All posts by Gyandeva

Gyandeva is a seeker, pathological meditator, a veteran firefighter and rescue tech, a poet, a blogger (new site) & writer. More importantly, he is a father of three—meaning he is also a lecturer, teacher, chef, order taker, taxi driver, coach, mentor and aspirin addict—and has found applying spiritual practices to all aspects of life provides a vast amount of possibility and abundance. While not adhering to any one religion, his practice of spiritual expression has shown that there is a unity in all things (even religions) and that in that unity we can find that Oneness in ourselves even as we enjoy the individual expression of that unity we are. You can also connect with Gyandeva on Twitter and on Facebook. Give his blog a Facebook hug at Tom Grasso, Writer.

The Broken Umbrella (Creative Writing Exercise)

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ~Lao Tzu

It was just a solitary, broken umbrella.  To the casual observer it meant nothing.  It was refuse, trash, and needed to be discarded before the next home game.  It had outlived its usefulness and could no longer serve its purpose.  Soon, it would end up yet another anonymous object at the bottom of a landfill somewhere, decaying for a million years in the land of unwanted things.

Yet it stood there proudly, its bright red color contrasting greatly against the stadium’s somber grey concrete benches.  It had been a couple of weeks since the team’s last home football game, and another was coming up in a few days.  The maintenance crew was busy at work, getting the field ready and the stands prepared for the warm bodies that would give life to this otherwise cold landscape.  Everyone there could see the red umbrella, but no one really noticed it.  That is what happens when something becomes old and broken.  The protector becomes garbage.  The needed becomes discarded.  To many who worked that field on this day that umbrella would become a harbinger of things to come.  They, too, would become discarded when no longer loved, needed, or wanted.  They, too, would be anonymous.  Their bright color would fade into the grayness, and they would be forgotten.

This umbrella had, however, given a gift in its state of disrepair.  It had been protecting a man and woman, lovers, as they sat and talked under the steady rain a few days earlier.  They had been having trouble in their relationship, both feeling as if they had become broken and forgotten to the other.  They both desperately wanted to work it out, to fix what had been broken, but neither would give up their anger.  As the conversation became a debate and the debate became an argument, both began to lose sight of their truth.  Soon, the innuendo became threats and it seemed like all would be lost on that cold, wet October day.

Suddenly, a gust of wind blew and the once strong umbrella bent in the middle.  It’s bright red covering folded backwards, and its arms gave way to the pressure.  Both became soaked instantly, but the man and woman stopped their argument as the rain became a torrent.  They began to curse the umbrella and the rain, running for shelter in one of the open doorways that led into the bowels of the stadium.

Once reaching drier climes, the stopped to get their bearings and to regain their senses.  As they wiped raindrops from their faces they looked at each other.  The eyes, those gateway to the soul, met and suddenly the world stopped around them.  Something clicked.  She suddenly was that beautiful woman he fell in love with, and he was that caring man she loved.  Their hands moved in unison as he moved the hair from her eyes, and she wiped some raindrops from his forehead.  Their words stopped, their anger was gone and all that was left was the indescribable force that had brought them together.  The resistance subsided, and they stood, man and woman, lovers again.

“A lot of good this umbrella was,” the man said, looking at the broken thing in his hand.

“You know, it’s been a long time since we’ve danced in the rain,” came her reply.

They looked at each other and smiled.

“Yeah, it’s been too long.  Let’s go,” the man said.  He grabbed her hand and the ran out onto the concrete heading towards the field.  On the way, the man dropped the umbrella along the benches where it would stay until it was picked up by the maintenance crew a few days later.

The sounds of laughter and rain echoed within the walls of the empty stadium as the lovers danced and played in the rain.  After a while their bodies would become cold and they would embrace to get warm.  They both remembered how nicely their bodies fit together, her head on his chest, his arms around her, his hand holding her head tightly to that spot where his heart beat.  It felt so good to remember how right this was.  It felt so good to feel how perfect everything would be when they just leaned on one another.

He leaned down and kissed the top of her head.  She, looked up at him, and they kissed like they hadn’t in quite some time.  They held each other in this lover’s pose, remembering all along what made their world work.  This, they remembered, was the Truth.

“Baby, take me home.  I need you,” the woman whispered.

He took her hand again and they began to run to the stadium’s exit leaving their umbrella behind.  In a moment that umbrella had given way, and the two would become one yet again.  As the rain washed away their pain they remembered their love.  Neither would recall what they were arguing about, and neither cared.  Instead, they focused on the love they had rediscovered and the warmth they had given to one another on even the coldest of days.  A gust of wind and a broken umbrella had provided a miracle of sorts, and one that would not be forgotten for the rest of their lives.

Even in breaking there is purpose, and even in getting wet there is hope.  No one would know how important that umbrella was.  It was picked up and put in the dumpster with the garbage but it had served an enormous purpose.  Lovers who would find their eternal purpose that day owed it all to something they would never know and never remember.  As their days became years and their years became decades it all made sense, and the man and woman never forgot to dance in the rain.  And they never bought another umbrella.

photo by: annnna_

The Blade (A Poem)

I wonder to whom I owe this pleasure
Of some distorted story line
In some unholy scene of bloodless torture
As if some common pretentious wannabe 
Has reigned over me like a troubled god.
When you pull that rusty blade
Aim for the heart
Do not take your time with it
But make it quick, painful, angry
Just don’t keep me in the dark.
For you may find when the blade comes down
That it’s not some whimpering dog you find
Laying in a ball, waiting…
But the keeper of hundred blades like that one
In a box not unlike the one you gave.
A smile, a jeer, some fortuitous deflection
And it’s off, the game is over
The warrior stands and eyes the sullen wound
Licks the blood that begins to rain
The taste reminds him of who he was.
He stares at his attacker
And a sense of dread befalls him
The hand once trusted now stole the life from him
The blade its simple tool
As he falls to his knees and begs his soul to leave.
But there are no tears to cleanse him
Or cries in the night to raise his humanity
Only the clean cut of a story told
The crusted blade reflects a distant star
That once had lit his way.
So now a choice
To fight true or give up to something new. 
We shall see.
But to a truth he remains a slave
To the lie he remains a curse
And to both he remains…alive.

While She Sleeps

 While she sleeps
I stare into a wild unknown
Seeking out the better parts of me
Wanting to make them real.
While she sleeps
My heart drifts one way
While my mind drifts the other
One must lead and one must follow.
And I choose
While she sleeps
My heart must win the moment
Because my mind has been so distorted.
To love…
Without assumption and without condition
In the silence I will wait
In my hand will be the answer
In my heart will be the key
And in my mind will be a resolve to see these choices through
To the end
And she will know that I am here waiting
While she sleeps.
photo by: Torsten Mangner

The Final Breath







He laid there, the immense pain in his chest beginning to numb under the realization that he was dying.  Just moments before he was alive, enjoying the morning with his beloved, laughing about the memories they had created the night before.  Now, he was sprawled out on the living room floor fighting for air, and wanting so desperately to talk.

She was there, above him, her hands holding his face as they had a thousand times before.  The worry in her eyes was clear as she begged him not to leave her.  “I love you baby, please stay with me.  We never have to be apart again, I promise.  Stay with me, I love you so much.  Please…please.”

He wanted to talk, but the words just would not come out.  He wanted to remind her that he loved her too.  He wanted to bring her back to the many moments they shared.  As her blue eyes cried the rains of hell onto him, he wanted to bring her back to Heaven, the place that they shared when their bodies meshed and their minds fell into each other.  He wanted so badly to comfort her as she tried to comfort him by touching him, kissing him, and reminding him that yes, he was all she ever needed.  All he could do, however, was lay there.  As the tears streamed down from the corner of his eyes he could only stare at her and beg whatever gods there were that this would not be the end.

His desperate struggle for air began to settle as his mind drifted back to the first time he saw her.  It was a picture, and her eyes had enveloped his senses and drew his attention.  He couldn’t explain the feeling, he only could utter something to himself that he would say to her a short time later: “beautiful”.  She stole his attention to the point that despite loving the mountains he did not notice them behind her.  All he could do was look at her face, those eyes and that smile.  He felt he knew her once, although he couldn’t say when.  He also felt he needed to know her again, although he couldn’t say why.  So, he sent a simple message, and then came her reply.

He could remember the reply, the poetic way she stated her emotions of the moment.  He could feel her presence despite never meeting her.  In a brave and courageous moment this man had sent that woman a message and she had replied.  He knew then that something was happening within him.

A sudden shift brought him back to his reality.  “I’m going to get the phone to call 9-1-1.  Baby, please hold on!”

“NO!” he wanted to scream.  “Please stay here with me.  I need you baby, hold my hand.  Kiss me.  I don’t have much time left.  I have so much I need to say to you.”

She was gone, and although only a few feet it seemed like a million miles had separated them.  They had begun their relationship hundreds of miles apart, and although they had settled into a routine he could remember the pain of being separated from her.  So many days had to be spent missing her and wishing she was there with him.  In the early days he had often doubted that this woman could love him. He had often doubted that she could stay true to him.  He often caved to the frantic fear of his mind created long before he ever met her.  Even at its worst when they ended for a short time, she came back to him proving that he mattered, and that he had value to someone.  She loved him, he could see it in her eyes and feel it in her touch, and now as he heard it in her voice as she frantically begged the dispatcher to get there as fast as he could.  As she screamed at the phone, he only wanted her voice to become sweet again like it was when she said “I love you” or “come to bed baby”.

“Please sweetheart, let me hear you sing” his mind whispered as his mouth remained silent.  “Don’t cry, just whisper in my ear and laugh.  God, let me here that laugh please.  I have a joke here somewhere, please just laugh.”

He could almost hear her laugh.  It made him tingle to hear it.  Her eyes would light up and her mouth would curve “just so”.  It was no wonder everyone loved her so much.  It used to drive him crazy, and he often felt in the beginning like she liked them more than she liked him.  She paid more attention to them, and he felt relegated to a dark corner of the room.  He believed she gave them more of her than she gave him, but once he began to listen and to see the truth he realized what a fool he was.  She gave him so much more of herself than she had given anyone else.  She loved him, and offered to him parts of her he was sure no one else had ever seen.  She even gave him what he asked for, and in the process showed him the truth.  “What a fucking idiot I was” he said to himself.  “I want my fucking life back, I want to love her like she deserved to be loved from the first time we met.  Please God, give it back to me, I won’t waste a second…”

God’s answer was a gasp for air and an intense pain in his chest.  He shook his head angrily at the reply, and then focused as he had learned on the beauty around him.  He could feel his children in his arms again as they had been as babies.  He could hear them say “I love you dada” and feel their little hands take his index finger as they struggled to walk.  He could feel them cuddled next to him when they got older as he read their favorite book.  He could remember the lectures to his son about sports, the diatribes to his daughters about boys, the millions of laughs and the relatively small numbers of tears.  He loved to make them laugh, and he would often make himself the butt of his own jokes to get them laughing hysterically. As he looked into his woman’s eyes something must have told her, “please tell my babies I love them.  Please don’t ever let them forget.”

“I won’t.  But you’re not going anywhere.  You will tell them yourself.”

“God I wish” was his heart’s reply.  His children were the first people he ever felt pure love for.  They taught him what it was to love and be loved, and the woman who now cradled him softly taught him how right he was.  His children gave him value as a father, she taught him value as a lover, together they taught him value as a man.  Even now as he spent his last moments in this existence she was here, showing him his value and the true meaning of love.  It wasn’t in the nifty words he could string together.  It wasn’t in the sex.  It wasn’t in the outward show of affection.  It was in the truth that made all of those things possible, but not necessary.  They were necessary to the ego, the truth was necessary only to itself and it owed something only to itself.  He had understood that early on, but it took him time to get over himself to actually use it. His past had once so cluttered his mind that it stole precious moments away from him and from them.  Moments made even more precious by their imminent end.

He could feel the end coming.  Within him became a mixture of peace and pain, of darkness and light.  He realized this interesting parallel in the life we all lead.  It seemed what we call death is just like what we call life, a mixture of suffering and joy.  Even now, as he suffered intensely amid the final pathway to peace he couldn’t go there.  Not yet.  He wanted to spend one more moment with this woman who had changed his life and brought the sunshine where none existed.  For that he would bear whatever pain that had to be borne.  He suddenly became calm, and the pain seemed to subside.  This, as it had been his entire life, was the power of Love.

He looked at her and felt healthy.  His breathing seemed to return to normal, and the pain in his chest subsided.  He shook his head slowly, although he was not sure at what. It felt like the first time they met, with a mixture of excitement and anticipation followed by realization and love.  Then she laughed, oh God she laughed.  Through the tears and sniffles she laughed.  His head, now on her thighs as she stroked his head and wiped the tears from his cheeks, shook a bit with each burst of laughter.  He was able to lift his arms long enough to wipe her hair from her face and stroke the contour of her jaw line one final time.  Suddenly, he found his voice for one last poetic verse to his lover.

“Baby, I love you.  Since the dawn of time I have loved you.  It may be here, or it may be there, but somewhere I will be loving you.  Please, know that it is you, and it always has been you.  I am grateful for last night, and for every night I have had with you.  I am also very grateful for this moment and that it was with you.  I love you…I swear.”

As she bent to kiss him, he closed his eyes, grateful that the last vision he would have in this lifetime was of her, his lover, his friend, his guiding star.  They kissed sweetly with a passion that had never left.  With that, he inhaled deeply and headed toward peace.

photo by: LievenVM

The Unbridled Truth Within Us

In the finite sands of THAT time
She called, she came, she wanted
She took me
She left me
She took me again
And now I laugh as a lump of flesh on her bed
Never wanting to leave
Never wanting to say a word
But the unbridled truth within me.
Do I give myself to the One?
Or do I save myself for something I will never find?
Those demons, ah those demons
Fucking with me even in my moments of joy
Teaching me what I want 
By giving me what I don’t
Tying me up in the web of my own design
Leaving me for dead
Fighting desperately as I cling to hope of salvation.
As the sun sets and the horizon comes alive with color
I sit in subtle gray
Wondering about that moment when I knew
That moment when I saw her 
And realized that the quiver in my legs
Was not from fear alone.
I wonder what I have to offer this woman
I search, look, ask and struggle
And I find nothing but the hope in my own eyes.
Through the night I toss and turn
Looking for the dream to bring me joy
I reach for her, nothing
This is not her affair
This is mine and mine alone
And this weight alone I will bear
So I stare into the void in my own mind
And wonder if I can defeat it
To show her the love that is me beyond this thought.
Alone I watch the Sun bring itself to view
The wonders of nature stir the Soul within
As the music of the Heavens awakens the rest of me
Head pounding I take a weakened look
At the empty spot residing next to me
And I can see her there
A figment of my imagination
Or my heart begging for a reprieve?
To that I think the answer lies somewhere in between.
In missing her I find the pathway to my heart
I hope and pray the answer we will find
In our next meeting
When in the finite sands of another time
She calls to me, she comes, she wants
She takes me
She keeps me
To take me yet again
And we laugh as crumpled mounds of flesh on her bed
Never wanting to leave
Never having to say a word
Yet knowing the unbridled truth within us.

When (Poem)

I withhold
When I don’t know why I’m angry
I remember
When I simply want to forget
I create
When I just want to sit and watch you
I hurt
When I truly want to forgive.
I argue
When I wish that she would hold me
I complain
When I would rather feel her kiss
I scream
When I would rather say I love you
I fear
When all I see is darkness.
I talk
When I simply want to listen
I doubt
When I know I see the truth
I fight
When I’d rather purely love her
I cry
When it’s the laughter that I want.
I hold tightly
When I know I should let go
I let go
When I know I should be clinging
I question
Everything thing I know
I answer
With a distinct and noble lie.
I want more
When I should be needing less
I see what was
When I should be seeing now
I know I’m human
When I tear my life to pieces
I know I’m Divine
When I love me just the same.
photo by: DonkeyHotey

Single Touch

 In the candlelight lays destiny
In the moment there is a mountain of truth
Reaching out for an answer to the call
Seeking for each other’s hand
Longing for that single touch
Than another
And another
Until there are too many to count
And we are lost once again in a place without time.
In the morning awakes destiny
Aglow with the passion of a remembered lust
Not letting go and grasping all the same
Needing each other
Reaching to give that single touch
Than another
And another
Until they become too many to count
And the Earth stands still as the Lovers dance.
There are no questions
In the moments of honest ecstasy
The two become one in the soft voice of forever
Eternity is calling
Demanding nothing but a single touch
Than another
And another
Until they become too many to count
And the mind’s defeat resounds in the sounds they have never made before.
They are one
In that single touch
That never ever ends.
photo by:

The Car Alarm (Writing Exercise #4)

Setting:  inconsequential

Subject: car alarm


He was awakened by the turbulent sound of a toilet flushing.  He felt as if he had been awake for days, and he just wanted some sleep.  The thin foam mattress he found himself on offered little comfort, and the starched sheets and blankets provided little more than the illusion of warmth.  He wasn’t used to a high level of comfort and hospitality, but even for him this was a step downward from the stark realities of home.  He began to hear some shouts in the distance accompanied by a few clanks as metal met metal.  It’s not the way to begin your day in any lifetime, but as he watched one of his cellmates head back to his own world of discomfort he was reminded of where he was.

A sigh.  “That fucking car alarm.”

It had been less than 24 hours earlier when his troubles began, or rather when they finally caught up with him.  After a night of partying with his crew, he had left the apartment of a girl he had met that night to make the walk home.  He didn’t live far from here, just a few blocks to the north and then a short hike to the east, so he decided to make a workout out of it.  Beginning a slight jog in the cool morning air, he had soon made his way halfway home when he heard it.

“That fucking car alarm.”

It wasn’t rare to hear car alarms in his neighborhood, but it was rare to hear it at this time of the morning.  Usually everyone was asleep or getting home, or leaving some nighttime rendezvous that went too long, so alarms at this hour were rare.  He kind of laughed to himself realizing they actually may not be all that rare. What was rare was his being up this early.  Even through the haze of his hangover he could sense the stillness of this time of day.  It seemed unusual compared to the busy-ness of the urban life, and he admitted that he actually liked it.  The sidewalks were empty, and besides the occasional street vendor he saw no one.  He could actually stretch out his arms without fear of hitting anyone.  He stopped his jog and did just that, and the feeling of space actually felt liberating to him.  Yes, he said to himself, he could get used to this.

The car alarm still blared in the stillness of the night.  The sky was just beginning to turn that light hue of blue that announces the imminent arrival of the sun.  He didn’t have far to go, and he knew that he would have to hurry if he was going to make it to his room before his grandmother caught him.  He wasn’t worried about getting in trouble for being out all night.  He had done that more times than he could count.  His fear resided in the fact that she would ask him to attend Sunday services at her church.  He always had trouble saying no to his grandmother, and today would not be any exception.  She would not bother him if he was sleeping, but if she caught him awake all bets were off.  He loved his grandmother, and realized it now for the first time in a long time.  Maybe he would even stay awake until she woke up, and he would give her a hug and surprise her by asking to go to church with her.  That would not just make her day, but her entire week!  Maybe he would even watch the sun rise for the first time in memory.  Maybe he would tell his grandmother about it.  She would laugh, grab his cheeks with her aged but strong hands and plant a kiss right on his lips.  He would act like he hated it, but that was just an act.  Yes, her entire week would be made as would his day.

First, he would take a slight detour.  He wanted to see what the car alarm was all about.  A part of his brain was screaming “just go home, there is only trouble where that alarm is” but he just couldn’t help himself.  It had only been a few moments since the alarms started, but the fact that it hadn’t stopped piqued his curiosity.  Now he just wanted to see what was going on.

So, he crossed the street in a jog and headed toward the direction of the sound.  The flashing red brake lights of the car made finding it easy, and as he neared it he could see that the passenger side window had been broken.  He continued to run past it and didn’t stop to look to see what, if anything, had been taken from the car.  No, the fucking car alarm and the broken glass was all he needed to see.  It signaled trouble, and all he could do was hope that no one was still in the car as the sound went from in front of him to behind him.  He kept his eyes straight ahead, and even stopped breathing as if the act would somehow make him more noticeable.

As he neared the next intersection he began to go right when another set of flashing lights appeared.  The police were on their way, and soon they would discover not only what he saw, but what he didn’t see.  Let them discover what was going on with the car, he just wanted to get home to his grandmother and the breakfast she was sure to make.  He could almost taste it.

The police car screeched to a sudden stop and the driver yelled, “stop, and stay were you are!”  The jogger did as told and complied when the officer ordered him to put his hands on the trunk of a nearby car and “keep them where I can see them.”  After a short talk on the radio, the female officer got out of her car and headed toward the jogger.  She almost reminded him of the girl he was with last night.  Definitely a little older, but just as pretty albeit not nearly as fun.  At least not at this time in this setting.

She asked him the usual questions.  Where are you coming from?  Some woman’s house.  Why were you running?  Just decided to run home rather than walk.  Why were you running from the car broken into and isn’t that a strange coincidence?  No, actually, I heard the alarm and wanted to check it out.  I wasn’t doing anything wrong.

She began to frisk him.  Something seemed oddly strange about having a nice-looking woman touch him like this.  He couldn’t say he didn’t like it, and given different circumstances it might actually be fun.  Then it dawned on him as the sudden wave of fear grip him just as she grouped his pocket.

“What’s this?”

“A pipe ma’am.”

Fuck.  He had forgotten about that pipe.  He and the girl he was with had smoked some weed the night before, and he stuck the pipe in his pocket so he wouldn’t forget it the next morning.  Alcohol and pot seemed to dull the memory the next morning and he really wanted to leave her place with everything he came with.  Well, minus a couple of condoms and well, you know.

“Alright, put your hands behind your head, you are under arrest.”

He didn’t say a word as she read him his rights.  He didn’t say a word as she put him in her car.  He didn’t say a word as she reported “one in custody”.  He didn’t say a word as they drove to the place where the holding cell, the bed, the toilet and the cellmates waited.  He wasn’t silent however.  His mind was speaking loudly even as his mouth remained still.  He was thinking about his grandmother.  He was missing her breakfast.  He was missing going to church with the beautiful old woman who raised him.  He was missing his bed.  He wasn’t going to see the sun rise this morning.

All because of that fucking car alarm.


He is Nothing

Why do we seem to ignore
Or forget
Or exclude
Those who want to be there the most?
I cannot run from you, from me, from we
And I’m tired
Tired of chasing
An invisible shadow
Lost in the creation of its mind
Running from itself
From me, from we
From the nothing in her to the desire in me
The sadness shows, it grows.
It’s easier to turn and fight
And absorb the blows and stitch the scars
Than it is to run from her
Or to her, chasing the shadow
Or wish for something that is not there
As the blood runs down my weary face
I wish I was them, those who seem to matter
As the pain helps me lose the thought of her.
The Fighter needs no one
For the corner of his box is empty
Until the bell rings
And he meets the other lonely Soul
In a place where only one can survive
He stands and withstands
Without excuse
Fanfare is only for the champion
The beloved one.
Please, my old friend Rage, come and talk to me
Raise me up and turn me to stone
A rock, hard to the touch but a treasure to the sculptor
The one who sees a treasure in the mess that I am
And loves the art more than the air she breathes. 
There she might caress me
And turn this stone to wonder
The man to god, this god to Love
There is nothing in between
But a blur as her hammer goes to work.
Or there she might sing to me
Lull me to sleep with some sweet melody
Sooth the savage beast as Lovers often do.
Silence. Instead.
There is nothing in the darkness for me.
For them, plenty.
For me, the emptiness of space
As I inhale he ether and pretend it has a flavor
As I hear my old friend Rage calling out to me
“I am here, and you will never be alone.”
I smile in the rendition
But sigh in the subtle resolve
Gone to sleep in chaotic melancholy
The Fighter, the Lover, the man
Left to stray as some reluctant memory
He cries, alone, waiting for the bell to ring at last
Knowing that as the blows rain down from places he can’t see
That darkness, sweet darkness, will be the loser’s prize.
For he is nothing
And he has lost without even parting from his stool
It was not his fight to win
He was simply the body paying the price for the heart’s own folly
So now he stands
Waiting for the lights to fade.