December 31, 2000
Great grace has graced my life.
I had believed that it couldn’t happen to me, and then it did…
I have been reluctant to place this free-verse poem that I wrote into the public sphere due to concerns about what some people might think about it. For one, I was concerned that it could appear to be exhibiting spiritual “bravado,” or that I’d look like some kind of show-off. And I was nervous just about more naked exposure of myself to the wild public world.
I was even more nervous when I heard about chat rooms on the Internet where spiritual matters are critically debated and argued. I worried, “Oh no, will my poem end up being criticized or chewed up there?”
So a long “gestation” period took place.
Well, I’m still a bit anxious about offering this poem. I am a private and self-effacing Vietnamese-American person who likes to keep a low profile. I like to avoid criticism and controversy. I like to play it safe in certain areas of my life, like this one. This is in large part, but not entirely, a defensive pattern from my childhood–better to lay low and not “rock the boat.”
However, something major did happen to me.
Great grace has graced my life.
August 11, 1995 came to pass, and this whole Being Realization unfolded in my life. Even as it was taking place, I kept thinking to myself, “This shouldn’t be happening to me.” After all, I suffer from “funky personality syndrome,” or FPS for short, meaning I’m a card-carrying member in good standing of the neurotic personality club. I have, among other things, obsessive-compulsive disorder and abandonment issues.
And this Core Realization still happened. It’s an amazement. How could this happen to me?
In the mysterious unfolding of Being and with the help of a precious spiritual friend, Saniel, and others, this Second Birth clarification occurred on that August night.
I was reflecting about this unfolding of grace recently. I was thinking that perhaps part of the significance of this Being Realization gracefully manifesting in my life is that I am “meant” to share about this with others who are like me–other common, ordinary people who may be spiritual aspirants or who have deep yearnings to clarify Being-ness in embodiment, and who may suffer from “FPS” like me.
Maybe I need to reveal more of my story, and maybe those folks might need to hear about this remarkable occurrence to open up the sense of possibility in their own lives. Maybe they would benefit from the inspiration of this poem that I wrote while I was in the midst of my actual awakening process.
At the time, I was just writing this poem for myself, not even daring to think of sharing it publicly, either then or in the future. I was just “poeticizing” about my experience for myself as it was happening. This was a common practice of mine at the time, particularly in response to more intense personal experiences arising in my life.
While I was writing this poem, I didn’t know for sure that my Second Birth was actually taking place. I was just blown away in the blaze of Consciousness and Conscious love and bliss that was unfolding, and I was trying to describe it in some poetic way for future reflection and appreciation.
And it did turn out to be this Whole Being Feeling Realization that Saniel has named the Second Birth.
And so I say to my fellow friends with funky personality syndrome: “If it could happen to me, it can happen to you, too.”
Now, with the introduction done, I humbly submit this poem for your feeling consideration and enjoyment–to “chew on” and, hopefully, to be encouraged and inspired by.
I hope that it may be a form of graceful inspiration for your own whole-Being exploration and integration.
May embodied Conscious Love flower as us all.
Van’s Awakening Poem
I am alive as the Heart.
I am alive as Consciousness Itself.
There is only Radiant All-pervading Consciousness.
There is nothing outside Consciousness. Nothing, no object, nothing stands outside Consciousness.
I am this very Heart that lives the world.
Paradoxically, I as Consciousness appear as this individuated body-mind-soul expression in this earthen plane.
This world stands as a dot in the field of Consciousness, yet paradoxically is the very substance of Divine Consciousness in material matter form.
One and the same.
Conscious Being alive as all this.
There is only Consciousness and I am that Consciousness.
What I appear to be and have previously believed myself to be is all arising in Consciousness.
Consciousness is associated with this body-mind. When this body-mind ceases to arise, I still am Consciousness. Present as Consciousness.
The Heart is alive as Love.
Conscious Love sees all beings as its lovers.
Conscious Love wants to proclaim this love to each and every one.
It wants to be received and recognized by each being; yet It remains infinitely Radiant Love nevertheless.
You are me. I am you. I love you. I love you as the you that you are.
Bottomless. Boundless. All-pervading.
The cosmos disappears in this “hole.”
The Heart is Absolute and Infinite.
All this is silliness.
I am melted in this living Conscious Love.
Centerless. Everywhere. Nowhere. Just utter Is-ness
It is all Alive!
I want to proclaim it from the rooftops.
I’ve gone mad. I’ve fallen through a hole in the cosmos.
There is only this stark, glaring, naked Consciousness.
I’ve fall into the hole.
There is no inner or outer; there just is Is-ness.
Everything, everything, every thing is arising in Consciousness.
Nothing, no thing stands outside Consciousness. Absolutely nothing. Impossible.
There is only this crazy, wild, living Consciousness.
The Heart of all existence.
There is no more Is-ness than this IS-ness. The Absolute Heart. Absolutely Alive. Utterly absolutely Conscious. Always has been. Always will be. Always, Always, Absolutely.
“Infinity” is too small for Consciousness.
I am That.
And paradoxically, I am appearing as this particular body-mind.
God is appearing as me. This silly thing.
Absolute Love flows through me but can’t be contained. The body-mind is too small, too cramped to contain and fully express this Absolute Love.
We can sing songs, write ecstatic poetry, dance an epic, but the depth and breadth of this love can only be realized in and as Consciousness.
Bottomless. Topless. Unfathomable.
And in the eyes of my radiant friends this evening, I saw this Love, this utter Heart.
And I was melted. Melted to the core, and I fell out through the hole in the bottom of the cosmos.
I’ll reappear, but I’ll never be the same again.
This Being thing has got me wild and crazy!
The Heart wraps me in and takes me. I’m yours. I am It.
It is only Is-ness. Absolute Radiant Is-ness. Radiance to Infinity. Absolute Radiance.
Godness so Godness, It can’t get to be any more Godness.
The Shiva-Shakti dance. I am Shiva. I am Shakti. This can’t be. I was just me a few months ago.
I rest as Shiva. And my Shakti dances in me. I bring her the force of my love. Absolute Love. Absolute Inherence.
The Cosmic Dance. Singular, yet a multiplicity.
I’m in trouble. I can’t find myself.
The eyes of Consciousness are glaring at me.
Love so deep I am taken in, swallowed whole.
Everything disappears in Consciousness, and now only the Heart stands. This Onlyness.
How can this be occurring to me?
Consciousness pours on my head by the eyes of the Heart. The utterly vulnerable eyes of the Infinite Heart.
Utterly vulnerable. Gone. Only the Heart remains.
Paradox of incarnation. The body-mind appears here, arising in and from the Heart. Very Consciousness as this fragile, little, moving flesh mound.
What will my friends say now? I’ve fallen out the hole.
Consciousness is the Heart. The Heart is Consciousness. The Heart is Love Only. Conscious Love. None else.
I am that Living Love. Present as this me-ness, here. Where else?
Thank God for friends who’ll know me in my madness–Divine Madness “Disease.” No true disease; more a “Full-Ease.”
But there is a “dis-ease” about the conventional man’s mode of operation. The sad tragic denial of Being. So tragic. So short-sighted.
Grace revealed the Obvious to me. And now this “me” wants to proclaim this Obviousness to the world of conventional man. I was a card-carrying member of this club, but I now can’t renew it anymore.
I have the Consciousness “Virus” and It’s eating me alive.
It’s a Radical “Virus”–eats you up ’til only the Heart is left standing in blazing Majesty.
Consciousness flashed forward, and I can’t put the “Genie” back in the bottle.
I am nailed to the “wall” of Consciousness, by Consciousness, and I can’t get down.