A Few Afuw

I want to thank the friends who noticed my silence during the final week counting the OMER and were in touch with encouragement. It was a week in which my muses and fuses were tied up elsewhere. That might be a blog post in itself, eventually, but while it was going on there was no coherent energy for translation.

I’m not here with many words tonight, only words enough to introduce images. This evening, before the rain and the final blush of sunset on the laden clouds, riding on the elevation of today’s extra dose of chocolate, I was called again to walk at the river, which has been dry since the day I posted on the waters flowing for the feast of San Isidro.

When I arrived today, the sand was newly wet, though the river had only had a brief and scant flow. Still, it was enough to smooth away all the disturbance of foot and paw traffic and renew the soothing, telltale patterns of flow in the sand, to mirror the swirling patterns in the cloudscape above.

Sacred geometry, curves and patterns of nature bring a balm of coherency and ease to this besieged nervous system, the way cool water soothes, the way forgiveness–the cosmic solvent– melts tensions, armor, walls and corners in body and psyche.

I was reminded of the final name in a progressive series of four Divine Names of forgiveness: Al Afuw. One of the metaphors used to describe this quality is a wind erasing all sign of footprints. 

I noticed once again how those patterns in which I was bathing my eyes, in the wake of absent water, not only reminded me of that quality but performed that function, as my body and mind dissipated grievance from days of discomfort.

Photos cannot really capture such experiences. But I snapped images anyway. I collect a very few below a first shot, a simple bewitching single talon print between pebble fields. Note in the final shots an angel wing and a cloaked woman. 


Ya Ghaffar! Ya Ghafur!

Ya Tawwab!

Ya Afuw!

Ya Salaam!

Step inside the Circle

I was moved by a little seven minute film today called

Step Inside the Circle 

(Click the title to watch, please)

I let it leaven today’s OMER recipe,

Tiferet (Beauty, Balance) within Malchut (Nobility,Dignity,Majesty).


Can you feel your body?

Can you see the inky scars on your skin

of chocolate, caramel and cherry parfait?

Then you belong.

No matter what they told you.

No matter which circle of Hell 

your baby-beebee landed in

on the roulette wheel of recincarnation.

Prince or pauper

no one can see the ground beneath his feet,

but he must trust it, claim it

by rooting his Heart there.

Down, root down,

to where Earth nourishes everything

and favors nothing.

It’s a long winter you were born in,

but if you can still feel your feet,

your roots are still viable,

and your heart can bloom.

Don’t wait

for a distracted gardener to herald your mutation,

  to praise your never-before blossom.

You are yours to discover.

Claim your genius,

Name your genus

in memory of your Self.





Rose Hidden

in a Game of Thorns.

Invisible Sun and Hidden OMER

Any mystic knows that the cosmos is always and only saying one word:  IS.

That ISness was humming in every mote of the environment in the canyon I visited in yesterday’s blog post. And I was charmed that it was even spelled out, reminiscent of Charlotte’s Web, in a fetid pool below the rock on which I was perched.   By the time I disturbed my revery to climb down and photograph it, it was morphing beyond its moment as Cosmic graffiti in English into some other language. But you can still make it out–ISz…! …And it is all the same language anyway.


That ISness is also present, humming in my contrasting state today, sounding more like a pinched groan as the rusty screw turns in my center, squeezed by the implosive energies of waning moon, and objecting loudly. The sound is a sensation felt throughout the body-field and met with indignance by the mind that still has preferences for.. any state but this one.

Here are some words that rise from the hidden majestic Sun to invoke Loving Kindness within the Dignity of even this moment:

In these final hours of the moon cycle, the light of my own Wise Sun has receded, and I’m stuck here…

in the dim… with the dregs, the demoralized, the faculties least loved, least competent, least happy;

   the limping limbic leper that knows itself only by the crust on the wound that doesn’t know itself as blood,

    doesn’t know itself soluble, redeemable in the pure and pouring waters of forgiveness,

      the cosmic emollient of Love .  

No one judges the eclipsed moon; and even if so, she would remain innocent…

As is my cratered human heart (innocent) of these strange and strangling shadows.

Malchut Las Conchas


For anyone still keeping score, today’s OMER intersection is Malchut within Yesod: Kingdom, Dignity, Majesty within Foundation.  As I stood in today’s stream, lifting chi up and pouring chi down, it struck me that the scene before me bespoke this better than words. But here some words might try to express the living stillness embodied in the balancing stones of a cairn, the presence, playfulness and welcome, the I AM and I CAN, which a cairn communicates.. resting, anchored in a swirling field of water (a foundation of physical life)… within the always-flowing dynamism of reality. 



