming.

Everywhere the green returning,

Mixed with splashes of yellow, pink and red.

Seen and unseen Nature is stirring,

Without any effort or hurry,

Life is bursting forth afresh…

 

For what purpose?

 

My eyes perceive no difference

In the scurrying about of men, and squirrels –

The same Spirit moves all things.

 

The moaning of the wind in the trees

Blends perfectly with the sound of a passing train;

The birdsong is in harmony

With the wailing of a distant siren;

The dogs are barking, and someone is shouting

And a plane is passing overhead;

It’s all one wall of sound, washing over me.

The whole Earth is one divine emanation;

One holy and resounding

Om…

 

And what am I in all of this?

A wave, a ripple reflecting sunlight;

A mirror, in which God admires itself.

 

What am I, really?

Dust in the wind.

Just more particles dancing –

 

For what purpose?

 

Joy. Only joy.

 

~ Ben