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

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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.

Tending the Fire

tending the heart fire

I keep forgetting to do

The little things each day,

to show my wife and son I love them,

to dance and sing and play.

I keep forgetting to take the time

to seek the silence,

still the mind.

I keep forgetting who lives inside

of every creature, plant and stone.

I keep forgetting who I am

and who I’m with,

even when I’m alone.

I keep forgetting my life comes down

to just this moment, here and now,

and how I choose to spend it.

Remembering is a sacred fire

and I keep forgetting

to tend it.

 

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.

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.

Free Fall

free falling

Have you ever been in love?

I mean really, deeply, head-over-heels in love; so absorbed and lost in your lover that you can’t sleep, you forget to eat, you can’t focus on work or have a conversation, you can’t even think about anything else?

If you have, then you have tasted one of the most awesome and profound experiences a human being can ever have. If you haven’t, then nothing I can say or write can convey to you even a fraction of that mystery…

A lover lost in love knows what it means to surrender – to be completely open, absolutely vulnerable, and totally abandoned to something greater than oneself. We call it “falling in love,” and rightly so… to abandon yourself to love can feel like flinging yourself off of a cliff!

The God experience is like that. The mystic falls in love with Nature, with the universe, with the whole of Creation and everything in it… so absorbed in the Beloved that all else is forgotten.

That experience is what we all crave! We long to fall in love with the Divine, and every love affair we have is just another way of reaching out to reconnect with the Infinite, to feel that eternal wholeness and completion. God is the lover that hides inside all of your lovers…

Intimacy with another can be a gateway to mystic union, to the Cosmic Love that annihilates all sense of self and other. If you are in a romantic relationship, don’t hold back! You cannot know the depths of love while playing it safe, being cool and detached. Give in and open up in total surrender. Be radically vulnerable and trusting. Abandon yourself to love! This is the only way to find out what life and love really have to offer.

And if you find that you cannot enter into this kind of surrender with your current partner, keep looking.

Sex (honest, consensual, responsible sex) can be one of the most profound experiences of Oneness. As you give and receive pleasure, as you and your partner are moaning and sweating, lost in the throes of ecstasy – that is the bliss of the Divine! That is the dance of Krishna and Radhe. That is love, loving! Look deep into the eyes of your beloved and you will see none other than your own Holy Self.

And if you do not have a lover, the chances are you have a friend, a parent, a brother or sister, a son or a daughter – even a pet – someone whom you love very dearly. This too is intimacy. This too can be a doorway to Divine Love. Whenever we care for another, we enter into the heart of God. And when we embrace that connection and give in to it completely, then we are surrendered in love, and we dissolve…

There are countless ways to enter the inner chamber. Maybe you feel the Presence when you are alone in Nature, hiking through the hills and forests… or when you are totally absorbed in chanting your mantra, your prayer beads sliding gracefully through your fingers… when you are out in your community, engaged in loving service and charitable work… when your paint brush is dancing over the canvas, your soul expressing itself in vibrant color… or when holding your most cherished instrument, and melting into the endless beauty of sound and music…

So many have tasted the Divine in all of these flavors and more. I encourage each of you, my dear friends and readers, to find your gateway, your passion, your path. All love is God’s love. So whatever it is you love – be it meditation, music, art, sex, nature, gardening, community service, raising a family – embrace it, explore it, abandon yourself to it!

Don’t hold back, don’t play it safe – surrender to your passion. Find the path that takes you beyond yourself, and follow it to the end and beyond!

Allow yourself to fall in love with God, with mystery, with Life itself. Let go into the endless free fall of existence… and dissolve.

~ Ben

Embrace

embrace

I am the Light eternally shining

And I am the shadow that it casts

 

I am the boundless Joy abiding

And I am the relentless, gnawing doubt

 

Where is there a need for resistance?

What is there to resist?

 

Wherever there is struggle I am on both sides!

I am the victim and the perpetrator

The hunter and the hunted

 

I am the angel and the demon

And the will to choose between them

 

I am both lover and beloved

And I am their dance, their passion

Their embrace

 

I am pain and pleasure

Heat and friction

Flesh and spirit

Melting, merging into one

 

In a messy, screaming, gushing

Orgasmic oblivion

 

~ Ben

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

Wisp of Smoke

wisp of smoke

There is a fire

That burns so bright it can’t be seen –

But it enables you to see.

 

It gives light and life and joy

To all beings.

 

There is a white-hot brilliance

Blazing in the very heart

Of Being It-Self.

 

Creativity, passion, poetry, music

Pour from there like waves of heat…

 

I am but a prism

That light shines through…

 

A leaf, withering in that heat

Quivering with anticipation

 

Laughing, burning

Begging to become

 

A wisp of smoke.

 

~ Ben

This Love

This Light that shines in me

This Life, living through me

All I have

All I need

 

This breath,

Breathing me

I am drifting, floating within

 

This Presence

Pure Being

All beings but waves within it

 

This moment

Effervescent

Shimmering, fluid stillness

Nothing else

 

Just this Love

Loving, laughing, playing,

Dancing on and on…

 

~ Ben