I’m tired from today’s outing; but what this post lacks in wit it makes up for in water and quiet wonder.

The excursion was one bathed in gratitude, not to mention sun, nourishing sounds, smells and surrounds. It was my first visit to Las Conchas trail (in the Jemez Mountains) in well over 20 years. Once the acrid malaise of city began to fall away, my heart was filled with blessings to count and friends to appreciate.

First I want to acknowledge all fire fighters. In the above photo, you can see that the green ridge across the road from the trailhead appears to have a crew cut. It is a glimpse the site of one of New Mexico’s most enormous and scary forest fires. Tin 2011, the Las Conchas fire came way too close to Los Alamos National Labs and burned 150,000 acres. This tranquil canyon where I stood to take this photo was spared.

   As I drove here today, I gave thanks for my vehicle; it felt so good to be on the open road, cruising along a scenic highway, after so much time mostly homebound. And I give thanks to the surgeon who enabled me to drive here and again walk this trail.

Also in my thoughts today was my dear friend, Annelou, who turns 87 on Friday, and who has supported me in so many ways. As I wended my way first along the highway and then among the pines and globular rock formations that comprise the towering painted walls of this canyon, I was appreciating her and appreciating the scenery for her, snapping photos to share, with her… and…

… another friend, whom we almost lost in December, and with whom I believe I camped near the stream here in the 1990s. My heart smiled to know that my brother tao was still at the other end of the phone to text a “remember when” photo and celebrate that we both still walk the earth.

Although this trail doesn’t feature the kind of sustained up and down I usually seek to tone my hip stabilizers, there was plenty to amuse me in the way of hilly spurs and rocks and bridges to mount and dismount.  I was grateful for my local friend Jay, who reminded me about this trail last weekend. As a chiropractor, he also reminded me of some orthopedic tricks I could employ to work those muscles. The advice was more helpful than I expected; thanks Jay. I am glad you are still with us, too.

At the end of this trail, the stream turns left into a narrower canyon. Here there are deeper pools, where a body
could actually submerge and where, today, fishermen were casting for trout.

I had completed one Qigong practice in a meadow along the way. Now, I stood in a little wading pool and moved through my second practice, watching the water, and the occasional fishing-line darting through or landing in my field of vision, and the cagey little fish who never took the bait. Anyone who has studied Qigong knows that one moves as if one is moving through water; so how delicious it was to actually stand in water as my body swam through air charged with life and negative ions.

Soon everyone else had moved on, and I had this little paradise to myself. I waded and scrabbled my way across the stream to a natural amphitheater-shaped cavern and perched on the rock to perform a sound healing practice.

From that perch, I took panoramic shot that included the view both upstream and downstream…intriguing.

Past and future in parallel.

…and the timelessness of a sumptuously grateful now.



A wraith of words

In the fizzy living dynamism that is this body-field…

In the veil dance of histories unwinding through my spine,

points of torsion, friction, counterforce

cast shadows as dense as neutron stars.

They like to tell me stories of their own,

of neverness and need, of wrongness and rending,

of inhospitable,




These are the trolls under my heart bridge.

Today they bark from beneath my right clavicle

“Turn your head this way and we remind you

of every mistake you ever made.”

And still I turn,

into the vexation,

into the mass of gravity, sensation,

and I wonder at the specter of “all I should have known and didn’t,”

of the wound through which the Light of Shakti

projects an entire life,

the Camera Obscura of this identity.


Yet in the effervescent stillness of my mind-field,

the Kabuki figures that once spelled “me,”

that once cast, in chiaroscuro pageantry,

the shadows of who and what,

now tumble free in the infinite

foreground reversal

of Om.

Yesod within Yesod
(Foundation within Foundation)


Dia and Diosa del Agua


When I got up this morning, I put the sprinkler on the driest patch of lawn, and as I noticed how it called in the birds to play and bathe, I mused on how all water is magnetic, how moving water is even more so– electromagnetic. How do the birds they know?  With what sense or combination of senses is this magnetism detected? Sound, sight, smell, humidity, some other subtle force?

Often I walk to a park to practice QiGong in the morning; lately at that hour,the park is freshly glistening and often still hissing and whipping with sweeping jets of sprinklers, which, as they change shifts, require my practice be a movable feast.

Also feasting there in the puddles are the glorious grackles, whose exultant, explosively joyful exclamations as they frolic have long been dear to me.  I enjoy the way these high pitched darts and curly-Qs cajole the heart and jostle the silt out of other organs as I float through my healing ballet.

This morning however, I was drawn to the river bottom, where experience hinted I would root my feet in the cool, dry sand.  When I got there, I blinked at sand flowing with a shallow rippling layer of brown glass. The river was… actually a river.

I, too, had been mysteriously drawn to the water…even before my intellectual mind knew the river was running.  What an affirmation of the life-giving Mystery and Miracle having its life through us.

It turns out that May 15th is El Dia de San Isidro, and a day the village of Agua Fria does their traditional Santa Fe River Blessing. Usually, there is a procession from the Iglesia de San Isidro to the river, to offer flowers and prayers of gratitude to this source of water so precious to what was originally a pious and humble community of farmers. San Isidro (from the 12th Century) is the patron of farmers; this is his feast day.

The City of Santa Fe times this release from the water shed so that it arrives for El Dia de San Isidro.  I knew nothing of this until I texted my neighbor from where I stood, inquiring why the river was running.

This year, of course, no procession was permitted. But the community was encouraged to make their own creative, individual observances.  I resolved to return at day’s end to pay my respects. And I did.  I even brought some flowers to offer.

I walked the trail to the other end of this stretch of river walk, where steps made for a giant descend from a road that crosses the river and today was crossed by the river. Water cascades down, and at this modest volume, divides whimsically into various rivulets, which wind, merging and diverging, around islands of sand and  shrubbery (which was suddenly enthusiastically green).


I descended into the river bottom to take pictures and walk back in the river itself, losing myself in the song of happy birds, crickets and feet, and patterned dance of light and water.

I bow, with the generations in this place before, me to generative power and blessing of Mother Water, and for her reminder this morning of the river of intelligence and the deep well of wisdom her life lives in me. You too!

Let it draw you home to your own Essence.


Weary after a day full of blessings, I simply asked into the quiet if the OMER muse had anything, then took dictation as images from the day wove loosely together, like the leavings of a dream. 


Foundation in Awe, Humility and Glory.

Where else can we know awe but in the body?

I see my glory better in the mirror of friendship,

humbled by each blemish

healed by forgiving witness

and awed by how

the heart of the puppeteer is magnified,


between two puppets,

is healed because one knows through him–

even when he doesn’t– where to touch the other.

The deeper the pericope is rooted

the more dimensions we can see.

To touch a soul, touch the soles.

When this is over,

place your ever-holy palm upon your kindred’s feet,

where he cannot see the ground of his own being,

and feel your timid heart melt…and then his.

Meanwhile, touch your own feet

as if with your own heart,

and see yourself home,

again and always,

on soft and solid ground. 

Mother’s Day 2020

   I was most of the way through a Sufi virtual retreat this weekend when I put together that a reason I might be so unshakably cranky and contracted in such an expansive, full-hearted context was that it was Mother’s Day weekend, which meant I was in the aura of my own mother’s death anniversary, which always lands the same week.

   It’s been nine years, and while I don’t go staggering around in blind bewilderment like I did for a few years, apparently it still affects me. Exactly how it will feel or look each year I never know until it “comes around again on the gueetar,” as Arlo Guthrie says.

   As I sang Wazifa (Divine Names) to strumming guitars this afternoon, it all kind of fell into sense, and I scribbled out the verse that offered itself, as strains of Ishq Allah, Ya Muqsit echoed in my head.

  I offer it up in honor of the Mother and the Mystery. And I guess it could qualify as today’s OMER piece, as things did resolve into Harmony and Beauty during a song about Balance, bringing glorious relief and renewed Awe and Humility.

The moon is full.
The veils are thin.
The umbilical ligatures bind again.
But I do not resist.
It’s Mother’s Day.
Countdown begins
to the day you left (and)
my freefall began
toward Al-Muqsit.
You pulled your roots 
from around my womb,
and today we both fly from the tomb,
and Hearts out-grow their fists…
and fists dissolve to Ishq.


Theo-rems of sacred geometry and alchemy

Gevurah Shebe Hod

Strength has a radius, but no boundary.

Awe has a center and a circumference, with an area of Glory + Humility.

The point at which Strength with a factor of X meets Strength with factor -X at the speed of Life is called Humility.

When unstable compound “I” is introduced into a chamber with pressurized G.A.S. (GloryAweStrength), solid element E (ego) is transubstantiated into noble gas H (humility). All may seem lost, but everything is gained.


For extra credit, provide common or genus name for this flower: